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21 towers poised to reshape the skyline

In the upcoming decade, we’re looking at ever more, ever taller, ever larger buildings

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Cranes over Austin
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To say the past decade has seen the rise of downtown Austin would be a preposterous understatement. The city’s latest and largest building boom hit full throttle during that time, adding a significant number of large buildings to the city.

As for the upcoming decade, we’re looking at ever more, ever taller, ever larger buildings, it seems. At least that’s the story so far. Here are among the most notable towers planned, and in many cases already under construction, for the near future.

We do our best to keep up with Austin’s rapid changes, but this certainly not meant to be the entire picture—let us know what we missed and what we need to know in the comments.

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17th and Guadalupe Street

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Planned for a corner of the north end of downtown, where it starts blending with UT and ancillary service/hospitality businesses (and a new courthouse in the works), the proposed 28-story condo tower would hold 117 condos and ground-floor retail. Rhode Partners designed the tower, which is being developed by New York’s Reger Holdings.

Street level of proposed 17th and Guadalupe building
Rhode

Brackenridge campus tower

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UT’s expansion to the southeast takes place alongside the Waterloo Park renovation with the recently announced planned addition of a 324,000-square-foot, 17-story office building to be building on part of the former Brackenridge hospital campus. Dell Medical School offices will occupy most, but not all, of the Gensler-designed project, for which groundbreaking is expected to take place soon.

Planned Brackenridge campus tower
Gensler

Symphony Square building

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This potentially large project, which has been much discussed but little illustrated in the from of public documents, would take up 1.7 acres bordered or partially bordered by East 11th and East 12th streets, Red River Street, and Sabine Street. It would not encompass the historic Symphony Square complex—but it would surround and hover over it. Being developed by Greystar, the 30-story mixed-use tower would include 385 apartments, 129,484 square feet of office space, 54,237 square feet of co-living space, and 9,930 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The rendering here is from a publicly available site plan filed with the city.

Symphony Square building site plan
Via City of Austin

The Huston

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The building under construction on most of the block between East 11th and 12th streets on the northbound IH-35 frontage road might not be downtown—but it’s certainly where downtown (having been beaten back by neighborhood associations all but its eastern flanks) is headed. It’s also unclear if the tower is still to be called the Huston, after the historically black university that once occupied the site, but the planned 15-story residential project is well underway.

The Huston
DGA

Alexan Capitol

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The former Texas Trucking Association site is becoming a 20-story, multiuse building with 270 residential units, a rooftop pool and club, 11,600 square feet of office space, and a parking garage. Dallas-based GDA Architects is the designer; Trammell Crow Residential is the developer and the general contractor.

Drawing of a tall, rectangular tower with apartment balconies covering long walls on both sides. It sits atop a shorter, squarer structure.
Alexan Capitol rendering
Via BuzzBuzz Home

The Avenue Hyatt Centric Hotel

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A car-free apartment building called simply the Avenue was the first plan out of the gate for the building at Congress Avenue, but that has since morphed into a 30-story hotel from McWhinney, a Colorado-based real estate investor and developer McWhinney. Located as it is, adjacent to the State and Paramount theaters, the tower will have recessed facades with windows that will purportedly evoke stage curtains. Designed by Nelsen Partners, the hotel will have 246 guest rooms and multiple food and drink options.

A tall glass and concrete building with lower floors jutting out to front a downtown street in front. It’s on a block lined with shorter old and new buildings.
Rendering of the Avenue—Hyatt Centric
Via Nelsen Partners

Masonic Lodge tower

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A proposed addition to the Masonic lodge at 311 West Seventh Street, a Beaux Arts structure built in 1926 and landmarked in 2000, the new tower could rise up to 30 stories. Local historic architectural specialists Clayton & Little, Rhode Partners, DCI Engineers, and Stone Development Group are heading up plans, which have been approved by the city Historic Landmark Commission but still need to finish making their way through the city development process.

An architect’s rendering of a tall, narrow, contemporary tower. At the bottom is a two-story, older brick structure. There are other, somewhat tall buildings surrounding it. Via City of Austin website (DCI/Clayton & Little/Rhode Partners/Stone)

6 X Guadalupe

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In the ongoing race to the top of Austin’s tallest-building list, 6X looks to be going for gold, with a planned 66 stories. Plans are to fill all that space—with design by Gensler and development by Lincoln Properties and with 589,661 square feet of office space, 11,675 square feet of retail space, and 349 apartments.

Rendering of downtown Austin looking north with a very tall tower in the foreground
6 X Guadalupe rendering
Courtesy of Gensler

Indeed tower

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The 36-story tower planned for the corner of Sixth and Lavaca streets is necessarily kind of interesting, as it must incorporate the historic Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall, built in 1914. Restaurants are slated to occupy that space, while Indeed will rent the top 10 floors of the office building, one of many being designed by Page.

Block 71/Indeed tower
Page

311 and 321 West 6th Street

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If all goes as planned (and no taller building crops up before its completion), the tower at the corner of West Sixth and Guadalupe streets will be, at 770 feet in height, Austin’s second tallest. Designed by Page architecture firm and civil design firm Kimley-Horn, the mixed-use, 530,371-square-foot building will rise 60 stories and include 120,000 square feet of offices space, 363 apartments, an amenities deck, parking, and retail. Ryan Companies is partnering with banking company BBVA USA, which currently operates a branch on one of the properties, to develop the project.

Block 87 tower

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The 1.75-acre Block 87 site, located next to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless and until recently owned by St. David’s Episcopal Church, has been to some degree slated for development for a while. Cielo Property Group, which bought the property from the church early this year, has submitted plans for a 31-story, mixed-use tower at the site. If the city gives the thumbs up and all goes as planned, the building will break ground in 2020 and when completed will contain 325,300 square feet of office space, 360 apartments, 15,700 square feet of retail space, and 12,000 square feet of restaurant space.

A large building in Austin, Texas. Courtesy of Gensler

Hanover Republic Square

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The area around Republic Square is transitioning rapidly from a warehouse district to another mixed-use high-rise cluster of downtown. The Hanover Republic Square building is still early in the planning stage, but ambitions are for a 44-story tower with 310 apartments, nine floors of parking, and ground-floor restaturant, and retail space, topped off by two amenity levels for residents. Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz is the architect for the project.

Hanover Republic Square
Via Hanover

The Republic

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Potentially a located on what is now a surface-parking lot across from Republic Square, the Republic would be built on Travis County land meant to be the site of a new courthouse until a 2015 bond vote to secure its funding failed. Developers Lincoln Property and Phoenix Property have a 99-year, $430 million lease on the property, The Republic would contain 711,401 square feet of office space and 21,463 square feet of retail. At a proposed 37 feet in height, it could push its way close to the top of the list of Austin’s tallest buildings.

Photo illustration of a pyramidal, glass tower from above on a city block a few blocks from a river.
The Republic as currently proposed
Via The City of Austin website

405 Colorado

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The eponymous building is currently planned to have a Duda/Paine design that will be, if nothing else, more interesting than many downtown buildings—and at least as distinctive as the Frost Bank Tower, designed by the same firm. Developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, the 25-story tower is currently under construction, with JE Dunn the contractor. It’s planned to have 210,000 square feet of office space, 530 parking spaces, and 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

405 Colorado

Google building

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The 35-story building under construction on downtown’s Block 185 isn’t owned by Google, but the company has already leased all 793,883 square feet of it, enough for about 5,000 workers. The building’s architect is internationally renowned firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, joined by local firms STG Design and Campbell Landscape Architecture. The developer is Trammell Crow.

Rendering of downtown Austin from pov of south side of lake with sail-shaped tower in foreground on lakeside
Rendering of the Austin Google building
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / STG Design (Steelblue)

201 East Third Street

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The 44-floor, 306-unit apartment building is planned for the corner of East Third and Brazos streets. It’s being developed by the Houston-based Hanover Company and designed by international firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (the same combo bringing Austin a tower at Republic Square) and will incorporate the turn-of-the-20th-century brick warehouse that occupies the site—or at least the look of the brick warehouse; it might rebuild the already compromised structure or facade, which was remodeled in 2000 for advertising company McGarrah Jessee. There are also plans for a large, ground-floor restaurant in the building.

201 East Third Street rendering
Hanover Company/Solomon Cordwell Buenz

The Quincy

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Designed by Houston-based Ziegler Cooper Architects, the 30-story, mixed-use Quincy will be the first building in the Rainey Street area to feature a substantial amount of office space—77,540 square feet of it, to be exact. There will also be 347 apartments and 10,360 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Drawing of a new, concrete and glass multiuse tower
Drawing of the Quincy
Ziegler Cooper Architects courtesy of Endeavor Real Estate Group

The Travis

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The two-tower, mixed-use development planned for the former site of the Villas on Town Lake will devote one to apartments and the other to condos, a hotel, and a street-level coffee shop. It looks to be a heavily Dallas-based affair, with developer Genesis Real Estate Group, Studio Outside Landscape Architecture, and GDA Architects, all based in Big D, on the development team.

The Travis
Via GDA

90-92 Rainey Street

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The planned 51-story building on Rainey is a local affair, designed by Nelsen Partners, with DWG the landscape architect and Urbanspace founder Kevin Burns the developer. The tower will contain apartments as well as a hotel and is slated to be built on the current sites of Container Bar and Bungalow are currently located at the site.

90-92 Rainey
Nelsen Partners/Urbanspace

Natiivo

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The Natiivo project in the Rainey Street district, which broke ground this summer, will be 33-story building with 249 residential units, all with full amenities, furniture, and hotel licensing. The last one on that list necessary because the building will AirBnB-”powered,” meaning condo owners can rent out their spaces and split the profits with management. Austin-based STG Design will be architect on the project, and New York-based INC Architecture and Design will be responsible for interiors. The developers are Newgard Development Group and Pearlstone Partners.

Drawing of a hotel tower
Natiivo
STG Design courtesy of Natiivo Austin

44 East

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The Rainey Street district will see the influx of more condos with 44 Rainey, the 49-story tower planned at its eponymous address. Designed by Page, it will have one- to four-bedroom units. Michael Hsu Office of Architecture designed the common areas and amenity floor of the building, and DWG is in charge of landscape design. The developer is Canadian company Intracorp Projects.

Via Page

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17th and Guadalupe Street

Street level of proposed 17th and Guadalupe building
Rhode

Planned for a corner of the north end of downtown, where it starts blending with UT and ancillary service/hospitality businesses (and a new courthouse in the works), the proposed 28-story condo tower would hold 117 condos and ground-floor retail. Rhode Partners designed the tower, which is being developed by New York’s Reger Holdings.

Street level of proposed 17th and Guadalupe building
Rhode

Brackenridge campus tower

Planned Brackenridge campus tower
Gensler

UT’s expansion to the southeast takes place alongside the Waterloo Park renovation with the recently announced planned addition of a 324,000-square-foot, 17-story office building to be building on part of the former Brackenridge hospital campus. Dell Medical School offices will occupy most, but not all, of the Gensler-designed project, for which groundbreaking is expected to take place soon.

Planned Brackenridge campus tower
Gensler

Symphony Square building

Symphony Square building site plan
Via City of Austin

This potentially large project, which has been much discussed but little illustrated in the from of public documents, would take up 1.7 acres bordered or partially bordered by East 11th and East 12th streets, Red River Street, and Sabine Street. It would not encompass the historic Symphony Square complex—but it would surround and hover over it. Being developed by Greystar, the 30-story mixed-use tower would include 385 apartments, 129,484 square feet of office space, 54,237 square feet of co-living space, and 9,930 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The rendering here is from a publicly available site plan filed with the city.

Symphony Square building site plan
Via City of Austin

The Huston

The Huston
DGA

The building under construction on most of the block between East 11th and 12th streets on the northbound IH-35 frontage road might not be downtown—but it’s certainly where downtown (having been beaten back by neighborhood associations all but its eastern flanks) is headed. It’s also unclear if the tower is still to be called the Huston, after the historically black university that once occupied the site, but the planned 15-story residential project is well underway.

The Huston
DGA

Alexan Capitol

Drawing of a tall, rectangular tower with apartment balconies covering long walls on both sides. It sits atop a shorter, squarer structure.
Alexan Capitol rendering
Via BuzzBuzz Home

The former Texas Trucking Association site is becoming a 20-story, multiuse building with 270 residential units, a rooftop pool and club, 11,600 square feet of office space, and a parking garage. Dallas-based GDA Architects is the designer; Trammell Crow Residential is the developer and the general contractor.

Drawing of a tall, rectangular tower with apartment balconies covering long walls on both sides. It sits atop a shorter, squarer structure.
Alexan Capitol rendering
Via BuzzBuzz Home

The Avenue Hyatt Centric Hotel

A tall glass and concrete building with lower floors jutting out to front a downtown street in front. It’s on a block lined with shorter old and new buildings.
Rendering of the Avenue—Hyatt Centric
Via Nelsen Partners

A car-free apartment building called simply the Avenue was the first plan out of the gate for the building at Congress Avenue, but that has since morphed into a 30-story hotel from McWhinney, a Colorado-based real estate investor and developer McWhinney. Located as it is, adjacent to the State and Paramount theaters, the tower will have recessed facades with windows that will purportedly evoke stage curtains. Designed by Nelsen Partners, the hotel will have 246 guest rooms and multiple food and drink options.

A tall glass and concrete building with lower floors jutting out to front a downtown street in front. It’s on a block lined with shorter old and new buildings.
Rendering of the Avenue—Hyatt Centric
Via Nelsen Partners

Masonic Lodge tower

An architect’s rendering of a tall, narrow, contemporary tower. At the bottom is a two-story, older brick structure. There are other, somewhat tall buildings surrounding it. Via City of Austin website (DCI/Clayton & Little/Rhode Partners/Stone)

A proposed addition to the Masonic lodge at 311 West Seventh Street, a Beaux Arts structure built in 1926 and landmarked in 2000, the new tower could rise up to 30 stories. Local historic architectural specialists Clayton & Little, Rhode Partners, DCI Engineers, and Stone Development Group are heading up plans, which have been approved by the city Historic Landmark Commission but still need to finish making their way through the city development process.

An architect’s rendering of a tall, narrow, contemporary tower. At the bottom is a two-story, older brick structure. There are other, somewhat tall buildings surrounding it. Via City of Austin website (DCI/Clayton & Little/Rhode Partners/Stone)

6 X Guadalupe

Rendering of downtown Austin looking north with a very tall tower in the foreground
6 X Guadalupe rendering
Courtesy of Gensler

In the ongoing race to the top of Austin’s tallest-building list, 6X looks to be going for gold, with a planned 66 stories. Plans are to fill all that space—with design by Gensler and development by Lincoln Properties and with 589,661 square feet of office space, 11,675 square feet of retail space, and 349 apartments.

Rendering of downtown Austin looking north with a very tall tower in the foreground
6 X Guadalupe rendering
Courtesy of Gensler

Indeed tower

Block 71/Indeed tower
Page

The 36-story tower planned for the corner of Sixth and Lavaca streets is necessarily kind of interesting, as it must incorporate the historic Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall, built in 1914. Restaurants are slated to occupy that space, while Indeed will rent the top 10 floors of the office building, one of many being designed by Page.

Block 71/Indeed tower
Page

311 and 321 West 6th Street

If all goes as planned (and no taller building crops up before its completion), the tower at the corner of West Sixth and Guadalupe streets will be, at 770 feet in height, Austin’s second tallest. Designed by Page architecture firm and civil design firm Kimley-Horn, the mixed-use, 530,371-square-foot building will rise 60 stories and include 120,000 square feet of offices space, 363 apartments, an amenities deck, parking, and retail. Ryan Companies is partnering with banking company BBVA USA, which currently operates a branch on one of the properties, to develop the project.

Block 87 tower

A large building in Austin, Texas. Courtesy of Gensler

The 1.75-acre Block 87 site, located next to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless and until recently owned by St. David’s Episcopal Church, has been to some degree slated for development for a while. Cielo Property Group, which bought the property from the church early this year, has submitted plans for a 31-story, mixed-use tower at the site. If the city gives the thumbs up and all goes as planned, the building will break ground in 2020 and when completed will contain 325,300 square feet of office space, 360 apartments, 15,700 square feet of retail space, and 12,000 square feet of restaurant space.

A large building in Austin, Texas. Courtesy of Gensler

Hanover Republic Square

Hanover Republic Square
Via Hanover

The area around Republic Square is transitioning rapidly from a warehouse district to another mixed-use high-rise cluster of downtown. The Hanover Republic Square building is still early in the planning stage, but ambitions are for a 44-story tower with 310 apartments, nine floors of parking, and ground-floor restaturant, and retail space, topped off by two amenity levels for residents. Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz is the architect for the project.

Hanover Republic Square
Via Hanover

The Republic

Photo illustration of a pyramidal, glass tower from above on a city block a few blocks from a river.
The Republic as currently proposed
Via The City of Austin website

Potentially a located on what is now a surface-parking lot across from Republic Square, the Republic would be built on Travis County land meant to be the site of a new courthouse until a 2015 bond vote to secure its funding failed. Developers Lincoln Property and Phoenix Property have a 99-year, $430 million lease on the property, The Republic would contain 711,401 square feet of office space and 21,463 square feet of retail. At a proposed 37 feet in height, it could push its way close to the top of the list of Austin’s tallest buildings.