Here’s a bold prediction for you — we’re going to get more residential towers in downtown Austin. When you follow this stuff, sometimes you come across buildings in the early stages of development that aren’t even far enough along in their design process for plans to exist, and those are the hard ones to write about, since everyone wants to know what the building’s going to look like first and foremost.
Still, we like to give y’all a peek forward at the city’s future skyline as often as possible, so here’s a roundup of upcoming residential towers downtown in extremely early planning stages. As far as we know, no big announcements have happened for any of these buildings, and we often don’t even know the developers behind them, but we do know their usages — all residential, in this case — as well as how many floors are planned. That means we can estimate, based on the average height of a floor in a residential tower (usually about 11-13 feet, slab to slab), how tall these buildings might be — roughly, at least.
506-508 West Avenue
All we know about this 28-story apartment tower with ground-floor retail comes from filings with the City of Austin, which doesn’t give us much beyond the name West Avenue Apartments and the aforementioned usage and height.
Planned next to Austin City Lofts at 506-508 West Avenue on the site of Frank & Angies Pizzeria and restaurant Irene’s, it’s unknown how this tower’s development will impact the two businesses.
According to chatter at a recent meeting of Austin’s Utility Location Coordination Committee, beloved burger joint Hut’s, which is owned by the same folks as Frank & Angies and located just north of the tower site, isn’t going anywhere — so don’t chain yourself to the door just yet.
The potential apartment tower’s 28 stories means it should be about the same height as the 29-story Monarch building nearby, give or take — and the Fifth & West condos just across the street are 39 stories tall.
91-93 Red River Street (the former site of the “G’raj Mahal Cafe,” now a parking lot)
Based on more city utility filings, we’ve learned of a planned 30-story residential tower with ground-floor retail at 91-93 Red River Street — that’s the vacant lot currently used for parking across from the Hotel Van Zandt, along with a vacant commercial building next door.
The addresses mentioned here are all owned by various corporate entities associated with Endeavor Real Estate Group, the firm behind the Plaza Saltillo development and whatever’s planned at the Statesman site across the river. That’s all we know for now — but 30 stories in the Rainey Street District is nothing to sneeze at!
80 Red River (the “Villas on Town Lake” site)
Dallas developer Genesis Real Estate Group purchased the Villas on Town Lake condos last year at 80 Red River Street, with plans for a 40-story residential tower described as only the first phase, with a second possible tower to come later.
Since we only know the height of the first planned building, that’s the only one we’ve included in our massing above — here’s what the 40-story residential tower at the Villas site would look like next to the 30-story 91-93 Red River Street tower, the combined effect of which would really change the skyline of the Rainey Street District:
Oddly enough, despite there being no indication of demolition planned for the Villas site in the near future, the complex is already seemingly completely abandoned. How long is it going to sit there empty before this tower project gets off the ground? Your guess is as good as mine.
504 East Fifth Street (the “Carmelo’s” site)
When beloved Italian restaurant Carmelo’s closed last year, news indicated the property at 504 East Fifth Street had been sold to Houston multifamily developer Allen Harrison Company, with plans for a residential tower on the site.
More recent updates from the city’s Historic Landmark Commission gave us a better look at what’s in store for the address and its buildings, which lived a former life as the Depot Hotel, originally completed in 1872. The Houston developers, with the help of the architects at Rhode Partners, have designed a 30-story residential tower for the location that integrates the site’s historic structures and accommodates the Capital View Corridor running diagonally through the northeast corner of the address. Since we haven’t gotten any look at the design of the actual tower beyond these renderings, here’s our own massing from a couple of angles:
Since these projects are all in very early stages, there’s not much indication on how long we’ve got to wait before anything breaks ground, or even when we’ll get more information about the design of these towers — but hey, at least now you know!