If developer Intracorp successfully brings its 51-story tower to life at 44 East Avenue, our definition of height on this side of downtown will change forever.
Like we’ve mentioned before, this 330-unit Austin condo tower plan isn’t just tall for the Rainey Street District, it’s tall by the whole city’s standards — and along with plenty of other nearby projects in various parts of the pipeline, it’s really going to give this side of downtown an impressive skyline all its own.
Thankfully, it’s not just tall, but kind of a looker as well, thanks to the architects at Page. Intracorp, though well-established in Austin by now, is originally a Vancouver developer, and there’s a specific style of thin, glassy residential tower that increasingly dominates that city’s skyline. Needless to say, 44 East Avenue is a dead ringer for that look.
Like most new towers in Austin, it’s sitting on top of a parking garage — this one contains 500 parking spaces, which is a lot of parking spaces — and that’s a slightly frustrating architectural trend driven by its lower cost compared to digging down for a buried parking structure.
Still, what’s nice about this building is that the parking podium isn’t incredibly huge — it’s only slightly larger than the tower itself, meaning the whole package looks less like someone decided to stick a building on top of their new parking garage, just for fun. (Sometimes that’s literally what it looks like.) In addition to its reasonable footprint, you can see from the renderings above that the parking section is fairly nicely masked by some green wall installations and other ornamentation.
It’s easy to get annoyed that almost every single new building in Austin has to dedicate its first few floors — you know, the ones near the ground where the people are — to a use that isn’t very appealing to anyone, arguably even for the drivers who want to park there. But I like to remind myself that 99 percent of people who look at these buildings don’t care, or even think about it much at all. As a huge skyscraper dork, I think they should think about it, but you can’t win ’em all, and I’m still glad this tower’s happening regardless.
Speaking of dorks, if you’re still reading this after three paragraphs of tedious parking garage criticism, I’ve got a little reward for you. We’ve only seen two renderings of the 44 East Avenue tower so far, and while renderings are awesome and cool, they don’t always give us the best or most accurate impression of a building’s architecture — they’re only offering a view of a given building from one perspective, with some parts less emphasized than others based on viewing angle and lighting and whatnot.
Keeping that in mind, thanks to a new site plan filed with the city, we’ve got our first look at architectural elevations of the tower, which provide an exactingly illustrated view of the entire building from top to bottom. These are in very high resolution, so click each image for a stupid-huge size with all the details intact:
It might not get your motor running, but I’ll take any new view of this thing I can get. The building should break ground in spring 2020, with delivery expected in the fall of 2022 — and I think I’ll probably stay hyped about it that whole time.