An Englishman once said: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find you get what you need.”
And so it was for the folks behind a tower planned at Seventh & Rio Grande, named 7 Rio, who this month saw the City of Austin approve a site plan, allowing construction to move forward.
It was exactly one year ago that DAB posted that the 7 Rio apartments still had legs.
The project was one of a handful of [for sale] condo projects that took a back seat when lenders got squeamish in the midst of the Great Recession. In 2008, on the eve of the housing-crisis fallout, the builders projected a 3Q08 groundbreaking on a 34-story luxury residential 158-unit “point-tower” building.
That vision has been scaled back, and what is coming is a shorter building, with 24-stories, but packing in about 70 more apartments [for rent].
Part of the site is in the Capitol View Corridor, but a point-tower over podium design could have gone up as high as 50 stories. Given that demand remains so high for units in the urban core, this feels like a bit of a missed opportunity for CWS Capital Partners – the Orange County, California based developer – to create something striking, and the Austin community to reap some additional property tax and density.
One other observations is that the current site plan application says only “residential & parking,” while the initial proposal included 7,300 square feet of retail space.
I’m just hoping CWS doesn’t sacrifice developing an inviting, pedestrian/shopper friendly building, for something barren of storefronts.
It is nice to see a project developed by a great local architect Brett Rhode getting off the ground, and we’ll all accept that the client calls the shots. (Note: Rhode: Partners portfolio still shows specs for the first design.)