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Update: The Independent in Austin, Tallest Residential Tower West of the Mississippi

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On January 11, 2016, construction crews broke ground on “The Independent” in Austin-scheduled to be the tallest building in the city, and noted as the tallest residential tower under development west of the Mississippi. Scaling to a height of almost 700 feet, including 370 high-end residential suites and ground-floor retail and commercial units, the building is scheduled for completion in 2018, and by June of last year had already been at 90 percent purchased, with only a few one-bedroom residences remaining.

Update: The Independent in Austin, Tallest Residential Tower West of the Mississippi

Photo: Facebook/The Independent Austin

Having a decidedly geometric aesthetic, the building has also been given the nickname of the “Jenga” tower, having a similar angular shape to the popular family game. Urbanspace Realtors had provided impressive renderings of the project on their website, and updated versions were provided by The Independent’s developers, Aspen Heights Partners, and offered for readers on Curbed Austin’s blog in the fall of 2016.

Update: The Independent in Austin, Tallest Residential Tower West of the Mississippi

Photo: Facebook/The Independent Austin

On the date of groundbreaking, the Community Impact quoted Texas Senator Kirk Watson on the project, saying, “It’s now a downtown that emphasizes the economy, that makes Austin a focal point in a worldwide information and knowledge economy. Ultimately it comes down to people who were willing to take a risk and push in our downtown.” He described Austin’s center as being altered into a vibrant and innovative economic supporting both residential and commercial uses.

Update: The Independent in Austin, Tallest Residential Tower West of the Mississippi

Photo: Facebook/The Independent Austin

Looking out from the upper-level sections of The Independent, residents will have panoramic Texas Hill Country views unlike any other, and the mix of commercial space together with the residential complement is anticipated to be a premier highlight in the future of what America’s most progressive cities will look like. Taxes to be levied on the building’s residential units are anticipated to put close to $18 million in the city’s coffers toward its Affordable Housing Program, which could be the reason Mayor Steve Adler identified that “[Downtown Austin] is not only the living room to our community, it’s our community’s piggy bank.” Construction is anticipated to be completed in 2018, transforming Austin’s skyline with an eye toward the future.

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