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SXSW is on the move again

Festival headquarters plans to occupy new 12-story tower

A street light sign that reads David Bowie Street
Bye, bye [briefly David] Bowie Street—SXSW looks to move
Keep David Bowie Street/Facebook

SXSW, the ever-expanding set of festivals and conference known round the world, is eyeing a new downtown building—one that has yet to be constructed—for its headquarters, according to a Tuesday story in the Austin American-Statesman.

The paper reports that the likely move would be to a proposed 12-story tower that would replace the two-story building at 1400 Lavaca Street, currently occupied by the Farm & Home Savings Association. CZ Properties, which the story reports is linked to festival Managing Director Roland Swenson, purchased the property last year from the Texas Restaurant Association.

The story quoted Swenson as saying the move to the building would allow its staff, which has been outgrowing its current location at 400 (briefly David) Bowie Street, to once again work out of a single location.

The proposed building will bring the festival’s command center closer to both the state Capitol and more of the downtown hotels that overflow yearly with festival goers. According to the Statesman, the undulating tower will be designed by high-profile international firm Gensler, which has been involved in the new Fairmont hotel and phase two of the Domain center in North Austin, in collaboration with Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

Plans include a public space incorporating heritage oaks on the corner of 14th and Lavaca, as well as a lobby, retail and restaurant space, parking on the second through sixth floors, and 150,000 square feet of office space, primarily on the upper floors (there will be some ground-floor office space), according to the Statesman article.

Gensler will design the top three floors, which SXSW will occupy, the story adds; plans are to include a rain garden, xeriscaping, roof terraces, bicycle storage rooms, and showers. According to the story, work on the tower is scheduled to start in 2017 and be completed in 2019.

SXSW headquarters plans move to new 12-story Austin office tower [Austin American-Statesman]