Archives for December 2008

21c Museum Hotel Residences… a new opportunity?

Now that the AMOA museum tower and the bazillion room Marriott are on indefinite hold, an unexpected opportunity has opened up for Downtown Austin’s proposed 21c museum/hotel/residences to consider pushing forward.  21c is making the mass-media rounds as of late.  Last week 21c was featured on NPR.  This morning 21c was featured on the Today show.

21c’s Cesar Chavez & Red River location is prime for participation (financial and design) in the Waller Creek Revitalization.

UPDATE: AMOA museum tower is officially cancelled

its official

it's official

Recently it was speculation, but now it’s official. According the Austin Business Journal, Hines Interestes LP, the developer planning the office portion of the museum tower, will allow its option on the land to expire today.

“Due to the uncertain economy, we made the difficult decision not to renew the option in 2009. However, Hines is still interested in developing an office building in Austin when the market recovers, and we hope it will be in conjunction with AMOA and its museum. The project will not restart until the market improves.  Our hope would be to get a new deal together in 2009 or 2010, and then move full steam ahead. We see great potential in the long-term viability of the city of Austin.” –Travis Overall, Hines vice president

Located at 4th and Guadalupe, this is one of the few undeveloped sites in Downtown Austin that is not in a capitol view corridor, so it’s availability should quickly attract the interest of opportunistic developers.  Otherwise we’ll endure another couple of years of surface parking blight 🙁   Add this site to the other prime downtown sites available and I expect to see some interesting proposals over the next year.

Thanks to DANA‘s Roger Cauvin for the heads up!

AMOA building on hold?

AMOA museum tower is on hold

AMOA museum tower is on hold

According to this WSJ article…

“Houston-based developer Hines says it won’t likely start construction as planned in the first quarter on a mixed-use project it is developing in downtown Austin with the Austin Museum of Art. A Hines spokeswoman says the company still hopes to start construction in 2009. Hines will need to prelease at least half the project’s 425,000 square feet of office space before it seeks financing for the office component, the spokeswoman says.”

Texas Archive of the Moving Image

I spent a good portion of this past weekend browsing the skyscraperpage forums.  I have been hooked ever since I discovered this website.   Members of this forum are actively photographing and discussing development progress in Austin.  Many of them have serious photography chops, too.  One of the best reasons for tuning in to the discussion is for the ‘golden nuggets’ that people find on the inter-tubes and share with the other members.  One example is the “Texas Archive of the Moving Image” – a repository for old films about Texas.

The history of Austin is something I am fascinated with, so you can imagine how excited I was when I learned about these videos.  Here is a link to an old video of Barton Springs and Lamar Blvd.  Search around the website and post your favorites in the comments section.

21c gets glowing review by NPR

by jude galligan

21c museum residences

21c museum residences

Austin’s 21c museum residences and hotel may be on hold for now, but this morning NPR gave a glowing review of the original concept in Louisville, Kentucky. The NPR story incorrectly states that the Austin 21c is under construction; however, Marriott’s decision to not build 1,000 hotel rooms should reflect favorably on 21c’s pro-formas. 21c was originally planned for development at the Whitley paper building on 3rd and San Jacinto, however, plans changed to locate the building(s) at Red River and Cesar Chavez, along Waller Creek.

link to article
link to NPR audio