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W Austin Hotel & Residences

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Some days, I love Houston. Others (like today), I wonder why this city even exists.

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W is about young hip and cool, with a trendy nightclub. Austin has high-tech people, musicians, and celebrities. Houston has lots and lots of middle-aged oilmen and engineers who do not fall into the "hip and cool" category. Whatever small demographic we do have looking for hip and cool are pretty well served by the Hotel Derek uptown, Icon downtown, and ZaZa at the med center. A W would face real competition from independents here.

Edited by ToryGattis

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Some days, I love Houston. Others (like today), I wonder why this city even exists.

Sweet. Getting kinda emo-y over a hotel that more than likely, in a relatively short amount of time, will have some presence in this area.

Oy vey.

Wasn't it kinda spilled on page 3 of this thread that we would be getting one anyway?

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This building broke ground on Thursday.

Article on the ceremonial ground breaking. Magic Johnson invested $50 million in the project. He was there for the ground breaking, along with Ex-UT coach Darrel K. Royal.

http://www.statesman.com/business/content/.../1013magic.html

The building's official website.

http://www.block21residences.com/

Renderings. Click on the thumbnails for larger versions.

austinblock21towerrendeiu7.th.jpgaustinblock21towerrendepl9.th.jpg

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We have Westin hotels and the St. Regis, all owned by Starwood, but no actual W Hotel. The W Hotel in the French Quarter is pretty fun, but small.

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W is about young hip and cool, with a trendy nightclub. Austin has high-tech people, musicians, and celebrities. Houston has lots and lots of middle-aged oilmen and engineers who do not fall into the "hip and cool" category. Whatever small demographic we do have looking for hip and cool are pretty well served by the Hotel Derek uptown, Icon downtown, and ZaZa at the med center. A W would face real competition from independents here.

The Ghost Bar clubs atop the W Hotels in Dallas, Vegas, & Chicago have nothing to do with the hotel itself, from what I understand, they (The Nine Group) just lease a floor.

Edited by Metro Matt

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Stratus says it may be forced to stop work on W project

Austin Business Journal

August 10, 2009

Full Article

Stratus Properties Inc. said Monday it's urgently looking to secure new financing for its W Austin Hotel & Residences project downtown. But if the developer and its partner Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund II LP cannot line up a new equity partner or come up with the funding another way, it may be "required to delay further construction of the project until additional financing is available."

Stratus (Nasdaq: STRS) and Canyon-Johnson entered into their development deal on the $300 million W project in May 2008 and subsequently lined up a construction loan with Corus Bank NA to finance costs above the $128 million commitment on the part of the developers.

According to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, on June 26 the loan agreement with Corus was assigned to a subsidiary of Stratus, which is jointly managed by Stratus and Canyon-Johnson, in exchange for a pay down of $250,000 of the outstanding principal balance of $2.1 million. As a result, Corus is no longer the lender and in the second quarter Stratus recognized a $200,000 loss on extinguishment of debt.

According to Stratus, as of the end of the second quarter, it had invested $35.3 million in the project and Canyon-Johnson $48.7 million. The company says moving forward it will fund 40 percent of the remaining project costs and Canyon-Johnson 60 percent until the required capital totaling $128 million is reached. But once that point is reached, they'll need a new source of capital to continue construction.

The joint venture partners say they are pursuing other options for financing the future construction costs on the project. Such options may include additional equity contributions by Stratus and Canyon-Johnson, financing from other financial institutions, admitting new equity partners, or a combination of those alternatives...

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well that's not good.

I have a feeling Stratus will find someone (or a lot of someones) to fill in the gaps in this project. Any condo attached to the "W" brand will sell (eventually, like <5 years tops). If anything, Magic Johnson could fill the gap in the project's financing. See why.

Edited by NThomas

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Any condo attached to the "W" brand will sell (eventually, like <5 years tops).

Heh, you're talking that pre-2008 smack. Condos ain't sellin'...period. I don't care what you attach to them.

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Heh, you're talking that pre-2008 smack. Condos ain't sellin'...period. I don't care what you attach to them.

If you were to try and sell any condo project today, Texas has the best chance out of any state. Before 2008, it wouldn't have been a problem to replace an investor, today, it's next to impossible unless your in one of Texas' four major metros.

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This is why I don't lean over rails or put my forehead against glass:

Falling Glass Closes New W Hotel in Austin

Austin developer Stratus Properties is removing nearly 1,000 glass balcony panels from the city’s new W Hotel building after back-to-back days of falling glass forced the hotel’s temporary closure.

Three glass panels fell from the south-facing side of the building Tuesday, following an incident in which three panels fell from the upper floors of the 37-story building the day before, the Associated Press reports. This comes less than three weeks after two glass panels fell from the building into the pool area, causing minor injuries to four people, including a couple who filed a lawsuit against the hotel, according to the AP.

http://www.architectmagazine.com/condominium/falling-glass-closes-new-w-hotel-in-austin-texas-2.aspx

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