Council Tentatively Approves Gables Project

Developers of a residential tower and boutique hotel resolve differences with neighbors

Gables Republic Square and Hotel ZaZa are planned for West Fourth, between Lavaca and Guadalupe.
Gables Republic Square and Hotel ZaZa are planned for West Fourth, between Lavaca and Guadalupe.

A planned Downtown hotel and residential tower gained initial City Council approval Feb. 14 after a last-minute agreement was reached between the developer and residents of a neighboring condo. But Council delayed a final vote on the zoning change until Feb. 28 to allow some Council members time to digest the complicated case and examine whether the project's benefits to the community represent a fair exchange for the upzoning to allow additional height.

Gables Residential plans to build a residential tower and a luxury hotel on West Fourth, between Lavaca and Guadalupe. The project, Gables Republic Square and Hotel ZaZa, will include 216 multifamily units and a 160-room boutique hotel. Hotel ZaZa is a small Texas chain with locations in Dallas and Houston. Residents of the nearby Plaza Lofts at Fifth and Guadalupe had opposed the location of the development's six-level parking garage directly south of their building. But after a few weeks of haggling between attorneys, Gables agreed to alter the design of the parking structure to diminish its impact on the neighbors. In a statement announcing the agreement, Gables said the project will create 350 construction jobs, 212 permanent jobs, and generate more than $3.5 million annually in taxes.

On Thursday, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole moved to approve the requested rezoning on all three readings, but Council Members Laura Morrison, Bill Spelman, and Kathie Tovo wanted further review of the project, including a deeper review of community benefits the development would offer in exchange for the additional height. Morrison's friendly amendment to do just that passed unanimously, although Mayor Lee Leffingwell noted his irritation with Tovo for raising the issue of affordable housing when the agenda item only called for an up-or-down vote on the rezoning.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Gables Residential
Then There's This: Light and Air
Then There's This: Light and Air
Condo dwellers fear dark days ahead with parking structure next door

Amy Smith, Jan. 25, 2013

More Hotel ZaZa
The Roosevelt Room Stands Its Ground in a New Downtown
The Roosevelt Room Stands Its Ground in a New Downtown
How the right lease negotiations kept the Fifth Street bar in business

Lindsay Stafford Mader, July 12, 2019

Zone Defense
Zone Defense
Council Wrangles Over 'Contract Zoning'

Mike Kanin, March 22, 2013

More by Amy Smith
The Work Matters
The Work Matters
A look back at some of our most impactful reporting

Sept. 3, 2021

Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014


Hotel ZaZa, Gables Residential, City Council, Plaza Lofts

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle