The New Porsche Dealership in Austin: “Eight Levels of Endless Possibility”
Texas boasts the second-largest GDP in the U.S. behind California and boasts a young, fast-growing economy. Austin ranks as the #1 Tech Town and has several “Best” and “Hottest” labels, like U.S. Cities for Starting a Business, Places to Live in America, Hottest Big City Labor Market, and the list goes on. Considered the new high-tech corridor, Austin tech jobs represent more than 17 percent of all jobs in the area, compared to just nine percent nationally.
As Austin grows, so does the appetite for luxury cars, and the Hill Country is the perfect place to take a scenic and technical test drive. Hi Tech Motorcars, the Austin-based, family-run luxury auto dealer, expanded the Porsche dealership, and go big or go home could have easily been the moto. The tech workers are, after all, primary Porsche customers.
The new 186,000-square-foot facility, coined “eight levels of endless possibility,” is located in the Arboretum area of Austin. President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), Kjell Gruner, notes the facility “is designed with the customer in mind.” The $40 million project is, at the time of its opening, the largest Porsche dealership in the nation.
Designed by Gensler, the dealership captures the brand’s “design values through inventive details.” It features a sunken coffee and customer lounge with views of the 30-stall state-of-the-art service center. It also includes an impressive two-story showroom, including classic and vintage Porsche lines. From the outside, your eye wanders to the rooftop sales lot showcasing ten Porsche cars with a remarkable window and lighting display using halo LED colored lighting above each car.
The design details capture the changing culture of retail. “If you want to know what the future of retail looks like, here you can see a great example of what defines excellence,” said Gruner in a press release statement by the company. He noted that the dealership’s design is centered on creating Porsche Passion. The environment exudes luxury, and the open sightlines add to the experience like the addition of cable railing to define areas of the showroom.
The project initially called for a glass infill, and there was a last-minute design change to a stainless-steel cable infill. The design parameters called for six-foot spacing between posts. “The railing had to serve as a vehicle barrier to keep the cars from being driven off the balcony,” said Wayne Uecker, owner of Texas Railing Systems, the fabricator and installer located in Kerrville, Texas.
The railing was a one-of-a-kind design. The railing framework, made from custom stainless-steel extrusions, includes 400 linear feet of Ultra-tec 1/4-inch diameter cable with Invisiware® fittings for a concealed and sleek finish.
Texas Railing Systems was the last trade and installation in the dealership because of the extra engineering needed to ensure a safe and secure railing. Saving the best for last is on par with Porsche’s design values and details.