The W Austin Hotel and Residences is an important project for downtown Austin. It’s located at the heart of the emerging Second Street District. It’s a $300 million multi-use project including a much-needed hotel, a prominent condo project, retail, and entertainment. It’s the home of the new Austin City Limits studio.
Until this week, the failure of the project’s primary lender has put the project in jeopardy. While the 37-story building has continued to rise past 25-floors with the developers investment capital, the project could not have been finished without a new construction loan. Unfortunately, these are tough times to get a construction loan for a condo project that is partially constructed.
This week, Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc., the developer of the W, and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds announced the closing of a $120 million replacement construction loan for the W Austin Hotel & Residences project. As part of the deal, the developers were required to add partners to raise an additional $45 million in investment capital. As a result of the financing, the project remains on schedule to open in December of next year with condo units being delivered to buyers through May, 2011.
“Our ability to secure a construction loan in the current economic climate reflects the strength and quality of this project and of the relative strength of the local Austin real estate market,” said Beau Armstrong, CEO of Stratus Properties. “Unlike many markets, downtown Austin has a small supply of upper end condominiums – just over 400 units – and is not likely to have any additional new supply in the next five years.”
The W Hotel and Residences is located on the City’s “Block 21” in the heart of downtown Austin`s 2nd Street District. The building will include 159 residential units, 252 hotel rooms and suites, 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 37,000 square feet of office space and a street-level plaza. Also unique to the project, a state-of-the art, live music venue that will serve as the new home of the world renowned Austin City Limits, the country`s longest running televised music series. The venue will be operated by Live Nation.
W Austin Residences will be located on floors 18 through 37, providing views of Lady Bird Lake, the Hill Country, University of Texas Tower, State Capitol Building and the downtown skyline. Homeowners will have access to all hotel amenities including concierge service, an 8,000-square-foot spa and fitness area, private pool and preferred access to property restaurants and the music venue.