9th Annual Downtown Living Tour – May 19th, 2013 – Reserve Your Tickets

9th Annual Downtown Living Tour – May 19th, 2013 – Reserve Your Tickets

DLT 2013 Header

The 9th Annual Downtown Living Tour is a couple of weeks away.  Produced by the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (DANA), the tour is a great way to tour downtown living, at your own pace, all in one day!

Get your DLT tickets now

This year, although the tour will still be self-guided, the tour will also have shuttle service to facilitate access to each tour stop (nice!), and will showcase the following buildings:

  1. The Whitley Apartments
  2. The Shore Condos
  3. Park West Residences
  4. 360 Condos
  5. Avenue Lofts (one of the few Art Deco buildings downtown)
  6. The Four Seasons Residences -RECEPTION – (VIP only, and only open from 4pm-5pm)
  7. Brazos Lofts (check out the history, formerly Capital Chevrolet)
  8. Towers of Town Lake (Penthouse, VIP only, only open from 1-4pm)
  9. Capital Studios (to-be-built Foundations Communities project designed by Dick Clark Architecture)
  10. LBJ’s apartment at JJ Pickle Building (VIP only, only open from 1-4pm)
  11. More stops to be announced!

There are some stops of particular note, primarily the official office suite of President Lyndon Baines Johnson at the JJ Pickle Building, an office suite he used during his presidency and the site of such landmark meetings as the Cold War discussions on December 6, 1966, which culminated in the first agreement with the Soviet Union to limit nuclear weapons, known as the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT).

The JJ Pickle building itself is part of a two-block complex of Federal Buildings in downtown Austin, and was designed by Texas Firms  Page-Southerland-Page and Brooks & Barr, and is textbook 1960s high-rise design.

Here are a few exclusive pictures of the interior of the office suite, which is remarkably intact.

The LBJ Suite is only open to VIP ticket holders, and there a very limited amount of VIP tickets – so we would recommend…

Get your DLT tickets now

 





Marathon Planning Effort Pays Off: 7 Rio Site Plan Permitted, Awaiting Construction

Marathon Planning Effort Pays Off: 7 Rio Site Plan Permitted, Awaiting Construction

7rio-siteplan-approval

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].

7rio-austin-site-rendering

original rendering of 7rio has since been scaled back

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.

Site vs. CVC

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.)

 





Partying for a Cause – Ghoulwill Ball at The W Tomorrow Night

Partying for a Cause – Ghoulwill Ball at The W Tomorrow Night

Screen shot 2012-10-25 at 2.46.55 PM

I have been honored to have served on the host committee for Goodwill Industries of Central Texas’ 2012 Ghoulwill Ball event, being held at The W Hotel in downtown Austin tomorrow evening. Helping promote a very worthy cause (GICT’s mission is to generate lifelong connections to work) has been rewarding.  All proceeds of this event will go to GICT.  Free food, free drinks, a killer DJ, at one of the swankiest downtown hot-spots, AND you get to dress up in a Halloween costume.  I couldn’t think of a better time!

And, if you live in The Residences at The W – you can literally just stumble home after the party.

Buy your tickets here.





ZOMG – Topfer Theatre at ZACH Theatre Brings Austin Theatre Back to the Forefront of Austin Culture

ZOMG – Topfer Theatre at ZACH Theatre Brings Austin Theatre Back to the Forefront of Austin Culture

Be on the lookout for performance of famous balcony scenes to happen at this exterior, front-facing balcony of the theatre.  I'm also told that the balcony will actually end up being made of glass, rather than the metal pictured here.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a personal tour of ZACH Theatre’s new mainstage, The Topfer (pronounced top-fur) Theatre earlier this week.  This theatre allows ZACH to truly make the jump from a small professional theatre to premiere regional theatre by providing a new, state of the art performance facility as part of downtown Austin’s already growing culture and arts scene. Downtown Austin needs a real regional theatre, and this structure and the excitement it will bring to the theatre and arts community is a huge step in the right direction.

Per an article in the Austin Chronicle (link) – ZACH Theatre had been contemplating building a third theatre in its complex as early at 1985, when they held over some funds from that year’s bond election to help fund building a third theatre.  In 2000, the economy stalled, putting the project on hold, but,  through a kick-start of funding of $10 million through the 2006 City of Austin bond election, and then fueled by direct private donation – the project was revived in 2007.  Overall, it’s a $22 million project, and they still need to raise about $2 million for completion.

The ZACH Theatre compound falls within the Zilker Neighborhood Association, but it is easily accessible to downtown Austin condos and homes and, really, feels like a part of downtown to many. I was told the ZNA was supportive the variances Zach Scott needed to build the Topfer Theatre.

As a college Theatre Major and all around theatre nerd, I was soooooo impressed with the Topfer Theatre and Kuykendall Stage.

Some tidbits:

  1. Celebrated Austin actress Karen Kuykendall has her ashes kept under the stage, isn’t that crazy?! (What’s even crazier is that there are no “r”s in “Kuykendall”!)
  2. The Topfer Theatre has a LEED Silver Certification
  3. Over 70 new parking spots have been added to the ZACH Theatre compound
  4. 40 new trees were added to the lot, as well
  5. The AC and other mechanical components of the theatre have a separate foundation from the stage – this is to minimize any possibility of noise and rumbling during performances.
  6. The theatre’s design is taken from the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago (the house is a little narrower)
  7. The theatre house seats ~420
  8. The theatre was designed by the same architects who did The W – Andersson-Wise Architects
Now, for the good stuff – the pictures (please note that the theatre is still having final touches done to it – not fully finished yet)!

For more incredible pictures and theatre fun facts – check out Bryan Kosarek’s Gay in Austin Texas Blog.

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Interested in searching for Austin homes for sale in or near Downtown Austin?  Be sure to check out our property search to view Austin homes for sale.

Additionally, here are some condominiums in Downtown Austin that are near the theatre – to learn more about these individual buildings, visit their pages:

 





Banger’s in Rainey Street District Downtown Austin – MENU, Review, Video, Pics

Banger’s in Rainey Street District Downtown Austin – MENU, Review, Video, Pics

BangersHouse

Today was the grand opening of Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden in the Rainey Street District of Downtown Austin.  Our office at the The Shore Condos is just a stone’s throw away, so we wanted to support one of the most anticipated venues coming to the ‘hood. We went, had a beer and some grub, and really just enjoyed the perfectly chill vibe, despite the crazy, terrible, make-me-want-to-stab-my-eyes-out heat.

Some will say this is Rainey Street’s answer to  [Read more...]





Hotels in Downtown Austin: Girls’ Night at the Omni Downtown

Hotels in Downtown Austin: Girls’ Night at the Omni Downtown

omni logo

I already live, work, and play in downtown Austin, which means that I know a lot about this area.  However, one element that I’m not really that familiar with is the hotels in downtown Austin.

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary stay at the Omni downtown.  I decided to take advantage of the free stay and do a mini stay-cation with a couple of fun girlfriends.  I figured this would be a different way to get to know the city, and have [Read more...]





2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin

2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin

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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...]





Virtual Flyover Of The 3rd & Brazos Apartment High Rise

Virtual Flyover Of The 3rd & Brazos Apartment High Rise

riverside resources downtown austin apartment tower

Not much info has been released about the design of Riverside Resources’ 20 16-story apartment building under construction at 3rd & Brazos (in the newly monikered Railyard District).

The video below is a virtual flyover of the building, and provides more insight into the design. (update: the video settings have been changed to private)

[Read more...]





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