As Austin’s urban core shifts eastward, real estate development directly east of IH-35 has never been hotter.
The latest addition to the gateway of East Sixth is Osten Hall — which may or may not be a working title at this stage — a warehouse-inspired five-story creative office space planned by Endeavor Real Estate Group one block east of the highway at 901 East Sixth Street. The address, across from Encore Records, is currently occupied by a parking lot and recently razed warehouse.
According the developer, the 132,000 square foot project will feature steel I-beam design intended to mimic a warehouse or loft space, resulting in a more open floor plan with large community spaces and an open-concept street-level lobby that seamlessly integrates with the sidewalk of East Sixth, allowing for easy walkability and commuter cycling.
Ground-floor retail space and a streetside coffee kiosk are also planned for the development, along with private shower rooms, bike storage, and a shared park and dog watering station outside.
Current plans for the project also include on-site garage parking, LEED Silver certification, and prominent use of cross-laminated timber construction materials — one of the largest emerging trends in the design of modern multistory buildings, and probably the quickest way to add some warmth to an industrial space without sacrificing the clean lines of manufactured paneling or drywall.
The warehouse-inspired design of the development is a welcome touch, breaking up some of the boxy monotony we’ve seen before in recent commercial developments with its dedication to open space and the quirky peaks and valleys of its roof. Plus, we’ll take all the cross-laminated timber we can get — it’s certainly more warm and organic than the plasticky composite materials used in so many modern interiors of this type.
The project is poised to accentuate an already vibrant, walkable area, with condos directly across the street and only five minutes west of the bustling Plaza Saltillo district, surrounded by restaurants, bars, and assorted retail.
We couldn’t wrap up this post without acknowledging the work of Richard Kooris over many years, as it was his work 501 Studios, the Corazon apartments, and the lofts at 6th & Brushy, that laid the foundation for how this pocket of East Austin is shaping up.