Capitol View Corridor Restrictions Affect Massing of Austin Tower

The stepped-back profile of a 66-story skyscraper in Austin, which will be the state capital’s tallest building when completed this fall, is a consequence of the city’s height and massing limits to keep the view corridor to the capitol’s dome unblocked.

In place for decades, the legal restriction on the height and form of buildings in certain viewing points of the state capitol mandates that a building not intersect with the view of the dome, says Steve Welton, JE Dunn Construction project executive.

The 865-ft-tall, 2.2-million-sq-ft Sixth and Guadalupe high-rise, designed by architect Gensler, has 19 levels of office space, topped by 33 levels of residential units. The tower sits on a 12-story retail and parking podium that fills the city block site.

Michael L. Hildebrand, vice president of construction for Lincoln Property Co., one of the project’s three co-developers, says the team used 3D modeling throughout to ensure the design restrictions were met.

The site is surrounded by commercial and residential buildings, including a historic property that needed to be protected.

—By David Brown


Pape-Dawson Expands Via Acquisitions

Pape-Dawson Engineers recently completed acquisitions of firms in Texas and Florida as part of its growth strategy. This summer, the company purchased Houston-based Costello Inc. and Poulos & Bennett in Orlando for undisclosed amounts. The acquisitions were described by Gene Dawson, company president, as “strategic partnerships.”

Costello, a civil engineering and survey firm, has about 200 employees, with locations in Houston and Austin. Its résumé includes water and wastewater facilities, residential developments and transportation projects. Dawson said the purchase brings expansion capabilities to Pape-Dawson clients, including for landscape architecture and structural services.

The acquisition of Poulos & Bennett, which has 65 employees, was attractive to Pape-Dawson because it has a solid leadership that will help grow the Florida market. It is a “very strong” land development and engineering firm. The purchase is Pape-Dawson’s first outside of Texas.

Dawson said the leadership teams of both companies are staying in place “and will continue to grow with us.” He added that the firm is looking at more than two dozen other engineering firms for possible “strategic partnerships.”

—By Daniel Tyson