Austin: 41-Floor Office Building Proposed for West Fifth and Colorado Streets
Featured Photo (above): Ryan Companies proposes building a 41-story office tower on this half of Colorado Street at Fifth Street. Some of this existing commercial structure is to be incorporated into the design. Image: Google Streets
By Edmond Ortiz
Austin (Travis County)–A Minnesota-based developer has filed paperwork to build Tower 5C–a 41-floor office tower with street-level retail at West Fifth and Colorado streets, in the Warehouse District.
Ryan Companies’ proposed high-rise a quarter of a city block is to feature 470,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of retail space, including corner restaurant space and pedestrian upgrades around the property.
A parking structure with at least 16 levels will be part of the tower. The project site area is about a half-acre.
Southwest view of the site for the proposed Tower 5C. Image: Bing Maps
The property takes up the northwest quarter of a city block that includes the bars Speakeasy and Shiner’s Saloon, the former Frank hot dog restaurant, Lonesome Dove restaurant, and the ongoing 405 Colorado Street office project.
Gensler is the lead architect and Garza EMC is the civil engineer for Tower 5C, according to the filed paperwork.
The architectural elevations show a somewhat cylindrical oblong building topped with a slanted roof.
The project will necessitate partial demolition of the low-slung buildings at 409 Colorado St. and 415 Colorado St. Those buildings were constructed in the 1920s and 1930s.
Those were most recently occupied by a Walmart corporate technology office and Seersucker, a restaurant that closed in 2018.
The structure at 409 Colorado was the very first location for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
Tower 5C will incorporate part of Alamo Drafthouse, so the project will first go through the city’s Historic Landmark Commission.
The project team intends to pursue a density bonus, a necessity if they plan to get to 41 stories. This requires a recommendation from the city’s Design Commission.
VBX recently reported on Ryan Companies in the early stages of planning construction of a mixed-use high-rise at the southeast corner of Guadalupe and West Sixth streets. The real estate firm, which has projects across the country, is currently building the 6 x Guadalupe tower, too.
Preliminary elevations of Tower 5C. Image: Gensler
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.