912,000-sq.-ft. Rainey district project tied to WeWork clears final hurdle before Austin City Council

Austin's Rainey Street district has become one of the city's most popular entertainment and residential districts. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's Rainey Street district has become one of the city's most popular entertainment and residential districts. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin's Rainey Street district has become one of the city's most popular entertainment and residential districts. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

The gravel parking lot at the north tip of the Rainey Street district, bound north and south by Cesar Chavez and Driskill streets, is on its way to transforming into what could be a more than 900,000-square-foot mixed-use project.

The 1.4-acre—60,845 square feet—parking lot, officially located at 97 Red River St., received the thumbs up from Austin’s Planning Commission on Feb. 25 to qualify for density bonus designation, allowing the project to potentially reach 15:1 floor-area ratio. For a 60,845-square-foot lot, a 15:1 FAR means the project could build out to 912,675 square feet. The commission approved the proposal without discussion.

The property owner is listed as Tony Curp, of Waller Creek Owners LLC, who lists his address as 115 W. 18th St. in New York City, the headquarters of commercial real estate company WeWork. Curp is also listed as the senior vice president of development of the San Antonio-based Kairoi Residential. J. Seth Johnston, senior vice president at the Austin-based Lincoln Property Co., is also listed as an owner Waller Creek Owners LLC on city documents. Kairoi Residential and Lincoln Property Co. are teaming up on developing the 66-story mixed-use office tower at Sixth and Guadalupe streets. That tower is expected to be the tallest tower in Austin once completed.

No site plan for the project has been submitted; however, preliminary plans show the project will have 875,000 square feet of offices, 27,500 square feet of grocery use, 4,000 square feet for a restaurant and 4,500 square feet of retail space. No date has been set for when the zoning change will appear in front of Austin City Council.

If approved, the project will add to the growing portfolio of towers in or planned for the Rainey district, a neighborhood once characterized by modest bungalows now considered one of the city’s most popular residential and entertainment districts.

Read our in-depth report of the changes happening in the Rainey district from September 2019.
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


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