AUSTIN-Construction has been launched on the mixed-useBlock 21, a$260-million project slated for completion in 2010. The 850,000-sfproject, one of many popping up in the CBD, has a 250-room W Hoteland 200 residential condominiums as its centerpiece.

|

Developed by Stratus Properties of Austin and the Beverly Hills,CA-based Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, Block 21 is along Second St.,one block north of Austin's city hall. In addition to residencesand retail, the development will include a 2,200-seat liveentertainment venue, the new home for Austin City Limits. The venuewill be managed by Live Nation of New York City, parent company forthe House of Blues.

|

Block 21 also is being considered for LEED Platinumcertification. Block 21's lead architect is Andersson-WiseArchitects of Austin.

|

According to Bobby Turner, managing partner with Canyon-JohnsonUrban Funds, Block 21's mixed-use combination and focus onsustainability were why he and Earvin “Magic” Johnson wanted topartner with Stratus on the development. “Our goal is to do goodand have a positive impact,” he explains. “By building a mixed-useproject anchored by W Hotel, that's tremendous job creation.”Furthermore, he says the entertainment venue will end up being acultural amenity that will be beneficial to the surroundingcommunity.

|

Jeff Coddington, SVP for Austin-based Oxford Commercial, aCushman & Wakefield Inc. alliance member, points out that Block21 is one of many projects under development in the southwest partof the CBD. The project is adjacent to AMLI on 2nd, a 231-unit,18-story residential complex with street-level retail. Two blockseast, locally based Benchmark Land Development Inc. has brokenground on the $100-million, mixed-use Austonian, which will include195 condominium units and other commercial components.

|

But, Coddington points out that the area wasn't always thetarget for developers. Once upon a time, the southwest quadrant waslittle more than parking lots and warehouses. “Historically, thatpart of Downtown has been the warehouse district,” he explains. Thestart of its resurgence can be traced back to the late 1990s whenComputer Sciences Corp., with help from the city, developed officebuildings for its growing financial services subsidiary.

|

Coddington also says Austin wasn't ready to go forward with thedevelopments until recently. “There'd been talk for years of whatmight go into the various parcels Downtown, but Austin wasn't alarge enough city to support that,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “We'vegrown enough now for those dreams to become a reality.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.