More condos. But at least no Star Jones.

IMG_0054A longtime zoning quirk has been leveled to make way for The View. No, not that “View.” This View is a new … wait for it … condo project that will be sprouting along South Lamar in between the Barton’s Lodge Apartments (3816) and the newly-converted Citibank office park (3508) just north of Ben White.

You may remember the lot as the site of a small limestone building perched on an improbably huge lot overlooking the Barton Creek Greenbelt. For several years, the site had been a gallery for artist Robert Ellis Patterson. With his untimely passing in 2004, the sign out front pitched real estate for a few years, then went blank. I had often dreamed of buying the land to raise llamas, maybe run a philosophy shop / lemonade stand out front, but those dreams went down with the bulldozers last week.

The project’s name is indicative that the 69 units will have clear line-of-sight to the office and residential buildings built up to the opposite edge of the Greenbelt. Prices are quoted in the usual range from merely expensive ($260k / 760 sqft.) to broadly unaffordable ($850k / 2,280 sqft.). According to the Statesman, the condos will feature a meditation garden and cabanas to take advantage of the scenic location. No mention of llamas.

The View is also seeking one-ness with its location through the U.S. Building Council’s LEED certification program. If realized, this would put Madison Partners on a different, and greener, path than many of their developer breathren. Other popular components currently lacking from this development are height (4 stories), variance requests (no up-zoning), or mixed-use entitlements (no street-level retail). And the name, despite its unfortunate association with daytime TV, is simple and descriptive rather than ostentatious and embarrassing. S. Lamar could do a lot worse.

8 Comments so far

  1. mss (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 10:17 pm

    We were wondering what was going in there when we drove by last Saturday on the way to Central Market. Thanks for filling us in.

    Kudos to the developers for the planned rainwater collection system…especially on this lot overlooking the creek.

  2. SolMan-ATX (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

    Those prices are way out of wack with the location. I find it hard to believe people will pay downtown prices to live next to a strip mall. $800k will get you about twice that much space much closer to downtown in Bouldin.

  3. wae (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

    Solman, I think you may be overlooking the value of being within easy walking distance of both Golden Corral AND Red Lobster. And by “easy” I mean “taking your life in your hands crossing Lamar.”

  4. M1EK (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

    At the prices they quote, it’s actually a much better deal than the crappy single-family housing stock in Bouldin. You get a view, you get stuff that’s not going to fall apart (they didn’t exactly build to last in the 1940s and 1950s, although it’s still better than the truly slipshod 1980s stuff), and you get a location which is good for walkers and drivers.

  5. SolMan-ATX (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

    Those prices are way out of wack with the location. I find it hard to believe people will pay downtown prices to live next to a strip mall. $800k will get you about twice that much space much closer to downtown in Bouldin.

  6. M1EK (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    Finally, a side-effect of condos we can all agree is negative: Deja view.

  7. SolMan-ATX (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

    Sorry for the double post above.

    M1EK, I’m surprised at you. You usually talk a bit more sense than that. I seem to recall that you are a Hyde Park resident and so may not be around Bouldin so much. Or South Lamar for that matter.

    Take a look at that location on your way to Golden Corral sometime. There’s nothing walkable or even bikeable about it.

    As for Bouldin, check out MLS 5836444. For a mere $899k you can get a brand new, 4,300 sq ft McMansion. It’s only about a mile from town lake hop on your bike and be on the trail in 5 minutes. Or take an easy walk to Polvo’s or to Vespaio.

    I’m not saying that condos are a bad thing. I’m a big pro-density guy. I just think that the cost of these are out of line with the location.

  8. M1EK (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 4:09 pm


    That just reinforces the “better value” comment. A brand new condo with amenities with a great view >>> a McMansion with jack squat.

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