Austin is a moving target. The city’s ongoing population and development boom shows no signs of slowing, and every year the city evolves before our eyes. Here are seven of the projects we’re excited to see in 2017.
What if they built a tower and no cars came? That’s the question behind the Avenue, Austin’s first car-free mixed-use development planned at 721 Congress Avenue, expected to begin construction in 2017.
If you live and work in downtown, going car-free is an entirely viable option in a world of ridesharing and public transit, so it’s exciting to see urban development dipping a toe into the water on this issue, even if certain folks think it’s a sign of a…much more sinister plot.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of local boutique hotel magnate Liz Lambert. Her assortment of hotels on South Congress are hip, local, and creative projects, and the Hotel Magdalena looks to be the biggest and best of them all. With 95 rooms, seven condos, event space, a restaurant, and bar going up at 1101 Music Lane directly off SoCo, the project is projected for opening in 2017, but we’d just be happy to see it make some progress.
Tech giant Oracle will bring a major investment to the south shore this year if construction stays on track. This $300 million “next generation cloud campus” could draw major talent to the region’s already huge technology sector. Plus, it’s exciting to see forward-thinking development in this formerly neglected sector of the city.
Food halls are the urban living trend of the moment, so it’s exciting to see Fareground taking over the plaza at 111 Congress Avenue. Downtown workers always need more dining options, especially in a space that looks a little nicer to spend time in than your average food court.
Already under construction on Congress Avenue, the Aloft/Element hotel project plans to bring 33 stories and more than 400 rooms to the district, building vertical with a small horizontal footprint and providing no onsite parking, which is a trend we’re seeing more and more in downtown. Can’t say that Austin’s lack of space doesn’t inspire design creativity!
Set to be the second tallest building in Austin with 37 stories and 1,048 rooms, the Fairmont Hotel project has already made significant progress in the city’s central business district, directly adjacent to the convention center. It’s a testament to Austin’s massive growth that so many hotels are going up at once, and this one is definitely the largest.
The more than 14 acres of downtown’s original medical district is primed for redevelopment, with mixed-use construction, open green space and a public market planned for the space. On a more specific note, the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas teaching hospital is scheduled to open in 2017. We’re excited to see what’s next for this space.