Pixiu Real Estate, Woodbine Development Corporation and a collective of Austin-based investors have acquired the capital city’s first and most iconic hotel, The Driskill, a Romanesque-style building and the oldest operating hotel in Austin.
Woodbine Development Corporation is the Dallas-based real estate investment firm behind many notable hotel properties in Texas and beyond. Pixiu Real Estate is part of Pixiu Investments, an investment firm owned by Eddie Margain, co-founder of several ventures, including local MLS club Austin FC. Among the investor group is Bryan Sheffield, founder of Parsley Energy and fellow investor in Austin FC.
“As a destination, The Driskill has been a shining star for Austinites and Texas-bound travelers since it opened its doors in 1886,” said Dupree Scovell, managing partner and chief investment officer at Woodbine. “As new owners and stewards of this historic property, we’re excited to work with Hyatt, Pixiu and the local investor group, who have a common goal of enhancing this hotel and ensuring its legacy for years to come.”
The Driskill, part of Hyatt’s The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, anchors the Sixth Street Entertainment District in downtown Austin. The new ownership group is looking to maintain and elevate the appeal of the 189-room luxury hotel while also helping to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The group has expressed initial plans to invest substantial amounts of capital if the revitalization project of Sixth Street gets support from the city of Austin.
“We are thrilled about this important acquisition because of what it represents for Austin and for Pixiu Real Estate,” said Eddie Margain, founder and CEO of Pixiu. “As an Austinite, I know and appreciate the historical significance of this more than 130-year-old property. And, as our community continues to grow, I believe we need to preserve and revitalize landmarks like The Driskill that have contributed to the making of Austin’s distinct character and spirit.”
“We couldn’t think of a better team to carry on the story-worthy legacy of The Driskill than Woodbine,” said James Francque, global head of transactions for Hyatt. “We deeply value our growing collaboration with Woodbine and look forward to the planned enhancement projects that will ensure this one-of-a-kind property remains a truly upscale and distinctive experience for all.”
Margain added: “We made calls to good friends who have the same interest of preserving Austin and a desire to work on a legacy project, and an amazing group came together. Partnering with Woodbine Development has been an incredible experience; they are world-class hotel investors, and they know the hotel industry like none other.”
Dallas-based Woodbine brings nearly 50 years of hospitality development and asset management experience to the hotel’s ownership group. The company’s portfolio of work includes Austin’s Hotel Magdalena and Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa; San Antonio’s Hotel Emma and Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa; Hyatt Regency Dallas and Reunion Tower and Hilton Dallas/Park Cities; and many other properties throughout Texas and the United States. Woodbine specializes in developing select- and full-service destinations in urban, suburban and inspiring out-of-the-way settings as well as office/mixed-use projects – always creating places people want to be.
Just a few blocks from the Texas capitol, The Driskill opened its doors in 1886, quickly becoming known as the Grande Dame of Austin. A confluence of opulence and luxury, the hotel has been a lavish destination of choice for an array of guests over the years looking to create and collect one-of-a-kind stories – for overnights, special events, SXSW sessions, election-night watch parties, political drink-sipping and deal-making, weddings and engagements (future president Lyndon B. Johnson proposed to Lady Bird during their first date, which took place at the hotel) and much more.
Hyatt will continue management of the extraordinary property independent-minded guests seeking a sophisticated yet unscripted experience when they travel. For more information, visit www.driskillhotel.com.