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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 12:31 AM
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Cool AUSTIN | 211 South Lamar | 104 FEET | 9 FLOORS | Cancelled

The address is 211 South Lamar Boulevard.

City of Austin permit files:
https://www.austintexas.gov/devrevie...erRSN=10814793

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http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/pr...w-grander.html
Quote:
Feb 1, 2013, 5:00am CST
Plans for Taco Cabana site grow grander
Post prefers to build site bigger and as condos


Jan Buchholz
Staff Writer-
Austin Business Journal

The multifamily project that will replace a downtown Taco Cabana restaurant will be taller and denser than originally proposed if developers gain approval for a rezoning request that’s in the works.

Stephen Drenner, an entitlement lawyer with Winstead PC, said his client — a partnership of Post Investment Group of Los Angeles and Ascension Development of Dallas — submitted new plans to the city for the almost 1-acre site at South Lamar Boulevard and Riverside Drive. The new design contemplates 96 feet of height, or about 10 stories — nearly 50 percent above the current limit of 65 feet.
Rendering from the article:


The building featured in this rendering is proposed for the corner of South Lamar Boulevard and Riverside Drive across the street from the new Zach Theatre. The site now holds a Taco Cabana restaurant. To get the project going, it’ll take a rezoning.

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http://www.statesman.com/news/busine...sitedev/nWXfG/
Quote:
Posted: 5:22 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2013
Upscale apartments planned for Taco Cabana site
Developers promise “unique” project for high-profile tract

By Shonda Novak
American-Statesman Staff

Pending a zoning change, developers plan to start construction this summer on an tower with 175 luxury apartments just south of downtown, on a site that now has a Taco Cabana restaurant.

The project is slated for a high-profile 1-acre site at West Riverside Drive and South Lamar Boulevard, just south of the Pfluger Bridge and the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail. Just east is the Butler Park Pitch and Putt, and to the south, the Paggi House restaurant.
The developers behind the project, which is going by the temporary name of 211 South Lamar, are Dallas-based Ascension Development, teaming with Los Angeles-based Post Investment Group. They are seeking a zoning change that would allow them to build a 96-foot building with 200,000 square feet of space, instead of a 60-foot building with about 130,000 square feet of space that existing rules would allow, said Steve Drenner, the Austin attorney handling the zoning case for the developers.

The case is set to go before the city’s Planning Commission March 12 and the City Council on March 28, Drenner said.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
Here's a link to the documents for that project.

http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=189243
Renderings from that link:

View from northeast


View from west


View from north


View from north


View from northwest


View from southeast


View from north along Barton Springs
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Last edited by KevinFromTexas; May 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 3:27 AM
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The people complaining about this are so laughable.

Seriously, they're upset about a Taco Cabana being torn down? They're worried that Austin is losing it's character because a fast food joint is being taken away?

GTFO.
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 4:03 AM
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I don't think it's a matter of the Taco Cabana being replaced. I just think they don't want tall buildings making it across the river.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 5:51 AM
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While it will be the tallest in that immediate area, it's not the tallest south of the river. That I can think of, there are currently at least 12 buildings south of the river that are 96 feet or taller. That includes Streetlights at Barton Springs. Plus there's one more 96 foot building that was approved (the Park Tower office building on Barton Springs). 6 of those are on or near Barton Springs.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 5:54 AM
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Yes. That adds to their dislike of this, yet another tall building.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 6:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
While it will be the tallest in that immediate area, it's not the tallest south of the river. That I can think of, there are currently at least 12 buildings south of the river that are 96 feet or taller. That includes Streetlights at Barton Springs. Plus there's one more 96 foot building that was approved (the Park Tower office building on Barton Springs). 6 of those are on or near Barton Springs.
Park Tower???
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 7:18 AM
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The name is actually "The Park" It was originally a 14-story 180 foot office building that would have retail/restaurant and possibly residential thrown in. The address is 801 Barton Springs Road. The neighborhood to the south complained heavily, and it was downsized to about 120 feet. It was ultimately only approved at 96 feet with 8 floors. That height is only to the main roof, though, so it could still be 110 feet or so to the mechanical penthouse. Mechanical penthouses are exempt from height variances. It's "slated" for that empty lot on Barton Springs where all the food trails are.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 8:04 AM
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No renderings yet?
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 1:19 AM
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Block light?

By the way, as shown in the building elevations for Bridges on the Park, it is 77 feet tall to the mechanical penthouse and 63 feet to the main roof. So Bridges on the park itself is taller than the allowed 60 foot height limit. They also claim "blocked light" is the reason for them being against it, which is ridiculous since Bridges on the Park has no windows on the side that faces the Taco Cabana site.

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/bl...likely-be.html
Quote:
Mar 11, 2013, 2:08pm CDT
Planned Lamar high-rise too high, neighbors say

Some residents along South Lamar Boulevard are speaking out about the latest iteration of plans to build 175 condos and 10,000 square feet of retail or office space at the 211 S. Lamar Blvd. site currently occupied by Taco Cabana.

The new building will be dependent on a zoning change that will eliminate setback requirements and allow developers to build to 96 feet instead of the allowed 60. That's irked neighbors who worry the new building will block light and set a precedent for higher density development south of Lady Bird Lake.

Residents at the neighboring Bridges on the Park building are "steadfastly opposed to a height variance exceeding the maximum 60 feet," they wrote in a letter to city staff. Bridges residents have met with Winstead and also wrote they are awaiting more information about the project.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 5:04 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Block light?

By the way, as shown in the building elevations for Bridges on the Park, it is 77 feet tall to the mechanical penthouse and 63 feet to the main roof. So Bridges on the park itself is taller than the allowed 60 foot height limit. They also claim "blocked light" is the reason for them being against it, which is ridiculous since Bridges on the Park has no windows on the side that faces the Taco Cabana site.

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/bl...likely-be.html
Note they are not opposing the development. I think the existing condos have a very reasonable right to expect rules that applied to thier building to be applied to that proterty. I agree. That property was actually originally to be the rest of "Bridges on the Park". So those residents bought knowing that there would be a building there AND because the rules had been so stickly enforced, they have a very reasonable right to believe those rules will be equally enforced in the reasonable future.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 5:33 AM
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That's ridiculous. Rules change, and their particular complaint has nothing to do with "rules", it has to do with "light" and is totally non-sensical.

The compliant will probably fail, just like with Hotel ZaZa.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 5:36 AM
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I can see both sides. They're miffed because they had to play by the rules. Now the new kid on the block gets to skirt the rules and build bigger. But the light/view excuse is terrible. No windows = no view = no light.
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 6:10 AM
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The new building will be on the north side of Bridges on the Park. The residential units on the east side of Bridges on the Park will have about as much light as any building with a courtyard does. Comparable to this is AMLI Downtown which has a courtyard with four walls surrounding the pool area. The morning sun would still be just as intense since the sun rises in the east. That view would not be blocked, only the one from the north. And of course the sun sets in the west. So the most intensely sunny times of the day would be left alone.

Also the new building will have a courtyard. From the rendering it's kind of hard to tell, but it looks like the building will be U-shaped with the open side facing Bridges on the Park. That will allow more light in. This isn't going to be just a solid blocky building. The central courtyard will likely have a swimming pool, so it will be in the best interest of the developer of this building to allow as much sunlight in as possible in the courtyard. Basically this building will have a slightly smaller size footprint than Bridges on the Park, and it'll be shaped differently and slightly taller. It'll be U-shaped instead of s-shaped like Bridges is.

Here's the Google Maps aerial of the site.
http://goo.gl/maps/1V0hC

This is ridiculous. I hope the developer does a sun study to show where the sunlight and shadows will be to support their proposal, because this building is not going to block the sunlight even a little. Looking at the Google Maps images, the sun won't be blocked. If anything at certain times of the year and day, this new building may actually reflect more sunlight back at Bridges on the Park.

Also the view from the east will never go away since the land is a park. There's always going to be sunlight from that side of the property. And it's pretty useless because of the train tracks and poor access issues. And the west view is safe, too, even though the Zach Scott Theatre was built there. The thing is, Lamar is 120 feet wide. It's the same width as Congress Avenue. The south wall of this new building will be about 185 feet north of the north wall of Bridges on the Park. I measured the distance with Google Earth.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 8:49 AM
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The only thing they should be complaining about is that giant wall across Lamar known as the Zach Scott Theatre monstrosity. But that's already built, oh well.
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  #16  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 9:33 AM
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 10:39 AM
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Exactly.
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  #18  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 2:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lzppjb View Post
Yes. That adds to their dislike of this, yet another tall building.
It's been close to 10 years now, but I was once on the Bouldin Creek NA steering committee, and many of the same people are still involved in the 04 NAs (or are now City Council members) and their opposition to 'tall buildings' reaches a bizarrely fanatical, almost religious level. Somehow if a building is 60 feet and one inch it's the same as 1000 babies starving to death. I'm being sarcastic, but I'm kinda serious. Some of these people would get so emotional and choked up talking about the waterfront overlay it was weird, and you didn't really know how to engage with them.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 2:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tildahat View Post
It's been close to 10 years now, but I was once on the Bouldin Creek NA steering committee, and many of the same people are still involved in the 04 NAs (or are now City Council members) and their opposition to 'tall buildings' reaches a bizarrely fanatical, almost religious level. Somehow if a building is 60 feet and one inch it's the same as 1000 babies starving to death. I'm being sarcastic, but I'm kinda serious. Some of these people would get so emotional and choked up talking about the waterfront overlay it was weird, and you didn't really know how to engage with them.
You aren't exaggerating - the Town Lake people have almost have a religious zeal about protecting the waterfront from the blight of tall. Likely dates back to the Hyatt - a particularly ugly development.

The problem is - there is a way to do tall next to the water that is gorgeous and draws people in to the waterfront - and frames it beautifully and provides a dramatic contrast between urban and park - like the buildings around Central Park or the waterfront of Vancouver.

In any case, the problem with the sun light argument stuff is not whether one building might impact the sunlight another receives - but that if we start giving sunlight and air easements to every existing building, we can never build a dense vibrant urban core. If you want sunlight and view protections - you should build in the rural environment or pay a lot of money to buy the land you want to protect.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 4:14 PM
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OK.... can;t take this any more.

The Sunlight Argument is silly and distorts other issues. I hate it when folks give forums like this fodder for un-empathetic analysis of real issues for living in an urban setting. (Well, somewhat Urban. Bridges is not downtown, but a near neigborhood that we are hoping will develope in a more urban way.)

Underdstand I fully feel folks have to do thier due diligence about what can be built around them. Then I feel there is a reasonable expectation to rely on that zoning for a reasonable amount of time. Speaking of which , they should be thankful to ZACH for fighting the zoning battle in that area. BTW... the plans for the ZACH building were well in place before bridges was build. If not for Zach fighting that battle years before, Bridges and the apparment accross the street would have had a harder time being built. So there is a double standard at play there. Why should they complain about a building that was planned long before Bridges? Funny how opions change when someone does not like the aesthetic of something.

My bigger concern is what this is doing to Paggi house. I hate seeing that rare setting along the lake go away. The folks at Bridges are probably trying to save the stmosphere around the building. I don't blame them, Paggi house and the view of the lake is one of the best aminities around them. But the argument they are using is absurd.

I will also say, everyone there knew that there was a phase 2 to the building. Dose 2 floors make that much difference? Probaly not. It depends on proximity. I think there is just a misguided group leading the fight. I know when we had a construction battle near our building I wanted to tape many a mouth shut of people who were making stupid arguments and costing us support.

So the question for me is...where is any sense of empathy? .. would you do the same if someone changed what could be built next to your house? If you are a homeowner you bet your ass you would if you though it would change your property value. Folks downtown have the same set of issues and should not be blown off because it is "down town". Do you want an urban setting or not? if so, then resepect that there are real issues that come with that, and it is not just a free for all of development. Does this one fit into this category? I'm not sure, but we really have to not become the same predictable un-empathectic commnity that is the opposite but equally quilty one of the NA's "we" so love to blast.

I will say again, due diligence is needed. I knew exactly what could and could not be built around me when I bought. You wnat to try and change those rules and affect my property value, then you can bet you will not only have a fight on your hands, but I have every right to do so. Vertical communities have the same rights as horizontal ones. Address the real issues of urban development and not just a simple battle cry of "MORE>>>>> TALLER>>!!!!!!

Rant over.
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