Downtown Austin development: New condos, offices on the way

A new 45,600-square foot office development will be coming to 1608 W. Fifth St., Austin, between Donn's Depot piano bar and El Arroyo restaurant. (Rendering courtesy Studio 8 Architects)
A new 45,600-square foot office development will be coming to 1608 W. Fifth St., Austin, between Donn's Depot piano bar and El Arroyo restaurant. (Rendering courtesy Studio 8 Architects)

A new 45,600-square foot office development will be coming to 1608 W. Fifth St., Austin, between Donn's Depot piano bar and El Arroyo restaurant. (Rendering courtesy Studio 8 Architects)

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Block 16 is a proposed 47-story office and retail tower on East Second Street. (Rendering courtesy city of Austin/Manifold Architects)
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Cascade Condominiums, a 113-unit development, broke ground in September. (Rendering courtesy Pearlstone Partners, Prospect Real Estate)
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Austin's Historic Landmark Commission denied a proposal for a hotel addition to a historic building in a split vote. (Rendering courtesy city of Austin/MCS Architects)
Downtown Austin continues to change at a rapid pace as new office, hotel and residential projects emerge. Find the latest updates here.

New condos coming in West Campus area

Cascade Condominiums, a new 113-unit condo development at 2500 Longview St., Austin, broke ground in September. Prices will range from $280,000 to $635,000 per condo at the site, which is being developed by Pearlstone Partners and marketed by Prospect Real Estate. Two commercial units will also be included. 512-829-0637. www.cascadeaustin.com

Historic Landmark Commission denies proposal for hotel

Developers proposed plans to add 12 floors to a historic building at 1415 Lavaca St. and turn it into a Hilton-branded hotel called The Motto, but the Austin Historic Landmark Commission denied the application Aug. 24.


The Texas Osteopathic Medical Association was the most recent tenant, but it left due to structural sewage and drainage problems, according to the commission. A staff report said the proposal would offer resources to preserve the building, which may otherwise further deteriorate. When complete, the hotel would have stood 150 feet tall.

However, city staff also expressed concerns that the hotel proposal did not comply to state standards of historic properties and therefore could set a precedent for additional projects that could compromise the integrity of historic buildings and landmarks.

Several commissioners agreed with staff’s concern, denying the proposal 6-2.

Commissioner Alex Papavasiliou, who was also among the commissioners who voted to deny a certificate of approval for the hotel proposal, noted that the applicant will likely appeal the decision.

Office building on the way to West Fifth

Manifold Real Estate broke ground on a new office building in late September at 1608 W. Fifth St., Austin, between Donn's Depot piano bar and El Arroyo restaurant. The 45,600-square foot space will feature four levels of underground parking, and 75% of the building has been leased. Tenants will include Corridor Title, OakPoint Real Estate and Studio8 Architects. Construction is expected to last 14 months, with the offices opening in winter 2021. www.mainfoldre.com

723-foot tower could add to downtown skyline

Manifold Architects and design firm Gensler presented site plans Aug. 24 to the Austin Design Commission for a proposed new retail and office tower for 320 E. Second St., Austin. The 723-foot planned tower would have 47 floors. Seventeen of those will be used for above-ground parking and three for underground parking.

Block 16 would include 741,319 square feet, including an open public plaza on its ground floor. Roughly 733,000 square feet will be dedicated office space. Courtyard areas would include cafe space, park benches and space for an art piece, according to designers.

Construction is projected to take place between 2021-23, according to an application from the developers for a density bonus, which provides benefits to developers who meet certain requirements. The design commission gave conditional approval for the bonus in August.

The project is in the same area where the Austin Convention Center has previously suggested it might seek to expand. However, Trisha Tatro, interim director for the Austin Convention Center Department, said in an Aug. 19 memo Block 16’s plans would not interfere with an expansion of the convention center.
By Olivia Aldridge

Multi-Platform Journalist

Olivia hosts and produces Community Impact Newspaper's podcasts, The Austin Breakdown, The Houston Breakdown and The DFW Breakdown. She launched the podcasts after nearly three years as a reporter for the newspaper, covering public health, business, development and Travis County government for the Central Austin edition. Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas.