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Brokerage, Planning & Development, Investments, Consulting & Property Management

 

The Buzz - 2004-

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Press Excerpts

At the helm
Westbanker steers Eanes Education Foundation to next level of excellence
Westlake Picayune
October 14, 2004

When Danny Roth assumed the position as president of the Eanes Education Foundation in May, he took the helm of an organization that has gone through many growing pains.

... Today, Roth says current funding shortfalls have diverted funds to more basic district requirements such as teachers' salaries.

... "If I accomplished nothing else during this year, I would like to expand greatly the recognition of EEF to the public, as the fund-raising arm of the district so that when people think of EISD, they think of EEF," he says.

... Roth's degrees in sociology and public administration have supported his work with SWSG where he works closely with public agencies, such as the Austin Independent School District and the Austin Travis County Mental Health and Mental Retardation. Now, his skills guide him in his role as president of EEF.



Southward, ho!
Eclectic mix of developers digging South Austin scene
Austin Business Journal
October 1-7, 2004

Then there's that element of South Austin loyalty. Take Penn Field as one example. Six limited partners own the airfield-turned-business park, which prides itself on its historic rehabilitation of the buildings.

Two of the partners, Danny Roth and John Rosato, act as leasing agents on the project through their company Southwest Strategies Group.

Southwest Strategies also leases SoCo Center, which is owned by three more partners in the Penn Field project: Rob Lippencott, Abe Zimmerman and Stan Biderman.

... The space at Penn Field — about half the size of the new Frost Bank Tower downtown — is almost fully leased. Roth says tenants are attracted to the project because it is eclectic, an adaptive reuse of existing circa-1917 buildings.

"There's nothing else quite like Penn Field in Austin," Roth says. "Even when we were in the worst downturn of the office market, we had steady leasing activity at Penn Field."

"We told people who came and looked at the space that this was a certain kind of product. You could get cheaper office space elsewhere, but you won't get office space like this."



Sixth Street tax district created
Austin American-Statesman
August 28, 2004

"We want to encourage more live music venues in addition to daytime and nighttime retail use and dining," said John Rosato, a member of the Pecan Street Owners Association. "We want to take what's there and expand on it."

According to a preliminary budget drafted by the owners association, the district would operate on an initial annual budget of $125,000.



Seaholm Power Announces Team for Seaholm Redevelopment
Press release - Thais Austin (taustin@avanceconsulting.net)
August 20, 2004

"What distinguishes Seaholm Power and what we are proudest of is the depth of experience and commitment of the local companies on the team to Austin's downtown," said John Rosato with Southwest Strategies Group. "Additionally, our team brings extensive experience with the redevelopment of power plants and with historic preservation."

The Seaholm Power team has the proven ability to create dynamic cultural, retail and housing complex that will not only preserve the icon of the Seaholm Power Plant building but develop the surrounding site as a community destination with visual and experiential triggers that remind us of our history.



Visitors center to move to Sixth Street
Austin Business Journal
February 10, 2004

The Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau's visitors center will move into new digs on East Sixth Street on March 1.

The center's new location will be the historic Grove Drug Building at 209 E. Sixth St. Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group, Inc. recently leased 3,000 square feet to the bureau. Southwest Strategies acquired the building in 1999.



Sixth Street seeking renewal
Matt Hudgins, Austin Business Journal
January 27, 2003

A group of property owners in Austin's Sixth Street entertainment district is trying to identify ways the area can become more appealing to visitors and raise property values.

Organizers hope to present a study later to the Austin City Council as evidence of the economic benefits that changes on Sixth Street might bring to the overall community.

"The reasons for the study are the economic conditions on Sixth Street, which are not stellar at the moment," says Jerry Creagh, an associate at Southwest Strategies Group in Austin and co-chairman of the property owners' group financing the study.

"Sixth Street has become very much a one- or two-dimensional environment — It's just a bar district," Creagh says. "Sixth Street was a thriving multiuse district in the '80s, when it first experienced its current renaissance and gentrification."



SH 130 builder to bring up to 120 jobs to Hutto
Mary Alice Kaspar, Austin Business Journal
December 9, 2002

The consortium behind the planned State Highway 130 is preparing to set up shop in Hutto, with as many as 120 employees occupying space there.

Lone Star Infrastructure LLC, a group of construction and engineering firms that will build SH 130, plans to begin construction on roughly 36,000 square feet of office space in January.

... Lone Star Infrastructure is a joint venture led by Fluor Corp., Balfour Beatty Construction Inc. and T.J. Lambrecht Co. Other members are Austin Road & Bridge, Raba Kistner Consultants Inc., Southwest Strategies Group Inc., Macias & Associates Inc., O.R. Colan Associates Inc., Dr. Dallas Little PE, DMJM + Harris, Dan Zollinger, S&B Infrastructure Ltd., CTL/Thompson Inc., Hicks & Co., TBE Group Inc., VMS Inc. and Bridgefarmer & Associates Inc. Chicago-based Edelman is handling public relations for Lone Star.



Area developers team for Gulf project
Austin Business Journal
June 14, 2002

The Lower Colorado River Authority and a group of local investors have finalized a pre-development agreement for a $6.3 million lodge on the 1,600-acre Matagorda Bay Nature Park and Preserve.

Matagorda Coastal Partners and the LCRA will construct an 85-room tourism lodge on the preserve, which is on the coast at Matagorda Beach and southeast of Bay City. Principals of Matagorda Coastal Partners are local developers John Sanford of John B. Sanford Real Estate and Danny Roth and John Rosato, who are partners in Southwest Strategies Group.



Find contrasts, comparisons on downtown streets
Austin Business Journal
April 15, 2002

There are two distinct markets with differing cycles on Fourth and Sixth Streets, according to Jerry Creagh. Creagh's experience in the areas includes his time as a Sixth Street real estate investor, past president of Old Pecan Street Association, founding president of East Sixth Street Community Association, co-founder of the Pecan Street Art Festival and now an agent with Southwest Strategies Group.

"Sixth was peaking when Fourth was down, and then Fourth took off. It had no where to go but up when it started," Creagh says, "but that was the same way for Sixth Street when I started there in the late `70s."

Sixth Street is experiencing something of a down market, Creagh says, while Fourth Street is a very vibrant market. "Therein lies the challenge and the opportunity," he says. It has gotten very expensive to do business in the Fourth Street district, according to Creagh. "Real estate is very dear," he says. "Parking and mobility are very challenging in that area."



Developer looks south of SoCo
Shonda Novak, Austin American-Statesman
March 29, 2002

It's also an area in transition, evolving from an abandoned industrial area into a mix of residential, retail and office uses.

John Rosato, a partner of Southwest Strategies Group Inc., which is in the partnership redeveloping Penn Field, said Symcox's project is "visionary." "I think it will be successful because of its location and what's happening all up and down South Congress," Rosato said.

Rosato and his partners have leased 70 percent of the 230.000 square-foot Penn Field site.



Preserving Penn Field
Developers revamp crumbling World War I barracks, armories

Jason Spencer, Austin American-Statesman
November 7, 2001

Even the city's homeless residents were largely unaware of Penn Field's 168,000 square feet of brick barracks and armories built in just 62 days in 1918. In February 2000, when developer John Rosato and his partners at Southwest Strategies Group bought the land next to the Expose topless club, the only tenants inside the crumbling buildings were some foxes, raccoons and other varmits. Trees were growing out of missing roofs, and the elements had taken a toll on the buildings' longleaf pine floors.



Austin school officials dispute comptroller's views on district
Maeve Reston, Austin American-Statesman
July 24, 2001

Austin school officials dispute a finding by the state comptroller that they could save $12 million by selling their downtown headquarters and moving district offices to Reagan High School.

... * The district's real estate consultants, Southwest Strategies Group, estimate that the district could sell the headquarters, which is across Sixth Street from restaurants, boutiques and other stores, for about $19.5 million.



Reuse -- from wood chips to computer chips
Austin Business Journal
July 9, 2001

A few Austin developers have carved out a niche of business under the banner of "adaptive reuse," a trendy term among architects that suggests recycling. And that's exactly what it is. Yet, it's more than simple renovation, as materials or foundations or old designs are adapted for re-use in a new sturcture.

... The Majestic and Grove Drug building projects were the work of Austin's Southwest Strategies Group. The old Majestic Manufacturing facility was purchased in February 2000 for $3 million, clearly a far cry from what it must have cost when it was constructured in 1917 as Penn Field.

... Danny Roth, a partner in Southwest Strategies Group, is pleased the design combined old and new materials.

"We retained all of the old brick and, in fact, had to buy old Austin brick to do repairs on some of the work," Roth says. "We have brick accents on the metal building and metal accents on the brick features, so we've been careful about blending the current design with the history of the building."

Partner John Rosato says, "The old material has a lot of character and class, so we try to use it as much as possible. It also has some limitations, so how one goes about doing this in a cost-effective manner is a challenge."



Designs on South Congress
Former training field going retail

Sheryll Poe, Austin American-Statesman
August 4, 2000

A group of developers is practicing Austin's version of the three R's -- recycle, reuse, restore -- with a historic property on South Congress Avenue.

... While the partners would say only that they spent between $2 million and $5 million for the site, they are sure they will spend much more than that on the renovation. "This is a multimillion-dollar process," Rosato said. "We believe in rebuild and restore."

... The new developers think there are two reasons the property stayed on the market so long. "The real estate market needed time to mature to where a property like this could be redeveloped and put back onto the marketplace," general partner Daniel Roth said. "And the other thing is previous buyers were not necessarily looking at is as a redevelopment and utilizing the existing buildings. They were looking at it from a new commercial structure standpoint." The property was on the market for three years before Abe Zimmerman, Roth, Stan Biderman, Rob Lippincott and Rosato steped in six months ago.

This will be the first joint venture for the newly formed Majestic Partners Ltd. Rosato and Roth were involved in the six-month, $800,000 renovation of Grove Drug, the Sixth Street drugstore where the writer O. Henry once worked. Biderman and Zimmerman were instrumental in last year's renovation of San Jose Hotel on South Congress. Lippincott is best known for his development and renovation of Guero's Taco Bar, also on South Congress.



Prescription for progress
Historic Sixth St. drug store gets modern renovation

Matt Hudgins, Austin Business Journal
January 11, 1999

A group of Austin developers are concocting a cure for the historic Grove Drug Building on East Sixth Street.

A partnership headed by Southwest Strategies Group has purchased the 127-year-old landmark at 209 E. Sixth St. and plans to spend $400,000 renovating and restoring the three-story structure to office and retail, or restaurant.

General partners John Rosato, Daniel Roth and Lee Aaronson have joined with five equity partners in the project.

"We're looking for a company that wants to have a part of Austin history," Rosato says of potential tenants. "You get a feeling of the history here that new buildings don't provide."

... Downtown property owner and developer Whit Hanks says Southwest Strategies Group has proven its urban renovation abilities with previous projects such as Fifth Street Market at 1114 W. Fifth Street.