Austin city life since 2007
Well, it’s not bad news yet. Image: James Rambin / Google Maps / Capitol View Corridor Renderings by Noah Deneau
Everybody wants to announce they’re building a tower, but nobody wants to announce they’re not building a tower. That state of limbo is where we find a lot of projects unveiled between 2020 and 2022 but as yet unbuilt in downtown Austin, with a slowing market and some remarkably low occupancy numbers in the office sector forcing pivots and delays all over. But it’s rare to officially cancel a tower you’ve already announced, especially with all the money you spent on those fancy renderings and whatnot — no, generally these projects just become vaporware, fading from memory year after year until some article digs them up and waves them in your face to remind you they never happened. Alexa, play “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
Austin’s Tower Vaporware: An Extremely Sad Downtown Field Guide

Honestly, we kinda thought this aforementioned purgatory might be the situation over at the southwest corner of West Sixth and Rio Grande Streets, where the San Antonio-based developers of supertalls and other talls at Kairoi Residential had previously mulled plans in public for a 600-odd-foot residential tower rising roughly 53 floors at 701 West Sixth Street, a 0.44-acre tract currently occupied by the charmingly-named Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Icehouse — I’m jabbing you in the ribs while I say the name to make sure you’re picking up on the incredible wordplay, and then I’m mentioning that the bar also has a dress code for some reason.

The last time we saw a substantial update on this project was towards the end of 2021, although it’s hard to believe we’re two years out from then. So we were a little surprised to see Kairoi and its engineering consultants at Kimley-Horn have refiled the tower’s site plan with the city just yesterday, a step you typically don’t take unless you’re expecting to build something — it does cost money to get these permits rolling, after all. It’s unclear if the design we previously saw for the address from Dallas-based architects GDA is still on deck, but we do know the tower’s going to be shaped like the classic “Austin Wedge” thanks to the ducking and dodging necessary for a tall building at this site to dodge the Capitol View Corridor passing over part of the property.
Image: Kairoi / GDA / Kimley-Horn
A new site plan isn’t exactly a groundbreaking — heck, it’s not even demolition — but with so many projects once expected downtown now in question, any update in the general direction of construction is suddenly worth noting, at least for us. Now I’m just going to sit here at my computer and wait for an update on the Perennial office tower! 
Image: r/memes
Filed Under: News
James is an Austin native and fifth-generation Texan, but tries not to brag about it. Email him anything at
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