Connor Group expands with River Oaks buy
Mobile developer touring tech circuit to talk innovation at events, on television.
Three months after entering the Austin market, the Connor Group has expanded its local presence with the purchase of River Oaks, a 290-unit apartment community in Southwest Austin.
The Ohio-based real estate investment firm bought the complex from River Oaks Sunset Valley Inc. for $34.6 million. The firm purchased its first Austin property, Cityview at SoCo, in August, and is looking at future acquisitions. It has operated in the DallasFort Worth Metroplex since 2008.
Built in 1997, River Oaks is a 40-acre gated community with amenities including a pool, spa, fitness center, dog park and volleyball and basketball courts. With more than $1.4 billion in assets, the Connor Group specializes in luxury apartment communities, operating 16,000 units in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton and Raleigh-Durham.
By Brian Gaar
This week, Austinbased technologist William “Whurley” Hurley is in Amsterdam, spreading the gospel of tech innovation.
Hurley, co-founder of appmaker Chaotic Moon Studios, received an “International Genius” travel grant from the city of Amsterdam and its tech-promoting Appsterdam Foundation. The grant is a yearly invitation given to “the world’s smartest and most interesting people,” according to the foundation.
As part of the grant, Hurley is discussing innovation with various academic, government and tech gatherings. He will also appear on Dutch television shows and meet with local businesses.
Hurley, who is an evangelist of Austin’s mobile development scene, said he hopes to use the opportunity to spread the word about the local tech community.
“(Austin has) yet, in my opinion, to get the kind of recognition we should in the startup world and especially in the innovation space in general,” he said. “People know we’re a progressive culture, but they don’t know enough about us and all the innovation that happens here.”
Chaotic Moon, while small, punches above its weight class in terms of influence. It has built apps for clients ranging from Pizza Hut to CBS Sports to Betty Crocker. And earlier this year, employees launched a research and development division that set the tech world abuzz, churning out prototypes like a “smart” shopping cart that can follow you around a store and recognize your purchases.
Hurley, whose resume also includes stints at Apple and IBM, where he was a master inventor, was chosen because of that background, said Tara Ross, chief community officer for Appsterdam.
“We just thought it was a