Earlier this year, firms Cousins Properties, Ironwood Real Estate, and Riverside Resources announced their planned 44-story residential tower at 300 Colorado Street in downtown Austin would change its usage to offices, and that the entire building was pre-leased by oil and gas drilling firm Parsley Energy.
Back in January, we didn’t know exactly how this switch would impact the design of the building, except for reports that the tower would see a reduction in height. But now that we’ve got our hands on a detailed site plan for what’s referred to in these documents as 300 Colorado Offices, we have a better idea of what’s in store.
The building’s updated plan now describes a 34-story office tower, approximately 445.5 feet in height, with 340,000 total square feet of offices and 10,000 square feet of restaurant space, which appears to occupy the first two floors with an outdoor terrace on the second floor. The tower’s ground floor also contains a lobby space and a garage entrance facing Colorado Street. In all, the building has 13 levels of parking above the two-level restaurant, providing 727 total spaces. That’s 300,000 square feet of parking garage — certainly within spitting distance of the size of the building’s office space, but not exceeding it.
The 10-story height reduction from the previous residential plan doesn’t mean the developers just shrank the design we saw before from GDA Architects. Instead, we’ve got an all-new look for the building courtesy of Houston firm Kendall/Heaton Associates and Connecticut-based architecture studio Pickard Chilton. Both companies have an extensive portfolio of work in Texas and beyond — in fact, prior to the founding of Pickard Chilton, its principal Jon Pickard collaborated with the firm of starchitect César Pelli on the design of a little project in Malaysia you might recognize.
As you can tell from these illustrations, this new version of the 300 Colorado project is wider — its footprint appears to extend further west, into the paved parking area on the western side of the Sullivan’s Steakhouse building currently on the site. Also worth noting is an amenity deck with some type of balcony on the 16th floor, as well as an additional 30th-floor terrace space shown on the eastern-facing illustration.
Though the tower lost 10 stories in the transition to offices, its individual floors are taller, meaning we’re looking at only an approximate 72.5-foot reduction in height from its previous design — which is visible when you compare illustrations of the original residential tower with these new plans:
In terms of its 445.5-foot height, the building’s certainly not pushing any limits, but it’s in a relatively normal spot compared to its surrounding structures — Colorado Tower across the street is 397 feet high, while the W Hotel and Residences one block southwest rises just a bit taller at 478 feet.
Since we don’t have renderings at this stage, our knowledge of the building’s look is limited to shape and materials shown on these illustrations — but looking at Pickard Chilton’s portfolio, these plans seem to share a vague resemblance to 300 North Lasalle, a 60-story tower designed by the firm in Chicago. It might be a bit of a stretch to compare the two, but what we’re seeing here is arguably more interesting already than the tower’s residential incarnation.
An exact timeline for the tower’s construction is unknown, though previous coverage of the building gives a start date of December 2018. That may no longer be the case, but these new documents show demolition preparation scheduled to begin at the Sullivan’s building in late November — so we know something will start moving on this plan before the end of the year, if all goes well.