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Tour the Independent, Austin’s new tallest tower

Stunning views and artful interiors complement the distinctive addition to the city’s skyline

A tall glass building surrounded by shorter buildings. Its structure is like a vertical series of unevenly stacked boxes.
The Independent
Nick Simonite

Upon its recent completion, the Independent became not only the “tallest residential tower West of the Mississippi” it’s touted to be, but the tallest building in Austin, period. (Sorry, Austonian—you had a good run). The “Jenga tower”—a moniker we’d do well to retire—rises 685 feet, or 58 stories, but who’s counting?

That explains the astounding views, of course: On a clear day, you can see forever, or at least to San Marcos, from the 54th floor. They’re pretty good from the pool deck (which has a distinctive infinity feature that might give the acrophobic pause), the fitness center, the club room, and no doubt most of its 363 luxury condominiums.

The architect and interior designer on project was Rhode Partners, which created a distinctive look for the building’s public spaces, incorporating industrial elements with sophisticated materials and finishes—including bespoke furniture, such as a conference room table and the front lobby desk that feature exquisite woodwork.

The company also worked with Austin-based consultants Art + Artisans to commission and coordinate the installation of 80 pieces of art by 23 artists into the building’s public spaces. Many of the pieces’s organic shapes and natural materials push back against the purposely exposed, sometimes raw industrial elements to soften and bring warmth into the building’s spaces without overshadowing the drama of their scale and bold materials.

Developed by Apsen Heights and the CIM Group, the Independent broke ground at the beginning of 2016. Residents began moving in to some of the residences in May, paying prices that range from the $400,000s to more than $5 million for one- to four-bedroom units and a few penthouses.

A two-story building lobby with raw concrete walls, marble floors, and a built-in white desk with a sculptural wooden front.
The lobby of the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
A white concrete wall with an abstract sculpture made of curved strips of wood.
Artwork in the Independent lobby
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
A narrow white ceiling with a sculpture made of white fabric strips hanging from it. There is a concrete wall on the right and tall windows with white frames on the left.l
Fabric sculpture at the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
Large room with concrete and large window walls, a light wood floor, a pool table, chairs, couches, and coffee tables arranged in groups.
Club room at the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
A pink and brown fabric sculpture curved in a fan shape in a niche above a small wooden table.
Artwork in the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours

The $300 million tower totals 950,000 square feet, with 20,000 square feet of amenities and 717 parking spaces: 677 residential and 40 retail. Austin realty and lifestyle company, Urbanspace purchased the building’s first floor for its offices and showroom in May. It will also open a coffee shop in the space and is seeking a restaurant operator as well.

A black wall with three figurative drawings on white paper above a table and three curved chair backs.
A meeting room at the Indepedent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
Large white room with industrial steel divider, two walls of windows with views of the horizon, and gray and dark furniture arranged around a rug.
The 24th floor lounge at the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
A white wall with a white-and-gray sculpture that forms strips. There’s a rug with a small couch and coffee table underneath.
Lounge space at the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
Room with white marble floors and floor to ceiling windows revealing buildings in the background. there is a room divider made of wood and fabric and a long table and chairs in the foreground.
Lounge at the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours
A long table made of natural wood pieces divided in the middle to reveal a strip of white metal. There are industrial beams on one wall and the other is made of windows looking out on to shorter buildings.
A meeting room at the Independent
Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours

Located on 1.7 acres at 301 West Avenue, the Independent is part of the Seaholm District, a formerly industrial section of downtown where utility sites such as the former Seaholm Power and Green Water Treatment plants are being redeveloped. It joins Northshore apartments, Austin Central Library, and the Seaholm mixed-use complex in the district; a building anchored by Google at 500 West Second Street as well as the forthcoming Austin Proper hotel and residences and another building to be occupied by Google, are under construction in the district.

The Independent

931 Monroe Drive Northeast, , GA 30308 Visit Website