Planned condominium building will tower over Rainey Street District

The Rainey Street District will have a new high rise in the coming years and it will be the tallest one in that area so far. 

The condominium building will be located at the corner of East Avenue and Cummings Street, but construction is not set to begin until spring of 2020. 

Once a sleepy residential neighborhood, today Rainey Street is anything but. 

“Whether we like it or not, there is thousands of people that are moving to Austin every year,” said Brad Stein, managing director of Intracorp Homes Austin.

In 2004, Austin changed zoning on Rainey Street to the Central Business District. Since then, several bars and restaurants have taken over what used to be bungalows and single family homes. More recently, condominium and apartment buildings have popped up. 

“So all of this is changing the way that we live and work downtown, and changing the skyline,” Stein said.  

Still, three family homes in the Rainey Street District have held out and the market values show just how much the area has changed. 
From 2014 to 2018 the market value of one of those houses almost tripled from $400,000 to $1.1 million. So it's no wonder why developers want to build in the neighborhood. 

“Space is at a premium downtown and everybody, including our city leadership, understand that density is needed downtown and that means building up,” said Stein.  

The condominium project Stein is currently working on is expected to rise 545 feet above East Avenue.

“This will be one of the higher buildings downtown,” Stein said.  

The project will include penthouses as well as one, two, three and four bedroom residences. They start at $400,000 apiece. The tower will include a parking structure and ground level retail space, but the real selling point is the location.  

“This location, for so many reasons, was really perfect for us,” said Stein. 

The building will be close to Lady Bird Lake, downtown and Rainey Street, which could cause new challenges, according to Rainey Neighbors Association President Sandra De Leon. 

She released this statement about the development, "We hope that all new projects in Rainey will help create a more lively neighborhood, but we all need to plan for the unique mobility issues that face the Rainey neighborhood. Several years ago, the city changed zoning to Central Business District, which allows for density, but our infrastructure is that of a single family neighborhood. The quality of life will diminish greatly here if this is not appropriately considered by developers and the city."