Years after our earliest news of the project and mere months after the first look at what we can confidently call downtown Austin’s bluest new building, the development at Symphony Square formerly also known as Symphony Square but now calling at least its residential tower side the Waller is officially under construction at the southeast corner of East 12th and Red River Streets.
To review, this two-building complex will transform a land assembly previously home to the Austin Symphony Orchestra offices at 1117 Red River Street, and a Velocity Credit Union and its garage facing Sabine Street at 610 East 11th Street, with both buildings now demolished leaving behind a roughly 1.7-acre tract.
The project, by national multifamily developers Greystar, contains a 32-story mixed-use residential tower alongside a connected seven-level office building, providing a grand total of 388 apartment units, 5,000 square feet of retail, and an unknown quantity of office space, though we know it includes a new office (and street-level box office) for the Austin Symphony Orchestra that previously occupied the site. In addition to its designers at R2L Architects, the project will feature interior design from acclaimed locals Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, along with landscape architecture from TBG Partners.
Even with the appearance of a crane last week, the project has technically been under construction for nearly a month now, with excavation and other site prep taking place here after the demolition of the old Austin Symphony office building atop the 1117 Red River Street property back in April — but with a tower crane now raised over the site, there’s now a visible reminder all across town that the Waller’s on its way, along with whatever name they end up using for the office half. How about “The Creek?”
The development impact of the pandemic makes this milestone more significant — there’s plenty of tower cranes visible on the skyline right now at projects like 6 X Guadalupe and Block 185, but these projects broke ground prior to the cancellation of SXSW 2020 in early March that to us marks the unofficial kickoff of the pandemic’s effect on our local economy. With only the Hanover Brazos Street and Vesper condo tower projects on the board next to the Waller as the first towers to break ground after that, the crane over Symphony Square is one of the first added to the skyline in over a year.