- Shonda Novak American-Statesman Staff
In a sign of the strong demand for downtown living, a planned 58-story condominium tower has set what its developers say is a record for the most number of units reserved within a week’s time for a downtown Austin condominium project.
Prospective buyers have put down earnest money for 90 percent of the units — 336 of 370 — in The Independent, a high-rise that developers Constructive Ventures and Aspen Heights plan to build at the northeast corner of West Third Street and West Avenue.
The developers began accepting reservations June 5, and will continue to take reservations for the waiting list.
“The large number of reservations can be attributed to the depth of demand for downtown condominium living, the location and quality of the project and the strength of the marketing approach,” said Charles Heimsath, a local real estate consultant.
A reservation guarantees a buyer the right to purchase a specific unit for a specific price, until the developer is ready to convert reservations into contracts.
Potential buyers put down $5,000 or $10,000 to reserve a unit, depending on the unit. The fee is fully refundable up until the point of going under contract, said Perry Lorenz, principal of Constructive Ventures.
Heimsath said that “the real test for the acceptance of the project will come when the reservations are converted to contracts.”
There is no timetable as yet for when the project is expected to break ground. Units are expected to range in size from 675 to 3,485 square feet and prices are projected to range from the mid-$300,000s to more than $3 million.
In mid-April, Constructive Ventures and Aspen Heights unveiled plans for the tower, which is slated to rise 685 feet and become the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi River.
The tower, which is being designed by Austin-based Rhode:Partners has a cubed, stacked design that would be new to Austin.
In late 2013, the Seaholm Residences, a 30-story condo tower under construction just west of the Independent site, also saw prospective buyers reserve most of its units within a week’s time, but that project has 280 units, fewer than The Independent.
Austin-based Urbanspace is the exclusive brokerage for The Independent and the Seaholm Residences. Kevin Burns, broker and CEO of Urbanspace, said The Independent’s location, design, views and amenities are among the attributes that have prospective buyers lining up for a unit in the project.
The majority of the reservations are Austin-area residents, Lorenz said.
On either side of the site where the Independent is proposed, high-profile mixed-use projects are underway that will transform the skyline on downtown’s southwestern edge and add more luxury condominiums, apartments, office space, shops, restaurants and hotel rooms to the market.