An unorthodox ownership model and the economic stresses of a pandemic couldn’t keep Natiivo Austin down, though its unique “home sharing” concept remains the only ground-up development of its kind in the region. As of today, the 33-floor tower’s developers at Pearlstone Partners and Newgard Development Group along with the sales team at Prospect Real Estate confirm its 249 units are over “99 percent sold,” meaning this community now rising at 48 East Avenue on the edge of the Rainey Street District has, according to its developers, one unit left for sale.
The tower, which topped out late last year and is now in the final stages of construction, will soon debut a business model that’s sort of like a hotel dressing up as a condo for Halloween. As an owner, you can stay in your unit whenever you like — though you can’t occupy that unit as a primary residence or apply the homestead exemption to your taxes, since the project’s technically built as a hotel. When you’re not there, you can rent out your unit on any online booking platform like Airbnb or Expedia, and in exchange for a cut of the profits from those rentals the building offers hotel-like amenities including laundry service, valet parking, and cleaning staff.
Even in Austin’s endless powerhouse of a market, we must admit we weren’t sure how fast units at Natiivo would sell, since there’s nothing else exactly like it in the city. Though the building’s location in the immensely popular Rainey Street area of downtown is an obvious draw, we were puzzled by certain aspects of the project — including the fact that all of its units are only available pre-furnished, the occupancy limits of a hotel versus a residential use, and the question of how profitable these units could be as investments. With initial pricing ranging from the mid-$400s up to $1.2 million, it will be fascinating to see how Natiivo appreciates over time.
Our questions about the business model aside, 99 percent ownership before the building’s even open kinda speaks for itself, and the appeal of the project might not just be a local thing — Natiivo Miami also appears to be doing pretty well. In addition to its developers, Natiivo Austin’s team includes local architecture studio STG Design, landscape architecture firm dwg., general contractors AECOM Hunt, and the New York-based interiors studio INC Architecture and Design, with the building reportedly scheduled to open its doors to owners and guests by the end of the year.