Since it’s arguably one of the most thought-provoking projects planned in downtown, we’ve followed the upcoming development of the Episcopal Church-owned Block 87 site at Seventh and Trinity Streets pretty closely for the last few months.
Now, we’ve got our hands on a copy of the latest detailed plans for the building known only for the time being as “Episcopal Archives,” set to rise on what’s currently a parking lot at 711 Trinity Street.
So what do we know? The mixed-use building, which includes the archives of the Episcopal Church, restaurant space, offices, condos, a hotel, and a 27,000 square foot “market” space, will top out at 37 stories, with four levels of underground parking.
The first five floors will fill the block, with the archive taking up space on all five stories, along with office space totaling 182,000 square feet on floors two, three, and four. The building’s ground floor will include two restaurant spaces adding up to more than 8,000 total square feet.
After the fifth floor, in order to avoid a Capitol View Corridor over the site, the next 32 stories will rise as a small, triangular point tower on the building’s southwest corner. The hotel component will span floors six to 15, while floors 16 through 37 will house 257,000 square feet of condominiums.
The project’s architecture firm is Gensler, with dwg handling additional landscape architecture — and considering the rooftop green space seen in the latest renderings for the building, that’s no small job.
Of course, we knew most of this information in the abstract already from various other incomplete planning documents and city filings. These more detailed plans really raise more questions than answers, as evidenced by the comment sections every time we cover movement on this project — namely, how can this building coexist with the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless and Caritas outreach center essentially across the street? One notable detail of these plans is the entrance to the hotel on the ground floor, which is located on the building’s west side, as far as possible from the overwhelmed nonprofits one block east.
It doesn’t seem like the most elegant solution, but it’s really unclear what else can be done at this time, with plans for relocating the ARCH rather murky at the moment. Of course, this building may not break ground for an equally long period, and perhaps developers are gambling on one happening before the other. In fact, an upcoming development like this could be what finally drives the argument over the center’s relocation towards real action.
Either way, the geography of the site and its surroundings is part of what makes this project so genuinely fascinating, along with the ongoing mystery of its grocery component, which may not look anything like we expected — a representative for the Drenner Group recently contacted me to correct my language, calling the space a “market” instead, with a variety of vendors.
Whatever you say, man. I just hope they sell food.