Checkout Barkitecture this Saturday on 2nd Street from 12-5pm.
Austin’s emerging skyline is the backdrop for the lush rolling hills of central Texas. If ever there was a photo to encourage the City of Austin (and neighboring cities) to establish urban growth boundaries, this is it.
Poe Companies and White Lodging appear to be working towards a hotel deal in downtown Austin. The project, as currently envisioned, would be a Hyatt hotel with ~275 hotel rooms. DANA was approached for preliminary feedback by Armbrust and Brown, in preparation for consideration by City Council for increasing the entitled FAR from 8:1 to 12:1. No site plan, architectural drawings, or financing is confirmed.
The property is currently a surface level parking lot. Poe Companies is planning the 21c museum/hotel/condo concept at Cesar Chavez and Red River – which had been planned at 3rd and San Jacinto. Poe Companies controls the lot being considered for the Hyatt hotel, and the 1/2 block located across the street, known as the Whitely Paper building.
Google street view showing current state of the property (please wait for it to load)
(Looking for this week’s open houses? You’ll find them here.)
The great thing about downtown Austin open houses is that you can generally walk from building to building. Take a stroll downtown now that summer is over and the temperature is cooler.
Today is the Downtown Living Tour, which means on this weekend’s calendar you’ll find the Austin City Lofts, 360 Condos, and the opportunity to tour the inside of several other buildings. I will be working registration for the DLT at Gables Park Plaza. Hope to see you there!
1) 800 W. 5th Street #908, 2bd, 2ba, $995,000, 1-4pm [Tate Property]
2) 360 Nueces St #1616, 2bd, 2ba, $450,000, 2-4pm [Keller Williams]
3) 360 Nueces St #3801, 1bd, 1ba, $334,500, 1-3pm [Urbanspace]
4) Downtown Living Tour buildings, 12-5pm
One of my favorite websites is Lifehacker.com. I was happy to find this article that highlights the potential downfalls of living on the top floor of a building. Though, depending on the desires of my clientele, quality of the building, and height of the building, I will advocate for the top floor. For instance, if they are sensitive to sound, I’ll point out that having nobody live above you means less risk of some girl in high heals, or a guy in boots with a penchant for pacing, to keep them up at all hours. On the other hand, the top floors will frequently cost more to cool. Especially if the attic space (if any) is poorly insulated.
Below is a quote from the story.
“Apartments are constructed at the cheapest costs possible and change hands often. I frequently pay more in utility bills than friends who have twice the space I do (and the temperature control doesn’t always guarantee comfort). Third floor units often offer vaulted ceilings, which are cool for aesthetic but bad for budgets.”
This statement is a generalization, but I’m comfortable agreeing with it when discussing older complexes and some new construction outside of downtown. High rise apartment buildings like the Monarch, Legacy, and Ashton, which are built from concrete and metal, are not immune to these issues, but they are much less prone to excessive noise and increased energy costs. In most downtown Austin buildings, energy costs are driven by which side of the building you face. If you face west, then you get the scorching hot evening sun. Interview residents in any building oriented north-south, on average those who live in units that face east will have lower energy bills than those living in units that face west.
Some people call it Uptown, others simply say “by the Capitol”. However you direct attention to the part of downtown Austin between the Original Austin Neighborhood and the Capitol complex, we can generally agree that this part of town needs some sizzle. The Statesman is reporting on a 12 story mixed-use project called “Capitol Terrace” at 14th and Lavaca.
Some people are comparing this design to department stores built in the early 1900s.
Below is a photo of the site as it exists today.
The Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association is hosting its annual Downtown Living Tour this Sunday. Each year, hundreds of guests attend the DLT for the opportunity to take a walking tour of downtown Austin, and to see inside dozens of downtown buildings.
Tickets are $15. VIP Tickets are $25, and include access to the VIP Reception, Saturday, October 10th from 7-9:30pm at BoConcept, celebrating event sponsors, volunteers, and hosts.
Sunday registration will be held at Gables Park Plaza. I will be working registration on Sunday morning. Hope to see you there!
Purchase tickets here!
Check out the Statesman’s write up.
Oh, if you think downtown living is out of reach… consider this.
Gables Park Plaza – located just south of Spring Condos and wedged between Lamar and Cesar Chavez – has begun pre-leasing. With it’s completion, this is the last of the downtown Austin apartment complexes resulting from real estate boom of 2007. This location will appeal to many of the same people who are attracted to Bridges On The Park: families with dogs, those who regularly utilize the trails, and want to live near downtown but not IN downtown.
The exterior design is predictably Gables and intended for a wide audience. It’s just fine, if a bit antiseptic. I’ll have an opportunity to preview the interior finishes within a couple of weeks. Amenities will include a roof-top pool, iPod docking stations, solar shades on all windows, and bamboo floors. Expect retail on the ground floor.
Below is a schedule of completion dates (a close proxy for move-in readiness).
1st floor: Phase A ready on November 8, 2009, Phase B ready on November 22, 2009.
2nd floor: Phase A ready on December 8, 2009, Phase B ready on December 22, 2009
3rd floor: Phase A ready on January 8, 2010, Phase B ready on January 22, 2010
etc, up to the 8th floor.
1bd/1ba units range from $1,395-3,000. 2bd/2ba units range from $2,275-3,600. The B5 2bd/2.5ba – the 1859sf unit with the rounded windows and faces south (shown above) – starts at $3,575. Gables Park Plaza is offering two months free (upfront) for leases entered into during construction. Their website is www.gables.com/parkplaza.
A complete brochure of floor plans and current pricing can be downloaded here (pdf). Feel free to contact me with questions.
UPDATE 10/09/09 – MORE PHOTOS after the jump
I’m quoted in this week’s ABJ regarding a transit system for downtown Austin. The question is: “Does Austin need a better downtown transportation system, and what should it consist of? Would you use it?”
“Absolutely. Additional parking and reliance on cars is not a sustainable method of growing Austin, much less downtown. Mobility inside of downtown is distinct from mobility to and from downtown, and the two systems should be designed and operated accordingly.
Commuter Rail – the Red Line – is NOT the same technology as a tram or streetcar system. The media must be diligent about choosing the correct terminology and avoid bundling terms, lest the word “rail” becomes the next four-letter word in Austin.”