Sizable square footage

Massive project could bring 2 new high-rise towers to downtown Austin

Massive project could bring 2 new high-rise towers to downtown Austin

Austin skyline
More towers coming to the Austin skyline. Photo by dszc/Getty Images

As much as 1.64 million square feet of space — roughly equivalent to three Frost Bank office towers — is on the drawing board for a single city block in downtown Austin.

That square footage would be situated on a city block that Austin-based real estate developer Cielo Property Group plans to develop near the Austin Convention Center. The first phase of the project will feature a 750,000-square-foot, 50-story office tower along Fourth Street between Brazos Street and San Jacinto Boulevard.

“Downtown continues to lure marquee companies, but it’s difficult for many of these businesses to find office space downtown that’s large enough to meet their needs,” Bobby Dillard, co-founder and co-CEO of Cielo Property Group, says in a news release. “By developing an entire city block, we can provide companies with more space, greater flexibility, and unique onsite amenities that can be shared by the two buildings.”

Plans for the second phase, at the northern end of the same block, are up in the air. That phase can accommodate up to 886,200 square feet of space.

The two office high-rises will be adjacent to each another.

“Cielo plans to make this project our most innovative and impactful yet,” Dillard says. “We will continue to push the boundaries of sustainability, find ways to integrate more outdoor spaces throughout the building, and provide ample opportunities for local artists to showcase their work.”

Cielo’s two office high-rises will join a slew of office buildings in downtown Austin, including the iconic Frost Bank Tower. The 33-story tower, which opened in 2004, measures a little over 535,000 square feet.

According to commercial real estate services company JLL, downtown Austin has nearly 12.2 million square feet of office space. Newmark, one of JLL’s rivals, puts the figure at nearly 13.5 million. Another competitor, Cushman & Wakefield, pegs it at almost 13 million.

“Developers and buyers continue to be bullish on Austin, and it is hard to disagree otherwise,” commercial real estate services company Colliers says in a report. “Even with the option to work from home likely to be a standard offering by employers moving forward, the bigger focus in Austin is not when employees are headed back into the office, but rather who is moving here next.”

Founded in 2010, Cielo co-developed the 29-story Third + Shoal high-rise in downtown Austin. Tenants include Facebook and Bank of America. Earlier this year, Cielo completed construction of Foundry II, the second phase of a mixed-use development in East Austin that contains 240,000 square feet of office space.