Reaching New Heights

Austin’s first ‘supertall’ tower could be the tallest building in Texas

Austin’s first ‘supertall’ tower could become Texas' tallest building

98 red river
The 74-story tower would exceed a height of 1,000 feet. Courtesy of Augustine Verrengia/Linkedin

Plans are underway for what would be the first “supertall” building in Austin — and perhaps the tallest building in Texas.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Augustine Verrengia, civil market leader at civil engineering firm WGI, said the height of a 74-story tower on tap for 98 Red River St., near the Austin Convention Center, would exceed 1,000 feet. He claims it would earn status as the tallest building in Texas.

For now, the tallest building in Texas is downtown Houston’s 75-story JPMorgan Chase Tower, which stands 1,002 feet tall. So, if the 98 Red River project turns out to be even 1 foot taller than the Houston high-rise, it would assume the title of the state’s tallest building.

If the Austin tower goes forward as envisioned, it would hold another title — the city’s first “supertall” building. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat defines a supertall building as being at least 984 feet high. Except for the Red River high-rise, no existing or planned building meets that qualification.

Currently, the 66-story, 875-foot-tall Sixth and Guadalupe tower being built in downtown Austin is poised to at least temporarily hold the title of Austin’s tallest building.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Austin’s proposed supertall building, which still must secure a building permit, is being developed by Lincoln Property and Kairoi Residential. The high-rise will feature 352 apartments, a 251-room hotel, and 686,000 square feet of office space.

The developers didn’t confirm the height of their new building.

A construction timetable and price tag for the 98 Red River project haven’t been revealed. An August 2021 filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation indicates the project will cost $520 million, but that figure could have changed since then.

The 98 Red River project joins a dizzying number of high-rises that either are underway or are planned in Austin.

For instance, Tishman Speyer and Ryan Cos. US recently broke ground on 321 West, a 58-story tower at 321 W. Sixth St. The 561,000-square-foot tower will feature 369 apartments, 140,000 square feet of office space, and 1,000 square feet of retail space.

And Cielo Property Group is scheduled to begin construction this summer on a 46-story, 750,000-square-foot tower next to downtown Austin’s Frost Bank Tower. The Perennial building will include 24 floors of office space; 37,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space; a 30,000-square-foot “Sky Garden” for meetings and gatherings; a 10,000-square-foot fitness center; and a sunken garden with a 28-foot waterfall.