Lantana Place development, Marriott AC hotel begin to take shape off Southwest Parkway

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Several buildings have been constructed within Lantana Place—the 35-acre development at William Cannon Drive and Southwest Parkway—according to Austin-based Stratus Properties, the project’s developer.

The site plan for the 325,000- square-foot, mixed-use development includes a 10-screen Moviehouse & Eatery, which opened in May, a 134-room Marriott AC hotel, expected to open in summer 2021, 140,000 square feet of office space, restaurants and 60,000 square feet of retail space.

“This area has been largely underbuilt and underserved,” Stratus Properties CEO Beau Armstrong told Community Impact Newspaper. “We’re providing dining and entertainment options closer to home.”

Barton Creek, Lantana, Travis Country and Circle C Ranch residents, among others in South Austin, will experience new options in retail, entertainment, lodging and restaurants in the mixed-use development, with full build-out anticipated by 2021.

About the development

Stratus broke ground on the $80 million development in August 2017.

The design of Lantana Place was inspired by “Hill Country elegance” with modern touches, Armstrong said. Plans include murals, a sculpture, a chalkboard wall, restaurants with patio spaces for live music and more. The developers said Lantana Place is meant to be “an iconic destination,” even a “showcase” for South Austin.

Physical retail stores are struggling nationwide–in the next four years, analysts at Credit Suisse estimate that one out of every four will go out of business.

Against this backdrop, Stratus developers said they hope to gain steady traffic by providing services people need while creating a sense of place.

“We are not building space for anything that has an internet presence,” Armstrong said. “If you can get it on Amazon, we’re not building a physical store for it in Lantana Place.”

The first phase of construction was completed in July. Stratus anticipates launching the next phase—constructing 140,000 square feet of office space in two buildings—sometime next year, Armstrong said.

The developers said they are currently talking to potential tenants for the office structures.

Neighbors’ perspectives

Austin City Council approved the rezoning of a 12,000-square-foot building on the property, from community commercial to commercial liquor sales on June 28. Two initial conditions were added when the zoning was approved–a prohibition on outdoor entertainment and a height restriction, limiting the structure to a single-story building not to exceed 28 feet.

With this type of permit, the building could be developed into a bar or a liquor store, said Wendy Rhoades, with Austin’s planning and zoning department. Lantana Place is considering a wine merchant as a tenant in this space, she said.

Should the business be interested in a cocktail lounge as part of the establishment, a separate application for a conditional-use permit would still be required, Rhoades said.

Residents have raised concerns about safety, citing fears of drinking and driving, said Darryl Pruett, president of the Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods.

“When you’ve got a really hot area of town like the southwest part of Austin, people are going to start businesses that provide goods and services,” Pruett said. “To the extent they can do that and not have a detrimental impact to Williamson Creek or pour so much traffic onto our streets [that they become dangerous], I think it’s a great thing.”

The developers have met with residents, mailed flyers and engaged in other strategies to address residents’ concerns and gauge interest in different types of amenities, Armstrong said.

“We’ve had a very healthy dialogue with the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said. “We  take very seriously any concerns that have been raised.”

Overall, Pruett said the developers are approaching the design of Lantana Place thoughtfully.

“[The developers] are very open to talking,” Pruett said. “I am really impressed with the way they have been engaging with our community.”

Tenants weigh in

“We chose Southwest Austin for the beautiful, new upscale, mixed-use development with walk-to amenities,” said Billy Brown, chairman and CEO of Lodgecap Inc., owner of the forthcoming Marriott AC hotel at Lantana Place.

Marriott AC Austin West is currently being designed. Plans include 134 rooms, five floors and a rooftop bar with Hill Country and downtown Austin views, Brown said.

The hotel is three years from opening–anticipated for summer 2021–and developers are working on securing a building permit by spring 2019.

“Every AC hotel is different,” Brown said. “No two are alike, either on the inside or the outside, because we customize our hotels to the locale.”

Brown said plans for the hotel include “feel-good Austin elements” like leather furniture with decorative stitching, echoing the Hill Country ambience of Lantana Place.

From design to location to demand for services, tenants like the Marriott and others weigh many factors when choosing a location.

“This area was a hole in the map,” said Amy Dial, director of marketing and events for Moviehouse & Eatery. “There are a lot of people living out here, and they don’t have a lot of options for entertainment. Where are they going to go for movies?”

Moviehouse & Eatery, an Austin-based dine-in theater, opened its fifth location–the second in the Austin area–at Lantana Place. The family-friendly theater offers a full bar and runs a scratch kitchen with salads, sandwiches and burgers.

When selecting a location for the theater, Dial described Lantana Place as “a perfect fit”–a great piece of property in an ideal location.

“This looks and feels like the right kind of place for us,” she said. “We’re already really pleased.”

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Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the Senior Reporter for Southwest Austin. She covers local transportation, development, education, healthcare and Travis County Commissioners Court. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas and has been with Community Impact Newspaper since May 2018.
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