Two more hotel projects to break ground in downtown Austin.
Downtown Austin observers have had their eyes peeled on the intense construction activity at the JW Marriott hotel site, now sporting three massive tower cranes. But soon the skyline will be punctuated with new tower cranes, as two more hotels are preparing to break ground in the next six months. Developers of the proposed Hotel Van Zandt in the Waterfront District and the Fairmont Austin nearby confirmed that they are moving ahead with construction. The announcements were made at the monthly breakfast gathering of the Urban Land Institute’s Austin chapter.
Greg Clay, chief investment officer for JMI Realty, which is developing the Hotel Van Zandt, said his company has applied for building permits and expects to break ground by June on the 16-story, 327-room hotel. It which will be operated by Kimpton Hotels, a San Francisco company, which specializes in chic boutique hotels.
“We think the Kimpton brand really fits Austin,” Clay said.
A short distance away at Red River and Cesar Chavez streets, Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC is planning to break ground in October on the Fairmont Austin, a 50-story, 1,000-room hotel that will be the second highest building in the city behind The Austonian condominiums.
It’s scheduled to open in June 2016, about a year after the 34-story, 1,000-room JW Marriott is delivered.
The hotel market in Austin is hot.
Hyatt Place, the 17-story hotel which is under construction at East Third Street and San Jacinto Boulevard, will open next week.
Recently developers for Hotel Zaza received initial approval from the Austin City Council to proceed with their plan for a 24-story hotel on West Fourth Street between Lavaca and Guadalupe streets. Meanwhile, a 17-story Westin hotel is planned for the corner of East Fifth Street and San Jacinto Boulevard.
He said he likes the dynamics of the Austin market, given that it has one of the highest rates of occupancy for Saturday nights. Most cities see a dramatic drop in hotel occupancy on the weekends.