The ATX

Austin Economy/Culture/Growth/Whatever

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Here's a great shot from August (the peak of "Bat Season") showing what the bats look like as they take flight from the Congress Ave. bridge each evening.  The U/C tower is the Hotel Van Zandt in the Rainey St. area:  

 

14833991758_82f6289fea_o.jpg

Photo by h_fakhr:  https://flic.kr/p/oAQ5WA

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This is pretty cool when viewed in full screen HD:  

 

http://vimeo.com/105382873

 

 

 

For some reason the Vimeo video doesn't always start playing.  But there is a shorter version on Youtube with a much better soundtrack:  

 

http://youtu.be/-PCC047f7Dk

Edited by The ATX

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Equipment/cars have started to arrive at ABIA for the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in two weeks.  I believe this is the first Austin race where the F1 driver's championship wasn't already decided - one of the disadvantages of being at the end of the racing calendar.  

 

DSC_0218.edit.jpg

http://circuitoftheamericas.com/blog/2014/10/15/formula-one-safety-cars-arrive-at-cota

 

As everyone familiar with Formula 1 knows, the partying scene is a big part of every race.  At least three temporary high end, exclusive night clubs are being set up Downtown for the weekend.  (I couldn't find the link to the article I read about them a few days ago.)  But these temporary night spots follow F1 around the world and create a generic environment for the international high rollers.  I think that sucks because it removes the Austin vibe from the clubs that most people who visit Austin love.  

Edited by The ATX

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The Austin City Council has directed the city manager to install gay pride rainbow crosswalks at an intersection downtown.  Here's what they would look like:  

 

crosswalk.jpg

Article in Austin Chronicle:  http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/gay-place/2014-09-26/pride-crosswalk-update/

That would be very unique and colorful!

This is pretty cool when viewed in full screen HD:  

 

http://vimeo.com/105382873

 

 

 

For some reason the Vimeo video doesn't always start playing.  But there is a shorter version on Youtube with a much better soundtrack:  

 

http://youtu.be/-PCC047f7Dk

That is impressive! I will be in Austin in a week to visit family in Houston, we have some friends in Austin and it really is an impressive/exciting and vibrant city.

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British Airways' direct flight between Austin and London has been so successful that they are upgrading from a 787-8 to a 777-200ER.  (I have no idea what the difference is, and I'm too busy being a high rise nerd to start caring about airplanes.)

 

http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/244906/british-airways-to-deploy-787-to-montreal-and-seoul-in-winter-2015/

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I am in Austin right now and I have to say I am very blown away. I am a little sad there is not much activity on this city forum because there is so much happening here.

Great city, and now one of of my favorites for sure. If I had to relocate to Austin, I would love it. The guys on the Nashville forum will not want to here this but Austin is a good ten years ahead of Nashville from my assessment of things. Great connectivity here and easy to get around by foot. The density is a lot more than I expected.

I am definitely going to come back and visit for fun and explore more.

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I am in Austin right now and I have to say I am very blown away. I am a little sad there is not much activity on this city forum because there is so much happening here.

Great city, and now one of of my favorites for sure. If I had to relocate to Austin, I would love it. The guys on the Nashville forum will not want to here this but Austin is a good ten years ahead of Nashville from my assessment of things. Great connectivity here and easy to get around by foot. The density is a lot more than I expected.

I am definitely going to come back and visit for fun and explore more.

 

You got into town just in time for the record cold weather.  :)  The best thing about the building boom is that it isn't even close to peaking yet based on what's in the pipeline.  You had to notice the traffic though.  It really, really sucks.  I work Downtown, and just getting to my office some days is more work and stress than my job is.

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I have not driven far in rush hour traffic, but it does not even come close to Nashville's traffic, IMO. Be thankful you just have one interstate running through the downtown instead of three, plus a loop. It all backs up and sometimes for ten to twenty miles. Austin is very easy to get around in so far. If there is a wreck on any one of the roads in Nashville, it backs everything up. I have found using the service roads on either side of 35 is efficient for me and thanks to GPS, I can get where I need to go easily.

I did another walk today and noticed several more projects about to start. Amazing amount of construction going on.

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The ABJ is reporting that Amazon is opening an Austin office that will create 250 Tech/IT jobs.  Two-hundred and fifty jobs is not a big news story here, but the fact that it's a high profile company is.  Their offices will be in the Domain.  

The Domain is an interesting story in itself.  It's arguably the single most intensely developed mixed use project outside of Downtown in Austin's history.  In fact one of the developers described it as "Austin's second Downtown."  That was pure marketing crap, but it's an impressive development anyway.  It used to be a large IBM industrial site that had operations for several divisions of IBM.  I worked for IBM at this location for 12 years.  IBM sold off the site to developers after the manufacturing operations moved overseas and IBM moved the rest of its Austin workforce in to a large ~6 building office park across the street.

 

Austin Business Journal article:  

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/techflash/2014/11/report-amazon-plans-big-austin-office.html

Edited by The ATX

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Here'a a picture of the now deceased loser that fired over 100 rounds of ammunition in a drive by into the Mexican Consulate, Federal Courthouse, APD HQ and a bank Thanksgiving weekend. He tried to burn down the consulate, but the fire went out before it did much damage. 

 

635527885356850008-Larry-McQuilliams.jpg

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/05d49879a10435e515b70bd8f559ec1fb7fe046f/c=1-0-679-510&r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/WFAA/WFAA/2014/11/28/635527885356850008-Larry-McQuilliams.jpg


 

 

In keeping with the "whatever" theme of this thread, here's a British Airways Ad for their London to Austin flight.

 

[youtube[

Edited by The ATX

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The city has imposed a moratorium on new special events Downtown for the next two years.  This is due to the congestion exasperated by all of the street closures for races/runs and music/arts festivals on top of the ridiculous amount of construction related closures.  I work Downtown and the congestion and street grid mazes created by road closures can be absurd.  Austin is the only place that I am familiar with that has local TV stations reporting on their newscasts that people should avoid Downtown if possible.  It's great to live in a city with a busy downtown where there is always stuff going on, but it does get ridiculous if you live or work downtown.

 

Austin Business Journal:  

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2014/11/26/austin-issues-downtown-special-event-moratorium.html

 

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From this past weekend.  Here are a couple of shots of the 10-mile hike and bike trail that goes around Lady Bird Lake (a Colorado River impoundment) Downtown.  Over a mile of the length consists of a boardwalk.

 

DSC_0863.JPG

DSC_0883.JPG

Photo by Mopacs:  http://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showpost.php?p=6846324&postcount=1303

Edited by The ATX
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The big rent increases over the past few years may finally level off (somewhat) in 2015.  The 10,000 new apartments built in 2014 along with 8,000+ this year means new construction may have finally caught up with demand.

 

http://www.statesman.com/news/business/rents-ease-as-thousands-of-new-apartments-come-int/nj3Ys/

Edited by The ATX

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Austin should reach two population milestones this year.  The MSA will blow past the 2,000,000 mark sometime this summer, and the city proper will go over 900,000.  These numbers are from the City of Austin's demographics website.  The Census Bureau's estimates are always for the previous year, so the Metro population probably won't officially hit 2,000,000 until the 2016 release - unless Burnet County is added to the Metro.  Burnet County is adjacent to Travis County to the west, and has a population of around 50,000.  Austin's metro area hasn't increased in size since 1990, and it may seem surprising that a county adjacent to Travis is still not included.  But the reason for that is the hilly terrain in the area that limits road construction and the amount of commuting into Travis County.  Commuting patterns are the biggest factor when determining the counties in an MSA.   

 

01-01-2015%20City%20of%20Austin%20Popula

http://www.austintexas.gov/demographics

 

Edited by The ATX

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