You folks ever heard of the Tetris effect? You know, that thing where you play so much Tetris, you see the blocks everywhere you go, even in your sleep? I have the same thing, except with buildings. Anyway, here’s a few updates on some downtown stuff — building-related stuff, naturally. Don’t ever say we don’t have fun.
Fifth and Lavaca Tower
One of three active demolition permits were approved by the city earlier this week for properties at the southwest corner of Fifth and Lavaca Streets, this one for the long-shuttered lounge Hudson at 301 West Fifth Street. The demolition, which would include the 301, 303, and 305 West Fifth Street addresses making up the corner, would presumably clear the site for a tower of some variety. We’ve seen some marketing materials from commercial real estate firm CBRE — which are unfortunately not available to the public at the moment — describing the potential for a 40-story apartment tower at the site, which is unencumbered by any pesky Capitol View Corridors or other restrictions.
Of course, this is just marketing, and we’ve seen residential towers pull the ‘ol switcheroo on us before, but there’s an even more compelling detail located in the city filings for these demolitions — the firm seeking the permit is engineering outfit KBGE, but they’re filing it on behalf of a client named in the document: The Hanover Company. Best known for the downtown apartment tower Northshore, Hanover specializes in higher-end residential buildings of this variety, so it’s a reasonable assumption that’s what we’re going to see here in the near future. But hey, anything can happen!
Speaking of Northshore — yeah, the story’s a month old at this point, but the details of a potential sale of the apartment tower located at 110 San Antonio Street are pretty wild, especially when you crunch the numbers based on that expected $325 million starting bid mentioned in the Austin Business Journal article I linked.
The tower fits 439 apartment units in its 38 floors, and the total square footage of the building including its residential, office, and retail space comes out to 626,436 square feet — meaning a buyer who purchased the building for $325 million would be paying $740,000 per apartment unit, or $519 per square foot in the building, which is nothing to sneeze at. With the similarly fancy Austin Proper tower moving along nicely a block over, there’s certainly no shortage of places for Google and Facebook employees to live right around the corner from their respective offices at the mass of exciting development that is the Seaholm/Second Street District.
Fifth and Colorado Restaurant
Remember the mysterious restaurant project at Fifth and Colorado Street? We don’t have anything new to report except that it looks like this now. Don’t you wish everything in town went up this fast?
Travis County Courthouse Site
Travis County’s searched up and down for a good location for its new courthouse — and we’ve picked apart every angle — but it looks like a suitable site has finally arrived, with a story earlier this week revealing the county intends to build its church upon the rock located at the northwestern corner of 17th and Guadalupe Streets.
Austinites who prefer to do their wayfinding via the locations of bars may appreciate that a corner of this block, currently occupied only by a parking lot, was the former site of storied pub the Dog and Duck, which persisted at this address for 24 years before relocating to East Austin and quickly closing. We’ve got no clue what the courthouse building will look like at this point, but it’s in good company, with the 410 Uptown office tower planned only one block north.
56 East Avenue
The psychiatric crisis center located at 56 East Avenue applied earlier this month to change its medical usage to offices, implying that its owners at World Class Capital Group are following through with plans to convert the existing 16,862-square-foot building into office space while awaiting a future project to build an office tower at the site. We’ve covered those preliminary plans and the history of the site in extremely long-winded detail before, so it’s worth catching up if you haven’t read about it.