The Texas Lottery Commission plans to vacate its current headquarters at Grant Plaza in the 600 block of East Sixth Street, according to city documents issued earlier this month.
Empire Square Group, a boutique private equity firm that owns the plaza, will lose its main tenant in the move. According to the landlord’s portfolio description, the commission occupies 92 percent of the Grant Plaza complex, which consists of a four-story office building and two smaller commercial buildings. The exact address for the Lottery Commission’s office is 611 East Sixth Street.
But Empire Square should have plenty of time to line up a new anchor tenant — the Lottery Commission does not expect to relocate until 2021. The reason for the move? The commission will eventually occupy one of the new office towers of the Capitol Complex expansion project being overseen by the Texas Facilities Commission.
The Lottery Commission issued a Request for Qualifications on July 14, directed at area architectural and engineering firms, with a pre-proposal conference to be held July 31 for companies interested in submitting a proposal. The commission needs architectural services to assist in relocating its headquarters — including the drawing studio and Austin Claim Center — to one of two new state office buildings the Facilities Commission plans to construct, with the Lottery Commission moving to 1801 Congress Avenue.
“The Texas Lottery Commission will be a tenant of the building and its headquarters operations will be relocated upon completion, currently planned for calendar year 2021,” the RFQ states. But that move-in date may be just a tad optimistic. According to the project description for the 14-story building at 1801 Congress Avenue, construction may not finish until 2022.
The Lottery Commission RFQ does not suggest dimensions for the new headquarters, but notes for reference that the commission occupies 75,000 square feet at its current location at 611 East Sixth Street. That is the entirety of the four-story building and one two-story building.
“The headquarters facility includes office space for approximately 256 staff, drawings studio and production services for online draw games, and the Austin Claim Center,” per the RFQ.
Though Empire Square Group will lose its anchor tenant when the move is complete, a new city filing could point to a different future for the site — a Capital View Corridor height determination was requested for the 600 block of East Sixth Street today by Austin law firm Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody. That’s usually the first step in building something taller than what was there before, but we’ll just have to wait and see.