The new owners of the Radisson Hotel & Suites overlooking Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin say they plan a $75 million makeover for the property to transform it into one of their signature Line hotels.
Forestar Group announced in February that it was selling the 413-room hotel, at East Cesar Chavez and Congress Avenue, to Austin Lakeside Hotel Owner LLC for $130 million. That entity is owned by hotel investor Ron Burkle, along with Sydell Group, led by founder and CEO Andrew Zobler, and Square Mile, a New York based investor group.
The sale closed Wednesday. The renovated hotel will reopen as The Line Austin in spring of 2018, Zobler told the American-Statesman. The hotel is the only Radisson property in Austin.
“We think the property is possibly the best hotel location in Austin given its beautiful lakefront location, the views and its central location on Congress,” Zobler said. “We have been very attracted to the idea of doing a project in Austin for a long time because of its dynamic culture and authentic charm.”
Zobler said the new owners plan to invest about $75 million into the hotel, in both interior and exterior upgrades.
“The renovation will be extensive and touch every area,” Zobler said. “It will feel in every way like a brand new hotel when the work is completed.”
The Line Austin will have 420 guest rooms, two restaurants, additional waterfront meeting and events spaces and amenities such as lakeside dining. There are no immediate plans to replace the existing Dine restaurant and a Starbucks coffee shop that operate in the hotel, although those likely won’t stay long-term, the new owners said.
The Line Austin will be the third in the Line portfolio, after The Line Hotel in Koreatown, Los Angeles, which opened in January 2014, and The Line DC in Washington, D.C., which is set to open in early 2017.
“We love preserving and reinventing buildings and I am excited to work with (the Austin Radisson’s) fun 1960’s architecture, which is very similar to our Line Hotel in Los Angeles,” Zobler said.
The Austin hotel was built in 1965, opening as the Crest Inn. A tower was added in 1998.
The hotel now has 180 employees, a headcount that is expected to increase once the property converts to the Line brand.
Sydell Group has created several award-winning lifestyle hotels across the country, including the NoMad hotel in New York, and Freehand in Miami and Chicago.
All of Sydell Group’s properties have won accolades for their food and beverage outlets, which have included multiple James Beard awards and nominations. The Line hotel in Los Angeles has two restaurants and a café by chef Roy Choi, who recently was named to the Time 100 list.
The new owners said it’s too soon to say what restaurant concepts might be in store for The Line Austin hotel.
In addition to their properties in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and D.C., Sydell Group is developing hotels in downtown Los Angeles and London.