A five-story vertical mixed-use development planned for more than two acres of frontage along West Sixth Street could bring a boutique hotel, residences, office space, and significant ground-floor retail to the Clarksville region west of downtown Austin, according to a presentation earlier this week by local developers Riverside Resources to the Architectural Review Committee of the city’s Historic Landmark Commission.
The project, known as Clarksvillage, would raise a number of buildings along West Sixth Street near its intersection with Blanco Street, connected by an internal plaza linking 10 or more ground-floor retail or restaurant spaces topped by tiers of office, hotel, and residential floors, as seen in the diagrams below:
Though the development is designed to integrate the reconstructed facades of historic buildings at 1124 and 1116 West Sixth Street, a number of other structures along the frontage will be demolished to make room for the project, including the longtime home of restaurant Z’Tejas, which has already announced its pending closure.
Riverside Resources-connected entity Clarks Village LP currently owns seven of the eight properties shown as part of the redevelopment area, with the Z’Tejas site at 1110 West Sixth Street still listed as owned by Larry McGuire of McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality — the same restaurateurs behind Swedish Hill and Clark’s Oyster Bar at 1200 West Sixth Street, both included in the Clarksvillage development area.
Though the project expects to demolish the Swedish Hill building, the Clark’s Oyster Bar structure will apparently remain as-is, according to this week’s presentation. Though there aren’t any explicit connections just yet, considering how many of their restaurants are inside the development area we think it’s a safe bet that MML Hospitality might be involved in Clarksvillage’s future programming. Most of the project team remains unknown, though the presentation provided to the HLC earlier this week indicates the involvement of construction firm Flintco along with the acclaimed Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron — which longtime Austinites might recall were also behind the ultimately unbuilt but striking 1990s proposal for the Blanton Musuem of Art, which many in the design community believe would have been superior to the more classically inspired building we ended up with.
The presence of historic buildings inside the project site will eventually require the approval of the Historic Landmark Commission, but for now, the developers are just seeking feedback on the project’s various demolition and preservation efforts — however, commissioners have already expressed concern that the reconstruction of the historic facade of the 1116 West Sixth Street building as an open-air entrance to the project’s interior outdoor plaza space might not pass muster. Still, the ample walkable retail and relatively low-rise design ought to make this development more of a hit than usual with the preservationist crowd — if anything, we think Austin old-timers might just be annoyed with the name, which implies the site is inside the Clarksville neighborhood even if it’s technically not. Maybe it’s time to let that one go.