Lots of construction in downtown Austin right now…
For Bill and me, the most disruptive construction is on the corner of Colorado and Second Streets. The City of Austin is doing some major sewer/water work right outside our building’s lobby. This was already in progress when we moved downtown. Pulling out of our parking garage can be a challenge, especially during rush hour. Crossing the street is challenging too, because the crosswalk path changes almost every day. We hear digging, scraping and backup beeping even up on the 20th floor. Last week our building had no water for 12+ hours but fortunately I did not work from home that day. That evening we also learned that each apartment has a PA system.
The new W (Westin) Hotel and condo building is two blocks from our apartment. The streets around this block are often closed. A few weeks ago, the barriers on the Second Street side were removed, revealing trees, sidewalks and most importantly, parking spaces. We can now see furniture and lamps inside some of the lower hotel rooms. According to the local newspaper, the complex will have two swimming pools: one for use by hotel guests and condo owners, and one for only condo owners. We can see both pools and a few trees on the roof but can’t tell which pool is which. I was surprised to read on Westin web site that the hotel is scheduled to open on December 9th. I guess they will just keep working on the 20 floors of condos after the hotel opens.
The smaller black-box building in front of the W will be the new studio for Austin City Limits. In addition to the TV show, other acts will be booked in the space. Shows by Diana Ross, John Melloncamp, Willie Nelson and others have been announced for next year. See the schedule at http://www.acl-live.com
A few blocks up Congress Avenue, the Texas State Capitol is undergoing renovations. When I took this picture two weeks ago, the capitol dome was still surrounded by scaffolding but most of it is down now. The Texas State Legislature starts a new session in just a few weeks so I’m guessing the work will be completed soon. The Legislature meets every other year in Texas. I am curious to see if downtown will seem more crowded in January once this session starts.
A new Federal courthouse is being built next to Republic Square Park. I think this building will be a mid-rise…just four or five stories tall. A crane provided additional entertainment at last weekend’s Farmer’s Market (which, by the way, I love living near):
Mixed-use development is planned for the tract surrounding the Seaholm Power Plant. Looking east from our window, some infrastructure work seems to be underway. Seaholm was the site of this year’s Zombie Ball…so sorry I had to miss that! See the history of the site and future plans at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/seaholm/powerplant.htm