Heading northbound on Congress Avenue, just before you cross over Lady Bird Lake into Downtown Austin proper, you’ve probably noticed a vacant commercial building on your left.
This is the one:
We’ve certainly noticed it and marveled at how such a high-profile location could continually remain vacant for such long periods of time. The last use I remember in the space was a modern furniture store called “Your Living Room”, which I believe shut down in 2008 or 2009.
So we are thrilled to find out something is being done with the space.
AustinTowers.net recently received a press release that Cielo Property Group will be heading up a major renovation of the 25,000 sf three-story building, which was originally built in 1936 and has great historic features such as exposed brick, metal trusses, and a general raw, industrial aesthetic. It reminds us of Brazos Lofts (except 220 S Congress will be for commercial use only, no residential is planned at this time). Cielo plans to retain the character and feel of the building. The renovation looks to be somewhat light for the exterior of the building, and will reportedly focus on replacing outdated infrastructure and creating ways to make the space divisible for multiple businesses. Gensler is the architect.
Interior renovations start this week, and Cielo expects to have the building fully renovated and leased by the end of 2015.
We’re told that the building was bought by Cielo in December 2014. Looks like an LLC governed by a corporation headed by the principal of Reagan Outdoor Advertising owned it before (and they still own the billboards, apparently). The billboards will remain on the site after the renovation.
In our mind, the project, by virtue of it’s stellar location if nothing else, will be a home-run. Per Cielo’s press release:
Multifamily projects currently underway in the immediate vicinity include The Catherine, a 300 unit luxury apartment tower developed by StreetLights Residential at 214 Barton Springs Rd. and Broadstone at the Lake, a 220-unit community by Alliance Residential on the former Run-Tex site at 422 Riverside Dr.
With that much residential nearby, plus hotel traffic from the likes of the Hyatt, 220 S. Congress will do great with commercial activation. CBRE is listing the property for lease, quoting $36 /SF/Year + NNN.
Take a look at the renderings from Gensler:
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more!