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Boutique hotel planned at 416 Congress

from the Austin Business Journal

An unnamed investor has purchased a historic building near the corner of Congress Avenue and Fifth Street and plans to construct a boutique hotel, according to a release Friday.

The three-story, Romanesque-style structure at 416 Congress Avenue, home to the Cielo Lounge dance club, is slated for conversion into a 15-story hotel designed by famed Austin architect Dick Clark. The building was originally constructed in 1893. “You have to do something very special and unique with this type of structure,” Clark. said “Our intent is to preserve what’s unique and special, particularly the Congress Avenue façade, and add new life in a way that appeals to both Austinites and the sophisticated clientele that frequents downtown.”

The 21,000-square-foot building will be expanded to 52,000 square feet with roughly 60 to 70 rooms and a restaurant, Clark said. The plans must still receive city approval, but the process will be lightened without the need for city code variances, according to Clark. The hotel is expected to open in 2012.

The buyer purchased the building from the original owner, the James H. Robertson family, for an undisclosed amount. Anna Naumann with Elite Property Group and Rick Schulte with Stanberry Commercial represented the buyer and Southwest Strategies Group principal John Rosato represented the Robertsons.

The building was previously home to the Sky Lounge and HotJobs.com.