Archives for March 2009

Shepard Fairey Wheatpaste at Mellow Johnny's

SXSW is over and the cityscape is improved with this new wheatpaste.   Shepard “Obey” Fairey and his team on Thursday.

See more at Flickr

Downtown Austin Apartments: 404 Rio Grande

Continuing this week’s theme of apartment reviews…

404 Rio Grande is the oft neglected apartment complex in the core of downtown Austin. (Gmap)  It doesn’t evoke the same reaction as the Monarch or AMLI on 2nd.  Still, 404 Rio Grande, at the corner of West 5th and Rio Grande, has one of the best locations in downtown Austin.  The rents are cheaper, too.  Unlike the new high rises parking is included for you and your guests.

Don’t expect the finishes to be similar to Monarch, its next door neighbor.  It would be easy to frown upon 404 Rio Grande’s faux-hardwood-laminate flooring and white appliances while paying a substantial rent.  Washer and dryer are not included.  Still, the loft style design of AMLI is not preferred by everyone, and 404 Rio Grande’s units are cozy – ultimately you are paying for location.

So, if your budget or desires don’t call for a 24-hour concierge or loft-like design, you might consider 404 Rio Grande.  After incentives, which constantly change at every building, one-bedrooms begin around $1300 and two-bedrooms around $1900.  The biggest challenge for a renter interested in 404 Rio Grande is availability.  404 Rio Grande has been fully occupied for a couple of years so, unlike the new high rises, availability depends on someone moving out.

If you are considering a move downtown, feel free to give me a call!

Jude Galligan, Downtown Austin Realtor
judegalligan [@]
(512) 226-3414

5th Street Commons

This morning the I visited the folks at 5th Street Commons.  They kindly invited me for a tour of their new digs, and to discuss the incentives currently available to renters.  Located on the outskirts of downtown Austin, the 150 apartments at the 5th Street Commons are sufficiently close enough to downtown to be included here.

What I like:
1) Ground floor retail and street side parking.  Once fully occupied with commercial tenants this should become another walkable district.

2) Smart floor plans.  At only 759/ft, the A1 plan is incredibly spacious with enough room for a dining table, kitchen island, and laundry room – without feeling cramped.

3) It’s equidistant to Whole Foods as the Sabine, and closer than Legacy on the Lake, Milago, etc.

4) Standard size washer and dryer included in all units

With advertised incentives, the rents are roughly 10-20% less than AMLI on 2nd or Monarch.   Accounting for two months of free rent on a 12 month lease, one bedrooms should begin around $1300 (studios even less), two-bedrooms around $1700.


Dahmus Has Insight Into Noise Complaints

“OMG! All these people moving downtown are complaining about live music!” crap.

According to M1EK, “the people pushing for the extra restrictions on live music outdoors are NOT the people downtown.”  Rather, it is the zealous Austin Neighborhood Council groupies.   The problem is how this plays out in the media (Jeff Ward) as it is currently en vogue to scorn downtown Austin residents.  They are exploiting a good media spin, and are using, as M1EK puts it, “downtown residents as cover – most people living downtown view music as an amenity, not a problem.”

My building is roughly 100ft from Sixth Street.  Venue noise is not a problem.  Now, if you can get the ambulances and fire trucks to go easy on the siren, that would be nice!