The pending demolition of a restaurant building will soon clear the site of a planned downtown Austin condo tower on the edge of the Rainey Street District. The 41-story East Tower project by local developers Pearlstone Partners in partnership with New York-based investment firm ATCO Properties is currently expected to break ground later this year atop a 0.4-acre site at 82 and 84 East Avenue.
A demolition permit filed yesterday with the City of Austin by the developer on behalf of San Antonio contractor JR Ramon Demolition seeks to remove the 6,750-square-foot restaurant and bar structure at the site, most recently occupied by the Phoenician Resto Cafe — which, as sharp-eyed readers will note, has already relocated to the former Milto’s Pizza space at 2909 Guadalupe Street under the new name Kabobzi Mediterranean Grill.
The removal of this structure, along with the property’s adjacent parking lot, will prepare this Rainey Street-adjacent property for the construction of the East Tower, which in its current configuration contains 284 condo units in a 455-foot building by local architecture firm STG Design with landscape work by local studio dwg.
The structure is superficially similar in design to other nearby residential projects currently under construction by the Hanover Company elsewhere in downtown, but unlike Hanover Republic Square and Hanover Brazos Street the East Tower is designed for condominiums, rather than apartment residences, and it’s here that the building distinguishes itself by its price points — the project aims to price the majority of its units between $499,000 and $999,000.
As we’ve previously mentioned, these unit prices make the building the city’s “lowest-priced new build, downtown high-rise” for the moment according to Pearlstone CEO Robert Lee, targeting a demographic of buyers that might not be low-income but would still struggle to find another new-build residence at this price point in another area tower. The building will also contain an estimated 10 units designated as affordable under City of Austin standards at 80 percent MFI, with a reported additional fee-in-lieu payment of $800,000 to the city’s affordable housing fund.
According to sources connected with the development, the demolition phase of the project is currently scheduled to commence by the end of June, with the possibility of a few weeks’ delay depending on city approval — either way, this is the most significant progress since City Council approved the tower’s Density Bonus earlier this spring, and it places the East Tower on track to be the third tower project to break ground in downtown since the start of the pandemic, with delivery expected by 2024.