Maker Bros. Buys Land for Major Austin Mixed-Use Project

Saint Elmo Market District will feature 400 multifamily units, 100,000 square feet of office space, a boutique hotel and more.

By Jeffrey Steele

Saint Elmo Public Market, 2015 rendering
Saint Elmo Public Market, 2015 rendering

Austin, TexasMaker Bros. has closed on an Austin land parcel on which it intends to develop a mixed-use property called the Saint Elmo Market District.

Situated off of South Congress near Ben White in South Austin, the Saint Elmo Market District will be a mixed-use development featuring 400 multifamily residences and a 40,000-square-foot renovated warehouse for an indoor-outdoor marketplace.

The project will also feature 100,000 square feet of creative office, a boutique hotel, a for-sale condo development and a new location for Austin’s famed Saxon Pub, known as “Austin’s Choice for Live Music.”

Parker Briley of JPP Capital Management in Dallas arranged the financing.

“We’re for ‘the makers,’ the entrepreneurs who want to develop this district into a special and artful place for the City of Austin,” said Brandon Bolin, Maker Bros. partner. “It’s fitting that our firm carries the name ‘Maker’ because that’s what this project is all about–being for and facilitating the makers of trade.”

A 2013 tour of the site near downtown Austin inspired Bolin to pursue the project. During that visit, Bolin viewed the 40,000-square-foot former school bus factory built during the 1950s, instantly sensing it would prove an ideal setting for an adaptive reuse project. The project’s Phase I will involve a $3 million renovation of the building, now housing an office furniture warehouse. The build-out will highlight details such as the high windows that welcome abundant natural light into the structure’s interior. The result will be a space that can be re-tenanted with maker-oriented users. Also a part of this space will be the Saxon Pub, which will feature a state-of-the-art listening room.

“This new location for the Saxon will be one of the best places in Texas to play live music,” said Bolin, himself a musician.

Phase II will feature a 400-unit multifamily development and parking structure. The developer has acquired a long-term option on an additional 2.5 acres on South Congress to expand the project’s first phase.

“We have assembled an incredibly strong team to move forward with Brandon Bolin’s creative vision of the project,” said Maker Bros. Partner Matt Stevens. “Rezoning the site and closing the land was a big accomplishment but we still have a lot of work in front of us. Although the partnership is newly formed, the principals have worked together and collaborated in many capacities through the last 15 years.

“We saw an opportunity to make a difference through thoughtful redevelopment, consistently sharing in values and vision. Each of us tends to view opportunities as well as our fingerprint on society in the same way.”

Saint Elmo Market District’s first phase is expected to kick off at the end of this year, with the project’s balance commencing in 2018.