Demolition finally kicked off this week for the William Gammon Insurance building, a small office structure dating back to the 1980s at the southeast corner of West 17th and Guadalupe Streets in downtown, soon to be cleared from its 0.3-acre site at 313 West 17th Street where New York-based investment firm Reger Holdings plans to break ground on the Linden, a 28-story project that’s particularly notable as the first downtown Austin condo tower developed northwest of the Capitol in decades.
A view of the former Gammon Insurance building, which is currently a pile of rubble and will eventually become the Linden condos if everything goes according to plan.
The Linden will also become the tallest tower in this quadrant of downtown by a lot — at 333 feet, it’s taller than nearby standouts like Westgate Tower, the Dobie Center, the tower of the UT Main Building, and the Capitol dome itself. With design from local architects Rhode Partners, best known as the folks behind the Independent, the project will reportedly contain 117 condo units and 5,000 square feet of ground-level retail, which should compliment the retail inside the 18-floor Hilton Garden Inn that recently opened right next door. (We told you there’s a lot going on around here.)
All signs started pointing to yes for the Linden back in June, when Reger Holdings secured $278.5 million in financing for this project and others in the area, with a demolition permit for the old building filed the same week. Two months later, the teardown is finally here — the site’s not fully cleared yet, but it’s close:
Don’t feel too bad for the Gammon Insurance building — before demolition started this week, the Linden’s developers offered the shuttered office structure to the Austin Fire Department for use as a training facility, offering its personnel the valuable opportunity to practice firefighting drills in a real-world downtown setting:
Once the site’s fully cleared, there’s nothing stopping the Linden from moving forward as one of the first few residential towers to start construction downtown since the start of the pandemic over a year ago — and according to sources connected with the project, the building could officially break ground as soon as next month.