Star Riverside has announced plans to proceed with construction of the first two planned buildings with completion expected in the first quarter of 2010. The project may be the last major condo development to break ground during the current building boom. With tight credit markets and slack demand, most drawing board projects have been indefinitely delayed or cancelled.
Star Riverside is an Australian-driven development on the south shore of Ladybird Lake near I-35. The $150M project will feature to 64 units in the first phase. According to the developers, the first two buildings will feature large units (2,000SF+) which will be priced from $600K to $1M+. A second phase would offer smaller units starting at as little as 4375K. These offerings do not match, however, with current MLS listings which include 6 units with prices ranging from $345K for a 670 square foot 1/1 to, $517K for a 935SF 2/2, $792K for a 1,280SF 3/2 and $1.34M for a 2,315SF 3/2.
The developers, Constellation Property Group, report that they have lined-up financing for the first two buildings but not for future phases. They hope to raise additional money to complete the remaining buildings by late 2011.
Here is a summary from the Statesman:
The first phase, Star Riverside, will have 64 units in two six-story buildings overlooking Lady Bird Lake. It is expected to be finished in the first quarter of next year.
Prices for the units, all of which will have about 2,200 square feet, will range from the high $600,000s to about $975,000, said Eugene Marchese, president of Constellation Property Group.
The second phase, Revolution Riverside, will have about 140 units in two buildings of nine and 11 stories. Construction is expected to start in mid-2010 and be completed in late 2011, Marchese said.
Those units will be priced from $375,000 to about $650,000 and will have about 1,200 square feet.
Marchese said he has scrapped plans for Star Luxe, an ultra-luxury part of the project that was to have had units of 4,000 square feet or more, priced at $1 million and up.
Nationally and in Austin, “I think we will see the luxury end of the market struggling for at least the next three to five years,” Marchese said, adding that the high-end sector is troubled across all industries, from condos to retailing in general.
“I think there’s just been a paradigm shift across the world,” he said.
Economic outlook: Marchese said he has financing in place for the first phase of his project but not for the second phase. He said he thinks the capital markets, which have largely been locked up, will loosen next year.
Although some real estate experts say the economy hasn’t hit bottom, Marchese said: “I think we’re seeing the bottom, and we’re going to bounce along here for the next six months. And then within 12 months, we’ll start to see a definite turn in the overall economy, and the capital markets will follow suit.”