Wilson’s Austin supertall plans cut in half
Wilson Capital’s proposed residential tower will have 45 stories instead of 80
A planned skyscraper that could’ve been Austin’s first supertall will now be fairly tall after the developer cut its plans in half.
Wilson Capital expects to break ground on the Wilson Tower this year, but after the city’s Design Commission rejected its proposal for an 80-story apartment tower in January, which would’ve been the tallest building in Texas at 1,035 feet tall, the firm is moving along with a revised plan, the Austin Business Journal reported.
The Wilson Tower will now rise 45 stories to include 350 units, instead of 450. HKS will lead architectural duties for the project at 410 East 5th Street — currently the site of the five-story apartment building Avenue Lofts.
City officials hailed the building’s design in the January hearing but said it didn’t offer enough public benefit. Wilson Capital offered to pay the city just under $6 million in exchange for not including affordable housing.
“We are making some changes in response to both the Design Commission’s feedback and current market conditions,” Wilson Capital president Taylor Wilson told the outlet. “Construction costs and interest rates are both higher now than they were when we originally designed the project. We believe this new design is more appropriate to provide an activated ground floor while remaining feasible in today’s environment.”
About 54 percent of Austinites rent, according to RentCafe. Developers went into a frenzy to keep up with high demand as waves of new residents moved to the area, but the market has cooled since last summer, and net leasing is down.
Wilson says he is confident in the city’s multifamily sector, and he is betting that new apartment buildings, like Wilson Tower, will accommodate the long-term growth.
“While meaningful levels of supply are currently being delivered, we believe there will be a period from 2025-2027 when new deliveries will be significantly less than usual given the current challenges preventing many new multifamily developments from starting,” Wilson said. “Our goal is to fill that gap with the new projects we are developing as they will be delivering in that time frame.”
Wilson Capital was ranked fifth on the outlet’s list of most active local developers in the city in 2022. The firm now has 1,894 units under construction across the metro with plans to start 885 more by the end of the year, the outlet said.
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