We are surrounded by major construction projects in downtown Austin. Cranes, cement trucks, and heavy equipment are everywhere. Many surface parking lots have now become gaping holes surrounded by temporary fencing as the site prep work takes place. The towers that are further along seem to grow a new floor every week. There’s so much construction here that downtown neighborhood associations have petitioned the new city council to “limit” concrete pouring to 6 AM to 7 PM.
Certainly there were many dilapidated buildings that needed to be replaced. But I am worried about traffic and crowds once all these new buildings are opened. The balance between locals and tourists may be shifting, too. Just the new JW Marriott alone will add over 1000 hotel rooms, and several other hotels are also under construction (Hotel ZaZa, Fairmont, Westin, Aloft).
Anyhow, here’s a look at what’s happening with some of the projects:
An office building at the corner of Congress and Fifth appears to be almost completed.
A huge apartment building on West 7th Street, appropriately named Seven, is signing leases to start in March.
Fort Worth chef Tim Love is opening a new restaurant in the old Kenichi location on the corner of Fifth and Colorado… a rare one-story project.
The lobby and parking garage work is complete for the soon-to-be-open Colorado Tower.
Speaking of opening soon, the JW Marriott Austin is taking reservations for mid-February. This hotel will have three restaurants and will be one of the largest Marriotts in the world. A ready-to-go Starbucks can been seen through the second floor windows.
Our new Central Library is taking shape on Cesar Chavez. The building is scheduled to be ready in 2016.
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