Construction continues at The Independent, a 58-story condo tower in Austin, Texas, that, when completed in 2018, will be the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi River.
The project’s developer, Austin-based Aspen Heights Partners, got its start in 2006 and focused solely on student housing projects in its formative years, including its first three at major universities in Texas—Baylor twice and Texas A&M. But the company has since entered the traditional multifamily space and recently completed a 330-unit building in south Austin, with another, 220-unit high-rise in downtown Austin under construction.
The Independent will feature 370 condo units and, as Aspen Heights CEO Greg Henry told Multifamily Executive earlier this year, the building will have “the best” amenities in the city, including a 34th-floor outdoor area, wine bar, gym, and movie theater. The tower itself will have a staggered design (see photo above) with large windows on every floor. More than 55% of its units have been leased up so far.
Although the building will soon be the tallest in the city, that wasn’t Henry’s original plan.
Here’s some of what he told MFE earlier this year:
Austin’s zoning codes are unique and intensive, Henry says, but the land where The Independent is being built is outside those parameters. Since Aspen wanted around 400 units, 10-foot ceilings, and large floor plans, the blueprints for the project came organically, he says. In fact, there was talk of building taller. “We could’ve gone higher than we did,” he says, “but we didn’t want to put too many more units on.”
There was some uneasiness from Austin residents about constructing a 58-story building, Henry says, but the feedback has been mostly positive. “Austin is a very paradoxical city,” he says. “It’s got lots of different cultures, and so, we felt like, and have seen, that this building, with its unique design, really makes sense for the city. I was very pleased with how well it was accepted.”