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Brokerage, Planning & Development, Investments, Consulting & Property Management


The Buzz - 2009

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Press Excerpts

Building downtown density, toll roads created opportunity
Austin Business Journal
by Kate Harrington
December 25-31, 2009

For John Rosato, a principal with Austin's Southwest Strategies Group, Inc., two significant economic downturns coupled with periods of wild prosperity are among the biggest factors that have shaped the area's commercial real estate industry. During the decade, Rosato has had a front-row seat to developments that have shaped parts of Austin during both downturns, as well.

Southwest Strategies Group helped develop the 16-acre Penn Field project on South Congress Avenue. Penn Field was among the first South Congress projects to take off. It has anchored a rapidly changing area that now draws natives and tourists alike. The former World War I Army training field and its existing buildings is now a 230,000-square-foot retail, office and warehouse complex.

Let's make a deal
Austin Business Journal
by Kate Harrington
July 24, 2009

Opporunity not yet knocking for all

Now is a good time for those who are well-capitalized tos ave on rentals and purchases, said Daniel Roth, a principal with Southwest Strategies Group. But he said bargain seekers won't always find dramatic 50 percent savings in rental and sales prices that some may hope are out there; such cuts are closer to 10 to 15 percent.

And in many cases, Roth said, this environment has not yielded better deals, particularly in some of the older properties he works with. That may be because their owners bought them with more equity, which Southwest Strategies started doing several years ago, and have the cushion to wait longer.

Highland Mall today ... but what about tomorrow?
Austin Business Journal
by Kate Harrington
April 17-23, 2009

Daniel Roth, Principal
Southwest Strategies Group

"The property could be repurposed, but I don't see it long term as a mall," Roth said. "The question is what would it be in its new purpose. Our specialty, and I think something a lot of people would look at, is mixed-use – maybe with retail pushed to the edges.

... We're the home of state, county and city government, and lots of public education facilities. If it was handed to me tomorrow, I'd be approaching all those entities as well as retailers and residential."

Crestview Station and Mueller are models for the type of mixed-use development that could occupy the Highland Mall site, he said.

01_Adaptive Reuse
Four preservation projects -- a barn, a grain elevator, a nurses' dormitory, and a power plant -- show that repurposing old buildings for new uses needn't sacrifice soul.
The ArchitectsNewspaper
April 15, 2009

Austin, Texas
Ayers Saint Gross

On a prominent site separating a booming downtown residential district from Town Lake, the Seaholm Power Plant, built in the 1950s, is one of Austin’s most distinctive midcentury structures. Its red neon sign, towering stacks, and stark concrete mass are immediately recognizable landmarks. So when it was decommissioned in 1996, and following a nine-year remediation of hazardous materials, the city drafted a redevelopment masterplan and issued an RFQ to develop the site.

The winning team, including Southwest Strategies Group and Baltimore architects Ayers Saint Gross (ASG), programmed the site for new high- and low-rise construction to house a mix of office, residential, hospitality, and special-event space. The Seaholm building itself, with its cavernous turbine hall ringed by high clerestory windows, was envisioned as a retail center. “The model is the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco,” said Ann Powell of ASG.

Travis may join city in Seaholm taxing district
Austin American-Statesman Suzannah Gonzales
April 15, 2009

Travis County commissioners, lured by the prospect of gaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue, voted Tuesday to advise the City of Austin that they're willing to join a taxing district to help redevelop the former Seaholm Power Plant.

Seaholm currently generates no tax money because the property is owned by the city, but officials hope the site on West Cesar Chavez Street will become a $117 million mix of shops, offices and condominiums and will include a boutique hotel and special-events space.

... The proposed structure of the (Seaholm financing district) is for the proceeds to help offset the costs of the redevelopment of the power plant, addition of a plaza and transportation improvements," said John Rosato, lead developer of Seaholm Power LLC, which is spearheading the redevelopment.


416 Congress for sale
126-year-old building never changed hands; pitched as a 'piece of Texas history'
Austin Business Journal
by Kate Harrington
April 10-16, 2009

The building is being marketed for sale by the family, members of which declined to comment. John Rosato, a principal with Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group, who is representing the owners, said the family started talking about selling the building late last year.

... "Anyone who buys it will probably want a piece of Texas history," Rosato said.


Planned Seaholm Development puts retired power plant to different use
Community Impact Newspaper
by Mark Collins
April 10, 2009

For nearly 40 years the Seaholm Power Plant on Cesar Chavez provided energy for residents. Now on the verge of a major transformation, the power plant will serve Austin in a completely different capacity.

... “It is one of the most interesting spaces I’ve ever been in, and I’m a 69-year-old architect that has traveled the world and seen a lot of spaces,” Black said. “I’ve never seen a space more interesting than the inside of that building; it really is a magnificent thing inside.”

... “We were very intrigued by the power plant and spent a tremendous amount of time there,” lead developer John Rosato said. “That has been the main purpose of our design team — figuring out how we take an industrial site and convert the building into retail and offices while maintaining its character.”