If you find my guide useful give me a holler so I can find you the right place! Or if my guide was ultra-super-helpful and is enough to make a decision, please list me (Alex Concepcion) as your referral and I’ll shower you with excess praise and funky gifts.
Downtown Austin has some of the best apartments in town. I know, what a shocking statement that is. As you can expect, the wonders of being able to walk everywhere to wonderful bars, restaurants, that cool tech job you have, and Whole Foods does put a premium on your lifestyle here, if you can afford it, then why the F not? I’ve compiled a list of my favorite high rise apartments here. But there are plenty of more awesome options out there.
If you’re all like “But Alex, I would love to be all swanky and stuff close to downtown, but would rather do South or East Austin ” check out these guides.
Studios $1600 – $1900
1 Bedrooms $1800-$2400
2 Bedrooms $2500-$4400
3 Bedrooms $3200+
You see this s*$&?
This is my favorite apartment building in Austin. I know, what about the dramatic tension of waiting for the best for last? Well f*&$ it. It’s my blog! I’ll do what I want!
This is the kind of I’ll bring people to where they go all googly eyed, jaws drop, and creative expletives are muttered. Whoever were the people that made the building seriously turned up the dial on style and design. Using arbitrary personality descriptors, I would say Bowie is like that cool friend of yours that created that super successful startup, but still has time for important things like yoga and mimosa filled brunches.
Getting even more arbitrary, if it were a car, the Bowie is a Tesla Roadster. Just go along with it.
- Outrageously nice pool/amenity deck. Highest pool in Austin with 360 degree views.
- Super nice gym overlooking South Austin/West Austin and Downtown.
- You can pretend to be like Leo in Titanic and yell “I’M KING OF THE WORLD” when you’re hanging out by the pool.
- You’re right next to Whole Foods & Trader Joes
- Gas Stoves! Gas Stoves! HOW ARE YOU NOT FREAKING OUT NOW!
- Some 2BR floor plans have outrageously nice views of west Austin.
- Sometimes you can find relatively affordable (at least for Downtown) units here (like, under $1600 for a studio)
- Some entry-level floor plans can be quite small
- Trader Joes and Whole Foods will likely eat through your budget (get it?)
- Pool can get rowdy on the weekends if (which may be a pro if you’re into that)
Compared to the aforementioned high energy stylish Tesla-y feel of the Bowie, I would say Northshore is more like that refined luxury Audi R8 that likes to wear expensive suits, go the theatre in a non-pretentious kind of way, and talk about fancy business things like “seed funding”. This person probably likes their meats “dry aged” and their wines from far away regions. If Richard Branson lived in Austin, I think he’d go for this place.
- Super high end luxury feel
- If you’re one of those fancy flexible co-work space type people, then Galvanize downstairs is one of the best places to work.
- The amenity deck & pool is outrageously nice, with awesome views of South Austin.
- Lots of space to hold meetings & do work.
- The Galvanize co-working space is right below if you’re looking for a solid spot to work remotely from.
- May feel a bit “stuffy” for some people.
- The pool and amenity deck is not on the top floor if you like your Sunday Funday views to be high up
- I kinda like Bowie’s eccentric style a bit more than Northshore’s super-luxury-hotel type feel, but that’s just me.
- Lots of construction going on nearby.
The Whitley is one of those powerhouse incumbent buildings that has been on the scene for a while. It’s big, beautiful, nice luxurious. It’s all the things you’d expect it to be. Given all that however, the spike in competition has made this place fall behind on a few key things like style & amenities. Overall you can’t go wrong here, but there’s a good chance you’ll find a better value/location/feel elsewhere.
- Great location in East Downtown. You’ll be in the middle of all the action during SXSW (which may be downside)
- Lots of downstairs retail, like Royal Blue Grocery
- Very nice & reasonably priced studio floorplans
- Space to walk your dog
- Fully furnished guest suites available for when you have people visiting you.
- Kinda feels more like a corporate office than a residence.
- Given the competition out there, I can see why people would opt for a more stylish modern vibe
- The pool & amenity deck is well…..unimpressive. The grilling area is nice and big though!
Gables Park Tower
GPT is a beautiful building. It’s got all the fancy swanky things you’d expect a luxury apartment of this caliber to have. And they have built in surround sound for the rooms! How friggin cool is that! The location is really awesome too. You’re right outside a ton of run/bike trails, Trader Joe’s (triple ginger snap cookies anyone?). It’s hard to not have an active lifestyle here.
However, the elephant in the room for this place is the train that runs by occasionally. Yes, it’s loud and screechy. They do have a “try it before you commit” type deal where you can move out no strings attached if the noise if too much of an issue. Some people get used to it, and the super thick windows do a decent job of blocking most of the noise, but it’s still there like that annoying friend of yours who texts you a few times a day.
- Amazing location
- Trader Joe’s!
- Sweet Floorplans
- Surround sound speakers built into the room
- Built in bookshelves for those who haven’t gone totally digital.
- Washer/Dryers included
- “Screeeeeeecccchhhh!” – Big ol annoying train
- Pool area not quite as impressive as Bowie/Northshore
AMLI on 2nd
I imagine AMLI on 2nd was going for the “Google/Facebook Headquarters” kind of feel. It’s got a vibrant down-to-earth energy, plenty of space to host all your friends on Sunday Funday. It’s not going to have that “super boojee hotel” kind of feel if that’s what you’re looking for.
- Vibrant amenity space (pool/gym/recreation areas)
- Big fat balconies!
- Lot’s of awesome South Austin views.
- Smack in the middle of all the downtown action.
- Some units have that “out-dated appliance” feel
- May feel a bit too much like a “too-hip-techy-headquarters” type building. .
If you were King Kong. This would be a studio.
The Ashton is like that grown up in the room who likes fine Japanese whiskey, occasional jaunts on the corporate jet, ski trips to Vail, and handcrafted goods made from rare oaks and leathers. It’s kinda got a bit of a New York City feel if you’re into that kind of thing. I mean, it’s really nice and stuff
- About as top-of-the-mountain as you can get in terms of Downtown Austin swankiness.
- I mean, there’s wine racks in the apartment. Cmon.
- Older building than places like Northshore and Bowie which provide some stiff competition in terms of style and amenities.
- Some (me?) would say it has a a bit of a stuffy corporate hotel feel.
- Not as walkable to important downtown amenities (like Whole Foods).
Other Downtown High rises Worth Mentioning
Working with Me
Hello there! I’m Alex Concepcion. Cool Apartment Locator Guy Extraordinaire. Like pretty much everyone here, I’m a transplant from another city. I arrived from the wild and exotic country of Miami, Florida where I traded groovy salsa music and the beach for breakfast tacos and brisket. Now I call East Austin home where I host funky dinner parties, buy overpriced cocktails, and climb rocks at the Austin Bouldering Project.
Having gone through the chaotic transition of moving to a new city, I know what it’s like to be all freaked out and worried about picking the right place to live (and eat). I’ve fortunately found myself in the position where I can help people like you make the best possible transition.
Working with me means basically having a super useful personal research assistant guy do all the heavy lifting. If you’re not familiar with the neighborhoods, I can also put on my knock-off-Anthony-Bourdain-hat and be your personal food-obsessed tour guide (which is my favorite part of what I do).
Even cooler, I’m totally free to work with. I get paid directly by the apartment complex only when you move in.(which doesn’t affect your rent amount). I’m free like that HBO subscription your friend doesn’t know you use when Game of Thrones is on. I would be flattered to help you find the perfect place to live.