Planned with community and sustainability in mind, the mixed-use Mueller District has quickly become one of Austin’s most desirable areas.
This lively development is actually a self-contained town within a city, so everything you might need daily will be within walking distance. The area’s housing includes apartments, condos, single-family homes and rowhouses, arranged around a central green space. Meanwhile, the northwest corner of the neighborhood is home to a bustling commercial district. It includes both major and independent retail, a state-of-the-art H-E-B grocery store and Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Where is Mueller?
The Mueller community is located in Northeast Austin on the site of the former Mueller airport. It’s just east of I-35, tucked into the triangle created by E. 51st Street to the north, and Airport Blvd and Manor Road to the southwest and southeast.
The area is within a few miles of both the University of Texas campus and the capitol building. Plus, the easy access to I-35 makes it a great home base from which to reach the rest of Austin.
The Robert Mueller Municipal Airport was opened in 1930 in a space that was, at that time, on the outskirts of the city. But by the 1970s, the airport was landlocked by the rapidly developing city and its location near the growing downtown had become inconvenient.
In 1999, the modern (and much larger) Austin-Bergstrom International Airport opened further east, and the Mueller Airport shut down for good.
Right away, the Austin City Council began discussions with developers to revitalize this prime piece of real estate. Between 2007 and 2017, the area was sustainably rebuilt with a master plan in mind, to create a walkable, desirable mixed-use district.
Eco-friendliness is a major priority for the new community. The developers recycled old airport runways into new streets and broke down airplane hangars to recycle them into new buildings. Even the commercial buildings, like Dell Children’s Medical Center and the H-E-B grocery store, have LEED certifications.
The Mueller neighborhood was planned for a pedestrian, family-oriented lifestyle. In a city that relies heavily on car traffic, the community design instead encourages walking and biking around the small “town,” with plenty of trees and public green space.
What to do
Parks and community gardens provide a place for kids (and dogs!) to run around and get plenty of exercise. The human-made lake and open-air amphitheater are open to the public and make excellent picnic sites.
Every Sunday, a bustling farmer’s market welcomes growers and makers to peddle their goods. And families can visit one of two community pools to beat the summer heat.
If you prefer to be indoors, take the kids to The Thinkery, a 40,000 square foot children’s museum dedicated to science, technology, engineering, art and math. Or head to the Alamo Drafthouse for a movie and a snack. Film buffs can also take classes at the Austin Film Studio Production Complex on E. 51st St.
Where to eat & drink
Foodies, rejoice, because some of the best food in town can be found in Mueller!
Austin original Torchy’s Tacos may have expanded to several states, but they’re still serving up inventive tacos and some seriously addictive queso in their Austin locations. The Mueller Torchy’s is just across the street from Bartholomew Park, so you can enjoy your Taco Tuesday al fresco.
For Asian cuisine, try comforting dumplings from Bao’d Up, or hand-pulled noodles from Xian Sushi and Noodle. Vegans can visit hotspot Rebel Cheese for vegan sandwiches and soups. Try their dairy-free “cheeses” that taste like the real thing.
Head over to Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches to sit in the beer garden with a kolache and a brew. Or visit one of the food trucks gathered near the remaining airport hangar shell, which remains as a nod to the area’s history.
For dinner with friends, try Contigo on Anchor Lane. This modern urban ranch-style restaurant has plenty of outdoor seating and outstanding New American food.
To celebrate special occasions, head out to chic Italian spot L’Oca d’Oro. Their hand-pulled pasta and house-made meats and cheeses routinely land them on the coveted Eater 38.
If you prefer to cook at home, Mueller has a state-of-the-art H-E-B grocery store. It includes a cafe with outdoor seating, so you can have a snack before or after you shop. Keeping with the neighborhood’s goals, the building is LEED Gold certified, designed to consume 80% less electricity and 50% less water than the average grocery store.
Moving to Mueller
Real estate snapshot
Mueller is a residential, planned community, so it comes with low-rise buildings and a balanced mix of residents, out of which 58% are renters. At the same time, prices for apartments in Mueller are lower than both the national and city average, with rents circling around $1,449.
About a third of the units in the area are high-end, but they won’t run you back much more than the typical rental, since they go for $1,789 on average.
To reduce reliance on cars, the Mueller neighborhood has sidewalks and hike & bike trails to encourage smooth pedestrian movement throughout the community.
While there has been some discussion of an urban rail line through the area, there are no current plans to build one. But when you do need to drive, you can enjoy easy access to I-35 to the west and Hwy 183 to the east.
Schools & Employment
The Mueller neighborhood is served by several schools just outside the planned community.
Maplewood Elementary School is a few blocks southwest of the neighborhood, and Blanton Elementary is just north of Bartholomew Park.
Three middle schools are serving the area: Kealing Middle School, Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy.
High school students will attend either McCallum High or Northeast Early College High School. Plus, students who like to perform will have easy access to the AISD Performing Arts Center within the Mueller District, complete with auditorium, black box theater, dance studio and recording studio.
Major employers in the neighborhood include Dell Children’s Medical Center and the Seton Administration Building. But with such quick access to I-35, residents can easily reach workplaces anywhere in the city.
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