Here are seven of Austin's most elite residences.
Four Seasons Condos, listed for $4,995,000
Got a hankering for stellar city views and $5 million burning a hole in your pocket? This three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom condo on 98 San Jacinto Blvd. clocks in at 4,208 spacious square feet and is within walking distance from Lady Bird Lake.
Perch yourself inside any one of this 26-story highrise's high-end rooms: a formal living room, kitchen, dining room and bedrooms all complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathroom and living areas with ornate wallpapers and light fixtures. Of course, no downtown condo is complete without a terrace… or two; one for your guests and one for yourself. Speaking of guests, the condo has two spacious bedrooms with bathrooms en suite in addition to the master suite. If you run out of room to house your guests, you could always make room in the expansive walk-in closet!
The Austonian, listed for $4,990,000
Coming in just $5,000 below that of the Four Seasons, this Austonian condo is two years newer and just a touch bigger at 4,306 square feet. Well-suited to those with plush taste, 200 Congress Avenue gives you panoramic views of the Texas Capitol building from its enormous balcony. With three-bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms and a designated office for work from home, this condo comes with clean lines, custom cabinetry and an open floor plan for those who love to entertain.
W Austin Residences, listed for $4,500,000
Famously home to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, this 3,147 square foot residence is a modern architecture lover's dream. This penthouse condo, complete with another set of three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, will have you feeling luxurious as you relax in the glass steam shower or watch your favorite show from a hidden flat-screen TV. The condo comes with a private three-car garage with a Tesla charger, automated window shades and a gourmet kitchen with a custom glass breakfast nook to start your mornings off right. The handcrafted lit-up floating shelves will show off all your trinkets like you live in a museum but the floor-to-ceiling windows won't make you feel like you're living in a fishbowl from 36 stories up. With concrete pillars to match the sky-high ceilings, white oak floorboards and an in-house laundry room, this 210 Lavaca Street dwelling will make you feel like royalty.
The Loren, listed for $4,005,000
If you're looking to get out of the city but not too far away, The Loren's condominiums will offer extensive views of Zilker Park and East Austin all in one. A short trek to Downtown, these condos aren't scheduled to be completed until spring of 2022, so they will be brand new and ready to be broken in.
This 3,511 square-foot modern mansion on 1211 W. Riverside Drive will be softly lit with plenty of natural light, the four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms provide ample room to spread out and the high floor placement is breathtaking.
Seventy Rainey, listed for $3,680,000
This rare 3,684 square foot penthouse spans three floors with a private balcony on each dreamy level. If that wasn't enough, the private rooftop terrace overlooks scenic East Austin views.
With three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two half bathrooms and a sprawling floor plan, the penthouse condo is perfect for remote work and quarantine living. This condo is characterized by its clean lines, industrial-yet-modern touches. Best of all, this space will put you right in the heart of Rainey Street, so you'll never be too far away from the party.
Saint Cecilia Residences, listed for $3,300,000
Shrouded in greenery, this is the place to go if you're looking for a unique dwelling. With only seven other homes in the development, this condo offers both privacy and proximity to vibrant South Congress. In collaboration with Bunkhouse Group, the property management group founded by Austin's Liz Lambert, this home is packed full of quirky and colorful accents, finishes, hardware and adds an element of interest before you even walk in. Featuring three bedrooms, three bathrooms and coming in at 2,440 square feet, this condo is one of the smaller locations on the list, but the amenities and treetop views are unparalleled. You'll be just walking distance from the Saint Cecilia Hotel, the new Music Lane development and just minutes from Downtown at this brick veneer palace.
44 East Avenue, listed for $2,800,000
Another brand new property, estimated to be completed in 2022, is conveniently located on both the shore of Lady Bird Lake, for those who love to get out and enjoy Austin's exquisite flora, and on Rainey Street, so you're in the heart of Downtown living and you'll get the best of both worlds. With four bedrooms and four full baths, this condo spreads 2,858 vast square feet. With retro architecture, wood flooring and high ceilings, this home is airy and waiting to be enjoyed. If you have the cash to make $17,000 per month payments, this home could be calling your name.
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In May, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein looked back on 10 years of Formula 1's U.S. Grand Prix at COTA confident that the race would be here to stay in Texas. But sources tell Austonia that securing another contract may be in jeopardy.
Some insiders worry that COTA's 2021 Grand Prix race might be its last.
The multi-day fest from Oct. 22-24 will include a 56-lap race over the 3.3-mile track, food and musical performances from two acts, including Billy Joel at COTA's 1,500-acre facility in Southeast Austin. But after this year, the U.S.' first F1-specific track could lose its headline event.
The facility's inability to secure a contract thus far comes down to the Texas Legislature, a new threat in Miami, and, most importantly, money.
The first F 1 race will take place in Miami next year. (Hard Rock Stadium)
Every year, Formula 1 receives roughly $25 million from Texas' Major Events Reimbursement Program, a taxpayer-funded initiative that helps bring big sporting events like 2017's Houston Super Bowl to the state. A 2019 report by the Reimbursements Program on that year's race said the "data is inconclusive" on if the event has a positive or negative economic impact on the state with the resources given. In 2018, the Austin-American Statesman reported that COTA had brought back a total of $75.7 million between 2015 and 2017 for hosting the U.S. Grand Prix.
Legal issues have also barred Epstein and Co. from securing another 10-year contract earlier: in 2018, the company lost its yearly $25 million bid after failing to submit a human trafficking prevention plan as part of its yearly application.
That same year, F1 managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches told the Associated Press that the organization hopes to stay at COTA "for many years to come."
However, in May, the racing league announced that it had secured a 10-year contract to hold the Miami Grand Prix as American interest in the sport soared following the three-season "Drive to Survive" documentary, which gives behind-the-scenes looks at drivers and races of the Formula One World Championship.
Epstein is optimistic about the new U.S. location and told Autoweek in May that "more race in our time zones are good for the sport."
"I think we're getting double the impact this way," Epstein said. "Miami should sell out huge the first year and maybe the second year and then after that, I think we'd be spitting audience if we were around the same time on the calendar. So the spread is fantastic."
Bobby Epstein recognizes the 1 millionth customer of COTA in 2013. (COTA/Facebook)
The new F1 venture may impact COTA's contract, however: in an opinion piece for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, writer Mac Engel said Texas is unlikely to fork over taxpayer money if the facility is no longer the only F1 track in the U.S.
According to Engel, the Major Events Reimbursements Program agrees to provide funding only "if Austin holds the only F1 race in the country."
Epstein hasn't addressed such claims; by contrast, he feels as though there's room for a third race in the U.S. as ticket sales rebound after COVID.
"In the first week, we sold pretty much all the tickets we put up for sale and we plan to break the 2019 attendance record," Epstein told Autoweek. "Texas was the first place to lift COVID-19 restrictions (in the U.S.) and put on sporting events, and we're full. We're at 100% capacity.
Despite ventures to diversify revenue at COTA—Epstein's USL soccer team Austin Bold has seen its own share of troubles, and the facility plans to develop into a multi-faceted entertainment arena complete with music venues, a waterpark, condominiums and an 11-story hotel—a loss of its primary event could be devastating for the $300 million complex.
F1 has rarely lasted more than a decade at venues in the U.S. over the last century; let's hope Austin breaks that curse.
COTA's media relations team did not immediately get back to Austonia for comment.
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Houston? Dallas? San Antonio? No, it has to be Austin.
We know Californians love Texas, but a recent string of posts on neighborhood platform Nextdoor in Santa Barbara, California, displays what the craze to move to Austin looks like.
When one user posted, "Hi neighbors, I want to buy a house in Houston, Texas any recommendations?" the responses flooded in displaying what the admiration for Austin looks like from the West Coast. Users mostly advised against a move to Houston; one person even wrote, "Austin is the ONLY place to consider!!"
While some defended H-town, saying, "Awesome place to live," one person wrote, "WORST PLACE TO LIVE." Reasons to not move to Houston from Californians' perspective included:
- "Foul air from refineries"
- "horrible flooding due to the flat Gulf coastal shelf"
- "crazy zoning"
- "racial prejudice"
- "super high humidity"
- "very conservative"
The comments were shifted to Austin's lush greenery, weather and acceptance of gay people.
Over the last five years, Austin has seen more migrants from California than any other state, according to an Austin Chamber of Commerce report. The Austin appeal from residents living in more congested places like California became more prevalent during the pandemic when stay-at-home orders were issued and people sought more space.
It wasn't just Austin though; lots of other Sunbelt cities saw an influx in their housing market as a result of people working from home and looking for a lower cost of living. And that included Texas in general, with people flooding to various Texas cities.
But it hasn't come with resistance. The "Don't California my Texas" pleas are still alive and well, as Californians are blamed for raising the cost of living by outpricing current residents. The housing market has reached record numbers in the median home price year-over-year since the beginning of the pandemic. Austin was even predicted to be the most expensive city outside of California by the end of the year.
Still, Californians and even New Yorkers can't stay away. Companies and celebrities have followed, leading Texas transplant Elon Musk to label Austin's future as "the biggest boomtown that America has seen in half a century."