East Austin historic neighborhood redevelopment pushes completion to 2025

Heavy equipment continues to roll across what was Rosewood Courts in east Austin. It’s been two years since the groundbreaking that came with a completion date targeted for fall 2024. 

Little is left from what was one of the first, if not the first, public housing complexes for African Americans. The transition to what will be called Pathways at Rosewood Courts is costing just under $63 million, a major endeavor for the Austin Housing Authority.

"Absolutely. I mean, this is the next chapter," said COAHA Chief Operating Officer Sylvia Blanco.

The supply chain and labor issues, following the pandemic, have delayed completion of this next chapter.

"So now our new timeline is, we'll have the first building available for occupancy by mid 2025. And we should wrap up having the entirety of the site open by the end of 2025," said Blanco.

A few of the original Rosewood units are the only things still standing that currently resemble homes. The remaining eight are being refurbished.

"We've also removed the pitch roofs that had been added on over the years. So now it's the original roofs," said Blanco. "I think it's sort of like seeing a glimpse of that history and time as we like to say, you know, if LBJ himself were here, he would recognize the buildings."

Most of the site is going through a total re-design. Walls have started going up for one of three apartment buildings, which will provide 184 new units. 60 more than what were available. The apartment homes will range in size from a studio to four-bedrooms. There will also be 12 town homes which will be sold as affordable housing.

"Our Rosewood families and our other families that we serve throughout our portfolio will get the first priority in being able to purchase one of these affordable town homes," said Blanco.

Blanco was asked to define what she meant when saying affordable.


"We're talking about under $300,000. We're talking about three bedrooms, two baths, even a four-bedroom, two-bath for under $300,000," said Blanco. 

There is a concern about how interest rates may factor into affordability.

"That is a huge issue for everyone. We're in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. And they have very strong ties with lenders who know the mission," Blanco said.  

Planning for this redevelopment started about 10 years ago, and at times was viewed with skepticism by some community advocates. Blanco says the new neighborhood will honor the past and provide new opportunities. 

"We look forward to celebrating together at a ribbon cutting, hopefully by this time next year," said Blanco.

The project will include an open space called Emancipation Park, a history center and several historical markers.