Ogling the 360 Condo Crowd

Up close and personal with Downtown's newest high-rise residents

360's new residents get their first taste of high-rise living.
360's new residents get their first taste of high-rise living. (Courtesy of Henri Mazza)

Cleavage, cocktail dresses, and heels: That's what an amplitude of thirtysomething lovelies wore on a hot night last week to the grand opening of the 44-story 360 Condominiums Down­town. Many were condo buyers and their friends, happily sucking up free drinks and food at a swank poolside cocktail party on the "amenity deck," as they chatted with future neighbors about square feet and whether they'd really use the concierge service. Some fascinating demographic facts: About 77% of 360 buyers are ages 25-44, about 75% already live in Austin, and some 18% reported purchasing a unit as an investment.

Guests later strolled across the street to the Austin Music Hall for a private concert – Ruthie Foster followed by Alejandro Escovedo. Developers AndrewsUrban/Novare Group were in a mood to throw a big-dollar celebratory party, now that all 430 condos are under contract (with a long waiting list of backups). Their next challenge: filling Ovation, a 38-story architectural clone by the same developers slated to rise just a few blocks away. (Note to Design Commission: Is this really what we want for Downtown, copycat skyscrapers?)

Curious to understand who's thronging to high-rise living, we chatted with future residents and UrbanSpace Realtor Brad Mellema, who's sold seven units. The obvious attraction: Downtown is where the action is. Some also liked buying into an energy-efficient "green" building, with public art and a Great Streets streetscape. When we saw Hill Country Conserv­ancy Executive Director George Cofer, we congratulated him and a friend on being the only party guests wearing shorts; even blue jeans were relatively rare. Now we know who's shopping at all those pricey 2nd Street District boutiques – the same people shopping for the condos on top of them.

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360 Condominiums, Andrews Urban, Novare Group

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