Demand for Austin's Seaholm condos surprises many; $5,000 for a foot in door

Nov 12, 2013
Austin Business Journal

The Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment recently announced that all of its 280 condo units have been reserved – and while those reservations didn't come with a down payment, they did come with a refundable $5,000 reservation fee


The $5,000 fee places a hold on a unit, but doesn't lock either side into a contract for the condo. That 280 potential buyers are willing to put down $5,000 for a reservation doesn't necessarily mean they'll make a down payment, but it is an encouraging sign for developers considering jumping into the Austin condo market


Last week, the Austin Business Journal got word that all of the condos at the future Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment had been reserved. The announcement was a big indicator that the project could be emblematic of the recovering housing market in Austin


The Seaholm redevelopment is the first large-scale condo project built downtown since the economic recession. Since the market began its turnaround, property values in Austin have been rising, both creating equity and forcing some potential buyers out of the market


Prices for the 280 units in the 30-story tower will range from $300,000 to $1 million. The price per square foot is an estimated $450 to $500 per square foot, the project's developer told us back in September. About 25 percent were allocated for investment buyers, Realtors said


The price puts the condos at Seaholm within the market range for Austin but below top-of-the-market projects such as the Austonian, said John Rosato, managing partner of project developer Seaholm Power LLC. Condo units at the Austonian were priced in excess of $600 per square foot, Rosato said


The tower has been under construction since April and the first occupants will move in during the first quarter of 2015


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