AUSTIN-A Dallas developer is on track to move dirt on a high-end loft project in Austin’s CBD in April 2002. The 14-story Austin City Lofts expects move-in will be in late spring or early summer 2003 for residents willing to pay from $272,000 to $1.29 million to live around the corner from Hut’s Hamburgers.

Just last week, the Austin City Council waived up to $202,747 in development fees for CLB Partners Ltd., the developer, because the project fits into the city’s Smart Growth program. The money is a mix of fees for streets and infrastructure improvements, licensing and inspections.

Smart Growth is what has drawn employee-rich operations such as Computer Sciences Corp. to the Downtown, where it is moving into a two-building complex. The program also helped lead Intel Corp. to put an office building a few blocks from the Austin City Lofts project. The CA-based chipmaker, however, halted work on the building earlier this year.

The project is to have 62 flats and 20 two-story loft homes with the bottom four stories devoted to parking and retail. The units will range in size from 1,100 sf to 2,800 sf. It will be situated on the northwest corner of Fifth and West streets on the banks of Shoal Creek. The company operates a sales office near the site.

To the west it will overlook the latest Sixth + Lamar mixed-used project and to the east downtown Austin. Also nearby are Post Properties’ 239-unit Post West Avenue apartments and Phoenix Property Co.’s planned 50-unit apartment building.

At 97.9%, the third-quarter occupancy rate of class A multifamily space in the CBD was the highest in Austin. It did, however, slip 1.8% from the previous year, compared to a year-to-year drop of 6.9% marketwide.

The general contractor on the project is Faulkner and the architect is Page Southerland Page. Susan Boykin of ARB Design is handling the interior design.

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