Last week it was announced that Austin made the shortlist of cities for Amazon’s second headquarters. The Austin Business Journal took a look at what sites in Austin would fit Amazon’s criteria for their enormous HQ2.
Amazon has said that they would need a site with 500,000 square feet of space with the potential to grow up to 8 million square feet. Amazon will also consider how long their workers are going to have to commute from where they live, so lots of housing nearby will be a must.
Based on this criteria, there are a few places that stand out as possible potential locations for the online retail giant. The Broadmoor campus, which is located near The Domain and has 66 acres ready to be expanded is currently occupied by IBM.
A 125 acre site that used to be home to Motorola would also work. The site is on 183 in East Austin and is just 10 minutes from downtown and 10 miles from the airport. That land is already under renovation by Eightfold and could have 500,000 square feet of offices in a year and has room for 5 million to 9 million square feet total.
The 8,000 acre Robinson Ranch is located in Northwest Austin at the intersection of Toll 45 and Parmer Lane. The land could be built upon however Amazon would like, and the family that owns the land is willing to sell it at a heavily discounted rate to attract Amazon. This space is 12 square miles, even larger than downtown Austin, has the MetroRail line already running through it, and is close to lots of housing options that are more affordable than downtown and are zoned to popular Northwest Austin schools.
Closer to downtown, the current Austin American Statesman offices on Lady Bird Lake are being floated as a possible location as well. Although it only occupies 18.5 acres, other sites could be combined with the Austin American Statesman offices to fulfill Amazon’s needs.
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Amazon has included Austin in its shortlist of 20 cities that might get the online retail giant’s 2nd HQ, the Austin American Statesman reports.
Amazon plans to put $5 billion dollars into their 2nd Headquarters and will hire 50,000 professional workers at high salaries in whatever city they land. The goal is an “HQ2” that equals their current Seattle offices.
238 cities in the US, Canada and Mexico put their hats into the ring in 2017. Requirements that Amazon set forth included a population of more than one million people and a city that was already attracting employees in the tech sector.
Austin doesn’t plan to give Amazon any local financial incentives, but the Texas governor Greg Abbott has said that it will put forth its own incentives for any Texas city applying to be the new Amazon HQ. Dallas also made the top 20 cities.
Mayor Steve Adler told Amazon that Amazon and Austin could work together on mobility and affordability issues if the city is picked. After Amazon announced that Austin made the shortlist, the Mayor said Austin would have to look closely at the pros and cons of having a huge project like Amazon’s 2nd Headquarters come here.
The Governor issued a statement saying he is very excited about Austin and Dallas making the cut and thinks Texas is an ideal location for the new HQ.
The other cities on the list are: Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Indianapolis; Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; Montgomery County, Maryland; Northern Virginia; Los Angeles; Boston; New York; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina; Miami; and Toronto. Amazon plans to name the chosen city later in 2018.
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Austin has been named one of the ten hottest housing markets in the country, Culturemap Austin reports.
Zillow ranked US cities on metrics including home value and rent forecasts, income and population growth, current unemployment rates, and the number of job openings per person from Glassdoor to come up with a “hotness” score.
Austin’s hotness score put us in the 6th spot. As far as what neighborhoods are projected to see the biggest growth? Zillow said Pecan Springs Springdale, MLK, Montopolis, West Congress, and Coronado Hills will see their home values increase the most.
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A California company is building new single-family homes in Pflugerville and Georgetown that will only be offered for rent, Culturemap Austin reports.
The company, AHV Communities, will build 83 homes in the Legacy development in Pflugerville and 92 in the Rivers Edge development in Georgetown. Houses in both communities will be one or two stories and have three or four bedrooms, with square footage from 1,440 to 1,882 square feet.
Homes in both cities will have front and back yards, washer and dryer connections, quartz counters, wood-style flooring, and walk-in closets. Neighborhoods will have a dog park, fitness center, pool, clubhouse, and green space. Home and yard maintenance will be the domain of on-site managers, just like at an apartment community.
The communities are expected to be complete by the end of this year. AHV is also at work on similar neighborhoods in San Antonio and New Braunfels.
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Austin made Trulia’s list of best housing markets for millennials, Business Insider reports.
Austin grabbed the 7th spot on their list of biggest markets poised for growth. Trulia looked at several key metrics: job growth, vacancy rates, the affordability of a starter-home, online listing searches, and the percentage of people living there that are younger than 35.
Austin’s job growth was 2.3%, the share of income needed to buy a home is 47.5% and 26.3% of Austin’s population is under 35.
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Austin is not the most expensive place to rent in Texas, Culturemap Austin reports. Surprisingly, that honor belongs to Houston.
The study looked at the number of cost-burdened renters in the top 4 metros in Texas. A renter is considered cost-burdened if they pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent.
In Austin, 47.7 percent of renters are cost-burdened, with 26.5 percent being moderately cost-burdened and 21.2 percent being severely cost-burdened. Austin ranked 40 on a list of 100 metro areas for affordability of housing.
Dallas Fort-Worth has 45.3 percent cost-burdened renters, 25.1 percent moderately cost-burdened renters, and 20.2 percent severely cost-burdened. DFW came in as the 18th most affordable city in the country and the most affordable in Texas.
San Antonio has 47.7 percent cost-burdened renters, 25.8 percent moderately cost-burdened renters, and 21.9 percent severely cost-burdened renters. It ranks 38 on the housing affordability list.
49 percent of Houston’s renters are cost-burdened, with 24.9 percent of them considered moderately cost-burdened and 24.1 percent of them severely cost-burdened. It came in at number 58 on the list of 100 metros.
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Two Austin neighborhoods made a list of the 25 hottest neighborhoods in the country, the Austin American Statesman reports.
Austin’s Holly neighborhood nabbed the 12th spot on the list, scoring high on the budget, weather, and walkability measures of the ranking.
Central East Austin was named the 10th hottest neighborhood in the US and did well in the same categories as Holly. Both scored low in the entertainment measure.
The list took into account walkability, transit, budget, entertainment, lifestyle, and weather, These were measured by examining how many bars and restaurants were in a neighborhood, local taxes, how severe the seasons were, and pet friendliness.
Houston’s Lower Westheimer neighborhood was the only other area in Texas to make the cut.
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A recent survey found that Austin has the 2nd best economy in the United States, only beat out by Provo, Utah, the Austin Business Journal reports.
Austin had been number one for the past two years. The cities are ranked using numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Austin added 275,000 new people to the city in the past half decade, which is a 15.5 population increase. 2,900 jobs were added in the private sector each month since 2012, which is a growth rate of 26 percent.
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A new report by Abodo finds that Austin rents are increasing, Austin Culturemap reports.
In the third quarter of the year, rent increased 2.51 percent. The median price of a one bedroom in Austin in July was $1,154, and by the end of September it was $1,183. For a two bedroom apartment, the median price at the end of September was $1,448. Austin is the 24th most expensive market for renting in the United States.
As U.S. News and World Report recently found, Austin is the best city to live in the country. Demand drives up prices, especially if there isn’t enough supply to house everyone coming to Austin, so expect rent to continue to be on an upward trend. Austin had more new people move here in 2016 than ever before.
To sum up, don’t expect to see prices go down for a while, especially with homeownership rates falling.
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A new mixed-use development in Cedar Park is underway, the Austin Business Journal reports.
The project was started as a way to add office space closer to where workers are living. American Constructors found that their employees were living in the suburbs in Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock, where housing was more affordable. Their CEO reached out to developer Riverside Resources in hopes of moving their operations from Southwest Austin to Cedar Park where most of their employees reside. The goal was to cut back on workers’ commutes.
The expansion of Apple, Inc., in Northwest Austin, as well as Charles Schwab Co., Amazon.com Inc., and HomeAway Inc. has led to a much bigger demand for housing and retail in the area.
Riverside Resources is behind the Presidio, a mixed-use community on 100 acres near West Parmer Lane and Brushy Creek Road. American Constructors is the anchor tenant and has roughly fifty percent of the 25,000 square feet of office space in the first office building in the development. Other tenants include First American Title Co., Edward Jones, and Thrivent Financial. There are plans to add another 50,000 square foot office building.
A 337 unit multifamily development called Latitude at the Presidio is set to open in early 2018.
To meet the demands of all the office workers and residents, a trail will be added through the development as well as retail. 23,000 square feet will be constructed in the first phase, with a focus on restaurant-centric design with outdoor decks, a rarity in Cedar Park.
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