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suzerain

Downtown Development In Austin

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Here website links to different projects in downtown Austin. I wish Houston could get stuff like this, but, oh well. I wonder with all of this if the DT Austin population is greater than that in DT Houston? This is a lot of development!!!

AMLI lofts with ground-level retail

http://www.2ndstreetdistrict.com/devdetails.html

Whole Foods Corporate HQ and Whole Foods grocery store

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/downtown/6th+lamar.htm

Office with ground level Retain

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/downtown/300_w_sixth.htm

Rio Grande Lofts

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/downtown/phoenix.htm

Austin City Lofts--Ground retail

http://www.clbpartners.com/project/AustinCityLofts/

Plaza Lofts

http://www.plazalofts.com/

Nokanah Lofts

http://www.nokonah.com/

DT Apartments

http://www.gables.com/PropertyTour/Propert....cfm?propid=958

Suzerain

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Well, I am not sure how is this any different from the plans for downtown Houston.  Houston DOES have plans for redeveloping its downtown and has been in the process of doing so for a few years now. So far, it has been laying the groundwork to attract new residential developments.  Of course, the hope is that those plans do go through. By the way, below is the link to a 20-year plan for DT Houston. This site also lists current residential projects in DT area. It is being estimated that Houston DT population could go upto 10,000 in the next 5 years. Current population is 3000.

http://www.houstondowntown.com/Home/Breaki...Downtownin2025/

If Houston can accomplish even half of that, it would be a great success.

Also, I dont think Austin has areas like Uptown and Midtown and Houston downtown is competing with these regions for new retail and residential developments. We are all hoping to see several mixed-use developments in midtown this year.

DT Austin actually has a lot of these projects going up. That is the biggest difference between the plan for DT Houston and Austin. Houston talks about development while Austin is pushing forward with DT urban living development.

DT Austin does not have to compete with these other areas like Uptown because they zone the city and control the development. Going to each city makes me think Houstonians are going the wrong way without zoning.

Could you imagine if we had zoning. Could you imagine if all the towers spread through the city were in one centralized location. DT Houston would be huge!!

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DT Austin actually has a lot of these projects going up.  That is the biggest difference between the plan for DT Houston and Austin.  Houston talks about development while Austin is pushing forward with DT urban living development.

DT Austin does not have to compete with these other areas like Uptown because they zone the city and control the development.  Going to each city makes me think Houstonians are going the wrong way without zoning. 

Could you imagine if we had zoning.  Could you imagine if all the towers spread through the city were in one centralized location.  DT Houston would be huge!!

I am a serious advocate of zoning, as you can tell from other posts. However, I wasn

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Actually, in fairness, if Houston were to include an area as large as what's being included for Austin, we'd easily trump them in development. Most Austinites wouldn't consider the Nokonah Lofts to be in downtown proper nor is the new Whole Foods Hdqts.

If you add everything that has been developed or is under construction within a 1 mile radius of downtown Houston, you'd have quite a long list.

Hotel Icon, Sam Houston Hotel, Magnolia Hotel, Club Quarters, Marriott Residence Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Americas, Inn at the Ballpark, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western Downtown, Crowne Plaza Cullen Center, Foley Building, Rice Lofts, Hogg Palace Lofts, St Germain, Capitol Lofts, Commerce Towers, Franklin Lofts, Keystone Lofts, Four Seasons Condos, Hermann Lofts, Bayou Lofts, Lofts at the Ballpark, The Stanford, East Side Lofts, Alexan Lofts, Sabine Street Lofts, Washington Place Lofts, Post Midtown Square, The Edge, Humble Tower Apartments, too many condos to mention, Aquarium, Hobby Center, Bayou Place, 1000 Main, Calpine Center, 1500 Louisiana, 5 Houston Center, Midtown Medical Plaza, Medical Place Two, METRO Transit Center and Hdqts, Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, Cotswold Project, Main Street Square, Allen's Landing improvements, LIGHT RAIL, UH Downtown classroom building, Criminal Justice Center, Civil Justice Center, and many more...

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Good point..BUT...do we have any breakthrough mixed use projects?

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Here is a different rendering of the Block 21 tower in the 2nd Street District...

AustinrenderingsBlock21Tower2.jpg

Some more renderings can be found at this link. Go to "portfolio", then click on "mixed use/hotel", and then find Block 21...

http://www.bokapowell.com/swf/index2.html

also...

Here is a rendering for the proposed Four Seasons Residences. It will be 38 stories high and it is designed by Michael Graves & Associates

FourSeasonsResidences_(2).jpg

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How about some more...

32-story condo may spring up downtown

From the Austin American-Statesman

http://www.statesman.com/business/co...0downtown.html

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Condo high-rise could be Katz's Deli neighbor

CLB Partners plans 32-story project downtown at West Seventh and Rio Grande.

By Shonda Novak

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Thursday, October 19, 2006

CLB Partners plans to build a 32-story condominium high-rise at West Seventh and Rio Grande streets, extending the downtown residential development boom.

Pending approvals from the city, the project could get underway next spring, with its 160 units ready for residents in late 2008, said Bobby Nail, a partner in CLB's Austin office.

The building will be designed by the Austin-based architectural firm of Rhode:Hurt. The firm also is designing CLB's six-story Bridges on the Park project, under construction at Lamar Boulevard and Riverside Drive. Brett Rhode, one of Rhode:Hurt's founding principals, also was involved in the design of CLB's Austin City Lofts on West Fifth Street.

The new project would be built at the southeast corner of West Seventh and Rio Grande, behind Katz's Deli. A one-story building with several short-term office tenants would be razed to make way for the high-rise. The project would be built around the Ranch 616 restaurant.

"I always build around my favorite restaurants," Nail said.

Bridges on the Park wraps around the former Paggi House, which is being renovated and will reopen early next year as a new high-end restaurant and wine bar.

Prices are expected to start in the low $300,000s, with the largest units topping $4 million.

Nail said the parking garage will be built in the part of the site where height is limited to protect views of the state Capitol.

AustinrenderingsCLB7thRioGradetower.jpg

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Ooh, that's a nice one.

Edit: Actually, I changed my mind. I dont like it as much as I first did.

Edited by N Judah

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Ooh, that's a nice one.

Yes, it is. If the renderings are anywhere near the actual look of the many highrises Austin is getting, its skyline is going to be stunning. To me Frost Tower alone has added so much to DT. Austin is going to look very 21st Century by the time these are all built. I hope Austin continues with the trend of building midrises and highrises in the 200-800 foot category for the next decade. THEN, if the market will allow, build a supertall in the 1200 ft. range which can stand out among the density already provided. Something like Charlotte skyline. :D

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You may also want to check out what is happening east of downtown. There is a lot of development going on over there. It is all the spillover from the high demand to live in town for those who cannot afford the high price of downtown.

Next in line: Condos with restaurant

Thirteen new projects in two years bringing new residents to the area.

By Shonda Novak, Claudia Grisales

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another condominium project is headed for East Sixth Street, extending the wave of residential development in an area where warehouses and vacant industrial sites are being replaced by trendy lofts and shops.

In the two years since the Pedernales Lofts opened in East Austin, a dozen more condominium or apartment projects, with more than 900 units total, have been started or announced, as developers take advantage of the area's lower land prices to meet the demand for near-downtown living.

http://www.statesman.com/business/content/.../27/27east.html

suzerain

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This is the Aquaterra, it will be on the south side of Town Lake right next to the Hyatt. Right now it is planned at 20 stories.

AustinrenderingsAquaTerra2.jpg

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This is the Aquaterra, it will be on the south side of Town Lake right next to the Hyatt. Right now it is planned at 20 stories.

AustinrenderingsAquaTerra2.jpg

Awesome! :D

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I am happy for Austin's downtown development, but I hope that this building does not get built as planned.

It is completely out of context with the current skyline and would only serve to diminish the existing buildings. It is not impressive enough on its own to establish a new context.

This building could fit in fine in Houston or Dallas, but Austin needs to organically "grow" its skyline.

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I am happy for Austin's downtown development, but I hope that this building does not get built as planned.

It is completely out of context with the current skyline and would only serve to diminish the existing buildings. It is not impressive enough on its own to establish a new context.

This building could fit in fine in Houston or Dallas, but Austin needs to organically "grow" its skyline.

Hey TxDave,

Really? I think the slenderness of the skyscraper would actually ADD continuity to the skyline. I do love how Austin has cautiously developed its DT, and yes, it does seem that each highrise is built with the others strictly in mind- sort of like they are from the same family. But take a look at the Frost Tower on its own. I wouldn't have thought it would fit until i saw it in DT surrounded by the existing buildings. I think it is perfect..- although i do wish it was maybe 200 ft taller. Personally, i think the Austonian, if built, would give Austin a sort of pinnacle which other highrises surrounding it can be compared. Look at other large cities........usually, one or two very tall towers with the others surrounding it (them) to make a sort of urban density symetry. On the contrary, i think this building would get lost in Houston or Dallas considering both cities have several skyscrapers at that heighth- Of course, unless it was built outside of DT..............like in the Galleria area, etc. I also like the Millenium feel this tower has to it- it reminds me of the stuff being built in Melbourne and Sydney.

I respectfully disagree with you on this one. I think it would add a lot the Austin's already unique skyline. BUT you and i both know, more than likely, the renderings we see now, will probably be changed several times before actual development. SO, maybe the final concept will satisfy both of our visions for DT Austin. :)

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Hey TxDave,

Really? I think the slenderness of the skyscraper would actually ADD continuity to the skyline. I do love how Austin has cautiously developed its DT, and yes, it does seem that each highrise is built with the others strictly in mind- sort of like they are from the same family. But take a look at the Frost Tower on its own. I wouldn't have thought it would fit until i saw it in DT surrounded by the existing buildings. I think it is perfect..- although i do wish it was maybe 200 ft taller. Personally, i think the Austonian, if built, would give Austin a sort of pinnacle which other highrises surrounding it can be compared. Look at other large cities........usually, one or two very tall towers with the others surrounding it (them) to make a sort of urban density symetry. On the contrary, i think this building would get lost in Houston or Dallas considering both cities have several skyscrapers at that heighth- Of course, unless it was built outside of DT..............like in the Galleria area, etc. I also like the Millenium feel this tower has to it- it reminds me of the stuff being built in Melbourne and Sydney.

I respectfully disagree with you on this one. I think it would add a lot the Austin's already unique skyline. BUT you and i both know, more than likely, the renderings we see now, will probably be changed several times before actual development. SO, maybe the final concept will satisfy both of our visions for DT Austin. :)

I think I mostly agree with you Marc - except my primary concern is with the height of this proposed project.

I do realize that the overall height downtown will need to grow to accomplish the city's goals of a true urban center. But I feel that this proposal jumps too far too fast.

There is nothing wrong with pushing the envelope a little, but if the economy changes and downtown does not develop as aggressively as planned, this building could end up sticking out by itself, continuing to make everything else seem smaller and less significant.

I just think the growth should be more gradual to help keep everything in balance.

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Actually, I think this is exactly what Austin needs. And do not forget that this is not the only building in downtown Austin that is proposed at or over 700 feet, not to mention other buildings that will be over 500 feet or more. Also as far as the design goes, they have already changed the design of this building from the origional renderings and seeing as how they have started clearing the lot for construction I would assume that the rendering you see now is pretty much how its going to look give or take maybe a few small tweaks. I am very excited about this project and it will look very nice on Austin's skyline.

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I do agree with TxDave that too much too soon, could come back and bite Austin if the economy takes a downturn. BUT, all economic indicators suggest this won't happen for a few more years. I am all for cautious growth, especially in a city i love so much. I would not want another Houston post- mid 80s.

I remember all the excitement of development which happened when i was going to school in Austin during the mid to late 80s. I guess i am just ready for that type of boom again. (which Austin is certainly experiencing now). To be perfectly frank- I just want another signature tower for TX. The 80's were great- but that was 20 something years ago. Whether built in Houston, Dallas or Austin- i just want something that will WOW us architectural wise. If i had a choice.....i think Austin has the economic base to handle a signature tower which would be 700+ tall. BUT, i do concur that developers must be very cautious when trying to maintain the cultural heritage of DT Austin. I know there are VERY ambitious plans for redevelopment in DT- to the point that we may hardly recognize her in about 5 years. I am just ready to see a supertall in Austin- but, yes, TxDave, not at the expense of the already beautiful towers. :)

m.

Actually, I think this is exactly what Austin needs. And do not forget that this is not the only building in downtown Austin that is proposed at or over 700 feet, not to mention other buildings that will be over 500 feet or more. Also as far as the design goes, they have already changed the design of this building from the origional renderings and seeing as how they have started clearing the lot for construction I would assume that the rendering you see now is pretty much how its going to look give or take maybe a few small tweaks. I am very excited about this project and it will look very nice on Austin's skyline.

i agree. I hope it maintains the look the renderings show. I am constantly impressed that the new buildings (like i said in an above post) seem to gel very nicely with the already existing development. Like they were always there.

m.

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The Austonian is an infill project, replacing a surface parking lot. There is no threat to Austin's heritage, as last I checked, parking lots are not culturally significant, in Austin or anywhere else. Anyone that would prefer an ugly parking lot (boy, the lots on Congress between 2nd and 4th are ugly) over any building must be crazy.

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An update on the Austonian, the city's website has the height of the building at 780 Feet. That baby will be 20 feet from being an 800 footer woohoo... Sales office is expected to open very soon. Construction is scheduled for this summer...

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I agree with TxDave. This building will dominate the skyline of Austin. Even the mighty Frost bank building looks diminutive in the renderings. The skyline should grow as a unit without the growth spurt of the Austonian. Austin derves a better building than this. Also, the other good point is what if the market bottom fallas out again. Did we not learn anything from the 80's?

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Sales Office Opens tomarrow... Sorry wether you agree or not this thing is likely to go up, and I for one welcome it.

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^^^ Me too for aformentioned reasons.

Let's also keep in mind that 2-5 other 500+ footers are going up in the next few years.

Austin has sort of hit a point that reminds me of Houston mid-70's. Not that i can remember much about back then, BUT when i look at the Houston 1970 skyline- 1975 skyline- 1980 skyline and then the 1985 skyline. WOW! Exponential DT growth. With all of the new high tech businesses moving in to the Austin area and the growth of the already existing tech force; with a projection of one and 1/2 million people by 2010; and with a growing DT population, Austin's skyline is going vertical. No doubt about it! :D

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I need to get some pictures taken but both cranes for the Monarch tower and the 360 tower have risen higher. Monarch is now at 22 stories and 360 is on the 18th floor. Also demolition has begun at the Spring tower site with construction set to begin in the next 2 or so weeks. That tower will have 42 stories. The Austonian sales office is open and they have put up billboard signs on the site at the corner of Congress and Second Street. The Four Seasons Residencies site also has billboard signs up. Things should really start taking off in June with more tower construction.

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I am really happy for Austin to have all of this great development downtown, but I can't help but wonder if it is at the expense of the city's charm.

As I have told my Austonian friend before, all of the growth is turning Austin into what it does not want to be - another Houston or Dallas.

They hate to hear that, but I can't help but think it is true - they seem to be 30-40 years behind Houston and Dallas in the growth boom, but it is happening.

Perhaps they will learn from our successes and mistakes and do things better

Edited by TxDave

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I like all of the development, Austin will stay cool, I could see if it was all suburban development, but its not.

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I don't see why Austin can't have a dominating skyline for a city of now over 700,000 inside the city limits and over a 1.5 million metro? Come on people, there are cities smaller than we are that have bigger skylines. By the way I got some information from a really cool forumer on another site that did some research regarding the Austonian. Officially the height of the building is 683 feet. Even though it wont break the 700 foot mark it will still have the title of the tallest building in Texas outside of the Houston and Dallas areas. It will be the Tallest all residential building in Texas. And unless some other projects in other cities come to reality, it will be the tallest all residential tower west of the Mississippi River. One thing that Austin is trying to do is lessen the urban sprawl. With a dense downtown as a start and as the city continues to densify the inner-city, that will help a bit. Also the Austonian may not stay the tallest for long once built. The 5th at Congress tower is not out of the picture yet and from what we know right now Tom Stacy who is the developer is changing a good amount of its components to office space. Not sure if the building's design has changed but more than likely will have to be tweaked and wether or not the height has changed we will have to wait and see. Last but not least we can not stop growth just like Houston or Dallas can't stop growth or many other cities for that matter. But what we are doing is we are trying to make Austin a livable city as it continues to get larger and larger.

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A "dominating" skyline is fine w/me, but a skyline that is dominatED by a residential building seems awkward...Unless they really do have a bunch more of the same size planned, which would be pretty cool esp. if they were all in close proximity.

Edited by N Judah

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^^^My thoughts exactly. Not too sure about what he means.

Anyway, i am happy that Austin is getting a denser DT. Maybe it is a solution to two ongoing concerns.

1. Keeping the "charm" of Austin intact. Yes, DT has some charming, quaint haunts, BUT most of what makes Austin...."Austin" lies outside of the DT area, right? So, more urbanization concentrated in a central location would probably save many of these favorite spots.

2. Urban sprawl. No offense, but i think Austin has some of the worst traffic problems of any TX city. I think, in part, is that the city grew too quickly to keep up with the traffic needs. Once city planners deal with that, then i say, sprawl away.

Hey, in a few generations San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston will all connect into one enormous MEGALOPOLIS, anyway.

So, bring it on! But first, get some decent freeways, rail lines, bus lines etc.

I personally want to see Austin grow as long as it doesn't repeat Houston's and Dallas' mistake of building too much, and then having half empty highrises for the following decade.

:) m.

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Office buildings and residential towers look completely different.

I think that depends on the architect. I wouldn't think that Big John in Chicago was partly residential, but it is. To me it "looks" like an office building because of having no balconies, and i couldn't imagine living in a place which encompasses those HUGE X braces. To me, that would cover up too much of my viewing window space.

Conversly, i think the BoA building in Houston would make a rather cool residential tower.

See my point? ;)

m.

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The John Hancock tower does not even come close to dominating the Chicago skyline.

All I'm saying is that if Austin wants some run of the mill condo tower to be the tallest thing around, then I say go for it, but it's not going to be pretty.

Edited by N Judah

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The John Hancock tower does not even come close to dominating the Chicago skyline.

I'm sorry. Are we talking about the same John Hancock Tower? Ummmm.....it is currently the second tallest building in the city.

AND although many tall towers are being built in the near vicinity, when it was built, it dominated that part of Chicago for a generation.

We are talking about the 100 storey tower with the two red and white antennas on top with X-like bracing?? Right?

m. :blink:

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Yep, that's the one. The one by about a hundred other office / condo towers, not to mention one taller and more visually significant building. It's more office space than condo space, and has more in common with an office building than with the Austinian. It would be a terrible thing if the Austinian dominated the skyline for "a generation," wouldn't you agree? That was my original point. Like I originally said, it only works if it is surrounded by similar condo towers (like Seattle or Vancouver).

Edited by N Judah

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Have you seen the renderings of the Austonian? It's certainly not 'run of the mill'.

It is very similar to the Azure that is planned for Dallas or that one condo tower being planned for Kirby.

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Yep, that's the one. The one by about a hundred other office / condo towers, not to mention one taller and more visually significant building. It's more office space than condo space, and has more in common with an office building than with the Austinian. It would be a terrible thing if the Austinian dominated the skyline for "a generation," wouldn't you agree? That was my original point. Like I originally said, it only works if it is surrounded by similar condo towers (like Seattle or Vancouver).

Point 1. I still don't get you on the John Hancock tower. Honestly, it is #2 in height in Chicago. (currently) Yes, it has some

tall ones surrounding it, but it still dominates doesn't it? Unless you are talking about the Sears Tower which is

completely across DT. Help me out on this one.

Point 2. I happen to like the rendering of the Austonian as several of my posts indicate. BUT, i do see what you mean about

dominating the skyline for a generation before anything close in height is built near it. i concur that it isn't spectacular

enough to be an icon for Austin for a generation. Maybe for a year or two until the others are built! Which, by the by,

aren't there to be other highrises (i think actually 2 or 3) which will be taller than the Austonian and built in a relatively

soon timeframe? SO, dominating may not be an issue by say, 2011.

B) Talk to me about Big John though. i don't see where you don't think it dominates that part of the Chicago

skyline. I own several books regarding Chicago architecture and the city skyline and such, and any way

you cut it, until The Spire and Trump Tower is built, it dominates along with the Aon Tower and Sears.

Thoughts?

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Yep, that's the one. The one by about a hundred other office / condo towers, not to mention one taller and more visually significant building. It's more office space than condo space, and has more in common with an office building than with the Austinian. It would be a terrible thing if the Austinian dominated the skyline for "a generation," wouldn't you agree? That was my original point. Like I originally said, it only works if it is surrounded by similar condo towers (like Seattle or Vancouver).

Point 1. I still don't get you on the John Hancock tower. Honestly, it is #2 in height in Chicago. (currently) Yes, it has some

tall ones surrounding it, but it still dominates doesn't it? Unless you are talking about the Sears Tower which is

completely across DT. Help me out on this one.

Point 2. I happen to like the rendering of the Austonian as several of my posts indicate. BUT, i do see what you mean about

dominating the skyline for a generation before anything close in height is built near it. i concur that it isn't spectacular

enough to be an icon for Austin for a generation. Maybe for a year or two until the others are built! Which, by the by,

aren't there to be other highrises (i think actually 2 or 3) which will be taller than the Austonian and built in a relatively

soon timeframe? SO, dominating may not be an issue by say, 2011.

B) Talk to me about Big John though. i don't see where you don't think it dominates that part of the Chicago

skyline. I own several books regarding Chicago architecture and the city skyline and such, and any way

you cut it, until The Spire and Trump Tower is built, it dominates along with the Aon Tower and Sears.

Thoughts?

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Yep, that's the one. The one by about a hundred other office / condo towers, not to mention one taller and more visually significant building. It's more office space than condo space, and has more in common with an office building than with the Austinian. It would be a terrible thing if the Austinian dominated the skyline for "a generation," wouldn't you agree? That was my original point. Like I originally said, it only works if it is surrounded by similar condo towers (like Seattle or Vancouver).

Point 1. I still don't get you on the John Hancock tower. Honestly, it is #2 in height in Chicago. (currently) Yes, it has some

tall ones surrounding it, but it still dominates doesn't it? Unless you are talking about the Sears Tower which is

completely across DT. Help me out on this one.

Point 2. I happen to like the rendering of the Austonian as several of my posts indicate. BUT, i do see what you mean about

dominating the skyline for a generation before anything close in height is built near it. i concur that it isn't spectacular

enough to be an icon for Austin for a generation. Maybe for a year or two until the others are built! Which, by the by,

aren't there to be other highrises (i think actually 2 or 3) which will be taller than the Austonian and built in a relatively

soon timeframe? SO, dominating may not be an issue by say, 2011.

B) Talk to me about Big John though. i don't see where you don't think it dominates that part of the Chicago

skyline. I own several books regarding Chicago architecture and the city skyline and such, and any way

you cut it, until The Spire and Trump Tower is built, it dominates along with the Aon Tower and Sears.

Thoughts?

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I still can't wrap my mind the idea why you think the Austonian (not the Austinian like it should be called) needs to be surrounded by other condo towers. And the only thing that the Austonian seems to have in common with Azure and 2727 Kirby is that they're highrise condos done in glass. This is all subjective anyways. I seriously douby anyone is going to suddenly change their view. So...whatever.

Edited by kingkirbythegreatoftexas

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The Austonian will likely not be the tallest building in Austin for too long. Even if the 5th at Congress tower design changes it should still be taller. And there are rumors floating around of something even taller than 5th at Congress, so I don't think you have to worry about the Austonian being the tallest for a decade more like 3 or so years.

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I read the other day that the Austonian has finally broken ground. Anyone have any pictures?

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