Texas capital

New owner of historic hotel in Texas capital plans upgrades

Austin, TX’s oldest hotel has changed hands.

The Driskill, which was built in 1886 and is part of the Hyatt Hotels Corp. portfolio. since 2013, was sold to Dallas-based Woodbine Development Corp. for $125 million, according to Hyatt regulatory filings. Hyatt will remain the on-site management team for the 189-room hotel.

Woodbine Development plans to spend money on the Driskill, located at 604 Brazos Street in downtown Austin, to make “improvements to the guest experience,” a Hyatt spokesperson said in an email.

“The sale of The Driskill is part of Hyatt’s asset sale strategy to transition into a more fee-based revenue mix, fund Hyatt’s continued growth in key markets where our guests travel, and nurture new lines of business that strengthen support opportunities. guests in more ways and more places,” Alessandra Lenardon, marketing manager for The Driskill, said in an email. “We want to reassure our colleagues, our guests, our customers and our community that Hyatt will continue to manage The Driskill under a long-term management agreement, and that there will be no interruption. activities with this transfer of ownership at this time.”

The Driskill, built in 1886, is the oldest hotel in Austin, Texas. (Parimal M. Rohit/CoStar News)

CoStar News reached out to Woodbine Development to discuss its future plans for The Driskill, but company representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Woodbine, according to its LinkedIn page, specializes in historic renovations, hotels and resorts.

The sale of The Driskill was part of Hyatt’s broader strategy to sell $2 billion in assets. Chicago-based Hyatt also recently sold Hyatt San Antonio River Walk and Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa near Palm Springs, California.

As for The Driskill, the property has recently undergone some cosmetic upgrades. Austin-based Clayton Korte updated the hotel’s 14 suites, which included repurposing historic elements. Each renovated room features stained glass and clawfoot tubs. New beds and updated showers were also part of the renovations.

The upgrades, which were completed last year, cost $2.9 million. Renovations for the rest of the hotel rooms were still on deck when the suites were completed.

Cattle baron Jesse Driskill built the hotel at the corner of Sixth and Brazos streets in 1886. The hotel cost $400,000 to build at the time, or about $12.3 million in 2022 dollars, according to the US Department of Labor inflation calculator.