Urban expansion

2 popular Austin bars to be bulldozed for new downtown high-rise tower

2 popular Austin bars to be bulldozed for new downtown high-rise tower

9092 rainey tower rendering
9092 Rainey would mean closing Bungalow and Container Bar. Rendering courtesy of Nelson Partners/Urbanspace/dwg
9092 rainey tower rendering
The high-rise would be the third tallest in Austin. Rendering courtesy of Nelson Partners/Urbanspace/dwg
9092 rainey tower rendering
9092 rainey tower rendering

Two Rainey Street establishments — Container Bar and Bungalow — are on track to be bulldozed to make way for a 53-story hotel and apartment tower.

On March 23, the Austin Historic Landmark Commission is scheduled to consider a proposal to demolish Bungalow, a former residence at 92 Rainey St. that dates back to the early 1900s. Container Bar, at 90 Rainey St., also is set to be torn down.

The developer of the high-rise plans to incorporate both bars into the new building. “The bars will stay open up until we start construction next year,” Kevin Burns, CEO of Austin-based Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors, tells CultureMap.

The 582,513-square-foot, 606-foot-tall project features:

  • 349,508 square feet of hotel space, including 424 guest rooms.
  • 227,180 square feet of residential space, offering 198 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Nineteen of the units are earmarked for affordable housing.
  • 5,825 square feet of restaurant and bar space.

At 606 feet, the Rainey Street tower would be about 150 feet taller than the nearby Fairmont Austin hotel, which is the third tallest building in Austin (excluding its 139-foot-tall spire). The proposed site of the skyscraper covers a little over one-third of an acre.

Burns says construction is expected to start in mid-2021.

Urbanspace leads the development team, which also includes architecture firms DWG and Nelsen Partners. DWG is based in Austin; Nelsen Partners has offices in Austin and Phoenix.

Burns says the team is going to “great lengths” to improve Rainey Street’s pedestrian access and streetscape, including plans for wide sidewalks and large shade trees.

“Rainey Street has materially evolved ever since I lived on Rainey in 2006. I think the evolution has provided a positive impact for the city by creating an entertainment district with residences, hotels, and future office projects harmoniously woven together,” Burns says.