Archives for September 2009

Repost: The Best Panorama Of Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin Panorama Photo by TXAlex at SkyscraperPage Forums

Downtown Austin Panorama Photo by TXAlex at SkyscraperPage Forums

high res version.

-Jude

There Are Downtown Austin Condos That Are FHA Approved

(UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 25TH 2013)

To qualify for an FHA loan in Travis County the purchase price of the residence must be under $288,750.  For FHA loans, you only need at least 3.5% down payment.  Consider downtown Austin condos like the Avenue Lofts or the the Shore Condos, two of the five downtown buildings that are FHA approved condos.

FHA approved downtown Austin condos:

FHA approval has ZERO to do with the quality or desirability of a building.  In fact, it is smart Home Owner’s Associations and developers that open up their projects to as many financing options as possible.

-Jude

Defining Austin's Urban Core

Defining Austin's Urban Core

Maybe this is unique to my peers in the real estate world, but how often do you hear the term “urban core” as it relates to Austin?   Some people just say “Central” Austin, but to many that doesn’t imply South Austin, or East Austin.  Generally, when I write about the urban core of Austin this is the area I’m referring to.

How do you define Austin's "urban core"?

How do you define Austin's "urban core"?

For some of you this might be too narrow, but I suspect most of you will accuse me of drawing too broadly.  Notice that UT is excluded as UT is always referred to as UT.  Arguably, it’s one of the most urban areas of Austin – most university settings are dense, walkable, and active – but in my opinion it doesn’t compare well to the other neighborhoods due to the narrow demographics.

Oltorf is still a boundary to the south.  Lamar is no longer a boundary to the west.  To the north, MLK is a natural border between UT and downtown.  To the east I’ve chosen Pedernales, but I could be convinced to include Pleasant Valley.

More importantly, what does it mean to be inside Austin’s urban core?  Well, generally this is how I see it…

1) you can expect to find mixed-use development
2) you can find remnants of Austin’s history
3) you can find urban infill projects
4) decent transit (a generous term for Austin)
5) You could walk to downtown
6) There are no malls

Of course you could find some of the above items miles from downtown, but as a bundle of characteristics I think they work pretty well.  Austin’s “urban core” is a nebulous term that is as flexible as it is convenient.  This map shows what would have not only been the core, but most of the city at the turn of the century.   The boundary will likely grow as our city matures.   Let me know what you think.

-Jude

LiveMusicClips.com

Entrepreneur and downtown Austin resident Milan Malkani has launched LiveMusicClips.com.  LiveMusicClips.com is a place for bands to promote their shows by publishing the what/when/where info of their upcoming gigs.

As Milan puts it “I can’t play an instrument and my vocals are painful to listen to, so I figured if I can’t be in my own band at least I can help others.” To help generate some momentum and spread the word they are giving away a pair of 3-day passes to ACL – check them out!

-Jude

Photo Of Waller Creek Flooding In 1935

Photo Of Waller Creek Flooding In 1935

Thanks to LoneStarMike at SkyscraperPage for finding this.  What a great photo.  It looks as if this photo was taken from the vantage point of where the Austin Convention Center is today.  You can see the intersection of Red River and Cesar Chavez St (formerly and appropriately known as Water St, historical map).  It’s striking to see a large house on the southeast corner where we now have a surface parking lot.  It appears that gas cost $0.12 per gallon.  And, what is the sign on the shed towards the right?  Crazy.

You can see a BBQ joint on the left, but it doesn’t seem to be located where Iron Works BBQ is today.  The structure in the photo looks like it is west of Waller Creek …interesting.

From the Weigl’s website“Fortunat quickly filled the hole and the Weigl’ operation found a new home in 1935. Shortly after their opening, disaster struck. On June 5, 1935, one of the worst floods Austin has ever seen raged throughout the city. After the waters receded, the Weigls were forced to cut out pieces of floorboard to scrape massive amounts of mud into the basement.”

Click on the photo to enlarge.

-Jude

Waller Creek flooding Cesar Chavez (Water St) @ Red River in 1935

Waller Creek flooding: Cesar Chavez (Water St) @ Red River in 1935