Skylines and Developments of the US/World

KentXie

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Yes, there are some blocks downtown but walk a few blocks in any direction and it's parking lots and single story buildings. Wouldn't you prefer urban fabric over a supertall tower surrounded by suburbia? You seem to be more on the urbanist team vs the skyscraper gawkers. So to rephrase my honest question: I still don't get why the market in Austin is generating demand for skyscrapers that are far taller than those in cities that have a lot more people. It attracts talent? Apparently, if the units sell, and I'm not doubting they will. And please don't project your own snark.
I'm not projecting my own snark, rather I'm replying with snark because your post is clearly phrased to be snarky.

But I'll answer your honest question.

First, a supertall and an urban fabric is not mutually exclusive. Anyone telling you that is just plain lying.

Second, there are people who prefer to live in tall buildings, not just gawk at them. I specifically pointed out that a lot of transplants are from big cities and are likely accustomed to living in high-rises. Given that Austin is cheaper than say NYC, these folks can actually afford to live in high-rise condos there.

Third, Austin is the 11th most populous city in the US, it's not a small city. It may not be the densest but that's likely a product of Austin not putting density as a priority until the past decade. I guess you can say the reason that Austin is building these supertalls is so that it can densify.

Fourth, Austin is quickly becoming a premier tech hub that pays a lot of money. As such, these folks likely want to pay for the best amenities and many of these amenities are usually only available in luxury high-rises.
 

DZH22

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Third, Austin is the 11th most populous city in the US, it's not a small city....
28th in metro population, and has over 5 times the land area of Boston proper for city population comparisons. Compared to Boston, it doesn't feel like a big city, or even really like a city at all. To be fair, I haven't been since 2009, but it's among the most overrated places I have set foot in.

It doesn't really need buildings this tall, but the more unfortunate part is that the architecture of each new tallest building is arguably worse than its immediate predecessor. I think it's all been downhill since the Frost Tower was built.

What I will say is there's a heck of a lot more need for taller buildings by Boston's main transportation hubs, plus Back Bay and Kendall, than there is a need ANYWHERE in Austin. It's 100% a vanity city and the density ends extremely quickly. I honestly don't see the draw, or the reasoning to keep stacking supertalls in a city that size-wise was basically a less good version of Providence as recently as 2000.

Austin's skyline in 2000:
1673329791384.png


2010:
1673329824210.png


2020:
1673329867285.png


Then suddenly, WTF? Present, including U/C. This doesn't even include the additional supertall posted above, and another in the upper 700's. Sixth and Guadalupe is topped off so add another US city to the list with a taller building than the Hancock.
1673329946682.png
 

KentXie

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28th in metro population, and has over 5 times the land area of Boston proper for city population comparisons. Compared to Boston, it doesn't feel like a big city, or even really like a city at all. To be fair, I haven't been since 2009, but it's among the most overrated places I have set foot in.

It doesn't really need buildings this tall, but the more unfortunate part is that the architecture of each new tallest building is arguably worse than its immediate predecessor. I think it's all been downhill since the Frost Tower was built.
This is the fallacy that seems to permeate a lot of members in Archboston. Just because a city has a large area does not mean it needs to use it up. For a group of anti-sprawl activists, y'all seem quick to criticize whenever a city decides not to build another suburban neighborhood by building taller skyscrapers at it's core. Here's the thing, it's cheaper, infrastructure and environmentally-wise, to densify which is what Austin is doing rather than continue sprawling out.

And yeah, Austin doesn't feel as big as Boston, but it is absolutely a large city and it's short sighted to say that just because it's growing population, which BTW has jumped 20% in the past decade and continues to grow at a fast pace, hasn't reach the level of Boston, that it should wait to build tall resident towers so that it can end up like SF and Boston where the supply of residential units lag so far behind demand that people have to decide whether to eat or live close enough that they don't have to travel 1+ hour to get to work.

And yeah you may feel it's overrated but your opinion doesn't really matter does it? You don't live there and yet people continue to move there in droves. If Austin was to take your opinion into consideration, they would never grow to be a more interesting place.
 

DZH22

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And yeah you may feel it's overrated but your opinion doesn't really matter does it?
You always have the worst opinions on this site. It's actually pretty impressive.

Also, it's quite hypocritical that for Boston I have to hear that anything over 40 stories isn't cost effective, and Boston "doesn't need tall buildings" but then it also "makes sense" to build twice as tall in a podunk place like Austin. It "makes sense" to build tall when you are running out of room. Austin has tons of room to densify its downtown core without needing to jump 20 other denser cities and start plopping down supertalls.

Where are you on the North Point thread to counter all the people who say the pathetic heights and football-field-wide buildings are appropriate as long as there's a coffee shop?
 

KentXie

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Also, it's quite hypocritical that for Boston I have to hear that anything over 40 stories isn't cost effective, and Boston "doesn't need tall buildings" but then it also "makes sense" to build twice as tall in a podunk place like Austin.
Bruh, what the heck are you talking about? At no point did I say Boston doesn't need tall buildings. I've only said suggested in this forum that basing the entire value of a tower to a city solely on height is stupid. Boston can build tall tower. If it doesn't hit 1000ft, fine. A lot of the time, the reasoning is driven from a business sense (developers don't build tall if they don't think they can get their targeted return from it at that height/tenants don't need that much space). You and height fetishists are the ones in a fetal position in the corner crying over it when it doesn't achieve a height to your liking. If you have problems with people saying Boston "doesn't need tall buildings", argue with those people saying that, not me.

It "makes sense" to build tall when you are running out of room. Austin has tons of room to densify its downtown core without needing to jump 20 other denser cities and start plopping down supertalls.
Ok it's clear business sense isn't something you have a great understanding for. From the perspective of a developer and real estate management, building one tall tower on one plot of land is much more cost effective than acquiring multiple plots, building 15 smaller ones throughout the city, and managing each one. Seems like you're whinging here because you have an inferiority complex because other cities are getting supertalls and Boston isn't.

Where are you on the North Point thread to counter all the people who say the pathetic heights and football-field-wide buildings are appropriate as long as there's a coffee shop?
I don't live in Boston anymore. I don't frequent this forum as much as I use to and I'll admit, I have less stake in Boston's development. Do I like these landscapers? Absolutely not, I think they are awful and you've seen me complain about the low quality of the designs in the Seaport and Northpoint. Again, argue with those people saying that, not me.

You always have the worst opinions on this site. It's actually pretty impressive.
This is a great take here considering the fact that your complaints about height, the "sky is falling because the building boom cycle is over and we will never have another one again", and "I don't live in Boston but I think the city development and politicians should serve my opinion and my hobby only", are so well received on Archboston
 

DZH22

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I don't live in Boston anymore. I don't frequent this forum as much as I use to and I'll admit, I have less stake in Boston's development. Do I like these landscapers? Absolutely not, I think they are awful and you've seen me complain about the low quality of the designs in the Seaport and Northpoint. Again, argue with those people saying that, not me.

This is fair. I think it's easy to lump posters together when everybody has their own specific opinions, with lots of gray areas. Maybe it's just because we disagree so much on other topics that I instinctively go by that.

On my end I have never once called for a 1000' tower in Boston. Not one time, not ever. FAA map wouldn't even allow it, as the 1000' zones are to sea level. Seaport is also stuck around 250' due to FAA flight paths. On the other hand, North Point could have pushed into the 900's, Kendall into the 900's, North Station Area as high as 800'+ in specific areas, and Back Bay into the 900's. So I am definitely complaining that we don't even build half that high, in the few places where height is actually possible. Just 1-2 buildings for each of those neighborhoods that approach their FAA allowances would really pop, and visually redefine the entire area. I also complain that we plan to put, say, a 190' lab on a choice 600' parcel next to South Station, or that instead of a slim 709' residential in DTX it's going to be a super fat 350' office.

Also on my end I constantly hear that anything over 40 floors stops being cost effective for the developers. So building over 1000' in a city full of low-rises and parking lots seems like it would be purely ego driven, and not the model of efficiency you are implying. There's probably 30 US cities ahead of Austin that should be pushing for 800'-1000' due to actual constraints.

I'm jealous of Austin's upcoming height, but not the designs and definitely not the city itself. I just recognize we might be heading towards a decade or more without even cracking 500' after South Station Tower is done, whereas we have the actual need and demand to get more of the larger towers. If there were somehow a ratio out there, we have probably built the most square feet in the last decade with the least visual impact to show for it, maybe in the entire world. For instance, for every 800' office tower Chicago builds, we put up 4 buildings on the same footprints, except at 1/4 of the height (Seaport, North Point, Kendall, Fenway....). Maybe the ratio could be something like "total square feet built / total square feet above 300'" or "total square feet built / total square feet above the city's prior 25th tallest building." Something that illustrates all the times I witnessed the seas of cranes end up being more impressive than the buildings they created. The entire North Point area is obviously our prime example there. Huh... Maybe you do kind of get it too. My bad then.
 

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