Tallest Building in Austin Will also be Green

The Austonian is seeking a four-star rating from Austin’s Green Builder designation.

Austin, Texas–Austin, Texas’s tallest building, The Austonian, is scheduled to be complete in 2010. Developed by Austin-based Benchmark Development, the 56-story building offers 188 ultra-luxury condominiums and penthouses and is being built according to Austin’s Green Building Program.“We’re trying to become like New York,” Terry Mitchell of Momark Development LLC, the strategic marketing director for The Austonian, tells MHN. “We’ve been a model of suburban sprawl, but now there’s a big movement in downtown and around.”

The Austonian is seeking a four-star rating from Austin’s Green Builder designation, the highest rating of which is five stars, explains Mitchell. “We’re putting 188 families on three-quarters of an acre where they can live, work and play without getting into an automobile.” Other green features include native landscaping irrigated with rainwater, high performance low-E glass used for windows, low-emitting paints and sealants and “Green Power,” which calls for using chilled water for air conditioning—which could result in a 50 percent energy cost savings. Centrally located in downtown Austin and within walking distance of restaurants, entertainment and  5.4 million sq. ft. of office space, The Austonian is likely to reduce the number of cars being used by commuting residents. The Austonian offers one-, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes, ranging in size from 1,221 to 8,379 sq. ft. and can be bought for anything between $559,000 and $8 million. There are also three combination plans where people can combine units, explains Mitchell. Each residence features hardwood floors, marble baths, limestone and marble countertops, 10-ft. ceilings, solar shades and inset balconies.

The Austonian features 42,000 sq. ft. of amenity space, which can be found on three separate stories. The ground floor of the building comprises 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space, which could include restaurants, a grocery store and/or a jewelry store, and floors two through nine comprise the parking garage.The tenth floor offers both indoor and outdoor amenities, including a 75-ft. pool, hot tub, reflecting pool, herb garden, private cabanas, private spa, sundeck, dog park, fireplace, outdoor grills, catering kitchens and a movie room. The dog park is also home to the nation’s first self-cleaning dog toilet, an 18-in. stainless steel plate with an electronic push-button device. The Skyview Lounge, located on the 55th floor, offers an outdoor terrace, catering kitchen and rooms for meetings and entertaining. The 6,000-sq.-ft. fitness center is located on the 56th floor and features 360-degree views of the city.

Designed by Houston-based Ziegler Cooper Architects and Austin-based TBG Partners, The Austonian will be topped with an illuminated architectural feature.“The building is an elegant elliptical shape, which maximizes views,” says Mitchell, noting this shape is unusual for the area. “We wanted an iconic building, timeless in architecture, to complement Austin’s downtown. We really liked the elegant and simple nature of the building.”

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