A South Austin condo project headed to the emerging St. Elmo District off South Congress Avenue is scheduled to begin construction next month, according to its local developer Intracorp. Located at the site of a former used car dealership at 4315 South Congress Avenue near a number of other recent additions to the neighborhood, the Congress Lofts at St. Elmo project will rise five floors and contain 140 residences alongside an additional nine live-work storefronts on the ground floor. The building will also include 3,800 square feet of commercial space as a retail anchor.
Designed by Chicago-based architecture studio Pappageorge Haymes Partners, the development’s use of brick and black metal cladding is reportedly inspired by the industrial history of the St. Elmo neighborhood, which still contains a number of warehouse spaces — including a nearby bus factory allegedly being repurposed as the St. Elmo Public Market, though it’s been a slow process. In short, it’s a district with a lot of promise, and we’re happy to see new projects here taking cues from the its underrated architectural heritage.
the st. elmo / industrial blvd region of south austin has some underrated architectural character and since the area appears on the verge of developing it’d be nice if they kept some of it pic.twitter.com/wL40FjuJWt
— James Rambin (@jamesrambin) April 5, 2019
The community, which launched its sales phase this month, is expected for completion by mid-2024. Residences here will range from the $400,000s to the $800,000s, with many units reportedly already reserved — there’s not currently a physical sales center for the project, but more information is available online.
The building’s development team includes local studio Urban Foundry Architecture heading up interior design for the building’s common areas, Austin-based Compass Development Marketing Group working on the design for unit interiors and also managing sales and marketing, Hitchcock Design Group as landscape architect, and Rivera Engineering providing the project’s civil engineering services.
As part of its design’s efforts to evoke the feel of repurposed industrial space, the community offers a unique option for its buyers to create an open loft-style floor plan by removing some of the walls that divide rooms in their unit. The project’s marketing material notes that this is a feature more commonly found in “older U.S. cities,” a nice way of saying Austin never really built enough buildings like this to adaptively reuse a century or so later, which is a shame — it’s a timeless, authentic style buyers tend to enjoy, so it’s too bad we don’t have more of them around here.