Today a California based development group will finalize negotiations with state officials to convert [up to] 90,000/ft of the Texas State Capitol into luxury condominiums. Introduced early in the legislative session, the bill permitting the residential use didn’t take long to pass through the house and senate floors.
“We’re only here for six months every two years… this is an opportunity to generate revenue for the State” says a Texas State Senator who asked to remain unnamed.
Three design proposals, which had been on display inside the Capitol building since February, were reviewed by a Senate subcommittee. California based Kelso & Novak, the development group with the winning submission, gave priority to size and ensuring there was sufficient parking for future buyers.
According to John Kelso, principal and spokesperson for K&N “the design was driven by feedback from the legislators.” “We had the opportunity to do something different in downtown Austin, and we want to recreate the sense of horizontal space found throughout Texas suburbs,” Kelso continued.
Final designs and construction documents are to be delivered to the subcommittee within 90 days of contract, at which point the designs will be available for public scrutiny. “A pool would be nice” said Rick Reeves who was visiting the Capitol from Oklahoma.
The condos are scheduled to be complete in time for the next legislative session and it’s expected that the first buyers will be the legislators themselves. What remains to be seen is how much the capital markets will be a factor. Stimulus money will be available for buyers that do not qualify or do not have income.
Kelso & Novak website