Work on Massive Capitol Complex Breaking Ground

September 26, 2017 by Kate Harrington

For decades, state officials have been working on a Capitol complex master plan that would consolidate state employees in state-owned office buildings in Central Austin. Now part of that plan is about to become reality, with a groundbreaking planned Sept. 28 for the first phase of that complex.

Included in the first phase will be two new state buildings, the beginning of what’s being called the “Texas Mall” promenade, and below-ground parking at 1801 and 1601 Congress Avenue. Together the two buildings will add about 1 million square feet of new office space to North Congress Ave. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2021.

A second phase, which hasn’t yet been funded by state lawmakers, would add two more buildings and finish the planned four-block promenade.

“The long anticipated Capitol complex master plan, of which these buildings are a part, will create an attractive urban environment for government workers that has been so successful for the private sector at the southern end of downtown,” Charles Heimsath, president of Capitol Market Research, told the Austin American-Statesman.

State officials have said that once complete, both phases will save taxpayers more than $22 million annually that currently goes to leasing office space all over the greater Austin area.

The Sept. 28 groundbreaking will take place at 1801 Congress Ave., which is currently a surface parking lot. That building will rise 14 stories, while the building planned for 1601 Congress will be 12 stories tall. Plans call for the Texas Lottery Commission, as well as other state offices, to move into that building once it’s complete.

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.