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The Modern Austin Residences | Development

Kevin Burns Reveals New Details About Rainey Street Skyscraper, Including Name and Project Team

The tower formerly known as 9092 Rainey, which has been in the works for several years, officially has a new name and new project specifications.

 

The Modern Austin Residences will have 56 stories featuring 346 market-rate residences and 21 affordable housing units. Austin’s Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors is developing the project.

The affordable housing units will be available to people earning 80% of median family income, which is $98,900 in the Austin metro. The market rate units will start in the $400,000 range for a one-bedroom unit. Three-bedroom units will go for $1.6 million and above.

These updates, provided by Urbanspace CEO Kevin Burns, come just a few months after Austin City Council approved a density bonus for the project, allowing the building to go higher than typically allowed. At the time, the tower was planned to be 51 stories high and to contain 400 total units.

Burns said some of the extra stories were added to improve the look of the crown of the building by hiding water cooling towers and other mechanical features. He said they ended up reducing the number of market rate residences but maintaining the same number of affordable ones.

Many have wondered about the fate of Container Bar, the popular bar made of shipping containers that sits on the project site. Burns said the bar will close just before crews break ground on The Modern, which is set for late March 2022.

However, Bridget Dunlap — who owns Container Bar as well as Clive Bar and Lustre Pearl — has signed on to run an entertainment space in the basement of the building.

“Container Bar had a good run, but I’m excited for what’s next,” Dunlap said in a statement. “This next concept will fill a niche that Austin is missing in the music/hospitality scene, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to stay in our spot.”

Nelsen Partners will be the design architect for the tower, Flintco will be the general contractor and Page will be the architect of record. Urbanspace will handle sales and interior design for the tower.

Sales are expected to begin at the start of next year. Burns said it will likely take two and a half years to complete construction. He projects they’ll finish in the second half of 2024.

Original plans for the tower included hotel space and permanent residences, but Covid-19 forced the developer to rethink the plan.

“The fact of the matter is what my company knows inside and out, backwards and forwards is high-rise condominiums,” Burns said. “So it allowed us to really focus on what we do best.”

Urbanspace has been tapped to sell the condos for other high-profile Austin towers, including The Independent, which has an onsite coffee and cocktail bar on the ground floor, similar to what is planned for The Modern. But The Modern Austin Residences represents Burns’ first foray into high-rise development.

Calls for denser housing within the city limits have grown louder amid the city of Austin’s persistent housing shortage. In June, the Austin Board of Realtors reported that the city had only 0.7 months of housing inventory on the market. That means if no new houses were listed, the city would be completely out of available housing in less than a month.

“We couldn’t beat the timing as far as the current market demands for products in Central Austin,” Burns said.

Rainey Street, in particular, has transformed considerably in recent the years. In the mid-2000s, the neighborhood received Central Business District zoning, making it easier to build big in what was once a residential area. The street is now known in large part for its bars, which largely occupy former single-family homes.

“Rainey street is evolving for families from all different walks of life, for those that want to ditch the car and be able to walk to everything,” Burns said. “I’m excited to see not just my project but the other projects that are going up in the area that are really going to create an incredible experience, not just for those that live there, but for the entire city.”

Article from: Austin Business Journal

 

Austin Ranks as “Best-Performing” City Once Again

Austin Ranks as

“Best-Performing” City Once Again

 

Photo taken from Aquila Commercial. 

 

For the third year in a row, Austin took the No. 3 spot on the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities report.

Milken’s index ranks cities on a variety of metrics, including jobs, wages, salaries and technology output. It’s designed to help the public and private sectors evaluate and compare cities throughout the nation. It is particularly handy for Realtors, job recruiters and site selectors.

Placed in the “tier 1” category that includes 13 large and 13 small cities, Austin ranked number 3 right after (1) Provo, Utah and (2) Palm Bay, Florida, demonstrating its improvement in many indicators including “one year job and wage growth” and “five year job and wage growth”. No other Texas cities were in the top 10.

Among the many advantages of living in the Lone Star State, Austin offers a low tax rate and plenty of space for expansion and development. Austin boasts a relatively low cost of living despite a thriving tech sector and has marketed itself as friendly and open to business relocations. Dell, Apple Inc., IBM, and Samsung Austin Semiconductor are all major employers, and BAE Systems recently announced a new Austin campus, which plans to bring an additional 800 jobs to the city. The state capital is also home to the University of Texas at Austin, which is a major research university with strong ties to industry. Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker, also recently announced plans to move its headquarters to Austin from Redwood City, highlighting the city’s magnetic tech pull.

Despite a tumultuous 2020 globally, the large public sector has helped stabilize the economy. The federal, state, and city governments each employ over 6,000 people, contributing to a 16th place rank in short-term job growth. Housing affordability, however, will continue to be an issue beyond the pandemic, especially with the growth in housing costs in recent years.

 

CALIFORNIA LOSES STEAM

Municipalities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area — known lately for sending thousands of new residents to Texas — took a beating in the Milken report.

San Francisco, which took the top spot in last year’s breakdown of U.S. cities, fell 23 places. San Jose, which was No. 5 last year, came in at 22. And Oakland dropped 48 spots, going from 17 to 65.

But the biggest declines in the country came from some of the Bay Area’s outlying cities. Salinas suffered the largest drop of any U.S. metro area, falling 90 places from 41 to 131. The Santa Cruz-Watsonville metro area went from 52 to 124, a 72-point drop.

“A notable common characteristic of the cities that dropped the most is their proximity to larger ‘superstar cities,'” according to the report from the Milken Institute, which is based in Southern California. “Most of these metros also have low levels of high-tech industry concentration and extremely high housing costs. In Oakland’s case, these pressures have displaced many residents and decreased socioeconomic diversity.”

“The pandemic has had an outsized impact on cities where the economic effects of the current recession are exacerbated by high-housing costs,” said Kevin Klowden executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics and California Center.

The Milken rankings measures economic vitality in 200 large metropolitan areas and 201 small metropolitan areas using job creation, wage growth and innovation industry metrics. The 2021 version of emphasized jobs, wages and high tech growth, housing affordability and household broadband access.

To download the full report from the Milken Institute, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

The Tech Scene: Austin-area Tech Employers

The Austin Tech Scene: Austin-area Tech Employers

 

Photo from: 9TO5Mac
Photo from: 9TO5Mac

 

Austin, Texas, has become one of the hottest relocation hotspots for tech talent during the pandemic. Ranked by the number of Austin employees, check out the top 10 tech employers with offices in the Austin Area.

The tech companies included provide some sort of proprietary technology that changes the way business is done. They include hardware and software makers, internet-based services, e-commerce companies, semiconductor corporations, manufacturers, biotech firms and artificial intelligence businesses, to mention just a few.

Information for the list is gathered from ABJ surveys, news coverage and company websites.

 

1. DELL TECHNOLOGIES

  • Address: One Dell Way, Round Rock, 78682
  • Brief Description: Dell Technologies helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work, live and play with an innovative technology and services portfolio for the data era.
  • Sector: Hardware, software, IT, services
  • Number of Austin Employees: 13,000
  • Products & Services: IT products and services
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1984

 

2. APPLE INC.

  • Address: 12545 Riata Vista Cir., Austin, 78727
  • Brief Description: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) is an information technology company headquartered in Cupertino, Calif. that provides consumer electronics, software and services.
  • Sector: Hardware, software, services
  • Number of Austin Employees: 7,000
  • Products & Services: Mobile communication, computers, music players, related software/services, peripherals, third-party digital content and apps
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 2004

 

3. IBM CORP. 

  • Address: 11500 Burnet Rd., Austin, 78758
  • Brief Description: IBM Corp. focuses on the intersection of business insight and technological innovation through five business segments: cognitive solutions, global business services, tech services and cloud platforms, systems and global financing.
  • Sector: Hardware, software and IT
  • Number of Austin Employees: 6,000
  • Products & Services: IT infrastructure, services, consulting, hardware/software, microelectronics, research
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1967

 

4. ACCENTURE PLC 

  • Address: 323 Congress Ave., Austin, 78701
  • Brief Description: Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security across more than 40 industries.
  • Sector: Technology consulting
  • Number of Austin Employees: 4,500
  • Products & Services: Professional services with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security; Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1976

 

5. AMAZON.COM LLC

  • Address: 11501 Alterra Pkwy., Austin, 78758
  • Brief Description: Amazon.com LLC is an online retailer based in Seattle with distribution center in San Marcos and an office at the Domain.
  • Sector: E-commerce
  • Number of Austin Employees: 4,000
  • Products & Services: Online retailer with distribution center in San Marcos and an office at the Domain
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 2015

 

5. NXP SEMICONDUCTORS

  • Address: 6501 W. William Cannon Dr., Austin, 78735
  • Brief Description: NXP is a semiconductor designer and manufacturer of smart chips for automotive, mobile, and the industrial IoT.
  • Sector: Semiconductor
  • Number of Austin Employees: 4,000
  • Products & Services: Semiconductor design and manufacturer of embedded processors, such as microcontrollers and digital networking processors
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1974

 

7. SAMSUNG AUSTIN SEMICONDUCTOR LLC

  • Address: 12100 Samsung Blvd., Austin, 78754
  • Brief Description: Samsung Austin Semiconductor, a US-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., is one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the world with more than 3,000 employees and 2.45 million square feet of floor space.
  • Sector: Semiconductor
  • Number of Austin Employees: 3,000
  • Products & Services: Broad semiconductor processors including mobile, graphic, consumer, networking/high performance computing, Internet of Things, RF and automotive
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1996

 

8. AT&T INC. 

  • Address: 816 Congress Ave., Austin, 78701
  • Brief Description: AT&T is a modern media company headquartered in Dallas whose mission is to inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment.
  • Sector: Communications
  • Number of Austin Employees: 2,800
  • Products & Services: Advanced IP-based business services, wireless high-speed Internet access and voice service
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1881

 

8. INDEED

  • Address: 6433 Champion Grandview Way, Austin, 78750
  • Brief Description: More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else. Indeed is the #1 job site in the world (comScore, March 2018) and allows job seekers to search millions of jobs in more than 60 countries and 28 languages. For more information, visit indeed.com.
  • Sector: Internet, software
  • Number of Austin Employees: 2,800
  • Products & Services: Job search engine, job postings, job advertising, resume subscriptions, employer branding products, company pages, skills tests
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 2004

 

10. APPLIED MATERIALS INC. 

  • Address: 9700 E. Hwy. 290, Austin, 78724
  • Brief Description: Applied Materials is the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world.
  • Sector: Tech manufacturing
  • Number of Austin Employees: 2,510
  • Products & Services: Materials engineering for the semiconductor, advanced display and adjacent industries
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1992

 

 

Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy

Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy

 

Shoal Creek conservancy is excited to announce their draft public space strategy that envisions the potential future of the district on their Cypress & Shoal Public Space Strategy community engagement headquarters. Input on transforming Cypress & Shoal Creek is highly valued by the conservancy, who will be accepting input from the public until January 31st. Below you can view the public outreach summary from 2020, as well as detailed information on each of the five project areas, including: a summary of existing conditions and public input, imagery to illustrate proposed design concepts, and the Draft Public Space Strategy for the area. Please visit the Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Strategy Page to leave your feedback.

 

PUBLIC OUTREACH SUMMARY: SPRING 2020

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA
  • congested plaza and street
  • confusing bike connection
  • not enough space for all uses
  • too many cars
  • no scooter parking
CONVERGENCE PLAZA
  • creek trail is poorly lit and feels unsafe
  • trash not cleaned regularly
  • blind crossings and hairpin turns are challenging for cyclists
  • could use more places to sit
MARKET PLAZA
  • confusing vehicular intersection
  • dangerous crosswalk
  • redundant drive streets
  • not enough bike parking
  • poor landscaping and maintenance
  • not enough shade
BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS
  • create safe connections for bikes and pedestrians
  • wider sidewalks
  • put vacant land to good use
  • deal with train noise
SHOAL CREEK TRAIL
  • widen the trail
  • create a safer trail
  • clean up trash and unsafe behavior
  • create passive seating areas

 

EXISTING BIKE & TRAIL ROUTES

 

CYPRESS & SHOAL CREEK: PROJECT AREAS

 

 

1. MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES

Area of 3rd Street between the 360 Condos and Third + Shoal buildings, continuing over Shoal Creek via two renovated bridges.

 

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • congested plaza and street
  • confusing bike connection
  • not enough space for all uses
  • too many cars
  • no scooter parking

OPPORTUNITIES

  • streamline traffic for safety and convenience
  • create easier bike connections
  • restore historic railroad bridge for pedestrians
  • provide views of Lady Bird Lake
  • improve water quality of street stormwater runoff

CONSTRAINTS

  • city utilities spanning Shoal Creek
  • decaying railroad bridge
  • narrow commuter bridge
  • busy plaza
  • flood plain of shoal creek

 

 

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES: CONCEPTS

  • separated pedestrian and bike lanes across new bike/ped bridge
  • people-dominated plaza plaza specs where cars yield to pedestrian traffic
  • wider pedestrian bridge for bikes, scooters, pedestrians and pets
  • green streets with shade trees for health and comfort
  • clear directional signs
  • gateway element for district identity
  • restoration of the historic rail line
  • park space on old trestle bridge

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES: IN THE FUTURE

PLAZA GOALS

  • manage bikes, cars and people
  • improve safe crossings for all
  • narrow drive lanes and slow cars
  • improve and widen sidewalks
  • streamline the bike connection
  • incorporate sustainable design techniques

BRIDGE GOALS

  • new, wider commuter bridge
  • restore trestle bridge for public use and creek crossing
  • no impact to creek flood plain
  • provide a new, safe trail under bridges

KEY PLAN

 

 

 

2. CONVERGENCE PLAZA

Area between The Independent and the Austin Energy substation, at the convergence of 3rd Street and the Shoal Creek Trail.

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • creek trail is poorly lit and feels unsafe
  • trash not cleaned regularly
  • blind crossings and hairpin turns are challenging for cyclists
  • could use more places to sit

OPPORTUNITIES

  • provide a continuous trail along the creek
  • improve lighting along the creek trail
  • widen paths for pedestrians and bikes
  • improve areas around Austin Energy land for public use

CONSTRAINTS

  • overhead and underground utilities
  • confusing traffic crossings and conflicts
  • significant grade changes

 

 

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: CONCEPTS

  • dedicated bike lanes
  • wider paths
  • dog park for residents and to reduce landscape damage
  • educational and wayfinding signage
  • use special paving colors or patterns to aid in wayfinding
  • utilize open space
  • provide space for seating

 

 

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: IN THE FUTURE (OPTION 1)

PLAZA GOALS: EAST-WEST

  • dedicated bike lanes
  • reduce bike and pedestrian conflicts
  • connectivity to new development
  • utilize open space
  • wider paths

CREEK TRAIL GOALS: NORTH-SOUTH

  • continue trail under bridges
  • interpretive/educational signage
  • wider paths
  • safer conditions

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: IN THE FUTURE (OPTION 2)

PLAZA GOALS: EAST-WEST

  • dedicated bike lanes
  • reduce bike and pedestrian conflicts
  • connectivity to new development
  • utilize open space
  • wider paths

CREEK TRAIL GOALS: NORTH-SOUTH

  • continue trail under bridges
  • interpretive/educational signage
  • wider paths
  • safer conditions

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

 

3. MARKET PLAZA

Area of 3rd Street and Power Plant Drive between Trader Joe’s/Seaholm Residences and the Gables West Avenue apartment building, reimagined as a public plaza.

 

 

MARKET PLAZA: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • confusing vehicular intersection
  • dangerous crosswalk
  • redundant drive streets
  • not enough bike parking
  • poor landscaping and maintenance
  • not enough shade

OPPORTUNITIES

  • provide safer intersections
  • introduce more shade
  • improve water quality from street runoff
  • designated bike path
  • better pedestrian experience
  • re-vegetate the median with native plants

CONSTRAINTS

  • vehicular access and parking needs
  • fire department access
  • Austin Energy overhead power lines
  • pet relief needs

 

 

 

MARKET PLAZA: CONCEPTS

  • dedicated bike lane
  • dedicated pedestrian plaza
  • pop-up retail opportunities
  • stormwater treatment from street runoff
  • safer crosswalk
  • tighter turning radius for cars and shorter crosswalks
  • bold graphic markings to slow traffic
  • speed hump slows cars at crosswalks

 

 

 

 

MARKET PLAZA: IN THE FUTURE

GOALS:

  • reduce vehicular dominance
  • repurpose redundant parallel streets for pedestrians and bikes
  • provide safer crossings and reduce confusion
  • provide dedicated bike
  • improve pedestrian experience
  • maintain street parking
  • increase retail opportunities, such as pop-up markets
  • manage stormwater runoff
  • connect to future Bowie Street underpass

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

 

 

 

4. BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS

Connection of Bowie Street underneath the Union Pacific rail line, linking up with Sandra Muraida Way and ultimately to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake.

 

 

BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • create safe connections for bikes and pedestrians
  • wider sidewalks
  • use vacant city-owned property next to the train line for improved streetscape

OPPORTUNITIES

  • create designated bike & pedestrian connection to Pfluger bridge
  • create safer crossings
  • provide shaded sidewalks

CONSTRAINTS

  • Union Pacific active railway
  • Austin Energy overhead power lines
  • narrow roadway
  • significant grade changes

 

 

 

 

BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS: CONCEPTS

  • wide shared path
  • trestle underpass structure
  • street trees
  • improved crossing
  • gateway element

 

 

 

BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS: IN THE FUTURE

GOALS:

  • create a designated bike & pedestrian connection to Pfluger bridge
  • create safer crossings
  • provide wider sidewalks
  • provide shaded paths

 

 

KEY PLAN

5. SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET

Shoal Creek at Rio Grande Street and 4th Street where Little Shoal Creek daylights, including improvements to the Shoal Creek streambank and trail.

 

 

 

SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • widen the trail
  • create a safer trail
  • clean up trash and make space feel more space
  • create seating areas

OPPORTUNITIES

  • widen the trail
  • create passive seating areas
  • showcase historic Little Shoal Creek
  • remove invasive species and restore native habitat

CONSTRAINTS

  • narrow conditions
  • flood plain
  • utilities spanning creek

 

 

 

SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET: CONCEPTS

  • capture runoff from the streets in forebays to treat pollutants before entering the creek
  • provide educational signage
  • provide scenic overlook areas

 

 

 

 

SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET: IN THE FUTURE

GOALS:

  • widen trail to provide seating for people watching
  • create scenic overlooks
  • showcase historic creek outfall
  • remove invasive species and re-vegetate with native plantings
  • create a safer environment
  • provide lighting at night
  • clean up trash
  • provide educational elements

 

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

***Please visit the website linked here to give your input. 

 

Multifamily Project Winner: The Independent

The Independent is Named the Top Multifamily Project

in ABJ’s 2020 Commercial Real Estate Awards

 

 

Category: Multifamily development

Companies involved*: Buyer broker: Constructive Ventures

Seller brokers: City of Austin (land sale), Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors (condo sales)

Lead developers: Aspen Heights, CIM Group

General contractor: Balfour Beatty

Primary architect: Rhode Partners

Primary MEP: Garza Bury

Landscape architect: Studio Balcones

Interior designer: Rhode Partners

Civil engineer: Urban Design Group

Structural engineer: LAM+DCI

Title companies: Heritage Title (land sale); Heritage Title and Stewart Title (condo sales)

Financiers: CIM Group, Bank of the Ozarks

Law firms: Dubois Bryant & Campbell LLP, Winstead PC

* all information provided by nominator

Why it won: The Independent tower’s Jenga-like design marked a welcome addition to the downtown skyline when it was completed in 2019.

Austin’s tallest tower at 58 stories, The Independent has also turned heads with its unique crown — which is now illuminated at night to give the tower a special glow at all hours of the day. There’s enough intrigue in The Independent that the story of it’s design and construction has been featured in a Science Channel program called “Impossible Engineering.”

And the hits just keep coming: The Independent has now been honored with a 2020 CREA Award for a new or rehabbed multifamily development.

The Independent features 363 condo units across 950,000 square feet while resting upon just 1.7 acres, maximizing the land and taxable value. The $300 million-plus project has helped the city of Austin reinvigorate a portion of downtown that has gone from hosting power and water plants to towering, new buildings that welcome people day and night.

Aside from its architectural prowess, The Independent has met LEED Gold certification standards for environmental efficiency and sustainability — its application for official LEED Gold certification is currently pending.

What’s more, project co-developers Aspen Heights and CIM Group contributed more than $1 million to various funds that helped improve the infrastructure and beauty of the area.

 

Get to Know Austin’s High-Rise King, Kevin Burns

Get to Know Austin’s High-Rise King

 

FEATURED IN TRIBEZA’S SUMMER 2020 ISSUE

KEVIN BURNS SHARES A PERFECT DAY IN ATX

 

Known as Austin’s High-Rise King, and our own beloved CEO and Founder, Kevin Burns has helped shape the Austin skyline for over 20 years now with the 20th anniversary of Urbanspace. Featured in Tribeza’s Summer 2020 Issue, Burns shows off his expertise of the downtown Austin lifestyle, and welcomes the public into what makes up the perfect day in downtown Austin. 

 

 

Burns likes to start his day early with a bike ride around the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail which happens to be a favorite exercise spot for many members of the Urbanspace team, both real estate agents and designers alike. Just a short ride away from the new Urbanspace HQ, and Burns’ residence at The Independent, the trail is the perfect place to connect with nature, enjoy the city’s green space, and break a sweat. 

 

 

After his workout, Burns is all about eating, drinking, and being social. A few of his favorite weekend activities include brunch at TRACE, hanging poolside at The Independent, dinner at ATX Cocina, and catching a show at Stubb’s or Moody Theater

 

Watch the video, or check out the full article featured on Tribeza’s website to get the full scoop on a perfect day in Austin and what the future of downtown development looks like in Austin.

  

How To | TCAD Appraisal Protest

Written By: Connor Matthews

 

Every spring, Travis County property owners whose market value has increased by at least $1,000 over the last year will receive a Notice of Appraised Value by the Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD). This notice contains three important values; Market Value, Assessed Value, and Taxable Value. The TCAD is responsible for fairly determining the value of all real and business personal property within Travis, County, and appraises property according to the Texas Property Tax Code and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP).

 

However, if you believe the market value of your property is incorrect, you have the right to protest that value. Here’s a simple guide on when you should protest your taxes and how you can do so.

 

When should I protest my taxes?

  • When your appraised value is higher than your purchase price (if purchased during the prior year).
  • If similar sales comps indicate a lower than appraised value.
  • If property condition is poorer (and can be documented) vs. similar appraised properties.

 

How do I protest my taxes online?

  1. Go to https://www.traviscad.org/eservices/ and select “E-File”. If you do not already have a login, you’ll need to create a New User account.
  2. Once your account is created, you’ll need to add the Owner ID and PIN number provided in your notice of appraised value mailed to you from TCAD. To add your Owner ID and PIN, go to Profile > Manage PINs > Add New PIN.
  3. You’re now ready to appeal your taxes online. Select Taxpayer Tools > Online Appeals > Click Here to E-File > Select “E-File” button next to the property you would like to protest. Once selected, you’ll need to provide commentary (limited to 1024 characters – don’t worry, you’ll still have the opportunity to upload evidence at a later stage). Check the box at the top if you would like to request a copy of the evidence which will be used in the hearing. After submitting, be ready to provide your opinion of value. The status of your appeal should show “In Review” at this stage.
  4. Shortly after submitting your appeal (it could be a few days pending volume of appeals), you should receive a protest update email from TCAD indicating a protest and case number have been successfully created for your property. You can now upload evidence using the Evidence menu at the top of the TCAD Web Portal. If you purchased your home in the prior year and your purchase price was lower than your appraised value, your best path forward is simply uploading your Closing Disclosure that reflects the purchase price (TCAD is generally prompt at making adjustments with this evidence provided). If your appraised value is under your purchase price or you did not purchase your home in the prior year, you’ll need to provide sales comps as evidence that your TCAD appraisal is overvalued. If in fact your home’s tax appraisal is overvalued, your Urbanspace agent may be able to provide sales comps for your protest evidence. To submit evidence, select “Evidence View” from the Protest Summary view and select “Upload”.
  5. Once evidence is submitted, TCAD will review and provide a settlement offer (within 10 business days). The settlement amount could be higher or lower than or the same as the initial appraised amount. After receiving the settlement amount you must accept, reject, or withdraw the offer.
    • If accepted, your appraised value will be updated to reflect the settlement offer.
    • If you reject the settlement offer, you will receive a letter in the mail with a formal hearing date and time. 
    • You can withdraw from the appeal process at any time. 

 

TCAD also provides tutorial videos here https://www.traviscad.org/protests/

 

 

Understand How TCAD appraises Your Property 

It’s important to note that TCAD’s process of appraising homes is much different than how an appraiser hired by a bank values a property. Understanding how TCAD appraises properties will help in determining what evidence will and will not be to your benefit when protesting.

 

  • TCAD assesses a property value based on the land and the improvements
    • Land value is based on the neighborhood and is generally consistent across similar sized lots within a neighborhood
    • Improvements are valued based on square footage and property condition
      • Property condition is identified with a class code and is generally a factor of property age
        • As property ages the class code will be adjusted to reflect condition
        • If you apply for a permit to renovate your home, the class code will also be updated
  • Generally, it’s easier to argue a properties improvements value vs. land value. This can be a challenge for central Austin neighborhoods as often, the land is worth more than the improvement. If you protest your land value, you likely will not be offered a reduced settlement and will need to reject and proceed with a formal hearing date and time.

 

How To | Get Pre-Qualified for a Home Mortgage

 

Shopping for a new home is an exciting time and we love getting to be a part of the process. To make this process as easy as possible for you, we strongly recommend that you get pre-qualified by a lender. A mortgage pre-qualification can be useful as an accurate estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a home and ensures you are truly looking in your price range.

 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on the pre-qualification process. 

 

1. Find a Lender 

Find a lender you’d like to work with. We’ve included a few of our favorite lenders below. They serve as a resource to select the financial institution best suited to you so that you can choose the most competitive loan terms and most favorable lending experience.

 

2. Have Your Information Ready 

Once you’ve found a lender you’d like to work with, the Lender will start with gathering some basic information about you and your financial history. If you are going to have a co-borrower, the Lender will need their information as well. In order to pull the required credit report, the lender will need information such as your gross income before taxes, and your social security number. 

 

3. Receive Your Results 

If the information you have given and the information obtained from your credit report meets the lender’s guidelines, the lender will make a preliminary decision on the particular loan you qualify for. *It is important to note that the Lender is not making a promise to lend this specific amount. Each lender will have their own standards and guidelines as to how much they will allow you to borrow. 

 

Downtown Development Digest | East Side Introduces Saltillo

As Austin continues to top the lists for real estate growth in the Country, we also see zip codes become hot on the list of fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods in major American cities. These zip codes — 78702 and 78721, predominately areas located in East Austin, have seen the most substantial change in the past decade.

Just a few years ago, the stretch of city blocks from East 5th Street and East 4th Street just east of I-35 was the home to empty warehouses and illegally dumped trash that had been burned and buried. This site sat empty for just over two decades without any development and contaminated soil throughout the six-block, 10-acre span.

The land is owned by Capital Metro and includes the Plaza Saltillo MetroRail Station. The developers explained that “Saltillo” was designed to encourage people to walk, bike, and use transit. Enacting on a community plan that was put into place starting with a vision 20 years ago in order to bring the community together through improved connectivity, service offerings for the neighborhood, as well as offices, retail and residential living communities. This project was influenced by the booming neighborhoods of young professionals whom are health and fitness minded, that have flocked to East Austin.

In addition to the rail station that runs through the site, they are aiming to make Saltillo a transit hub, with below-and-above ground parking garages, electric vehicle stations and an extension of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway.

Saltillo soon plans on opening a 36,000 sqft Whole Foods and a 26,000 sqft Target, that will also contain a CVS inside. The Developers said it was important to add a grocery and connivence store to this project, as neighbors when polled previously said a top feature the community was lacking was simpler access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Currently there are a few businesses up and running, those include:

  • Club Pilates
  • Chipotle
  • Spectrum Communications
  • JuiceLand
  • Snooze
  • Orange Theory Fitness

 

The Businesses preparing to open are:

  • Target
  • Whole Foods
  • Cherry Blow Dry Bar
  • Hopdoddy Burger Bar
  • The Kebab Shop
  • Enamel Dentistry
  • Poke Austin
  • Dolce Neve Gelato
  • Nails on 5th
  • Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

 

Google will also occupy a larger office space above Target in the upcoming months.

Read more about Saltillo at plazasaltillo.com»

Two Popular Austin Bars to Be Bulldozed

Two Rainey Street establishments — Container Bar and Bungalow — are on track to be bulldozed to make way for a 53-story hotel and apartment tower.

On March 23, the Austin Historic Landmark Commission is scheduled to consider a proposal to demolish Bungalow, a former residence at 92 Rainey St. that dates back to the early 1900s. Container Bar, at 90 Rainey St., also is set to be torn down.

The developer of the high-rise plans to incorporate both bars into the new building. “The bars will stay open up until we start construction next year,” Kevin Burns, CEO of Austin-based Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors, tells CultureMap.

The 582,513-square-foot, 606-foot-tall project features:

  • 349,508 square feet of hotel space, including 424 guest rooms.
  • 227,180 square feet of residential space, offering 198 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Nineteen of the units are earmarked for affordable housing.
  • 5,825 square feet of restaurant and bar space.

At 606 feet, the Rainey Street tower would be about 150 feet taller than the nearby Fairmont Austin hotel, which is the third tallest building in Austin (excluding its 139-foot-tall spire). The proposed site of the skyscraper covers a little over one-third of an acre.

Burns says construction is expected to start in mid-2021.

Read the full article at CultureMap.com »

Downtown Development Digest | Canopy by Hilton

West Sixth Street’s First Hotel

West Sixth Street has long been known as the mature, stylish sibling to the east side’s “Dirty Sixth,” yet a few development holes have remained. For some time there have been a few vacant sites in the area such as a decaying parking lot and several shuttered restaurants. Now at these sites will be filled with new eateries and a trendy boutique hotel that will amplify the strip’s reputation as a hip entertainment hub.

The construction started in July at 612 W. Sixth St. next door to Star Bar. Most people have no idea what to expect from a hotel designed for such an active commercial and nightlife district. This hotel is quite literally sandwiched between two bars. The Canopy by Hilton will be six stories tall, with an interior courtyard space that’s designed to insulate guests from as much 6th street noise as possible… we wish them luck with that on the weekends. The hotel will house 140 guestrooms, including five suites. Guests will be welcomed via an intimate lobby and a laidback open-air courtyard surrounded by natural materials and greenery. The bar and lounge concept will frame the courtyard and provide several seating options from sidewalk dining to cozy fireside enclaves. The restaurant’s theme isn’t yet defined, but the restaurant will likely have some healthier fare that won’t compete with the old-school diner experience of Holy Roller. The pool deck will serve as an elevated front porch, appointed with loungers and a bar pavilion. The hotel’s official name is Canopy by Hilton Austin Downtown, and its grand opening is planned for January 2020.

This hotel will be unique for people visiting Austin as it will be in the heart of downtown. Guests will get to experience everything Austin has to offer with nightlife and great food all at their fingertips. We are eager to hear what the new restaurant will be and excited to see the finished product!

Photos and information from https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2018/06/21/real-estate-developer-coordinates-west-sixth.html and https://austin.towers.net/heres-a-new-view-of-canopy-by-hilton-west-sixth-streets-first-boutique-hotel/

Downtown Development Digest | Block 185

The new Google building will likely become a signature tower of the Austin skyline. The currently unnamed building is designed by internationally renowned “starchitect” Pelli Clarke Pelli. To achieve the title of starchitect, you’ve presumably got to design a lot of buildings considered iconic by the general public. This new building’s plan of a curved glass wall and tapered structure allows outdoor terraces on every level, creating the overall effect of a sail eternally catching a breeze from the lake across the street. It’s hard not to be excited about this tower’s look, which is immediately striking and pushes the boundaries of what we might expect from our growing skyline. The tower will have 793,883 square feet of office space—enough for about 5,000 people—and will include standard tech-company perks: a fitness center and recreation areas, lounges, kitchen and dining areas, conference centers, a bar/tavern, and, surely, more. Its 1,327 parking spaces will be on lower floors, with some of it underground. Google, which currently occupies a 29-story tower on another tract of the redevelopment site east of the new building site, has about 800 employees in Austin. While the upper floors of the new building will be occupied entirely by Google offices and parking, the structure will relate to its surroundings in a variety of ways. Retail businesses will occupy its ground floor, and its large, open lobby will provide access to the Second Street retail and entertainment district. The building also will have a plaza along Shoal Creek with bicycle and pedestrian access connecting West Cesar Chavez and West Second streets.

Photos and information from https://austin.towers.net/finally-weve-got-a-better-view-of-the-block-185-office-tower/ and https://austin.curbed.com/2019/4/2/18291500/google-building-austin-new-design-pelli

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