Whitley apartment building opens doors
Announced in September 2011, The Whitley apartment building, at Brazos and Fourth, welcomed its first tenants this month. The 16-story building brings 266 apartments, and is the vanguard of an apartment building boom in the core.
There are at least another 1,100 apartments coming online, not including the projects recently detailed on this blog. Downtown apartment occupancy remains at a stunning 98 percent occupancy as of late February.
Downtown braces for more convention business
Its long been part of local king-makers’ narrative that Austin is missing out on tourism business – or essentially free money for the local economy – due to a shortfall of hotel rooms.
Now, some 4,000 hotel rooms are coming online in and around downtown, which means we get to share our awesome downtown with more people.
Tourism dollars, for those who don’t follow this stuff, are highly-coveted because they pump a ton of sales tax into the local economy, but tourists cost little in terms of core-city services, such as police and fire.
Cousins Third & Colorado project kaput?
Cousins property last year announced a pretty cool-looking office tower at Third and Colorado, in the Warehouse District.
Cousins said it had hoped to break ground late last year, and to date, there is no physical progress. One reason for the delay is they still don’t have their zoning, but it’s on the council agenda this week.
This is creating fears that the project may be put on ice as other office project jockey for tenants.
Block 51 – aka IBC Bank tower – and 7 Rio set for groundbreaking
Two longtime downtown projects, which have been germinating for half a decade are finally getting ready to sprout.
Block 51, which is just north of the new federal courthouse, and 7 Rio (located at 7th and Rio Grande) both filed paperwork to start partially blocking the streets to begin construction.
City Council finalizes new parking requirements: There are none
City Council has waved future parking requirements for new downtown development.
This is a symbolic and legal step forward because minimum parking requirements have many negative effects, including:
- Generate greater automobile usage and reduce use of transit and walking.
- Increase building construction costs and make units less affordable.
- Negatively affect the aesthetics of the built environment.
- Perpetuate the inefficient use of available parking. (Currently many parking spaces in garages downtown sit empty throughout the day and night.)
Cirrus Logic campus plan OK’d by Planning Commission
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic’s plans to build a new building that is as tall as its new headquarters got the green light from the Austin Planning Commission recommendation despite opposition from neighborhood associations.