- A 58-story, $300 million condo building — which resembles the game Jenga — has found its home in Austin, TX, as developers closed the deal on a $14.5 million building site, according to KVUE. Construction is set to begin in January 2016 and last three years. See renderings of the planned tower here.
- The Independent will be Austin’s tallest building and the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi, KVUE reported. The building will include 374 condo units, and 90% of the $400,000-$1.7 million units are already reserved. Some additional features include a business center, theater, yoga studio, fitness facility, club room, private dining, dog owner’s lounge, children’s play areas and a pool which a glass edge that extends over the building.
- Developers have also made a voluntary contribution of approximately $2.7 million to Austin's Affordable Housing Trust Fund and paid $1 million for city infrastructure.
Leasing agent Urbanspace CEO Kevin Burns told KVUE, "This is going to become the beacon of the neighborhood. We have a really nice panoramic view of the city and the lake where people can come and congregate."
One of the obvious design elements of the building is its resemblance to the wood-block towers created when playing the game Jenga, but one of the architects on the project said he's never heard of the game.
"I didn't even know what Jenga was until I saw that in an article that came out," Brett Rhode, director of Rhode Partners, told KVUE. "We're trying to get away from kind of a more generic building type that you might see a lot of, especially in Austin, and try to kind of shake, shake it up a little bit," he said.
Despite the attention around the design of The Independent, the Austin tower isn't the first to channel the Jenga style. In 2014, Foster Design Build completed a 10,000-square-foot single-family home in Chicago, which was also compared to the game.
Austin is currently experiencing growth from the tech industry and has a history of available land and looser zoning regulations, which have kept prices down. However, the price tag for units at The Independent seem to be bucking that standard.