As we walked out of Frank last week, I couldn’t help but notice this view. There’s nothing particularly dramatic about it. What is interesting, to me at least, is that for years this view didn’t exist.
201 E 5th Street obstructed the view to 5th Street from this block of Colorado St. That building was recently razed, and was replaced with a surface level parking lot. Eventually, the “1 Hotel” is supposed to occupy the land once they find the capital to commence with site permitting and construction.
Until then, the open space replaces a vacant and ugly building. I’m usually against taking down a building of higher and better use and replacing it with a surface level parking lot. But in this instance I’m ambivalent. Now, the “energy” at 5th @ Colorado, a gateway into downtown Austin’s Warehouse District, just feels good… better.
It’s more inviting to see through to Colorado St, rather than walk around what was a “dead” building. A completed “1 Hotel” would energize the district, but until that time, this surface level parking lot is better than what it replaced.