Two projects proposed as Austin’s tallest towers earn unanimous design approval Monday


Two projects, totaling 1,546 feet in height and 2 million square feet and separated by only two downtown blocks, moved forward Monday night following design approvals.

If the projects earn final approval, they would each eclipse Austin’s current tallest building, The Independent at 801 W. Fifth St., which stands at 685 feet.

The 6th + Guadalupe mixed-use project at 600 Guadalupe St. is proposed to stand as Austin’s tallest tower at just over 837 feet, totaling 1,133,430 square feet. Just two blocks south at 401 W. Fourth St., The Republic office and retail project would stand as Austin’s second-tallest structure, reaching roughly 708 feet high and encompassing 920,500 square feet.

Both projects earned unanimous approval from Austin’s Design Commission, which provides advisory recommendations to the City Council on urban design standards.

Designed by local architect firm Gensler and proposed to stand at 67 stories, the 6th + Guadalupe project will include 573,798 square feet of office space, 549,602 square feet of residential, 8,401 square feet of restaurant space and 1,627 square feet of retail. The lot sits between Sixth and Seventh streets and Guadalupe and San Antonio streets.

The applicant, represented by local lobbying firm Drenner Group, is seeking an additional entitlement of 565,100 square feet through the city’s density bonus program. In lieu of including on-site affordable housing, the applicant has proposed to pay $2.7 million into the city’s housing trust fund.

The Republic, designed by Duda Paine Architects, the North Carolina firm that produced the Frost Bank Tower, is proposed to take over the existing 77,200-square-foot surface-level parking lot at the southwest corner of Fourth and Guadalupe streets and directly across the street from Republic Square. The project will include 901,300 square feet of office space and 19,200 square feet of retail space.

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  1. It’s a damn shame that the city council would accept a pay-off of $2.7M so that the applicant can discriminate against the lower class. The amount is measly especially when Austin’s housing and living costs are so expensive. This firm has money. Surely they can pay 7.5M toward the housing fund. It’s pocket change to them. It is how Austin continues to divide its citizens by financial status. It reeks of poor judgement and poor decision making. It is a sad situation for those less fortunate especially.

Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following two years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and USA Today. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
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