Austin’s Skyline is Booming: 10 Before-and-After Images Display the City’s Vertical Upgrade

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The Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is America’s fastest growing city and the #1 growing economy. Its downtown population has skyrocketed over the past decade more than doubling since 2000. This eco-conscious, trailblazer of a city, situated on the shores of serene Lady Bird Lake, is the South’s healthiest and boasts the nation’s first green building program.

Following its thriving economy and lofty job creation rate, the real estate market is booming, creating sky-scraping demand and high rent prices. Austin’s skyline has soared upwards over the last decade, transforming the cityscape with curved glass structures, increased downtown parking, and hip hotels.

With the help of Google’s Street View, we have pinpointed some of the most amazing developments that helped reshape whole neighborhoods. See how much Austin has changed in the last 8 years with these striking before-and-after images.

Simply drag the arrow bar back-and-forth to view the old and the new images.

1. The Railyard District

One block from the Austin Convention Center, the Hyatt Hotels Corp. and White Lodging Services Corp. revitalized the Railyard District with the introduction of the 17-story Hyatt Place, the largest new build Hyatt Place in the country. It boasts 296 guest rooms and offers amenities typically expected only in full-service hotels.

Across the street, Whitley Apartments, completed in 2012, mirrors its neighbor at 16 stories high. Located at 301 Brazos St, this 266-unit, luxury, smoke-free building is Silver LEED Certified and includes surprising amenities such as a serene waterfall and an urban oasis rooftop pool deck. Whitley stands atop 10,000ft of eclectic retail space.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2013" before-after label_two="2009" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


East-3rd-Street

East-3rd-Street[/before-after]

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2. 2nd Street District

The “Main Street of Texas”, Congress Avenue, welcomed the tallest building in Austin, also the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi – The Austonian. The 56 floors of these state-of the art high-rise residences, built in 2010 by Spanish developers Grupo Villar Mir, soar above the city at 683 feet tall. Located at 200 Congress Ave, The Austonian offers sustainable luxury with a coveted Four-Star Commercial Rating from Austin Energy Green Building and swank high end retailers flank its ground floor. Next door the 36-story Ashton, completed in 2009 by UDR, offers upscale, custom apartment residences featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with upscale touches like a wine cellar, screening room, and sky deck with infinity-edge pool.

The vibrant 2nd Street District also welcomed the city’s largest hotel, the 34-story JW Marriott Austin. Completed in 2015 by developer White Lodging Service Corp, it provides 1,012 spacious guest rooms and more than 120,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space in the very heart of downtown Austin.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin[/before-after]

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3. W Austin Hotel & Residences, 2nd Street District

Completed in 2011, the LEED-certified, 36-floor W Austin Hotel & Residences at 200 Lavaca Street is a mixed-use building home to The Residences, W Hotel, and Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theatre. Impressive amenities include a dedicated “Whatever, Whenever” concierge team to service its 165 units, laundry services, housekeeping, and full use of all the hotel’s facilities for its residents.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


W-Austin-Hotel

W-Austin-Hotel[/before-after]

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4. Bowie St.

Home to the highest pool in Texas, The Bowie at 311 Bowie Street is a joint Lynd and Endevor Real Estate Group community. Standing at 37 stories tall, it is home to 358 residences and offers an impressive 31st floor outdoor deck and state-of-the-art fitness center. Taking full advantage of its pedestrian location adjacent to Shoal Creek and Hike and Bike Trail, The Bowie features ground floor retail and offers kayak and bicycle rentals.

Bowie St. also welcomed the chic 42-story Spring Condominiums completed in 2009 by Spring Austin Partners Ltd. Located at 300 Bowie Street, it offers seven levels of parking, a rooftop pool with outdoor kitchen and dining, and is located within a block of a Whole Foods flagship store.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


Bowie-Street

Bowie-Street[/before-after]

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5. Rainey Street District

Located on Lady Bird Lake, Windsor on the Lake offers 187 LEED-certified units on 31 floors. This luxury apartment building, completed in 2008 by Windsor properties, offers unexpected amenities such as a gourmet kitchen & catering area, fitness center with towel service, and resort-style pool.

Right next door, the 23 story SkyHouse, located at 51 Rainey Street, was completed in 2013 by Novare Group. The 320 units feature ceiling-to-floor views and its 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space anchors Rainey Street, Austin’s most eclectic shopping and dining district.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


Rainey-Street

Rainey-Street[/before-after]

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6. Gables Complex, Sandra Muraida Way

This two part LEED Silver-Certified boutique-style community developed by Gables Residential includes the 8-story Gables Park Plaza finished in 2013 and Gables Park Tower finished in late 2014. The mixed-use plaza offers 290 upscale apartments and lakefront retail located on the ground floor. The 18-story curved tower comprises 223 one- and two-bedroom units with spectacular views.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2008" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


Gables-Park

Gables-Park[/before-after]

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7. The Catherine, Barton Springs Road

With immediate access to South Congress and 2nd Street District, The Catherine, located at 214 Barton Springs Road, provides 300 refined apartment units. This 19-story boutique hotel-inspired building, completed in early 2015 by SLR Residential and Hunt Companies Inc. offers LEED-certified green apartment living. Residents get panoramic views from a rooftop private Sky Lounge with resident bar and private dining room.

A welcome addition to the already existing 16 floor, 448 non-smoking guestroom Hyatt Regency Hotel, is the Hyatt Regency Parking garage. Completed in 2014, it adds 800 parking spaces on 8 stories to the bustling downtown area.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


The-Catherine

The-Catherine[/before-after]

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8. 21 Rio, West Campus

Within walking distance of the University of Texas campus, 21 Rio was originally designed as a high-rise condo building but was converted to luxury, green student apartments featuring private balconies, gourmet kitchens, and floor-to-ceiling windows in some units. Developed by 21 Rio Partnership LLP and newly operated by Campus Advantage, Inc., 21 Rio is the envy of college dorm dwellers and adults alike, offering 158 units on 21 floors. It exceeds University housing on every level with a resident business center, salt water pool, and an athletic center all combined with the security of limited pedestrian access.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


21 Rio Austin

21 Rio Austin[/before-after]

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9. IBC Bank Plaza, Republic Square

Completed in 2014 by Endeavor Real Estate Group, IBC Bank Plaza at 500 West 5th Street is a LEED Silver-certified, 203,400-square-foot office and retail space which hosts a bank and restaurant on the bottom floor. The exquisite curved glass facade anchors Republic Square providing panoramic views of the park. It also provides a 6 level, 560-car above-grade parking garage to the downtown.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


IBC-Bank-Plaza

IBC-Bank-Plaza[/before-after]

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10. The Callaway House, West Campus

Extending exceptional full-service housing to local University freshman, The Callaway House at 505 West 22nd Street, was completed in 2013 by American Campus Communities Inc. This 17-story residence hall offers housekeeping service, a business center, a 24-hour fitness center, full service dining hall, recreational lounge and rooftop pool just one block from campus. In addition, the top two floors house The Callaway Penthouses, luxury-style student apartments.

[before-after width="800px" color="#b75d0f" offset="0.1" before-after label_one="2014" before-after label_two="2007" before-after label_color="#000000" before-after color="#ffffff"]


The-Callaway-House

The-Callaway-House[/before-after]

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Which new developments are changing your Austin neighborhood?

Contributor: Corie Bussell Paz, MPH is a writer in the real estate, travel, and women’s health niche. She is a Maternal and Child Health professional by day but her business is real estate.

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Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time.

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