Archives for February 2009

Bill Spelman

The light is shining bright on Downtown Austin, at least as much as city council place 5 is concerned.  Bill Spelman is running, unopposed, for Austin city council place 5.  Spelman, professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, is also the chair of the Waller Creek Citizens Advisory Committee and an advocate for the Waller Creek Tunnel Project.

Perhaps even more relevant to Downtown Austin’s interests is Spelman’s curriculum vitae includes research in criminal justice, police operations, prison policy, and urban economic development.

Go Bill!

panhandling is not the real issue

I learned something interesting this week.  The anti-panhandling ordinance is only enforceable if the ‘victim’ or another witness requests that the ‘offender’ be cited.  Otherwise, the police are not obliged to intervene.  I’ve come to a conclusion regarding the perceived safety of downtown Austin: panhandling is a red herring issue.

The real issue is the ARCH doesn’t have the capacity to service the thousands of homeless people in Austin.  They try, but can’t, and those under served are relegated to the streets of the Entertainment District.  These people are easy prey for drug dealers.  Over the past six months I’ve seen a surge in drug dealers and gangs staking their turf.  Ask any resident that has a view of East 5th street if they’ve recently seen some hooded guy loitering in the middle of a sidewalk for hours on end.  What are they doing?

The convention center, hotels, retailers, and residents are becoming more vigilant and zero tolerance on Downtown Austin crime is becoming the battle cry.  Downtown stakeholders seem to have reached an unofficial consensus that the police must begin to: 1) shift to a beat system of patrol 2) spread out on weekend nights 3) be more effectual in responding to 911.   As a participant in many of the Downtown Austin stakeholder groups, I tell you that the Police force is given plenty of slack.  Judging by the frustrated voices at recent meetings, I don’t know how much longer that will continue.

Spring condos topping out party pics

Spring condos topping out party pics

[shameless plug 🙂 for more information about buying at the Spring condos, including the inside scoop on pricing at Spring and at other luxury buildings in downtown Austin, contact Jude Galligan, Downtown Austin Realtor   (512) 226-3414   judegalligan [@]

Southwestern view from 41st floor at Spring condos

Southwestern view from 41st floor at Spring condos

If you witnessed a line extending half-a-block down w. 3rd on Tuesday evening it was the line to get to the top of Spring condominiums.  The party was to celebrate their topping out at the 41st floor.  Using the cargo elevator, attendees were taken to the 41st floor.  Once on the 41st floor you walked off the cargo and greeted by a cavernous space filled with guests (similar to the Austonian party).  Judging by the line and logistical challenges, including a 45 minute wait to get a tour of the interiors, I don’t think the Spring developers planned for the volume of guests!  Still, the drinks were flowing and everyone looked to be having a great time.  The views were what you would expect at that level… while the sun was setting… amazing.

Guests were also invited to tour a couple of furnished model units.  Many existing buyers were in attendance, eager to get their first glimpse of a completed floor plan.

After the jump you can find a few pics of the interiors.

[Read more…]

Downtown Austin condos: do the math

The math

The math of Downtown Austin condos

OK.  We did the math.  Below is DAB’s analysis of the inventory of condos in Downtown Austin.

776 residences were delivered in 2008
670 +/- units have sold
106 unit surplus.

This is a net absorption of over 600 units in one year.  The 360 Condominiums has only 2 units left.

789+/- units under construction in downtown Austin
+/- 350 of the 789 units are under contract

545 +/- units remain in downtown through at least 2013.

There are no projects coming online that are not already under construction. It takes 2-3 years to build a project and it is unlikely a developer will get construction financing for another 12-18 months.

To put things in perspective, Miami area is delivering approximately 60,000 high rise condominiums during this development cycle.  Miami MSA is approximately 2,387,000 people. That is a ratio of 1 condo for every 40 Miami MSA residents.

The Austin area is delivering approximately 1565 high rise condominiums during this development cycle. Austin MSA is approximately 1,600,000 people… that is a ratio of 1 new condo downtown for every 1,022 Austin MSA residents.  A single project in downtown Miami is larger than the entire number of units being delivered in downtown Austin over a 6 year period!

360 condos retail space for sale

According to Taylor Andrews of Andrews Urban, via the Statesman, the nearly 14,000sf of retail space below 360 condos is for-sale, coincidentally for about $360psf.  Royal Blue just moved in.  Mulberry is super-cool.  Haven’t been to Blu Cafe, yet.

From the article… “The space, totaling about 13,700 square feet, is almost all leased. Tenants already open or coming soon include Garrido’s, a restaurant from former Jeffrey’s executive chef David Garrido; Mulberry and the Lara Reynolds art galley.”