If you haven’t yet read this week’s edition of The Austin Chronicle – and seen the amazing front page photo/rendering – please check it out at once here! Stupendous reporting by Senior News Editor, Michael King, of breaking news regarding a multi-billion dollar plan to build a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the middle of Lady Bird Lake, coupled with the new Light Rail line running straight through the center of the stadium as the train crosses the river.
In an update to the story below… Austin City Council elected to postpone adoption of the List of 100 Community Connection Sites until its Dec. 12th meeting saying they wanted to review and tweak the list some more with Google. KUT has more on Council activity here.
Also floating around out there in the Fibersphere is this post from Google Fiber Chief, Mark Strama, that discusses how the construction process is being envisioned as it makes its way around the city starting sometime mid 2014.
ORIGINAL STORY – Here is a link to the PDFs of the LIST & Council RESOLUTION of Proposed Google Fiber Community Connection Sites coming before City Council tomorrow, November 21st.
And here are those sites neatly MAPPED courtesy of KUT.
After spending only about five minutes reviewing the list, some inexplicable glaring omissions would include:
- University of Texas – the 40 acres and other facilities like the Pickle research campus, ATI, IC2, etc.
- Austin Community College – all of their campuses and, in particular, the new Highland Center that will be a major central city magnet for the tech and creative industries over the next 5+ years.
- Austin Studios – film and production facilities on East 51st St
- Hospitals in our emerging health care services growth cluster
- …and no doubt much more!
How is this possible? These are all mega bandwidth users and fit the criteria for inclusion in the Community Connectedness program of public service locations intended for free Fiber service. St. Edward’s, Huston-Tillotson, Concordia are all on there – appropriately – but not UT or ACC. Seriously?
Here are the latest revisions to the 3 acre Waller Center plan – an ambitious project that stretches along the east bank of Waller Creek, from E Cesar Chavez to Davis Street.
The updated renderings (below) give a more comprehensive vision for the massing of three distinct towers, and how they could be best be oriented. According to the ABJ‘s interview with development firm, The Sutton Company, their target is to submit plans to the City of Austin for approval by late November
Here’s what we know about the goals of the project:
- Tower A is a 21 story office building
- Tower B is a 46 story residential tower
- Tower C is a 38 story mixed use Tower
- Target FAR is 10:1
- 26,000 ft retail (possibly grocery store)
Checkout the images below.
Move over, Seaholm! The other massive redevelopment on Cesar Chavez, the Green Water Treatment Plant Redevelopment, is rumbling to life!
Adding to the seemingly endless list of construction occurring downtown, it looks the Green Water Treatment Plant construction could be getting underway very soon.
A site plan for a high-rise apartment on “Block 1” (110 San Antonio) – possibly climbing 38 stories – has been turned into City Hall for the lot just west of the Silicon Labs building. It’s another exciting moment for downtown Austin, and the culmination of years of “wait and see” from guys like me, who watched these project move at a glacial pace after the economy tanked in 2009.
It was way back in 2008 that Trammel Crow won the bidding process to redevelop the site, and another five years before it hammered out a deal with the city.
On May 25, 2012 the Austin City Council approved an agreement with a development team led by the Trammell Crow Company to redevelop the site with several buildings up to 30 stories tall. The project will have 1.75 million square feet of development, including 826 apartments, 456,000 sq. ft. of office space, a 200 room hotel and 82,000 sq. ft. of retail (most along an extension of the 2nd Street District).
The project hit another, unexpected, snag when a dust-up occurred over seven heritage trees that are on the site. There were some concerns that the city was applying double standards by not making the developer follow the Heritage Tree ordinance, which the city council enacted in 2010 after Trammel Crow had its plans, but before it inked a deal with the city.
In the end, Trammel Crow agreed to save the trees, but would have to sacrifice about 67,000 square feet of leasable area, and the city agreed to hand over $1.7 million to compensate them, according to the Austin Business Journal. [h/t Chris Bradford, see comments]
We have yet to see clearly how a reduction of almost 70,000 square feet will impact the scope of the development.
Back in 2012, the per block details were posted on the SkyscraperPage forum:
Block 23 Office
566,074 gross square feet
524,143 usable square feet
Block 1 Residential (SITE PLAN FILED)
682,120 gross square feet
531,700 usable square feet
Block 185 Residential
436,975 gross square feet
336,600 usable square feet
Block 188 Hotel
245,643 square feet
Details are emerging for Riverside Resources’ planned multi-use tower at 70 Rainey St. across from the MACC.
The firm, which also developed The Whitley and The Crescent, has filed an administrative site plan application to construct 182 multifamily units, and another 3,600 square feet of ground level restaurant and retail space.
The 70 Rainey development, which encompasses the lots between 66-72 Rainey Street, was pursuing incorporating the City owned 64 Rainey Street into their plan, but the neighboring MACC lobbied City Hall last fall to get the land instead.
Initially, the 70 Rainey development, which would share the same alley used by the Shore Condos,
and is being financed through Ft. Worth-based Kelly Capital Partners [UPDATE: Kelly Capital Partners is an equity holder, but is not financing the project], was pegged at 31-stories if it could include the 64 Rainey lot.
But until this site plan is approved, and we get some elevations, or something is leaked to the press, we won’t know how many stories this 182-unit project will have.
We can use the Shore condos as a reference, which has 192 units, and is only 22 stories. The sites share a similarly sized footprint and orientation (north-south), so we are probably looking at buildings of comparable dimensions. Accounting for the restaurant/retail on the ground level, I’m going to guess this one ends up around ~25 stories.
***Based on the site clearing I’ve seen over the past week, it looks like multiple food trailers are setting up to use the 70 Rainey Street site as a temporary home until site plan is approved and Riverside is ready to build. (Looks like it’s the United Nations of Food (?) from 95 Rainey Street, making way for the Sutton project)
It seems like almost every direction we look around downtown Austin, construction cranes are deployed, helping concrete and steel skeletons reach to the sky. Notably the JW Marriott hotel, across from the Austonian, has three cranes in place and will soon take shape. But that’s just the newly visible construction: in and around downtown Austin there’s upwards of 8 million square feet of construction planned or underway.
Sometimes we forget to look outside of the downtown core. Still, there on the far wings of downtown Austin, even more construction is (literally) on the horizon and DAB is here to give you a first look.
North Shore Lofts
More Rainey Street District development is on the way, joining the Sutton Towers, Austin Skyhouse and the (perpetually-stalled) Hotel Van Zandt. Not much is known at this point, but a new multifamily development is planned on a vacant plot of land on the north shore, next to the Holiday Inn right by I-35.
If built, the views of Lady Bird Lake would be incredible (and protected).
This site, addressed 16 North I-35, was rezoned from downtown mixed-use (DMU) to central business district (CBD) in 2005, and at the time was owned by Tom Calhoon, of Calhoon Properties.
West Campus Apartments
Don’t be fooled by the name, this project, at 17th and Guadalupe is not actually in “West Campus“, and is also planned to have condos. Since as long as I can remember, this area near the Dog and Duck Pub, is one of the most run-down areas remaining in downtown, with a lot of properties sitting idly in disrepair.
Last time this site was anything productive it was an Arby’s.
Hopefully, this project will spur additional redevelopment of the low-density legacy buildings all around here. A few blocks north, the UT School of Business is building a new center next to the Player’s Club, which will also expand the AT&T Conference center, which might help energize the area, too.
For the first time, the average sales price of a new condo in downtown Austin is more than $1,000,000.
It’s not news that residences cost more than $1,000,000. It is news when we’re talking about averages! To be clear, we are focusing on new construction only, not resales (which have also had a banner year, and we’ll cover that in a future post.)
According to builder reports assembled by Capitol Market Research for new construction condos sold during the past 12 months:
- average price = $1,061,682
- average size = 1,701 ft.
- number new condos sold = 124
The data is provided to us monthly as an aggregate of the above four buildings. Anonymizing individual building sales was the only way to convince the developers to share their sales data. To qualify the average price, we can approximate a median price using the 12 monthly aggregate records we have.
- median monthly average price = $1,044,181 (min $777,813 to max $1,687,857)
The refrain which began in 2010 continues: there are no new downtown Austin condos being built. Nor have we seen any new site plans for downtown condos. Inventories continue to decrease (by 124 units in 2012) and residences are selling quickly at prices close to the asking price. An ancillary effect of this shrinking inventory is rising prices for resales.
By my estimation, when compared against TCAD records, only 115 new construction units remain. If interest rates remain low, the downtown Austin real estate market is on a trajectory to complete sales of new construction condos in 2013.
I’ll continue to provide detailed analysis of 2012 results over the coming weeks, including resales and analysis of building-by-building performance.