The Breakers in Austin Story
Sometimes, it takes real vision to recognize opportunity—and real expertise to capitalize on it.
Prior to acquisition, The Breakers was a vacant dilapidated property burdened with over 180 city code violations. Its eastside location was in the middle of a neighborhood dotted with pawn shops and check-cashing stores which presented even more challenges to its viability.
Yet it was still a community of 204 apartments situated on the prime shorefront location of Lady Bird Lake, with easy access to major commuting routes and public transportation. Taking the long view, we recognized the potential value of the asset and how it could be transformed with a comprehensive renovation and competent property management.
Transforming The Breakers was easier said than done. Wingate worked closely with City officials to resolve the property’s complex zoning and environmental issues. We assembled a team of architects and engineers to completely reconceptualize the property. In addition to a total renovation of the buildings, we added a new clubhouse, business office and property marketing center—all designed to take full advantage of the lakeside view.
Soon after The Breakers was relaunched, it exceeded Wingate’s revenue projections by 9% in just the first year. Property value increased from $8.1 million at the start of the project to $18 million—a 45% increase in value over cost. The City of Austin recognized The Breakers as a community success story, awarding it “Best Substantial Rehabilitation.”
Wingate’s initial assessment of the opportunity has proven to be one of great foresight. Since completion of The Breakers, the overall neighborhood has undergone significant revitalization, as high-end residential and commercial properties have displaced the pawn shops and check cashing establishments. Recognizing the recreation potential of the shoreline, the City of Austin constructed the Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake, passing directly in front of the property. Today, kayak racks are full at The Breakers, catering to residents who value a healthy lifestyle afforded by the property’s enviable lakeside location.