Construction Update: Summer 2016

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Austin construction projects have been humming along since we last checked in for June’s update. Summer’s almost over—at least according to the calendar—so let’s take a look at the latest progress…

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Most of the windows are now installed on the office building with the catchy name, 500 West 2nd Street. This tower will open next year.

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Window installation for the UT System Administration Building on Seventh Street also seems to be nearing completion.

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The Aloft and Element hotels at Congress and Seventh are being encased with windows and walls as well.

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Foundation work had begun on Hotel ZaZa, but was slowed down with the discovery of an underground spring on the site. The hole was mostly filled with water last week, but yesterday cement trucks were at the site, so maybe work is proceeding now.

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The Contemporary Jones Center is remodeling their inside space and adding a covered rooftop. This art museum plans to reopen later this year.

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Pillars are starting to rise up for The Independent, called the “Jenga Tower” due to its offset stacked design. When completed in 2018, it’s supposed to be the tallest residential building (58 floors) west of the Mississippi.

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The huge parking lot behind Whole Foods Lamar will become Shoal Creek Walk. This 15-story office building is expected to be completed next year.

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Prep work has started for another condo highrise, Fifth + West. This 39-floor condo building is targeted to open in 2017.

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Demolition of the Austin Music Hall started this week. Bill and I had attended some memorable fundraisers and concerts in that building, but we will not miss the terrible acoustics.

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Even Republic Square Park is under construction. Some initial improvements were made when the Federal Courthouse was built, and now the next phase is being implemented.

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Remember the Taco Cabana at the corner of Lamar and Riverside? Well, that building was completely torn down and replaced with a Pollo Tropical. Bill and I have not eaten there yet, so we can’t comment on whether this change is actually an improvement.

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Our new Central Library on Cesar Chavez is looking fabulous. However, the original grand opening target of November 2016 is now listed as “Building construction substantially completed,” according to the city’s website. The grand opening has been pushed back to May 2017. Rats.

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