Recent permit activity for the Block 32 tower project, planned by an unknown developer for a half-block site at East Third and San Jacinto Streets a stone’s throw from the Austin Convention Center, indicates the development will contain two towers built next door to each other across two phases of construction. It’s not yet clear if these will be apartments or condos, or something STR oriented like the nearby Natiivo.
According to the latest site plan filing describing the proposed project’s design, the first tower will contain 340 residential units alongside parking and retail space for a total of 373,000 square feet, with the second-phase tower adding another 340 residences and a 276-key hotel alongside more parking and retail, for a total of 509,000 square feet, not to mention that impressive number of 680 total new homes between both buildings — the respective heights of each tower is unknown, but considering these square footages each will likely rise more than at least 30 floors.
The 0.81-acre land assembly set to be cleared for the project’s construction includes a number of adjacent businesses including Vince Young Steakhouse, Thomas Printworks, and the Sunset Room event venue — a recent dispute over the possible historic landmark status of the 1912 grocery warehouse at 301 San Jacinto Street now home to Vince Young Steakhouse pitted the preservation-minded Historic Landmark Commission against members of the Planning Commission and City Council, who eventually determined that despite the building’s age, its association with groceries (not to mention MTV’s 2005 production of The Real World: Austin) ultimately did not qualify the structure for preservation. Demolition here could now kick off any time now, although the restaurant at the site is still currently operating as usual.
Although the developers of the two-tower project remain unnamed due to its early stage of permitting only showing a connection to engineering firms Kimley-Horn and Dallas-based outfit Blum Consulting Engineers, we do know that according to the latest county records the half-block site’s current owners are still associated with the family of late Austin real estate investor William Bremond Houston, descendent of the grocer John Bremond who once ran the aforementioned grocery warehouse at 301 San Jacinto Street between the 1920s and the 1960s. For what it’s worth, Bremond is the namesake of downtown’s nearby Bremond Block Historic District — a pretty good place to visit if you would like to see some really historic buildings.