Downtown’s skyline poised for a remake

Shonda Novak |
Source: Austin American Statesman

Downtown Austin’s high-rise building boom is back.

After a hiatus during the recession, the development pipeline is swelling with tower projects; some are under construction, some are set to start soon, and others are due to begin next year or later.
If built as planned over the next several years – and even developers say it’s unlikely all will become reality – the projects would reshape downtown Austin’s skyline.

The proposed projects include two new convention hotels as well as more housing, mostly apartments, which continue to be the hottest sector of the commercial real estate market. Downtown also could see the first new office buildings to rise since Frost Bank Tower opened in 2004. The developer of the tower, Cousins Properties Inc., plans a second high-rise with 30 stories at Third and Colorado streets, and Endeavor Real Estate Group plans a 13-story tower for IBC Bank on West Fifth Street, across from the downtown post office.

Here’s a look at some of the new high-rises in the planning stages:

A. Gables Park Plaza II
Developer: Gables Residential
Location: 111 Sandra Muraida Way
Stories: 18
Units: 222 apartments
Projected completion: Late 2013
Cost: Undisclosed

B. Third and Brazos
Developer: Riverside Resources
Location: Third and Brazos streets Stories: 16
Units: 277 apartments
Projected completion: 2013
Cost: Undisclosed

1. SkyHouse
Developer: SkyHouse Austin LLC Location: 51 Rainey St.
Stories: 23
Units: 320 apartments Projected start: July
Projected completion: October 2013

2. Colorado & Third
Developer: Cousins Properties Inc.
Location: Colorado and Third streets
Stories: 30
Capacity: 390,000 square feet of office space and 6,000 square feet of retail
Projected start: Late 2012
Cost: Undisclosed

3. Fairmont Austin hotel
Developer: Manchester Texas Financial Group
Location: East Cesar Chavez and Red River streets
Stories: 50
Rooms: 1,000
Projected start: Spring 2013
Projected completion: 2015
Cost: $350 million

4. JW Marriott convention hotel
Developer: White Lodging Services Corp.
Location: Second Street and Congress Avenue
Stories: 33
Rooms: 1,012
Projected start: Summer
Projected completion: Early 2015
Cost: $275 million

5. Rainey Center
Developer: The Sutton Co.
Location: Near Rainey and Driskill streets and East Avenue
Stories: Up to 50 each in two towers
Units: 800-1,000 apartments and condominiums
Projected start: Undetermined
Cost: $75 million to $100 million (first phase)

6. Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment
Developer: Seaholm Power LLC
Location: West Cesar Chavez Street
Stories: 28 in proposed apartment tower, plus a low-rise retail-office building and restored Seaholm structure
Capacity: 294 apartments, plus 130,00 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurants
Projected start: Late July
Projected completion: 2014
Cost: Undisclosed

7. Redevelopment of former Austin Energy Control Center site
Developer: Constructive Ventures
Location: Near West Avenue and Third Street
Capacity: The project will have condos or apartments, depending on market demand, along with retail and possibly some office space
Projected Start: 2014-15
Projected completion: 2016-17
Cost: Undetermined

8. Green Water Treatment Plant redevelopment
Developer: Team led by Trammell Crow Co.
Location: West Cesar Chavez Street
Stories: Two towers, each at least 30 stories tall, plus a 17-story hotel and a 28-story office tower
Capacity: 826 apartments and 82,000 square feet of retail; 1.75 million square feet of development in all
Projected start: Early 2013
Cost: $500 million

9. Future Whole Foods headquarters site
Developer: Schlosser Development Corp.
Location: West Sixth and Bowie streets
Number of stories: Two buildings, one 20 stories and the other four or five stories Capacity: 325,000 square feet in tower and 100,000 square feet in smaller building Projected start: Late 2013
Projected completion: Late 2015 for the tower
Cost: Undisclosed

10. 3 eleven Bowie
Developer: Endeavor Real Estate Group and the Lynd Co.
Location: Near West Fifth and Bowie streets
Stories: 36
Capacity: 359 apartments, along with 42,000 square feet of office space and 3,000 feet of retail
Projected start: Third quarter of this year
Projected completion: Late 2014 Cost: Undisclosed

11. IBC Bank Plaza
Developer: Endeavor Real Estate Group
Location: 500 W. Fifth St.
Stories: 13
Capacity: 195,000 square feet of space, the bulk of which will be for offices
Projected start: December
Projected completion: May 2014
Cost: Undisclosed