Is 2nd Street Getting A Movie Theater?

Is 2nd Street Getting A Movie Theater?

AMLI is rumored to have signed a lease with an operator for a 3-4 screen movie theater to take the space above Malaga and Z Pizza.  We’re told the theater will serve food and drinks (including liquor), and the menu would consist of items from restaurants located in the 2nd Street district.  It’s clear from the photo above that the space isn’t very deep, and it’s possible that part of the venue would extend over the sidewalk.

We don’t know who the operator is, but we do know it’s not local favorite Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. The addition of a destination venue like this, and the wrap-up of the W-Hotel’s construction will be a breath of fresh air for neighboring retail on the 400 block of W 2nd Street.

Downtown Austin’s 2nd Street District retailers have been hit hard with the economic downturn, and the venues on 400 block have struggled to keep up with the foot traffic found just two blocks over where Jos, Estilo, and DWR are located.  Many pedestrians end up not walking beyond the W Hotel construction site.

Kanye West Purchasing Austin Loft? Perhaps, But Not The Austonian Penthouse

The Austonian

I love to see effective guerrilla marketing in action.

Earlier this month it seemed as if every Austinite on twitter was sharing rumors that hip-hop fashionista Kanye West purchased the top floor of the Austonian. Skeptical, as is my nature, I was doubtful – I had just toured the top floors. The Austonian is the furthest you’ll get from a proper “Austin loft“. The rumor propagated with Kanye’s lyric “New crib-LOFT IN- where its at-AUSTIN-where is that-Texas!!!”

I was scratching my head, and thinking “really?”. Pushing down my gullible pride, I bashfully confirmed with the Austonian. The rumor, of course, is 100% false, but it resulted in discussion and intrigue. This was cunning guerrilla marketing. 🙂

Think about it. Eventually, perhaps this year, a buyer will emerge for the Austonian penthouse. There are a handful of buyers that have their eye on this space, but are biding their time, waiting to see if the fierce competition among the luxury towers will further soften prices across the board. These towers are already negotiating, very discretely, behind closed doors. But, for the buyer that has their eye on a product with no substitutes, one day soon, they could wake up to real news that what they desire is no longer available.

Below, I’m reposting a comment I shared in another thread

Jude Galligan wrote:

The current market for these buildings [Spring, W, Four Seasons, Austonian] works like this: There are buyers right now paying for a specific view, or floorplan, or the flexibility of combining units. We’re negotiating hard, and seeing deals with 10-15% discounts from asking. More or less depending on the specific space and the buyer’s desire for customizations. At this level, buyers often just want a shell space and the ability to bring their architect into the discussion. There are other buyers waiting patiently for better negotiating posture in a softer market – they are less concerned about having a specific space.

Until each building receives a certificate of occupancy, and we can observe the velocity of closings on the existing contracts, it’s challenging to gauge a market for a product that Austin is unfamiliar with (i.e. luxury urban condos).

I don’t expect they will sell out before they open, unless they soften their prices in a blanket fashion come springtime. However, I don’t expect you will see auctions (with the possible exception of the attainably priced Sabine) as the financing for the Austonian, W, and Spring give them a couple of years from construction completion before they need to repay the debt.

Grapevine stories:

Reltated posts about penthouse living:

Round Up

Round Up

It's Better To Build Vertical Than Horizontal

It's Better To Build Vertical Than Horizontal

As we’re traveling this week, below is what’s happening in downtown Austin.

1) ROMA’s density bonus proposal (a must read pdf) is getting lots of attention, especially the conversation surrounding the Warehouse District.  Thanks to Miggy, M1EK, and Roger for the informed commentary.

Update: I encourage DAB readers take few minutes to familiarize themselves with ROMA’s proposal.  Page 21 highlights gradually sloping height limits from neighborhood to core.  The Warehouse District recommendations are a small component of a larger thought process.  Equal attention could be paid to the 3:1 FAR recommendation for the Market District along Lamar.  Philosophically, the entire proposal is still a “tax” on density in downtown Austin, which seems backwards to me.

2) The Austonian tops out.   Did you know that you can now see the Austonian from four counties?

3) J Blacks’ menu gets some respect from Maggie’s Austin.

4) ThunderCloud will soon serve subs below 360.

A Sabine Condos Auction?

UPDATE 01/05/2010: The Sabine auction has been confirmed.

UPDATE 02/28/2010: The Sabine auction results!

This should be interesting…

In a conversation with a credible source I learned that CWS, the developer of the Sabine condos in downtown Austin, is on an almost certain trajectory to place the remaining units at the Sabine condos up for auction.

Information is a little spotty, but 20-25 undetermined units could be auctioned off in mid-October, just in time for buyers to qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyers tax credit. The remaining units would be sold in the open market.

In February, a group of owners filed a lawsuit against the Sabine HOA, controlled by CWS, which has prevented any units from being sold since then.

This would be the second downtown Austin auction, the first being Brazos Place.

Updates will soon be forthcoming. 🙂


p.s. As a current resident/owner, and former listing agent for the Sabine, I have a personal interest in this story. Investors and buyers desiring original pricing, unit availability, and insights into the building and specific units to pursue/avoid should contact me directly – judegalligan [@]

What Will Replace American Youth Works?

Thanks to a tip from Michael and then confirmed yesterday when I saw the doors and windows boarded up, Downtown Austin Blog has learned that American Youth Works has moved out of its warehouse loft space on E 4th.

The building is owned by Austin Charter Schools Inc.  I haven’t read anything suggesting that AYW was preparing for a move, so this wasn’t on my radar.   Please leave any info you have in the comments.