CNU Austin 2008: New Urbanism and the Booming Metropolis

20 02 2008

“How do we make New Urbanism flourish in the suburbs and boomtowns of high-growth America? How can regions preserve their local character and environment while creating vital new and renewed communities? From new rail systems to infill transit-oriented development to the downtown high-rise boom, Austin is the place to see how New Urbanism is making a difference on the front lines of American growth. Attend the premier gathering of new urbanists April 3-6, 2008.

New Urbanism takes hold in one of the Nation’s fastest growing cities. See how the principles of New Urbanism are finding their way into projects, public conversations and City policy.” –cnu.org/cnuxvi

Related Post: 51 Reasons Why Downtown Austin is Home to New Urbanism.

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Google Set to Inhabit Austin’s Scarbrough Building

29 01 2008
Scarbrough Building. Google to office 2nd floor.

Usually I shy away from quoting an entire article in my post, but I’ll indulge myself just this once. Here’s the scoop on Google’s new digs in downtown Austin:


AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Google is headed to downtown Austin.

The Internet search leader has leased the second floor of the historical Scarbrough Building for an engineering center, said Office Leasing Advisors Inc., the Austin firm that represented Google Inc. in the deal.

Google will occupy 25,000 square feet of the art-deco-style building at Sixth Street and Congress Avenue, Office Leasing said.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google did not respond to inquiries about the Austin office.

In recent months, Google has posted Internet job listings for an engineering director in Austin to head up a group of 100 or more engineers. It also has posted listings seeking software engineers in Austin. The Scarbrough office could hold 125 to 150 people, according to real estate brokers.

The entrance of a high-profile, national tech player like Google is a coup for Austin’s technology industry, tech recruiters and executives said.

“Google is another marquee name in the technology world that we can say we have in Central Texas, and in addition to getting the Google name, we’ll probably get some good-paying jobs with it,” said David Porter, senior vice president of development for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

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Urban or Suburban: How Much Does it Cost to Own in Downtown Austin?

1 11 2007

There’s no doubt the downtown Austin buzz is growing. It seems there are more than a few people considering a lifestyle change by moving out of the suburban areas and into downtown. Until recently, there hasn’t been a large supply of downtown residential space available. Predictably, demand for condos and lofts in the urban core continues to swell.

For example, the W Hotel & Residences saw 80 percent of their units reserved within a week of breaking ground and the sales center opening its doors (1 reservation = $10,000.00 deposit per unit). That’s remarkable given the expected completion date is still 3 years away… But even if you’re not willing to wait 3 years for your condo, there are at least 10 other projects under construction and roughly 2,000 units due to be complete by the end of next year. All of this begs the question… How much will it cost to own a downtown condo?

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Block 21: W Hotel and Residences

24 10 2007

Last week the W Hotel and Residences officially broke ground. To be honest, it’s the first time I’ve seen the letter “W” downtown without an anti-symbol displayed with it. In fact, this seems to be a W that many Austinites are happy to welcome to town.

Block 21 of the 2ND Street District is now the construction site of a $260 million dollar project that once completed, will be home to a 35 story, Platinum LEED-certified structure designed by Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise. Here’s what’s planned for the site: 

  • 250 hotel guestrooms

  • 196 condos  

  • Austin City Limits Studio Theater (2,200 seats)

  • Spa and Pools

  • Signature bar and Restaurant

  • 25,000 sq ft of ground floor retail space (The sales staff shared with me a list of possible tenants including Uchi, Eddie V’s, and a high-end grocer)

Unfortunately, I probably will not become a lucky resident of the W Austin anytime soon, but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about the legendary “Whatever/Whenever” service the home owners will enjoy. If you’re unfamiliar with the experience, W/W stands for pretty much anything and everything you could possibly request… so long as it’s legal, which some would argue is a relative term here in Austin… Here are few examples of that delightful W/W service:

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Urban or Suburban: Where Should You Live?

1 10 2007

 Should you live downtown or in the burbs? With the re-emergence of downtown living, this question is on the minds of many in Austin. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to both the urban and suburban way of life. But ultimately, it comes down your preferences 

So what are the top 3 advantages to urban and suburban lifestyles in Austin? I’ve lived in both Austin’s urban and suburban environments. Here’s what I think.
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Downtown Austin Tour

2 06 2007

Take a 4 minute tour of Downtown stopping at a few key destinations including, Waterloo Records, Fado Irish pub, BookPeople and 6th street. Enjoy.

Provided By: jellybeanempire

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51 Reasons Why Downtown Austin is Home to New Urbanism

30 03 2007

“Austin’s efforts to create a denser and more active urban core have helped it land a major conference that will draw an estimated 2,000 attendees next year to learn what the capital of Texas is doing right. Austin has been selected as the host city for the 16th annual Congress for the New Urbanism, a leading national forum dedicated to advancing the urban density model and promoting alternatives to sprawl” (Austin Business Journal).

Why did they choose Austin? Here are 51 reasons. Email me to request a copy of the latest downtown emerging projects map and information regarding downtown living [Jason.M.Groves(at)gmail.com].

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