Nov 15, 2022 - News

Texas' tallest tower slated for Austin

A rendering of the Wilson Tower, looming over downtown Austin.

A view south with a rendering of the planned Wilson Tower, slated for Fifth and Trinity. To get a sense of how super-tall it'll feel, check out the Frost Bank Tower on the right. Rendering courtesy HKS via Wilson Capital

Austin's super-tower arms race has a new entrant.

Driving the news: Austin-based real estate developer Wilson Capital announced plans Monday for Wilson Tower, an 80-story apartment building at 410 E. Fifth St.

  • At 1,035 feet, it will be the tallest tower in Texas upon completion, per Austin Towers — besting the Waterline, under construction on Red River Street, by a baker's dozen.

Why it matters: Austin is the new Gotham.

  • Once upon a time — circa 1890 — the Capitol building towered over Austin's low-slung saloons and mule-drawn trolleys running up and down muddy ruts. Now, it's dwarfed by gleaming towers of glass and steel, with Teslas whizzing about.

What they're saying: "We believe it is important to add intentionally designed density along the city's transit corridors to accommodate the unprecedented level of population growth Austin is experiencing," Taylor Wilson, founder and president of Wilson Capital, said in a statement.

Details: The 450 units will lease at market rate and the tower will include a pool deck and movie theater.

  • Units will range from 471 to 3,768 square feet, and the building will have eight floors of parking, per a company spokesperson.
  • The current average rental rate downtown is $3,200 a month for a 935-square-foot unit, real estate consultant Charles Heimsath of Capitol Market Research tells Axios.
  • Designed by HKS Austin, the building will be sheathed in a brise soleil — a sun-shading structure — to provide protection from the hot Texas sun.

Sign of the times: A floor will be dedicated to pets with a pet playroom, grooming center and dog run.

Reality check: The building may not break ground for at least six months, Heimsath said, given the permitting process — with the actual opening likely years away.

The bottom line: Even during a turbulent economic moment nationally — with tech firms key to Central Texas' growth battening down the hatches — builders continue to bet big on Austin.


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