This is what the 13 floors of the hotel look like in East Fifth and Trinity – TOWERS
The plan of the local hotel business white housing develop a 13 floors, 260 rooms hotel under Marriott Autograph collection at the southwest corner of Fifth East and Trinity Streets is a good reminder that many of the setback requirements in Austin’s creaky old code also set us back metaphorically – like, as a city – since the ramifications of the downtown parks overlay imposed by Brush Square next to it cap the height of a building at 120 feet near Trinity Street. This would have motivated the owners of the property to finley company to pursue this smaller plan on the site despite the absence of Capitol View Corridor limitations, as the setback on the east side of a potential building would preclude the type of contiguous floor plates large enough to make sense for a larger office tall or a residential tower.
As mentioned before, setback requirements are usually the least effective way to create places people actually love, and having a fire station on that side of the square means we’re protecting a building and a parking lot in the shadow of a nearby tower rather than the idyllic sunny green space people probably imagine when a piece of code protecting the park appears. It’s the setback requirement that, at least in part, has skewed the mass of 5 Fifty Five (aka 555) condos and the Hilton Hotel located just east of Brush Square. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with hotels, but a 13-story building in the heart of downtown Austin and directly adjacent to a number of upcoming transit upgrades could not be the highest and best use for the owner if the development situation of our just city was just a little different. Oh, that’s life.
Despite our constant complaints, the building should now rise to 307 and 311 East Fifth Street, adjacent land currently occupied respectively by a downtown restaurant Accommodation (fka Russian House) and event venue closed trinity hall, both of which will need to be demolished before construction – but the last location of classic blues club Antone’s remains right next to the site, as you can see from the recent architectural drawings added to the building’s site plan this week:
Yes, that’s pretty much what we expected. It will probably look pretty cool! Unfortunately, every time we see the project, we’ll be forced to harass anyone within earshot of how the built environment of downtown – and Austin in general – is silently ruled by invisible walls and other speed bumps invented back when this town had like, five high-rise buildings. That’s enough to drive you a little crazy, isn’t it?