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New hotel tower proposed for downtown near UT campus

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By Cindy Widner, Curbed Austin

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Austin might soon see another high-rise hotel in the central city—this one on a 0.2-acre lot at 17th and Lavaca streets, close to where downtown ends and the University of Texas campus begins.

Representing property owner Sky Austin, legal firm Drenner Group presented initial plans for the proposed hotel to the city’s Design Commission Monday night. The exact address of the proposed project, currently called 17th Street Hotel, is 1620-1624 Lavaca Street. Located diagonally across the street from Hampton Inn & Suites Austin, it is being used as a surface parking lot at present. The 18-story building would have 126,029 square feet of hotel space, with an additional 1,900 square feet of restaurant space on the ground floor.

The application requested an increase the building height from the currently allowable 120 to 220 feet in order to maximize allowable density under the downtown bonus program. The commission voted that the plan meets the city design guidelines with which it needs to comply in order to move ahead with the density bonus request. The proposed hotel would accommodate 214 guests and will have no onsite parking.

The architect on the project is Gensler, and the engineer is Big Red Dog Engineering/Consulting. According to a Monday Austin Business Journal article, the developer is HRI Properties, based in New Orleans.

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