Austin Music Hall demolition starts in spring to make way for tower

Updated Dec 01, 2015

The Austin Music Hall’s days are numbered.

Plans have been finalized for a 29-story office building that will replace the concert venue at 208 Nueces St. in downtown Austin, with demolition crews set to begin work in either late February or early March, according to Cielo Property Group and Tier REIT, the companies redeveloping the site.

A price tag for the project, first announced this summer, has not been disclosed.

The new 345,000-square-foot tower, to be known as Third+Shoal, is set to be complete by late 2017. It will have a number of unusual features, including some floors with lofts aimed at tenants looking for unconventional office spaces and a valet overseeing storage of as many as 200 bicycles.

“We’re an Austin-based company building a signature building in the heart of downtown, and it was really important for us to capture an authentic Austin feeling and translate that vibe into an office environment,” said Bobby Dillard, founding principal of Cielo Property Group.

“Office space should promote creativity and collaboration inside but also a connection to the environment outside of the building. That’s something most employers and employees alike can agree on, and Third+Shoal aims to do just that by providing an exceptional workplace unlike anything else in Austin.”

There will be retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, topped by several levels of parking. Offices start on the building’s 14th floor. The tower was designed by Gensler, an international architecture firm.

When designing the building, Gensler took into account its location near Shoal Creek, on downtown Austin’s southwestern edge, said Todd Runkle, principal and managing director of the firm’s local office.

The neighborhood is booming, Cielo Property Group and Tier REIT executives said, with the total investment in the area topping $2 billion. That includes major redevelopments taking place at the former Seaholm power plant and the now-closed Green Water Treatment Plant nearby.

“The location of the Third+Shoal office building focuses on the activation of the urban landscape of the Second Street District and most importantly taking advantage of the views of Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake,” Runkle said.

“The design team has created a transparent building façade with multiple balconies for the tenants to engage with the indoor and outdoor spaces of the project. The ground-floor amenities will further engage with the landscape to create one of Austin’s most sustainable and energy efficient office properties in the growing urban core.”

Cielo took possession of the Austin Music Hall last fall, buying it from Bank of the Ozarks. OmniBank, which was acquired by Bank of the Ozarks, had repossessed the venue in May 2012 after its then-operator, Direct Events, reportedly fell behind on repaying a construction loan that had been used to finance renovations.

There are two more events listed on the venue’s website before demolition is set to begin: Kid Cudi on Dec. 16 and the New Year’s Eve Aerial Spectacular on Dec. 31.

The property is valued at $7.1 million this year by the Travis Central Appraisal District.