Two years after City Council gave it the zoning go-ahead, developers have filed a site plan for the office tower across from the Long Center parking garage on Barton Springs Road.
The Park building, proposed by local oil and gas company Texas American Resources to be their headquarters, is slated at 801 Barton Springs Rd., on the plot of the old Filling Station restaurant, between a private office building and the Austin Energy building.
The building is being designed by Runa Workshop, which has offices in Austin and Brazil. Among other projects, Runa designed the Cafe Medici in the ground floor of the Austonian.
That design style feels like a Runa hallmark and will probably be reflected in the Park when it is built.
This project marks another “food trailer” lot that is biting the dust, and the snow cone place there now is always a hotspot for people, especially in the summer months.
Originally, it was proposed at 180 feet, with housing, then shrunk to 120 feet after the neighborhood got involved, and is now to 90 feet. It will include 80,000 square feet of office space and about 3,500 of restaurant space.
The project is actually counter to the adopted neighborhood plan, and for that reason was opposed by the neighborhoods and city staff. However, from a pragmatic point of view, the buildings on either side are as tall or taller, so there was not a compatibility issue at play.
When City Council approved in 2011, it would have taken just two votes to defeat it, because a supermajority was needed due to the neighborhood plan. Kathy Tovo was not yet elected and Laura Morrison was the only council member who voted no.
The fact is though, Barton Springs Rd has come a long way and the lot (like all urban infill lots near downtown) was going to be developed eventually, it is just a matter of what level of quality the project is.
This feels like a high quality project.