Downtown Austin land acquired for 32-story luxury tower

The Kor Group has purchased the land where it plans to break ground this spring on the 32-story Austin Proper Hotel and Residences in downtown Austin.

The half-acre site is on part of the land that formerly housed the Thomas C. Green Water Treatment plant on downtown’s southwest side, which is seeing a surge of upscale housing, offices, shops and restaurants.

The Kor Group acquired the parcel from Trammell Crow Company. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Trammell Crow bought the half-acre parcel from the city this month for $4.3 million, said Greg Kiloh, project manager in the city of Austin’s Economic Development Department.

Trammell Crow is buying the entire 4.5 developable acres on the Green Water site from the city in phases, for a total of $42.4 million. The city selected Trammell Crow several years ago to transform the former Green Water site at San Antonio and West Cesar Chavez streets into a mixed-use project that, once completed, will have 1.7 million square feet of new development.

To date, Trammell Crow has bought three of the 4.5 acres on the Green Water site from the city in phases, for $32.1 million of the $42.4 million total for all four blocks.

Under its development agreement with the city, Trammell Crow can bring in partners, with the city having the right to review them and provide consent, Kiloh said.

Trammell Crow cannot sell any of the four blocks until at least three months after construction on any given block is completed, without going through a process to secure the city’s consent. That consent was authorized in June 2014 allowing Trammell Crow to sell the half-acre parcel to The Kor Group.

In addition to condos, the Austin Proper Hotel and Residences will have 244 hotel guest rooms, four food and beverage outlets, meeting space and amenities including a spa and fitness center and two outdoor swimming pools.

Designed by Handel Architects, Austin Proper is scheduled to open in early 2018.

“We look forward to delivering this one-of-a-kind addition to the Austin skyline,” said Adam Nims, a principal with Trammell Crow.

Prospective buyers have reserved half of the 99 condo units, said Matthew Green, Austin managing partner for The Kor Group. Prices start in the $600,000s and go up to several million, Green said.

Austin Proper will join two other components of Trammell Crow’s project that are under way: a soon-to-open apartment tower called Northshore and an office tower, due to open early next year, where Google Inc. will occupy 200,000 square feet of space.

The sales gallery for the luxury condos has opened at 208 Colorado St. and has a model home showcasing the interiors, which are being designed by Kelly Wearstler.

Austin-based DEN Property Group is marketing the condos, which will have floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor decks and views of Lady Bird Lake and the Texas Hill Country.

Green said Austin Proper is drawing “a broad array of buyers from all backgrounds,” including technology professionals, attorneys, doctors and retirees.

About 80 percent are local, with a few from the East and West coasts.

“Some are downsizing from single-family residences or coming from another downtown property,” Green said. “Many are selling other condo homes downtown and moving to Austin Proper.”

Most are buying units to serve as their primary residence, Green said, and a few are buying units as second homes and investments.

On the hotel side, Proper Hospitality will operate the Austin Proper Hotel as part of its new brand of boutique hotels opening in Hollywood, San Francisco, downtown Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

McGuire Moorman Hospitality will operate the food and beverage venues in Austin Proper. McGuire Moorman is the team behind some of Austin’s most popular restaurants, including Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar and Jeffrey’s.

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