AUSTIN, Texas — What would be the tallest building in Texas has failed to receive approval to start construction.
In an article from the Austin Business Journal (ABJ), the skyscraper's developer, Wilson Capital, failed to gain approval from the City of Austin's Design Commission on Jan. 23.
The denial from the commission, which was a near unanimous vote, requires Wilson Capital, architect HKS Inc. and landscape architect Nudge Design to revise the project. The only board member who did not vote was Commissioner David Carroll. The rest of the board members stated that the skyscraper did not meet Austin's urban design standards.
According to the ABJ's report, there is not a time constraint for the architectural team to present a new proposal before the board. The current building plan states that construction would begin in the summer, but it has not been detailed if the delay in approval will affect that.
A spokesperson representing the Drenner Group shared the following statement with KVUE:
"Though the project has not yet received a recommendation from the City Design Commission, we look forward to continued work with the Commission and City staff to finalize and move forward with the project."
One of the commissioners stated that one of the main reasons the skyscraper needs revisions is due to how it will interact with the public space, specifically how the ground floor could be accessed and used by pedestrians.
If construction continues in the summer, the tower would replace the current Avenue Lofts and rise to 1,035 feet, housing 450 apartments. All of those apartments would be priced at market rates, as Wilson Capital will pay $6 million toward the city fund for affordable housing – the requirement of the Downtown Density Bonus Program (DDBP).
Also through the DDBP, Wilson Capital has requested a 23:1 floor-to-area ratio, which is the measurement of a building's floor area related to the size of the lot that it will be located on. The article states that the currently allowed floor-to-area ratio is 8:1.
Read more about the changes the skyscraper's team must make.
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