Austin-based real estate development firm Wilson Capital announced this morning that its redevelopment of the Avenue Lofts site will be significantly larger than previously reported. The multifamily residential building planned for the 0.8-acre property at 410 East Fifth Street, now known as Wilson Tower, is set to rise 80 floors to a total height of 1,035 feet — and yes, that would make the project the new tallest tower in Texas upon completion, exceeding the height of the Waterline supertall project currently under construction a few blocks away by 13 feet.
“We are proud to be part of the redevelopment of East 5th Street — being a native Austinite, it has been a journey to watch the evolution of the city over the last decade. We believe it is important to add intentionally designed density along the city’s transit corridors to accommodate the unprecedented level of population growth Austin is experiencing. We are passionate about making a meaningful contribution to the city we call home.”
— Taylor Wilson, Wilson Capital
Wilson Tower is described by its developer as a signature 450-unit apartment building with residences ranging from studios to three and four-bedroom penthouses. Designed by the Austin office of global architecture firm HKS Inc., the building’s impressive height is matched by a remarkable appearance — its signature design feature is a brise soleil, or shade structure, wrapping the tower’s entire glass exterior on the eastern and western elevations. It’s one of our favorite architectural touches on many midcentury buildings including the nearby Cambridge Tower, and seeing this sort of design updated for a modern tower is a welcome addition to the Austin skyline:
“Our vision for Wilson Tower is to set a new bar in skyscraper residences for Austin that we believe will foster creativity and social connection. Along with welcoming outdoor terraces and gardens, the tower itself is wrapped in a brise soleil that offers protection from the hot Texas sun and wind while also providing structural strength. This brise soleil gives the building uniquely shaded and comfortable outdoor living spaces on every level.”
— Brad Wilkins, Principal and Design Director, HKS Austin
It’s up for debate, but the building’s curved crown created by the brise soleil reminds us of the nearby Pennybacker Bridge. Sharp readers may note that the structure’s impressively thin profile is partially due to the setbacks imposed by the Downtown Parks Overlay due to the presence of Brush Square directly south of the project site — we weren’t sure how the redevelopment of Avenue Lofts would respond to this little-known regulation, but the building’s sharp look is a pleasant side effect.
As the city’s tallest apartment building upon completion, alongside its unobstructed (and presumably well-shaded) views Wilson Tower is set to offer four floors of resident amenities including a pool deck, movie theater, and cocktail lounge. The building also plans an entire floor dedicated to pets, including grooming services, a playroom, and dog run. The tower’s ground-level streetscape contains a signature restaurant and bar space, plus valet parking for residents.
Along with its designers at HKS, the project’s development team includes interior designers Britt Design Group, civil engineers Kimley-Horn, and landscape architects Nudge Design. The building is expected to break ground by summer 2023. Did you really think downtown Austin had run out of surprises?