Cielo Property Group has assembled six contiguous lots in the 1600 block of East Fourth Street, advancing plans for a multi-story mixed-use building at the corner of East Fourth and Comal Streets.
“Cielo would like to build a six-story, LEED certified mixed-use building that would be primarily offices,” Cielo principal Bobby Dillard told Austin Towers.
Some ground-floor retail with a cafe or restaurant component is also under consideration, but Dillard says Cielo is very early in the conceptual design phase. The working project name, 4 East, is on an application submitted July 24 to amend the transit-oriented district neighborhood plan.
Cielo is asking the city to include a Central Urban Redevelopment modifier, or CURE, to the project site. A CURE allows modification of various elements of the base zoning, modifications that can affect site development regulations, including off-street parking or loading, signage, landscaping and screening.
Cielo acquired the single-family lots from five different owners over the last 24 months. By cobbling together the block, Cielo is in position to set up the next domino in a neighborhood where several blocks have already redeveloped, and even more are in play.
Across the street to the north is Saltillo Lofts. To the east is Eastside Station and cater-corner to the northwest is Capital Metro’s Plaza Saltillo Station. Cater-corner to the southwest is another Cielo project that is further along in development — the Foundry.
Cielo has been interested in the neighborhood since at least 2014, when the company purchased a run-down warehouse at 1501 E. Fourth Street — obviously taking advantage of the momentum coming from Endeavor Real Estate Group’s Plaza Saltillo development.
Initially, Cielo considered a more modest project, a renovation of the existing warehouse. That was scrubbed for a grander plan: The Foundry is to be a mixed-use development on just under one acre that will include 75,369 square feet of office space and 18 residential units. The building, designed by Sixthriver Architects, will rise three floors and include three levels of underground parking.
Cielo had hoped to begin construction in 2016 and finish this year, but the demolition permit to knock down the old warehouse didn’t come through until April of this year. Dillard said demolition work is now underway, and construction of the Foundry will begin this fall.
“We expect to deliver space in the first quarter of 2019,” he added.
There are no plans to replicate the architectural style of the Foundry in the 4 East project, Dillard confirmed.
“We look at the two developments as completely separate projects, but we feel that building two high-quality developments in such close proximity will benefit both projects as well as tenants, residents of the Foundry, and the neighborhood by improving the streetscape and pedestrian experience and providing additional neighborhood retail amenities,” he said.
Other than proximity and ownership, Cielo’s two East Austin projects have another thing in common: Cielo bought the site for the Foundry and two of the lots for 1600 E. 4th from Austin Habitat for Humanity.