Austin’s economy outshines almost every other U.S. city across 25 key factors

Provo, Utah, has a decidedly low profile, though it deserves to be better known.

Provo is just the 92nd-biggest metropolitan area in America and only the third-largest in its own state (trailing Salt Lake City and Ogden). Yet it boasts the strongest economy in the nation, as determined by this year’s ACBJ Economic Index.

Provo jumped to first place in ACBJ’s updated standings for 2017, up from fourth in 2015 and second last year, based on a formula that measures the nation’s 100 biggest metros against 25 statistical benchmarks.

Click to read more at Austin Business Journal. 

Development activity intensifies throughout Austin’s urban core

Infill development presents some unique challenges compared with greenfield projects, such as confined spaces for staging, surrounding buildings to consider for design and more.

But that hasn’t stopped dozens of companies from launching infill projects in dense urban areas. The latest update to Austin Business Journal’s Crane Watch map encompasses 1,300-plus residential units and more than 900,000 square feet of ongoing construction across the area, including many in the urban core.

Click to read more at Austin Business Journal.


Affordable housing dominates Austin-San Antonio Growth Summit panel discussion

The main event at Thursday’s Austin-San Antonio Growth Summit was a general panel discussion about housing along the booming I-35 corridor.

The panel, made up of five experts with different experiences related to housing economics and policy, discussed a range of topics including the likelihood of Austin or San Antonio building workforce housing near each urban center, the role of multifamily and tiny houses in filling such needs, and the impact of the labor shortage on residential builders and developers.

Click to read more at Austin Business Journal. 

CodeNEXT 2.0: Is it an improvement over the first draft?

The second version of CodeNEXT has arrived amid continued debate over how to best add the thousands of homes Austin needed to keep up with explosive population growth and properly manage infill development.

The city on Friday released version 2.0 of its sweeping overhaul of the land development code. Go here to dive in.

Click to read more at Austin Business Journal. 

Why a $2 billion Austin eco-friendly development with 7,500 homes was years in the making

It’s been nearly 10 years since the Austin City Council approved it, but finally Whisper Valley — a 2,062-acre master-planned community — is more than a whisper.

The first homes are under construction and eventually the property near State Highway 130 and FM 973, a few miles south of downtown Manor, will comprise 7,500 single-family homes, along with apartments, stores, restaurants and other commercial spaces.

Click to read more at Austin Business Journal.

Austin construction activity strong, but not as robust as other U.S. cities

Views in every direction across the Austin metro area seem to tell a story of unprecedented construction activity — and there are hundreds of projects underway.

In the Aug. 11 weekly edition, I survey some new developments that may have escaped detection because of their location or modest stories.

Click to read more at Austin Business Journal.