416 Congress Ave: Boutique Hotel Renderings

416 Congress Ave: Boutique Hotel Renderings

Downtown Austin Blog learned this past May about a project to erect a boutique hotel over what is currently Sky Lounge.  Known simply as “416 Congress” we now have images and renderings from Dick Clark architecture that will be presented to the Downtown Commission.   The proposal calls for 130 rooms and 26 stories.  Downtown Austin rarely sees tall mid-block construction.

This could be a harbinger for more mid-block development and we hope the city supports the concept, not that it’s perfect.  Expect some discussion around parking and sidewalk width. The site is not encumbered by a Capitol View Corridor, but there are setback requirements.  The developer is seeking CBD-CURE zoning in order to bump the FAR from 8:1 to 13:1.

More info and pics after the jump.

From the project description:

“The existing James H. Robertson building, built in 1893 will be transformed into a 130-room boutique hotel. The project will include a restaurant, café, event space and amenities for the guest rooms. The project will restore and preserve the existing historic façade. The new vertical addition will set back from the original façade to preserve the buildings existing character.”

About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.


  1. who is the developer on this project? And is it still happening?

  2. I think this hotel project is the next step in combining one level of historic preservation with development of air space above a historic structure that meets the commercial demands of the central business district in the 21st century. There is considerable precedents for this type of development in major European cities and in New York for sure. Preserving the facade of the structure is of primary importance and as I recall it was concealed in the 60’s and restored in the late 80’s or early 90’s. The interior structure and design is not particularly noteworthy in my opinion.
    I would like to see more of this project than what the rendering shows because that aerial point of view is not how the public will view the building. Such a tall building should be reasonably attractive from every side and every angle and I think the architects and developers owe the citizens a real glimpse of their ambitions.

  3. If we keep tearing down all the cool old funky places that make austin, austin. Then who’ll want to visit? I live here because its not Dallas or Houston. It’s not full of high rises nor chain restaurants. I love that I can see the rolling hill country and all the funky dives down town. We need more Hotel San Juan’s and Austin Motel’s.

    • The proposal says nothing about tearing down this building. In fact, it’s being preserved and embraced. It will bring people to Congress Ave. The current tenant, Sky Lounge, is not the highest and best use of this property from any perspective.

  4. ^Girl…..puhleasssse

  5. What an ugly box design. Atlanta has cool buildings thanks to design standards. Austin is too young of a city to understand the negative lasting impact of tall ugly buildings. Say no to the Generic Tall Box!

  6. So it looks like Dick Clark is getting involved in taller projects and it looks great.

  7. Interesting way to re-use the existing historic building as part of a new development project.

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