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90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks, I'm the old school Austin rep, I thought I'd pass along some info for you guys. I usually hang out at SSP but I saw recently some replies that bugged me, people not knowing what's going up in Downtown Austin! So, here's the skinny. I saw a reply in an Austin photo thread, someone had asked if there is a height restriction in Austin, well, yes and no. And someone mentioned there's nothing taller than the Capitol, which is 311 feet tall, wrong! There are several more, most notably the Frost Bank Tower at 515 feet. Anyway, here's the info.

Here's that photo thread, courtesy of LSyd, great pics again LS!

maceo9903 said:
yes. its either nothing taller than the capitol building or nothing taller than the UT Tower.
Actually no, we don't have a height restriction. There is no set law to protect the views of the UT Tower. It's sort of an unspoken agreement with developers, the building is a landmark and beautiful structure on the skyline, but there is no set law protecting it from being blocked from any location by another building.

There is a "Capitol View Corridor" which are planned corridors to provide views of the Capitol from certain places in Austin. Outside of that the sky is the limit unless it's immediately near Town Lake, even so developers are breaking that rule also. But the Capitol View Corridor was set up back in the mid-60's and is enforced by the State of Texas, and the City of Austin.

The Capitol View Corridor states that a building can not block the view of the capitol dome from a certain location, like Mount Bonnell or the Lamar Street Bridge. There's actually about 35 designated locations that the law protects. The law doesn't apply to the base of the Capitol, only the dome. The building can be designed in a way that that portion of the building is low enough that it doesn't block the view of the Capitol dome. But just next to the view it can go as high as the developer wants to.

And the old belief that Austin does not have any taller buildings than the Capitol is wrong. First of all, the Texas State Capitol is 311 feet tall it was built in 1888. It's the 5th tallest State Capitol, and is taller than the US Capitol. It was Austin's tallest building from 1888 to 1972. The first building to be taller than the Capitol was the Dobie Center in 1972 which is 367 feet tall with 29 floors. It's the tallest dormitory in Texas. Two other buildings came in the 70s which beat it for height, the Chase Bank Tower in 1974 at 325 feet, and the Bank of America Center in 1975 at 329 feet tall. Today the Capitol is the 10th tallest building in Austin. The UT Tower is a little shorter at 307 feet tall, it's the 12th tallest in Austin. With all the projects that are approved and proposed right now, the solid ones, the Capitol will end up being our 17th tallest by 2009. That is right now if nothing else is proposed and I'm sure there are more on the way. I've heard from a few friends who work with sonsulting firms and with the city who say there are several more big projects on the way. The Spring project for instance plans 3 more towers of similar size, which would mean 3 more 400 footers for Austin.

Even so we have a huge collection of towers on the way. Austin will soon be beating out San Antonio and giving Fort Worth a run for it's money. The city is pushing for having 25,000 residents in downtown before 2010.

Here's what's in the works. I'm the Austin editor at, check that site for more details also.

501 Congress Avenue - 705 feet with 45 floors 350 apartments and condos, 250 hotel rooms. 100,000 square feet of retail. Construction is slated to begin in either 3rd quarter of '06, or 1st quarter of '07. A new 12-story, 1,200 space parking garage will also be built across the street from the tower. Once that is built, the old parking garage across the street will be demolished, and that is where the new tower will rise. The new 12-story garage is supposed to breakground this summer. The image below does NOT show the design. This is merely an "envelope", which is an image to show how large the tower could be. It was originally proposed as a 680 foot tower with 41 floors, and was later increased in size. The image They also added two floors to the plan for the parking garage, see below, the purple box, it'll be 12 floors instead of 10.below shows it at 680 feet.

360 Condominiums - 360 Nueces Street - 580 feet with 44 floors. It's going to have a spire, so it'll likely be around 475 to the roof. Groundwork is currently being done for this project. This will have 430 condominiums and 40,000 square feet of retail. Groundbreaking is for late April of this year, construction will wrap up in late 2007. This one was also increased from height, from 558 feet and 40 floors, to 580 feet and 44 floors. This rendering shows it at 580 feet.

Block 21 Tower - on the block bounded by 2nd and 3rd Streets, Lavaca and Colorado Streets. Plans are set for this thing to breakground in one year exactly. The building will be 402 feet with 32 floors. It will contain a W-Hotel, Austin's first by the way. It will have 225 condos, 125 hotel rooms in 11 floors. It will also have 40,000 square feet of retail and 10,000 square feet of office space. It will also house an auditorium for the PBS tv show, Austin City Limits which will seat 1,000 people. Outside in the 10,000 square foot public plaza facing Austin City Hall will be a 30 foot long jumbo-tron that will broadcast live video of the Austin City Limits show from inside the building. Groundbreaking is set for the 1st quarter of 2007.

Spring - 300 Bowie Street - 400 feet with 36 floors. This will contain 220 condominiums. The tower will rise in Austin's West End and will be the tallest there. This will also have around 40,000 square feet of retail. Groundbreaking is expected in the 1st quarter of 2007. This is actually a rendering of a building in Vancouver, but the architect is the same. The design for Spring will be very similiar to this.

Four Seasons Residences - 98 San Jacinto Boulevard - 35 floors. This tower was originally proposed in 2000, but was put on hold in 2001 after the Tech Bust and of course 9/11. The original plan called for a 320 foot tower with 28 floors. The new building will likely be over 400 feet, probably around 410 feet or so. It will have 35 floors. The project includes 320 units with condos and apartments. The building's residents will enjoy Four Seasons Hotel ammenities, there's an existing adjacent Four Seasons Hotel. Developers want to breakground in the 2nd quarter of 2007. The rendering below shows the original design back in 2000 when it was 320 feet tall with 28 floors. It'll likely be up to 100 feet taller.

101 Colorado - 28 floors - 196 apartments with retail also. This will breakground next month. Here it is on the left, the building on the right, 100 Congress is 320 feet tall, 101 Colorado looks to be maybe 30 feet taller.

The Monarch - 805 West 5th Street - 24 floors, I've also heard as high as 29 floors. I'd guess it's around 300 to 350 feet tall. Another company had previously planned to put a 16-story building here a few years ago, but pulled out of Austin. This tower will have 290 apartments. Demolition is currently taking place for a small building on the site. Construction should start be either the end of April, or early May of this year. This is in Austin's West End, and will be one of the taller buildings there.

The Shore - 602 Davis Street - This is a 22-story tower, it will likely be around 242 feet. It's also supposed to have a twin tower that will have a hotel portion also. This one is supposed to breakground in June of 2006. No big renderings yet, their site does have some small views of it. Go here for the view/rendering.

21 Rio - 220 feet with 18 floors. This is a residential building in Austin's West Campus neighborhood north of downtown. This area is adjacent to the UT Campus. Conceptual renderings.

AMLI II - On the block bounded by 2nd, 3rd, Lavaca and San Antonio Street. This is an 18-story tower with 231 units. Site prep is underway, construction should breakground by the end of the month, or early May.

Gables Park Plaza - 195 foot tower with 15 floors. It will be for condos. And a 10-story apartment tower. There will also be a lot of retail between them and tons of parking for the project, and public.

210 Barton Springs Road - 20 floors - 190 apartments. This should breakground sometime this summer. There's also another nearby tower that is planned by another company that will be 25 floors tall.

There's plenty more in the works also, these are just a few off the top of my head. There's another one The Legacy which will be 30 floors. There are about 30 more projects of varying sizes. Austin is actually entering it's biggest construction boom ever even passing up the one we had during the 80s which basically gave us our skyline. Stay tuned, things are getting better!

612 Posts
FM 2258 said:
You should come back when they're finished with upgrading our highway system.
You mean SH45 and all the other toll roads? Too bad that won't help if I live downtown. Neither Mopac nor IH35 are being upgraded. :p

90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
SMN said:
Who is developing and building all these projects?
Check for details.

Check this thread here for details and info/sizes heights and locations on these projects.

Here's a few more renderings for some of the shorter projects.

Texas Automobile Dealer's Association. 8-story building. This will breakground probably later this year, the major tenant will be the Texas Automobile Dealer's Association.

La Vista on Lavaca 8-story residential/retail/office building near the Capitol. It should breakground later this year.

Texan Tower, 6-story residential building in West Campus, north of downtown. This is under construction.

Unites States Courthouse 7-story, 230,000 square foot federal courthouse. Construction will start in mid to late 2007.

There are so many more projects these are just a few. Check for the rest.
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