Prominent project

Towering new office and retail high-rise destined for bustling downtown Austin corridor

Towering new office high-rise destined for bustling downtown corridor

Austin skyline including Lady Bird Lake
A massive high-rise is taking shape on East Cesar Chavez and Red River streets. Visit Austin, Texas/Facebook

A massive mixed-use project in downtown Austin tied to coworking giant WeWork is one step closer to getting underway.

On February 25, the Austin Planning Commission approved what’s known as a density bonus for a more than 910,000-square-foot office and retail project along Waller Creek. The City of Austin’s density bonus program lets downtown developments be constructed at greater heights and densities in exchange for higher-quality buildings, better streetscapes, and community benefits.

The incentive still must be endorsed by the Austin City Council.

The density bonus would be for a proposed development at 97 Red River St. — now a parking lot adjacent to an IHOP restaurant — featuring 875,000 square feet of offices, 27,500 square feet for a grocery store, 4,500 square feet for retail, and 4,000 square feet for a restaurant.

Waller Creek Owner LLC, an entity associated with New York City-based WeWork, owns the property. The nearly 1.4-acre parcel is part of a larger plan for an enormous 4.7-acre redevelopment project. 

In November 2018, The Real Deal, a publication covering the real estate industry, reported that a new real estate investment fund sponsored by WeWork was scooping up more than four acres at Red River and East Cesar Chavez streets. At the time, it was reported that the estimated $1 billion project would comprise about 3 million square feet of offices, apartments, condos, hotel rooms, shops, and restaurants. The tallest building in the mix would exceed 50 stories.

Plans for the 4.7-acre development haven’t been finalized.

The Austin Business Journal reported in October 2019 that Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. and San Antonio-based Kairoi Residential LLC had teamed up with WeWork on the project, which is near the Fairmont Austin and the Austin Convention Center.

Lincoln Property and Kairoi Residential are collaborating with San Francisco-based DivcoWest Real Estate Services LLC on 6xGuadalupe, a 66-story, mixed-use tower that’s under construction at 400 W. Sixth St. That project will feature 589,112 square feet of offices, apartments, and retail establishments.