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

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

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.)

 

What’s Missing? Clues To Downtown Austin’s Next Apartment Tower

What’s Missing? Clues To Downtown Austin’s Next Apartment Tower

What’s missing is a clue to what might become downtown Austin’s next apartment high-rise.

Back in August we discovered the old warehouse on the corner of Trinity and Cesar Chavez had been acquired by World Class Capital Group, and quickly conceptualized into an apartment tower, with the working name of Trinity Place.

For decades, two small billboards stood at the eastern edge of the lot.  If you were heading east or west on Cesar Chavez you wouldn’t have missed them.  As of this week, those billboards have been taken down!

Now, WCCG would not decide to forfeit that steady billboard lease without a good reason.  I speculate this is a signal that development efforts are progressing.

Trinity Place conceptual footprint – Cesar Chavez @ Trinty (pdf)

Whitley: Downtown Luxury Apartments

Whitley: Downtown Luxury Apartments

Developers of the Whitley have launched their marketing website for the forthcoming 16-story, 266 unit downtown Austin apartment high rise.  AustinTowers broke the news in July that the apartment building, currently under construction in the Railyard District, would be branded as “Whitley” – a hat tip to the Whitley Paper company that used to occupy the site.

On the new website, we learn the 6th floor will host a mezzanine level pool deck.  The website also reveals certain amenities that suggest the building is targeting luxury apartment renters, by including a “Dog Park with Artificial Grass and Dog Washing Machine”, “Guest Suites Available”, and “Oversized Private Garages Available”.  Make sure the checkout the construction timelapse video.

Whitley Austin - Lobby RenderingThe Whitley’s site plan includes 10,000ft of retail space at the ground level.  CBRE is handling the commercial leasing with retail space being quoted at $36ft NNN.

Completion should be Q2 2013.

The address of the Whitley is officially:
301 Brazos Street (Brazos @ 3rd)
Austin, TX 78701

Whitley Austin Apartments - Pool Deck

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

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

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…]