The boom of downtown Austin condo and apartment development in the Rainey Street District had already started by 2010, but the neighborhood really started rising in the last decade — meaning that in 2020, the district is a full-fledged part of the city’s skyline, with multiple buildings on the way that will push its heights even further.
Flickr user Floyd Wilde was nice enough to snap a photo of the Rainey Street area from the Congress Avenue Bridge back in January 2010, meaning all we have to do is go over to the same spot on the bridge, snap a photo, line them up, and marvel at the change 10 years can make — just drag the slider at the bottom of the image below back and forth a couple of times and see the difference for yourself:
In the 2010 photo, you can see the district’s earliest residential arrivals, including the Shore Condominiums, the Milago, and Windsor on the Lake. We’ve annotated all the new buildings that have sprung up since then and appear in the 2020 photo below — you’ll notice that some of them, namely the Fairmont Austin and the Riverview apartments, aren’t even technically within the Rainey Street District:
What’s really crazy about these photos is that they only tell half the story of what’s happening on Rainey Street — if every tower already announced in the district comes to fruition, the 2020 skyline photo above will look completely out of date, nearly as different from the 2020 photo as the 2020 photo is from the 2010 photo. Projects like 44 East Avenue, 90-92 Rainey Street, and the Travis will push the district far beyond the 34-story height of 70 Rainey, currently its tallest building.
As the Rainey Street area grapples with the side effects of its rapid development and the rest of Austin boldly grows into the 2020s, we’re probably going to have to start taking this exact same photo every year. At least we’ve got a good place to stand!