Austin American Statesman : Work soon to start on 44 East

Austin’s booming Rainey Street district is about to add yet another high-rise, as a Canadian-based developer plans to kick off construction in October on a 49-story condominium tower in the neighborhood on downtown Austin’s southeastern edge.

Intracorp Projects Ltd. released new images to the American-Statesman of the tower’s amenities and common areas, which are being designed by Michael Hsu of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture.

The building is named 44 East Ave., after its address. Intracorp announced the project in October 2018, originally envisioning a 51-story tower (about 545 feet tall) and 330 condominiums.

As currently planned, the building would now have 49 stories and be about 570 feet tall, and would include 322 condo units, said Brad Stein, senior vice president and managing director of Intracorp’s Austin operations. The estimated cost of the project is more than $200 million, he said.

Stein said financing is in place, by a syndication of banks led by Bank of Montreal/Harris Bank. The tower is expected to be completed in late 2022.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Intracorp has built 176 projects and 22,000 homes in its 40-year history, Stein said. The company has projects underway in Seattle and Southern California.

The 44 East Ave. project will add to a surge of development in the Rainey Street area that has been ongoing for more than a decade, adding high-rise condominium and apartment towers to the mix of bars and restaurants in the district.

Stein said most of the other developments that are currently under construction or slated to start in the immediate area are apartment projects. One block away, 70 Rainey is the most recent Rainey Street condominium project to be completed.

“We’re not aware of another residential condominium project that’s coming to market that’s competing with us directly,” Stein said.

On Red River Street between Driskill and Davis streets, Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group and partner MetLife Investment Management are underway with the Quincy, a 30-story apartment tower in the Rainey Street District. Due to open in 2021, the Quincy will have 347 apartments, plus office and retail space.

Elsewhere downtown, the most recent downtown condominium projects to open — including the Independent, the Austin Proper Hotel & Residences and Fifth & West — are largely or completely sold out.

“Those projects sold well and showed us there’s demand, and still a real lack of supply, for quality downtown homeownership,” Stein said. Austin’s ongoing job growth, he said, continues to attract “a lot of skilled and highly paid young workers, and that just creates additional demand for downtown living.”

Intracorp will be paying “a significant fee” into the city of Austin’s affordable housing fund — close to $1 million, Stein said. In addition, about 14 units in the development will be reserved for income-qualified buyers at below-market rates, he said.

For the market-rate units, prices for the one-bedroom condos are expected to range from under $400,000 to about $600,000. The size range will be from 500 square feet to 700 square feet.

Two-bedroom units will range from 800 square feet to about 1,400 square feet, with prices projected to from about $550,000 to more than $1 million.

Three-bedroom residences, ranging from 1,700 to 2,100 square feet, will be priced from more than $1 million up to $2 million.

Penthouse units will be priced between $2 million and $4 million, with sizes ranging from 2,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet.

A sales office for the project is scheduled to open this month on West Third Street. Urbanspace + Interiors is the listing brokerage that will be marketing the units.

Stein said Intracorp aims to “set a new standard” for high-rise living in downtown Austin with 44 East Ave., citing its views, “timeless design,” efficient floor plans, amenities and its location near the Ann and Roy Butler hike and bike trail and Lady Bird Lake.

The Trail Foundation is partnering with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department to revitalize the Rainey Street trailhead, which is across from 44 East Ave. Intracorp will be contributing to that project, Stein said.

“The entry point to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail will be made a more functional and attractive area with increased amenities to benefit trail users, residents and visitors to the Rainey Street District,” Stein said.

In addition to Michael Hsu as the interior designer, the 44 East Ave. development team includes Page as the lead architect for the building; Big Red Dog as the engineer; Austin-based dwg as the landscape architect; and Flintco as the general contractor.

Stein said Intracorp continues to look for more development opportunities in the Austin market, although the company has no announcements at this time.

Originally posted on Austin American Statesman