Photo courtesy of Northshore

Whether you’re visiting from out of town and considering making that big move or you’re a local looking to take life to the next level, you’ll find it all at Northshore.

And even better, this glamorous high-rise is right in the center of all the South by Southwest (SXSW) action.

The 38-floor luxury apartment building is already known for its stunning views overlooking Lady Bird Lake. But its location is desirable for several other reasons, chief among them being within walking distance — just a 12-minute stroll — to all SXSW activities at the Austin Convention Center.

Northshore also boasts easy access to all your downtown favorites, including ATX Cocina, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and dozens of other restaurants and entertainment possibilities.

Residents here enjoy a life of luxury, with Northshore’s eighth-floor amenity deck offering those aforementioned breathtaking views of Lady Bird Lake. Surrounded by cabanas and sunbeds, the infinity-edge pool and deck are a dream — and your ticket to a day-cay anytime.

Hang by the outdoor fire pit or one of the grilling stations and catch those gorgeous views, daytime or nighttime.

Every apartment home (whether it be a one-, two-, or three-bedroom floorplan) boasts modern interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows, generous walk-in closets, open-concept kitchens with premium granite or quartz countertops, and engineered hardwood flooring.

The apartments are pet-friendly, and the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is just across the street for a nice trek with your furry best friend. Northshore also has its own in-house pet spa, so you can treat your pet to luxe pampering sessions.

While you’re at SXSW or one of its many late-night parties, you won’t need to worry about getting into the building or getting locked out if you lose your key. Northshore has a 24-hour concierge service that focuses on meeting your needs and making life as easy as possible.

Ready to see it all for yourself? Schedule an in-person or self-guided tour at northshoreaustin.com.

Northshore Austin apartments

Photo courtesy of Northshore

The high-rise overlooks Lady Bird Lake.

Photo courtesy of Northshore

Austin must-dos and amenities abound at ultra-luxe Northshore apartments

Welcome Home

Austin has a nearly limitless list of ways to go out on the town, every day and night of the week. But the Live Music Capital of the World also has an impressive luxury living scene that makes it just as alluring to stay in.

For next-level living right downtown, all signs point to Northshore, a luxe high-rise apartment complex with a sleek, modern mood. Here are 10 reasons why you'll want to call it home.

Luxe is standard in every apartment home
The one-, two-, and three-bedroom floorplans all boast spa-inspired bathrooms, large walk-in closets, Nest thermostats, open-concept kitchens with granite or quartz countertops, engineered hardwood flooring, and floor-to-ceiling windows that capitalize on panoramic lake, Hill Country, and skyline views.

The pool has vacation vibes
Surrounded by cabanas and sunbeds, the infinity-edge pool and deck are a dream — and your ticket to a day-cay anytime. Located on the eighth floor and overlooking Lady Bird Lake, this resort-style zone also boasts an outdoor fire pit and fireplace complete with gorgeous sunset (or anytime) views.

You can work out with a view
In addition to the poolscape, you can break a sweat while overlooking the lake at the 24-hour Technogym fitness club.

You can also easily WFH
Working from home is easy with three conference rooms, an iMac business center, and two private lounges for any biz meetings — or when you just need a change of scenery from that remote workstation in your apartment.

2nd Street is your next-door neighbor
Only a block away is the 2nd Street District, one of Austin’s top destinations for authentic community spirit in the form of live music, award-winning local fare, and indie boutiques.

One of Time’s Greatest Places is also next door
The 500,000 books are just the beginning at the six-story, LEED-certified Austin Public Library. There’s also an art gallery, an event space, a rooftop butterfly garden, a series of group-study rooms, the Cookbook Cafe, and more. And, yes, the library made Time’s esteemed list of World’s Greatest Places in 2018.

Mother Nature is never far
Northshore is near the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail as well as Lady Bird Lake and Zilker Park, so you’re never far from finding some green space and channeling Mother Nature — even in the heart of the city.

Dinner is served, right downstairs
You don’t even have to leave home base to pick up dinner. Northshore’s ground level boasts ATX Cocina’s modern Mexican cuisine along with beloved taco joint Torchy’s, with even more eateries and retailers on the way.

You can have a Moody moment
The state-of-the-art Austin City Limits at The Moody Theater is within walking distance, which means easy access to its 100-plus concerts and live events every year, with no parking required.

The community amenities are endless
In addition to all the above, Northshore has 24-hour concierge services, pet-friendly facilities with a pet spa, valet dry cleaning, a private screening room, options for reserved and private garages, multiple grilling stations, and more.

Explore Northshore via virtual tour here, and schedule an in-person tour at northshoreaustin.com.

Cool off in the infinity-edge pool on the eighth floor.

Northshore apartments Austin
Photo courtesy of Northshore
Cool off in the infinity-edge pool on the eighth floor.
Rendering courtesy of Intracorp

New 65-story tower with luxury hotel and residences to rise in downtown Austin

reach for the sky

What promises to be the city’s new tallest residential or hotel high-rise is planned for a site next to the Austin Convention Center.

The Conrad Austin hotel and Conrad Residences Austin condos will occupy a 65-story tower that will be built at 311 E. Second St., near West Cesar Chavez and Trinity streets.

The project will feature 326 hotel rooms and 136 one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom condos, as well as nearly 10,000 square feet of restaurant space and 1,000 square feet for a cocktail lounge.

Hotel giant Hilton owns the high-end Conrad Hotels & Resorts brand.

Austin-based Intracorp Texas is developing the project, with construction on track to start in late 2022. At 750 feet high, the Conrad high-rise will be the tallest residential or hotel building in Austin, eclipsing the current titleholder: The Independent, a 58-story, 690-foot-tall residential tower at 301 West Ave.

The city’s tallest building of any type, now under construction, will be the 66-story, 875-foot-tall Sixth and Guadalupe office and residential high-rise.

Rottet Studio is designing the interiors for the Conrad project, and Page is designing the exterior. Compass Development Marketing Group is handling condo sales, which are set to kick off this spring.

Compass reports that in the past year, Austin has experienced more than a 450 percent increase in sales of luxury residences year over year, totaling almost $190 million in the Capital City in 2021.

Austin rises to No. 1 in ranking of best office markets for 2022

Strengthening the economic foundation

Buoyed by expected job growth of 5.6 percent, Austin reigns as the country’s No. 1 office market for 2022, according to a new report.

The report, published by commercial real estate services provider Marcus & Millichap, cites Austin’s position as a magnet for tech employers as one of the reasons for the bullish outlook regarding this year’s local office market.

Marcus & Millichap anticipates net absorption this year of more than 4 million square feet of office space in the Austin area. That would bring the region’s two-year net absorption total to more than 9 million square feet of office space, Marcus & Millichap says.

Net absorption refers to the amount of square feet that became occupied during a certain period, subtracted by the amount of square feet vacated during that period.

Of course, tech companies are spurring much of this activity. Office tenants in the tech sector are drawn to Austin for several reasons, such as a relatively low cost of doing business, an abundance of skilled workers, and opportunities to collaborate with related businesses, according to the report.

“This trend is not novel for the [Austin] market. However, location preferences are shifting,” the report says.

As a result, tech employers are filling up space in places such as downtown Austin and East Austin, the report says. Marcus & Millichap cites recent office leasing deals signed by Atlassian, Cloudfare, Facebook, and TikTok. The report also mentions the ripple effect of Tesla’s expanding presence in the Austin area.

These and other employers are fueling job growth in Austin. The report predicts Austin will see 5.6 percent employment growth this year, compared with 4 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth, 3.4 percent in San Antonio, and 3.1 percent in Houston.

In light of the anticipated employment growth, Marcus & Millichap expects Austin to post a 15.8 percent office vacancy rate this year, compared with 13.6 percent in San Antonio, 20.9 percent in DFW, and 23.1 percent in Houston.

As determined by Marcus & Millichap, here are the top 10 U.S. office markets for 2022:

  1. Austin.
  2. Tampa, Florida.
  3. Miami.
  4. Raleigh, North Carolina.
  5. Orlando, Florida.
  6. Salt Lake City.
  7. Nashville.
  8. West Palm Beach, Florida.
  9. Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  10. Phoenix.

Elsewhere in Texas, DFW ranks 11th, San Antonio ranks 15th, and Houston ranks 41st. The report covers 46 major office markets in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Natiivo

Hot downtown high-rise teams up with Texas artists for Austin-inspired decor

Wall to wall

As Austin continues to take in more people, whether visiting or relocating to the Capital City, new residences have to get creative about all the coming and going. Natiivo, a sold-out condominium complex built in partnership with Airbnb in the popular Rainey Street District, is streamlining the rentals approach with built-in home-sharing management and hotel amenities.

The concept allows a compromise in an already-crowded city between luxury traveling accommodations and individual ownership. To bring in a little more local spirit, Natiivo is partnering with New York design consultancy Indiewalls to decorate the building with work created by 12 Texas artists. The multimedia works will appear throughout the building, as well as in a top-floor gallery.

The artwork follows different themes: Emily Eisenhart uses transparency to evoke the Texas sun, while Angela Navarro pays tribute to Austin with large-scale impressionist works, and Kerry Hugins creates local flowers in watercolors. The group came together from past Indiewalls projects and through organic artist searches through social media.

“I did not want to provide any guidance or strict design direction for the artists,” says Indiewalls art curator Sarah Hatahet. “I wanted to showcase the artists and their works in their purest forms to be appreciated in the same sense as one would experience them in an art gallery. I did not want the artwork to seem forced or too curated.”

A column on the 33rd floor will sport a wraparound mural from Michael W. Hall, inspired by the abstract gradient line work popular in 1970s art. The curvy shapes twist around the cylinder in reds, blues, oranges, and yellows, simultaneously crowding each other out and propelling each other up in an organic splash. The artist attributes the design to the Austin landscape visible from the high-rise.

“I looked out over the undulations of Lady Bird Lake and the swaying peaks of the cypress trees along the water’s edge, the vibrant energy of downtown and the east side, the vaulting towers of the growing skyline, and the waves of the Hill Country in the distance on the western horizon,” Hall says. “My mural concept is a response to all of these: the movement of the natural environment, the rhythm of downtown, and the upward vertical launch of our ever-growing city.”

Hall’s work is driven by similar organic lines in vivid colors, often paired with a more chaotic wood grain that complements the evenness of the painted forms. In a video with Indiewalls, he works on a tornado-inspired piece and discusses the freedom of custom-cut wood panels — a luxury he didn’t have in planning his Natiivo mural. Still, he maintains some negative space at the top of the column that allows him to avoid the blocky form.

Each artist working on the Natiivo project will make a similar video explaining their design and execution processes, and discussing local inspiration throughout their work. The series breaks down specific works in context, taking a less-common narrative angle about where pieces end up once they’re finished. Hopefully, the series helps bring Texas works to a wider audience that may know nothing of the state or its artists.

Indiewalls is uploading videos to its YouTube channel one by one as the works go up and people start moving in to Natiivo.

Longtime downtown Austin sushi lounge closes permanently as high-rise moves in

Sad Sayonara

In news that will no doubt have longtime Austinites yearning for those big-fish-in-a-small-pond days of yore, a favorite downtown sushi spot has announced it will close at the end of this month to make way for one of the city’s tallest new high-rises.

Maiko Sushi Lounge, the popular East-meets-West sushi fusion joint that opened in 2005 at 311 W. Sixth St. and quickly became a downtown foodie hot spot, will close up shop October 27, a company rep tells CultureMap.

“I’m sad to announce that after 15-plus years, Maiko Sushi will officially close their doors on October 27th. So get your last fill of sake mac and cheese, maki rolls, yaki udon, or poke bowl. Happy hour, dine-in, and takeout services are available [during] regular hours,” says Larina Chen-Mehta, whose parents own Maiko.

The closing, Chen-Mehta confirms, is brought on by the development of a 60-story BBVA USA apartment and office tower, construction of which includes demolishing the nearly 100-year-old building that houses Maiko, thereby displacing the beloved eatery.

Chen-Mehta says she and her family had been “hoping they would be building retail in the new high-rise, but that is not the case,” and says there are no current plans to reopen Maiko in a new location, though Austinites can always hold out hope.

In its heyday, Maiko was nightly abuzz with local sushi lovers and happy hour devotees, many of them treating out-of-town visitors to the vibrant, fast-paced scene and exquisite and extensive menu of sushi specialties and fusion fare. (Anyone else get addicted to those tuna avocado nachos and Texas Monster rolls with tequila lime sauce?)

Maiko’s closure is one in a long line of well-loved local eateries that have shuttered (Las Manitas, Frank & Angie’s, Hut’s Hamburgers) to make way for a growing and reshaping Austin, though many locals wonder if that can be considered “progress.”

Local sushi lovers aren’t taking the closing news terribly well, with dozens of Maiko fans commenting and sharing their sadness on the restaurant’s Facebook page, and one poster even noting “it’s the only restaurant I can count on being great every time.”

Maiko Sushi will be open for the next two weeks, so roll on in while you still can. Check the restaurant’s website for any updates.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Austin is the 9th best U.S. city for vegans and vegetarians, new study finds

eat your greens

Austin may be home to some of the best barbecue in the city (even if some disagree) — but the Texas capital also has a growing reputation in vegan and vegetarian fare.

More plant-based restaurants are opening their doors in 2023, expanding an already solid list of vegan eateries throughout the city. And with ACL right around the corner, it's important to know where the closest vegan eats are so you're not left scrambling to find a good meal in the heat.

With that said, Austin still has some room for improvement to keep vegans full and satisfied after ranking No. 9 in WalletHub's "Best Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians" report for 2023.

The study evaluated 100 cities based on grocery affordability; diversity of and accessibility to vegan and vegetarian restaurants, farmer's markets, and community gardens; and other lifestyle factors.

Austin specifically had a high affordability ranking with the fifth-lowest cost of groceries for vegetarians out of all 100 cities in the ranking. Laredo (No. 1), Corpus Christi (No. 2), San Antonio (No. 3), and Louisville, Kentucky (No. 4) were all ahead.

As for the highest percentage of restaurants serving vegetarian options, the two North Texas cities of Irving and Plano tied with three non-Texas cities: Henderson, Nevada, Gilbert, Arizona, and Mesa, Arizona. All these made No. 1.

However, that doesn't mean the shift to embrace vegan and vegetarian cuisine in Austin isn't notable enough. Earlier in 2023, a popular Brazilian steakhouse chain "beefed" up (or down) its menu with more plant-based options in an effort to expand its customer base. And in June, venerated vegan staple and former CultureMap Tastemakers winner Counter Culture reopened as a food trailer in the back patio of Tweedy’s Bar in Central Austin.

Austin was the only Texas city to make it into the top 10. The remaining nine contenders are mostly located in West Coast states typically expected to be seen in a report on plant-based eating: California, Oregon, and Washington. On the opposite coast are two additional cities that made the list: Orlando and Miami, Florida (No. 3 and No. 8, respectively). Phoenix, Arizona (No. 5), is the only non-coastal outlier.

The top 10 most vegetarian- and vegan-friendly cities in the U.S. are:

  • No. 1 – Portland, Oregon
  • No. 2 – Los Angeles, California
  • No. 3 – Orlando, Florida
  • No. 4 – San Diego, California
  • No. 5 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 6 – San Francisco, California
  • No. 7 – Seattle, Washington
  • No. 8 – Miami, Florida
  • No. 9 – Austin, Texas
  • No. 10 – Oakland, California

Eight other Texas cities made it into the top 50: Irving (No. 18), Lubbock (No. 23), Houston (No. 24), Dallas (No. 25), Plano (No. 33), San Antonio (No. 38), Corpus Christi (No. 41), and Laredo (No. 48).

The full report can be found on wallethub.com.

Austin's Zilker Botanical Garden unveils rare succulent collection at upscale Parisian picnic

Succulent Surprises

Here's one of the beautiful experiences of living in this desert-adjacent city full of weirdos: Austinites deeply value being the first to see a prominent succulent collection. Move over, private pickleball clubs — the plant lovers are getting a taste of that sweet exclusivity.

Of course, as much as succulent gardeners covet rare plants, they love to share the excitement; so it is fitting that an inaugural benefit dinner will celebrate the first-ever public viewing of the Zilker Botanical Garden Succulent Collection on November 4. Funds raised will support the garden so more people can come in and look at all its many well-cared-for plants year-round.

The High Desert Dîner en Blanc ("Dinner in White") is set to be an annual event, adapting the Parisian idea of celebrating "good food and good friends" outside. The "elevated picnic" is all about "self-expression, playfulness, and community," according to the announcement. Along with dinner, attendees will enjoy an open bar, games, and tours of the collection.

The new collection arrives courtesy of the late Bob Barth, scientist and co-founder of the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society. The social group assembles volunteers to help maintain the Botanical Garden's greenhouse, and some members will surely be in attendance at the dinner. University of Texas students may also remember Barth as their professor of Zoology (Entomology and Ornithology), and he was also a longtime member of the Travis Audubon Society.

Maintaining a 28-acre garden is not cheap — even with the help of volunteers — and Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy has raised more than $300,000 in the past year. Those funds go toward preserving the Butler Window (a remnant of a historical Austin mansion that has become a popular photo spot), working on the succulent collection, and creating visitor programming.

It also maintains a roster of 26 member organizations including very specialized groups like the First Austin African Violet Society, and groups that are there to appreciate rather than grow the garden, like Plein Air Austin.

Barth's donation also included funds to hire a curator for the succulent collection, so it will continue thriving and evolving through 2025 and hopefully beyond.

The garden requests that dinner guests wear white to stay on-theme, and refrain from wearing heels to protect the ground. Tickets ($125 per person, $225 per couple) are available at zilkergarden.org. Guests must be 21 or older.

Country's largest hot springs pool complex plans for Dallas debut

Wellness wonderland

Austin has plenty of places to swim, but the spa culture is pretty niche. Those willing to take a drive for a luxurious weekend always have the Hill Country and Dallas as options, and soon there will be a new wellness spa-amusement park: WorldSprings, a nine-acre outdoor mineral springs experience, will debut in the latter city in spring 2024.

According to a release, it will be WorldSprings' first location in Texas and the largest experience of its kind in the country.

"With pools inspired by the most famous hot springs from around the world, guests can explore WorldSprings’ 45 outdoor soaking pools including cold-plunge pools, Finnish saunas, and a spa which will include wellness therapies as well as a cafe and bar," says the release.

Specific highlights of the experience will include:

  • The Family Pool, the Dead Sea Float Pool and South Pacific Region mineral pools for all ages
  • The Asiatic, European, and Americas region mineral pools for those 18 years old and up
  • More pools, with temperatures that range from warm to hot and from cool to ice cold
  • The Spa, with a menu of body treatments and massages
  • The Sanctuary, offering sound baths and yoga, breathwork, and guided meditation classes
  • Aqua classes, including Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Sculpt, Aqua Yoga and Aqua Float
  • Performance-enhancing treatments including cryotherapy, hyperbaric chambers, and compression therapy
  • WorldSprings Café, from which guests can order food and drinks poolside with their smartphones and pay with a wristband

WorldSprings Grandscape The ColonyThere'll be adults-only pools and family-friendly pools.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

The wellness offerings were created by WorldSprings' in-house functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Sara Gottfried, the release says.

Of course, there are not actual hot springs located beneath Grandscape. Each pool will be "meticulously crafted to mirror the mineral content of legendary springs from around the world," explains WorldSprings.

Memberships and three-hour passes will be available, "priced for all to enjoy as a weekly ritual for well-being," they say, although pricing has not yet been disclosed. A limited number of discounted Founding Memberships will be available starting early next year.

”Our ambition is that WorldSprings will democratize wellness by opening locations throughout the country,” says Rob Kramer, managing partner of WorldSprings' owner Off Road Capital, in the release.

The Dallas-area park follows locations in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and a similar concept in La Verkin, Utah, near Zion National Park.

Anticipated opening date is March 2024.

WorldSprings GrandscapeA spa will offer massages and body treatments.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

WorldSprings Grandscape will be at 3240 Plano Pkwy., The Colony, joining the booming 433-acre center that includes not only shopping and dining but an escape room, immersive entertainment venue, amphitheater, and more.

"Bringing WorldSprings to this ideal location is a remarkable milestone,” says Justin Foley, general manager of the upcoming Grandscape location, in the release. “As general manager, I'm honored and excited to be a part of such an amazing community and to unveil an exclusive outdoor mineral springs experience – a first of its kind destination in Texas."