Block 21: W Hotel and Residences

24 10 2007

Last week the W Hotel and Residences officially broke ground. To be honest, it’s the first time I’ve seen the letter “W” downtown without an anti-symbol displayed with it. In fact, this seems to be a W that many Austinites are happy to welcome to town.

Block 21 of the 2ND Street District is now the construction site of a $260 million dollar project that once completed, will be home to a 35 story, Platinum LEED-certified structure designed by Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise. Here’s what’s planned for the site: 

  • 250 hotel guestrooms

  • 196 condos  

  • Austin City Limits Studio Theater (2,200 seats)

  • Spa and Pools

  • Signature bar and Restaurant

  • 25,000 sq ft of ground floor retail space (The sales staff shared with me a list of possible tenants including Uchi, Eddie V’s, and a high-end grocer)

Unfortunately, I probably will not become a lucky resident of the W Austin anytime soon, but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about the legendary “Whatever/Whenever” service the home owners will enjoy. If you’re unfamiliar with the experience, W/W stands for pretty much anything and everything you could possibly request… so long as it’s legal, which some would argue is a relative term here in Austin… Here are few examples of that delightful W/W service:

“You’re at a dinner meeting and your beloved Golden Retriever is at home. Why not send us an email from your BlackBerry® and let us know? We’d be happy to take Ginger for a stroll around Lady Bird Lake.”

 “Your old college friend is in town for a taste of Austin. Where better to kick off the weekend than at the new Austin City Limits Studio Theater? Let us arrange for some last minute tickets.”

 “Long workdays rarely leave time for grocery shopping. Drop off your list in the morning and we’ll have everything in your fridge—from Belgian cheese to Oaxacan tomatillo salsa—when you return home.”

Overall, I think the project will be a positive addition to the 2ND Street District and the broader urban fabric by not only improving a key piece of real estate to its highest-and-best use, but also uniquely contributing to the district’s growing sense of place.  City officials, I’m sure can already smell the sweet scent of tax revenue from Austin City Hall, across the street.

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1 11 2007
Urban or Suburban: How Much Does it Cost to Own in Downtown Austin? « INHABIT AUSTIN: real estate blog

[…] example, the W Hotel & Residences saw 80 percent of their units reserved within a week of breaking ground and the sales center […]

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