Symphony Square, a mixed-use office and multifamily residential tower planned in the northeast corner of downtown Austin by global development firm Greystar, has bounced around the early stages of realization for several months at this point. The project’s situated atop a roughly 1.7-acre land assembly including the Austin Symphony Orchestra offices at 1117 Red River Street, and the large drive-through Velocity Credit Union and garage facing Sabine Street at 610 East 11th Street, which occupies the whole eastern half of the block between East 11th and 12th Streets. It makes a lot more sense on the map:
As you can see, even telling you where the building’s going is a mouthful, and the complexity of the structure itself was clear the last time we spent a million words trying to describe it without any pictures. We don’t have that problem this time around, with new city documents dated to last month giving us the first decent look at the building, via these illustrations courtesy of its designers R2L Architects:
These documents describe a 31-story mixed-use tower rising 347 feet, which is slightly shorter than previously described but not hugely different either. Due to the change in grade from east to west on the property, you might think of this tower as a sort of split-level job — with entrances facing Red River Street on the west end and Sabine Street on the east, the “ground floors” for each side of the tower are three floors apart from each other, with the Sabine Street lobby on the higher end.
It’s also helpful to think of the project as more of a complex than a single tower — though the building has a common podium and parking garage, the residential tower itself is separate from the office and co-living components, as you can see labeled in the more detailed illustrations below — click for the real big view:
The uses for the building outlined in these recent documents include roughly 129,000 square feet of office space, retail spaces found on the respective Red River and Sabine ground floors, and 385 residential units with sizes ranging from 456-square-foot micro-units to a handful of 3-bedroom setups exceeding 2,000 square feet.
On top of its residential component — almost definitely apartments, considering that’s Greystar’s whole thing — the building includes 78 “co-living” units in a smaller tower on top of the superstructure’s office space and sporting a separate entrance from the residential section of the building (this is all labeled in the very busy illustration above). When all’s said and done, the full building rings up to more than 850,000 square feet in size, or 567,000 square feet not counting its parking garage.
Though the new building surrounds the original Symphony Square on three sides, the development as described here will, according to various labels and notes on its plans, take extreme caution to avoid harming the existing structures at the corner of this block during the construction process. That’s probably extremely reassuring to the folks at the Waterloo Greenway, since the organization renovated the historic Symphony Square space for its new headquarters just last year.
You’ll also notice in the illustrations above that the Austin Symphony Orchestra appears to be getting a new headquarters at the foot of the building — look for the “Symphony Office” label. We’ve lined up an eastward-facing aerial view and westward-facing illustration from the same perspective below, so you can get a better idea of how the finished project will look facing Red River Street — you can see some of the same historic buildings in both images, if that helps you catch your bearings:
If you couldn’t tell from all the illustrations above, Capitol View Corridors passing over the site are one of its major constraints, alongside the location’s nearby historic buildings and considerable change in grade. It’s difficult to tell from the two-dimensional illustrations seen above, but the residential tower component and smaller office/coliving section are designed with careful geometry to just avoid the paths of the corridors while maximizing available space.
We’ll get a better view of this and everything else when 3D renderings finally emerge for the building, but what we’ve seen here gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect when this project kicks off construction, currently targeted for October 2020 — and in this case, it appears all the challenges associated with the site have resulted in a very interesting structure. No art without adversity, as they say. We just have one question — can the developers call this new building something other than “Symphony Square?” It’s starting to get a little confusing over here.