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AUSTIN, TX-Construction is underway Star Luxe, a speculative luxury condominium project with 18 units sporting 4,000-sf floor plans. Star Luxe is the second phase of Constellation Property Group’s $200-million urban project, mostly residential, on the banks of Lady Bird Lake.

The Australian-based developer has begun work on Star Luxe’s underground garage at Interstate 35 and Riverside Drive. The developer will place the six-story residential structure on top of the garage. Completion is scheduled for early 2010. Price points are still being determined, but six condos will be shaped like a guitar. All condos will have two-car garages and private elevators.

Although Star Luxe is being built on spec, Constellation Property’s president Eugene Marchese says he’d like to see presales by the end of the year.

“Sotheby’s is handling the sales,” he says. “They’ve already gone out and tested the project with their international offices and we’re getting good responses from as far away as Moscow and Dubai.”

Marchese, who is also president of the project’s design firm, Marchese + Partners International, says Star Luxe is the second of four phases planned for the 4.5-acre tract. The 38-unit Star Riverside is under construction–and sold out. Southern Cross, an arm of Constellation Property, is the general contractor for the entire project.

The third phase is Revolution, a 72-key residential hotel scheduled for a June 2009 groundbreaking. Marchese tells GlobeSt.com that uses for phase four are still under consideration, but a mixed-use component with office, residential and a hotel is a possibility.

The development is Constellation Property Group’s pilot project in Texas, but Marchese says the prototype will be carried to other markets in the future. “We love growth cities for this and can see ourselves moving into Dallas, Houston and even a number of second-tier cities.”

The company is building similar projects in San Diego, dubbed Stella, and has plans for another project in Tempe, AZ, called Lumina. To better oversee its US developments, Constellation Property Group operates out of its San Diego office.

Marchese says his company is taking advantage of the move back to urban centers and believes the market is ready for unique, luxury condominiums near a city’s central core. “The type of buyer we’re looking for wants the extraordinary and that special experience,” he says. “We know those people exist in Texas; they just haven’t been delivered to.”

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