Texas capital

Austin developer envisions high-density Texas capital

Robert Lee, CEO of Pearlstone Partners, and Chris Zaiontz, Director (Pearlstone Partners, iStock)

Pearlstone Partners is planning another residential tower in Austin’s Rainey Street district.

The Austin-based developer aims to build the tower on two adjacent lots that span 62 East Avenue and 64 East Avenue. Last summer, Pearlstone opened a 200-unit condominium development called Parkside at Mueller, also in the Rainey Street district.

Plans call for 48 floors containing 245 condo units, though those numbers “could all change significantly during the design process,” Chris Zaiontz, a senior Pearlstone executive, told the Austin-American Statesman on Thursday.

The ambitious height and area of ​​the project will require Pearlstone to go through the city’s downtown density bonus program. In an interview with the Austin Business Journal last year, Pearlstone CEO Robert Lee said he envisions a high-density Austin, reminiscent of New York.

“Austin is growing, evolving, but the land isn’t growing anymore,” Lee said. “People have a preference for living closer to amenities, opportunities, work environment and so on…we need to make housing more dense.”

Elsewhere downtown, Pearlstone plans to innovate by the third quarter of next year on a tower at 14th and Lavaca that would have about 225 residences.

Pearlstone intends to build five projects totaling more than 1,000 new residential units in and around downtown Austin, Zaiontz said in April. One of them, 2500 Willow, is supposed to add about 300 condo units to the rapidly gentrifying East Riverside area.

Pearlstone executives said its locally developed real estate is worth more than $600 million and said the company has invested more than $700 million in its growing portfolio of future projects.

Faced with an ongoing housing crisis, Austin recently decided to ease height restrictions that have limited higher-density housing in many parts of the city for decades.

Housing costs in Austin have increased by more than double the rate of income growth since 2021, according to the Texas Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

[Austin-American Statesman] -Maddy Sperling