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May. 9, 2013

$500M Mixed-Use Trio of Towers Proposed for Downtown Austin

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

“Every project begins with a vision, and this is a grand vision on a great site,” said local real estate consultant Charles Heimsath about the proposed plan to build a $500M mixed-use project downtown Austin. If the plan receives approval from the city, the Austin skyline will change dramatically through the addition of three new towers, one of which could become the city’s tallest building.  

Developers Mac Pike and Wally Scott, principals of Sutton Company, revealed they plan to build the project on three acres of prime real estate along the banks of Waller Creek. This could become Waller Center, a trio of towers that includes a residential tower of 35 to 45 stories, an office/retail tower of 17 to 20 stories, and a condo/hotel tower that aims for 65 stories.

Shops and restaurants are part of the original plan, similar to the design of San Antonio’s Riverwalk. Pike said he intends to submit a site plan to the city in the next 90 days, hoping to start work on all three towers in mid-2014, pending city approvals.

The tract has no height limitations, as the area is zoned for dense downtown development, said Pike in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman. And it might stand a chance of becoming a reality thanks to a major equity player on board, Klabzuba Realty—a family-owned real estate, oil and gas investment company based in Fort Worth.

The Waller Creek tract is either owned or controlled by entities of local developer Perry Lopez, who says that “these are serious buyers with an ongoing substantial financial investment in the property.”

“They control it and are working on all aspects of use and design,” he adds. “Obviously, it is a real challenge to put together a project of this magnitude, but we feel they are up to it or we wouldn’t be working with them.”

While the estimated cost has been made public, the acquisition manager for Klabzuba, Paul Nauschutz Jr., did not reveal the extent to which the Fort Worth company would finance the project. He confirmed the partnership, meeting Heimsath’s opinion, who stated: “With a substantial equity partner in the deal, I think this project has a good potential to get over the finish line.”

Photo credits: www.mystatesman.com/

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