Austin: Local Developer Seeks to Bring ‘Co-Living’ Space to Downtown
Featured Illustration (above): Rendering of the proposed Capitol Quarters mixed-use building at 1108 Nueces St., from Nueces. Image: McKinney York Architects
By Edmond Ortiz
Austin (Travis County)–An Austin developer wants to build a five-story, 24,000-square-foot mixed-use downtown structure on Nueces Street, a development that could accommodate a concept relatively new to the United States–co-living housing.
The developer, Weaver Buildings, has filed documents with the city for Capitol Quarters, which would be located at 1108 Nueces, just blocks west of the Texas State Capitol.
The building–four residential floors atop ground-floor retail–would replace an existing one-story office building on the site. Weaver expects to complete the project in spring 2021. No construction cost is available.
The proposed Capitol Quarters mixed-use building at 1108 Nueces St., looking northeast from southwest. Image: McKinney York Architects
The building’s 11,040-square-foot footprint sits on a quarter-acre tract that is in a mixed use zoning district with a 60-foot height limit.
This site had been eyed for mixed-use, office or residential redevelopment in previous proposals by other developers in recent years.
Project documents filed with the city describe the nature of the residential space as “group residential.” Group residential is a permitted or conditional use that is already applied to college dormitories and fraternity or sorority houses.
The concept reserves to tenants their own bedrooms, but they share kitchens, living rooms and, in many cases, bathroom facilities. Amenities are provided to everyone, including WiFi, utilities, even cleaning services and the occasional social hour or party.
Towers, Austin’s urban development and lifestyle blog, reported on this project and speculated that Berlin, Germany-based Medici Living Group, a developer of co-living housing in Europe, is partnering with Weaver at 1108 Nueces.
The Towers post points to a few pieces of evidence, one being the project name, Capitol Quarters. Quarters is one such brand of communal/co-living spaces that Medici Living Group established in the European Union.
Medici has been developing Quarters properties in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other major urban U.S. areas. Capitol Quarters would be Medici’s first Quarters development in Texas.
An office building at 1108 Nueces will be razed to make way for the Capitol Quarters development. It’s surrounded by law firm offices and other office spaces. Image: Google Streets
Medici’s Quarters brand uses a proprietary app to provide its tenants with comprehensive services and smart-living technology.
Another piece of evidence: Medici 1108 Nueces LLC was filed as a foreign limited liability company in the Texas Secretary of State’s office in July. Medici, on its website, invites real estate investors or partners in its Quarters projects.
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.