#austinrapidgrowth

New Train Station Coming to Downtown ATX

This past Monday, thanks to a $50 million grant by TXDOT, Capital Metro broke ground last Monday on a brand new Downtown Austin train station on Fourth Street between Neches and Red River Streets.  This new station will have a much bigger platform than the previous one, allowing several more trains to travel to downtown at the same time.

Upon completion (projected spring of 2021), the new rail station will expand to two platforms and three tracks instead of its current one platform and one track. Capital Metro hopes to grow its ridership substantially by 2039, aiming for half of all Austin commuters to use some form of public transit.  With a city population that looks to grow by about 2 million people in the same time frame, strengthening our public transit system now is smart growth. 

The builder of the new Downtown train station is Jay-Reese, who is also known for other Austin builds such as the Second Street Bridge near Austin Central Library, the Pfluger pedestrian bridge over Lady Bird Lake and the hike-and-bike trail boardwalk off East Riverside Drive.

US Army to Austin with $37 Billion to Give Out

You may have heard the Apple or Amazon buzz, but there is one major economic development in Austin you may not have gotten the news about. Last summer, the US Army said, “We Want You!” to Austin, Texas, as they made a decision to locate their base for the country’s new high-tech, four-star Army Futures Command here.

 The new Command Center will be located in The University of Texas System’s building in downtown Austin and will not only be looking for partners in innovation from the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering,  but from many private sectors as well. In short, the Futures Command is all about developing newer, faster, stronger and better technology for the Army’s future. Many Army defense contracts of old can take decades to work through large corporate systems, and the Army wants to speed up that process with Austin’s young, agile, ambitious and incredibly talented high-tech entrepreneurs.  

 It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship, as the 500 person Command Center will have access to researchers and academia on UT’s campus as well as an initial relationship with Capital Factory, a co-working space in Austin that houses over 1000 entrepreneurial & start-up tech firms. Federal research grants, development dollars, and high-tech contracts are sure to follow, with an initial modernization budget of as much as $37 billion already awarded to the Army Futures Command (www.defenseone.com).

 The Army’s decision to locate in Austin will continue drawing innovative tech companies to Austin as they compete for Army contracts and help the Army implement innovations and modernize their processes.  So, when you consider the major tech leaders of the future in Austin, TX, don’t forget to add the US Army to your list!

Austin's Changing Skyline--Downtown Development in ATX

Austin skyline by 2020.JPG

Austin continues to boom. Business Insider says Austin had the second highest rate of job growth among the 40 largest metro areas in America, with employment rising 3.7 percent between February 2017 and February 2018. The most visible representation of our rapid economic development is our ever changing downtown skyline. Just think about this: of the 8 tallest buildings in downtown Austin today, not a single one of them existed 10 years ago!

According to the Austin Downtown Alliance, downtown will grow by 50 percent if it only completes projects currently under construction and those proposed for redevelopment. However, downtown Austin has the potential to double in size if it reaches its full build out potential in the next 5 years.

Below is just a glimpse of the developments that are shaping or will continue to shape the Austin skyline…

  1. 6th X Guadalupe St—when completed this will be the tallest building in Austin. 837 feet high & 66 stories of apartments and offices stacked atop each other. An acre of parks in the sky are in the plans for this skyscraper.

  2. The Independent— luxury high rise condominiums and currently Austin's tallest building, taking the title away from The Austonian, which laid claim to the tallest building in Austin for about eight years.

  3. The Republic at 401 W Fourth St, just south of Republic Square Park, will have 711,401 square feet of office and 21,463 square feet of retail.

  4. 70 Rainey—a 34-story skyscraper with 164 condos that tower over Rainey Street.

  5. 48 East Ave—a 33-story, 215 condo tower also located in the Rainey Street Historic District.

  6. Waller Park Place—more than 3 million square feet of residential, commercial and office space at Red River and East Cesar Chavez streets. This will be a big property—roughly the size of six Frost Bank Towers!

  7. Block 71—Indeed Inc. will lease the top 10 floors of this office tower under construction at the intersection of Sixth Street and Colorado Avenue.

  8. 5th & West—154 luxury condos that stand 37-stories tall.

  9. The Austin Proper Hotel—a 32-story luxury hotel and residential combo.

  10. Third + Shoal — an office tower near The Independent, the new library and Google’s tower — with tenants such as Facebook and Bank of America.

  11. 300 Colorado Office— at Colorado and Third Street will be redeveloped into a 32-story office tower with about 390,000 square feet of space.  Fourteen of the building’s 32 floors will be dedicated to parking. 

  12. ZaZa Tower—This 24-story tower on West Fourth Street near Lavaca Street will offer more than 200 apartments and more than 150 rooms at Hotel ZaZa. Retail stores will line the bottom of the building.

  13. Genesis Real Estate plans to build a 50-story apartment tower in the Rainey Street area on the site of the vacant Villas on Town Lake condos.

  14. Block 185— Google has leased the entire building. set to start construction in 2019. This building will take on a sail-like shape due to its proximity to Lady Bird Lake and Shoal Creek.

  15. 93 Red River—347 Units; 40 stories of Multifamily, Office & Retail including five levels of underground parking and seven levels of above ground parking.

  16. 405 Colorado—a 197,056 SF building with 12 stories of parking with 12 levels of office space on top.

How do you feel about Austin’s dynamic skyline and economic boom? Like it our not, our city is currently one of the most rapidly changing metro areas in the country, so we need to be prepared to flex and change with it, especially in the real estate sector.

Apple's Big Announcement and Its Impact on Austin

In early December, while all eyes were on Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, Apple made an important one of its own:  the decision to invest $1 billion in a new 133-acre Austin campus that will increase Apple to upwards of 15,000 employees in the coming years. With the completion of this campus, Apple will surpass other well-known names such as H-E-B and Dell to earn the title as the largest private employer in the city of Austin.

The Apple campus will be located right next to its counterpart just over the county line in Williamson County, placing it 12 miles from the city center. It will bring in a good mix of middle to upper range jobs in technology, research and customer call centers. In addition to catapulting Austin into the big leagues as a technology center, the incoming Apple campus will impact all sectors of life, such as housing, restaurants, traffic, and retail marketplaces.  Some estimate that the overall impact of the new Apple campus could result in over 30,000 new jobs across all sectors of real estate, construction, and the marketplace in Austin. 

What impact will this swell of jobs have on the Austin housing market? Prices will continue to rise if more supply is not created to meet these additional demands. As housing prices in the urban core of Austin continue to escalate, look for more incoming Apple employees to search for homes in the Round Rock, Pflugerville, and Hutto areas because of their close accessibility to the Robinson Ranch area (where Apple is located) via SH 45. Other communities that will likely see further development are Liberty Hill and Leader as I-35 will also become a main thoroughfare for Apple employees.

What might the arrival of Apple mean for your housing sale or purchase? If you are shopping in the housing market right now, the answer is simple.  The sooner you can buy, the better.  Competition and prices are only looking to increase. However, if you own a home in North Austin, you might want to hold onto it for a couple more years.  That is, if you can afford its increasing property taxes!

The addition of the new Apple campus will only contribute to Austin’s reputation as a knowledge and talent center and will continue to draw more people from the West Coast who are looking for solid tech jobs in more affordable housing markets.  However, the infrastructure will have to work hard to keep up with the demands of this brand new influx of people to make this a win for all Austinites.

2015-2018 ATX Urban Core Growth Trends

The final 2018 numbers are in, and the data confirms that the Austin real estate market continues to be on the rise in the urban core.

When comparing the numbers from 2017 to 2018, the median price, median price per square foot, overall dollar transactions in the urban core, highest price per square foot, and highest overall price all increased from 2017 to 2018. For example, the median price of a home in the urban core in 2017 was $434,000; in 2018, that same number increased to $450,000. The median price per square foot back in 2015 was $273.38. That number has increased almost $50 per square foot over the past 4 years, resulting in a median price per square foot in 2018 of $320.64.

Will prices continue to be on the rise for 2019? With Apple’s company announcement and the arrival of a major league soccer team in ATX, expansion and growth do not seem to be slowing down anytime in the real estate market of Austin, TX. Check out my urban core trends and market analysis below! For more market statistics and analysis in the downtown area specifically, click here!

Urban Core Stats 2015-2018.png

Are you considering purchasing a property in the urban core of Austin? Jump in now before prices continue to rise! Contact me today to help you find the home of your dreams!