If you’re anything like us, you may have noticed on your traipses through downtown lately that the 45-story Hanover Republic Square apartment tower at the corner of West Fifth and Lavaca Streets is looking pretty much done. Heck, it’s so new that the project is still under construction in its Google Street View taken earlier this year:
While it’s sometimes hard to tell from the outside whether the interior finish-out of a new tower is complete, we have a better idea than usual thanks to the folks at the project’s developer the Hanover Company — according to the firm, the building is officially open this month at 305 West Fifth Street, with almost 25 percent of the building’s 310 apartment units already leased. Though the arrival of the pandemic kinda messed with our mental timelines, you may recall that this tower didn’t really kick off construction until January 2020, topped out at its full height of 516 feet by the end of summer 2021, and is now fully complete a year later.
The really remarkable thing about Hanover Republic Square’s creation is how regular this whole song and dance is to everyone living in Austin now — the tower, in case you didn’t know, is one foot taller than the nearby Frost Bank Tower, which garnered a whole mess of attention when it went up back in the early 2000s. These days, we’re showing up a little late to the party essentially announcing this tower’s grand opening because nobody else bothered to mention it yet.
That tells you something about the public’s current expectations for development in downtown, with the arrival of new buildings only attracting outsized attention when the tower itself is setting new records for height, or perhaps taking some wild architectural risks like the skyline-defining Block 185. The Hanover tower, on the other hand, is just a nice place for people to live — and downtown could use many more buildings just like this, with its comparatively small quarter-block footprint ideal for filling out underutilized space and our all-too-common surface parking lots. With a very similar tower from the same developers currently underway at Hanover Brazos Street, we’re happy to see this type of building becoming the new normal downtown.