In a rapidly expanding city, construction is to be expected. One of the latest projects defining downtown Austin's ever-developing skyline is being prompted by the University of Texas and its new plans to redesign a full city block.
The Current Downtown Space
The space bounded by West 7th, Colorado Street, West 6th, and Lavaca Street is defined as Block 71. At present, the block features a plaza with a fountain that hasn't run in ten years, a parking garage, a nine-story tower, and a historic hall, but big changes are headed its way.
The area currently belongs to the University of Texas and is the site of their system facilities offices. However, UT is developing a new building on West 7th Street dubbed "OneUTSystem." This new structure will have fifteen levels, six of which will be dedicated to parking. The 250, 000 square foot office will house all of the university's system administration services under one roof.
That leaves the question of what's to happen to their old spaces.
New Construction Plans
If you've walked past the area, you've likely noticed the beautiful historic building on the corner of Lavaca and 6th with its Roman columns, arched windows and fine detailing. The Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall, named after the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, dates back to 1914 and was initially constructed as the seventh post office in the city. This Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall is the only structure on the block that will be preserved.
Sometime after summer 2017, you can expect to see the rest of the block razed. The new construction plan requires the contractors start from scratch. The new buildings are likely to be a mixture of residential and commercial.
Block 71 does not belong to the Capitol View Corridor, which restricts construction heights in the immediate proximity of the Texas State Capitol allowing views of the historic site from as many vantages in the city as possible. There's nothing stopping these new towers from stretching way high up in the sky.
This block is located near the heart of downtown Austin, and while at present, this happens to be a quieter area, these new buildings have a large potential to be highly desirable. At present, the surrounding blocks are predominantly home to restaurants and offices, which makes it an ideal location for apartments, condos, office spaces, or other businesses.
The Construction Team
Spearheading the task is Trammell Crow Company, a prolific Dallas-based developer. The company was established in 1948 and is responsible for over 2600 construction projects. One of their most impressive works is Trammell Crow Tower, which is the sixth tallest building in Dallas.
So, if you've been on the search for freshly minted office buildings or potential apartments, keep an eye on this latest project in downtown Austin. Only time will tell exactly what kind of spaces Trammell Crow Company and the University of Texas will deliver.