After a court battle with the City of Austin, a battle of wills with the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the condo project at 1155 Barton Springs is officially back (sort of).
Earlier this month, site plans were submitted showing that a 65-unit condo development is being planned on the derelict site on the south side of busy Barton Springs adjacent to the railroad, McDonalds, and Peter Pan mini golf.
It’s inconclusive, but it appears that the original developer still owns the land and is involved, but that Dallas-based Carleton Development is breathing life back into the project. The project’s original website, 1155BartonSprings.com, never expired, but the site has no information at present and says it is being updated.
The 1155 Barton Springs project has been in the works under various names, including The Milan, since at least 2005. In April 2007, PPT Development announced plans to break ground by that year’s end, with tenants moving in by mid-2009.
Those 2007 plans were grander, it appears, than the current incarnation, and proposed just 24 residential units, ranging from 1,600 to 6,200 square feet, that would list for $1 million to $6 million each.
Original model for 2007 proposal:
Everything screeched to a halt though, after the developer got cross with the city over zoning after complaints from the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association. A deal between the city and developer was later reached, which capped on how tall the building could be. Bad news kept coming the project when, in 2010, it entered bankruptcy.
It is unclear right now whether the architecture of this project is going to change significantly from what initially was shown, but it is probably a safe bet so.
Overland Partners, the original architect out of San Antonio isn’t to be found on the current site plan paperwork. (Although, the project is still listed “on the boards” on the architect’s website.)
Interestingly, Stansberry Engineering Co. remains the civil engineer for the former and current proposals. Stansberry is in the obvious good graces with the city, as the lead engineering firm on the Barton Springs Pool Master Plan.
Austin-based Co’Design has been retained as the landscape architect, where as the original landscape designer was reported to be Peter Walker & Partners of Berkeley, Calif.
That this project is being rejuvenated is something to be celebrated. The land occupies the long-vacant Treehouse restaurant and nightclub, which looks scary and hideous. The land is already developed, and not contributing any way to the community. A revamped project proposal gives it its first chance in a long time to do just that.
Increasing the number of units – which assumes smaller, more affordable units – compared to multi-million-dollar ones is a smart market bet. Market demand means urban dwellers will gladly pay a healthy six-figure sum to have access to the trails and Barton Springs Pool – not to mention things like Whole Foods and soon Trader Joe’s, now easily accessible via the Pfluger bike & pedestrian bridge, which was absent in 2007.