The Independent

Bill and I finally toured The Independent, a condo tower that locals call “The Jenga” due to its offset design. At 693 feet, this is now the tallest building in Austin and the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi. The Austonian previously held these honors, but has slipped to second place at 583 feet.

Located on the former Green Water Treatment Plant site, the Independent overlooks the Austin Central Library. Downtown’s electrical substation actually sits between these two buildings, but since the parking garage takes up the lower floors, the tower’s views of South Austin are not obstructed.

The north side of The Independent has killer views of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas campus. I bet the views are even more impressive at night.

This 58-story building contains 370 condo units. Most have been sold, and residents have been moving in since last May. A few weeks ago, a water line break flooded several floors, and water gushed down the side of the building. When we visited, the elevator lobbies were torn apart and still drying out. We heard that some residents were temporarily relocated until their units could be repaired.

The Independent has two floors of common spaces. The zig-zag swimming pool on the 9th floor is surrounded by decks and lots of lounge chairs. We toured on a sunny but cool Saturday morning, so no one was sitting outside.

The 9th floor also includes a children’s play room, guest suites, and large inside and outside spaces with comfortable seating. A dog lounge is stocked with snacks for dogs and coffee for people (obviously). Most importantly, there’s a nearby outdoor grass pad if the urge strikes. We didn’t get to see the dog bath spa because that room was “OCCUPIED.”

More common areas, such as the fitness center, yoga studio, screening room, and conference rooms, are up on the 34th floor. All of the common spaces have a pleasing, slightly-whimsical decor. Our assessment: The Independent seems like a nice condo building with spectacular views, plenty of common areas, and a convenient location in the Seaholm District.

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