22-Story Tower Tops Out in Austin
- Mar 15, 2016
Austin, Texas—Aspen Heights of Austin recently topped out on a multifamily tower at 805 Nueces St. Dubbed Rise – 8th and Nueces, it is the first project to navigate the City of Austin’s Downtown Density Bonus Program.
“This being the first project to go through the Downtown Density Bonus Program, there was a certain amount of ‘feeling our way’ on both the City’s and developer’s part,” said Jim Robertson, manager of the Urban Design Division in the City’s Planning and Zoning Department. “But we worked together effectively, and we believe the changes that Aspen Heights made to the project, including sidewalk amenities and ground-level design enhancements, ended up making for a better project.”
The 22-story development beats the zoning limitations by eight stories and 86,000 square feet. This was possible because the developer agreed to pay $868,400, or $10 for each additional square foot, to the City of Austin’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, along with other pricey building upgrades that make the project compliant with a two-star rating from Austin Energy. The extra eight stories were approved in December 2014, while payment will be made this fall in advance of receiving its certificate of occupancy.
“It’s a large payment, no doubt. We concluded, however, that the increased density would make it worth it,” said Greg Henry, CEO of Aspen Heights. “Far from being just a benefit to developers, we believe this is an important tool needed to supply Austin with the kind of density it needs to increase the city’s housing options, as well as giving the City funding to provide affordable housing.”
Rise – 8th & Nueces is a Class A high-rise apartment building that will offer 198 units and live-work spaces on the ground floor. Project amenities feature a rooftop infinity edge pool, deck and lounge, a rooftop dog park and a top-floor fitness center over the State Capitol Building.
Local firm Greenstar Development is the co-developer that sourced the land and funded the project. Rhode: Partners acted as the architect for the project and worked closely with city staff to ensure the development meets the guidelines established by the Urban Design Commission. Aspen Heights will start marketing in May and construction is expected to be finalized by year’s end.
“While Aspen Heights has been based in Austin since 2008, it wasn’t until 2013 that we actually started developing projects here,” Henry said. “It’s really nice for us to see these projects come to life. Each one stands on its own as a physical manifestation of the way we seek to think creatively in our industry and add value to our home town.”
Image courtesy of Rhode: Partners & Aspen Heights Facebook Page