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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
New design:



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Previous designs:


From Austin Bob on Skyscraperpage.com


austintowers

New 50-Story Modern Hotel Proposed for downtown, Battle with Marriott Begins
June 26, 2011



Last week, we reported that 1,000+ room Congress Avenue Marriott was back on-track. The project has been highly unpopular: the architecture is bad, the building lacks clear plans for ground floor retail, and the initial project resulted in the demolition of popular business such as Las Manitas. The building risks draining the life from a key downtown block connecting the 2nd street district to the convention district and 6th street on the East side of Congress. The developers caused additional controversy last week by requesting the waiver of more than $4 million in city fees to build the project.

The city needs a big new hotel to lure convention business and this has given the Marriott developers leverage as the only big budget project on the blocks. That is -- until now. This week, a San Diego development firm announced plans to build a 50-story 1,000 room hotel on the other side of the convention center.

The newly proposed project on Waller Creek provides a great alternative for the City: the architecture is interesting, the block is the ideal site for a large hotel between the convention center and I35. The developers are not aggressively pushing for fee relief from the City. The hotel would be the second tallest building in Austin after the Austonian.

Here is a summary from the Statesman:

"A San Diego hotel developer plans to build a $350 million hotel with more than 50 stories and 1,035 rooms east of the Austin Convention Center. The hotel would be built on land now used for parking at the northeast corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez streets, near Waller Creek.

Manchester Texas Financial Group could find itself in competition with White Lodging Services Corp., which plans a 1,003-room Marriott Marquis hotel on Congress Avenue between Second and Third streets.

It's unclear whether Austin could support two more convention-size hotels, in addition to the 800-room Hilton Austin, so the developers could be in a race to see who can break ground first.

Manchester Texas would develop the hotel. Its parent, San Diego-based Manchester Financial Group, built the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Marriott Hotel and Marina in San Diego, high-rise hotels on San Diego Bay.

The Austin project would include 115,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, along with two restaurants and retail space.
Douglas Manchester, founder and chairman of Manchester Financial Group, said Friday that the project has been going "at a pretty fast speed" and that he anticipates starting construction in the next 12 months. The project would take at least 18 to 24 months to build, he said. He said Manchester Financial can put the required equity into the project and attract the loans to complete it."
 

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Fairmont To Operate Manchester Hotel Project



Luxury management company Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will be the operator for a $350 million convention hotel planned for downtown, making Austin only the second Texas city to feature the famed brand, the company told the American-Statesman on Tuesday.

Fairmont said it will manage the 50-story, 1,000-room hotel for which Manchester Texas Financial Group plans to break ground early next spring, with a projected opening in 2015. Manchester will build its hotel — to be named the Fairmont Austin — on land that is now a parking lot at East Cesar Chavez and Red River streets just east of the Austin Convention Center.

At 580 feet, the hotel would be the second-tallest building in Austin’s skyline, after the 56-story Austonian.

The Austin Fairmont is expected to create 800 jobs during construction and about 1,000 permanent jobs after it opens, said Doug Manchester, president of Manchester Texas.

In addition, it is projected to generate about $6 million a year in hotel occupancy taxes and $4 million in annual property taxes, most of which will go to a special financing district that will help pay for improvements to nearby Waller Creek.
 

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The parking lot that currently occupies the future site of the new Fairmont Hotel leases expire on March 31st. Ground breaking will take place sometime in April. :cheers:
 

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Okay, here we go. And how about the Cousins project ? I believe it's called Colorado @ 3rd ?
From what I've heard from AusTxDevelopment they already got 2 leases pending and waiting on 1 more, if they can't get the other one by April they will have to put the project on hold indefinitely.
 

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fairmont To Break Ground This October



When the proposed Austin Fairmont mega hotel project swooped in to the news a couple years ago, snatching the spotlight from the JW Marriot mega hotel, there was a healthy dose of skepticism about it would get off the ground.

A lack of visible activity on the site has been quietly stoking perceptions that the Fairmont will end up anything more than pretty drawings. The site filed a site plan in October 2012, which is still in review, but site plans are never guarantees of construction.

There had also been some chatter that a proposed sky bridge over Waller Creek, connecting the hotel to the convention center, had caused a project-stalling rift between the developer and the Waller Creek Conservancy.

But fret not!

Apparently, Doug Manchester, president of Manchester Texas Financial Group, which is developing the project, told the February monthly meeting of the Urban Land Institute’s Austin chapter, the project will break ground this October, with a 2016 opening date.

(The ABJ reported that Manchester wants to also champion a “major push” to develop the Austin Convention Center into a more competitive convention space to take on the like of San Diego, but that's another story for another day.)

That the president of Manchester talking a big-picture, long-term view and ensuring a room full of people the project will break ground this year is about as much proof as you need to know this is a real project.

[...]
 

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
^^
May take longer:

Drainage issues may impact Fairmont Hotel timeline



May 3, 2013, 7:19am CDT

The developer of the proposed Fairmont Austin Hotel at 101 Red River St. faces an unusual situation.

Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC needs the Austin City Council to approve floodplain variances before it can ramp up construction on the site. However, if those variances are approved, the potential outcome could result in adverse flooding impacts to other properties. That couldn’t be good, right? Well, the situation is complicated because of where it’s located.

The proposed 50-story, 1,000-room hotel is situated in the area that is undergoing a dramatic change due to the construction of the Waller Creek tunnel. The Waller Creek tunnel, a huge underground drainage channel, will take 28 acres of land out of the floodplain and make it ripe for development. It will change the drainage dynamics of projects like the Fairmont.

So, here’s the crux of the situation: If the tunnel was complete — it won’t be finished until late 2014 — there would be no need for the variances. The current site plan would be in compliance with floorplain regulations. But right now, the situation is different and those variances for the short term have some potential unpleasant outcomes, such as flooding of surrounding properties if a huge rain occurs prior to the tunnel’s completion.

The City Council first must set a public hearing on the issue. The suggested date and time for that is 4 p.m. on May 23. Council will vote on the time for the public hearing at its May 9 meeting.

[...]
 

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As Waller Creek prepares for makeover, conservancy reaches out

Dec. 9 2013

With the agreements and organizational foundation for the Waller Creek restoration project falling into place, the Waller Creek Conservancy is beginning an outreach effort to try to build continuity between developers and landowners along the 1.5 mile stretch that the creek traverses downtown.

The conservancy has been through rounds of meetings with landowners and developers that are working near the project's path. The goal is to get a public-private partnership on board for the project and work toward the vision proposed in October 2012 by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. and Thomas Phifer & Partners.

The Waller Creek area just west of I-35 has seen a recent building boom, fueled by development moving east from the downtown core. Several buildings are going up in the Rainey Street area and others, such as the new University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, are planned further north.

To help create a cohesive project, conservancy officials have begun working with the city of Austin and developers, often as early as the planning stage, said Stephanie McDonald, the executive director of the conservancy.

The conservancy has already met with the developers of the Waller Center project, a planned $500 million three-building development near East Cesar Chavez and Red River streets, as well as the Fairmont Hotel, a more than 1,000-room hotel at 101 Red River St, McDonald said.

"Together, we have a dynamic, urban space linked by Waller Creek. That benefits the property owner and the public," she said. "[Developers would] like to be a part of making the plan happen. There are parts that will require their coordination because its on their property."

Exactly who pays for what portion of the restoration work along the creek has yet to be worked out, McDonald said.

[...]
 

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It looks much larger. Did they add hotel rooms?
It's going to be the same number or rooms. This project was tweek alittle but I actually like this one better, and I can imagine what a beast this project will be especailly for the commuters off I 35. :)

DesertPunk, I'll upload more detailed images of the final design later today.
 

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As beautiful as this design & the previous, I have my doubts this hotel will be constructed. Manchester Development is very difficult to work with. I'm sure that they burned a few bridges along the way, as well. The neverending postponement of the groundbreaking of this project tells this old-time commercial real estate professional, this project will not happen, or at least on the scale that it is now. It's a $350 million investment that could've worked a few years ago, but with so many smaller hotels built & under-construction has made Manchester re-evaluate the viability of this hotel. If this project isn't built, there is no one to accpet responsibility for it being cancelled other than Manchester. Glad, being retired not ever having to deal with them again.
 
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