360 Developer Planning Two New Austin Buildings!

Novare, the developer of 360, has announced preliminary plans for two new towers to rise one block west of the downtown post office. The new plans call for construction of a 250 unit 28-story condo tower and an adjacent 16-story office tower on the 1.2 acre site bounded by Fifth, Sixth, San Antonio and Nueces streets.

The new project, to be called Ovation, replaces earlier plans for a larger 400-unit condo development on the same site. Novare's 360 was one of the largest and most successful downtown projects, selling out 430 units with strong pre-sales and minimal discounting.

One of the things that made 360 so successful was its combination of competitive pricing -- most units were $200K to $500K -- and design: it was desirable tall glass building on a great downtown site. In previous statements, Novare has implied that it plans to follow a similar mode for future downtown condo developments such as Ovation -- aiming to build desirable projects with entry-level pricing.

Since the completion of 360, Novare has flirted with development plans for the site as well as for an adjacent site that currently houses the downtown post office. Novare is currently working on plans to redevelop the post office in another location, allowing the company to purchase the prime and underutilized land and to develop that site as well.

According to the Statesman, the new "residential tower, called Ovation, is for 250 units with ground-level commercial space" and "the office tower would include a restaurant, bank and a parking garage with 567 spaces." In addition to the condo building, the plans call for "a 153,634-square-foot office building, a 5,000-square-foot "high-turnover" restaurant, 14,000 square feet of specialty retail and a 4,000-square-foot drive-through bank."

Novare has been clear that development plans were revised to better adjust to a changing local market and a changing financing market. It is the latter that has delayed the project and which continues to be an obstacle for its completion. However, as markets return to normal, the company is increasingly confident that it will be able to line up the support required to proceed.