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Wilson Tower: 80-Story Residential, Another New Tallest for Austin & Texas


Urbannizer

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https://austin.towers.net/austins-next-record-breaking-supertall-tower-announced-at-fifth-and-trinity/

Austin-based real estate development firm Wilson Capital announced this morning that its redevelopment of the Avenue Lofts site will be significantly larger than previously reported. The multifamily residential building planned for the 0.8-acre property at 410 East Fifth Street, now known as Wilson Tower, is set to rise 80 floors to a total height of 1,035 feet — and yes, that would make the project the new tallest tower in Texas upon completion, exceeding the height of the Waterline supertall project currently under construction a few blocks away by 13 feet. 

Wilson Tower is described by its developer as a signature 450-unit apartment building with residences ranging from studios to 3 and 4-bedroom penthouses. Designed by the Austin office of global architecture firm HKS Inc., the building’s impressive height is matched by a remarkable appearance — its signature design feature is a brise soleil, or shade structure, wrapping the tower’s entire glass exterior on the eastern and western elevations. It’s one of our favorite architectural touches on many midcentury buildings including the nearby Cambridge Tower, and seeing this sort of design updated for a modern tower is a welcome addition to the Austin skyline:

“Our vision for Wilson Tower is to set a new bar in skyscraper residences for Austin that we believe will foster creativity and social connection. Along with welcoming outdoor terraces and gardens, the tower itself is wrapped in a brise soleil that offers protection from the hot Texas sun and wind while also providing structural strength. This brise soleil gives the building uniquely shaded and comfortable outdoor living spaces on every level.”

It’s up for debate, but the building’s curved crown created by the brise soleil reminds us of the nearby Pennybacker Bridge. Sharp readers may note that the structure’s impressively thin profile is partially due to the setbacks imposed by the Downtown Parks Overlay due to the presence of Brush Square directly south of the project site — we weren’t sure how the redevelopment of Avenue Lofts would respond to this little-known regulation, but the building’s sharp look is a pleasant side effect.

As the city’s tallest apartment building upon completion, alongside its unobstructed (and presumably well-shaded) views Wilson Tower is set to offer four floors of resident amenities including a pool deck, movie theater, and cocktail lounge. The building also plans an entire floor dedicated to pets, including grooming services, a playroom, and dog run. The tower’s ground-level streetscape contains a signature restaurant and bar space, plus valet parking for residents.

Along with its designers at HKS, the project’s development team includes interior designers Britt Design Group, civil engineers Kimley-Horn, and landscape architects Nudge Design. The building is expected to break ground by summer 2023. Did you really think downtown Austin had run out of surprises?

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8 hours ago, CREguy13 said:

I'll be shocked if this breaks ground this cycle.  Putting this in the Bank of Southwest category.

Why’s that? Not a fair comparison with Bank of SW being office vs. all residential and that being the 80s downturn. Multifamily supply is still short of demand in Austin.

This will be the tallest all residential outside of NYC. 

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13 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

Why’s that? Not a fair comparison with Bank of SW being office vs. all residential and that being the 80s downturn. Multifamily supply is still short of demand in Austin.

This will be the tallest all residential outside of NYC. 

It's absolutely a fair comparison.  Both are about supply getting ahead of demand, and a turning point in a market.  Add in that it appears this company (Wilson Capital) has built nothing remotely like this proposed building...

That was office; this is residential. That was the 80s downturn; this is (may be) the 2020s tech downturn/pullback;  That would have been the tallest building outside of NYC and Chicago; this "will be" (if it is built) the tallest all residential outside of NYC.

FWIW, not counting this new proposal, there is about a 16% increase in supply currently under construction in Austin (6% increase in supply expected to come on line in the second half of this year), coincident with at least some indications of developing softness in the office (and employment) market (see, e.g., Meta's backing out of huge space).

Edited by Houston19514
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On 11/15/2022 at 2:04 PM, Houston19514 said:

It's absolutely a fair comparison.  Both are about supply getting ahead of demand, and a turning point in a market.  Add in that it appears this company (Wilson Capital) has built nothing remotely like this proposed building...

That was office; this is residential. That was the 80s downturn; this is (may be) the 2020s tech downturn/pullback;  That would have been the tallest building outside of NYC and Chicago; this "will be" (if it is built) the tallest all residential outside of NYC.

FWIW, not counting this new proposal, there is about a 16% increase in supply currently under construction in Austin (6% increase in supply expected to come on line in the second half of this year), coincident with at least some indications of developing softness in the office (and employment) market (see, e.g., Meta's backing out of huge space).

@Urbannizer this is a perfect explanation from @Houston19514on my comment.  I just don't see the new job creation that propelled this crazy development cycle to continue nearly at the rate its been, in the coming years.  Local job growth in tech was a primary driver for this boom and the ongoing pullback in the sector may have an impact on financing larger projects like this going forward. 

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On 11/17/2022 at 9:51 PM, Urbannizer said:

Site plan was filed back in May, website launched:

https://www.wilsontower.com/

This is planned to be rentals, correct?  Odd to have a flashy website up and running so far in advance for a rental apartment building - literally years before anyone will  be able to rent an apartment.  Looks like marketing to potential financiers more than to potential renters.

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18 hours ago, hindesky said:


HKS believe it will be the tallest building in Texas and the tallest residential building outside New York in the United States. But maybe not for long.
 

"We're going to see others of this height throughout the city. I won't be surprised to hear about more," Wilkins said.

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On 11/30/2022 at 11:31 AM, Howard Huge said:

The tallest building in Texas/this side of the Mississippi belongs in HOUSTON dammit. 😡

The one thing I don't get is why Austin of all places is seeing this massive supertall boom while Houston struggles to get 50 story towers built...

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On 12/3/2022 at 6:40 PM, Big E said:

The one thing I don't get is why Austin of all places is seeing this massive supertall boom while Houston struggles to get 50 story towers built...

Houston's fortunes rise and fall with the energy economy.  Austin is tech-focused, which nobody thinks is going to crash anytime soon.  It makes raising money for large projects much easier.

 

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15 minutes ago, editor said:

Houston's fortunes rise and fall with the energy economy.  Austin is tech-focused, which nobody thinks is going to crash anytime soon.  It makes raising money for large projects much easier.

 

"We've seen an influx in sublease space come to market, presumably due to economic uncertainty as well as companies adjusting to a hybrid workflow," said Colliers research associate Clarisse Rodriguez, who is in the company's Austin office. "As of now, there is still demand for office space, but we anticipate softer market trends to continue in the coming months."

There is also still an immense amount of new office space in the pipeline, Rodriguez said, though some construction has been halted due to the possibility of a recession in the near future. 

https://www.bisnow.com/national/news/office/for-austin-office-bust-will-follow-boom-but-maybe-only-in-the-short-run-116593

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1 hour ago, editor said:

Houston's fortunes rise and fall with the energy economy.  Austin is tech-focused, which nobody thinks is going to crash anytime soon.  It makes raising money for large projects much easier.

 

As hindesky pointed out, there’s some uncertainty in the air-but residential continues on strong for now.


Some other factors:

Austin’s zoning laws limits these types of developments to certain areas.

Demand for residential in Downtown is high but there are only a handful of large plots of land left which leads to more vertical construction on smaller lots.

Houston ended up spreading out too far so there’s no real need/demand to build tall.

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4 hours ago, Urbannizer said:

As hindesky pointed out, there’s some uncertainty in the air-but residential continues on strong for now.


Some other factors:

Austin’s zoning laws limits these types of developments to certain areas.

Demand for residential in Downtown is high but there are only a handful of large plots of land left which leads to more vertical construction on smaller lots.

Houston ended up spreading out too far so there’s no real need/demand to build tall.

Is there really this much need/demand to build this tall in Austin?   Hmmm

Some other factors:

downtown multi family occupancy dropped in the last year.  One of only 2 Austin sub markets to drop.

There are approx 4800 units under construction or in lease-up downtown ( that of course doesn’t count the proposed buildings such as the topic of this thread.)

At most-recent absorption rates, the currently-under-construction/lease-up units give downtown Austin a 3-5 1/2 year supply, again, without counting the recently-proposed/not-yet-under-construction buildings.

The 4,800 new units constitute approximately 40% increase in supply for downtown Austin . . .

Edited by Houston19514
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20 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Is there really this much need/demand to build this tall in Austin?   Hmmm

Some other factors:

downtown multi family occupancy dropped in the last year.  One of only 2 Austin sub markets to drop.

There are approx 4800 units under construction or in lease-up downtown ( that of course doesn’t count the proposed buildings such as the topic of this thread.)

At most-recent absorption rates, the currently-under-construction/lease-up units give downtown Austin a 3-5 1/2 year supply, again, without counting the recently-proposed/not-yet-under-construction buildings.

The 4,800 new units constitute approximately 40% increase in supply for downtown Austin . . .

Sounds like they're overbuilding.

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On 12/5/2022 at 3:26 PM, editor said:

Houston's fortunes rise and fall with the energy economy.  Austin is tech-focused, which nobody thinks is going to crash anytime soon.  It makes raising money for large projects much easier.

 

I thought tech was crashing. Facebook and it's parent company Meta, among other tech stocks, have been imploding over the past year, they've lost like 75% of their market cap. Microsoft, Peleton, and Amazon have all seen huge losses. They're calling this the "Dot Com Bust 2.0."

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On 12/6/2022 at 6:35 PM, Howard Huge said:

I thought tech was crashing. Facebook and it's parent company Meta, among other tech stocks, have been imploding over the past year, they've lost like 75% of their market cap. Microsoft, Peleton, and Amazon have all seen huge losses. They're calling this the "Dot Com Bust 2.0."

You are correct, mostly.  However, tech's crash still has a long way to go because it started so high, and it's not universal.  Apple, for example, has a huge Austin presence and hasn't laid off, and is doing pretty well.  For the most part, it's the startup scammers, crypto bros, and companies that have been burning cheap VC cash (gig economy) that are suffering.  Also, market cap doesn't translate in any way to real estate demand. 

Tech isn't going away.  We aren't going back to pencils and paper.  I'm happy to see the bubble burst and companies getting back to normal financials.  Once it all flattens out, tech will still be a big force in the economy.  People who build skyscrapers are like hockey players — they don't skate to where the puck is, they skate to where the puck will be.

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22 hours ago, monarch said:

heart-gif-13.gif

^^^ i absolutely LOVE this magnificent development.  i cannot seem to take my eyes away from that STUNNING TOWER.  WOW!

Then may I introduce to you the one and only Mac Pro?  Got a good feeling about you two...

BF067447-F55F-408B-A1B7-12FC54683D56.jpeg.16580bb65e0fbd67f517aa152fada5df.jpeg

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1 hour ago, strickn said:

Then may I introduce to you the one and only Mac Pro?  Got a good feeling about you two...

BF067447-F55F-408B-A1B7-12FC54683D56.jpeg.16580bb65e0fbd67f517aa152fada5df.jpeg

^^^ surely, you don't think that you are the ONLY one that has one of these?  everyone of my components are APPLE.  EVERYONE!

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