An Austin developer of some notable local projects, including the Third and Shoal building where Facebook resides, has acquired a full downtown block on which to expand its footprint. Cielo Property Group completed its acquisition of the entire block earlier this month, when it bought the 0.81-acre property along Fourth Street between Brazos Street and San Jacinto Boulevard. The company purchased the end of the block that runs along Fifth Street in early 2020.

Cielo plans two adjacent high-rises that would total 1.6 million square feet for the site, which lies across Brazos Street east of the Frost Bank Tower. The company plans a 750,000-square-foot  office building on the newly acquired half of the block in the first phase of its redevelopment. At a proposed 50 stories, the new building could rise slightly above the Frost building. The development is also convenient to the Austin Convention Center complex. The company is working to obtain a site development permit for that building by early next year, according to a press release.

According to the release, the previously acquired northern end of the block can accommodate a building or buildings of up to 886,200 square feet. Cielo doesn’t yet have specific plans for that half of the project, but company co-founder and CEO Bobby Dillard sees the two buildings working in tandem to meet the needs of the growing number of companies looking for space in downtown Austin. 

“Downtown continues to lure marquee companies, but it’s difficult for many of these businesses to find office space downtown that’s large enough to meet their needs,” said Dillard. “By developing an entire city block, we can provide companies with more space, greater flexibility and unique onsite amenities that can be shared by the two buildings.”

Dillard also plans to “push the boundaries of sustainability, find ways to integrate more outdoor spaces throughout the building and provide ample opportunities for local artists to showcase their work,” he said.

In addition to the Third and Shoal building, Cielo has developed some interesting Austin projects, including the Foundry, a mixed-use development in East Austin (it’s now working on Foundry II); the Yeti building on South Congress; and, in partnership with Icon Build, the first permitted 3D-printed home in the United States.