$425 million expansion at UT McCombs School of Business in Austin moves ahead

A massive undertaking at the University of Texas at Austin is officially underway with the demolition of a key building.

The $425 million development of new undergraduate facility Miriam and James J. Mulva Hall will catalyze the creation of what the university has dubbed a “business neighborhood,” with about 25% of the school’s student body set to take classes in the forthcoming facility.

Demolition of the Dobie Garage at Whitis Avenue and 20th Street in Austin began this week, making way for what will be one of the tallest buildings on the UT campus at 17 stories.

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With designs from Perkins&Will’s Dallas studio, the tower will span 373,000 square feet and will feature 29 classrooms, including a 200-person auditorium and three specialty education labs with enhanced technology. Classrooms will average 65 seats.

Mulva Hall is set to open in time for Fall 2028.
Mulva Hall is set to open in time for Fall 2028.(Perkins&Will)

As part of the effort, undergraduate classrooms and faculty offices for the McCombs School of Business will shift from 21st Street and Speedway to the school’s graduate and executive education buildings at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Guadalupe Street.

Open space and plazas will connect Mulva Hall to McCombs’ Robert B. Rowling Hall and the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center.

A central tower will hold the dean’s suite, academic departments, research centers and faculty offices.

Mulva Hall, set to be the first academic building along University Avenue, will offer views of the State Capital, UT Tower and the campus’ original 40 acres.

Pending approval by the UT Systems Board of Regents, the university plans to break ground later this year. It is slated to open in August 2028.

Miriam and Jim Mulva, who transferred to UT and earned a bachelor’s and MBA from the school, donated $40 million to kick-start the project in 2014. Funding for the new building was approved by the board of regents in 2023.

The building project is on track to be the largest total philanthropic sum ever raised in the university’s history, with 35% of the project coming from donor contributions.

$50 million stems from McCombs reserves, another $225 million is being financed by UT and $125 million coming from donors.

Located in Austin, the Luminary is the first Texas project from developer Northland Living.

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