Archives for January 2009

Downtown Austin – Is Opportunity Knocking?

is opportunity knocking?

is opportunity knocking?

“NY Times article of interest: OK, so it’s NYC, but the buyer sentiments are not unlike those of many Austinites I believe. (Note the negotiated price reductions…)”

He’s dead on.  Traffic at my last few open houses at the Sabine has picked up significantly over the past couple of weeks.   This makes sense for two important reasons:  1) Mortgage rates are at record lows, and 2) sellers understand the need to negotiate.

From the article “Many of these buyers have never received a fat bonus check, so they don’t miss it now. They did not suffer huge stock market losses, because they didn’t have huge stock market investments. They aren’t mourning the loss of value in their existing co-ops or condos, because they have never owned one….They have jobs and good credit ratings, and they are looking to buy.”

link to article “For The Brave, The Moment Is Now”

Public Invited to View Waller Creek Tunnel Models

Waller Creek Tunnel Project

Waller Creek Tunnel Project

This month the public can preview at the Downtown Austin Public Library a model of the future tunnel.  While progress is slower than we would like to see, this has been a good month for Waller Creek.  Below are some other highlites.

US Army corp of engineers report
This is a strong indicator that the engineering efforts are moving forward.

Waller Creek district TIF is now line item on property tax statements

The city and county approved TIF financing is now a line item on the property tax bill for properties within the Waller Creek District.  This indicates that the County is prepared to fund its portion of the redevelopment.  No additional taxes are levied, rather a % of property taxes collected from Waller Creek district properties go towards repaying the bonds financing the construction of the tunnel.

Dale Glover will replace Tracy Atkins on the Waller Creek Citizens Advisory Committee
Dale is a vocal and outspoken advocate of Downtown Austin and Waller Creek redevelopment.  His appointment is for the DAA’s chair on the committee.  This is in addition to his involvement with Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, Downtown Austin Alliance, and the Austin Parks Foundation.

Also, over the holidays, I shared a thought about how the loss of the Marriott and AMOA should reflect positively on 21c’s decision to move forward.  The addition of 21c museum/hotel/residences along Waller Creek would be excellent for our values.  Hopefully, they will begin to see the light!

Downtown Austin Emerging Projects – updated poster

downtown austin emerging projects

downtown austin emerging projects

The City of Austin periodically publishes a poster of emerging projects.  The latest version (pdf) was just released.  This poster shows projects under construction or being planned in Downtown Austin.  Big changes can be seen on this poster compared to the last version.

1) Lance Armstrong Crosstown Bikeway

1) Monarch (complete)
2) 360 (complete)
3) AMLI on 2nd (complete)
4) Museum Tower, AMOA (dead)
5) Red River Flats (complete)
6) La Vista on Lavaca (on hold)
7) Aqua Terra (dead)

Buildings not likely to get built within the next five years.
1) 7Rio
2) Ovation
3) Navare Block 52
4) Federal Courthouse
5) The Orsey
6) Marriott Hotel

Emergence of Austin's Urban Family?

Last month a baby was born in my building! No kidding. Mom and Dad decided to employ a mid-wife and birth the baby in their condo.

This morning Chris Bradford over at Austin Contrarian posted an interesting map showing where “families” lived in the year 2000. Downtown Austin, not surprisingly, showed very few. Downtown Austin in 2000 was a much different place. We didn’t have a supermarket. We didn’t have Frost Tower. We didn’t have the Convention Center. We didn’t have much of what makes Downtown a special place. If you wanted anything more than a two bedroom home you could look at the Towers of Town Lake or Cambridge Towers – take your pick!

I know several families living in Downtown Austin. In fact, the Mayor’s family lives in a Downtown Austin condo. The U.S. Government conducts its census every 10 years and I cant wait to see the 2010 numbers.