And Then There Were Two

And Then There Were Two

A well timed announcement for a 50+story hotel at Red River and Cesar Chavez has shifted the attention away from the Mariott Marquis seeking a waiver of $4MM in development fees.

The latest hotel announced by Manchester Texas Financial Group is receiving good reviews for its design, ambition, and potential for embracing the Waller Creek District Master Plan.

To be clear, there really isn’t a choice here.  Each project is pushing forward on their own merits.  But the timing begs the question “which building can break ground first?”.

Both would be significant additions to the skyline and economy.  Development fee waivers, if any, will likely go to the project that is most prepared and that can begin construction soonest.

That’s incentive!

Below is a rendering of the “Grand Hotel” at Waller Creek

grand hotel on waller creek

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. The addition of two new convention hotels to downtown Austin is an absolute must, and the fact that they are both so beautiful in their design can only enhance what is already an attractive city skyline. There’s no question that these hotels will draw large convention business to a cultural center renown for its friendliness, entertainment and hospitality.

  2. In light of the perceived competition between the two projects, the request for fee waivers should either be denied, greatly reduced, split. There is no need for the COA to be so generous with not collecting revenue with cutbacks and layoffs making front page news for the past two years. Let the projects proceed on their own merits and let hem succeed or struggle on their own merits. If these corporations believe that Austin is the right place for them, then they don’t need the waiver and the taxpayers of Austin shouldn’t have to dig into their pockets to make up for the uncollected money. If the COA is going to grant waivers, I’d suggest reducing the amount. Four million of uncollected fees is equal to the total of my average monthly utility bill for 2,777 years.

  3. Outstanding!!!

  4. Austin Healy says

    I like them both a lot…but I am leaning towards the Waller one more. Hopefully we’ll see them break ground in the projected 9 months (or sooner), fingers crossed. Will we get more info after Wednesdays meeting??

  5. I am still a big fan of the Mariott style. It is something that isn’t seen or done much anymore in Austin and I think it would look good right there at 2nd and Congress. But holy cow that Manchester building is great! The location is perfect. It is really going to be great for more development along Waller and down on Rainey Street.

    I wonder what will happen to the lot between the Manchester and Rainey Street? That is going to be a prime lot.

    • Lance Hunter says

      I agree, the Manchester building looks phenomenal. I think it would be a great addition to downtown if it gets built.

  6. I don’t understand why the city is saying they’ll give fee waivers to whichever project can start sooner. Why not have them bid for it: let each group submit a bid for how much in fees it wants waived, and then go with the low bidder.

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