2018 Residential Real Estate Awards: The top Realtors, homebuilders in Austin - Austin Business Journal

2018 Residential Real Estate Awards: The top Realtors, homebuilders in Austin – Austin Business Journal

More than 600 people attended Austin Business Journal’s 2018 Residential Real Estate Awards luncheon Thursday to cheer on the top-selling Realtors in the area as well as some of the best homebuilders — key players in Central Texas’ dogged pursuit to provide enough housing for the swelling population.

The event at the JW Marriott Austin honored Realtors in four categories as well as homebuilders in the custom, production, green and master-planned community categories.

Click on the slideshow attached to this story to get all the details about the top-performing Realtors — who combined to sell more than $2 billion worth of homes in 2017 — as well as the four builder winners. And check out in-depth Q&As with the winners below:

• ABJ’s top Realtors of 2018: Sijo Vadakkan racks up more than $100M sales

• ABJ’s top Realtors of 2018: Menard, Young set torrid sales mark

• ABJ’s top Realtors of 2018: Christopher Watters’ team ups its game for record-setting year

• ABJ’s top Realtors of 2018: Eric Bramlett at head of pack two straight years

• ABJ’s 2018 Residential Real Estate Awards: Austin’s king of custom homes is back

• ABJ’s 2018 Residential Real Estate Awards: Austin’s best new neighborhood is …

• ABJ’s 2018 Residential Real Estate Awards: Inside the operations — and houses — of one of Austin’s best homebuilders

• ABJ’s 2018 Residential Real Estate Awards: Get to know one of Austin’s greenest homebuilders

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Why Austin Can’t Support The Development It Knows It Needs

Selling affordable housing options to the Austin City Council is easy. Until it isn’t, as DMA Management learned when it came time for council to pare down the list of projects lined up for low-income tax credits.

Austin is facing some of the strongest pressure in the country from gentrification. Since 1990, Austin’s median family income has doubled, but the median home price has quadrupled, city demographer Ryan Robinson said in an Austin Chronicle interview.

A city audit out this week suggests most anti-gentrification ideas proposed in the last decade would have little or no direct impact on affordability in the city.

Voters have passed two affordable bond packages in Austin — one in 2013 and the other in 2015 — but the support was only a combined $120M.

Half of the projects supported by the bonds are aimed at very low income residents, households earning less than $24,300 a year. Meanwhile, the median rent on one-bedroom apartments has risen from $914 in 2012 to $1,239 in 2017.

Austin gets the most bang for its affordable housing buck through the state’s low-income housing tax credits. These competitive 9% tax credits give tax breaks to apartment investors, with developers agreeing to provide affordable rent on certain units for 10 years.

City Council had nine apartment projects to consider this year to endorse to the state for tax credits, but only funding for three, via a $4M allotment from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Two of the better-known applications pitted the city’s housing authority against DMA Management, the affordable housing consultants on Saltillo.

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin needs financing to raze and replace Chalmers Courts. DMA Management is proposing a far more modest affordable housing project called Talavera Lofts as a component of Saltillo. Saltillo is the master-planned community being built on 10 acres once owned by Capital Metro.

DMA Management CEO Diane McIver came away empty-handed from last week’s city council meeting after she withdrew the application for Talavera Lofts to receive low-income tax credits.

“I personally believe that probably there are not two more worthy developments in the city of Austin than Chalmers and Saltillo. And even if they were the highest scoring in the region, they cannot both get funded. So we are withdrawing our request on Item 20.”

That means Chalmers Courts will be sent on to a hearing at TDHCA. And Talavera Lofts, despite its affordability, is now in limbo.

Chalmers Courts and Talavera Lofts are in the same neighborhood. The same schools and bus routes serve both projects. But the Chalmers plans would raze one of the oldest housing projects in the country and triple the number of affordable housing units, while Talavera Lofts is a much smaller apartment project at the Saltillo rail station.

Chalmers Courts, built in 1939, is a 158-unit cinder block and brick apartment complex spread across a little under 8 acres. The units have no central air, no washer and dryer connections and only one bathroom in each unit. The buildings, for all intents and purposes, are at the end of their useful life.

And, for the first time, HACA has access to the private capital market financing for Chalmers through Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program. That designation does not come with money, but it does come with permission to access the private equity market, HACA Executive Director Sylvia Blanco said.

"Previously, public housing authorities could not carry debt on their properties," Blanco said. "This designation allows a housing authority to take on debt. And that’s sorely needed on this property."

Chalmers would be vacated and rebuilt, block by block, in three phases. The new project would have 400 units, with proper amenities and a fuller range of affordable housing levels, Blanco said.

That was compelling enough to bring Chalmers Court residents to multiple council meetings. Organizer Karen Thompson of ADAPT, a disability rights group, blasted other developers, saying none of them could offer units at the level of affordability HACA could, and had, at Chalmers Courts.

"You know you can count on them to continue, not just use the money for a little while and then those places disappear over time," Thompson said. "You know they’re going to deliver in a much bigger way than the other project is because there’s a lot more units involved."

City staff had no problem choosing Chalmers over Talavera. Chalmers Courts, one of the three oldest subsidized housing projects in the country, is considered to be "deeply affordable," aimed at some of the lowest-income residents in Austin. Average income on the property is $11K a year.

Why couldn’t both get funding?

The so-called “two-mile rule” prohibits the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs from awarding tax credits to properties within 2 miles of each other in the same year. Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a bill passed last session that would have lifted a population cap and allowed Talavera and Chalmers to exist side by side.

“You know, this situation was very unfortunate. We knew that we had two excellent projects in my district, District 3, and unfortunately the governor was angry at us and decided to veto that bill,” Council member Pio Renteria said last week. “It just broke my heart because I know that there’s such a big need to bring in more affordable housing in my district.”

Council blessed the plans of eight developers at last week’s meeting, two of which have already dropped out of the running because the portion of the tax credit allotted to Austin — about $4M out of a $66M statewide pool — is likely to cover no more than three projects.

The picture for future funding looks grim. City housing officials said recent corporate tax cuts in the federal tax overhaul will put a dent into the low-income tax credit market, making access to the remaining credits even more valuable.

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Downtown Austin WOW Houses: Austin Living At Its Finest

AUSTIN, TX — This gorgeous Red Bud Island home boasts incredible Austin views and a spectacular interior with luxurious design finishes. Nestled amidst one of Austin’s most ideal locations, this 4.4 acre home is surrounded by a gorgeous and lush landscape. With spectacular attention to detail, the home’s interior is elegant and inviting and features amazing space ideal for entertaining friends and family. You’ll want to check out this phenomenal home and see the best that Austin has to offer.

Price: $11,500,000Square Feet: 9716Bedrooms: 6Bathrooms: 7 Full and 2 Half BathsBuilt: 1998

Features: Perched high upon a prominent cliff above Lady Bird Lake’s Red Bud Island, this absolutely stunning 9,990SQ FT, 6BR, 9BA Mediterranean home offers some of the most enviable views in all of Austin. Sumptuous mahogany floors, plaster walls, Carrera marble, high barreled ceilings, 4-FP & an amazing attention to detail – all sublimely tucked within 4.4 private, lushly-landscaped acres w/lake access.

This listing originally appeared on realtor.com. For more information and photos, click here.

AUSTIN, TX — Perhaps one of the most spectacular homes listed in the Austin market, this home is sleek, sophisticated, and truly a work of art. Boasting over 5,400 square feet of modern and open living space, this home has incredible panoramic views of the Austin skyline and Lake Austin. A must see, you’ll want to schedule a private showing to see this beautiful home in the heart of Austin.


Price: $8,900,000Square Feet: 5428Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 4 Full and 1 Half BathsBuilt: 2017

Features: This is "Bud’s Place". Designed by Dick Clark FAIA, built by Jon Luce. This home has it all. Imagine 58′ of floor to ceiling glass in the main living/dining/kitchen that slides away and opens to an outdoor oasis featuring the most breathtaking pool imaginable. Only the finest finishes too numerous to list. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own the perfect home on the perfect site.

This listing originally appeared on realtor.com. For more information and photos, click here.

AUSTIN, TX — This Rollingwood home offers a classic and timeless design that’s both elegant and inviting, and features gorgeous finishes throughout. Situated minutes from Zilker Park, downtown ATX, and some of Austin’s best restaurants, this home has everything you’re looking for and more.

The home’s Spanish-style design features a bright and open floor plan and boasts more than 8,300 square feet of pristine living space. With great attention to detail, this home’s interior offers luxury design accents such as white oak floors and spectacular skydeck.

Price: $6,400,000Square Feet: 8393Bedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 5 Full and 3 Half BathsBuilt: 2012

Features: Located in one of Austin’s most sought-after neighborhoods, Rollingwood. Spanish-influenced architecture meets your every wish w/hand scraped white oak floors, exposed ceiling beams, hand-crafted cabinetry & marble-wrapped surfaces. Other features include elevator, Skydeck & 5th bedroom w/separate entrance. Staycation every day on the flat, private 0.64-acre lot w/skyline views. Resort-style amenities.

This listing originally appeared on realtor.com. For more information and photos, click here.

Image via Shutterstock

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Orion buys Austin apartment property

Orion Real Estate Partners has acquired Austin-based Triple Crown 2 Apartments, an apartment community. No financial terms were disclosed.


LOS ANGELES and AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — L.A. based Orion Real Estate Partners (“Orion”) announced today that it has closed on the acquisition of Triple Crown 2 Apartments, a garden-style apartment community in Austin, Texas.

Built in 1973, the 199-unit property is located approximately 4.5 miles from The University of Texas at Austin, 5.5 miles from downtown Austin, and 6.5 miles from The Domain. Also within 1 mile of the property are the redevelopments of Austin Community College/Highland Business Center and Mueller Airport.

Triple Crown 2 is well-located to cater to an underserved workforce renter population that has been priced out of newer properties in the market. Orion plans to spend approximately $1.8 million to improve the property’s exterior and amenities and renovate the unit interiors.
CBRE Multifamily Capital provided an attractive 10-year fixed rate acquisition loan through the Fannie Mae Green Financing loan program. The Property Society will provide property management services on behalf of the venture.

Orion is actively looking to increase its exposure to affordable workforce housing assets in Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Portland due to strong demographic growth and solid multifamily market fundamentals.

About Orion Real Estate Partners: Orion Real Estate Partners is a private real estate investment firm that targets value-add multifamily assets in Western US markets with strong demographics and job growth. Utilizing proven institutional processes to source and manage investments, we identify assets with capital and operational re-positioning opportunities to provide attractive returns for our investors. Orion, together with its affiliates, currently has a portfolio of 835 units in Denver and Austin. For more information, please visit: http://orionrep.com/

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