EXCLUSIVE: 51-story condo tower planned for Rainey district

Developer Intracorp plans to start selling condos at its first Austin project early next year.

A new-to-town developer is making a splashy Austin debut. Vancouver-based Intracorp, which last month named longtime Austinite Brad Stein as its managing director of Austin operations, is planning a 51-story condominium tower at 44 East Ave.

The 545-foot-tall, 460,000-square-foot building will rise about 20 stories higher than the tallest existing or currently planned buildings in the Rainey Street area.

Downtown Austin’s Frost Bank Tower, for comparison’s sake, is 516 feet tall.

Sales, handled by Urbanspace Realtors, will begin in the spring. Construction on the project – the first of several Stein said Intracorp envisions in Central Austin – will start in 2020, with completion scheduled for fall 2022.

Intracorp did not reveal a price tag for the project.

The tower, which will take the place of a three-story office building constructed in 1983, will have approximately 330 condos – a mix of one- and two-bedroom efficiencies, as well as larger one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom condos. Prices will be announced at a later date.

“We are very excited about our first project in the city,” Intracorp executive vice president of business development Tony Kaleel said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better location than 44 East Avenue, or a better team of local experts to be working on it with us. We are already looking forward to continuing our dialogue with future potential partners in order to continue growing our pipeline of projects in Austin.”

Those “local experts” include Austin architect Michael Hsu, who is designing interiors in the building’s common areas and amenity spaces.

Lead architect for the 51-story tower is Page Architects.

“At the threshold of downtown, the design combines the richness of an urban experience with the elegance of the city’s beloved trail and water’s edge,” Hsu said, explaining the thought process behind his work.

In addition to the 330 condos, the tower will also have about 3,000 square feet of ground-floor space for either a retail or restaurant tenant. The tower’s parking garage will have more than 500 spaces, some of which will be available to the public.

“Forty-four East Avenue offers the best of downtown lakefront living,” Stein said. “It’s tucked away in the Rainey Street neighborhood, with Lady Bird Lake and the hike-and-bike trail literally steps from the front door. In addition to the location, the unobstructed views of the lake and downtown will make this a very unique Austin project.”

Intracorp’s project is one of many currently in the works in the Rainey Street neighborhood, a former residential area that now is predominantly home to bars and restaurants.

Hoteliers and residential developers have also set their sights on Rainey Street in recent years. Just last month, Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group said it was moving ahead with a 30-story tower at 91 Red River St. that will have 347 apartments.

Sandra De Leon, president of the Rainey Neighbors Association, said she is looking forward to learning more about Intracorp’s project and “understanding how it will fit into the neighborhood’s growing community.”

Outside of Vancouver, other cities where Intracorp has focused its attention are Seattle and Los Angeles. Austin, executives say, was a logical next step.

“When looking for new cities to partner with, we look at everything that makes a place really livable,” Intracorp president and CEO Don Forsgren said. “Are there jobs, opportunities on the horizon, is there a vibrant active community with a great lifestyle? From our first visit to Austin, we were immediately drawn to its entrepreneurial spirit. And now that we’re here, we are excited to deliver extraordinary homes to this great city, starting with 44 East Avenue.”