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Construction breaks ground on 'Jenga Tower' in Downtown Austin

Developers broke ground on the soon-to-be tallest building in Austin's skyline Monday.
The Independent.

AUSTIN -- Developers broke ground on the soon-to-be tallest building in Austin's skyline Monday.

At Third Street and West Avenue, The Independent, also known as "Jenga Tower," will be the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi.

The 685-foot building will house condos ranging in price between roughly $400,000 to $3.4 million. 

The value of the building itself is more than $300 million. Developers said the tax the city collects from the building's value will benefit surrounding neighborhoods.

"The majority of those tax dollars are exported to the suburbs," said Perry Lorenz with Constructive Ventures. "So people that think, 'Oh, there's nothing in it for me, this is all for downtown. All this focus on downtown, all this money being spent downtown, what good does it do us in the suburbs?' The answer is, it pays for your roads. It pays for your infrastructure." 

Lorenz said the construction group has also pledged $2.5 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for the city.

He estimates construction for The Independent will take three years to complete.