Last April, developers announced a 4-story, 27 unit development on Barton Springs just east of Lamar adjacent to the train tracks, McDonalds, and Peter Pan Mini Golf. With pricing starting at $1,000,000, are original reaction was that “the project is a very odd combination of location and pricing that suggests a lack of experience in residential development.” At the high end, the units were priced at $900 / SF making this the most expensive development in Austin.
Today we learned that ground-breaking for 1155 Barton Springs has in fact been delayed. With tough times in the credit markets, it is getting tougher to sell even the best conceived projects, While strong projects are finding success South of the river, they are succeeding by combining prime locations with prices far below those of the large downtown high-rises. 1155 Barton Springs attempted to combine ultra-luxury with a low-rise “B” grade location — a tough sell in this market. While the views are great, top dollar projects need to be perfect, which is not the case with 1155 Barton Springs. While the project is delayed and not canceled, it is clear that the developers have a tough road ahead.
Here are additional details from the Statesman:
Groundbreaking has been delayed for the condo project called 1155 Barton Springs, which is destined to replace the long-vacant Treehouse restaurant and nightclub at Dawson and Barton Springs Road.Developers Elisabeth and Steffen Waltz and their partners had hoped to start construction on the project by the end of 2007. But yesterday, Elisabeth Waltz wrote in an email:“These times seem to call for a measured approach. It may take us a few more months to start construction; we will start when we have 50% or more of the residences sold. (Personally, having been a real estate broker for many years, I would prefer all of them pre-sold).”In addition, she said all floor plans are “custom-designed to reflect the buyers’ input and lifestyle. The reservations currently in place are the result of close cooperation between buyers, our office and the architects. This takes a bit longer that selecting a pre-designed unit but seems to really please the owners.”And having happy owners is especially important when they’ll be shelling out anywhere from $1 million to $4.3 million for the 27 units, which will range in size from 1,670 square feet to 4,500 square feet.And although it’s located next to a railroad track, the Waltzes have said the building’s concrete and sound-proofing insulation will minimize noise from the railroad. Waltz said in her email that, although she originally wanted the Treehouse building demolished as soon as possible, it actually has “proven useful.”” It gives me the opportunity to show the view from the first floor and also listen to the trains go by. Everyone is amazed on how little impact the train will have, if any. It moves very, very slowly in anticipation of the upcoming 90-degree turn across the lake.”