Fifth & West Residences: The Next Austin Condo Tower

Fifth & West Residences: The Next Austin Condo Tower

view from east

The Statesman confirmed today what many of us have been expecting, the former offices of the Texas Press Association located at the corner of Fifth Street @ West Avenue, will be razed and construction to commence on a 39 story condominium.

Known officially as Fifth & West Residences, it is the first condo project in downtown Austin to reveal official plans to begin accepting reservations since Seaholm.  Seaholm Condos is notable as it was announced almost exactly one year ago, and was fully reserved within just a few days of that announcement.

We first learned about Fifth & West earlier this year when the project came before the Downtown Commission, and we observed just how compact a footprint the building will have.  So, maximizing FAR was crucial to developing the site.  One of the more notable pieces the developer offered for density bonuses was subsidized Car2Go, B-Cycle, and Shoal Creek Conservancy memberships for each residence.  It is to be determined if those commitments carried through the entitlement process.

[Interior renderings by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture]

Tall and slender (think Spring Condos) because of the property’s small foot print, combined with the the impact of the Capitol View Corridor, the building’s architecture will be a unique triangular tower, with the longest plane facing southeast.  The surrounding businesses, notably Austin Urban Vet, Kung-Fu Saloon, Jerry Kunz design, and Molotov, will remain untouched by the vertical development.

Below is a summary of what we know about Fifth & West Residences:

  • Project name = Fifth + West Residences
  • Address = 501 West Avenue, Austin, TX 78701
  • Project type = condominium
  • Number of residences = ~154
  • Target pricing = ~$740 per foot, on average
  • Building height = 448ft
  • Unit sizes = average of 1,624 sf  (1, 2, 3 bedroom plans)
  • Developer = Riverside Resources
  • FAR = ~20:1
  • Architect = GDA Architects (Interior Michael Hsu)
  • Anticipated delivery = Autumn of 2017

It’s interesting to see how a large Capitol View Corridor impacts vertical development, forcing architects and developers to finesse the building envelope.

Capitol View Corridor

A large Capitol View Corridor cuts through downtown Austin, Fifth & West to the left

Pre-sales process will be announced soon.  Until then, if you’re interested in making a reservation, contact us for more details!

-Jude

Comparison of GDA Architect's rendering to what the corner of 5th & West looks like today

Comparison of GDA Architect’s rendering to what the corner of 5th & West looks like today





Eyebrow Threading in Downtown Austin

Eyebrow Threading in Downtown Austin

wink-eyebrow-threading-austin-outdoor

Warning:  This post is VERY girly!  If you aren’t into finding convenient beauty solutions in downtown Austin – stop reading now!

But if you are, let’s get REAL girly together, starting now:

pink-girlie

Squeee!!! Fluffy pink unicorns and rainbows and bubbles!

I am a pale, pale lady.  And along with my fair skin comes quite a bit of sensitivity. So, I’m not real big on getting my eyebrows waxed, which seems to be the common way most of my other lady friends keep their eyebrows looking spectacular.

So, for a long time, I just managed my eyebrows myself, which – you know – is not fun.  And then, in the early 2000’s, I was living in Atlanta and I found a GLORIOUS alternative to waxing or tweezing [Read more...]





50+ Story Downtown Austin Tower Envisioned By Constructive Ventures

50+ Story Downtown Austin Tower Envisioned By Constructive Ventures

constructive-ventures-austin-energy

The Statesman is reporting some exciting news for the Austin Energy Control Center site.

Back in 2010, Constructive Ventures entered into a “Master Development Agreement” with the City of Austin for an agreed upon “transfer price” of $14,500,000.  Now that the economy is starting to show signs of strength, the developers think the next couple of years could be the right moment to deliver a 50+ story condo and office tower.

Constructive Ventures has a strong track record of development in Austin, including: Spring Condos, Barton Place, Pedernales Lofts, and Este.

The 1.7 acre site is located immediately north of the Seaholm condos, which is under construction, and west of 360 condos.  The site is one of the last missing pieces for developing the southwest district of downtown Austin.

While still a vision, if built, this would be an impressive addition to the downtown Austin skyline.  More important is this development would further improve the street-level experience for pedestrians.

Summary of what we know:

– 400 residences (condos for sale)
– 50+ stories
- 120,000 square feet of office space
– 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurants

The design has shifted from a two-tower plan to a single tower, and the architect of record is Brett Rhode, who also designed 7rio, Aspen Heights, and The Catherine (née Aquaterra).

Construction could begin as early as Q4 of 2015. Expect capital market conditions to dictate exactly when it could happen. Whenever it begins, expect 2.5 years to complete construction.

Just for fun, in the image you see above, we’ve overlaid a building massing onto the site in order to show [very crudely!] how a 50+ story tower fits into the skyline.  From the Statesman article, [architect] “Brett Rhode said the tower will be a mostly glass, with landscaped areas on different levels that will break down the scale of the building and enhance its visual appeal.”

-Jude

constructive-ventures-austin-energy





2014 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin Condos

2014 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin Condos

downtownlivingtour

The Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (DANA) is holding their 10th Annual Downtown Living Tour, featuring some great downtown Austin condos for sale on Sunday, June 1, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

BUYTICKETS

Walk to a nearby food truck for lunch or pop into a few boutiques between seeing the city’s best examples of urban living spaces. Complimentary, air-conditioned shuttles will take attendees from one stop to the next, while booze and bites will be provided at tour stops along the way.

Some interesting tour stops this year include The Shore Condos, 360 CondosThe Sabine, Villas on Town Lake, and Capital Studios.  There are a couple of the new apartment complexes on the Tour this year, as well as a boutique retail store and a coffee shop.

General Admission tickets are $18.50. Tickets may be purchased at http://atxdlt.com. Tickets will also be available the day of the tour at CRAVE for $25. A portion of the Downtown Living Tour proceeds benefit Pease Elementary and The Shoal Creek Conservancy.

Will Call, registration, and shuttle headquarters will be located at CRAVE Austin, where attendees can also enjoy free bubbles and bites before hopping on a shuttle.

If you are one of the first 150 people to buy tickets – you get the chance to win a pair of diamond earrings from Krugers!  I’ve been told there are only a limited amount of these tickets left (and you have to choose GA with Goodie Bag ticket type) – so buy soon if you want to win some diamonds!

krugers

Downtown Living Tour | Presented by DANA
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Downtown Austin Aloft & Element Hotel Proposal for Congress Ave

Downtown Austin Aloft & Element Hotel Proposal for Congress Ave

7thandCongressWhiteLodgingAloftElementHotelrender3

At last night’s Downtown Commission meeting, we heard from White Lodging on their proposed 33 story, 353 foot, 410 key, dual-branded Aloft/Element hotel at 7th & Congress Ave.

They paid more attention to engaging Congress Ave this time, compared to what they did originally with the JW.  The rhythm of the columns, al fresco dining, and dramatic doorway from Congress are hat tips to connecting with the street scape.

The development is seeking a zoning variance related to step-backs and loading docks, which the DC voted to recommend to City Council provided that: 1) accommodation be made to the adjacent Hideout Theatre, which shares a party wall with the proposed development, 2) keeping the shared alley and sidewalks clear, 3) The South facing wall has no windows since the adjacent property could eventually be developed. There is a light well, but additional architectural consideration should be paid to this wall since this will be the most visible face of the building.

7thandCongressWhiteLodgingAloftElementHotelrender1

One interesting feature of this proposal is there will be zero parking spaces (excluding ADA requirements) and only three valet spots.  This isn’t the first Congress Ave hotel concept to propose no onsite parking.

I’m a believer in reducing parking to increase demand for public transit and reduce reliance upon cars.  It’s a rip-the-band-aid-off and get through the pain approach.  But, only three valet spots for such a large building?  Haha, lets watch this play out!  White Lodging knows a thing or two about operating successful hotels and how to park them.  The free market will determine the wisdom of this decision.   If they make it work it will be a huge signal to other developers about what is possible.

7thandCongressWhiteLodgingAloftHotel4

Overall, I’m impressed with the proposal. It’s reflective of a city that’s grown up (not growing up) and it’s important that we support projects that bring density to narrow lots.

Tall and slender, if built, this would be the first new skyscraper on Congress Ave since … well… White Lodging’s other hotel currently under construction, the 1000 room JW Marriott.

-Jude

7thandCongressWhiteLodgingAloftElementHotelrender2





Downtown Austin Round Up: Fairmont, Waller, Trinity, Oh my

Downtown Austin Round Up: Fairmont, Waller, Trinity, Oh my

downtown-austin-news-roundup

Have you experienced the phenomena that BIG things seem to happen when you’re on vacation?  This past week, while we attempted to cruise, there were multiple status report updates about three tall projects in downtown Austin.

99 Trinity Tower Announces $100mm, 39 Story Apartment Highrise

99trinityaustinapartmentBack in November, DAB broke the news about Trinity Tower.  Located just east of the Four Seasons Residences, and north of Lakeside apartments.  This will become a very dense intersection.  We have big expectations that this highrise will fill the perceptive gap between the Rainey Street neighborhood and the rest of downtown Austin.  We’re thrilled that they are aiming high with a 39 story tower, which would be the tallest apartment building in Austin.  Demolition of the warehouse should commence soon.  (Statesman)

Waller Park Place Closes On Land

waller_center_austin_Rainey_perspectiveThe Sutton Company closed on their deal to buy Perry Lorenz’s incredible 3-acre assemblage along Waller Creek.  What Sutton is proposing is nothing short of the largest private development in the history of downtown Austin.  Three towers in the Rainey Street district, including significant Waller Creek enhancements, stretching from Cesar Chavez to Davis Street.  (Statesman)

Fairmont Selects Builder

fairmont-austin

fairmont-birdseye (1)

This was significant because half of the people I talk with have begun to think this project is vapor-ware.  The project was planned to break  ground a while back.  The Fairmont website is showing delivery in “2016+”, and the sign pictured above says “Opening Fall 2017″.  We hope this is a reliable signal that the project will break ground soon. (Statesman)

-Jude

 





Development Team Closes On Block 1

Development Team Closes On Block 1

Rendering by SCB from August 2013.  SCB builds some very classy buildings, btw

According to a City of Austin release, representatives with the City’s Economic Development and the project development team closed on the GWTP property (aka “Block 1) on January 31st.  The development team is Trammell Crow, the Hanover Company, and Pacific Life Insurance.

Block 1 is a pivotal downtown waterfront development.  It will improve connectivity with Second Street through to Nueces Street, the new Central Library, and the Seaholm District.

Orientation of Block 1

Orientation of Block 1

Summary of what we know about Block 1:

  • Located at Cesar Chavez and San Antonio Street.
  • Total project size is approximately 1.7 million square feet of mixed use development.
  • Block 1 totals 1.776 acres of land
  • 38 floor three-tiered mixed-use tower
  • expect 440 apartments, including 50 affordable units
  • 40,000 square feet of office and retail space.

The residential component is still being referred to as apartments for rent, and given Hanover’s participation we’ll take that at face value.  (Hanover developed the Ashton).  We should see site work commence in February with public streets and utility work, including the extension of Second Street.

Back in August we caught a glimpse of what Block 1 tower could look like.  According to today’s release, the development team continues to signal it will be a 38 story building with a three-tier design, which is consistent with the rendering and elevations we’ve seen.

If you look at the downtown skyline from the south (78704), you’ll notice there’s a giant gap in the skyline between the AMLI on 2nd to the east and 360 Condos to the west.  This project should fill that gap nicely.

More importantly, the walkable connectivity this project brings cannot be understated.  It’s literally creating more “grid” and that’s perhaps the greatest upside this project can deliver to city-dwellers. 

-Jude

South and East Elevation Drawings for Block 1 by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

South and East Elevation Drawings for Block 1 by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

Rendering by SCB from August 2013.  SCB builds some very classy buildings, btw

Rendering by SCB from August 2013. SCB builds some very classy buildings, btw





Demolition Begins For Dinerstein Development

Demolition Begins For Dinerstein Development

Southwest corner of East Ave at Driskill

Snapped a pic this afternoon showing that demolition is well under way along East Ave for the 9 tract assemblage which will host a Dinerstein apartment development, expected to be called Millenium Rainey (aka Rainey Center).

Millennium Rainey along Rainey Street

Millennium Rainey along Rainey Street

[Read more...]





Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS ® (alternatively, from ACTRIS) for the period through 10/25/14 10:38 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.