Austin's Hotel ZaZa begins development

The long-awaited Hotel ZaZa is finally beginning development in Austin.

The 24-story tower that will eventually house the 160-room hotel was first announced in 2012, and construction was expected to begin in 2014. By now, this hotel was supposed to be open, but a new timetable has emerged that will see a 2018 opening, according to a statement released by Hotel ZaZa president Benji Homsey.

The site, which was previously the location of The Ginger Man bar, remained mostly undisturbed for two years while myriad problems created a delay. Jennifer Wiebrand, development director for Gables Residential, the real estate investment trust behind the project, said the delay gave all parties involved time to shore up the plans for the development.

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Austin is in the midst of a development boom.

"Everything about this project still feels really great," Homsey said in a statement. "It’s been a slow process, but things have held together. We’re glad to be officially underway."

Gables Residential owns 1,791 apartment units in the city, and manages an additional 769. The company expects to begin leasing rooms Summer 2018, taking advantage of Austin's building boom, a boom the ZaZa may bookend. Despite this, the hotel is still expected to thrive.

"Hotel ZaZa is a concept that really fits in the Austin market," Randy McCaslin, managing director for CBRE Hotels Consulting, said in a statement. "It caters to young, creative professionals and weekend leisure visitors, of which there is an endless supply in Austin. With its excellent location between Guadalupe and Lavaca in the heart of the Warehouse District, I would expect the ZaZa to do extremely well."

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