26-Story "Congress Sliver Hotel" Approved by City Council
March 28, 2011
According to the Austin Business Journal, "Austin City Council on Thursday approved special zoning to allow the transformation of a historic Congress Avenue building into a boutique hotel."
Under the new plans, developers will build a 26-story 130 room hotel and restaurant on top of a small 120-year-old Congress Avenue building. The project could begin construction as early as this summer and may take 18 months to complete. As the only hotel on Congress Avenue, the project will bring additional people and life to the most important downtown street.
As we have reported, the boutique hotel will integrate the 1893 Romanesque facade into a new 26-story tower designed by prominent Austin architect Dick Clark. The building is essentially a "sliver tower" -- an extremely small footprint tall building designed to fit over a tiny lot occupied b a small building. In this case, the average floor plate will be just 3,500 square feet or 50 by 70 feet. Other cities, such as New York City, prohibit the construction of these sorts of towers. For Austin, which is eager to expand downtown development, to add downtown hotel capacty, and to revitalize Congress Avenue, the project will likely be attractive.