ABJ is reporting, and I can look out my window to confirm, that downtown Austin’s Four Seasons residences have topped out their construction on the 32nd floor. Construction is scheduled to wrap up in Q1 2010.
Archives for May 2009
iBidCondo in action…
[youtube = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSLO3i2jmX4]
The first iBidCondo auction was held last night. The result was a high bid for the right to purchase a condo originally priced at $690,000 at the Star Riverside – located on I35 and Riverside Dr and planned to be complete in 18 months – for $87,000.
Watching the video above, the process is just too anonymous for me to get comfortable with. At the recent Brazos Place auction there were hundreds of real people in attendance. You had an existing building. You could see the person that won each auction. The market clearing price for Brazos Place’s 19 downtown Austin condos was $282 per foot. The auction company was not affiliated with the developer.
From the iBidCondo FAQ:
“A selection of the properties listed on iBidcondo are being developed by Constellation Property Group. Constellation Property Group is an affiliate of iBidcondo.”
Constellation Property Group is the developer of Star Riverside condos. Constellation Property Group is also listed as the registrant contact for the domain iBidCondo.com. It appears CPG is more than just an affiliate.
Was this a real auction? Or, was this was a cunning loss-leader for Constellation Property Group?
I suspect there will be a couple of people that will “win” these “auctions” and have the right to close on the units for highest bid once the building is complete. In my opinion, the risk of Constellation not completing construction is real and iBidCondo only serves to further that concern. Constellation wouldn’t sell every unit like this and still expect a return on investment of construction dollars.
Paul D’arcy has an interesting write up at Austin Towers and DAB will continue with updates as I learn more.
Proving once and for all that it’s OK (really) to live in South Austin and embrace downtown Austin urbanism… Michael Barnes, the Statesman’s social columnist, relays some quick math on the downtown Austin great streets program.
“Imagine all the shade trees, smooth, wide walkways and space for sidewalk businesses, especially cafes”
Thanks to DANA’s Greg Anderson for the heads up!
APD and PARD are cracking down on bridge jumpers, according to KXAN.
More bridge jumping photos can be found at Living Off The Air blog.
I discovered this documentary, Sprawlling From Grace; Driven To Madness, about the adverse effects of sprawl. Have any Downtown Austin Blog readers seen this? The blog has great photos of old Texas towns.
In Austin, sprawl has encroached on the Backyard, Hamilton Pool, and just about every green belt in the form of horizontal development and black-top parking lots. Simultaneously, Austin has seen the benefits of urbanism. The most salient display of this trend is the surge in density in downtown Austin over the past 10 years. In an ideal world urbanism would provide attainable housing, replace automobile reliance with mass-transit, and reduce the development impact on our hill country.
Austin is finding its way and the discussion is passionate. Our city has vocal advocates for protecting views of the Lady Bird Lake and the Capitol building. A worthy endeavor indeed, but does this result in bolstering already expensive land values in the urban core neighborhoods and thereby inhibiting the development of more attainable housing? How should the city prioritize its goals?
From the website:
“Wrestling with these emerging realities, state and city governments are finding that they can no longer encourage these patterns of growth by further investing in highway and utility infrastructures. They are now forced to find viable alternatives by investing in public transit in the form of BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), commuter rail, and light rail to serve their community’s transportation needs. Through this process they are gaining an historical understanding of the relationship between land use and transportation.”
Hmmm….. there is a phone in this couch. Dual massage zones. It’s in Pflugerville. It demands our attention. I’ve been meaning to start a best of craigslist column. I think it’s just begun.
“I have a great couch its dark green had built in massagers in both sides and in the middle console there is a working phone just plug it in and ready to use the massage controls are in the center with the phone and the massages are heated so it awsome great deal for 150”
If someone in downtown Austin buys this, please invite us to come sit on it.
From this week’s Chronicle:
“Kudos to the Hilton for Saving the Pun-Off
Dear Editor, Utmost kudos to the Downtown Hilton, which rose to the occasion and saved the 32nd O. Henry Pun-Off from being canceled by last Saturday’s noontime deluge. The Hilton offered use of a sixth-floor ballroom, and the joyful event was held by some soggy and very appreciative people. As the Pun-Off is one of the main annual fundraisers for the O. Henry House museum on the block next to the Hilton, it was truly neighbor helping neighbor. Bless y’all at the Hilton for your generosity and lifeline to the punsters.
I’ve worked with Joe Bolash [GM of the Hilton Austin] on efforts for DANA and Sixth Street Austin and his team is always prepared to lend a hand for the benefit of downtown.
I’ve always thought it to be the height of irony that people drive to the gym for a workout on the treadmill. That’s why I have always been a proponent a) just taking a jog around Town Lake or the bustling streets of Downtown Austin, or b) if I feel the need for the equipment, to find someplace within walking distance. That’s one of the main reasons Jude and I joined the Tower Health Club and Spa at the Hilton 555. Most people don’t even think about the Tower Health Club, probably because it’s in a hotel and people assume there’s no open membership. However, they have a variety of membership plans and a pretty decent set of equipment. They also have a steam room, sauna, pool, and hot-tub, which is great. Jude and I hit the gym about three times a week, not only because we want to stay healthy, but because it’s really convenient. My only criticism would be that they don’t offer classes like many of the more commercial gyms.
However, the convenience outweighs the class options for me. While we love the THC&S, there are a variety of places to workout in downtown if you want to use equipment or prefer to take classes. Click here for a Google Map showing some results.
Within the last few months, we’ve also upped the ante a bit and hired a personal trainer, Will Wagner. The unique thing about this guy is that he’ll meet you anywhere (within reason). He’s really flexible in terms of coordinating times and places to meet, and he even E-mails us between sessions to help us stay on track. He also introduced us to The Green Shake (contact him for more info on this), which I jokingly refer to as The Fountain of Youth shake…..He’s got several clients in our building and throughout Downtown Austin, so meeting centrally is generally pretty convenient for him, I think.
I guess the point here is that working out doesn’t have to be an ordeal, particularly for those of us living in Downtown Austin, where pretty much everything is a stone’s throw away. For Downtown Austin dwellers, there are a variety of really attractive options to keep fit, such as employing our naturally beautiful surroundings, dropping by one of the many nearby gyms, or even calling a trainer who is more than happy to meet you where you live.
Go get fit!
[clearspring_widget title=”Widget” wid=”48f6083258e35f91″ pid=”4a12c8d39d8d1e64″ width=”380″ height=”250″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]
I couldn’t resist sharing this. Bendable concrete that flexes and heals itself when it rains.
“A slab of self-healing concrete bends under 5 percent tensile strain, the force needed to stretch a material by 5 percent of its initial size.
While ordinary concrete would crumble under such pressure, the new material forms micro-cracks that can then auto-seal after being exposed to water and carbon dioxide”