On my most recent visit to the Five Fifty Five building in downtown Austin we get to look at this fantastic condo development that shares space with the Hilton resort hotel on 5th and Red River that once sold at a minimum price of $350 per square foot. Now there are deals going under $290 per square foot for and these are the same great units. The reason these are going so low is there is a lawsuit pending between previous owners and the HOA that is managing it. Due to the pending litigation, normal financing is not possible. The inventory is high and prices have dropped. Once the litigation is settled it opens up the door for lenders to start giving out loans, and that would lead you to believe is that inventory will go down; demand will go up and with it, the prices.
The owners have their own entrance to the building, which is on 5th Street. They never have to deal with the sometimes chaotic entrance of the Hilton side of the building that is located on Neches. Their entrance is very low key and in the afternoon the concierge bakes cookies for them. The lounge, located right behind the concierge desk, is decor rated in a modern, urban fashion.
My first stop in this building is the 8th floor, where I have a fellow realtor who lives in the building. She was kind enough to show me her place which is not currently on MLS but listed $330,000 and it has 1059 square feet. It is a one bedroom, one bath with several upgrades that she has added in. It comes with the regular luxury amenities such as the bamboo floors, black granite countertops, high end gourmet appliances, but she has added her own comfort luxuries such as dimmer lights on every light in the unit, a modern propeller style fan in the bedroom and a custom Sogi Japanese style screen door. Her unit faces east and across and below is a city of Austin parking garage that we are told will never be built on. This provides a totally unobstructed view. The balcony has a view to the east and southeast. As my friend who showed me The Legacy on the Lake building told me when I was doing the tour for my Downtown Austin Condos for Lease series, the cars going up and down the I35 at night provide for a illuminating view at night with the headlights traveling up and down the interstate.
Our next stop is the 9th floor where we tour the two foreclosure units that are currently on the market. Very similar to the previous unit we toured this unit has 1001 square feet and doesn’t include the upgrades that the previous owner put in, such as the dimmer lights and Sogi door. This one came standard with a regular door. One thing I prefer on this unit is that the bathroom has two separate entrances. One is on the bedroom side and the other is in the hallway. This means that guests can use the rest room without having to go through the owner’s bedroom.
My next stop is the larger, 2000 plus square foot foreclosure unit, also on the 9th floor. Priced at $599,000, the price point is now at a square of price point of $286.90 per square foot. The gourmet kitchen is more spacious than the smaller units. On this unit, the countertop is extending out, giving a more clear separation from the kitchen to the living areas. The wall on the west side is equipped with in-wall speakers where the plasma TV is supposed to go. Throughout the unit you can find ceiling speaker units. On the balcony facing South you get a fantastic view of South Austin and to the west, a downtown skyline of Austin that includes the 360 building, the Frost Bank building and The Austonian.
Walking past the living room, the first door to the right is a full bathroom that can easily be accessed by the living room and the extra bedroom. Next is the spare bedroom that includes the same views as the living room and has its own balcony. Lastly, on the west side of the unit, is the master bedroom, that has ceiling to wall windows facing both South and West. These windows can be blacked out with motorized black out shades. Through the master bedroom is the walk in custom closets and the master bedroom, which includes double vanities. This is truly an amazing unit.
The last things we see on our tour are the amenities that the residents share with the hotel. This includes all the standard amenities you would find in a luxury Hilton hotel, including a full service spa, an edgeless pool, hot tub and lounge chairs. The pool his huge and is salt water.
Downstairs in the hotel part is a fabulous restaurant that specializes in seafood, steak and sushi. The residents can order room service just as if they were in the hotel.
So now with these foreclosure units and the litigation that is pending on the HOA, cash buyers have the unique opportunity to buy into this great complex for UNDER $300 per square foot. Check out my video review of this building by clicking here.
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