One of the last homes on Rainey Street listed for $2.65M

One of the last residential homes on Rainey Street is on the market, but it's not cheap. 

“Everybody has a price,” said John Doggett, senior lecturer in the Global Entrepreneurship Management Department at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.  

The owner of the 109-year-old home at 71 Rainey Street listed it for the price of $2.65 million.

“They probably waited 108 years to get the price they're asking for,” said Richard Delaney who lives just down the street.   

The somewhat crooked home is nestled in between bars, across from high-rise condos and just down the street from the Austin Convention Center, which explains why the home itself is valued at $76,000 while the property is appraised at $1.1 million. 

“There's a Fairmount Hotel across the street, there are a bunch of parking lots that are going to become hotels, there's a Van Zandt Hotel… Yeah, that is very valuable land,” Doggett said. 

The Rainey Street neighborhood looks nothing like what it did 30 years ago. 

“Rainey Street back in the late 80s, early 90s, was a place nobody wanted to go. The houses were rundown, the people there were very poor and struggling,” said Doggett.  

Homes sales back then didn't draw anywhere near the million-dollar price tags of 2019. 

“If he bought it before the 80s, he might have spent $5-6,000 on that house,” Doggett said. 

In October, John Contreras, who owns the home, said he didn't plan to sell. He knew the property was desirable to several developers, but wanted to leave it to his children. 

Now the home is listed as a commercial property and the listing even states "Whether it be a restaurant, bar, hotel or music venue, the options are endless." 

“Whoever buys that is going to piece that together with some other properties and sell all of it to a developer who's going to put a large condo on it. That's my expectation. With mixed use retail on the first floor,” said Doggett.

Not everyone in Austin feels the property is worth every penny of the asking price. 

“No. If I was going to build another bar here, it would probably be appropriate, but as a residence? I don't think so,” Delaney said. 

Property values are climbing so quickly on Rainey Street that the home was appraised at about $400,000 just five years ago.