by staff writer
on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 at 3:29am.
In January this year, Forbes ranked Austin as the top city in its “America's Cities of the Future” list – based on forecast growth for the next decade.
Among the many other publications to peg Austin as a “boom-town” was the Chief Executive, which named Austin the best city in its 2015 "Best and Worst States for Business".
States that were ranked highly by the Chief Executive are those that, like Austin, foster growth through progressive business development programs, have low income tax (Austin has 0%), and offer residents a high standard of living.
Austin's economic boom
Like most major cities in Texas, Austin has experienced an economic boom in recent years as a result of many large corporations relocating operations, or sometimes even their headquarters, to Texas.
This rapid business expansion has created an estimated 1.2 million jobs in Texas since December 2007.
In Austin, it has led to both widespread economic prosperity and rapid population growth. As a result, many existing malls, hotels, residences, and public spaces in Austin are undergoing renovation or redevelopment, and construction of new housing is taking place across the city.
New developments in Austin
Many mixed-use spaces are popping up throughout Austin. Seaholm Power is currently redeveloping the 1950s Art Deco Seaholm Power Plant and neighboring property into a mixed-use space. The center will include retail space, condos, offices, a special event space, and an outdoor terrace overlooking Lady Bird Lake.
In Northwest Austin, The Domain, an existing mixed business, retail and residential area, is under development. The first phase of building was completed in 2007, but developers have continued to add buildings over the years. Additions that will be completed soon include a hotel, retail space, residences, and office space.
Renovations and redevelopment of existing spaces include the former Littlefield Quarters, which is being transformed into a mixed-use space with lofts, offices, and restaurants; and the Austin American-Statesman site, an 18.9-acre waterfront property that will be redeveloped into a mixed-use space.
A number of new office buildings are under construction in Austin. These include a 29-story commercial building with office lofts and unconventional spaces, built on the site currently occupied by the Austin Music Hall; 801 Barton Springs, an office building with views of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin; the UT Administration Building, with 300,000 square feet of office space; 500W. 2nd Street, a 29-story office tower; and 5th and Colorado, an 18-story office building in downtown Austin.
Many of the neighborhoods in central Austin are fully developed, leaving little space for new housing. However, neighborhoods in the outlying areas have adequate space for the construction of new homes.
The fastest-growing neighborhoods in Austin include North Loop; University Hills; Teravista, Round Rock; Crystal Falls; and Cedar Park.
Recent projects in downtown Austin include the construction of Seaholm Residences, which will offer studios and three-bedroom apartments; Fifth & West Residences, a 154-unit tower under construction on the site of the former Texas Press Association; and Austin Proper, 32-story building with 243 hotel rooms and 100 luxury residences.
The Rainey Street District, in particular, is seeing the construction of many new residential units, including a 35-story condominium tower and a 31-story residential tower.
A proposed development in the up-and-coming neighborhood of East Austin is thinkEAST, a block with 300 units of affordable housing.
Austin hotel development
With the current rate of population growth in Austin, the demand for hotels has increased dramatically. A number of new hotels are popping up downtown, including a Holiday Inn Express, JW Marriott Convention Hotel, The Hotel Indigo, The Fairmont Hotel, Hotel Zaza, and the Hotel Van Zandt.
The office building One Eleven Congress is set to have its plaza and lobby transformed into a new urban park with green space, an amphitheater, and a food court.
Local public park development includes improvements to Republic Square Park, one of three remaining historic squares in downtown Austin. The remodel will include a large, open space that can be used for different events, a promenade, pathways connecting all four corners of the park, an eatery, and restrooms.
The City of Austin also plans to transform three former utility buildings along Lady Bird Lake into a public space with a rooftop garden and direct access to the lake.
In addition, the 97 acres along the south side of Lady Bird Lake will undergo development to include more roads, running trails, and public recreation spaces. One of these developments will be a pedestrian/bike bridge to connect the Shoal Creek trail to Fourth and Rio Grande.
Other projects planned for 2016 include improvements to Zilker Park, the Pecan Grove Picnic Area at Lady Bird Lake, Lamar Beach, Wooldridge Square, the Barton Springs Bathhouse, and Barton Springs Pool.
The construction of a new library is underway along Shoal Creek. The New Central Library will have an indoor reading room – which will overlook the creek and Lady Bird Lake, reading porches, a public gathering space, a café, a bookstore, and a gallery space.
Austin transportation developments
A number of improvements are planned or underway for the transportation system in Austin. Development of a proposed light rail transit system is set to start, beginning with the construction of transit lanes in the busy Guadalupe-Lamar Corridor in the central inner city.
With its current development boom, there's no denying that Austin is the place to be! Contact us for help finding your ideal property in Austin.