Construction Update: Winter 2017

It’s been a long time since my last Construction Update. There’s lots of exciting Austin construction news to report, especially on the western side of downtown.

The Aloft and Element hotels at Seventh and Congress are expected to open this summer.  The two hotels will have a total of 422 rooms. A first-floor restaurant and bar will face Congress Avenue.

The UT System Administration Building on Seventh and Colorado is also expected to be ready for occupancy in late summer.

The CVS store at the corner of Fifth and Congress is closed for remodeling. I peeked in last week and saw that the entire building is gutted. A sign says that CVS does plan to reopen in this same space. Let’s hope so, since it’s the only pharmacy in center city.

After a two-year delay, work on Hotel ZaZa (Fourth and Lavaca) is now proceeding. Their website says the hotel will open in late 2017, but that seems unlikely since construction is barely above ground level.

The Independent (the “Zenga” tower) is rising up above the parking garage floors now. Eventually this structure at Third and West will be 58 floors, making it the tallest building in Austin and the largest residential building west of the Mississippi.

The Austin Music Hall was demolished last September. Site work has now begun on Third + Shoal, a 29-story office building.

Another condo building, Fifth & West, is only a few stories above ground right now, but will eventually be 39 floors.

Shoal Creek Walk will eventually fill the entire block behind the Whole Foods headquarters. So far, just the parking garage is above ground, but there’s lots of activity going on in that hole at the front of my photograph. The office building will be 15 stories high and should be completed in 2018.

With all the construction happening nearby, lower Shoal Creek is getting a much-needed facelift. This area wasn’t in great shape anyhow, and then it was further damaged during the Memorial Day 2015 flooding. Strong retaining walls and wide pathways are being installed. I assume that better lighting and natural vegetation will also added.

Just looking at the new Central Library makes me smile! Last November, a library employee told me that the grand opening might be in May 2017, but I haven’t seen any recent news about that date.

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One thought on “Construction Update: Winter 2017

  1. Thanks for the update. On a recent trip to Philadelphia, I walked into a downtown CVS which was 2-3 stories and had sparkling chandeliers!!!

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