Developers of Natiivo Austin, a hospitality-focused high-rise under construction in downtown’s Rainey Street district, announced today that it will offer more residential units than planned due to shifting market demands.

Located at 48 East Avenue, the 33-story tower is touted as a unique combination of residential building, short-term rental hub, and hotel. All of the condominiums come with hotel licenses, offering owners the option of occupying them, leasing them out as short-term rentals, or some combination of the two. 

Units are available fully furnished and, probably more important, the building offers hotel-like services and amenities as well as the option of having onsite hospitality management by MasterHost. Of the units originally for sale, those on the lower floors have been designated for short-term rentals to be overseen by the onsite management program, with upper floors available to buyers who have the option of using them as primary residences or as rental properties.

Prospect Real Estate, broker for the condos, reports brisk sales over the past 60 days, with 85 percent of the building already sold. Nevertheless, both the hospitality and the residential real estate markets have changed dramatically since Natiivo broke ground in the summer of 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for travel accommodations worldwide plummeted in 2020. Meanwhile, residential home sales, at least in Austin, went through the roof, resulting in a shortage of available inventory (which was already anemic)—especially downtown.

In response to the sustained demand for more available housing in the area, Natiivo has released all of its 14th-floor condominiums—previously designated to be short-term rentals managed onsite—as residential units, available for buyers to use their primary homes or to rent out as they choose. According to Prospect, four of the 11 redesignated units have already been sold.

Courtesy of Natiivo Austin

Developed by Austin’s Pearlstone Partners and Florida-based Newgard Development Group, Natiivo is now more than 75 complete. According to Bill Knauss, president of Pearlstone Partners, work on interiors is proceeding apace, and the building’s exterior “is beginning to undergo striking changes” with the installation of bronze and champagne metal panels and glass handrails. That distinctiveness should carry over to the rooftop deck, which will have a custom, rammed-earth panel around its fireplace, creating a dramatic focal point at one end of the pool.

Austin-based firm STG Design was the architect on the Natiivo, with also-local DWG on the landscape architecture. New York-based INC Architecture and Design is responsible for the interiors, which promise to “speak the language of Austin” with “premium materials, outfitted with upscale fixtures and characterized by locally sourced pieces,” according to a press release. AECOM Hunt is the general contractor.

Additional project partners on the Natiivo building include Buie and Company, Cardno Civil and Environmental Consultants, DKC, Jackson Walker, Jordan and Skala Engineers, and MOD Intelechy. 

Natiivo is expected to have its first temporary certificates of occupancy in September, said Prospect’s Denise Bodman, with the first move-ins likely in November.