The Independent Tower aims to capture Austin, Texas’ creative energy in one of the country’s tallest towers.
With a design that brings to mind New York City or Chicago skyscrapers, The Independent Tower under development in Austin, Texas, provides a picture of Austin’s bold lifestyle in a booming section of the city.
The 58-story structure with a unique, cantilevered, glass exterior and 370 units is being developed through a joint venture between Constructive Ventures Inc., Aspen Heights and CIM Group.
At 685 feet tall, it will be the tallest structure in Austin and the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi River.
The goal, Aspen Heights CEO Greg Henry says, is to create a statement that embodies the exhilarating energy of Austin residents.
“The design is part of that,” he says. “What’s interesting is that the tallest residence is going to be in Austin – not Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle, even though Austin is not a pretentious culture. It’s very creative and entrepreneurial and artistic. It’s a little bit of a paradox that this tall of a building is in a diverse, artistic university town.
“But Austin itself is a paradox,” he adds. “You have tech people, university scholars. It’s an artistic, craft-beer-and-coffee-shoptype persona – in the middle of Texas. It is the kind of town that accepts creative and different types of design. Overall, I think Austin is going to appreciate this new, fresh look that you wouldn’t expect to find in Texas.”
The Right Background
The developers have the know-how to make the project a reality with plenty of similar work in major metropolitan areas as part of their portfolio. Aspen’s financial partners, for example, are delivering 432 Park Avenue, a luxury apartment development in New York City that will be the tallest residential structure in the Western Hemisphere.
“The experience behind us is substantial,” Henry says. “The key to the design is that it’s very efficient – one core all the way up – even though its offset and cantilevered. That allows an ability to price for the value we’re providing.”
The tower will feature over 20,000 square feet – two full floors – of high-end amenities meant to appeal to a broad range of residents:
• A dog park/lounge;
• Children’s playroom/playground;
• An infinity-edge, heated pool overlooking two waterways: Lady Bird Lake & Shoal Creek;
• Fitness/yoga area;
• Club room;
• Sky lounge;
• Guest suites;
• Theater; and
• Business center with conference rooms.
“We wanted to provide the best amenities in the city,” Henry says. “We think we’ve done it. Because we’re 370 units, we wanted a lot of amenity space, but also different types of space – for families, young professionals and empty nesters.”
Some of the more distinct areas are those that accommodate family and family pets.
“Austin is a huge pet-lover community,” Henry says. “Most people have dogs. The ninth floor is a really fun hangout with an amazing pool, and then on the other side of the building is a dog park and children’s playground and indoor child area. We really wanted to provide every cross section to people who would want to live there.” A top-quality fitness center will be situated on the 33rd floor with breathtaking, westward views of the city.
The movie theater also can function as a business center. Residents can simply close a blind to offer presentations. Or, they can choose to work in a separate conference center designed for business meetings. On the 34th floor is a coffee or wine area in a landscaped lounge setting.
“Residents can sit by a fire pit, have a glass of wine and relax,” Henry says. “It’s the best of all worlds. Then the best part is you walk out the front door and take advantage of the hike-and-bike trail, shop at Whole Foods Market, or enjoy the night life.”
That balance between areas for retreat or respite and areas to enjoy more vibrant, active recreation – and a connection to the city’s ample offerings – is part of the development’s appeal, made possible by its location.
Situated near Lake Austin, residents in The Independent will be able to enjoy trail amenities as well as kayaking or paddle- boarding. The tower also will be within a two-block radius of rapid growth – more than $1.5 billion under development.
“This location, truly, is in the new center of Austin – the highest-end and best downtown center of Austin, the coolest spot to be,” Henry says.
Inside, with one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans, the units focus on making each square foot count, creating a higher value option than its competitors, Henry says.
“There is a big need for what we’re doing,” he says. “We’re not wasting space. The design is very open with a great feel and flow.”
The structure, under the oversight of general contractor Balfour Beatty Construction, also is to achieve LEED Gold, another advantage for the city’s progressive and sustainability minded residents.
Groundbreaking took place in January, and the construction is expected to last approximately three years.
“We see a tremendous demand for what we’re doing,” he says. “It’s also extremely livable, with desirable grocery chains and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.”