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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.

 

Urbanspace Favs

Top 5 Places to Watch a Longhorn Win 

 

Photo Credit: Texas Sports

 

While DKR may still be the best spot in the house to witness a Texas Longhorns Win, these local favorites aren’t too bad for a second option. Here’s a list of some of Urbanspace’s favorite restaurants and bars where you can go to catch the game. 

 

Abel’s On the Lake: Abel’s on the Lake is the prime spot to come enjoy a drink with your friends and watch the Texas Longhorns play. With spectacular views of Lake Austin, classic American food, mixed drinks and a selection of over sixty beers on tap, including seventeen local brews you’re sure to have a good day. (3825 lake austin blvd, 78703)

 

Star Bar: Established in 1995, Star Bar is the original west 6th street bar. With three great patios equipped with 14 flat screen TVs, 17 rotating taps dedicated to dispensing the best beer available in Texas, and a Via 313 food truck on site there’s no reason you won’t enjoy game day from here. (600 west 6th street, 78701)

 

Scholz Garten: Since 1866, Scholz Garten has been a favorite of the Austin community from hosting a celebration for the University of Texas football team’s first undefeated season in 1893 to being honored by the 1966 Texas legislature with House Resolution #68, which recognized Scholz Garten as “a gathering place for Texans of discernment, taste, culture, erudition, epitomizing the finest tradition of magnificent German heritage in our State. Whether you’re craving a cold bier, cocktail, or fresh German food, Scholz Garten is the perfect spot to watch the game. Reservations can be made online at [email protected] (1601 waterston, 78703) 

 

Buford’s: This popular West 6th bar is a great place to watch a Longhorns win and grab a craft beer or cocktail indoors or outdoors with several TV’s and an extensive patio area. (700 West 6th St, 78701)

 

Bouldin Acres: Located on a historic intersection of Bouldin Creek and South Lamar Blvd, Bouldin Acres resurrects approachable, quality eats & drinks in a fun indoor/outdoor environment that’s both family and pet friendly. Our style is open, relaxed, friendly and inclusive. With 2 acres sitting on Bouldin Creek, Bouldin Acres is a great venue to watch sports, play games, eat, drink, and hang out with friends. (2027 south lamar blvd, 78704) 

 

2020 Texas Football Schedule
Sept. 12—UTEP

Sept. 26—Texas Tech
Oct. 3—TCU
Oct. 10—vs Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl)
Oct. 24—BAYLOR
Oct. 31—Oklahoma State
Nov. 7—WEST VIRGINIA
Nov. 21- Kansas
Nov. 27—IOWA STATE
Dec. 5-Kansas State

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.

 

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