The demolition of a long-empty East Austin warehouse dating back to the 1960s kicked off late last month at 1300 East Fifth Street, working to clear the site’s approximately 0.88-acre site — comprising a half-block facing East Fifth Street between Attayac and Navasota Streets — for the development of a five-story office building with ground-level retail space and three additional levels of underground parking. The unnamed project arrives from Los Angeles-based developers CIM Group, which purchased the site in 2019 from local investor Peter Barlin.
Plans appeared last year for the redevelopment of the site with a building designed by local architecture firm Sixthriver, with landscape architecture from Nudge Design. CIM Group was not available to confirm whether the renderings from Sixthriver seen in this article, which date back to last year, reflect the final designs for the project — you can see slight facade variations in the two illustrations from the same perspective at East Fifth and Navasota Streets below:
Still, even if the appearance of the final product has slight differences from the images seen here, they remain accurate to the planned building’s size and scale — the latest site plan filings for the address indicate it will contain 110,419 square feet of office space and 10,604 square feet of ground-level, pedestrian-oriented retail. Since the project contains no residential use, the developers have agreed to pay a fee-in-lieu of $534,600 to the city’s Housing Trust Fund to comply with the affordable housing requirements of the Plaza Saltillo Transit-Oriented Development Regulating Plan, with the building’s five floors reaching the plan’s maximum height of 60 feet.
Though it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood, this project isn’t the area’s first addition of transit-adjacent office space, with the site located directly west of the larger Centro mixed-use office and retail project currently under construction from developers Riverside Resources — not to mention the district-anchoring Saltillo project one block over to the southwest of the 1300 tract, which contains significant office use along with residential and retail space at its redeveloped 10-acre former rail yard. According to planning documents filed by its developers, the 1300 East Fifth Street project is currently scheduled for completion sometime in 2023.