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The Buzz - 2013

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Press Excerpts



2013: Austin's biggest real estate stories
Austin Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2013/12/24/2013-austins-biggest-real-estate.html?s=image_gallery
December 26, 2013

abj dec 2013


After apartment surge, is tide shifting to condos?
Austin American-Statesman
http://www.statesman.com/news/business/after-apartment-surge-is-tide-shifting-to-condos/nbrjJ
By Shonda Novak
November 17, 2013

"Seaholm Residences Nearly All Reserved," it proclaimed. "Market embraces Seaholm condos at a swift pace."

The project in question would be the 280 or so luxury condominium units that will be part of the redevelopment of the former 1950s-era Seaholm Power Plant on downtown's west side. Priced from about $300,000 to $1 million-plus, almost all the units were reserved in about a week's time — a record for a downtown condo project, local experts say.

"This response has been nothing short of phenomenal," said John Rosato, principal with Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group and managing partner for Seaholm Power LLC, the team that's redeveloping Seaholm into a mix of housing, offices, restaurants and stores, which will include downtown's first Trader Joe's. "This speaks to the strength of the downtown condo market, and merits of the site itself."

Rosato said the price points for the units "enables a wide diversity of future owners, and this is further evidenced by the mix of people that have secured reservations. We have attracted everyone from young professionals to empty-nesters."

... Kevin Burns, whose Urbanspace real estate firm was hired to market the condos, elaborates on the approach.

"Seaholm didn't play any games," Burns said. "Condos were priced to create excitement and avoid having vacant units for years after completion — which, unfortunately, many other downtown condos have experienced in the past. This approach avoids overhead costs, such as a traditional sales center, and those saving are passed on to buyers. To me, I'd say this strategy means the product was priced just right for serious buyers — and there's an excess supply of those for well-located downtown condos right now in the market."

Charles Heimsath, a veteran real estate consultant, said the Seaholm condos are addressing "a pent-up demand for a price point and location that hasn't existed in a new (condo) project in Austin in the last five years."

With a smaller average unit size and a slightly lower average price per square foot than the ultra-luxury units that were delivered in the last wave of condo projects downtown — where the entry-level price was $500,000 or above — "it makes it a much more affordable product" and thus draws a larger pool of prospective buyers, Heimsath said.

Demand for Austin's Seaholm condos surprises many; $5,000 for a foot in door
Austin Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/at-the-watercooler/2013/11/seaholm-condo-reservations-deposit.html
By Robert Grattan
November 11, 2013

The Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment recently announced that all of its 280 condo units have been reserved – and while those reservations didn't come with a down payment, they did come with a refundable $5,000 reservation fee.

... Prices for the 280 units in the 30-story tower will range from $300,000 to $1 million. The price per square foot is an estimated $450 to $500 per square foot, the project's developer told us back in September. About 25 percent were allocated for investment buyers, Realtors said.

The price puts the condos at Seaholm within the market range for Austin but below top-of-the-market projects such as the Austonian, said John Rosato, managing partner of project developer Seaholm Power LLC. Condo units at the Austonian were priced in excess of $600 per square foot, Rosato said.

The tower has been under construction since April and the first occupants will move in during the first quarter of 2015.

 

Preliminary interest hot for Seaholm condos
Austin Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/real-estate/2013/11/preliminary-interest-is-hot-for.html
By Jan Buchholz
November 7, 2013

If there was any concern about whether there are enough affluent folks to buy a new supply of luxury condominiums in Downtown Austin, those fears may abate now. The developer of the residences that will be built at the Seaholm Power Plant site announced today that all 280 units in the 30-story tower have been reserved.

“Truth be told, we were anticipating a positive response, but this response has been nothing short of phenomenal,” said John Rosato, principal of Southwest Strategies Group and managing partner for Seaholm Power LLC, in a written statement.

Kevin Burns, broker and CEO of Urbanspace Residential, is handling sales.

“The market has quickly let us know just how much it embraces this one-of-a-kind neighborhood,” Burns said.

To see a rendering and learn more about the mixed-use development, which includes the retrofitting of the iconic Seaholm Power Plant.

 

Historic $100M Seaholm Power project adds to downtown Austin's construction boom
Texas Contractor
http://www.acppubs.com
By Rob Patterson
October 2013

In terms of scale, complexity and final impact when finished, downtown Austin, Texas' Seaholm Power project, which will cost at least $100 million, is a unique major public/private partnership and an undertaking with mulitiple challenges.

... The plant's five smokestakcs wil also be retained. "They are the single most iconic feature of hte site seen from the greatest distance," says Sussman. "They'll be at the heart of the plaza and will be kind of celebrated by what happens at the plaza level in terms of shadows."

"We've also got some accent lighting to throw colors off the stacks at night and fun ideas like that," says Stauch.


Seaholm development takes shape

YNN
http://austin.ynn.com/content/news/295464/seaholm-development-takes-shape--short-term-rental-terms-tweaked
By Jeff Stensland
September 27, 2013

The transformation of the Old Seaholm Power Plant into a residential and shopping district is downtown's first condominium project in five years.

Thursday, the community got a first look at renderings of the new development.

The Seaholm Residences will be a 30-story tower offering 280 luxury condos. The new tower will also feature a sky deck, a pool, and a dog walking and grooming area. The tower is going up at 222 West Avenue. Around the tower, developers are working on green space, retails and office spots. It will also be the home of a new Trader Joe's in downtown Austin.

Crews broke ground on the project in April and people should start moving in by the beginning of 2015.



Seaholm condos to be priced at $450 to $500 per square foot Austin Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/at-the-watercooler/2013/09/seaholm-to-be-condos-priced-at-around.html
By Robert Grattan
September 26, 2013

The 280 condo units planned for the Seaholm development in downtown Austin are expected to hit the market at about $450 to $500 per square foot, according to the project's developer.

The price puts the condos at Seaholm within the market range for Austin but below top-of-the-market projects such as the Austonian, said John Rosato, managing partner of project developer Seaholm Power, LLC. Condo units at the Austonian were priced in excess of $600 per square foot, Rosato said.

Last week, the Austin Business Journal reported that developer Seaholm Power, LLC had switched the residential component of the project from more than 300 apartments to 280 condominium units. The condominiums are expected to be priced from about $300,000 to as much as $1.4 million.

Rosato declined to discuss specifics about how the financing would be structured with the switch to condos, though he did say that he had seen strong early interest in the condo units.

The Seaholm project is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2015, according to a press release sent out Thursday.



Seaholm project shifts to condos
About 280 luxury units to rise on former power plant site downtown
Austin American-Statesman
http://www.statesman.com/news/business/seaholm-projects-evolution-shifts-to-condos-instea/nZ7dY/
By Shonda Novak
September 26, 2013

The vision for the redevelopment of Austin's former Seaholm Power Plant site has evolved several times over the past few years — and now developers are tweaking the plans again.

A planned 30-story apartment tower on the site will now house about 280 luxury condominiums instead, the developer told the American-Statesman on Wednesday.

Construction began in April on the parking garage for the tower, which has been named Seaholm Residences. It will be the first new major condo project to break ground downtown since the tower that included a W hotel and condominiums was launched in May 2008.

... "Our read is that there is strong market demand for condos, and a lack of supply," Rosato said. "The site offers a compelling case for people wanting to own a downtown home, yet live in an environment that's a true neighborhood."

... Evins said city officials are excited to see the vision taking shape for both Seaholm and other nearby projects that are expected to transform downtown's west side into a hub for shopping, dining, housing, entertainment and cultural offerings. At Seaholm, Rosato said his firm is in "active negotiations on over 60 percent of the office and retail spaces" on the site, with tenant announcements expected soon.

Urbanspace, an Austin real estate brokerage, will be marketing the condos. Kevin Burns, broker and CEO of Urbanspace, anticipates strong demand for the units, which will range in size from studios to three bedrooms. Amenities will include a sky deck, a pool with views of nearby Lady Bird Lake, a fitness center and a dog-walking and grooming area.

"I feel that there is extraordinary high demand" for condos at Seaholm's location and price points, Burns said.

"The location of the Seaholm Residences matched with its finishes and amenities will be one of Austin's most well-rounded addresses," Burns said. "I cannot wait to live there. ... To be able to access the trail, grocery store, restaurants and library from my front door will be as good as it gets."



Austin Business Journal
September 11-17, 2013

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Transformation of Seaholm Power Plant begins
Community Impact Newspaper
http://impactnews.com/austin-metro/central-austin/transformation-of-seaholm-power-plant-begins/
By Peter McCrady
June 27, 2013

... John Rosato, a real estate broker with Southwest Strategies Group and managing partner with the SRP, said the area was picked for redevelopment because of the power plant and its historical and architectural significance.

“The driving force, obviously, is saving the iconic building,” Rosato said. “It’s a historic structure. It’s going to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Austin doesn’t have a large stock of older industrial buildings. There are very few in town as opposed to San Antonio or Houston, so that’s why [we’re working] here. It’s because of this building.”

Fred Evins, redevelopment project manager with the city of Austin Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office, said the style of the power plant is unique and worth preserving.

“One of the things that caught my ear [was] when I was first being told about the building, I was reminded that this was kind of the end of an era of power production facilities being treated as architecture,” Evins said. “It has a very nice art deco enclosure of public pride and public infrastructure that very, very soon after this was built, [industrial projects] started going to the very utilitarian [design].”

Jim Susman, principal architect with STG Design—the architecture firm working on the project—said there are four components to the SRP, including the renovation and preservation of the power plant facility, construction of an apartment complex tower with parking, a two-story building for retail and a three-level parking garage below the apartment tower.

The apartment complex will be a 30-story tower with 309 apartments for rent and will have about 400 parking spaces included in the building. The two-story, 66,000-square-foot building will have retail and office space that includes a Trader Joe’s—a specialty grocery store—expected to open in 2014. The 112,000-square-foot power plant will have retail, office and event space, and the underground parking garage will be able to accommodate about 500 cars.

Redeveloping a building built in the 1950s that was never intended for commercial use comes with its share of challenges, according to Rosato. He said the redevelopment is a balance between saving enough of the building to keep its industrial feel while making sure it is safe and functional.

“The one thing that developers hate is that [redeveloping older buildings is] unpredictable because you’ve got this old building, and when you start taking it apart, you’re really not sure what you’re going to find,” Rosato said. “In this particular case, we’re finding some really cool things, but we may run across something that’s not so cool and we didn’t take into account. That’s the downside to it.”

 

 

Seaholm Groundbreaking
Austin Business J
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/print-edition/2013/05/24/biz-scene-photos-may-24-2013.html?s=image_gallery
May 24-30, 2013

biz scene may 24-30

From Power Plant to Civic Renewal Centerpiece
The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/business/energy-environment/growing-supply-of-former-power-plants-offers-sites-for-renovation.html?_r=1&
By Jim Witkin
Apr 24, 2013

The work starts next month and, once it is complete in about two years, a revitalized 7.8-acre site at the edge of downtown Austin, Tex., will offer new office spaces, shops and a high-rise apartment complex along Lady Bird Lake.

Rising prominently from the center of the site will be the restored Seaholm Power Plant, a massive Art Deco-style structure built in the 1950s that once burned oil and gas to supply much of the city’s power. Retail and office tenants will occupy the former plant’s 117,000 square feet of interior space. Its cavernous four-story turbine room will be dotted with displays on the plant’s history and the new energy-efficient designs featured in its makeover.

The locations of old power plants make them attractive to developers and potential tenants, Mr. Staple said. Initially built away from population hubs, many are now close to city centers as urban boundaries have expanded and industrial areas have become gentrified. The plants were also typically built on riverfronts, for access to water to cool the generator units.

... The unusual size and shape of the buildings make them ideal for repurposing, said Rick Scadden, a principal engineer with Intera, an environmental engineering company that cleans up old power plant sites. “They were often constructed with large turbine-generator halls,” said Mr. Scadden, “so this presents opportunities for doing really unique things with the space on a grand scale.”

... Preserving older buildings has also become a standard component of urban renewal projects, he said. And while many of these old plants will close because they no longer meet environmental standards, they will come back to life in restoration as showcases of the latest green building designs and features.

For example, Seaholm, which was taken out of service in 1996, will use the pipes and tanks that once held water to cool its generators to capture rainwater and irrigate the grounds. A large solar panel array on the roof will generate part of the building’s power.

The trend, Mr. Whitman said, is a sign of things to come. “Repurposing these old power plants not only signals a shift in where people live and what they do,” he said, “but also how they think about the environment and how our energy mix is changing and evolving.”



Seaholm Power Plant site to be developed into public space for retail, apartments
The Daily Texan
http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2013/04/21/seaholm-power-plant-site-to-be-developed-into-public-space-for-retail-apartments
By Hannah Jane Deciutiis
Apr 21, 2013

John Rosato, principal for Southwest Strategies Group, which is one of the organizations chosen to lead the redevelopment, said many factors slowed down the intricate process of securing the site, creating the development team and finalizing design plans.

“This project is unlike any other in Austin’s history, and it took an extraordinary amount of cooperation from the governing bodies and private sector to reach this point,” Rosato said. “Right of way and environmental issues slowed things down, not to mention the collapse of the capital markets. Getting all the moving pieces of this puzzle in alignment was a challenge that took a great deal of ingenuity and time to solve.”

Though the total costs for the development have not been made public, figures of more than $100 million have been estimated, according to public relations officials for the project. The city’s $27.5 million contribution will go into rehabilitation of the plant, street infrastructure, underground parking and the creation of the new Bowie Underpass, city spokeswoman Melissa Alvarado said.

... “There have been some very high-end national retailers looking at it,” Tisdale said. “There’s currently a very large user looking at the whole power plant building. They want to be in Austin because of the way Austin is — the entrepreneurial spirit and the creative energy here.”

Rosato said the location of the power plant is a feature of the site that will make a positive addition to Austin’s skyline.

“Being right along Lady Bird Lake, [the plant] offers the eye a more gradual way to build up to the other, taller structures,” Rosato said. “It also preserves an iconic architectural gemstone that helps keep some history along with the new development.”

As ground breaks this month for excavation of the parking garage area, Rosato said the whole team is ready to finally get started on the development.

“We’ve reached a historic point, and we’re really looking forward to transforming our vision into a reality,” Rosato said.

 

KVUE Exclusive: An inside look at the Seaholm Intake Facility
kvue.com
http://www.kvue.com/home/KVUE-Exclusive-An-inside-look-at-the-Seaholm-Intake-Facility-204002281.html
By Ashley Godeau
Apr 21, 2013

It just may be the most prime piece of real estate in the City of Austin; the Seaholm Intake Facility.

Built on Lady Bird Lake in 1950 and expanded in 1955, the facility was used to tunnel water to the Seaholm Power Plant across the street to generate electricity until the plant closed in 1989.

... The power plant is being converted into an office space with apartments and shops. The intake facility, including the land from the railroad tracks all the way to Shoal Creek, was given to the parks department to be used by the people of Austin.

"And we really want to hear the residents ideas about what they see, not only the facility, but how the surrounding site can be used," Estabrook.

... Each of the building's two stories is 5,000 square feet with 22-foot high ceilings and amazing views of the lake. The building itself is historic and has to be left intact. But the smaller building in front can be torn down or used. The possibilities are endless.

"You could even add a loft space in here, you can add a boardwalk, a deck on the outside, you can redesign the trail, separate it from pedestrians and bicycles," Estabrook added. 

The facility is the only property in the City of Austin that actually sits on the lake and because of current city code, no other buildings can be built on the water. So the chance to decide what will go here is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I'm thinking it could be like a refreshment center and restaurant," said Austin resident Bill Vandersteel.

... All the ideas will be complied into a list and given to the teams working on designs. Suggestions to give new life to a piece of Austin history.

 

Seaholm Development back on track
RECON
Real Estate Center Online News
http://recenter.tamu.edu/recon/reconSearch.asp?CID=7770
Apr 19, 2013

More than eight years in the making, the landmark Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment is about ready to roll.
The $100 million public-private partnership deal between the City of Austin and lead developer Southwest Strategies Group is being signed, spelling out the terms of the renewal of the former power plant site.

The project calls for a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower as well as a two-story building with a Trader Joe's, retail, office and restaurant space. The city will invest $13.6 million in infrastructure improvements to the site, plus $9.9 million for 315 city-owned parking spaces.

Apartments and the Trader Joe's grocery store are slated to open in early 2015.

 

Austin's iconic Seaholm plant transformation buds
RECON
Real Estate Center Online News
http://recenter.tamu.edu/newstalk/newstalkSearch.asp?CID=63822
Apr 17, 2013

Development on the southwestern edge of downtown at the Seaholm Power Plant is a go. Construction will begin immediately on the $100 million project.

The five-acre site, now owned by Seaholm Power LLC, will include a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower and a public open-air plaza.

It will also include 60,000 sf of office, retail and restaurant space and a parking garage. One future tenant, specialty grocer Trader Joe's, has already signed a lease.

The power plant will be retrofitted into office space and two towers are to be built nearby.

The 117,000-sf Seaholm Power Plant was built in the 1950s in a classic Art Deco style. The building ceased power generation operations in the 1990s.

The project is slated for completion in late 2015.

 


Construction to begin on redevelopment of Seaholm Power Plant
culturemap austin
http://austin.culturemap.com/news/style/04-18-13-construction-to-begin-on-redevelopment-of-seaholm-power-plant
By Ashley Goudeau
Apr 17, 2013

But now it's time for the Seaholm Power Plant to get a 21st century makeover. Construction to convert the plant into a social hub begins next week.

"I am glad to see it go and get used for a better, upgraded use than just seeing an empty, dead building," said Austin resident Phil Capron.

The two lots around the plant won't be empty anymore either. On the north side will sit a two-story retail building with a parking garage underneath. Right now there's only one confirmed store, Trader Joe's.

On the other side of the plant will be a 30-story apartment building with 300 units.

The plant itself will become office space that will be open to the public with a plaza and green space in the middle.

The design team said their intent is to preserve the industrial feel and historical value of the power plant, so everything from the concrete structure to the crane that's at the top of the building will remain.

 

Construction to begin on redevelopment of Seaholm Power Plant
KVUE.com
http://www.kvue.com/news/Construction-to-begin-on-redevelopment-of-Seaholm-Power-Plant-203488331.html
By Ashley Goudeau
Apr 17, 2013

It is a beloved landmark.

"It's unique to Austin," said Austin resident Karley Maskavich. 

A symbol of old Austin and the 1950s.

"For those of us who have lived here three decades or more and passed it virtually everyday, there's a special place in our hearts for the building itself," said Jim Susman. 

But now it's time for the Seaholm Power Plant to get a 21st century makeover. Construction to convert the plant into a social hub begins next week.

"I am glad to see it go and get used for a better, upgraded use than just seeing an empty, dead building," said Austin resident Phil Capron.

The two lots around the plant won't be empty anymore either. On the north side will sit a two-story retail building with a parking garage underneath. Right now there's only one confirmed store, Trader Joe's.

On the other side of the plant will be a 30-story apartment building with 300 units.

The plant itself will become office space that will be open to the public with a plaza and green space in the middle.

The design team said their intent is to preserve the industrial feel and historical value of the power plant, so everything from the concrete structure to the crane that's at the top of the building will remain.

"The building is such a jewel and so iconic in Austin's fabric that to do anything to it really would have been violating the building itself," said Susman, the design architect of the Seaholm redevelopment.

"I think it makes the funky Austin just exactly what this town needs, more than brand new projects," Capron said.

The two-story retail building will be complete by next summer. The high-rise will take 30 months to construct. The contractor will also extend 2nd Street, West Street and Seaholm Drive into the development. The City will reimburse the company.

"Constructionwise it's going to be a pain but I think in the end it will be more opportunities for more growth in the area," said Maskavich, who lives across the street.

The Seaholm project will be changing the perimeter of downtown, by rejuvenating an Austin treasure.



Seaholm Power Plant Project ready to begin
myFOXaustin
http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/22005045/seaholm-power-plant-project-ready-to-begin
Apr 17, 2013

Construction is ready to begin on the Seaholm Power Plant Project.

The latest renderings released by the developer show how the power plant and the surrounding five acres will be transformed into a mixed-use site with retail and restaurant space.

This week the developer took control of the property from the city the historic power plant will be leased and used as office space.

There are plans for a 30-story apartment building, along with shops and restaurants.

Contractors are expected to begin work immediately. The project could take around two-and-a-half years to complete.

 

City closes deal with Seaholm developers
KVUE.com
http://www.kvue.com/news/City-closes-deal-with-Seaholm-developers-203364381.html
By Jessica Vess
Apr 17, 2013

The papers are signed and the work will soon begin at the iconic Seaholm Power Plant in downtown Austin. Crews are redeveloping the entire property. 

Artist's renderings were released Tuesday when the City of Austin closed the deal with developers. The project includes the plant itself and the surrounding five acres. Developers are incorporating a mixed-use complex with shops and housing.

There are plans for a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower and another 60,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space. Developers estimate the build-out will take about two and a half years to complete.

According to the developer, crews will begin work immediately on the power plant and the parking garage. Afterward they will begin putting up the retail and residential towers. One of the most anticipated projects in the complex is the new Trader Joe's grocery store.

“I think it's exciting, I think there is a big need for that and I think it will be a big hot spot in Austin,” said Austin shopper Tracy Johnson.

"I think it's a very good match for a market like Austin. They focus on high quality products at good prices. It's been shown here with Central Market and Whole Foods that Austin has a strong group of consumers interested in those products," Dr. Wayne Hoyer with the UT McCombs School of Business said.

The plant has been sitting unused since the 1990s when the city shut down power operations. However, residents didn't want to see the iconic building disappear from Austin’s skyline. Developers are working to maintain the structure. They say there will be changes, but the building should still have that open, industrial feel. Developers also agreed to make sure that the public will still have access to the main hall. 

 

Seaholm deals signed; construction begins in downtown Austin
Austin Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/real-estate/2013/04/seaholm-agreements-signed.html
Apr 16, 2013

As the Austin Business Journal reported last week, the developers of the Seaholm Power Plant finalized the necessary real estate transactions with the city of Austin and will begin construction immediately on the $100 million project.

The five-acre site, which includes the iconic Seaholm Power Plant in downtown Austin, is now in the hands of Seaholm Power LLC.

The power plant will be retrofitted into office space and two towers are to be built nearby. One will contain apartments and the other will offer retail and office space.

Seaholm Power LLC released new renderings of the project, which will be fully built-out in about two-and-a-half years.

seaholm rendering seaholm rendering 2


“This marks an historic milestone for the city, for the power plant and for future generations of Austinites,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “We’re glad this agreement has been reached, and that the redevelopment can begin.”

 

Construction begins at Seaholm plant
kxan.com
http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/construction-begins-at-seaholm-plant
Apr 16, 2013

Development on the southwestern edge of downtown at the Seaholm Power Plant is a go.

The City of Austin and Seaholm Power announced Tuesday the completion of a lease and purchase of the property.

The historic 1950 art deco plant and the surrounding five acres will be transformed into a mixed-use site with residential and retail spaces.

“This marks a historic milestone for the city, for the power plant and for future generations of Austinites,” Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell said. “We’re glad this agreement has been reached, and that the redevelopment can begin. This is a key piece of the future of downtown Austin and I look forward to the transformation."

In June 2012, the Austin City Council authorized an amendment allowing to Seaholm Power to lease the plant as office space. The building ceased power generation operations in the 1990s.

“We appreciate how this public-private partnership will help bolster the continued revitalization of this significant community of Austin,” said John Rosato, principal with Southwest Strategies Group and managing partner of Seaholm Powerr. “We’re excited to find an adaptive use to this iconic property that is so much a part of Austin’s history.”

Contractors will begin work immediately on the power plant and a parking garage. Then, construction will start on an office and retail building and a residential tower.

The project is slated for completion in late 2015.

The five-acre area is bounded to the west by the planned Seaholm Drive from Third Street south to Cesar Chavez Street; on the south by Cesar Chavez Street from the planned West Avenue east to Seaholm Drive; on the east by West Avenue from Cesar Chavez Street north to Third Street; and on the north by Third Street between Seaholm Drive and West Avenue.

 

City, developer sign Seaholm deal
statesman.com
http://www.statesman.com/news/business/business-digest/nXNq3/
posted by Staff
Apr 16, 2013

The city of Austin and Seaholm Power LLC have closed on the lease and purchase of the site that houses the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant, setting the stage for construction to immediately begin on an estimated $100 million mixed use project that will further the transformation of downtown’s southwestern edge.

The closing Tuesday turns over control of the prime waterfront block on West Cesar Chavez, including the 1950s power plant and surrounding 5 acres, to Seaholm Power LLC, the team the city selected in 2005 to redevelop the site. An agreement signed with the city details terms of the developer’s 99-year lease of the power plant building, as well as the purchase of surrounding land where a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower will be built, along with a 2-story building that will have office, restaurant and retail space, including a Trader Joe’s. The 117,000-square-foot power plant structure will also be renovated for tenants.

Work will begin immediately on the power plant and the parking garage, with other components to follow, said John Rosato, lead developer for the project. The development will take about 2 ½ years to complete.

The city is a partner in the public-private venture, and is making a multimillion investment in the project. In conjunction with a new apartment project rising just west of Seaholm, the projects are expected to generate $53.3 million in additional property and sales taxes for the city over 30 years.


Seaholm project set for groundbreaking
Austin American-Statesman
http://www.statesman.com/news/business/seaholm-redevelopment-ready-to-break-ground-at-las/nXMzM/
By Shonda Novak
Apr 16, 2013

It’s been several years coming, but redevelopment work is set to begin on Austin’s former Seaholm Power Plant, with plans calling for a $100 million mixed-use project that will reinvigorate the area and add millions to the city’s tax base over coming decades.

The project on downtown’s western edge will include a 30-story tower with 309 apartments, a two-story building with a Trader Joe’s store, plus other retail, office and restaurant space.

This week, the city of Austin and the development team it chose for the project eight years ago are expected to sign the document that outlines terms of the public-private venture — a move that will trigger the official launch of construction.

... John Rosato, a principal with Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group, the lead developer on the project, said the imminent groundbreaking is a momentous occasion.

“I do think that what was done here was historic, in terms of working with the city and working through the economic downturn to keep the vision alive, and we’re ready to move forward now,” Rosato said. “The significance of it is keeping the vision alive through all the twists and turns.”

... Rosato said that when construction commences, the general contractor will begin work on the power plant renovation and a parking garage. After that, the apartment tower will begin rising, and construction will start on the 66,000-square foot low-rise building that will have office space and a Trader Joe’s store slated to open in early 2015.

The first apartments should be ready for tenants by early 2015, Rosato said. The tower will include 8,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Evins said Seaholm is part of a larger area on the west end of downtown that over the past decade represents $2 billion in both new and planned development, with the future development to include a new central library and the redevelopment of the former Green Water Treatment Plant site east of Seaholm.

A tax increment financing district created for the Seaholm area, which includes the Seaholm site and a new apartment tower Gables Residential is building to the west, will generate $53.3 million in additional property and sales taxes for the city over 30 years, Evins said. The Green Water site redevelopment is expected to add $44.9 million in sales and property taxes over 30 years, he said.

“We’re quite excited about all the pieces that are coming together,” Evins said. “This is our first major milestone, in the context of everything else about to kick off, and we’re very excited about moving our vision forward.”


Congratulations to the Fikes!
Apr 13, 2013

Tonight we were able to celebrate the marriage of TWO of our Southwest Strategies Group family members - Katie Dudnick & Adam Fike. The ceremony was romantic and the evening was extraordinarily lovely. Adam's band which includes two of his brothers performed an amazing set. We send our best wishes for their honeymoon and look forward to hearing about it when they return May 1st. We wish you happily ever after! xoxo

 

Seaholm project groundbreaking is imminent
Austin Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/real-estate/2013/04/seaholm-project-groundbreaking-is.html?surround=etf&ana=e_article
By Jan Buchholz
Apr 11, 2013

The long wait for the Seaholm Power Plant project to begin construction appears to be over. Developer Southwest Strategies Group Inc. — which formed Seaholm Power Development LLC to oversee the office-residential-retail project — confirmed Thursday afternoon that the associated real estate transactions with the city of Austin will close Friday or Monday at the latest.

General contractor FlintCo LLC is on site — the power plant is in the southwest portion of downtown near Cesar Chavez Street and North Lamar Boulevard — and prepared to start work immediately, said John Rosato, managing partner of Seaholm Power Development.

“It’s more gratifying than you know,” Rosato said of finally closing the deal. “It took much longer than anybody expected.”