It’s technically a new year, but can you really tell? Just as we struggled for most of 2020 with a virus named after 2019, the specter of 2020 still looms large over 2021 — and it’s going to take a while before that feeling of being unstuck from time goes away. One place time hasn’t stopped is downtown Austin, however, with significant progress apparent on many of the tower projects we follow in the central city. Though almost nothing new has broken ground since the start of the pandemic, the ones we already have are looking better than ever. Let’s take a stroll downtown and see a few:
With its impressive crown now covered with glass like the rest of the 36-story office structure, Indeed Tower is looking pretty much finished on its exterior — there’s still plenty of work to be done by the folks at DPR Construction before its expected opening sometime this year, but its developers at Trammell Crow Company and local architects Page have already delivered a fabulous addition to Austin’s skyline.
44 East Avenue
You’ll find big progress on another Page-designed project at 44 East Avenue, with the 49-floor condo tower by the local developers at Intracorp gaining levels quick now that it’s risen past the structure’s parking podium. If you want to see an unusually in-depth look at this tower’s conception from construction firm Flintco, we recommend you check out the Beyond the Fence documentary series on this very site.
The 29-floor Alexan Waterloo apartment tower by Trammell Crow Residential and Dallas architects GDA looks topped out and ready for the finishing touches of its charming brick exterior. Though we’ve known about this project for years, it still cuts a surprising new figure on the skyline as you approach downtown from the north or east — after all, it’s the tallest addition this side of downtown has seen in a while.
Hyatt Centric Congress Avenue
Even though we miss this tower’s previous life as a zero-parking residential tower, the 31-floor Hyatt Centric hotel headed for 721 Congress Avenue has retained its charmingly narrow design from local architects Nelsen Partners. Now the project of Denver-based developers McWhinney with high-tech (and high-debt) construction firm Katerra serving as general contractor, the tower has started making some real progress at the corner of Congress Avenue and East 8th Street — and with the handy webcam we’ve embedded above, you can watch it go up live.
Block 185 / Google Tower
Another Trammell Crow Company tower is well on its way at Block 185, with Google’s future office space and sail-shaped skyline statement piece from the architecture firm of the late César Pelli reaching for its final 35 floors with a lot of curves along the way. A decent amount of exterior glass curtain wall is already hung on the southern face of the structure, and you’ll get the best view of its ever-increasing progress from across Lady Bird Lake somewhere like Doug Sahm Hill. As always, special thanks to our friend Patrick Wong for nailing the above shots of its recent progress.
Travis County Courthouse
Well on its way in downtown’s ever-growing northwest corner at West 18th and Guadalupe Streets, the 13-floor civil and family courts facility for Travis County is a fairly imposing building, which kind of makes sense for a courthouse. It might not be the most subtle project in town, but being bomb-resistant never really is.