AUSTIN, TX—Fairmont Austin has officially topped out. Local dignitaries and representatives with the project—including those with developer Manchester Texas Financial Group (MTFG) and hotel operator Fairmont (owned by AccorHotels)—were on hand for the event, which included a ceremonial signing of the project’s final beam, which was then lifted to the top of the 37-story, 1,048-room hotel. Once an architectural spear is added in the coming months, the building will reach its full height of 590 ft.
The $370-million, 1.4 million-sq.-ft. project will open in August 2017. Upon conception, MTFG turned to architect firm Gensler Austin to design the building. The company plans to achieve LEED Gold certification, which, according to the company, will make it the first hotel in the city to do so.
Warren Sheets Design, Inc. was tapped for the interior design of the property. Nods to nature will be incorporated throughout, including two 24-ft.-high by 26-ft.-wide towering Heritage Oak trees that will flank the reception desk. The Park Lounge will feature a geometric, life-size topiary garden with a prominent tree, and moving lights aimed at the ceiling. Indigenous greenery and cultural references will also appear throughout the hotel’s interior. Exterior landscaping will follow similar suit.
The hotel will also be Austin’s first with a direct connection to the Austin Convention Center, via the Red River Street Canopy Walk. This 33-ft.-tall elevated bridge features an open-air, winding approach. This is designed by New York-based Thomas Phifer and Partners in conjunction with Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates, as part of the Waller Creek Conservancy’s master plan for the surrounding area.
According to the company, the project will generate upwards of $20 million state and local taxes annually, with most local taxes going to the Waller Creek TIF (tax increment financing) district. It will add roughly 1,000 permanent jobs to the Austin market and more than 700 construction jobs while it’s being built. Hunt Construction Group was awarded a $247-million contract in June 2014 to build the hotel.