Cuban Restaurant in Downtown Austin – Pleasant Storage Room

Cuban Restaurant in Downtown Austin – Pleasant Storage Room


As far as I know, there aren’t currently any Cuban restaurant concepts in downtown Austin proper.  Well, there WASN’T before this week, anyway.  There’s a new one popping up in the warehouse district, where the now defunct Stack Burger Bar used to be (one of the restaurant concepts owned by the now infamous Yassine Enterprises).

Let me introduce you to Pleasant Storage Room, officially opening TODAY: [Read more…]

New CBD Office Tower Proposed For 5th & Colorado

New CBD Office Tower Proposed For 5th & Colorado


Some of you will remember 2010 when a Starwood backed “1 Hotel” was proposed for the corner of W. 5th & Colorado Streets (201 W 5th Street).  At the time, the low-rise-circa-1980s structure was demolished (<– check out the old pics and hotel rendering), creating the current surface parking lot and food trailer court that exists today.

A site plan application filed by Bury with the City shows a 20 story building surpassing 344ft. The elevation actually starting with 100 ft at grade, thus putting the above ground height, including mechanical, at ~269ft (thanks to Kevin Lehnhardt for the insight!).  Last year, Dallas-based Lincoln properties planned a 16 story tower, so it’s grown a bit since then.

The valuable CBD development site is not encumbered by a Capital View Corridor, and is an entry point to the Warehouse District.  Once they break ground, this will be the second major office tower under construction along Colorado Street.  Combined with the construction-soon-to-commence Gables/Hotel ZaZa at 4th & Guadalupe, the new density bodes well for more daytime retail and restaurant offerings in downtown Austin.

5th & Colorado rendering from last year.

Rendering from last year by HKS.

Ground floor, drawing by Bury

Drawing by Bury, ground floor showing restaurant along W. 5th Street

The Riley – New Development In Downtown Austin’s Warehouse District

The Riley – New Development In Downtown Austin’s Warehouse District


Tom Calhoon, owner of the building at the southeast corner of 4th and Lavaca (Warehouse District), is redeveloping his property into an event-venue space called The Riley.

You might recognize the building, as it used to be home to 219 West, and recently the Red Room.  The latter operator was not there long and notable for accusations of LGBT discrimination.

Details are sparse, but it’s very interesting to see downtown development that’s not a high rise!

Also, this is the second major development on this intersection… caddy corner, Gables and Hotel ZaZa are expected to break ground soon on a 25 story tower.






Colorado Tower scheduled for launch next month

Colorado Tower scheduled for launch next month

3&Colo ground

Despite some ominous rumbling on the horizon that the project could be delayed indefinitely, I’m excited to share the news this week that Cousin’s magnificent Third & Colorado office tower is breaking ground next month.

Cousin’s issued a press release Thursday announcing that the 29-story, 371,000-square-foot office tower will break ground early next month. The building has been christened “Colorado Tower” and is scheduled for near completion by the end of 2014.

The Colorado Tower project has already signed two law firm tenants — Dubois Bryant & Campbell – which now offices in 700 Lavaca — and Scott Douglass & McConnico, which now offices in 600 Congress.

Earlier this year, Austin Towers picked up on the fact that this project was running behind schedule, after Cousins initially said it would break ground last year, due to among other things, a pending zoning change that council approved earlier this year.

A lot of people are forgetting that for the longest time the lot was supposed to be a hotel: an 18-story, 300-room Westin Hotel to be exact.

Who could have predicted back in 2008 when the hotel was first announced, on the foothills of the recession, that here we’d be in 2013 with almost a 90 percent downtown Austin office occupancy rate, a smorgasbord of hotel development and an urban residential market that is bright red hot (we’re talking lightsaber red).

(Conversely, I remember Will Wynn and Brewster McCracken – former Austin council members — hyping an upcoming urban rail election back then. Who would have also predicted that here we’d be in 2013 practically no closer to real mass transit, and being outdone handsomely Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.)

Enough about that, though. Check out these renderings of Colorado Tower!

No Tower of Babylonic Courthouse Until 2015?

No Tower of Babylonic Courthouse Until 2015?

travis county courthouse site 2015

There is a presumption that buildings in downtown Austin financed with public money have a better shot of getting off the ground quicker than private ones.

That was the case among many hopefuls, perhaps, when Travis County purchased the former Austin Museum of Art block to build a skyscraper courthouse.

But Travis County Purchasing officer Cyd Grimes busted that myth in a recent article by InFactDaily, telling the subscriber political newsletter the project won’t break ground for three or four years.

“A lot of people have been pushing this (public-private partnership),” she said. “I’m not convinced that it’s going to be cheaper, better, or faster. I think if we went and borrowed the money and did either a Construction Manager at Risk, or a Design-Build, we would be quicker down the road.”

[Read more…]

Downtown Austin Link Roundup

The news didn’t stop to take a breath this week, at least as it relates to downtown Austin.  Lots of announcements, lots of speculation.  These are the stories we’re following.

1) 219 West is moving from Warehouse district to West 6th Street, into the old Union Park space.  (link)

2) In “how will they fit it in there?” news: a proposed tower between Shoal Creek and Spring Condos, behind Tiniest Bar In Texas. (link)  UPDATE: Zoning change approved (link)

3) The White Lodging Hotel on Congress Ave isn’t the only proposed hotel.  In fact, there’s another player looking at the lot next to the Palm School, and they are not seeking any fee waivers.  (link)

4) Austin City Council delays vote on the White Lodging (“Mega Hotel”) fee waivers. (link)

5) Permanent supportive housing should not be placed near other social services (link)

6) Gables Republic Park says they won’t build soon, or at least until Travis County gets a clear vision on its new downtown courthouse site.  (link)

Ringside @ Sullivans Being Torn Down?

Ringside @ Sullivans Being Torn Down?


Thanks to a friendly tip directing us to a facebook update by Curtain Call, the popular Ringside lounge, next to Sullivans, in downtown Austin’s Warehouse District could be torn down.  According to the update demolition could begin as soon as Monday.  I used to go to Ringside quite a bit, and have lots of good memories from that place.

“We have been informed that Ringside at Sullivan’s is going to be torn down (starting Monday) in order to make way for a new bar/restaurant that will be a cousin establishment to Sullivan’s.”

No news on what the new concept will be, so if you have an info on that please use the comments.