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AUSTIN-The Austin Museum of Art and Hines have revealed development plans for a 40,000-sf museum and 425,000-sf Museum Tower, a class A office building. Construction on the CBD projects is set to begin in 2009, with delivery scheduled for 2011.

The project will be located on one square block at Fourth and Guadalupe streets. A $23-million campaign has been initiated to cover construction costs for the three-story museum. The development cost for the 30-story Museum Tower has not been determined. The museum is currently operating in 16,000 sf of a renovated bank building at 823 Congress Ave.

Travis Overall, vice president of the Houston-based Hines, says the museum owned the entire block, but didn’t need the whole parcel for its new structure. After considering many developer proposals, the museum board sold half of the block to Hines.

Overall says the 30-story Museum Tower is not a speculative project, but the preleasing goal before ground can break is still being evaluated. “Capital markets will likely dictate that significant preleasing be achieved,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “The market response to the project will dictate timing for the groundbreaking.”

Hines is seeking LEED certification for Museum Tower, which would make it the first office building to be “green certified” in Downtown Austin. Hines last year implemented a plan to seek LEED-certification for almost all new projects. “Austin is a city that embraces green building initiatives and we want to meet their standards,” Overall says.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects of New Haven, CT is the development’s lead architect. Bart Matheney of Aquila Commercial LLC in Austin will be preleasing the office tower.

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