AUSTIN (KXAN) — New buildings and additions are coming to the Texas Capitol Mall area in downtown Austin.

The groundbreaking for Phase 2 of the Texas Capitol Complex project took place Thursday, morning, marking the start of construction of two new state office buildings and one additional block of the pedestrian Capitol Mall along North Congress Avenue, according to the Texas Facilities Commission.

The new state office buildings will include:

  • A five-story, 165,000-square-foot building at 1500 Congress Avenue, to be occupied by the Texas Department of Safety and other state agencies
  • A second office building at 1501 Lavaca, which will be eight-stories-tall, 360,000-square-feet, and will provide state-owned office space. 
  • Both buildings will have onsite parking for state employees.

The project is slated to be complete in late 2026 and ready for tenant occupancy in early 2027.

Phase 2 of the project also includes the extension of the Capitol Mall from 16th Street to 15th Street facing the north entrance to the Texas Capitol Building, completing the four-block pedestrian mall.

Per legislative mandate from the Texas Facilities Commission, the goal is to eliminate reliance on commercial lease space and consolidate widely-dispersed state agencies into state-owned workspaces, according to the commission.

Texas currently spends over $37 million a year to house over 7,500 state employees in commercial lease space in the Austin area, according to the TFC.

State agencies that have offices in state-owned buildings are not charged for rent or utilities and benefit from dedicated TFC property management services.

The project team includes JE Dunn, HOK, Square One, and over 100 consultants, subcontractors, and trade partners. The TFC and project team have been working on the Phase 2 plans since 2019.

“It is an honor for the Texas Facilities Commission to lead the construction of the next phase of the iconic Capitol Complex,” Mike Novak executive director of the Texas Facilities Commission said. “Our team remains resolute in upholding the professionalism we demonstrated in delivering Phase 1 on time and within budget. Today we reconfirm our commitment to developing efficient workspaces for state government and public spaces encapsulating the spirit of the great State of Texas.”

Phase 1 of the Capitol Complex – The Capitol Complex Master Plan (2016) outlined three phases for the redevelopment of state land holdings surrounding the Capitol building. 

According to the TFC, Phase 1 encompassed two new State office buildings, George HW Bush State Office Building at 1801 Congress, and the Barbara Jordan Building at 1601 Congress, a new Central Utility Plant, an underground parking garages, and three city-blocks of pedestrian green space. 

Phase I was completed in 2022. The first State agency tenant moved in April 2022 and the last in October 2022. Now, the TFC Capitol Complex portfolio is 98% full.