Steve Medina, the president of Savvy Commercial Inspections, grew up in a low-income El Paso neighborhood, quickly learning he wanted a better life for himself and future family. At 19, he enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and was deployed to an F-18 fighter squadron launching, recovering and maintaining fighter aircraft on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Independence. The dangerous duty of a 19-year-charged with the responsibility of a $50 million aircraft and the safety of its pilot aboard a moving ship with launching and landing aircraft around him was a big part of what he is today. He was discharged at 21 years old, then went to work or an electrical utility company and made a name for himself as a fast learner and hardworking leader. Medina decided to leave El Paso because of cheap labor wages, relocating to Austin in 1996, where his work ethic stood out among crews during the tech boom. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
Friday, Aug. 9, 2:03 a.m.: This story has been updated to include City Council action and discussion. Thursday, Aug, 8, 11:50a: This story has been updated to include discussion between city and county leaders. With an additional annual revenue stream estimated at $21 million in its sights, Austin City Council voted Aug. 9 to increase the city tax on all hotel stays within city limits from 7% to 9%. Now approved, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the city will immediately begin banking 70% of that revenue stream—roughly $14.7 million annually—to help pay off a potential $1.3 billion expansion of the Neal K. Kocurek Austin Convention Center. The expansion was supported unanimously by City Council but remains in the air due to a citizen petition aimed at blocking it. The remaining 30% would fund cultural arts and historic preservation budgets. Hotel occupancy taxes, known as HOT, or hotel taxes, are taxes levied on hotel guests. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.
AUSTIN, Texas — The tidy Broadmoor office campus occupied by IBM near the Texas capital’s northern edge could hardly be less like the ramshackle patchwork of parking lots and aged buildings that sprawl beside 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. But the two sites are where Philadelphia-based Brandywine Realty Trust is mapping out similarly ambitious development schemes that could transform their respective cities — and the Philadelphia-based company itself. Brandywine is already a dominant office landlord in both cities, with holdings in Philadelphia that include University City’s Cira Centre and FMC Tower buildings, and the One, Two and Three Logan Square towers in Center City. Its 14-acre Schuylkill Yards development is under construction to the west of the 30th Street train station. Click to read more at www.inquirer.com.
The median sale price of a single-family home in Austin was $407,400 in May—up 5.8% year over year, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. However, it is not just the residential housing market that is changing in the city. Here are six Central Austin trends to watch in 2019. Builders divide office space into separate classes: Class A is a premier space and Class B is more functional space. In East Austin, an increase in Class A square footage over the course of the last year has driven an increase in rent prices. Source: JLL/Community Impact Newspaper.
- Office rent prices on the rise in Austin as new buildings open on the East side According to reports from commercial real estate firm JLL, average rents asked by landlords for office space across the city of Austin are up to $45.22 per square foot in the first quarter of 2019, up from $37.85 per square foot at the same time last year. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.
Economy: As the first half of 2019 came to a close, the Austin economy continued to perform as one of the strongest in the country. At 3.0%, the local unemployment rate remains near record lows as compared to the United States’ rate of 3.6%. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the city added approximately 19,000 jobs over the last 12 months. While the high-tech industry continues to be the significant driver of this explosive growth, a diversified and well-educated employment base has sustained the city’s economic stability.
Market Overview: The Austin industrial market remained healthy to close out the first quarter of 2019. Leasing activity kept up a strong pace throughout the city while vacancy rates remained relatively steady at 8.0% for all product types. Approximately 850,000 square feet (sf) of new industrial product was delivered during the quarter, including Heatherwilde45, which saw more 250,000 sf delivered in that project alone in the Northeast submarket. Absorption levels were tempered as some large move-outs contributed to the overall negative absorption figures. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin is once again a top 10 city for having the most talented people working in the tech industry. In CBRE’s 2019 “Scoring Tech Talent” report, Austin beat out other Texas cities like Dallas-Forth Worth and Houston. “[Austin’s] the envy of just about every other tech city, not only in the United States but globally,” said Spencer Levy, Chairman of Americas Research & Senior Economic Adviser. Highlights from the report include: Total tech occupations went up by almost 3,000, from 69,610 in 2017 to 72,360 in 2018. The average office rent went from $34.99 in Q1 2018 to $37.62 in Q1 2019. Austin is poised to become one of the largest tech growth markets in the next five to 10 years. Levy told KXAN, “Talent, infrastructure and foreign money. The more you can get in all three of those things, the more you’re going to be able to attract and retain the talent in your market.” Click to read more at www.kxan.com.