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A scenic community

image Front entrance to The Reserve at Springdale

AUSTIN - For more than 75 years, Ryan Companies US Inc. feels their belief in the value of the buildings they design, develop, manage and construct along with the value they bring to the people who use them has driven them to take a holistic approach to every project, focusing first on the “why” behind a customer’s needs in order to achieve a better outcome in the end.


    As most professionals in the industry can attest, affordable/workforce housing is currently a hot topic in Austin. Garnering enough support from the nearby communities can be one of the most challenging aspects of the workforce housing project delivery process. In order to generate support amongst the neighbors, Austin Affordable Housing Corporation (AAHC), Ryan Companies and our partners designed the property to be community-inclusive from the very beginning.
    The principles carried on for three generations by Ryans for integrity, honesty, civic pride and sincere regard for people lead the owners of The Reserve at Springdale to Ryan Companies for the new construction of this 292 unit, multi-family complex.    
    The 329,418 gross sf, 4-building complex was built on 21.045 acres.  Leaving a beautiful scenic view at the back of the property for the residents of the complex to enjoy, Ryan Companies only developed 9.1 acres.
    The buildings are supported by reinforced concrete grade-beams. The soil-supported slab is post-tensioned, monolithic, cast-in-place concrete.  Floor assemblies above the first floor in the dwelling unit buildings consist of pre-engineered wood trusses supported by interior and exterior bearing walls.
    Exterior wall assemblies consist of a combination of faux stone and cementations plank siding with batten strips at the corners.
    The buildings’ interiors consist of resilient flooring and carpeting, drywall, architectural millwork and modern finishes. 
    The project encompassed a luxury swimming pool, outdoor playground, covered parking, ample bicycle parking, dog wash station, and various amenities like community rooms, café, fitness center, elevators and trash chutes for convenience.
    The Reserve project site produced significant challenges for the design team for the outset.  An earthquake analysis created certain criteria.  An elevated change of 50 feet from the front of the property on Springdale Road to the detention pond at the back of the site; and highly expansive soils required major foundation treatment.  With those conditions in mind, Ryan Companies still needed to meet and exceed the slopes required for handicap access to all four buildings.
    The project team worked closely with the geotechnical consultant, the earthwork subcontractor, Ranger Excavation, and the civil engineer, Big Red Dog, in order to lay out the buildings in a manner to overcome the aforementioned site challenges. Steps were introduced internally on the buildings to meet all accessible grades and handicap requirements. The team created a custom fill under the entire 90,000sf of building footprint, and also included additional piers and grade beams to stabilize the building.
    The detention pond location at the lower end of the site provided a significant construction challenge. The goal was to construct a freestanding wall adjacent to a major grade change. The team worked closely with the civil engineer, the structural engineer and the retaining wall subcontractor to provide a solution that was aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective. 
    George Lara, Ryan project manager, Bryan Johnson, Ryan superintendent, and Kelly Grossman Architects’’, J. Mike Grossman worked closely to complete the $29m project in 24 months with 103 weather delays from the significant rainfall in the Central Texas region.
    “It has been a pleasure to work with Austin Affordable Housing Corporation as co-developers on this project and another development in Austin.  We are both driven by the need to provide quality affordable housing where Austinites can build their own stories and thrive,” says David Knoll, Director of Real Estate Development at Ryan Companies.
    Ryan Companies US Inc. is a family-owned, third generation full-service construction company found in 1938 by James Henry Ryan. -cmw

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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net