W Austin Residences City Views

W Austin Residences City Views

Photo by BOKA Powell

Austin’s W Hotel’s monolithic gray & glass facade is arguably the sleekest and sexiest of the luxury bunch.  DAB headed to the W Austin’s “topping off” party last night with hopes of snapping some view photos.  Unfortunately, by the time the fire marshal allowed guests into the structure the sun had already set.  Apologies for the dark photos, but you can still get a sense for the night time views from the 31st floor, including the new illumination on the Austonian.  A few other downtown pics included from earlier in the day.

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About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.

Comments

  1. The W will be a great centerpiece for the area. I can’t wait for its ground floor to come alive.

  2. Good stuff. What exactly is this one, though?

    http://downtownaustin.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/w-austin-residences-city-views/dsc_0102/

    Looks like a construction area, but the lighting is odd…

  3. avatar Mike Scono says:

    My guess is that W, Austonian, Four Seasons, and Spring all think they’ll be selling a number of units shortly after SXSW to some of the New Yorkers and Californians who are in town and see the beautiful new buildings they could have a vacation spot in for the few weeks a year they are in Austin.

  4. My guess is that nothing has sold in 6 months and that is why you haven’t seen any numbers. The price assumptions on which this building depend have collapsed downtown. Check out the results of the Sabine auction. (228 sq ft for new condos)

    • I know for a fact units have sold just from my contacts. Also the Sabine was a conversion of a 10 story building that was designed in the late 70’s of the last century vs a building that is still under-construction. Not to mention the deeper pockets of the developers that allow them to hold onto unsold inventory longer than they could at the sabine.

      I do agree that the original price assumptions do not exist, but that really just prolongs the process. of sales, which as we said before, the developer is more suited to handle. I think these buildings will still sell over 400+ sf. and many units easily over 500 sf.

      The velocity of sales should also pick up once there are actual units to tour and customers can walk around and get a feel for a space. Its very difficult to make a decision about spending that kind of money on the abstract, a lot of people need to see it and touch it, walk around it to get a feeling of the dimensions. These buyers are going to have a greater impact as the building gets closer to opening.

      bottom line there have been sales and the sabine isn’t an apples to apples comparison.

    • I’m not saying it’s a great comparison, just that it’s a real market-based number. (Thank goodness, this non-disclosure state stuff is maddening) And so, if I were trying to sell something nearby for 500 sq ft., I’d be worried. Better yes, 110% better, maybe.

      BTW, prolonging the process of sales means bearing the carrying cost (int., taxes, maint, insurance, opportunity cost, and risk of further market decline)…which is the same as lowering your price. It’s enormous.

      Sales will pick up with prices are offered at market rates, not sooner. Sabine offered its units are market prices and sold them in one day.

      • I agree that holding onto units increases the costs to the developers, but that usually doesn’t change their sales price, just reduces profits for the developers. So it may be the same effect to the developers, it doesn’t have the same downward price effect on the whole market.

        I would think a more realistic option would be for developers if they have lots of unsold inventory to attempt to lease the units until the market conditions improve (since poor market conditions will keep anything newer from coming online)

        Really the W worries me the least of the 3 ultra luxury buildings. They are the most sold and the last to open. I would expect them to be over 75% by the time they open.

        The Austonian is where I have my concerns. Under 40% sold and it plans to open in 60 days. I could see this building turning into a partial rental building. Obviously market rental rates have plunged and buildings like the Ashton have had trouble with leasing, but if i were a developer who was optimistic prices would rebound eventually, this might be an amenable temporary fix. Also it is permitted for the developers of the W, Austonian and Four Seasons to do this by their contracts.

  5. Thanks Jude,

    I’ve seen the same numbers for all the buildings for the last 6 months at least. I’m going to assume they haven’t released new official data.

  6. Great party, scary elevators.

    I can’t wait until the building opens.

    Does anyone know where they stand at sales? I know they were around 50% in July, does anyone have any more recent data?

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