There’s a number of interesting items relating to downtown in the news recently. With so much going on these days, along with the demise of Google Reader, we’re going to try something new at DAB: an end of the week wrap-up of what’s been in the news related to downtown. If you are like me, it is hard sometimes, to keep up with everything, especially during personally busy weeks.
Do me a huge favor and be sure to leave a comment if this is helpful and if you’d like to see this as a regular feature.
Rainey Street Ramps Up (again!)
Two new projects have filed site plans for new construction within the Rainey Street neighborhood district.
The vacant lot across the street from the Mexican American Cultural Center at 70 Rainey filed paperwork to build a mixed-use sky scraper consisting of a restaurant, residential units, and parking.
Down the street, the North Shore Lofts are moving forward with a multi-family building at the corner of the north shore and I-35, that will bring 44 class A multifamily units to the site.
Texas lawmakers moved again earlier this week to make good on their sabre-rattling to freeze any development plans around the Capitol Complex.
A senate committee passed SB 894, by State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), making unsolicited proposals for development of the area north of the Capitol grounds illegal.
This effectively kills plans for the planetarium and high rise development.
The bill will also force potential developers to pitch their development plans before the Legislature every two years.
Notably, this bill has more than 20 sponsors and is also being supported by Kirk Watson.
W Hotel for sale?
The Austin American-Statesman got its hands on a marketing brochure that says the W Hotel, also known as Block 21 and the home of the ACL Live studio is for sale.
The tower also includes 159 condominiums that aren’t part of the sale. To date 131 of the condos have been sold or are under contract, at an average price of more than $600 a square foot, according to the offering brochure. Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotels & Hospitality Group is marketing the property.
Travis County altering development plans?
County commissioners are considering another $38.5 million building downtown in early April at the corner of West 11th and San Antonio streets. The county previously received a proposal for a $60 million building on the same site.
In December, the county purchased the land for $7.25 million. It includes part of the Texas PTA offices and a parking lot.
To view or not to view
While not downtown, we’re noting that neighbors are opposing the Taco Cabana development.
Bridges’ Homeowner Association has petitioned the City to deny a zoning request there.
Austin city planner Jerry Rusthoven told KVUE: “City code does not protect people’s views. That came up recently in another case downtown.”
KVUE has more on the dispute and Austin Towers has the details on the development