Austin: City Reviews Horizon Bank’s Multi-Story Tower Plan
Featured Photo (above): Horizon Bank proposes razing its existing branch at West Fifth Street and Nueces Street to accommodate a multi-story office building with above-ground parking and a new Horizon Bank branch and drive-thru. Image: Google Streets
by Edmond Ortiz
Austin (Travis County)— Austin city planners are reviewing another series of documents from Horizon Bank regarding the bank’s plan to redevelop its branch in the city’s downtown financial district into a multi-story office complex.
Over in the last few weeks, Horizon Bank and its project partners submitted documents designed to help the project gain approval through the departmental review process.
The first version of the plan was rejected, according to city records, because the plan at the time did not answer technical questions on drainage, floodplain, stormwater, and electrical engineering issues to the city’s satisfaction.
Much of the preliminary concept is still intact. That includes demolition of the existing 14-year-old, 9,900-square-foot bank branch and drive-thru at 600 W. 5th St. and replacing it with a 16-story tower with more than 263,000 square feet of floor space.
A multi-level parking section will be built atop a new ground-floor branch and drive-thru, with the rest of the building containing nearly 116,000 square feet for office use. in Austin’s financial district.
Horizon Bank’s project site (lower right corner) would add another commercial midrise in the city’s financial district. Image: Google Streets
Currently, it’s unclear whether Horizon Bank will have the entire building to itself or lease out some space. The project also proposes some streetscape and utility improvements.
Austin Leading Edge L.P., owns the property, which measures less than 1 acre. Austin Leading Edge is attached to H&M Austin Management, a joint venture involving Richard Hardin and Michael McGinnis, both of whom own pieces of prime downtown Austin real estate.
Sovereign Bank previously operated the existing branch building, which is surrounded by several new office, hotel and residential towers that are arising on the western edge of downtown.
Horizon, which opened for business in 1905, operates two other Austin branch locations, and sites in Cedar Park, Salado and Holland, Texas, where the bank was created.
Approximate scale and massing of a Horizon Bank tower at 16 stories. Graphic by Adolfo Pesquera.
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.