Tech entrepreneur-turned-developer has affordable condos on the way

Mar 25, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Austin entrepreneur Herman Cardenas probably made a fortune when he sold his tech firms to publicly-traded companies in the early and mid-2000s, and now he wants to build housing for folks who probably will never make that much money in a lifetime


“Where are young people going to live if you can’t find a new home under $400,000?” said Cardenas, founder and CEO of Impact Developers, which he created as a second career


As such, Impact Developers is building Skybridge Lofts, a stylish contemporary condominium project situated on seven acres in South Austin and priced within reach of first-time homebuyers


The 115-unit community at 604 N. Bluff Drive between Stassney Lane and William Cannon Drive was designed by Bercy Chen Studio LP in Austin and is being built by Cardena’s construction company, M Builders LLC. The 24 different floor plans, including a New York-styled loft, are priced from $170,000 to a little more than $350,000


Sizes start at 971 square feet and top out at 1,876 square feet


“It’s very affordable and the location is great,” Cardenas said. “It’s 15 minutes to the airport and eight to 10 minutes to downtown.”


The community will be heavy on amenities, including a 3-acre central park, a two-level fitness center, jogging trails within a gated area, four outdoor kitchens, herb gardens, a large swimming pool designed to accommodate water volleyball, designated dog parks and AT&T U-verse GigaPower delivered to each individual condo


A sales “lounge” at 6000 S. Congress Ave. will open in mid-April with Cardenas’ daughter Melissa Cardenas-Brown serving as director of sales and marketing. Prospective buyers may choose from eight different palettes with a variety of finishes “which are substantially higher grade than what most builders are offering,” Cardenas said


Even though the condos have not been marketed formally, 31 units are under contract with a minimum reservation deposit of $2,500.


Cardenas said that in his discussions with lenders, there’s tremendous pent-up demand with many would-be buyers prequalified but unable to find homes within their price range.


“One lender said he has 105 buyers who can’t find a property,” Cardenas said.


He’s optimistic Skybridge Lofts will sell quickly.


“I haven’t seen a value like this in Austin. I’m sure we’ll be sold out by summer,” Cardenas said


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