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Buildings over 400 feet tall now allowed around Q2 Stadium

Monday, November 7, 2022 by Jonathan Lee

The view from Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium could soon be filled with tall buildings.

City Council approved a zoning change on Oct. 27 to allow buildings up to 420 feet in height – about 40 stories – on some properties around Q2 Stadium and in the Domain. 

Council Member Leslie Pool, who represents the area, initiated the zoning change in May to “meet the needs of the economic boom that is ongoing for this regional destination,” she said in a statement.  

The Domain and surrounding area has seen as much new development as anywhere in Austin in recent years. Uptown ATX, a massive mixed-use development on IBM’s former campus, began construction last year, and several projects around Q2 Stadium are in various stages of development.

The height increase applies to buildings within the Commercial Mixed-Use (CMU) Gateway Zone subdistrict of the North Burnet Gateway Regulating Plan. Height in the zoning district was 308 feet before the change. Floor area ratio, a measure of density, also increased from 8:1 to 12:1. 

It’s unclear whether any projects will take advantage of the 420-foot height allowance in the immediate future. Many of the sites covered by the rezoning were already under development under the previous zoning. 

One data point, however, shows that developers may be inclined to modify their projects in response to the additional entitlements. As reported by the Austin Business Journal, developer Kilroy Realty halted construction on the Stadium Tower, which is right next to Q2, in response to uncertainty in the market for office space. But the project may get a second wind with the increased height and FAR, according to the developer. 

City Council also approved a rezoning last year to CMU-Gateway zoning for Verde Square, a mixed-use project at 10435-10515 Burnet Road. 

Pool said the entire North Burnet Gateway Plan, which was approved in 2009, is due for a broader update.

“We sorely need an update to the entire regulating plan in light of the development interest and transit infrastructure that is coming,” Pool said. “We have two rail stations on the Red Line being built – one at the Uptown ATX project, and another to serve the Q2 Stadium.” 

Pool said the update is “slightly delayed” – it was scheduled for Council discussion by Sept. 1 – but should now come before Council in early 2023.

Photo made available through a Creative Commons license.

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