If you haven’t yet read this week’s edition of The Austin Chronicle – and seen the amazing front page photo/rendering – please check it out at once here! Stupendous reporting by Senior News Editor, Michael King, of breaking news regarding a multi-billion dollar plan to build a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the middle of Lady Bird Lake, coupled with the new Light Rail line running straight through the center of the stadium as the train crosses the river.
Have you experienced the phenomena that BIG things seem to happen when you’re on vacation? This past week, while we attempted to cruise, there were multiple status report updates about three tall projects in downtown Austin.
99 Trinity Tower Announces $100mm, 39 Story Apartment Highrise
Back in November, DAB broke the news about Trinity Tower. Located just east of the Four Seasons Residences, and north of Lakeside apartments. This will become a very dense intersection. We have big expectations that this highrise will fill the perceptive gap between the Rainey Street neighborhood and the rest of downtown Austin. We’re thrilled that they are aiming high with a 39 story tower, which would be the tallest apartment building in Austin. Demolition of the warehouse should commence soon. (Statesman)
Waller Park Place Closes On Land
The Sutton Company closed on their deal to buy Perry Lorenz’s incredible 3-acre assemblage along Waller Creek. What Sutton is proposing is nothing short of the largest private development in the history of downtown Austin. Three towers in the Rainey Street district, including significant Waller Creek enhancements, stretching from Cesar Chavez to Davis Street. (Statesman)
Fairmont Selects Builder
This was significant because half of the people I talk with have begun to think this project is vapor-ware. The project was planned to break ground a while back. The Fairmont website is showing delivery in “2016+”, and the sign pictured above says “Opening Fall 2017″. We hope this is a reliable signal that the project will break ground soon. (Statesman)
The latest bike share hub being installed this morning at Davis & Rainey Street. Just in time for SXSW, this is a good choice of location in the neighborhood. Across the street Hotel Van Zandt is under construction.
At ~1,400,000 square feet Waller Park Place, a three tower mixed-use plan is the largest private development ever proposed in downtown Austin (correct me in the comments if I’m wrong). It’s the vision of the Sutton Company, who formally filed their site plan approval application with the City of Austin last week.
Back in September, Downtown Austin Blog first revealed the concept for the 3 acre tract stretching from Cesar Chavez to Davis Street, hugging Waller Creek. Then it was being called Waller Center and seemed really to be just a conceptual vision.
Below is what we know (note these numbers have gone up since Waller Center was announced in September and could still change)
- Tower A – Office, 25+ stories, on the corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez
- Tower B – Apartments, 50+ stories, internal on the site
- Tower C – Hotel/Condo, 40+ stories, at Red River & Davis
- Target FAR is 10:1
- The architect is the IBI Group
- No phasing is contemplated – all three towers built simultaneously
- The site is part of the Waller Creek TIF district
Above and below are a couple of crude massing-drawings I made for each tower to help view the relative dimensions and heights of the three towers, and to help us see how these buildings will fit into the skyline.
If you have ever looked for parking behind the Continental Club on South Congress, you may have been surprised to see the Kimber Modern hotel quietly tucked along the back street.
The Kimber, with it’s clean, manicured building lines, has become a favorite destination for people visiting Austin, or even Austinites taking a staycation.
Though the notion of a Kimber Modern in the Rainey District has been percolating for a while now, the principals have been very tight lipped.
For the first time, we have an original rendering of the project that we can share, and can confirm that it will be called, simply, “Kimber Modern Rainey.”
Here’s what we know…
- 30 hotel rooms (approx.)
- Four above grade floors
- One floor of underground parking
- Street level lobby, bar, pool, and restaurant open to the public
- Three floors of rooms
- Designed by Burton Baldridge
- Will be operated by Kimber Modern Team
- Co-Developed and built by Acero Construction
In almost poetic contrast to some of the recent cookie-cutter development in and around downtown, the Kimber Modern Rainey will be one of a kind.
It’s always refreshing to see a development putting forth a bold design vision. Despite how much downtown Austin has evolved, many of us feel a bit let down by safe “beige box” aesthetic of several new buildings. Hat tip to Burton Baldridge on the design.
The site for the chic bed & breakfast’s 2nd location will be on East Ave (near the corner of River St), sharing an alley with the core of Rainey Street. Made up of two adjacent lots: 62 & 64 East Ave, it will welcome people into the neighborhood.
I’m excited that owner Kimber Cavendish and Vicki Faust are bringing this kind of quality, home-grown hospitality into the Rainey Street area, four years after they launched their South Congress base.
Notably, the South Congress location picked as on of 13 winners (out of 227 entries) in 2012 to receive the Texas Society of Architects Design Awards from a total of 227 entries.
The Kimber joins Hotel Van Zandt in the neighborhood, which finally erupted into construction earlier this year after years of smoke. Just outside the ‘hood the mega-luxury, mega-size Fairmont is also looking to get underway soon.
Here are the latest revisions to the 3 acre Waller Center plan – an ambitious project that stretches along the east bank of Waller Creek, from E Cesar Chavez to Davis Street.
The updated renderings (below) give a more comprehensive vision for the massing of three distinct towers, and how they could be best be oriented. According to the ABJ‘s interview with development firm, The Sutton Company, their target is to submit plans to the City of Austin for approval by late November
Here’s what we know about the goals of the project:
- Tower A is a 21 story office building
- Tower B is a 46 story residential tower
- Tower C is a 38 story mixed use Tower
- Target FAR is 10:1
- 26,000 ft retail (possibly grocery store)
Checkout the images below.
I’ve been watching 87 Rainey for some time, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting to try No Va Kitchen and Bar since I first saw the TABC notice on the door in May 2012.
Well, it’s finally open, and I had the chance to try it last night. Despite the name, the restaurant / bar concept is a definite go.
So many things to like! First off, there’s a celebrity chef component (Brad Sorenson of The Next Food Network Star fame), AND he’s really friendly! Second, more FOOD on Rainey (which, as a Rainey resident, is very near and dear to my heart and stomach). The food is tasty and not crazy expensive!