Archives for March 2009

Austin Ashton: More Buzz + Sneek Peek

Austin Ashton: More Buzz + Sneek Peek

Pricing for the downtown Austin apartment building, the Ashton Austin, is available Jude Galligan, 512-226-3414, judegalligan [@]

Click here for complete Ashton Austin coverage.

Austin Ashton - Lobby Rendering

Austin Ashton - Lobby

Two weeks ago I shared some interesting facts about the Ashton – the downtown Austin apartment building which has kept a very tight lip on when it will be delivered.  Yesterday, I received an update along with some swank model photos!  According to the developer of the downtown Austin Ashton, the move-in target is now June 1st.  The model units should be ready by May 1st.

The market’s expectations are high.  I’m told the photos should be very true to the actual finishes and fixtures used.  Interestingly, several of the people who’ve contacted me about the Ashton currently live at the AMLI on 2nd.  This makes sense.  Many of my clients leasing in downtown Austin have been longing for a more traditional finish without sacrificing quality.

For Downtown Austin Blog readers who are preparing to lease at the Ashton, email me your name, phone, address, and I will send you an exclusive draft copy of the floor plans!

judegalligan [@]

More pics after the jump below!

Austin Ashton - Kitchen Rendering

Austin Ashton - Kitchen

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Downtown Austin Condo Sales

Downtown Austin Condos By The Numbers

Downtown Austin Condos By The Numbers

We love numbers here at DAB, and takes a look at average sale prices (per foot) for each building in Downtown Austin over the past 14 months.  You’ll find each building ranked by price/foot in descending order.  5 Fifty Five takes the top spot at $473/ft.  You might be surprised to see the Westgate show up at $325/ft.  Greenwood Towers sets the floor at $197/ft.

The most interesting result might be Plaza Lofts coming in at an average of $291/ft.  Plaza Lofts is the most centrally located of all downtown Austin condos.   These numbers have a back story, which is what I assist my clients with.  Over the past 14 months, the Plaza Lofts has been subjected to construction expectations.  Gables Republic Park was scheduled to begin construction next door to the South.  Andrews Urban/Novare were expected to push their Ovation project where the post office is located.  This would have killed many people’s views of the hill country.  It doesn’t appear that either of these projects will be complete within the next five years, if not longer.

Another key point to remember about Greenwood Towers, the least expensive Downtown Austin condo, its intrinsic value is significantly linked to the fact that the building sits on a land lease which expires sometime near 2050.

Complete Analysis (link)

Ranked in descending order:
5 Fifty Five, $473/ft
Nokonah, $442/ft
Brazos Place, $370/ft

Villas on Town Lake, $241/ft
Towers of Town Lake, $228/ft
Greenwood Towers, $197/ft

No Development Permit Extensions Says Austin City Council

According to the ABJ, Austin City Council has voted against one-time development permit extensions which would extend the time frame real estate developers had to commence with their project from three to five years.  Sponsored by the newest Council Members on the dais, Randi Shade and Laura Morrison were not around in 2006-2007 to vote on urban infill projects.

Development permits will likely expire before any rebound in the capital markets.  If the land where the development was to occur has already been razed (Marriott), then the outcome of this ruling is most likely blight – empty lots, not generating property taxes, and often surrounded by chain link fence.

A far better solution would have been to levy fines or taxes on undeveloped land.   Because, you know, that could have generated money for the city!

Link to agenda item

Coordinated Urban Candidate Forum – April 4th

In what could become the most attended and media covered of all the candidate forums, mark your calendar for the coordinated Urban Candidate Forum.

On Saturday, April 4th the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association will co-host a forum to learn where the city council and mayoral candidates stand on the issues that affect Austin and its urban core. The major candidates will debate such issues as economic development, the livability of the downtown neighborhood, public spaces, urban rail, and parking.

DANA is combining forces with:

-Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA),
-Congress for New Urbanism (CNU),
-Alliance for Public Transportation,
-Old Austin Neighborhood Association (OANA),
-Austin Parks Foundation,
-Austin Metro Trails and Greenways,
-6ixth Street Austin,

Complimentary coffee, water, and light breakfast items will be provided.

WHEN: Saturday, April 4th, 10 am – 1:30 pm

WHERE: St. David’s Episcopal Church @ 304 E. 7th Street (map)

Paid parking will be available in the St. David’s garage. You may also plan your trip using Capital Metro’s trip planner. Enter the church at the intersection of 8th & San Jacinto.

Downtown Austin Car Share – Smart Car Pilot Program

How do you increase parking?  Shrink the cars, of course!

How do you increase parking? Shrink the cars, of course!

Daimler will partner with the City of Austin to operate a car-share pilot program, Mayor Will Wynn announced yesterday morning.

From the Statesman:

“The city will set aside urban-core parking spaces for 200 of Daimler’s “Smart” cars. Rather than paying for the spaces, Daimler will let city employees use the cars for a number of hours that’s equal to the monetary value of the spaces. (That amount hasn’t been determined yet; it will be negotiated over the next few weeks, city officials said.)…The program will start in October and run for six months. Daimler will pay for fuel, maintenance and insurance during that time, said the city’s transportation director, Robert Spillar.”

The car share program is a proven model in many cities, and the Smart Car program specifically is already smashing success in Germany.  Austin mayoral city council candidate Chris Riley is responsible for Austin Car Share – a small but well utilized car share program in Downtown Austin.

Thanks to Austin Contrarian for picking up on this story.