Archives for October 2011

DANA – “Spotlight on Safety” Event, November 15th, 6:30pm

DANA – “Spotlight on Safety” Event, November 15th, 6:30pm

We’ve mentioned KrimeLabb on our blog before – it’s this great database querying, mapping website where you can see the crime that’s happening in different parts of Austin.

For instance, I just did a pull for criminal activity that’s happened in 78701 (Downtown Austin’s major zip code) for the month of October, and I learned that we’ve had 1004 reported incidents, and 491 arrests so far this month.   From a very quick glance, it looks like a good number of incidents are related to DWI / public drunkedness, which, you know – isn’t good, but isn’t necessarily as alarming to me as, I don’t know – [Read more…]

DAB EXCLUSIVE: Sales Data From The Austonian, W Hotel Residences, Four Seasons, Spring Condos

DAB EXCLUSIVE: Sales Data From The Austonian, W Hotel Residences, Four Seasons, Spring Condos

[Personal update why we’ve not published data for a while. A couple of months ago, I began work on obtaining sales data from the newly constructed buildings. Not a quick and easy task.  However, after several conversations and a leap of faith by everyone involved in assembling the data (thanks!), we’ve got some REALLY interesting data to share. –Jude]

Back in 2010, when downtown Austin’s luxury condos started closing, the actual sales prices were closely guarded (not entered into the MLS).  I’ve been publishing monthly sales of Downtown Austin condos for years, and began tracking sales of new construction condos by laboriously tracking new deed records. That data was [at least] an accurate count of how many new constructions units had closed, and what floor plans were selling best.  That was real data my clients could rely upon, but actual closing prices were simply not available.

As a result, I have only been able to consistently highlight resale pricing.  With all of my talk about the average sale price for downtown is solidly planted at $300 per foot, I would always qualify it as incomplete without closing price data for new condos.

My goal has always been to combine the resale numbers and the new construction numbers into a single statistic.  The closely guarded luxury condo sales data has kept me from doing that.

Until now…  [Read more…]

10 Minutes From Rainey Street

10 Minutes From Rainey Street

Starting in downtown Austin’s Rainey Street neighborhood, we approximate the distance we can travel by foot, by bike, or by car in 10 minutes.

You can try it, too, after the jump.

[Read more…]

La Boite Coming To Downtown Austin’s Old Bakery Park

La Boite Coming To Downtown Austin’s Old Bakery Park

La Boite Cafe will soon occupy an underutilized downtown Austin open space.

If you’ve driven down South Lamar recently, then you’ve no doubt seen the adaptively repurposed shipping container perched on the hilltop at Collier and S. Lamar.

The open space pictured below, just north south of the Old Bakery, will be the 2nd La Boite location and will feature a similar modified shipping container.

Now that Little City is gone, the northern stretch of Congress Ave needs a recharge of pedestrian and retail energy.  La Boite Cafe’s innovative design, broad audience, and placement next to the Old Bakery is a big step in right direction.

Kudos to Melissa Barry at the Downtown Austin Alliance for helping push this idea through.  We’re told La Boite will start site work next week, and once open they will keep normal business hours in addition to Saturday mornings. [Read more…]

Lease Restrictions: A Noble Idea That Can Backfire On Owners

Lease Restrictions: A Noble Idea That Can Backfire On Owners

Lease restrictions are typically birthed with noble intent – to foster owner-occupancy and ensure that buyers can get loans for properties within the community.

When new lease restrictions are forcibly applied to limit rental activity in buildings and neighborhoods, it is a taking of property rights which can set off litigation from disgruntled owners.

This issue has impacted me as a property owner, and I’m familiar with the emotions and frustrations felt by advocates and antagonists to lease restrictions.  A recent situation with a buyer was frustrating enough that I want to share my experience (which is not unique) about how lease restrictions can adversely impact current owners, sellers, and buyers.

Lease restrictions will do two things, guaranteed:

1) limit the number of renters in a community
2) limit the number of buyers for properties within a community

[Read more…]