At RiverSouth, Austin’s South Central Waterfront Plan Takes One Small Step

October 30 3 min read

By all accounts, Austin’s only Hooters restaurant is pretty bad — and that’s even by Hooters standards, which means something’s somehow falling through the cracks between the Sysco truck and the microwave. If nothing else, the joint is a fun reminder of the good ol’ days of Austin when a restaurant about 2,000 feet from downtown got to have a parking lot roughly six times larger than its actual building.

Anyway, no one appears to be shedding a tear for the impending demise of the wing-and-lech outfit currently doing its best to pervert the legacy of Charles M. Schulz — yes, that one — at the intersection of South First Street and West Riverside Drive, which should soon find itself scrubbed from our collective memory and replaced by RiverSouth, a 15-story mixed-use project bringing more than 300,000 square feet of offices and about 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space to the site, which, along with the aforementioned Hooters, is currently occupied mostly by a decrepit and enormous parking lot.

(Well, some people were a little bent out of shape, but I don’t think it’s the wings they’re upset about.)

A rendering of the RiverSouth building looking towards downtown.

The project, using the address 401 South First Street, is a Stream Realty Partners concern, with additional help from the Beck Group, Big Red Dog, Cardno, dwg., and MEJ & Associates. Set to deliver in early 2021, it’ll occupy the triangular plot bound by South First Street, West Riverside Drive, and Barton Springs Road, and the odd shape of the site comes through in the look of the building — which as we’ve said before has a distinct “Jawa Sandcrawler”-type vibe.

If you haven’t heard, there’s a sort of arms race on for office developers looking to attract tech firms and other big-name tenants with increasingly swanky amenities packages, and the RiverSouth project is no different, with its design including features like a 15th-floor sky lounge space, a bike valet service (!) and an on-site fitness “studio,” which I presume is way better than a “center.”

A rendering of RiverSouth’s rooftop bar and amenity space.
A rendering of RiverSouth’s seventh-floor roof garden and amenity deck.
A rendering of the RiverSouth building’s street-level lobby area, with its planned sidewalk improvements and protected bike lanes visible.
A rendering of a rooftop terrace space at the RiverSouth building.


By: James Rambin