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Report: Dozens sue luxury West Austin student apartments for 'Ponzi-like' scheme

Dozens of investors are suing two real estate firms involved in the Skyloft Austin, a luxury student apartment complex in West Austin. (Skyloft Austin/Facebook)

Skyloft Austin, a luxury student apartment complex in West Campus, is under fire. Nearly three years after it opened, dozens of lawyers, retirees and others who invested their savings in the building are suing two real estate firms that they say duped them, according to a recent report by the New York Times.

Adelaida Martinez, 82, is retired and lives near the Skyloft. She invested a little over $100,000 in the deal. "I was very naive, as I don't come from the world of finance," she told the Times. "They have not given us any explanation. There is just silence."

The Skyloft investors, who put in between $100,000 and $500,000 apiece, are seeking to recoup much of the $75 million they contributed to the 2019 deal, the Times reported; court filings describe a "Ponzi-like" scheme and accuse Patrick Nelson, of the property management firm that promoted the deal, of using the proceeds to invest in other projects and enrich himself.

In addition to Nelson's California-based property management firm, Nelson Partners Student Housing, the investors are also suing the hedge fund, Axonic Capital, that provided financing and later took control of Skyloft before selling it late last year. Nelson Partners has denied wrongdoing. Axonic said the promoter Patrick Nelson hurt his investors by defaulting on their loan in a statement to the Times.

The investors participated in what is known as a real estate private placement deal, which brokers often pitch to small investors, according to the Times. Such deals are popular because they pay regular dividends and allow investors to defer taxes on property sales, but they lack transparency.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway