Vacant downtown store to be replaced with Austin’s 1st car-free residential tower

A vacant retail space on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin could be transformed into a 30-story tower with 135 luxury apartments, office space, a restaurant and a bar.

But the proposed project is also notable for what it won’t have: any space for cars.

The project — called The Avenue — won’t include a parking garage or any space for auto parking.

It is being billed by its developers as the first “truly car-free luxury development in downtown Austin,” designed to encourage biking, walking, ride-sharing and public transportation.

These renters either don’t own a car, or they park it at work or at another location,” said real estate analyst Charles Heimsath. “Downtown is a truly walkable environment, which means that getting around on foot, by bicycle, Pedicab or Uber is the preferred means of travel for many people.

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