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.
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.
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.