Soon-to-be tallest building in Austin nears completion

- The tallest structure in Austin is inching closer to completion. Next month the condo tower, The Independent, will reach its peak height of 685-feet.

It's set to open next year. It's 58 stories high with 363 units. The idea was for it not only to be tall but unique. They made that happen with the shape of the building.

"Shifting them a little bit in, a little bit out," says Ryan Fetgatter, project developer, Aspen Heights.

The tiered condo building will soon be the tallest in Austin. That alone is impressive but there's more, it will also be the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi River. 

"By nature of the design, it happened organically. We wanted a slender, kind of modern, sleek design and that forced the building upwards. Of course it allowed us to take advantage of great views," says Fetgatter. 

You'll find The Independent downtown on the northeast corner of West 3rd Street and West Avenue. Austin developer Constructive Ventures entered into a master development agreement with the City of Austin back in 2010. Aspen Heights was then brought on as a development partner. Site work on The Independent began five years later. 

"This really unique retail space overlooking the creek," says Fetgatter. 

Next month it will reach its peak height of 685 feet, two feet taller than the now tallest building - The Austonian. The Independent has 363 units. One bedrooms, which started in the $400,000s, are already sold out. Others floor plans are still available. Amenities include a fitness center, pool, club room and business center. They wanted to design a building fit for everyone.

"We were thinking about people with dogs, so we have an indoor/outdoor dog lounge...kind of a rooftop play area outside on the parking garage, and for kids as well. With the adjacency to the library and all the grocery stores and the parks, we felt like we had a chance to bring families back downtown. We designed an indoor playroom, also with an outdoor playground," says Fetgatter. 

As Austin continues to grow, so has its downtown, especially the eastern part. Google is now there and Facebook offices are under construction. 

"People want to be in an environment where they can walk to entertainment, walk to work and take advantage of what an urban center has to offer. Obviously being close to amenities like a new library, that is state of the art, is just a tremendous asset," says Dewitt Peart, CEO, Downtown Austin Alliance. 
Even more growth is expected. 

"We know currently there are 60 million square-feet space downtown, that's all product types. We're looking to the future and basically have the ability to double the size of downtown," says Peart. 

The project will contribute $2.5 million to the City of Austins Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Plus, another $1 million with go toward city infrastructure, public plaza and trail improvements.

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