The Austin Skyline Won’t Look the Same in 10 Years

Kevin Burns talks about his favorite downtown Austin towers, including the ones that aren’t there yet

By Aaron Parsley
Photographs and video by Dorothy and Andrew Bennett

Kevin Burns is shedding light on the future of Austin’s iconic skyline. The founder of Urbanspace, who knows a thing or two about working and living in downtown Austin, makes a big point: stay gone too long and you might not recognize our city when you return.

“When I started Urbanspace, the tallest downtown condominium building was about 20 stories. And now we have countless towers that are going up into the 50s and 60s, so we’ll definitely see an evolution in the skyline,” Burns says. “I believe what we’ll see in five to seven years will make what we see today look like what we saw 25 years ago.”

Kevin Burns sits in the showroom at Urbanspace, which opened its permanent location inside the Independent this summer.

With all of that upward building happening, we asked “Mr. Downtown” about his favorite local high rises.

“Being a UT grad, I gotta say the UT Tower,” says Burns, who moved to Austin in 1995. He adds his own residence to that list as well: “I am 100 percent biased to The Independent,” where he also set up the Urbanspace offices.

“People are really proud of our skyline,” Burns says. “It is our calling card. Downtown Austin has become the living room for all of Austin.”

As for the future, Burns told Tribeza for our Summer Issue that he’s closely watching for the new Google tower, along with 6 X Guadalupe, 44 East and 90 Rainey to dramatically transform the skyline in just the next four years.

But the one he’s most excited about? Burns says: “I can’t wait to see 4040 East Ave come out of the ground.”


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