Seaholm project’s evolution shifts to condos, instead of apartments

Sep 26, 2013
Austin American Statesman

The vision for the redevelopment of Austin’s former Seaholm Power Plant site has evolved several times over the past few years — and now developers are tweaking the plans again


A planned 30-story apartment tower on the site will now house about 280 luxury condominiums instead, the developer told the American-Statesman on Wednesday


Construction began in April on the parking garage for the tower, which has been named Seaholm Residences. It will be the first new major condo project to break ground downtown since the tower that included a W hotel and condominiums was launched in May 2008


The original plans for Seaholm’s transformation called for a tower with condominiums and hotel rooms. However, in subsequent years the real estate market shifted due to the recession, and so did plans for the project, said John Rosato, managing partner for Seaholm Power LLC, the team the city chose in 2005 as its partner in transforming the 1950s-era former power plant and its surrounding 5 acres


In addition to the tower, plans include a two-story building with a Trader Joe’s store, plus other retail, office and restaurant space. The city of Austin is making a $13.6 million investment in street extensions and improvements, a public plaza and the main Seaholm building. The city will capture property and sales tax generated from Seaholm’s redevelopment to pay off the debt for its share of the investment


Fred Evins, the city's project manager for the Seaholm redevelopment, said city officials are excited to see the vision taking shape for both Seaholm and other nearby projects that are expected to transform downtown’s west side into a hub for shopping, dining, housing, entertainment and cultural offerings. At Seaholm, Rosato said his firm is in “active negotiations on over 60 percent of the office and retail spaces” on the site, with tenant announcements expected soon


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