Perhaps by now you’ve heard that the downtown Austin condo tower project planned since 2019 by local real estate firm Urbanspace at 90-92 Rainey Street has officially announced its new look and brand identity — the Modern Austin Residences.
These snazzy renderings of the new design from the project’s design architects at Nelsen Partners along with its architects of record at Page line up with the refreshed exterior look we saw in a presentation by the developers to the Design Commission late last year, but what’s notable is the addition of several floors to the plan after the approval of increased floor area ratios for the tower, alongside the River Street Residences and East Tower projects — the Modern Austin Residences will now rise 55 floors, up from its 2019 announced floor count of 53 and even more up from the reduced floor count of 51 we saw in documents last year.
That extra height allows the Modern to include 20 on-site affordable housing units alongside its 345 market-rate units, which is a notable number considering many projects opt to pay a fee in lieu of providing those affordable units on site:
The affordable housing units will be available to people earning 80% of median family income, which is $98,900 in the Austin metro. The market rate units will start in the $400,000 range for a one-bedroom unit. Three-bedroom units will go for $1.6 million and above.
— Austin Business Journal
Pre-pandemic, the project also contained a hotel component, but that’s been scrapped in favor of exclusively condos and retail — something we prefer as fans of new neighborhood stakeholders in the Rainey Street District, residents who will likely get a lot of daily utility out of the new Royal Blue Grocery next door, among other growth taking place on the north end of the area.
The removal of Container Bar for the tower’s development will be placated by a new Bridget Dunlap-helmed bar in the basement of the new building, which will be a first for Rainey — plans for the removal of the Bungalow bar next door are less clear, but it’s obvious the Modern will contain substantial retail of its own.
In keeping with the notion of the Rainey neighborhood as a district rather than a single street, we’re also glad to see the Modern’s official address is actually 610 Davis Street, meaning its main lobby entrance will presumably face Davis instead of Rainey Street — with projects like the Quincy, neighborhood mainstay the Hotel Van Zandt, the Shore Condos, and possible future towers like the Travis and the Waller Creek Supertall, there’s enough happening on this end of the district to support a vibrant street-level environment beyond Rainey itself.
According to Urbanspace and its CEO Kevin Burns, the Modern expects to break ground by early 2022, with a targeted opening date sometime in 2024.