Luxury Condominium Project The Austonian Tops Out

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Exactly two years after construction starts, the luxury high-rise condominium development in downtown Austin tops out in anticipation of opening in June 2010. Topping out at 683 feet, The Austonian will be the tallest residential building in the western United States. The Austonian's final height will be reached with the installation of an illuminated glass crown later this year. Sweeping views of Austin, Lady Bird Lake and the Texas Hill Country may be seen from individual homes in the building, as well as the 55th floor Austonian Club and the 56th floor fitness center.

Further economic benefit is yielded in tax revenue and the creation of a more vibrant downtown district

Exactly two years from the date that construction began, luxury condominium project The Austonian topped out today with the placement of a final steel beam signed by the hundreds of members of the construction team that built the tallest residential building in Austin and the western U.S.

Topping out at 683 feet, the 56-story high-rise luxury condominium in downtown Austin is scheduled to open in spring 2010. When complete, The Austonian will be the pinnacle of luxury living with around-the-clock valet and concierge services and over 40,000 square feet of private amenities available exclusively to owners and their invited guests.

"The topping out milestone represents incredibly hard work by hundreds of workers putting in long and often hot days to create this iconic building," said Terry Mitchell, Executive Marketing Director for The Austonian.

"The Austonian will result in the creation of dozens of new jobs, needed new tax base for our local governments and, most importantly, a unique and unduplicated lifestyle in one of America's most desirable cities," Mitchell said.

Considering all of the different skills required, throughout the construction period approximately 2,095 workers have been employed at The Austonian construction site, which is managed by general contractor Balfour Beatty Construction. Currently, 645 workers are on site.

The economic benefit of the construction phase of the project is best measured in terms of maintenance of capacity, according to Travis James, economist with Texas Perspectives. "In many economies where construction has stopped, people leave for other jobs or cities," said James. "What's important is that there have been, on average, about 650 people working in a tough economy for over two years, and these members of the community have been able to maintain their skills as part of Austin's labor force. We benefit from keeping these skilled workers in our economy."

"Further economic benefit is yielded in tax revenue and the creation of a more vibrant downtown district," said local real estate consultant Charles Heimsath. "These long-standing economic benefits will last for decades."

The Austonian's final height will be reached with the installation of an illuminated glass crown later this year. Sweeping views of Austin, Lady Bird Lake and the Texas Hill Country may be seen from individual homes in the building, as well as the 55th floor Austonian Club and the 56th floor fitness center.

The Austonian is rivaled in height only by a handful of residential high-rise projects in Chicago, Miami and New York. It's unique, site-specific design was created by Ziegler Cooper Architects, an award-winning Texas architecture firm. The Austonian concept was created by Ziegler Cooper's urban multifamily group, the Living Place Studio.

Mitchell praised Balfour Beatty, the international engineering, construction, investment and services firm that constructed The Austonian. Construction on the high-rise began on Sept. 17, 2007. "The team of professionals from Balfour Beatty are outstanding in every way," Mitchell said.

The Austin Women's Symphony League Showhouse in May 2010 marks the opening of The Austonian, with residents moving into the building in June 2010.

About The Austonian
Located at the corner of 2nd and Congress in Austin, Texas, The Austonian will be the pinnacle of downtown luxury living when it opens in spring 2010. Slated to be the tallest building in downtown Austin and the tallest residential building in the western United States, The Austonian will offer panoramic views of Austin and the surrounding Texas Hill Country. More than 40,000 square feet of private amenities are available to residents of The Austonian and include a 55th floor that can host parties from 15 to 200, a 56th floor dedicated to exercise and 10th-floor amenities ranging from poolside cabanas and kitchens to a 12-seat screening room.

The Austonian is the second North American luxury real estate project by Grupo Villar Mir (GVM), creators of the Mayakoba golf, hotel and residential resort located on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. GVM has developed and sold over 7,000 individual residential condominium units and has controlling interest in Obrascón Huarte Lain (OHL), which has built and sold over 20,000 residential condominium units over the past decade. More information about The Austonian is available at http://www.theaustonian.com. Keep up with the latest news, notes and views regarding The Austonian on the development's blog, http://www.theaustonianblog.com.

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