Smashed: See what’s become of Austin Music Hall — and what’s next

The wrecking crew is smashing down the former Austin Music Hall.

Demolition of the former performance venue in Downtown Austin is well underway and the development team of Cielo Property Group and Tier Reit (NYSE: TIER) is eager to commence the construction of Third + Shoal — a 29-story, 345,000-square-foot office tower at 601 W. Third St. See renderings of the project here.

The site is just around the corner from 500 West 2nd Street, another office tower under construction that will largely be occupied by Google Inc.

The development joint venture for Third + Shoal is placing extra emphasis on environmental features — recycled and local materials along with energy efficiencies.

Cielo Property Group Principal Rob Gandy confirmed that the project is slated to be LEED Platinum, the highest level of sustainability as measured by the U.S. Green Building Council. It’s likely the only LEED Platinum office building in Austin, though Green Mountain Energy Co.’s offices at 300 W. Sixth St. are certified platinum for interior buildout.

“Our city has long been a leader in green building, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do better,” Gandy said. “It’s important that we continue to improve and aim higher in this area as Austin continues to grow.”

DPR Construction has the general contracting assignment. That contractor is especially busy at the moment — building the Aloft/Element hybrid hotel downtown and the Robert B. Rowling Hall at the University of Texas.

Third + Shoal is another significant investment in downtown Austin by big capital sources.

According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, the project is valued at about $76.5 million. It wouldn’t be surprising if that figure is on the conservative side, given escalating costs of materials and labors in the construction sector.

The construction of Third + Shoal maintains the robust momentum that has propelled Austin’s Central Business District forward since the global recession of 2008. Tech companies have converged on Austin’s core creating keen competition for the best office space to support talent recruitment.

With office leasing downtown as strong as it’s ever been, it’s hard to imagine any setbacks.

Still, real estate is a market sector particularly impacted by economic ebb and flows. Timing could be critical on the Third + Shoal project with many business pundits predicting that an overall national economic slowdown is to be expected.

Third + Shoal will be the fifth major multi-tenant office building delivered in the past five years. Vertical construction likely won’t begin until next spring with completion scheduled in summer 2018.

The Cielo partnership is aiming to stay ahead of the curve by creating a sophisticated marketing video in collaboration with architect Gensler and Onion Creek Productions.

It’s kind of a snapshot of what life is like among Austin’s creative class — or what it could be like in just the right workplace environment. The video is posted on the project’s web site.

“Third + Shoal will provide tenants with a truly unique experience, but it’s hard to really convey that experience through renderings,” Gandy said. “We felt that a video was really the best way to bring our vision to life.”

Gandy did not disclose how much the marketing piece cost.

CBRE Group Inc. brokers Troy Holme and Casey Ford have the listing assignment on the office space. Viceroy Realty Advisors is handling the retail component.

Source: Austin Business Journal
Jan Buchholz, Senior Staff Writer

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