Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt Begins Site Work

Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt Begins Site Work

hotel-van-zandt-site

It’s for real this time.  Planned in 2006 as a sister development to the Shore Condos, which shares the southern part of the site, the Hotel Van Zandt was originally going to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope of the development was reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel.

JMI, the developer of the hotel, told the ABJ in March that June was their target month to break ground.  Bulldozers began clearing the site this morning.

Here are target dates for the construction:

  • Start date: July 2, 2013
  • Subterranean excavation now through November 2013
  • Install tower crane in October of 2013
  • Concrete structural frame of hotel: Up to ground level in January 2014
  • Pool deck level poured in March 2014
  • Building tops out at level 16 in July 2014
  • Construction Completion in March 2015
hotelvanzandt-begins construction

bulldozer begins clearing the site of Hotel Van Zandt

hotelvanzandt-begins construction2

bulldozer begins clearing the site of Hotel Van Zandt

render by WDG

Hotel Van Zandt render by WDG





Lets Hug It Out: Rainey Street Traffic

Lets Hug It Out: Rainey Street Traffic

rainey-photo

With the increasing amount of construction happening in the Rainey Street District, I think we have seen the last of the Google Villages and such taking the neighborhood over – at least for a while.

I’m going to lay out a summary of the transportation plan here first, then drop my two cents in the bucket on the drama surrounding it.

What to expect

City staff have settled on maintaining two-way traffic on the street, and adding sidewalks where there is not existing development taking place. The east side of the street will retain on-street, metered parking, while the west side (on the right side if you are facing the river) will be converted into a striped area with pedicab pick-ups and bike parking.

Once the sidewalks are built out, the city may move forward with converting that striped area into bike lanes.

The city will convert the turning circle into a “modern roundabout” – like this one at Rio Grande and 10th Street.  The city also plans to install speed humps (not speed bumps) and up the ante on the navigational signs in and around the area.

[Read more…]





Downtown News and Rumor Round-up

Downtown News and Rumor Round-up

downtown-austin-news-roundup

Rainey Street District hotel breaking ground next month?

If you’ve been around downtown Austin since 2006, you’ve been hearing about the Hotel Van Zandt.

It was a sister development to the Shore Condos, sharing the northern end of the site.  Hotel Van Zandt was initially planned to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope has been reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel component.

We’ve heard all of this before. Developers are now telling the Statesman they plan to get going next month. This is the same thing they told the ABJ in March, which is a sign that it is indeed ready to roll.

Hotel Van Zandt was initially planned to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope has been reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel component.

Statesman has more

New Travis County courthouse up for debate

Courtmap

The ongoing debate for whether or not Travis County will enter into a deal for a public-private partnership to build a new courthouse downtown could be coming to a head.

Recently, the Statesman profiled some of the issues associated with the project, and on Tuesday the Commissioner Court talked to the finalists for the deal: URS and Broaddus and Associates.

The court did not take a vote when it discussed it at a hearing this past Tuesday, but is taking the issue back up this Tuesday.

The new courthouse could rise 17 stories next to Republic Square. Earlier this year, commissioners decided they will hold a bond election to finance the courthouse, but no date is certain.

If the deal ever falls through, or the public does not approve the bonds, it would put a lot that is not encumbered by capitol view limits back into the private market.

Statesman has more

Austin is a finalist to host the X Games

ESPN announced that Austin is one of four finalists to host the 2014, 2015 and 2016 X Games. The games would be held at the Circuit of the Americas, but without a doubt, we can expect something related downtown. If – of course – Austin ends up taking the cake.

For the record, I think it will.

Austin is competing with Chicago, Detroit, and Charlotte, N.C. I think both COTA and Gov. Perry will roll out the red carpet and offer just as competative package of any tax breaks the other cities and states can offer. From a ticketing and marketing perspective, the folks at ESPN must know that Austin is going to have the best draw among the kids and also know that marketing machines like Nike and Samsung already have the ground troops and past experience to tackle Austin from a marketing perspective, due to SXSW.

ESPN is sending envoys here next month and expects to pick a winner this summer.

KXAN has more

The saga of an expensive parking garage coming to a close?

For you readers who are devotees of downtown palace intrigue, the saga of Whittington v. City of Austin could finally be coming to a close.

The case started almost a decade ago, in relation to the public-private partnership the city got into to build the Hilton next to the convention center. The city seized Harry’s downtown lot and he sued them for it.

After a series of trials, the case made it all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court, which sided with the city.

Got to give it to the man, he knows how to dig in and raise hell. Although, he must have asked himself several times over the past few years: What would that lot have been worth today if the city hadn’t tied it up in litigation 10 years ago?

Maybe now, they will put all of that vacant retail space, which wraps the ground level of the garage, to good use.

ABJ has more





Big News for Rainey Street District

Big News for Rainey Street District

IBCGroup_050213 sutton rainey street

By now you might have read the breaking news that the Sutton Co. is proposing to build a three-tower complex (including a 65 story tower!) across the street from Iron Works BBQ, with a tower that would be taller than the Austonian.

What you may not realize yet is that Rainey Center, the dual tower project that was supposed to encompass up to 50 stories each, and include up to 1,000 apartments and condos, next door to the Lustre Pearl in Rainey Street, is dead as envisioned… BUT will be replaced by a new concept.

RIP

Wally Scott and Mac Pike – aka the Sutton Co. –  have sold the 2-acre site to subsidiary of the Houston-based Dinerstein Companies. This information was buried in the last paragraph in a blockbuster story the Statesman published about a larger than life deal around the block.

According to information posted over at the SkyscraperPage forum, alleged to be taken from city records, Dinerstein is scrapping the dual tower concept for an eight-story mixed use building with an internal parking garage.

That’s a major let down, IMO.  Austin has no shortage of squat beige buildings. Hopefully the new proposal will retain some ‘wow’ factor.

Maybe it just didn’t make sense from a traffic management standpoint to have that much of a draw right off the Cesar Chavez and I-35 access road, and in any case enables Sutton Co. to get capital for an even more inspiring, legacy project.

Still, once people start absorbing this information, it could instill a sense of skepticism about the Sutton Co.’s latest proposal. It wasn’t long ago – after all –  that the Statesman broke news about the Rainey Center project (now Dinerstein is reducing the scope), just like it is doing now with the Waller Center project. Even the Statesman’s Shonda Novak — perennial cheerleader of Austin development — put a caveat in the first line her story about Waller Center of “if it happens”.

The details on the Waller Center project are as follows:

  • $500 million project
  • 3 acres at East Cesar Chavez and Red River streets near Waller Creek.
  • Condos/Hotel tower – 65 floors
  • Apartment tower – 35 to 45 floors
  • Office tower – 17 to 20 floors
  • Proposed groundbreaking – mid to late 2014.

We’d love to see this one happen and reflect the vision below.  It would be a huge boon to downtown, specifically the Waller Creek District.  Cheers to ambitious thinking.

IBCGroup_050213 sutton rainey street





Tower Planned for 70 Rainey Street

Tower Planned for 70 Rainey Street

70-rainey-map

[UPDATE 01/11/15: 70 Rainey To Be Condos]

Details are emerging for Riverside Resources’ planned multi-use tower at 70 Rainey St. across from the MACC.

The firm, which also developed The Whitley and The Crescent, has filed an administrative site plan application to construct 182 multifamily units, and another 3,600 square feet of ground level restaurant and retail space.

The 70 Rainey development, which encompasses the lots between 66-72 Rainey Street, was pursuing incorporating the City owned 64 Rainey Street into their plan, but the neighboring MACC lobbied City Hall last fall to get the land instead.

Initially, the 70 Rainey development, which would share the same alley used by the Shore Condos, and is being financed through Ft. Worth-based Kelly Capital Partners [UPDATE: Kelly Capital Partners is an equity holder, but is not financing the project], was pegged at 31-stories if it could include the 64 Rainey lot.

But until this site plan is approved, and we get some elevations, or something is leaked to the press, we won’t know how many stories this 182-unit project will have.

We can use the Shore condos as a reference, which has 192 units, and is only 22 stories.  The sites share a similarly sized footprint and orientation (north-south), so we are probably looking at buildings of comparable dimensions.  Accounting for the restaurant/retail on the ground level, I’m going to guess this one ends up around ~25 stories.

***Based on the site clearing I’ve seen over the past week, it looks like multiple food trailers are setting up to use the 70 Rainey Street site as a temporary home until site plan is approved and Riverside is ready to build. (Looks like it’s the United Nations of Food (?) from 95 Rainey Street, making way for the Sutton project)

70 Rainey

70 Rainey Austin





Signals That Lustre Pearl Is Moving

Signals That Lustre Pearl Is Moving

97-rainey-street-austin-lustre-pearl

In response to an application to relocate the structure that is Lustre Pearl, the City of Austin Historic Landmark Commission staff recommendation is to permit the move once a new site is located and approved by staff.

Relocating the structure would free up the CBD zoned dirt for a mixed-use tower on the northern end of Rainey Street.

Opening Lustre Pearl in 2008, Bridget Dunlap was the first to see the opportunity in repurposing Rainey Street’s dilapidated CBD-zoned bungalows into bars.

From the HLC brief…

The house was built c. 1907. The City Directory indicates E.A. Murchison residing at 97 Rainey Street in the first listing for the address in the 1906-07 City Directory; however Mr. Murchison’s listing in the name directory indicates him residing at 1303 E. 12th Street.

The next listing in 1909 indicates physician and surgeon Dr. Samuel H. Haigler residing at the address. He resided there until 1913, after which Mrs. Sara A. Spence, widow of Robert Spense, was the resident and owner until at least 1924. J.C. Sample, a carpenter and his wife Minnie were the next residents until approximately 1933. For the remaining years the house was owned and rented by a series of families, none of which resided at the address for more than a few years at a time. All residents, save Dr. Haigler, were blue collar or “non-professional” workers with occupations such as waiter, dishwasher and janitor. Starting in the late 1940’s surnames of the residents indicate a demographic change from Anglo to Hispanic residents as is typical for addresses in the district.  – HLC background info (pdf)

 





Hotel Van Zandt To Begin Construction This Summer #foolmetwice

Hotel Van Zandt To Begin Construction This Summer #foolmetwice

render by WDG

If you’ve been around downtown Austin since 2006, you’ve been hearing about the Hotel Van Zandt.  It was a sister development to the Shore Condos, sharing the northern end of the site.  Hotel Van Zandt was initially planned to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope has been reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel component.

“Greg Clay, chief investment officer for JMI Realty, which is developing the Hotel Van Zandt, said his company has applied for building permits and expects to break ground by June on the 16-story, 327-room hotel. It which will be operated by Kimpton Hotels, a San Francisco company, which specializes in chic boutique hotels.

Though JMI has owned the site at Red River and Davis streets since 2006, the project had been stalled by the recession and other factors, but now it’s back on track.” – Austin Business Journal

I’m eager to see this hotel built.  We’ve heard this story before, though I’ve heard enough scuttlebutt this time to be optimistic we really will see dirt start turning.

-Jude

[above rendering by WDG Architecture]

hotel-van-zandt-site





More Downtown Austin Apartment & Condo Projects Emerging

More Downtown Austin Apartment & Condo Projects Emerging

north_shore_lofts_austin2

It seems like almost every direction we look around downtown Austin, construction cranes are deployed, helping concrete and steel skeletons reach to the sky.  Notably the JW Marriott hotel, across from the Austonian, has three cranes in place and will soon take shape.  But that’s just the newly visible construction: in and around downtown Austin there’s upwards of 8 million square feet of construction planned or underway.

Sometimes we forget to look outside of the downtown core.  Still, there on the far wings of downtown Austin, even more construction is (literally) on the horizon and DAB is here to give you a first look.

North Shore Lofts
More Rainey Street District development is on the way, joining the Sutton Towers, Austin Skyhouse and the (perpetually-stalled) Hotel Van Zandt. Not much is known at this point, but a new multifamily development is planned on a vacant plot of land on the north shore, next to the Holiday Inn right by I-35.

If built, the views of Lady Bird Lake would be incredible (and protected).

This site, addressed 16 North I-35, was rezoned from downtown mixed-use (DMU) to central business district (CBD) in 2005, and at the time was owned by Tom Calhoon, of Calhoon Properties.

Coming Soon: "North Shore Lofts"

Coming Soon: “North Shore Lofts”

West Campus Apartments
Don’t be fooled by the name, this project, at 17th and Guadalupe is not actually in “West Campus“, and is also planned to have condos.  Since as long as I can remember, this area near the Dog and Duck Pub, is one of the most run-down areas remaining in downtown, with a lot of properties sitting idly in disrepair.

Last time this site was anything productive it was an Arby’s.

Hopefully, this project will spur additional redevelopment of the low-density legacy buildings all around here. A few blocks north, the UT School of Business is building a new center next to the Player’s Club, which will also expand the AT&T Conference center, which might help energize the area, too.

-Jude

1715 gdlp current

Coming Soon: “West Campus Apartments”