Hot on the heels of recent zoning changes allowing taller and denser construction in the North Burnet / Gateway planning area of North Austin, a proposal for twin residential towers in the South End District of the Domain by real estate firm Stonelake Capital Partners is now on track to set a new record for height in the region, according to recent city permits and industry sources familiar with the project.
Containing a combined 608 multifamily residences, the adjacent towers known as “The Benjamin” and “The Hollis” would respectively rise 338 and 425 feet — making the Hollis tower taller than anything currently proposed at the Domain. At 338 feet, the Benjamin tower would be slightly shorter than the Domain Central 1 office tower announced last year, which will reportedly rise to 370 feet. The tallest finished building in the Domain at the moment is Stonelake’s Domain Tower 2, at 308 feet.
The two towers would rise from a 2.39-acre site at 3120 Gracie Kiltz Lane inside the Domain, currently occupied by a parking lot north of IBM Building 45 — a reminder of this area’s previous life, and also set to be redeveloped someday as part of Stonelake’s plans for the Domain South End district. The future Benjamin and Hollis site is surrounded by other recent Stonelake projects including the 19-floor Bowen tower, which currently holds the record for the Domain’s tallest apartment building.
The record-setting 425 foot height of the Hollis plan is made possible by recent city modifications to the region’s zoning, which unlock additional height and density for projects meeting the program’s affordability and community benefit requirements. Industry sources familiar with the Benjamin and Hollis proposal indicate that while the height of the two towers is confirmed, elements of their design are still in flux, particularly near the ground floor — current planning documents show the Benjamin tower containing an approximately 1,500-square-foot retail space at the lobby level.
Alongside Stonelake, the project’s development team includes design from the Houston-based Ziegler Cooper Architects, landscape architecture from local studio dwg., and engineering by firms Pape-Dawson and Wylie Engineering. While a groundbreaking date for the project is unknown, sources indicate the developers are now seeking a site development permit for the two towers, with the plan now in review at the city. Judging by how fast this proposal adapted its scale in response to the city’s relaxation of regional zoning, we’re thinking there’s a lot more height in store for the Domain and its rapidly-expanding surroundings — even if we think calling it Austin’s “Second Downtown” is a little premature, the potential for dense growth this far north is impressive when you remember how things used to look.
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