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Austin: Developer Proposes Waterfront Mixed-Use Skyscrapers in Former Newspaper Complex

Function illustration: An artist’s rendering of the waterfront project along part of the south shore of Lady Bird Lake near Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Posted: 12-16-2021

by Art Benavidez

Austin (Travis County) — A local real estate company had its request for a neighborhood plan amendment for a mixed-use public waterfront project deferred by the Planning Commission so it could gather more information, at Tuesday’s meeting.

The development corporation controlling this 18.8-acre property on the south bank of the Colorado River wants to change the land use designation from industry to mixed use.

VBX last reported on the project in August 2019 when the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Austin) organized a meeting around the project where nearly 100 architects, designers and urban planners from the area had the opportunity to share their thoughts on the preliminary redevelopment plans.

The land is the former home of the Austin American Statesman. The former three-story newspaper offices and printing facilities occupy 280,110 square feet. The site is directly south of Downtown Austin.

Endeavor Real Estate Group proposes to build 812,900 square feet for office use, 963,500 square feet for multi-family housing, 254,500 square feet for a hotel, 112,000 square feet for retail/food and beverage and 800,000 square feet of off-street parking ground.

In June 2019, the American statesman reported that its owners, the Atlanta-based company coxswain family, were working to redevelop the site in partnership with Endeavor Real Estate Group in accordance with South Central Waterfront Plan.

The plan is a city master plan to facilitate development along part of the south shore of Lady Bird Lake.

The working title of the project is 305 S. PUD Congress.

The development will include water quality ponds and the reconstruction of 1,700 linear feet of walking and biking trails and will dedicate 6.54 acres of public parkland along Lady Bird Lake, which will be accessible to the public.

The building height representations of the five buildings depict a 215-foot-high residential building, a 375-foot office building, a 525-foot office building, a 445-foot multi-family building, a 365-foot multi-family building, and a 295- Apartment building on one level.

Endeavor Real Estate Group proposes to develop 1,378 multi-family units (55 units of which will be available for 80% of median family income for 40 years) that will increase housing options in the neighborhood and city, and a 275-key hotel, according to municipal documents.

Richard T. Suttle, Jr. with the law firm Armbrust & Brown, LLC represented the project to the committee.

“We are creating a new environment for people to walk, stroll and hang out in a vibrant, diverse and welcoming public space that embraces our city’s culture and honors the spirit of Austin,” he said. “We are enhancing the South Central Waterfront project plan by placing all parking below grade and out of sight. Create a better visual experience for pedestrians, bicycles and cars that brings people to the waterfront from surrounding neighborhoods. »

Doug Voigt with Chicago, Illinois Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SMO) and the San Francisco company CMG Landscape Architecture are on board the project.

VBX Project ID: 2021-8845

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