Here’s a little surprise for your weekend: All of a sudden, the narrow strip of downtown between the Capitol building and I-35 is the most interesting part of the city, and it’s not even close.
Well, from a development perspective, that is. We’re just as surprised as you, but the writing’s on the wall — site plans were filed with the city today for what’s described as mixed-use towers at two addresses in the heart of the area, both owned by Velocity Credit Union: 610 East 11th and 705 East 12th Streets.
These sites are, respectively, directly north and east of the planned 30-story multifamily point tower development we’ve covered at 700 East 11th Street.
Both new permits were filed by Armbrust & Brown, PLLC, one of Austin’s major development law practices. And that’s not the only project heading for the area. Directly to the north is the planned infill development at Brackenridge Campus, a high-density mixed-use project that would probably be sufficient to transform the region all on its own.
But wait, there’s more! A 33-story hotel proposed at 12th and Red River, formerly with a Trump affiliation but now seemingly distanced from that brand, is also on the way — now known as the Hotel Mirabeau.
Not only that, but The Huston multifamily residential project replacing the (far more interesting, in my mind) One Two East proposal that died in committee is supposedly happening directly across the highway. Phew!
We’ve heard rumors about a tower planned for the Texas Trucking Association site at 700 East 11th Street for a while now, but recent city filings are finally filling out some of the details… (Click to learn more)
All of this development info dropped in our laps, when considered alongside the city’s master plans for the future of the Capitol Complex, makes this whole thing look like a pretty substantial prediction for the future of the region — a part of town already dubbed the “Innovation District.”
An odd feature of these new filings is the nature of the twin addresses listed: 610 East 11th and 705 East 12th Streets. Both properties, which are directly across the street from each other, are owned by Velocity Credit Union — but the first address, which houses the actual credit union, is a more likely candidate for tower development.
The 705 East 12th Street site across the road is occupied by a warehouse-like annex building, and is solidly covered by a Capitol View Corridor, preventing any height beyond a few stories. This makes me think that site plans being filed for both addresses doesn’t mean we’re seeing two towers — but perhaps instead a mixed-use development with features on both sides of the street, with the tower component on the left side at 610 East 11th Street.
We’ve already covered the challenges posed by the CVC to the 11th & Sabine project next door, requiring the building’s 30-story point tower component to rotate slightly on its base to accommodate the corridor. It looks like the bank building at 610 East 11th Street is in a roughly similar situation, with only slightly less than the bottom half of its site outside the corridor with a slightly diagonal bite across it — meaning any tower component would require similar architectural considerations as 11th & Sabine.
This brings us to a problem. We’re not 100% confident in the accuracy of our maps, but it appears that the new Capitol View Corridors proposed in city council this year extending into East Austin would encroach upon the 610 East 11th Street tower, and possibly the 11th & Sabine tower component as well — making both buildings the first casualties of this change.
Of course, nothing’s set in stone at the moment. The city’s shown a recent willingness to possibly alter these rules when it concerns certain development nearby, such as the Brackenridge project. Too bad we won’t hear an answer on that one until December — maybe the developers filing these site plans know something we don’t?