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Catellus announces Mueller Pioneer Program

Catellus, developer of the Mueller Airport Redevelopment Project, has announced how it plans to allocate the first 340 homes to eager homebuyers. Dubbed the "Mueller Pioneer Program", the plan calls for applicants to register between March 5 and April 30 in order to be included in a drawing that will determine their place in line.

In a wrinkle of benefit to poker players and game theorists, prospective buyers must select their preferred builder and "home type" at the time of registration. As I read it, this will amount to a separate priority list for each builder and home type, so pick an unpopular model and you stand a better chance of being near the head of the line. The application process also requires a credit pre-qualification, for which there is a $50 fee.

The list of builders is to be announced on March 5. I'm unclear on whether the specific "home types" are those spelled out in the Mueller plan [PDF] or something even more specific. The initial phase is to include yard houses, row houses, and garden court houses, so that's probably enough "home types".

More to the point, we don't know a lot yet about prices. Presumably this will all be much clearer on March 5th. It sounds like Catellus plans to have Mueller Central up and running by then, too. I know where I'll be that Monday!

austin 2007.02.16 link


It will be interesting to see the prices. I have looked at the site and called the office a few times but have not seen an indication for price points. Overall the plan looks pretty interesting. There are some parks on the south which is always nice to see in a new development.

Austin Real Estate [realestate cxe escapesomewhere punkto com] • 2007.02.20
The statesman article said the range was 180K-600K (130K-160K for the affordable housing). They also mentioned 900sqft as the starting point, though not what sort of home type that would be.

I'm glad to see this get off the ground, but it's bittersweet. My wife and I hoped to get a place there, but are closing on a house tomorrow. We held out for a long time, but there was just one delay too many. Murphy's law I guess dictated that they would get their act together as soon as we bought.

Having said that, given that we would be looking at the cheapest 3bdr, either market (if we could afford it) or affordable, we would probably be in the most competitive category for the lottery, so we might have been SOL anyway.

Speaking of game theory, I guess it makes sense for us to register for the home type we might want to buy in phase 2 and hope to just barely miss it, so we'll be top of the next waiting list. Of course they also say that if that builder doesn't build in phase 2, you're out of luck...

I see why they had to randomize, but in a way it seems like people like me who have been on the list from the first day you could register should get *some* priority over people who just found out about it...

ccosart • 2007.02.20
I'm guessing that the low end, both price- and size-wise, is the row houses. $180K for 900 square feet and no yard is not a price point that makes me happy.

I do think that some of the modest square footages (by McMansion standards) could be just fine if they do a decent job with the design. Agave, for instance, has some beautiful 3/2.5 designs which manage to feel spacious in well under 2000 sf. I could be happy with something quite a bit smaller than that -- but not at $200/sf and no dirt to call my own.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2007.02.22
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