Who? (Who is part of the development team?)
Development of East Avenue is led by East Avenue Investment Group LP, a team that includes a diverse group of business people with more than 50 years of development experience.
The team is led by Andy Sarwal, who has a background in venture finance and real estate. Lehman Brothers funded the site-acquisition loan while East Avenue Investment Group owns all of the equity in the project.
Other entities selected to be included are: Global Hyatt Corp., which will operate its new, luxury Andaz-brand hotel, and AMLI Residential, which will build an upscale apartment community.
What? (What is the vision/plan for East Avenue?)
East Avenue will transform a former college campus into a $750 million, 2.75-million-square-foot urban community. As a project on the forefront of the New Urbanism movement sweeping Austin, East Avenue will integrate: 1,450 residential units, 600,000 square feet of offices, 325,000 square feet retail space along with a 210-room luxury hotel. In the process, many of the existing Class 1 trees will be reserved in two pocket parks.
Residents and visitors to East Austin will generally embrace modern living. They appreciate the area’s surrounding amenities effectively become part of their extended living and working environment.
East Avenue will be a key part of central Austin for decades to come — a crossroads where people from all over the area can come to work, shop, to dine, to be entertained, and even just relax.
When? (When will East Avenue break ground and open to the public?)
Construction will begin in late-2007/early-2008 and is expected to begin delivering space in the first quarter of 2009.
The Andaz hotel and adjoining condo units will begin in mid-2008, and are expected to open in 2010. AMLI Residential’s apartment/retail project is also anticipated to break ground in mid-2008 and take approximately 24 months to complete. Two Class A office buildings will being in late-2007, delivering space in early 2009.
Where? (Where is East Avenue located? What else is nearby?)
East Avenue spans 23-acre site is located in the heart of Austin’s urban core on the former Concordia University campus. It is directly off the region’s foremost traveled highway, Interstate 35, and bounded by Concordia Avenue to the north and 32nd Street to the south. The prime location is just three minutes from downtown, directly across the street from St. David’s Medical Center, three blocks away from the University of Texas at Austin, and one exit south of the Mueller redevelopment.
Why? (Why does East Avenue make good sense for the area?)
The region’s growing population and nearly insatiable demand for new housing, retail and office options in the urban core are all key reasons why East Avenue IG strongly believes in the project’s viability. As the area grows and congestion only continues to worsen, more and more people find themselves attracted to a lifestyle of convenience. They have literally fallen in love with the idea of living, working, shopping and dining within a relatively tight geographic radius
Opportunities to develop large scale, mixed-use projects in the urban core are few and far between. The people behind East Avenue have a deep sense of appreciation and responsibility to ensure the 23 acre site represents and reflects the community extremely well.
How? (How will East Avenue be built/developed?)
From its inception, East Avenue has carefully considered the land and the local surroundings, atmosphere and needs of the community. As a reflection, the project will incorporate open space, trees and a myriad of other Green Building practices and techniques. Furthermore, local construction materials and design influences are being incorporated liberally.
The project will be built in phases over a three year period of time. While East Avenue IG acts as lead developer, many other companies with various specialties will play vital roles in their respective areas of expertise – such as hotel management or apartment construction.