Demolition work has started at the site of South by Southwest’s new headquarters in downtown Austin.
An entity linked to the festival bought a two-story building at 1400 Lavaca St. in 2015, announcing plans about a year later to replace it with a 12-story tower.
The Texas Restaurant Association, previous owner of the property, has relocated.
The new SXSW building is valued at $41 million, according to filings with the city and state.
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Gensler are the architects on the project. Gensler has had a hand in several high-profile developments in Austin, including the new Fairmont Austin hotel at Red River and East Cesar Chavez streets, while the SXSW tower would be the city’s first Pei Cobb Freed & Partners project.
Plans indicate the building would have a lobby, as well as retail and office space on the ground floor, according to filings. There will be a “high-turnover sit-down restaurant,” too.
Parking would be on the second through sixth floors, with offices on the upper floors. In total, the new office building would have about 150,000 square feet of space. The structure being demolished, by contrast, is about 17,000 square feet.
SXSW will occupy the top three floors, offering the remaining office space for rent to other tenants.
Amenities will include a rain garden, xeriscaping, roof terraces and bicycle storage rooms and showers.
Completion is expected in 2019, when SXSW would relocate from its current cramped offices at 400 Bowie St.
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