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Austin, TX Locksmith, Texas Premier Locksmith, Offers 10% Discount on…

Austin, TX Locksmith, Texas Premier Locksmith, Offers 10% Discount on Automotive Locksmith Services in October 2018
Locksmith in Austin offers a discount on automotive services

AUSTIN, Texas (PRWEB) October 11, 2018

Automotive locksmith emergencies can range from inconvenient to dangerous, depending on where the driver is when the emergency occurs. Whether the car door refuses to open in a deserted parking lot or the ignition key breaks when attempting to go to work, Texas Premier Locksmith can help. The company offers emergency automotive locksmith services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

For October 2018, Texas Premier Locksmith in offering Austin motorists a 10% discount on all automotive locksmith services. Simply mention this offer when calling for assistance.

Automotive Locksmith Services
Texas Premier Locksmith gladly takes on the challenges that many locksmiths avoid, including high security vehicles and motorcycles. In most cases, their highly trained and experienced technicians can resolve the issue on the spot. Their complete line of automotive locksmith services includes:

Broken key removal
“Computer chip" key replacement
Ignition key repair or replacement
New key cutting
Repairing keyless remotes, proximity keys, and fobs
Vehicle access, even to vehicles with extra security features
Vehicle lock repair or replacement

Those who need automotive locksmith services in Austin should call (512) 893-5811 for immediate service.

About Texas Premier Locksmith
Texas Premier Locksmith has established a strong reputation as one of the top-rated Austin locksmiths. For immediate assistance, call the Texas Premier Locksmith Austin location at (512) 893-5811. For more information, visit the storefront at 600 W 28th St #105, Austin, TX 78705 or visit the website at http://www.txpremierlocksmith.com/.

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1,500 apartment units opening soon in West Campus

Austin’s West Campus is slated to see 12 new apartment buildings open next year. That’s going to add nearly 1,500 units, or nearly 3,500 bedrooms, to the neighborhood [ + ]

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s West Campus is slated to see 12 new apartment buildings open next year. That’s going to add nearly 1,500 units, or nearly 3,500 bedrooms, to the neighborhood.

While construction for those buildings progresses, a developer has proposed another new high rise. That building is going to wrap around a 2-story historic home called the Kenney House.

The design called for removing historic zoning for the Kenney House’s parking lot. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted this week to recommend that the city take that action.

"The removal of historic zoning from the parking lot will not impact the house," Steve Sadowsky, Austin’s Historic Preservation Officer, explained in an e-mail. "The applicant is proposing a 5-foot buffer around the house that will retain historic zoning."

Right now, the Kenney House is home to a bed and breakfast called the Star of Texas Inn.

The building is already surrounded by at least three ongoing construction projects within a one block radius.

Owner Chris Mackey said, "Construction brings problems. We have noise, and people sleep here. Sometimes trucks have to operate late. That doesn’t bother most people. But detours in the neighborhood can also make things tricky."

He said noise doesn’t stop people from making reservations. He does plan, however, to close his business next May, when the building’s construction is scheduled to start.

If the City Council follows the Planning and Zoning recommendation, the newest high rise will be much closer than those active projects.

"There will be approximately 19 feet between the historic house and the proposed new construction," said Sadowsky.

Mike McHone‌, who owned, restored and sold the Kenney House years ago told KXAN the house itself will be preserved and house a coffee shop.

He said the design "embraces and shows off the Kenney House on the corner."

The apartment surrounding the historic home would add 700 bedrooms to an already booming area where many students tell us the price tag is high.

"The price of housing is very expensive around West Campus," said UT Austin sophomore Inara Hauque. "A lot of students feel that way."

Peyton Janssen, General Manager at West Campus Living, helps students find apartments.

She said units still rent extremely quickly.

"This year, we started pre-leasing right around the beginning of September," Janssen said. "For example, today, I had two different groups I went with, and both of them we looked at 3 places each, and they both picked ones they wanted to go with today."

McHone said if you consider inflation, the cost of construction and other factors, average rent for West Campus hasn’t increased too much.

"In fact, I’ve got a project that’s under construction right now that I’ve worked with, the same developer on Nueces Street, and he has bedrooms, and each bedroom is for $630 a bedroom," he said. "That’s low for a single bedroom."

Janssen told us those units do exist, but those fill up extremely quickly.

On average, she said, "Typically for a studio or one bedroom, you can’t find anything for under $1,000."

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Houston region ranks among housing markets with most stable growth

It’s no secret that home prices have been on the rise in the Houston area. In the past 25 years, home price more than doubled, increasing by 155 percent, according to a study by financial technology company Smartasset.

At the same time, Smartasset’s analysis of historical home price data says buying in Houston’s housing market is a sound investment. It pegs the probability of experiencing a 5 percent price decline within a decade after buying at zero.

All this has led the company to name the Houston, Woodlands and Sugarland region one of the housing markets showing the most stable growth in the country.

Other highly ranked Texas regions included Austin, which has experienced a 243 percent increase in home price in the past 25 years, Midland (214 percent increase), Odessa (174 percent), San Angelo (144 percent) and College Station (147 percent).

Source Article

Houston region ranks among housing markets with most stable growth

It’s no secret that home prices have been on the rise in the Houston area. In the past 25 years, home price more than doubled, increasing by 155 percent, according to a study by financial technology company Smartasset.

At the same time, Smartasset’s analysis of historical home price data says buying in Houston’s housing market is a sound investment. It pegs the probability of experiencing a 5 percent price decline within a decade after buying at zero.

All this has led the company to name the Houston, Woodlands and Sugarland region one of the housing markets showing the most stable growth in the country.

Other highly ranked Texas regions included Austin, which has experienced a 243 percent increase in home price in the past 25 years, Midland (214 percent increase), Odessa (174 percent), San Angelo (144 percent) and College Station (147 percent).

Source Article

After McKalla Place stadium fight, several city-owned properties are poised for new life

Mueller, Seaholm, Colony Park and McKalla Place are vastly different places spread out across Austin.

But they have common roots as public land with a new lease on life through City Hall’s redevelopment efforts.

Mueller and Seaholm were transformed from a municipal airport and a decommissioned power plant, respectively, into mixed-use destinations. Mueller’s master developer, Catellus Development Corp., is poised to develop Colony Park in Northeast Austin into a master-planned community with thousands of homes.

And a pending deal for McKalla Place, a 24-acre tract in North Austin on the edge of The Domain, could soon give rise to a soccer stadium for Austin’s first major-league sports franchise.

So what’s next for the city’s real estate portfolio?

It’s a conversation that will linger long after this summer’s debate over Major League Soccer in North Austin fades into history because there are 13 more sites on the table.

And it’s an increasingly relevant conversation, to developers and taxpayers alike, as the city tries to use all its tools, including the dirt it owns, to address simmering issues like home unaffordability, vanishing creative space and gentrification.

“It is our obligation to make sure that our city-owned lands are used for the highest value,” Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said.

‘Highest maximum potential’

The city’s redevelopment process tends to focus on repurposing underused or decommissioned land.

"We use real estate to collaborate with the private sector to create development that results in community benefits,” said Christine Maguire, the city’s redevelopment division manager. “It’s about how real estate can leverage community benefits… and City Council strategic goals.”

She said the "North Star" guiding that effort are directives such as the 2012 Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan.

"There’s also the real needs and aspirations of the community in real time," she said.

At this time, that means city-owned land is looked at for its potential for affordable housing, creative space for artists and health care opportunities "in areas of our city that have been traditionally ignored," Maguire said.

An Aug. 3 memo from city staff identified these four properties as the most ripe to go through the redevelopment process:

Enlarge

This Austin Energy property at 6909 Ryan Dr. — though they call it the Justin Lane tract because it’s also off that road — has access to commuter rail. It’s near where Airport Boulevard intersects with North Lamar Boulevard.

Arnold Wells / Staff

Enlarge

This site sits on more than 20 acres formerly used by a Home Depot and car dealership. It’s at 906 E. St Johns Ave. just off I-35 near its intersection with U.S. Highway 183.

Arnold Wells / Staff

Enlarge

Farther into East Austin, at 4800 Bolm Road, sits this former site of a recycling plant begging to be cycle into a new use itself.

Arnold Wells / Staff

Enlarge

Here’s another prime site in East Austin. This one, at 2201 Grove Blvd., is near Riverside Drive and just a couple of minutes away from the airport. The land that will be available is only a portion of this photo and includes some of the wooded area.

Arnold Wells / Staff

"We’re going to move [on] the first group that has the highest maximum potential," Maguire said.

Maguire cautioned there’s a lot of due diligence the city needs to perform by analyzing those sites at a "fine-tooth level" over the next several months.

"It is really doing our homework on any physical, regulatory or legal constraints on the property," she said.

‘So much opportunity to have an impact’

But that’s not all.

Local experts with the Urban Land Institute conduct research on topics relevant to affordability in Austin, such as the city’s permitting processes and employer-assisted housing. This spring, they began researching the development of affordable housing on government property.

As the subject of their study, they used five city sites that were highlighted for their development potential in a March report to Council. In addition to Justin Lane, McKalla Place and Home Depot/Chrysler, they looked at the HealthSouth building at 1215 Red River St. and the Winnebago tract at 4711 Winnebago Lane.

Paulette Gibbins, the executive director of ULI’s Austin chapter, said they wanted to analyze sites through their proximity to transportation, job opportunities and food and education options.

"For an affordable project to really be affordable, being able to have the cost of the land taken out of the equation… really makes these affordable projects happen," she said. With "building on government land there’s really so much opportunity to have an impact."

Enlarge

Paulette Gibbins is executive director of ULI Austin.

Arnold Wells/Staff

HealthSouth, a former physical rehabilitation center near the old Brackenridge hospital, was identified as the site with the highest opportunity due to its location and ability to capitalize on low-income housing tax credits.

"Let’s face it, there’s not many [affordable] places available downtown," Gibbins said.

In its March report, the city identified more long-range options, such as the One Texas Center surface parking lot at 505 Barton Springs Road or 411 Chicon, an East Austin parcel near the Plaza Saltillo MetroRail station where the city’s building services department is located.

City-owned property along RR 2222, FM 812, Johnny Morris Road and East William Cannon Drive were also floated as long-term development opportunities.

But don’t hold your breath.

"It may be a decision by the city to never let go" of those properties, Maguire said.

‘Recognize how capital looks at Austin’

The desires of area residents will play a role in the city’s deliberations.

Maguire said they want to continue community engagement work already started by some on City Council, such as Leslie Pool with the Justin Lane property and Greg Casar with Home Depot/Chrysler.

"We want to build upon that… and not supplant that great work," she said.

The site’s constraints and community feedback would be packaged into a competitive solicitation process like a request for proposals, Maguire said.

There’s a sense of urgency among city officials to redevelop city land to address affordability issues while Austin’s economy remains healthy.

Maguire said the city needs to take advantage of Austin’s "smoking hot market." Put simply, it’s relatively easy now to attract real estate interest from across the country and overseas.

Consider this: Earlier this year, for the first time, the Texas capital broke into the top 10 cities to invest in the Americas in an annual survey from CBRE Group Inc.

The report said investors are “racing to find the next Seattle by increasing their focus on the higher-yield potential of high-growth secondary markets” — and Austin is one of them. Austin tied with Toronto, Canada, as the 10th-most desirable place to invest this year.

"It’s an international city and we need to be able to recognize how capital looks at Austin," Maguire said. "We’re in a very strong position and we need maximize that strong position… particularly in places that haven’t seen that investment before."

While professional sports may not be on the horizon with other city properties, Maguire hopes community feedback and passion from the McKalla Place debate will stick around moving forward.

"I really hope that continues for every… opportunity that the city has," she said. "It’s really a challenge if nobody cares."

After the four sites outlined above, city officials have ID’d these tracts as being next in line for a revamp.

• 1215 Red River St.

• 4711 Winnebago Lane

• 411 Chicon St.

• 10900 RR 2222

• 5101 Johnny Morris Road

• The One Texas Center surface lot at 505 Barton Springs Road

• 5400 E. William Cannon Dr.

• 10108 FM 812

Source Article

After McKalla Place stadium fight, several city-owned properties are poised for new life

Mueller, Seaholm, Colony Park and McKalla Place are vastly different places spread out across Austin.

But they have common roots as public land with a new lease on life through City Hall’s redevelopment efforts.

Mueller and Seaholm were transformed from a municipal airport and a decommissioned power plant, respectively, into mixed-use destinations. Mueller’s master developer, Catellus Development Corp., is poised to develop Colony Park in Northeast Austin into a master-planned community with thousands of homes.

And a pending deal for McKalla Place, a 24-acre tract in North Austin on the edge of The Domain, could soon give rise to a soccer stadium for Austin’s first major-league sports franchise.

So what’s next for the city’s real estate portfolio?

It’s a conversation that will linger long after this summer’s debate over Major League Soccer in North Austin fades into history because there are 13 more sites on the table.

And it’s an increasingly relevant conversation, to developers and taxpayers alike, as the city tries to use all its tools, including the dirt it owns, to address simmering issues like home unaffordability, vanishing creative space and gentrification.

“It is our obligation to make sure that our city-owned lands are used for the highest value,” Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said.

‘Highest maximum potential’

The city’s redevelopment process tends to focus on repurposing underused or decommissioned land.

"We use real estate to collaborate with the private sector to create development that results in community benefits,” said Christine Maguire, the city’s redevelopment division manager. “It’s about how real estate can leverage community benefits… and City Council strategic goals.”

She said the "North Star" guiding that effort are directives such as the 2012 Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan.

"There’s also the real needs and aspirations of the community in real time," she said.

At this time, that means city-owned land is looked at for its potential for affordable housing, creative space for artists and health care opportunities "in areas of our city that have been traditionally ignored," Maguire said.

An Aug. 3 memo from city staff identified these four properties as the most ripe to go through the redevelopment process:

Enlarge

This Austin Energy property at 6909 Ryan Dr. — though they call it the Justin Lane tract because it’s also off that road — has access to commuter rail. It’s near where Airport Boulevard intersects with North Lamar Boulevard.

Arnold Wells / Staff

Enlarge

This site sits on more than 20 acres formerly used by a Home Depot and car dealership. It’s at 906 E. St Johns Ave. just off I-35 near its intersection with U.S. Highway 183.

Arnold Wells / Staff

Enlarge

Farther into East Austin, at 4800 Bolm Road, sits this former site of a recycling plant begging to be cycle into a new use itself.

Arnold Wells / Staff

Enlarge

Here’s another prime site in East Austin. This one, at 2201 Grove Blvd., is near Riverside Drive and just a couple of minutes away from the airport. The land that will be available is only a portion of this photo and includes some of the wooded area.

Arnold Wells / Staff

"We’re going to move [on] the first group that has the highest maximum potential," Maguire said.

Maguire cautioned there’s a lot of due diligence the city needs to perform by analyzing those sites at a "fine-tooth level" over the next several months.

"It is really doing our homework on any physical, regulatory or legal constraints on the property," she said.

‘So much opportunity to have an impact’

But that’s not all.

Local experts with the Urban Land Institute conduct research on topics relevant to affordability in Austin, such as the city’s permitting processes and employer-assisted housing. This spring, they began researching the development of affordable housing on government property.

As the subject of their study, they used five city sites that were highlighted for their development potential in a March report to Council. In addition to Justin Lane, McKalla Place and Home Depot/Chrysler, they looked at the HealthSouth building at 1215 Red River St. and the Winnebago tract at 4711 Winnebago Lane.

Paulette Gibbins, the executive director of ULI’s Austin chapter, said they wanted to analyze sites through their proximity to transportation, job opportunities and food and education options.

"For an affordable project to really be affordable, being able to have the cost of the land taken out of the equation… really makes these affordable projects happen," she said. With "building on government land there’s really so much opportunity to have an impact."

Enlarge

Paulette Gibbins is executive director of ULI Austin.

Arnold Wells/Staff

HealthSouth, a former physical rehabilitation center near the old Brackenridge hospital, was identified as the site with the highest opportunity due to its location and ability to capitalize on low-income housing tax credits.

"Let’s face it, there’s not many [affordable] places available downtown," Gibbins said.

In its March report, the city identified more long-range options, such as the One Texas Center surface parking lot at 505 Barton Springs Road or 411 Chicon, an East Austin parcel near the Plaza Saltillo MetroRail station where the city’s building services department is located.

City-owned property along RR 2222, FM 812, Johnny Morris Road and East William Cannon Drive were also floated as long-term development opportunities.

But don’t hold your breath.

"It may be a decision by the city to never let go" of those properties, Maguire said.

‘Recognize how capital looks at Austin’

The desires of area residents will play a role in the city’s deliberations.

Maguire said they want to continue community engagement work already started by some on City Council, such as Leslie Pool with the Justin Lane property and Greg Casar with Home Depot/Chrysler.

"We want to build upon that… and not supplant that great work," she said.

The site’s constraints and community feedback would be packaged into a competitive solicitation process like a request for proposals, Maguire said.

There’s a sense of urgency among city officials to redevelop city land to address affordability issues while Austin’s economy remains healthy.

Maguire said the city needs to take advantage of Austin’s "smoking hot market." Put simply, it’s relatively easy now to attract real estate interest from across the country and overseas.

Consider this: Earlier this year, for the first time, the Texas capital broke into the top 10 cities to invest in the Americas in an annual survey from CBRE Group Inc.

The report said investors are “racing to find the next Seattle by increasing their focus on the higher-yield potential of high-growth secondary markets” — and Austin is one of them. Austin tied with Toronto, Canada, as the 10th-most desirable place to invest this year.

"It’s an international city and we need to be able to recognize how capital looks at Austin," Maguire said. "We’re in a very strong position and we need maximize that strong position… particularly in places that haven’t seen that investment before."

While professional sports may not be on the horizon with other city properties, Maguire hopes community feedback and passion from the McKalla Place debate will stick around moving forward.

"I really hope that continues for every… opportunity that the city has," she said. "It’s really a challenge if nobody cares."

After the four sites outlined above, city officials have ID’d these tracts as being next in line for a revamp.

• 1215 Red River St.

• 4711 Winnebago Lane

• 411 Chicon St.

• 10900 RR 2222

• 5101 Johnny Morris Road

• The One Texas Center surface lot at 505 Barton Springs Road

• 5400 E. William Cannon Dr.

• 10108 FM 812

Source Article

Austin apartment complexes throwing doors open to short-term rentals

The Japanese restaurant Fukumoto is located on the ground floor of Corazon, an apartment building in downtown Austin that’s now leasing nearly a quarter of its units as short-term rentals. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

At Corazon, a trendy 2014 complex on the east side of Interstate 35, a studio apartment runs $1,600 a month — or $170 a night. You can live at The Arnold, built in 2016, for $2,000 a month or stay one night for $229.

Are these apartment complexes? Or hotels?

Many of the newer, nicer apartment complexes cropping up across Austin’s landscape share a new trait. They’re licensing chunks of units as short-term rentals to be furnished and leased by the night, just like hotel rooms.

Corazon, for example, on East Fifth Street, has 62 of its 256 units — 24 percent — licensed as STRs. The Arnold, on East Sixth Street, has 20 short-term units. Lamar Union, near the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar, has 20 such units, and two downtown Amli complexes, on either side of the W Hotel, have a combined 57.

“That’s wild,” said longtime real estate developer Ed Wendler when told about the numbers. “That could start impacting the rental market if it’s that large a number.”

Until the rise of such websites as Airbnb and Austin-based Homeaway, such rentals were generally limited to corporate apartments, perhaps near an industrial or medical district, that occasionally housed a company’s employees. Now, tourists and everyday business travelers are getting in on the idea of nixing hotel rooms for a more residential stay. Austin ordinances allow apartment buildings to license up to a quarter of their units as STRs.

When Taylor Fletcher, a 28-year-old Park City, Utah, resident, came to Austin to attend a wedding with his girlfriend and her family, they didn’t stay at a downtown hotel or at the wedding venue hotel on South Congress. Instead, they stayed next door to a hotel at The Catherine, a luxury high-rise apartment complex, where they had multiple bedrooms surrounding a full kitchen.

Fletcher, an Olympic skier who competed at the Pyeongchang Games this past February, spends much of his life traveling for competitions, particularly in northern Europe. He and his U.S. teammates usually stay in apartments instead of hotels.

“If I could do it everywhere, I would,” Fletcher said. “You have a kitchen. You’re not crammed into a hotel room. The people living there might know that we’re renters, but we don’t know that they’re not.”

Catering to tourists

Two years ago, Brian Carrico and Chris Herndon tapped into the desire of travelers to expand their lodging options when they founded The Guild, a “collection of boutique hotels located in upscale residential buildings,” according to its website.

The company has 170 units spread across eight Austin buildings, including those at Corazon, Amli and The Arnold. It now has 35 units in Dallas, as well. The company caters to “people who want to be more a part of the city, rather than a traditional hotel,” Carrico said in an interview.

“We try to find interesting places to locate,” he said. “Our neighborhood guides prioritize getting guests out of the rooms and into local businesses.”

The company relies on the apartment buildings to decide how many units to set aside as hotel rooms, based on how many units they might typically have vacant at a given time. The Guild leases the unit from the complex at a set per-month price (Carrico called those “comparable” to normal leasing prices) and then furnishes, licenses and rents the units.

“This is becoming more and more common as a form of mixed-use,” Carrico said. “There’s a pretty clear demand for this kind of combination. A lot of travelers want a living room and kitchen and want to be located in a community.”

Even apartment complexes where short-term renting has traditionally been disallowed by lease provisions are starting to loosen their rental provisions.

The Grove, a South Austin apartment complex where the monthly rent for a one- or two-bedroom unit ranges from $1,300 to $1,600, recently became the first Austin complex to partner directly with Airbnb via a program called Pillow. An email to residents last month stated that the program would allow them to rent their apartments as STRs, so long as the complex gets a 25 percent cut.

In exchange, Airbnb agreed to purge all non-approved listings at The Grove from its website.

Pillow, which partners with apartment owners to encourage residents to host rental guests at their complexes, lists 63 apartment complexes nationwide that have joined the partnership. The Grove’s email and the Pillow sign-up page say nothing about the city’s licensing of short-term rentals, nor do they appear to limit the number of days a lessee can rent out his apartment.

Representatives of the apartment complex’s parent company, BH Management, did not return calls for comment.

Assessing ‘a game-changer’

As the practice of merging apartments and vacation-style rentals spreads, what does it mean for cities and their residents?

That’s a question real estate watchers are still trying to answer. Anne Talbert, an apartment trends researcher with Austin Investor Interests, said the trend is recent and the group hasn’t uncovered much information about its impact yet, but the development is on its radar.

“Your line of questioning is exactly what I want to ask: What is the impact of this and how is it impacting rent?” Talbert said. “It’s definitely a game-changer. It’s a trend we want to get our eye on.”

Austin’s apartment occupancy rates, now at 92 percent, are expected to rise to 95 percent by 2022, city staffers informed the City Council on Wednesday. The metro area is expected to need 114,000 new apartments by 2030 to meet demand.

In regard to impacts on rents and apartment availability, Carrico noted that The Guild locates only in buildings that already are expensive.

“We’re exclusively in what would be considered luxury apartments so it’s a segment that tends to have higher vacancies,” he said.

Charles Heimsath, president of the real estate research firm Capitol Market Research, said that apartments didn’t rent to tourists five, 10, 20 years ago because websites like Airbnb and Homeaway hadn’t boomed yet. Now, he knows various apartment developers who are planning to include short-term units.

“It just makes sense,” Heimsath said. “Apartment developers are concerned about the bottom line. As taxes continue to increase and operating expenses continue to go up, they try to offset those increasing expenses with additional line items of rental income.”

Tom Noonan, president of Visit Austin, the convention and visitors bureau, sent an email to city officials earlier this year warning that the hotel market in Austin is flattening as growth slows and occupancy levels drop. He said in an interview last month that short-term rentals have helped absorb a spike in travelers to the city, especially during major festivals, but STRs also play a role in slowing hotel occupancy growth.

“We’ve added so many rooms to the marketplace that it’s had an impact,” he said. “Austin is the largest short-term rental market in the state of Texas … Obviously hotels are impacted by the number of short-term rentals in the city because they’re all competing for room nights.”

ABOUT THIS SERIES

This story is the last of three looking at the booming short-term rental market in Austin and the challenges associated with it.

The opening story described how as lawsuits target local rules regarding short-term rentals, property owners complain about a balky licensing process and occasionally resort to subterfuge as they attempt to avoid citations.

As lawsuits target local rules regarding short-term rentals, property owners complain about a balky licensing process and occasionally resort to subterfuge as they attempt to avoid citations.

On Tuesday, American-Statesman reporter Elizabeth Findell will look at how many of the upscale apartment complexes popping up in Austin share an interesting trait. They are licensing chunks of units as short-term rentals to be furnished and leased by the night, just like hotel rooms.

Online: Dive into an interactive, citywide map that spotlights trouble spots within Austin’s short-term rental landscape. You’ll find it with this story at mystatesman.com.

Source Article

Austin apartment complexes throwing doors open to short-term rentals

The Japanese restaurant Fukumoto is located on the ground floor of Corazon, an apartment building in downtown Austin that’s now leasing nearly a quarter of its units as short-term rentals. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

At Corazon, a trendy 2014 complex on the east side of Interstate 35, a studio apartment runs $1,600 a month — or $170 a night. You can live at The Arnold, built in 2016, for $2,000 a month or stay one night for $229.

Are these apartment complexes? Or hotels?

Many of the newer, nicer apartment complexes cropping up across Austin’s landscape share a new trait. They’re licensing chunks of units as short-term rentals to be furnished and leased by the night, just like hotel rooms.

Corazon, for example, on East Fifth Street, has 62 of its 256 units — 24 percent — licensed as STRs. The Arnold, on East Sixth Street, has 20 short-term units. Lamar Union, near the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar, has 20 such units, and two downtown Amli complexes, on either side of the W Hotel, have a combined 57.

“That’s wild,” said longtime real estate developer Ed Wendler when told about the numbers. “That could start impacting the rental market if it’s that large a number.”

Until the rise of such websites as Airbnb and Austin-based Homeaway, such rentals were generally limited to corporate apartments, perhaps near an industrial or medical district, that occasionally housed a company’s employees. Now, tourists and everyday business travelers are getting in on the idea of nixing hotel rooms for a more residential stay. Austin ordinances allow apartment buildings to license up to a quarter of their units as STRs.

When Taylor Fletcher, a 28-year-old Park City, Utah, resident, came to Austin to attend a wedding with his girlfriend and her family, they didn’t stay at a downtown hotel or at the wedding venue hotel on South Congress. Instead, they stayed next door to a hotel at The Catherine, a luxury high-rise apartment complex, where they had multiple bedrooms surrounding a full kitchen.

Fletcher, an Olympic skier who competed at the Pyeongchang Games this past February, spends much of his life traveling for competitions, particularly in northern Europe. He and his U.S. teammates usually stay in apartments instead of hotels.

“If I could do it everywhere, I would,” Fletcher said. “You have a kitchen. You’re not crammed into a hotel room. The people living there might know that we’re renters, but we don’t know that they’re not.”

Catering to tourists

Two years ago, Brian Carrico and Chris Herndon tapped into the desire of travelers to expand their lodging options when they founded The Guild, a “collection of boutique hotels located in upscale residential buildings,” according to its website.

The company has 170 units spread across eight Austin buildings, including those at Corazon, Amli and The Arnold. It now has 35 units in Dallas, as well. The company caters to “people who want to be more a part of the city, rather than a traditional hotel,” Carrico said in an interview.

“We try to find interesting places to locate,” he said. “Our neighborhood guides prioritize getting guests out of the rooms and into local businesses.”

The company relies on the apartment buildings to decide how many units to set aside as hotel rooms, based on how many units they might typically have vacant at a given time. The Guild leases the unit from the complex at a set per-month price (Carrico called those “comparable” to normal leasing prices) and then furnishes, licenses and rents the units.

“This is becoming more and more common as a form of mixed-use,” Carrico said. “There’s a pretty clear demand for this kind of combination. A lot of travelers want a living room and kitchen and want to be located in a community.”

Even apartment complexes where short-term renting has traditionally been disallowed by lease provisions are starting to loosen their rental provisions.

The Grove, a South Austin apartment complex where the monthly rent for a one- or two-bedroom unit ranges from $1,300 to $1,600, recently became the first Austin complex to partner directly with Airbnb via a program called Pillow. An email to residents last month stated that the program would allow them to rent their apartments as STRs, so long as the complex gets a 25 percent cut.

In exchange, Airbnb agreed to purge all non-approved listings at The Grove from its website.

Pillow, which partners with apartment owners to encourage residents to host rental guests at their complexes, lists 63 apartment complexes nationwide that have joined the partnership. The Grove’s email and the Pillow sign-up page say nothing about the city’s licensing of short-term rentals, nor do they appear to limit the number of days a lessee can rent out his apartment.

Representatives of the apartment complex’s parent company, BH Management, did not return calls for comment.

Assessing ‘a game-changer’

As the practice of merging apartments and vacation-style rentals spreads, what does it mean for cities and their residents?

That’s a question real estate watchers are still trying to answer. Anne Talbert, an apartment trends researcher with Austin Investor Interests, said the trend is recent and the group hasn’t uncovered much information about its impact yet, but the development is on its radar.

“Your line of questioning is exactly what I want to ask: What is the impact of this and how is it impacting rent?” Talbert said. “It’s definitely a game-changer. It’s a trend we want to get our eye on.”

Austin’s apartment occupancy rates, now at 92 percent, are expected to rise to 95 percent by 2022, city staffers informed the City Council on Wednesday. The metro area is expected to need 114,000 new apartments by 2030 to meet demand.

In regard to impacts on rents and apartment availability, Carrico noted that The Guild locates only in buildings that already are expensive.

“We’re exclusively in what would be considered luxury apartments so it’s a segment that tends to have higher vacancies,” he said.

Charles Heimsath, president of the real estate research firm Capitol Market Research, said that apartments didn’t rent to tourists five, 10, 20 years ago because websites like Airbnb and Homeaway hadn’t boomed yet. Now, he knows various apartment developers who are planning to include short-term units.

“It just makes sense,” Heimsath said. “Apartment developers are concerned about the bottom line. As taxes continue to increase and operating expenses continue to go up, they try to offset those increasing expenses with additional line items of rental income.”

Tom Noonan, president of Visit Austin, the convention and visitors bureau, sent an email to city officials earlier this year warning that the hotel market in Austin is flattening as growth slows and occupancy levels drop. He said in an interview last month that short-term rentals have helped absorb a spike in travelers to the city, especially during major festivals, but STRs also play a role in slowing hotel occupancy growth.

“We’ve added so many rooms to the marketplace that it’s had an impact,” he said. “Austin is the largest short-term rental market in the state of Texas … Obviously hotels are impacted by the number of short-term rentals in the city because they’re all competing for room nights.”

ABOUT THIS SERIES

This story is the last of three looking at the booming short-term rental market in Austin and the challenges associated with it.

The opening story described how as lawsuits target local rules regarding short-term rentals, property owners complain about a balky licensing process and occasionally resort to subterfuge as they attempt to avoid citations.

As lawsuits target local rules regarding short-term rentals, property owners complain about a balky licensing process and occasionally resort to subterfuge as they attempt to avoid citations.

On Tuesday, American-Statesman reporter Elizabeth Findell will look at how many of the upscale apartment complexes popping up in Austin share an interesting trait. They are licensing chunks of units as short-term rentals to be furnished and leased by the night, just like hotel rooms.

Online: Dive into an interactive, citywide map that spotlights trouble spots within Austin’s short-term rental landscape. You’ll find it with this story at mystatesman.com.

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Top Austin real estate firm impacts local charities through generous giving

Austin donations go toward Foundation Communities. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Donations from Kuper Impact in San Antonio benefit the Animal Defense League. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Foundation Communities provides affordable homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
The Animal Defense League is a nonprofit no-kill shelter for abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs and cats.

One of Central Texas’ leading real estate firms is committed to serving its community in a way that truly benefits those who live there. Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty has a program called Kuper Impact, which supports local organizations through charitable donations raised by the company and its agents.

In Austin, Kuper Impact benefits Foundation Communities while San Antonio and the Hill Country offices support the Animal Defense League. Since its founding in 2016, the program has donated more than $75,000 to these local charities.

It works like this: For every completed transaction, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty sets aside $5 and agents are given the chance to match or increase their donation. At the end of the year, the funds are donated directly to the organizations that serve their communities.

Foundation Communities is a homegrown nonprofit that provides affordable, attractive homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families with kids, as well as veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.

"We are incredibly grateful for the creative way that Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty has invested in affordable housing for our families, and that they’re able to contribute a small amount with every transaction that adds up to a big impact," says Walter Moreau, executive director for Foundation Communities.

Chartered in 1934, the Animal Defense League is a nonprofit no-kill shelter for abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs and cats.

"We’re very thankful to Kuper Sotheby’s for choosing the Animal Defense League of Texas as this year’s Kuper Impact community initiative recipient," says Janice Darling, executive director of the Animal Defense League of Texas. "Their donations will support our animal care initiatives, vaccinations, micro-chipping, and spay and neuter program. By supporting ADL, they are helping to save the lives of the neglected and unwanted dogs and cats in San Antonio."

It’s the goal of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty to add more charity partners in the coming years, but for now these two nonprofits are experiencing what happens when a community comes together for the good of all.

Source Article

Top Austin real estate firm impacts local charities through generous giving

Austin donations go toward Foundation Communities. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Donations from Kuper Impact in San Antonio benefit the Animal Defense League. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Foundation Communities provides affordable homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
The Animal Defense League is a nonprofit no-kill shelter for abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs and cats.

One of Central Texas’ leading real estate firms is committed to serving its community in a way that truly benefits those who live there. Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty has a program called Kuper Impact, which supports local organizations through charitable donations raised by the company and its agents.

In Austin, Kuper Impact benefits Foundation Communities while San Antonio and the Hill Country offices support the Animal Defense League. Since its founding in 2016, the program has donated more than $75,000 to these local charities.

It works like this: For every completed transaction, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty sets aside $5 and agents are given the chance to match or increase their donation. At the end of the year, the funds are donated directly to the organizations that serve their communities.

Foundation Communities is a homegrown nonprofit that provides affordable, attractive homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families with kids, as well as veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.

"We are incredibly grateful for the creative way that Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty has invested in affordable housing for our families, and that they’re able to contribute a small amount with every transaction that adds up to a big impact," says Walter Moreau, executive director for Foundation Communities.

Chartered in 1934, the Animal Defense League is a nonprofit no-kill shelter for abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs and cats.

"We’re very thankful to Kuper Sotheby’s for choosing the Animal Defense League of Texas as this year’s Kuper Impact community initiative recipient," says Janice Darling, executive director of the Animal Defense League of Texas. "Their donations will support our animal care initiatives, vaccinations, micro-chipping, and spay and neuter program. By supporting ADL, they are helping to save the lives of the neglected and unwanted dogs and cats in San Antonio."

It’s the goal of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty to add more charity partners in the coming years, but for now these two nonprofits are experiencing what happens when a community comes together for the good of all.

Source Article