Planned 49-story Rainey Street district project clears major hurdle on way to 2022 completion date

The 44 East project will reach 570 feet in height with 322 residential units and 3,534 square feet of commercial space. (Rendering courtesy IntraCorp)
The 44 East project will reach 570 feet in height with 322 residential units and 3,534 square feet of commercial space. (Rendering courtesy IntraCorp)

The 44 East project will reach 570 feet in height with 322 residential units and 3,534 square feet of commercial space. (Rendering courtesy IntraCorp)

With a variance secured—the 44 East project, a 49-story, 322-unit mixed-use project planned for the southeast corner of the Rainey Street district—has cleared the path toward its 2022 completion date.

The Austin Planning Commission on Jan. 14 said it was OK for the 570-foot tower to have a mirrored glass facade with 30% reflectivity—greater than the 20% limit mandated for downtown waterfront properties in the city’s building code. The variance, which was recommended by city staff, came on the condition that the developer, Intracorp, work with the city to ensure the building design is “bird friendly”—or designed in way that works to deter birds from crashing into the building and dying.

The glass reflectivity variance was the last major hurdle to clear for the 44 East project, according to Leah Bojo, a local lobbyist with The Drenner Group, which represents IntraCorp.

The 27,631-square foot project will include one- to four-bedroom residential units ranging from 500 square feet to 3,500 square feet. The tower will also have 3,534 square feet of commercial space. The project broke ground in October, and the completion date is set for 2022, according to Brad Stein, the managing director of Intracorp’s Austin office.

The tower is one of many large-scale projects planned for the Rainey Street district. As of 2019, the district, with less than one-tenth of 1 square mile, had 3,565 active hotel and residential units, with 3,648 more approved or proposed. The area’s rapid growth into one of the city’s most popular residential neighborhoods and entertainment districts has raised safety concerns among residents and city officials. Recently, the city began closing Rainey Street to vehicular traffic on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The map below highlights several aspects of the Rainey Street district: existing hotel and residential density, hotel and residential projects that have been either approved or proposed, proposed and existing street closure plans, and street entrances and exits into the district. Click on any of the colored areas for more details. The blue, green and red polygons respectively represent existing, approved and proposed hotel and residential projects. Hotel projects are darker shades; residential projects are lighter shades. The purple circles represent access areas into the district; darker shades represent areas that allow entrance and exit in any direction, and lighter shades show areas that only allow one-way entrance and or exit. The red line represents the area of Rainey Street that is closed to vehicular traffic during peak hours. The orange line represents the city's street closure plan during South by Southwest Conference & Festivals.

By 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 Su


Rendering of COVID-19
City, festival officials share coronavirus plan as preparations ramp up ahead of globally attended SXSW

Two weeks before SXSW Conference and Festivals opens its doors to the world, the city of Austin released its plan to prevent and contain any cases of novel coronavirus.

Live music contributes $2 billion to the local economy, per the 2015 Austin Music Census. (Courtesy Jake Rabin)
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians: Local organization helps musicians stay on stage by providing access to health care

In addition to health care access, HAAM provides wellness services—from acupuncture to YMCA memberships—and will launch a specialty network in the next few months.

As diners come up the stairs to Be More Pacific, they pass the family photos of owners Giovan Cuchapin (left) and Mark Pascual. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Be More Pacific owners Giovan Cuchapin and Mark Pascual explain the difference between traditional and authentic when it comes to Filipino food

The Philippines is nation of 7,000 islands and nearly as many cultural influences, which means even traditional dishes have different recipes.

Husband-and-wife team Lori and Bill Goodpasture have managed Room Service Vintage since 2006. Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper
Room Service Vintage: North Loop store in its 39th year keeps 'old Austin' alive

Since 2006, husband-and-wife team Bill and Lori Goodpasture have managed the store

Courtesy Blenders & Bowls
Blenders & Bowls, Kitchen United Mix, Rise among businesses now open or coming soon in North Central Austin

Téo Gelato closed its brick-and-mortar store on 38th Street. The owner says he will focus more on his wholesale and grocery business.

Michaela Sullins, 19, spent 15 years in foster homes across Texas before aging out in 2018. She has since experienced two bouts of homelessness and moved across the country and back. Preparing to begin life as a single mother, Sullins has found some stability in Austin. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Disrupting the cycle: Unprecedented effort tries to untie foster care, homelessness in Austin

Austin wants to become the first city in America to effectively end youth homelessness. Whether that goal is possible is a point of debate in among service providers and experts in the field.

About half of We Are Blood's supply comes from blood drives, held on mobile buses such as this one. (Courtesy We Are Blood)
We Are Blood seeks new and repeat donors as demand keeps pace with Austin’s growth

We Are Blood is seeking new and repeat donors to keep up with blood demand as the city of Austin continues to grow.

The Texas Transportation Commission identified $4.3 billion in funding on Feb. 27 to improve an 8-mile stretch of I-35 through Central Austin.
Long-awaited I-35 improvements could be coming in 2025 after state secures $4.3B in funding

Questions about the design and future toll lanes still remain, but the funding decision will get the process started to improve of the state's most congested roadways.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, announced Feb. 27 that his is exploring a run for Kirk Watson’s state Senate seat. (Courtesy Eddie Rodriguez)
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez exploring run for Kirk Watson’s state Senate seat

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, announced his resignation from the District 14 seat Feb. 18 and will leave office April 30 for a position at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Olympic weightlifter Robert Ronan (right) founded Austin Barbell in 2018. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Barbell expanding into second location in South Central Austin

Austin Barbell will offer personalized, Olympic-style weightlifting training.

Cori Roberts, a member of the three-person Camp RATT council and resident of the state-sanctioned homeless encampment in Southeast Austin, has been homeless since she was a teenager. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
State to lease sanctioned homeless encampment in SE Austin to chamber-led coalition; plans for 150-bed shelter underway

Representatives of the ATX Helps coalition said they hoped to get the shelter up and running "as soon as possible."

The Travis Central Appraisal District will not increase home appraisal values this year. (Courtesy Fotolia)
After offer, Travis Central Appraisal District and Austin Board of Realtors at market data impasse

After the Austin Board of Realtors offered what it called a possible solution to an ongoing dispute over market data access Feb. 27, the Travis Central Appraisal District said it would not change its decision to use last year’s home appraisal values again this year.

Back to top