Distinctive structure

Austin's next iconic high-rise sails toward opening date with Google as anchor tenant

Austin's next high-rise sails toward opening with Google anchor tenant

Google Sailboat Building downtown Austin
Rendering courtesy of Steelblue/Trammell Crow

What’s arguably the most architecturally intriguing, most forward-looking office tower in downtown Austin is now on track to open two years from now.

Google announced March 18 that it plans to occupy the entire 37-story tower under construction at 601 W. Second St. sometime in 2023. The high-rise was previously set for completion in May 2022.

What sets this gleaming glass-and-steel office tower apart from its downtown neighbors is the sail-like shape of the building’s east and west sides. The high-rise has yet to be named, but it could be aptly called the “Sailboat Building.”

The tower’s architects — Pelli Clarke Pelli and STG — envision it being “a new icon for Austin.” The high-rise sits close to Lady Bird Lake and next to Austin’s Central Library.

On the West Cesar Chavez Street side, the building will gradually taper from wider at the bottom to narrower at the top, creating the appearance of a sail from the Nueces Street and Shoal Creek ends. The sail design pays homage to the neighboring lake and creek.

Google already leases more than 550,000 square feet at three locations in and around downtown Austin: 100 Congress Ave., 901 E. Fifth St., and 500 W. Second St. The tech giant currently employs about 1,100 people in Austin.