Glee. (Indirectly) Making Downtown Austin a Little More Environmentally Friendly

Glee. (Indirectly) Making Downtown Austin a Little More Environmentally Friendly

St. David's should totally enter the O. Henry Pun Off

Oh, Glee.  I  sometimes enjoy you, but often I am overcome with shame for watching you.  But, last week –  you actually accomplished something useful.  Because of you, Glee, I finally recycled my big ol’ bag o’ batteries.

Okay, let me explain. See, up until last week, I had been keeping this huge Ziploc bag stuffed with used up AA batteries under my kitchen sink.  I didn’t know where to take them and I always seemed to forget to Google a nearby location. So, the bag o’ batteries just kept getting bigger.

And then I started seeing this Glee PSA about recycling batteries.  Over. And over. And over again. [Read more...]





2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin

2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin

DLTlogo

Next Sunday, April 22, 2012, from 11am-5pm, is the 2012 Downtown Living Tour.  The Tour is a showcase of homes located in Downtown Austin, and is put on by the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (it’s DANA’s only fundraiser, and helps keep the organization chugging throughout the rest of the year).  A portion of proceeds this year will also go to The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

The 2012 Downtown Living Tour has [Read more...]





New Rainey Street Apartment Tower Proposed: The Austin Skyhouse

New Rainey Street Apartment Tower Proposed: The Austin Skyhouse

downtown Austin Skyhouse site

According to an administrative site plan application filed with the city, the Austin Skyhouse is a proposed downtown Austin mixed-use apartment tower at 47 Rainey Street.  If built, the tower could deliver 15,000ft of retail and 320 apartments to downtown Austin’s red hot rental market.

The ~1.4 acre site, shown below, is directly north of the Legacy apartments (187 units), and across the street from the Milago Condos (240 units).  The CBD zoned property has long been expected to be developed into a tower, so this shouldn’t be received with much surprise.

According to the application: “The applicant is proposing to construct Apt. Tower/Retail and Garage/Retail with associated improvements.”  The applicant is familiar to downtown Austin development – Novare/Andrews Urban – the same team who developed the successful 360 Condos.

Since Milago has the dominant lake and city view for the first twelve floors, we’ll hopefully see a tall tower over podium design where most of the units’ views would clear Milago’s roof.  Given the parking challenges in the Rainey Street district, perhaps we’ll see extra parking included in the design which could be available to visitors to the neighborhood.

This is the latest of several proposed downtown Austin high rise projects catering to renters.  Riverside Resources is under construction of their 20 story building at 3rd Street & San Jacinto.  7 Rio looks like it is being repurposed as a rental product and could break ground this year.

(UPDATE 1: Novare is building the Skyhouse concept in Atlanta on what looks to be a similarly configured site.  UPDATE 2: we’ve confirmed the tower will be 23 stories and could break ground as early as May.)

[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

downtown austin condo report

[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...]





Lease Restrictions: A Noble Idea That Can Backfire On Owners

Lease Restrictions: A Noble Idea That Can Backfire On Owners

Lease Restrictions

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...]





Crossing The Chasm: A Perspective On New Construction

Crossing The Chasm: A Perspective On New Construction

Crossing-The-Chasm-Adoption-Lifecycle

Because I’m a real estate geek, I’m continuously looking at sales metrics, updating my databases, and endeavoring to uncover useful information.  In this post, I’m attempting two things: 1) offer some perspective on sales in downtown Austin’s high profile buildings, and 2) predict when those buildings will approach being completely sold.  If you just want the data then skip to the end.

One of my mentors shared with me an insight: the first buyers are innovators - early adopters that fill up the bandwagon and help throttle the acceptance of something new.  It applies to new real estate development, as much as it does to new technologies.

Now that the cranes are long gone, where are the new construction projects in their sales cycles? [Read more...]





New Renderings Of Park Plaza Tower

New Renderings Of Park Plaza Tower

park plaza austin ziegler cooper plat

Architect Ziegler Cooper has posted new renderings of Gables Park Plaza’s nascent mixed-use neighbor. Site plan approval from the city has been extended through February of 2012.

Near the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Lamar, back in the day this site was home to Cedar Door (910 Cesar Chavez) which was moved to Brazos @ 2nd.

I like the design. It successfully handles a few site specific challenges, notably a Capitol View Corridor and train track. Thanks to downtown resident Mitchell McGovern for the heads up! Pics after the jump…

[Read more...]





Downtown Austin Condo Sales Remain Strong In May

Downtown Austin Condo Sales Remain Strong In May

downtown austin condo closings may

For the first time since the bubble burst, the average price per square foot of a downtown Austin condo has increased four months in a row. Last month, downtown Austin closed 62 condos* with 29 more pending!

Highlights

In May, we counted 41 closings of new-construction condos from the Four Seasons Residences, W Hotel, Austonian, Spring Condos, and Barton Place.  The W takes the cake with 15 closings in May.

On the other hand, the number of resales comes in at 21 units closed – a strong showing – averaging a price of $334 per square foot. We also count 29 resales pending as of May 31st!  So, we can expect next month’s closing count to be similarly strong.

[Read more...]





Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS ® (alternatively, from ACTRIS) for the period through 7/30/14 12:30 PM PDT. Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided “AS IS” and with all faults. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Information being provided is for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

This IDX solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2014.