Archives for November 2009

Downtown Austin Open Houses

(Looking for this week’s open houses? You’ll find them here.)


Open houses in downtown Austin for Sunday, November 22nd

The great thing about downtown Austin open houses is that you can generally walk from building to building. Take a stroll downtown now that summer is over and the temperature is cooler. If you’re into adaptive reuses of older buildings, checkout DAB’s list of downtown Austin lofts. Looking for FHA approved condos? We’ve got the info here.

This weekend you can browse at your own pace at the Milago (btw, have you visited Rainey Street recently?), Spring, and the Austonian sales center.  While you’re here, checkout DAB’s gift suggestions found on 2nd Street.

1) 54 Rainey St #1014, 2bd, 2ba, $469,000, 1-4pm [Housepad] map
2) 300 Bowie St, Spring sales center, model units, 1-5pm map website
3) 200 Congress Ave, Austonian sales center located at 300 W 6th, 12-5pm map website

Don’t see the properties you’re interested in? Ask a Realtor who lives and works in downtown Austin.

Downtown Austin Condos Dwindling: Video

We don’t watch much TV, so we missed this KXAN piece highlighting the potential shortage of new downtown Austin condos.  The report claims 408.  Downtown Austin Blog’s count is 475.  I deal in downtown condos everyday, and this report is a little misleading.  Reports like this ignore the approximately 175 downtown resales currently available for sale.  Still, it’s very encouraging to receive some positive press reflecting the vibrancy of downtown.

Thanks to the Jdawgboy at SkyscraperPage forums for the heads up!


The State Theatre

Next to the Paramount Theatre on Congress Ave sits another theatre.  The State Theatre is managed by a non-profit, Austin Theatre Alliance, which also manages the Paramount.  In recent years, you couldn’t be blamed for completely missing the theatre from the street-scape vantage point, though countless photos and postcards highlight the giant “State” neon monument.  In 2006 a broken water main ravaged the State Theatre.  At the time, its next door neighbor, 721 Congress Ave was under development by Sinclair Black (who was also the designer of the theatre’s renovation in 1994-1995).  The two buildings share a basement, and logic dictated that the State Theatre allow 721 Congress to get further along in its development plans.

Cut to November 2009 and 721 Congress Ave is still a shell of a building with little prospect for achieving Sinclair’s vision anytime within the next five years.  What will happen with the State Theatre?  We don’t know.  The State Theatre has not reopened for performances, though its acting school never closed.  There’s been no updates published about their renovations or plans going forward.  Just as the Ritz Theatre on 6th Street (another mid-century movie house) has been given a new life with its tenant the Alamo Drafthouse, we hope the State Theatre’s best days are yet to come.

Suzanne Davis Gandy: Artist Reception Tonight

Friend of Downtown Austin Blog, Suzanne Davis Gandy, will have a reception tonight at Art Exchange Gallery on 5th Street, below 5th Street Commons. Original oil landscapses by this Austin artist are included in the gallery’s collection.  Art Exchange Gallery opened in early October, 2009, with owner, Hardy Woodall, bringing a captivating collection of original works by international, national and local artists.  The event is free and open to the public.

Art Exchange Gallery: Artist Reception for Suzanne Davis Gandy
Location: Art Exchange Gallery
1611 W. 5th St.
Time: 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Free, covered parking is located behind the building.

904 West Update

Below is an update from Noa Levy and 904 West Ave condos. I was able to preview this rehab last month and left impressed with the quality and design. Calling it a rehab doesn’t paint the full picture, as nearly everything is new – the studs, flooring, plumbing, electrical, all new.  You can find pricing and floor plans on their website, and I’ve prepared a spreadsheet of their pricing which you can download here.  To update our previous coverage of 904 West pricing, asking prices begin in the $160s, and including the outdoor living space, prices average ~$329/ft.

First and foremost our contracts ready. The first phase of the project which includes 5 Residences, 3 live-works and 1 commercial space will be available to be occupied by January 1, 2010. We are offering private tours at this time and have finish boards and upgrade spec sheets in our office. 2% earnest money is required to go into contract.

We have secured 2 preferred lenders, SWBC Mortgage and Colonial National Mortgage, and we are happy to help you pre-qualify any interested parties.

To give you a quick recap about 904 West, the project is a mixed-use/multi-family style development with 33 units comprised of 2 commercial spaces, 9 live/work spaces, 13 residences, and 9 urban bungalows starting in the $160K’s. 904 West is a high-rise alternative with many green features including the first in downtown Austin to offer a photovoltaic solar energy system that will decrease resident’s energy bills. Moreover, residents can monitor their usage online and adjust accordingly. Other green features include LED lighting throughout the building, Energy Star rated Bosch stainless appliances, energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, and many green building materials.

The building will include a secured lobby, secured garage, semi-covered central atrium with meeting spaces, elevator, and private swimming pool. The property is adjacent to Duncan Park and walking distance to Whole Foods, Shoal Creek hike and bike trail, and all the shops, eateries, and entertainment downtown Austin has to offer. In addition, it is very close to major employers, the State Capitol, Courthouse for those who are seeking work opportunities or office space downtown.