Austin on Shortlist to Get Amazon’s 2nd Headquarters

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 Named 6th Hottest Housing Market in the US by Zillow

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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Two Austin Neighborhoods Hottest in the US

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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Austin’s Economy is the Second Best in the Country

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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South First Named One of the Best Places to Visit in the US

Lonely Planet named the South First Street area in Austin one of the ten best places in the country to go right now, Austin 360 reports.

Lonely Planet cites Bouldin Creek Cafe and Torchy’s Tacos as destinations and applauds the casual, easy vibe of South First Street in direct contrast to the trendiness of South Congress.

They also suggest taking the CapMetro Bus 10 or renting a B-cycle to spend a day exploring the boutiques, vintage shops and bakeries along the street, and of course recommend a stop by the ubiquitous “Greetings from Austin” mural at the corner of Annie and South First.

For lodging, Lonely Planet recommends South Congress Hotel or a local house or room rented via Air BnB or Home Away.  

The other destinations in the country that Lonely Planet said were must visits are East Liberty and Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh; Avondale, Chicago; Point Loma, San Diego; East Nashville, Nashville; Capitol Riverfront and Yards Park, Washington D.C.; Montavilla, Portland; and River North, Denver.

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Austin Tops for Commercial Real Estate Investment

Austin was named the best “non-gateway city” for commercial real estate investment, the Austin Business Journal reports.  (Gateway is New York and Los Angeles.)

DLA Piper’s Annual State of the Market named Austin the best city for commercial real estate investment in the country.  They asked 220 executives in the real estate biz from the best real estate firms in the country where they thought the best city was for investment and 45% of them said Austin.  That puts Austin on top, tied with Seattle.

Denver and Nashville tied for the next spot with 33% of the respondents naming them both great investment cities.

Chinese investors are the biggest foreign investor in the US market.  In Austin, a Chinese firm is partnering with a domestic one on the construction of 70 Rainey.

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Austin Most Fun City in Texas

Austin came in as the top fun city in Texas in WalletHub’s new study, the Austin American Statesman reports.

It’s probably not surprising to most Texans that we beat out other cities like Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.  However Austinites who like to have a good time may be surprised by the fact that Austin was listed as just the 18th most fun city in the country.  

Austin did okay in the Nightlife and Parties category, coming in at number 17, and slightly worse in the Entertainment and Recreation category, snagging the 24th spot, its ranking was tanked by its showing in the costs category: 50th.  

Wondering where the most fun is to be had in the US?  That would be Las Vegas, Orlando and New York.  The least fun cities?  Brownsville and Oxnard, California.

Looking to join the fun in Austin?  We can help!  Give Apartment Experts South a call today at 512-416-8100 to find the perfect apartment for your lifestyle and budget!   


Austin Named #2 Best Place for Entrepreneurs

After being number one for the past two years on the Kauffman Foundation’s ranking of the best cities to start a new business, Austin has fallen to the number two spot, the Austin Business Journal reports.

There were 51 new small business owners for every 100,000 residents in the Austin area in 2016 and there were 104.5 new businesses for every 1,000 businesses.  Miami edged Austin out slightly to nab the top spot.

Rounding out the top five cities for entrepreneurs are Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

Across the country, a little less than a third of adults started new companies each month last year, which is roughly 310 out of every 100,000 people.  This is slightly down from 2015, but more than 2013.

The number of women entrepreneurs declined, but the ethnic diversity of those starting new businesses is increasing.  

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Austin Named One of the Best Places to Start a Business

Austin came in number 18 on WalletHub’s new ranking of the best cities in the country to start a business, the Austin Business Journal reports.  The city ranked the highest of any city in Texas.

The rankings were determined using assessments of the overall business environment, access to resources, and business costs.  Austin had a strong showing in the category for “access to resources”, which includes things like venture capital funding per capita and the local talent pool.  

Austin was 127 in the US for business costs, which includes office space cost and cost of living.  For business environment, Austin was 4th in the nation.  This metric looks at things like the growth in the number of small businesses, work week length, startups per capita and more.

The Kauffmann Foundation ranked Austin as one of the best cities in the country for small businesses and American City Business Journals ranked Austin top in support for small businesses.

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Austin Named Best Place to Live in the U.S.

Austin has found itself on yet another “Best Of” list.  Austin nabbed the top spot on U.S. News World and World Report’s Best Places to Live list.

U.S. News & World Report broke the rankings down into a Scorecard that features rankings for Desirability, Value, Job Market, Quality of Life and Net Migration.  Austin scored a 7.8 overall out of a possible 10.

Fifty new residents decide to call the Austin area home on a daily basis.  Austin’s lightning fast growth means the cost of living, particularly for housing, can be steep because of the competition.  The median price for a house is $262,182, compared to $211,731 nationally.  Renters pay an average of $1,044 for rent in Austin.  

The mostly mild weather in Austin draws people as well, and boosts our score on the desirability score.  Events like South by Southwest, the Austin City Limits festival, and our reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World” also make us a great destination.

Getting around in Austin, however, isn’t easy, and our city is one of the worst for traffic congestion.  The average commute is 26.2 minutes, .3 minutes above the national average.  87% of Austin residents drive, 1% choose to ride a bicycle, and 2% Walk.  All these figures are equal to the national average.  However, just 2% of Austinites use public transportation, which is below the national average.  By choosing a neighborhood that’s close to work, play, public transportation, and bike routes, you can reduce your commute significantly.

The median age of Austin residents is 33.6, making it a young city.  The majority of Austinites with children live in the suburbs, but they often come into the city to enjoy all the city has to offer, including our 250 parks.

The job market in Austin is robust, with unemployment at 3.2 percent, well below the average nationwide.  Median household income is $49,560, compared to $48,320 nationally.  Some of the largest employers in the area include the State of Texas, the University of Texas, and the tech industry (which led to Austin’s nickname “Silicon Hills”).

Austin’s schools score higher on the College Readiness Scale than those in other comparably sized Metros.  There are 94 public schools ranging from elementary to high school and 113 private schools.  Seventeen high schools made U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools list.  There are six institutions of higher learning in Austin, and one of those made U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list.  

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