It’s been a whole five years since Dallas-based developers Genesis Real Estate Group purchased the 2.3-acre property at 80 Red River Street on the western edge of the Rainey Street District, but it seems the developer’s plans for a tower at this site are finally kicking into gear, with Genesis and its development partners PGIM Real Estate announcing earlier this week that construction financing for the 50-story, 423-unit apartment tower project known as the Travis is officially secured.
AUSTIN – (Realty News Report) – JLL Capital Markets secured construction financing for The Travis, a 423-unit, 50-story apartment tower in the Rainey Street District of downtown Austin. JLL worked on behalf of the borrower, Genesis Real Estate Group and PGIM Real Estate, to secure a loan through JPMorgan Chase.
The building is being called Austin’s tallest “single-purpose, for-rent multi-housing high-rise.” Downtown Austin’s Austonian (56 stories) and The Independent (58 stories) are taller residential buildings with for-sale condo units.
Though it requires a slightly narrowed definition considering the sheer number of buildings over 50 floors now in the planning stages downtown, the developers are absolutely correct that no other apartment-only tower of this height is currently on the books around here — taller projects like Sixth and Guadalupe or the Waller Creek “supertall” have a larger mix of uses, whereas the latest designs we’ve seen for the Travis by Dallas-based studio GDA Architects simply contain those 423 apartments and a ground-level retail space of some kind.
We’ve noted that some form of site prep has been extremely gradually taking place at the Travis site for the last year or more, though it’s just one more slow piece of an even slower development timeline — Genesis bought the 80 Red River property back in 2017, demolished the 1980s low-rise condos known as the Villas on Town Lake at the site in 2019, and has mostly just occasionally pushed dirt around here since then. But with the project’s financing secured, the developers are now pushing that dirt around with purpose, as you can see from our friend Steve’s video below:
Definitely something going on pic.twitter.com/Kw0M4S7bwg
— Stephen Ratke (@steveratke) February 10, 2022
You might recall that earlier plans for this site involved two phases, with a second tower containing something along the lines of condo units and a hotel set to rise next to the first. More recently, as in slightly over a year ago, developer M2 Development Partners announced it was taking the wheel on that prospective second tower, now described as a surprisingly tall 802-foot apartment, condo, and hotel tower designed by downright architecture royalty Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill.
Compared with the now-actually-financed Travis tower, we’re not so sure about this one making it across the finish line — but even if that second tower never goes up, you might not realize just how close the overall project site is to the “supertall” now planned on Waller Creek at the corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez Streets. People always seem surprised when we point out that they’re literally next door to each other, so close in fact that it would look weird for either party to include the other’s building in renderings of their respective projects, as we’ve helpfully illustrated below:
That’s going to be a crowded few acres of towers! Our condolences for anyone trying to get out of the Rainey Street District from the Cesar Chavez Street entrance for the next, uh, several years, but won’t it all look neat when it’s done?