Natiivo Austin, the fascinating residential crossbreed that’s not quite condo and not quite hotel, is officially “completely sold out” according to its developers at Austin-based developer Pearlstone Partners along with Newgard Development Group out of Miami. Per its exclusive listing agents at Prospect Real Estate, the building’s 248 units sold out ahead of schedule — actually beating their own projections, with 97 sales contracts written between March and May of this year alone.
This 33-floor tower, now in a late stage of construction at 48 East Avenue, is designed from the ground up for a “home sharing” ownership model unlike any other project in the city at the moment. Basically, owners can stay in their units, which come pre-furnished, whenever they like — you just can’t occupy your unit as a primary residence or apply the homestead exemption to your taxes, since the project’s actually permitted as a hotel despite looking more like a condo. When you’re not there, you can rent your unit out to short-term occupants using online booking platforms like Airbnb or Expedia, and in exchange for a percentage of your rental fees the building offers hotel-like amenities including laundry service and cleaning staff to provide a more hands-off investment than, say, running an Airbnb out of your backyard.
Owners will enjoy 24-hour concierge service and valet parking, co-working spaces, a lobby coffee bar with barista, café lounge with grab-and-go options, and a wine and beer lounge. Natiivo’s 18,000 square-foot amenity area includes a terrace and garden on the tenth floor, an outdoor fitness lawn, dog park, and spa-inspired fitness center and yoga room. In addition to spectacular city views, the 33rd floor rooftop deck boasts a 60-foot resort-style pool with water lounge chairs, private cabanas and an outdoor fireplace.
— Natiivo Austin
Okay, we have to get picky about word choices for just a second — it’s actually kind of a misnomer to say the building is “sold out,” since technically none of the units have sold yet; rather, they are currently under contract, which in Natiivo’s case required paying 10 percent of the unit’s purchase price. Even once the building’s really sold out, interested buyers could still possibly get their foot in the door at Natiivo somewhere down the road in the resale market after the units close. According to Prospect, these units are primarily going to second-home buyers and investors, and the firm expects to begin closing on the units by January 2022 at the latest.
Our own pedantry aside, the success of Natiivo despite its locally unfamiliar business model and general uncertainty about downtown real estate in light of the pandemic has been one of the more quietly interesting stories in the Austin market this year — we’ll be interested to see not only how these units fare on the resale market, but whether future projects around town attempt a similar concept. After all, this week’s announcement of the sales milestone by Natiivo’s development team describes the building as “trendsetting,” but people say it takes three to make a trend.