AUSTIN, TX - Development partners Lincoln Property Company (LPC) and Kairoi Residential have broken ground on a 74-story mixed-use high-rise called Waterline in downtown Austin that will become the tallest tower in Texas when it opens in late 2026. The Public Sector Pension Investment Board, one of Canada's largest pension investment managers is the main equity partner in this major development project.
Located at 98 Red River St., Waterline will extend 1,022 feet above a lush 3.3-acre campus near the intersection of Waller Creek and Lady Bird Lake.
Targeting LEED Gold certification throughout the building, the project will include 352 luxury apartment homes; 700,000 square feet of office space; and the 251-room 1 Hotel Austin — the first Texas location for the global hospitality company SH Hotel Resorts' sustainability-focused 1 Hotels brand.
Reaching new heights
Waterline is the third downtown Austin high-rise that LPC has co-developed and broken ground on in the last three years. Sixth and Guadalupe, also co-developed with Kairoi Residential, will open next year with 66 floors of residences, offices, and ground-level retail. The Republic, a 48-story office tower adjacent to Republic Square Park, is scheduled to open in late 2024. When completed, all three buildings will be taller than any high-rise on the ground in Austin today.
"Downtown Austin offers one of the most dynamic markets and skylines in the nation, and we're excited to help drive its ongoing transformation," said Seth Johnston, Senior Vice President of LPC in Austin. "Waterline marks a new milestone for downtown not only because of its height but also because of the positive impact this project will have on improving connectivity, enhancing public amenities, and attracting more people to this beautiful area of downtown."
Situated on the eastern bank of Waller Creek along the Waterloo Greenway, Waterline will serve as a new gateway from the Central Business District to the Rainey Street district. The development will add two new pedestrian bridges over the creek from the west, as well as three additional public pedestrian and bike access points to the Waterloo Greenway from the east.
The development team will contribute $1 million to the Waterloo Greenway Project to help fund improvements to the 1.5-mile urban trail that connects the University of Texas at Austin to Lady Bird Lake.
On the trail of exceptional urban living
Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox — a global architecture firm with a portfolio that includes the 55 Hudson Yards and One Vanderbilt towers in New York City — Waterline will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, warm textures, and native stone.
"Waterline will offer a truly unique experience with unrivaled views, world-class amenities and a thoughtful design that connects the building's interior with the project's unique natural surroundings throughout the building," said Michael Lynd Jr., CEO of Kairoi Residential. "We're thrilled to introduce Austin's next iconic project."
The building's vibrant ground floor will feature 24,000 square feet of publicly accessible retail and restaurant space overlooking Waller Creek and the Waterloo Greenway, separated by a floodplain forest to protect the natural experience for trail users.
1 Hotel Austin will occupy the next 13 floors with a ballroom and meeting spaces on the 14th floor and a rooftop pool with food and beverage service on the 16th floor.
The office portion of the tower will occupy 27 stories with a 14th-floor amenity deck featuring 24,000 square feet of landscaped outdoor space along with a bar and lounge, indoor meeting spaces and a prep kitchen for special events. Office tenants also will have access to a 7,000-square foot fitness center on the second floor featuring cardio equipment and weights along with a yoga and dance studio.
Upscale residential homes will fill the building's top 33 stories offering residents access to two pools on the 41st floor along with a lounge, bar, kitchen, and co-working space. A movement studio, workout studio and steam room will be located one floor above along with soaking tubs, hammocks, a BBQ pit, and a communal dining area.
"We are pleased to be increasing our portfolio exposure to high conviction markets and green assets in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States," said Carole Guérin, Managing Director, Head of Americas, Real Estate Investments, PSP Investments. "This investment provides significant upside potential as the city of Austin continues its expansion to become a top-tier US market that offers high quality of life, a supportive business environment, exciting employment opportunities and a hotbed for technology and innovation."
Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc. ("BXMT") provided the construction loan for the project.
"We continue to see strong demand for new, best-in-class residential, office and hospitality assets in high growth markets like Austin and are excited to support this trophy, mixed use development that will make a meaningful contribution to the community as well as the Austin skyline," said Katie Keenan, Chief Executive Officer of BXMT. "We look forward to continuing to lend on low-leverage, high-quality projects and serving as a partner to well-capitalized, experienced sponsors like LPC, Kairoi, and PSP Investments."