Condo project breaks ground near downtown Austin

Updated Oct 07, 2016

Amid Central Texas’ continued hot housing market, yet another condominium project has broken ground just east of downtown Austin.

This latest one is a six-story building that, according to its developer, will have units priced lower than the going rates downtown.

The Tyndall is under construction on what had been a vacant 1.6-acre hilltop at Interstate 35 and East Eighth Street. It is being built at a cost of more than $70 million and is due to be completed in August 2018, said the developer, Terry Mitchell, principal of Austin-based Momark Development LLC.

Units will be priced from the $260,000s to more than $1 million. The smallest units will be 571 square feet and the largest ones will have almost 2,400 square feet of space, plus decks of 420 square feet.

Lydia Clay, the project manager for Momark, said The Tyndall’s prices will be “at a rarely seen price point in the downtown marketplace.”

“Current market information indicates new construction condos in downtown average $700 a square foot, while The Tyndall averages around $500 a square foot,” Clay said.

Kevin Burns, a real estate broker who specializes in downtown Austin condo sales, said the project will help meet a need for people who work in Central Austin who make annual incomes of $70,000 to $120,000 a year.

“Overall, they’re providing units at a price point you can’t achieve downtown anymore,” said Burns, CEO of Urbanspace + Interiors. “I think Terry Mitchell is an incredible developer, passionate about creating great communities and not just building for the top end of the market, but embracing the middle- and upper-middle portion of the marketplace.”

A starting price of $260,000 would put the The Tyndall’s units at $455 per square foot for the smallest unit, Burns said. By comparison, units in The Independent, a high-rise condo under construction downtown, start at $425,000, or just over $600 per square foot for the smallest unit.

Urbanspace is marketing The Independent’s units, and has buyers lined up for more than half of the residences.

“They’re selling like wildfire,” Burns said, noting that 11 units went under contract last week alone, and only eight one-bedroom units remain left to sell.

With a 20 percent down payment, Burns estimates that a buyer for the lowest-priced Tyndall unit would have a monthly mortgage payment of $1,500 to $1,600, expenses included.

“That’s less than what it costs to rent a one-bedroom in downtown Austin,” Burns said.

So far, Mitchell said, buyers have signed contracts for 32 of The Tyndall’s units. Amenities will include a pool, 24-hour fitness center, dog run, outdoor yoga lawn and car-charging stations. The interior designer is Joel Mozersky, whose projects include Uchi, Vox, La Condessa, Juliet Ristorante and Nova.

Mitchell said the location will put The Tyndall’s residents within walking or biking distance to places like Franklin Barbecue, Cisco’s, the new University of Texas medical school, and music venues, restaurants and other attractions both downtown and in East Austin.

And with the lower price points, Mitchell said, “We are trying to reach more people who want to live downtown.”