This has been a crazy week. First, the developers of 360 announced plans to develop two new downtown towers. Then, rumors surfaced that the Aquaterra project may be revived as a rental tower. Today, Constructive Ventures announced plans to build 425 new condos in two 400-500 foot towers on an Austin Energy site just West of 360 downtown. Together, these announcements may herald the beginning of a new downtown condo building boom.
The new project by the developers of Spring would include 425 condo units and 15,000 square feet of retail in two point towers on a 1.7 acre site adjacent to 360 and the decommissioned Green Water Treatment Plant downtown. The project would cost $220 million and construction would begin in 2013.
Here is a summary from the Statesman:
The City Council is set to vote today to authorize the city manager to sign a development agreement with a partnership of Constructive Ventures and Trammell Crow Co. to buy the tract for $14.5 million.
The community benefits from the project would include contributions for public art and $2.7 million for the city’s affordable housing fund, the largest proposed payment from a developer for a project to date, said Rodney Gonzales, deputy director of the city’s Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office.
“This is a really good chance for the city to convert an underutilized piece of downtown property into one that generates property and sales taxes for the city and brings forth a substantial contribution for the affordable housing trust fund,” Gonzales said.
In 2008, the city chose a partnership of Trammell Crow, Constructive Ventures and USAA Real Estate Co. over four other teams to redevelop the Austin Energy site and the nearby 6-acre water treatment plant at West Cesar Chavez and San Antonio streets with a hotel, apartments, office and retail space.
Those projects are part of the city’s grand plan to transform downtown’s southwestern edge, including the former Seaholm Power Plant, into a lively, densely developed district. A new central library is also planned along Cesar Chavez.
The city is still negotiating a development agreement and purchase price on the Green site, Gonzales said.
The agreement says the soonest that Constructive Ventures could purchase the Austin Energy property is March 2013. The city must first relocate the control center, from which the entire Austin Energy electric grid is managed year-round.
Larry Warshaw, a principal with Constructive Ventures, said the condominium buildings would be so-called point towers — slender buildings on a wider base like the Spring condominium high-rise, of which he was a co-developer — and would soar between 400 and 500 feet.
“Financing will be the most likely factor dictating a start date,” he said
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