Development

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Development in Bastrop has been temporarily put on hold.

The Bastrop City Council voted unanimously last week to put a 90-day moratorium on development permits. The city wants to use this time to update its land-development rules to try to prevent flooding, an effort it’s calling Building Bastrop. The council also approved an emergency ordinance related to drainage.

Eddie Gaspar/KUT

UPDATE:  Ashbel Smith Hall in downtown Austin was demolished Sunday morning to make way for a new office tower. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Martin Barrera surveyed acres of land – much of it undeveloped – from a hill in far East Austin on a recent Thursday morning.

“You can see this is Colony Park on this side, and it comes to right about there and then it just stops," said Barrera, a project manager with the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department. "We’ll essentially continue that type of development over and across.”  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The upcoming second draft of Austin’s new land development code is expected to eliminate one of its key zoning tools, known as "transect" zones, which focus on a building's form rather than its use.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s hard to come by vacant land in downtown Austin these days, and the few empty blocks that remain are quickly being scooped up by developers. One of the area’s latest projects is at 308 Guadalupe Street.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Austin City Council has approved some changes to the review process for the city’s new land development code, known as CodeNEXT, allowing for additional scrutiny at City Hall before its planned adoption in April of next year.

Genser

Block 87, also known as Trinity Block, may be the last undeveloped city block in downtown Austin. A parking lot currently sits there, but a high-rise is slated to go up.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

After hours of debate last night, Austin City Council gave final approval to one of this year’s most divisive zoning cases. The Austin Oaks planned unit development, or PUD, will bring new housing, retail, office space and parkland to the current site of an office park near Spicewood Springs Road and MoPac. Last night’s vote was 8-2. 

Property ownership can be a stealth business, with land changing hands before anyone even has time to notice.

For the past four years, one North Texas company has quietly bought up property on East 12th Street. Ironically, the company takes its name from a cry of surprise and discovery: Eureka!

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Danny Fowler stands in the middle of his driveway holding a vase full of red flowers.

He is taking them to his neighbor, who lives just across the street, over the crest of the steep hill that cuts this East Austin cul-de-sac in two. The street, which begins as E.M. Franklin Avenue before morphing into Grant Street, makes up Ebony Acres, a historically black neighborhood.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Stand atop the hill at the northeast corner of the Texas State Cemetery, and you’ll have a clear view of the Texas State Capitol. It rises alongside a row of trees, now leafless, and a Texas flag. That view, some City Council members say, demands protection.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Have you ever looked up at construction cranes around town and wondered why it takes so long for things to get built in Austin? Developers will quickly say the city's permitting process has a lot to do with it. Now the city is about to start a new program to hopefully speed things up, but with speed comes a new set of rules.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

The last time the City of Austin overhauled its land development code, Prince was at the top of the charts, Ronald Reagan was president, and Apple had released the first Macintosh PC. It was 1984.

Needless to say, much has changed.

City of Austin

After approving a major mixed-use development called the Grove at Shoal Creek, the Austin City Council is moving forward with another big residential and commercial project planned for West Austin.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin City Council has decided to postpone a zoning decision for the Elysium Park apartment complex, a new affordable housing development planned for North Austin. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

For years, residents of Del Valle have been asking city leaders to bring a grocery store to their neighborhood. But it hasn’t happened. So why is it so hard to do?

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

State leaders are considering selling the Austin State Hospital, a historic facility near Hyde Park, but residents are divided over the future of the site.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Amir Khalil and his girlfriend Emily Thomas bought a duplex off South Lamar in February, but so far, it doesn’t feel quite like home.

Khalil points out the damage that’s left over from an incomplete remodel job on the house. The laundry room ceiling bares a gaping hole. In the kitchen, sections of the walls and ceiling have been torn out.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

Austin is building new homes at more than twice the rate of the U.S. as a whole. Still, analysts say builders are struggling to catch up to the growing demand of homebuyers. 


mirsasha via flickr

For more than a century, the Austin State Hospital has been a fixture in Hyde Park. While the facility near Guadalupe and 41st Streets is primarily a psychiatric hospital, its winding trails and tree-lined campus are a popular recreational space for neighbors. Now, state leaders are considering selling the property and relocating the hospital – a move that has some residents concerned. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A few months ago, residents of Austin’s Shoal Creek neighborhood sued to stop a massive new development from going up. Now, that legal battle is getting more complicated. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new report finds the poverty rate in Travis County may be increasing.

First, let's define just what we mean by poverty. By the federal government’s standards, a family of four is living in poverty if they earn $24,036 or less annually.


Austin’s First-Ever Housing Plan Hits City Hall

Jun 7, 2016
Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

This week, city leaders released a draft of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan. Unlike broader visions for the city’s future, it focuses on how development will impact the housing supply. 

Austin’s population is projected to grow by almost 3 percent next year. To meet that growing demand, the plan calls for adding 75,000 housing units with 35,000 of them being affordable.


Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

City officials are in the process of surveying East Austin to determine which buildings qualify for historic preservation, but some residents want to put a stop to any demolition until that survey is complete.


flickr.com/rutlo

Austin’s East Riverside Drive has become a hotspot for new housing development. But retailers in the area aren’t keeping pace with increasing demand.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In Austin’s Shoal Creek neighborhood, residents are divided over the prospect of a massive new mixed-use development. While some welcome the growth, others say the proposal hasn’t been properly vetted. But take a walk around the Shoal Creek neighborhood, and you can clearly see that, for or against, the residents are all concerned.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

As more and more new development comes to East Austin, some longtime residents at the Cactus Rose Mobile Home Park are facing an uncertain future.


Audrey McGlinchy/Austin Monitor

From the Austin Monitor:

Residents opposed to a proposed 65-room boutique hotel at 1207 East Cesar Chavez St. told the Planning Commission on Tuesday night that they do not want to see their neighborhood become “another Rainey Street.” At the meeting, several residents held signs that read, “Don’t Rain-ey on our Chavez … No East Side Hotel.”

Commissioners agreed that the hotel should not go up in East Austin, and a motion to approve a conditional use permit failed (Commissioner Richard Hatfield created the motion, but none of the other four commissioners present seconded it).

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

It seems like everywhere you look, there's a construction site in Austin, complete with the unofficial state bird of Texas, the construction crane.

Some are calling it a boom, but it's a boom that’s not exclusive to Austin. Whether you drive south to San Marcos or north to Georgetown, there are new buildings popping up all over Central Texas.

That boom has certainly been good for the economy and overall employment numbers, but, for some smaller construction firms it’s been tough-going trying to compete with larger outfits that can afford to pay workers up to $35 an hour.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

Eviction notices have gone out to 77 people who live at Austin's State Supported Living Center on 35th Street and MoPac. The state’s Sunset Advisory Commission has recommended closing the facility which opened in 1917 and services 28 counties in Central Texas.

All of the people who live at the center have serious developmental disabilities, and a handful have already moved out.

As the eviction notices come in, residents and their families are searching for new housing alternatives as the state prepares for a likely sale that could turn the 94-acre property into a mixed-use development. But some say the commission doesn’t have the final word in the facility’s closure, and promise to fight.

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