Riverside Hooters demolished as construction of 15-story office tower begins

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Groundbreaking for a new 15-story, 350,000-square-foot mixed-use office tower at 401 S. First St. began Wednesday with the demolition of the old Hooters building that has stood onsite at the corner of S. First Street and W. Riverside Drive for years.

The office tower set to replace it will take up the entire triangular tract, putting it at the intersection of S. First Street, W. Riverside Drive and Barton Springs Road, three of South-Central Austin’s busiest streets.

The project—known colloquially as the “Snoopy” planned-unit development, as the family of Charles Schultz once owned the tract—is called RiverSouth, and is being developed by Stream Realty. The mixed-use development will include dining and retail on the ground floor. RiverSouth is the first major development under the city’s South Central Waterfront District plan, which maps out the future use of land just south of the Colorado River.

“We’re excited to have broken ground on this marquee project that will transform the area into an exciting destination for not only our tenants but for all Austinites,” David Blackbird, a regional managing partner with Stream Realty, said in a press release.

The project’s ground breaking follows a months-long process of negotiation between the developer and city for the best use of the site. In a statement, District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo, who represents the area on City Council, said the project will bring investment into the neighborhood’s affordable housing program.

“It’s a good example of how the South Central Waterfront Plan will ensure that redevelopment in this area yields important public benefits related to open space, walkability and affordable housing,” Tovo said.

Alina Carnahan, spokesperson for the RiverSouth project, said completion is expected for 2021.

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Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following two years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and USA Today. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
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