Corus Supplies $165M Construction Loan for Stratus, Canyon-Johnson Project

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorAustin–Stratus Properties Inc., headquartered in Austin, and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund recently secured $165 million in construction financing from Corus Bank for the construction on the W Austin Hotel & Residences, a $295-million mixed-use project, located in downtown Austin’s 2nd St. district, overlooking Lady Bird Lake. The project is seeking LEED certification and is slated for completion in early 2011. “We are thrilled to be playing an active role in supporting Mayor Will Wynn’s goal of 25,000 residents in downtown by 2015,” says Beau Armstrong, CEO of Stratus Properties Inc. The Downtown Austin Alliance recently commissioned an independent study by Capitol Market Research, an Austin-based real estate consulting firm. According to the study, Austin, and particularly its urban core, continues to defy national real estate trends. Major findings showed that condo demand is matching the increase in supply and that 68 percent of buyers are local, with more than two-thirds relocating from within Austin. The study also showed that 70 percent of buyers do not work downtown, but are making a lifestyle choice in their decision to move to the area.There will be 165 condos in all and they will be located on floors 18 to 37, providing each level with views over surrounding buildings to Lady Bird Lake, the Hill Country and the city skyline. Units on floors 18 to 33 begin at 643 square feet and include one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans, while the three- and four-bedroom penthouse units with over 4,000 square feet of living space and 14-ft. ceilings are situated on floors 34 through 37. The average price of each condo is just over $1 million.The condos include limestone, marble, luxury carpet and imported European wide-plank wood flooring; floor-to-ceiling windows; Bulthaup cabinetry; Miele kitchen appliances; Vola and Grohe faucets; Philippe Starck-designed Duravit bathtubs; and honed black slate, honed granite or Carrara marble countertops.The project will have private indoor and outdoor spaces, including a dedicated swimming pool with food and beverage service for homeowners while still allowing easy access to hotel venues and amenities.“The W Austin Hotel & Residences is exactly the type of project our fund invests in,” says Earvin Johnson, Canyon-Johnson’s managing director and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. “It is located in a densely-populated urban neighborhood and will employ thousands of local residents over the long term.” The hotel will feature 252 guestrooms and suites and the property will also boast several restaurants and clubs; a street-level plaza; an elevated garden incorporating a hotel swimming pool and bar; 5,000 square feet of meeting space; 4,300 square feet of banquet rooms; and an 8,000-sq. ft. spa plus fitness offerings including yoga and pilates studios, juice bar, steam rooms, saunas and on-site personal training services. There is also a 2,480-person capacity state-of-the-art theater and music venue to be managed by Live Nation.