Luxury hotel brand Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (“Fairmont”) and Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC (MTFG) announce the signing of an agreement for Fairmont to manage a new city center hotel slated to open in 2015. The Fairmont Austin will be located directly east of the Austin Convention Center, at the northeast corner of Cesar Chavez and Red River Streets. The $350 million concept will be crafted by the project’s architect, Gensler Austin, to accommodate additional upscale features reflective of Fairmont’s luxury design and service aesthetics. For example, the planned number of rooms will likely be reduced from 1,035 to approximately 1,000 – allowing for larger guestrooms and suites, explains Todd Runkle, managing director of Gensler Austin.
The 50-story hotel, which features over 70,000 square feet of function space, will rise approximately 580 feet, making it the second largest structure on downtown Austin’s skyline, which is currently dominated by the 56-story, 680-foot Austonian. The project will mark Fairmont’s second hotel in Texas and join The Fairmont Dallas, located in the heart of the Downtown Arts District.
The project will generate approximately $6 million in hotel occupancy tax and contribute $4 million in annual property tax, most of which will go to the Waller Creek TIF (tax increment financing) district. It will add roughly 1,000 permanent jobs to the Austin market, not including jobs generated during the construction project.
The hotel’s design encompasses a number of green building elements and will seek LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, an environmentally progressive positioning that complements Fairmont’s industry leading philosophy of operational sustainability and responsible tourism. More than two decades ago, Fairmont was the first hotel company to adopt a comprehensive environmental program and more recently became the first luxury brand to address climate change by pledging to significantly reduce CO2 emissions worldwide.
The luxury brand’s Green Partnership Program focuses on sustainability, mainly improvements in the areas of waste management, energy and water conservation, as well as community outreach through local groups and partnerships. Initiatives include a green conferencing solution dubbed Eco-Meet, recycling and organic waste diversion in the hotels’ kitchens, retrofitting energy efficient lighting, purchasing green power, sourcing sustainable seafood, creating rooftop herb gardens at properties and redistributing food and gently used goods to those in need.