Houston has Gerald Hines to thank for some of the city's most recognizable skyscrapers, from Penzoil Place to One Shell Plaza. Late last year, the billionaire developer behind the eponymous real estate firm made another addition to the skyline with Aris Market Square, a multifamily residential high-rise in the heart of downtown, and the first property of its kind for the 61-year-old company.

Construction on the 32-story, 327,345-square-foot building at 409 Travis St. began in 2015, and the first residents moved in last fall. Now, residents of Aris Market Square's 274 apartment units are steps away from some seriously enviable amenities.

While nearly every apartment complex in Houston has a pool, few can claim the view from Aris Market Square's. Chilling at swimming spot and its surrounding open-air terrace (which includes an outdoor kitchen and fireplace) tucked away on the ninth floor feels almost like being suspended in the city's stratosphere thanks to dramatic views of surrounding skyscrapers that sprout up like urban beanstalks, especially when viewed through the free-standing "urban window" at the far edge of the pool.

Inside, the ninth floor also boasts a library and gym, but the coolest perks are downstairs. There's a whimsically decorated pet parlor with grooming stations, an adjacent bike repair room, and—to capitalize on the downtown vibe—a "Hi-Fidelity" vinyl listening room outfitted with a circular bench (upholstered in purple, obviously), top-notch acoustics, and a curated record collection, including additions from residents.

Then there are the requisite resident lounges, but you're more apt to find people in the private garden designed to conjure the tree-shaded courtyards of New Orleans' French Quarter. From there, there's direct access to the METRORail and, soon enough, to the 9,100-square-foot Bravery Chef Hall, which will share a portion of the space.

There's a strong sense of place at Aris Square Market thanks to urban design elements like stone, concrete, and glass used both inside and out. Hines worked with Ziegler Cooper Architects and the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission to make the high-rise reflect its setting in the historic neighborhood, pieces of which are preserved in the private garden via original turn-of-the-century mosaic tile and terrazzo flooring from the previous retail establishment. Inside, SJL Design Group juxtaposed natural materials with constructive elements and prioritized local art.

Apartments themselves range from a 570-square-foot studio to a 2,227-square-foot, three-bedroom penthouse; the latter is $10,850 a month. All units feature custom Italian cabinetry, 10-foot ceilings (12 for residents of the top two floors), gas ranges, and quartz countertops; many have balconies, and two-bedroom units on each floor are flooded with natural light from floor-to-ceiling corner glass. Rent starts at $1,745. 

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