A prime spot in downtown Austin that has been owned by the UT System for years will be redeveloped, the Austin Business Journal reports.
Block 71, as the area is known, comprises 1.6 acres and is not in the Capitol View corridor, meaning there are no height restrictions on what can be built there. It is located between West 7th, Colorado, West 6th, and Lavaca streets.
Currently it houses several UT System departments which will soon be moving to the OneUT System tower which is under construction at the north side of 7th street between Colorado and Lavaca, and is projected to be complete next summer, with the first employees moving to the building in the Fall of 2017.
While most of what is now standing on Block 71 will be torn down, the UT System has asked Trammell Crow, the developer of the new project, to save the south and west fronts of Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall, located at Lavaca and Sixth. It was Austin’s seventh post office in 1914, and is named after President Lyndon Johnson’s wife.
Once the parking garage, nine-story tower, and plaza are all torn down, the new project is expected to have both residential and commercial space. The new development, combined with the retail that will be on the ground floor of the OneUTSystem tower, will provide a connection between that part of downtown and the entertainment areas to the west and east. Currently that area has absolutely nothing open at night.
The amount of space available to develop in downtown is very small, so this is an exciting opportunity to build more residential units in the heart of the city.