Southwest Austin | Dripping Springs - May 2022

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 2  MAY 19JUNE 22, 2022

ONLINE AT

AUSTIN PROP, DSISD TRUSTEE RACE

ELECTION RESULTS

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IMPACTS

6 TODO LIST

DINING FEATURE

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Record-high property appraisals stress Austin-area homeowners Values increase 54% in Travis County, 45% in Hays

ASSESSING APPRAISALS Hays County saw a 45% increase in the median appraised property value between 2021 and 2022. Travis County saw a 54% increase.

HAYS COUNTY

TRAVIS COUNTY

$316,020 $213,780

2017

In 2021, Nicholas Jowlabar moved into his newly built East Austin home. The process should have taken place in 2020, but due to the pandemic, sup- ply shortages and myriad other issues, he did not close until early 2021, a few months later than his neighbor. In April, Jowlabar said he received a notice that his home value had increased by more than $250,000, or more than 50%. Because he closed in BY CLAIRE SHOOP & DARCY SPRAGUE

2021, his taxable property value will not be capped at a 10% increase, mean- ing he’ll likely pay more in taxes than his neighbor who closed a few months earlier for close to the same price. “I don’t know if I want to live in my home for as long as I thought I would,” Jowlabar said. As the median increase for prop- erty values was 54%, according to

$338,260 $225,150

2018

$355,836 $240,150

2019

$353,800

2020

$283,623

$411,261

2021

$312,248

$632,208

2022

$451,296

CONTINUED ON 26

SOURCES: HAYS COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICT, TRAVIS COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Climatologist warns Central Texas is heading for a future megadrought

Travis County and the severe drought of 2008-15. By the latter half of the 21st century, worsening long-term drought conditions in Texas could put strain on Lake Tra- vis as a natural, recreational and nancial resource for the area, said Nielsen-Gammon and Jo Karr Tedder, president of the Central Texas Water Coalition. Under these conditions, CONTINUED ON 28

130 DROUGHT RISK RISING All of Hays and Travis counties are experiencing some level of drought conditions. ABNORMALLY DRY Travis County

LAKE TRAVIS

Dripping Springs

Austin

BY GRACE DICKENS

71

alone are cause for concern, state of Texas Climatolo- gist John Nielsen-Gammon predicts long-term drought, known as megadrought, could be in Texas’ future. This type of drought is dierent from both the one currently occurring in

Travis County faced abnor- mally dry to severe drought conditions throughout early 2022, with several “Red Flag” days indicating high risk of re issued by the National Weather Service. While these conditions

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MODERATE DROUGHT

NOTE: DATA AS OF MAY 10

Hays County

SEVERE DROUGHT

35

San Marcos

EXTREME DROUGHT

MAP NOT TO SCALE N

SOURCE: U.S. DROUGHT MONITORCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Curious what is selling in your neighborhood? Scan me *All prices shown are list price

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

realtyaustin.com/p/9598363

realtyaustin.com/p/3342766

realtyaustin.com/p/4956112

realtyaustin.com/p/3922489

$1,000,000

$1,200,000

$1,200,000

$1,275,000

5 bds

3.5 ba 3,527 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,708 sq ft

4 bds

3 ba

3,316 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 3,600 sq ft

8200 Southwest Pkwy #601, Austin, TX 78735 Mindy Kratsas | 512-970-7027

8012 Cobblestone, Austin, TX 78735 Dave Chastain | 512-293-5401

10023 Austral Cv, Austin, TX 78739 Shannon Owen | 512-825-0707

1390 Pursley Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Carlisle Kennedy | 512-689-9579

ACTIVE

PENDING

PENDING

PENDING

realtyaustin.com/p/2068153

realtyaustin.com/p/4278594

realtyaustin.com/p/7734094

realtyaustin.com/p/1469604

$1,749,000

$975,000

$1,000,000

$1,300,000

5 bds

4 ba

4,735 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,099 sq ft

3 bds

3 ba

2,500 sq ft

4 bds

3 ba

3,242 sq ft

201 N Canyonwood Dr, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Lisa McGuire | 512-413-2395

12515 Triple Creek Dr, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Melissa Roberts | 512-769-0877

7900 Ladera Verde Dr, Austin, TX 78739 Tanya Alvarez | 512-535-8585

4900 Broken Bow Pass, Austin, TX 78745 Gayla Goertz | 512-892-1600

PENDING

SOLD OVER ASKING

SOLD

SOLD

realtyaustin.com/p/1348594

realtyaustin.com/p/4266841

realtyaustin.com/p/8756457

realtyaustin.com/p/7977987

$2,000,000

$899,000

$995,000

$1,200,000

6 bds

5.5 ba 5,812 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,054 sq ft

4 bds

2.5 ba 2,250 sq ft

4 bds

2.5 ba 2,498 sq ft

14624 Echo Blf, Austin, TX 78737 Sharon Murray | 512-748-3857

6020 Kelsing Cv, Austin, TX 78735 Kristen Jacobs | 512-657-9311

11208 Southwest Oaks, Austin, TX 78737 Steve Jordan | 512-658-7474

4182 Travis Country Cir, Austin, TX 78735 Liz Warren | 512-212-7872

As a homeowner in Austin, you don’t want rising home values to impact how much you pay in property taxes. Protest Your Property Taxes

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

LEARN ABOUT AUSTIN’S Water Quality

Continuous Quality Controls and Increased Frequency of Testing for the Highest Quality Water Innovations and quality controls have been added to strengthen our water treatment processes and ensure you receive the best – every time you turn on the tap. For example, Austin Water increased the frequency of water testing above what is required by regulatory agencies to ensure water quality. In addition to daily and hourly testing at each water treatment plant, a minimum of 300 tests are taken throughout the distribution system every month to check for bacteriological contaminants, chlorination levels, and other important parameters. An expanded snapshot of our rigorous quality controls and upgrades is posted on our website as well as an annual Drinking Water Quality Report that provides information about the City of Austin’s drinking water. Find the 2021 Consumer Confidence Report online at the link below, or call 512-972-0155 to receive a copy by email or mail.

Austin Water Quality Report 2021 Austinwater.org/WaterQuality Para una versión en Español llame al 512-972-0214

Austin Water’s annual consumer confidence report describes the overall quality of water from its raw collection and storage to the treated purity at your tap. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that all drinking water suppliers provide a water quality report to their customers on an annual basis.

austinwater.org

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM DEEDA: Near triple-digit temperatures for days on end in early May? I’m certainly no meteorologist, but the lack of rain in our area seems to have given us a jumpstart on summer. In our front-page story this month, Reporter Grace Dickens explores the risk of a future megadrought in Central Texas. Continuing inside (see Page 28), she shares what a climatologist suggests we as residents can do to mitigate the eects of a long-term drought. We also break down the impact various droughts have had over the years to one of our largest local lakes, Lake Travis, and what we can expect if it goes much longer without signicant rainfall. It seems everything is truly bigger in Texas—even our droughts! Deeda Lovett, GENERAL MANAGER dlovett@communityimpact.com

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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an offer via text message. The company also performs inspection services before purchasing vehicles. 737-289-9200. www.carzeus.com COMING SOON 5 Pet Supplies Plus will open a new store at 1901 W. William Cannon Drive, Ste. 123, Austin, in October. The pet sup- ply retailer offers products and services for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and more. Products include a selection of dry and wet food, bedding and clothing. Stores also offer professional grooming services and self-serve pet wash stations. www.petsuppliesplus.com 6 Tigerlily Preschool , which began as an in-home child care program in 2011, will open its first school at 8601 S. First St., Austin, in August. Tigerlily’s curric- ulum centers around social emotional learning and creative expression. The school will serve children ages 3-5 with a maximum class size of 13 led by a teacher and co-teacher. The program is currently enrolling 3- and 4-year-old students for next school year. 512-436-0583. www.tigerlilypreschool.com 7 ATN Corp: Night Vision and Thermal Imaging Optics will open a store inside Barton Creek Square Mall in July. ATN Corp. is a manufacturer of tactical night vision and thermal imaging optics for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, military members and law enforcement. Products include goggles, binoculars, scopes and cameras. It is located at 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin. www.atncorp.com 8 Tricentis , a software testing compa- ny, has leased more than 42,000 square

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SOUTH AUSTIN NOW OPEN

2 Bookminders opened a new office in Austin on May 2. The company provides outsourced accounting services for over 475 businesses and nonprofit organiza- tions, and it is celebrating 30 years in business. The Austin office is the compa- ny’s first location in Texas at 7500 Rialto Blvd., Ste. 250, Austin. 737-289-9343. www.bookminders.com 3 Rue 21 opened a location in Barton Creek Square on April 23. The new store is located next to Abercrombie & Fitch

on the lower level of the mall. The casual apparel store offers options for men and women in standard and plus sizes. It also sells a variety of accessories, including jewelry, bags, sunglasses, belts and more at 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin. www.rue21.com/store 4 Car-buying company Car Zeus opened a location at 1415 W. William Can- non Drive, Ste. 103, Austin, on April 15. Car Zeus customers can submit for-sale vehicle information online and receive

1 Tacodeli opened its seventh Aus- tin-area location at 5701 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. B-150, Austin, on April 28. The Circle C restaurant is the brand’s first location in South Austin. Tacodeli is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves cocktails, draft beer and canned alcoholic beverages. www.tacodeli.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

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Tigerlily Preschool

Bark&Zoom

COURTESY TIGERLILY PRESCHOOL

COURTESY BARK&ZOOM

feet in the newly completed Phase 2 development of the Uplands Corporate Center. Tricentis is hoping to move in to the new location at 5301 Southwest Pwky, Austin, by mid-November. Head- quartered in Vienna, Austria, Tricentis is expected to hire 100 employees across several departments for the new Austin location. www.tricentis.com RELOCATIONS 9 Club Pilates relocated from Rolling- wood to the Westlake area April 1. Lo- cated at 6317 Bee Caves Road, Ste. 220, Austin, the Pilates studio uses reformer machines that add resistance to Pilates moves. The studio will offer classes with a focus on four areas of fitness, includ- ing strength, balance, flexibility and cardiovascular strength with emphasis on posture, breathing and alignment. The studio was previously located in Rolling- wood at 2712 Bee Caves Road, Austin. 512-515-1440. www.clubpilates.com 10 V.I.P. Chiropractic Care relocated to 3115 S. First St., Ste. 101, Austin, from 4309 S. First St., Austin, on April 18. The business moved into the former site of Axis Chiropractic. V.I.P. offers ad- justments, postural analysis, a physical therapy room, in-house X-rays and more. Appointments can be made in person, by phone or online. 512-809-1113. www.vipchiropractic.care 11 B Pilates relocated to 3601 W. William Cannon Drive, Bldg. 5, Ste. 100, Austin, on April 22. The studio was for- merly located at 6700 Menchaca Road, Bldg. 2, Ste. 15, Austin. B Pilates classes use equipment including reformers, combo chairs and barrels for resistance

training. Classes and equipment training are offered in private and group settings. 512-587-0423. www.bpilatesaustin.com ANNIVERSARIES 12 Spokesman Coffee Roasters South will mark five years at 440 E. St. Elmo Road, Ste. A-2, Austin, on May 21. The roast house serves craft coffee, wine, draft beer and food options. An anniver- sary celebration will be held May 21. 512- 586-9657. www.spokesmancoffee.com 13 First-class pet hotel and covered airport parking facility Bark&Zoom will mark its fifth year in business May 13. Located near Austin-Bergstrom Interna- tional Airport at 2601 Cardinal Loop, Dell Valle, Bark&Zoom offers valet services and shuttles to and from ABIA’s Barba- ra Jordan terminal. The business also provides pet boarding, doggy day care, training and grooming through Taurus Academy. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days per week. An anniversary celebra- tion will be held in June. 512-817-2275. www.barkandzoom.com RENOVATIONS 14 Dick Nichols District Park at 8011 Beckett Road, Austin, is undergoing improvements that will include a new splash pad, a resurfaced basketball court, a new combination pickleball and volleyball court, additional seating and more. The over $100,000 in upgrades are funded by City Council Member Paige El- lis’ office and Austin’s Parks Department. Work began in March and is scheduled to be completed in May or June. 512-974-

P. Terry’s opened a drive-thru-only South Austin location. (Photo by Weston Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

FEATURED IMPACT NOW OPEN P. Terry’s Burger Stand opened a drive-thru-only location at 8600 I-35 on May 4. The new restaurant marks the Austin-based burger chain’s 26th location in Central Texas. P. Terry’s Burger Stand is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night service. Menu oerings include burgers, chicken, fries, milkshakes and other desserts made with all-natural ingredients. www.pterrys.com 6700. www.austinparks.org/dick-nichols- district-park IN THE NEWS 15 Gordon Butler was named the new CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area effective May 16. Prior to accepting the position, Butler was the assistant superintendent for staff and student services at Carroll ISD. BGCAA has served the Austin area for 54 years, and its clubs provide services for nearly 7,000 registered members. The nonprofit serves children ages 6-18 at 20 locations in schools, community centers and public

8600 N. I-35, Austin 512-487-5103 www.pterrys.com

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housing sites across Austin. BGCAA has a South Austin location 1201 West Live Oak St., Austin. www.bgcaustin.org CLOSINGS 16 Teal House Coffee and Bakery closed its trailer at Duke’s Adventure Golf at 1716 E. Slaughter Lane, Austin, on April 2. The trailer is undergoing renovations and is scheduled to reopen in Buda by late May. Teal House offered specialty coffee and fresh baked goods. The South Congress location is still open. www.tealhouse.co

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon

COMPILED BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

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longtime friends who share a love of hunting and eating wild game. Stephanie Stackhouse is the chef at Lo Salvaje; she previously worked with Griffiths at Dai Due. www.losalvajetruck.com 3 Food truck Namaste Austin opened at Fetch Food Park on May 7. The food truck serves Indian cuisine, including appetiz- ers, curries, beverages and desserts. Na- maste Austin will be closed on Mondays and is located at 17499 Hamilton Pool Road, Austin. www.namasteaustinus.com 4 Freebirds World Burrito opened a new location in Belterra on April 27. The restaurant is the chain’s ninth location in the Austin area and offers burritos, bowls, salads, nachos, family meal packages and more at 12680 Hwy. 290, Ste. 230, Aus- tin. 737-215-8365. www.freebirds.com 5 Samaritan Center opened a new

counseling office in February. Licensed counselor Jan Venable has over 25 years of experience specializing in trauma, re- covery, anxiety and codependency. Chil- dren over age 11, adolescents, adults and couples can enroll in counseling services. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale. Many insurance plans are accepted. It is located at 28465 RR 12, Dripping Springs. www.samaritan-center.org COMING SOON 6 North Hays County Emergency Services District No. 1 will open an EMS station at 31331 RR 12, Dripping Springs. The new station will reduce EMS response times in North Hays County. The district aims to break ground after selecting a contractor in June and to complete construction by October 2023. www.northhayscountyesd1.org

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DRIPPING SPRINGS NOW OPEN

as local, national and international wine and beer selections, gourmet dishes and more. www.losolivosmarkets.com 2 A new food truck called Lo Salvaje opened at Desert Door Distillery at 211 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood, on April 19. The food truck focuses on wild game dishes, such as antelope, wild boar nachos, a fried quail sandwich, and tacos with duck tinga or wild boar guisada. Lo Salvaje was imagined by chef Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due and Josh Crumpton of Spoke Hollow Outfitters; the two are

1 Dos Olivos Market opened its fourth Central Texas location at 12680 W. Hwy. 290, Ste. 110, Austin, on May 13. Formerly Los Olivos Market, the business is co- owned by father-daughter team Rafael and Rebecca Varela. The marketplace features a retail shop, a butchery and a counter-service eatery serving lunch and dinner. Artisanal goods from Texas and Spain are available for purchase as well

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

May & June events

COMPILED BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

WORTH THE TRIP MAY 28: HEROES APPRECIATION BBQ Nonprot organization Heroes Night Out will host its 10th annual Heroes Appreciation BBQ in honor of military members and veterans. The event is the largest free military and veteran barbecue in Texas, according to the Heroes Night Out website. Family-friendly activities will be oered, including vendor tables. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission is free for active military, veterans, rst responders and family members. RSVPs can be made online. 850 CR 255, Georgetown www.heroesnightout.org/events

MAY 21 SEND OFF THE GRADS The University of Texas at Austin will host its universitywide

JUNE 02 THROUGH 05

CELEBRATE TELEVISION ATX TV Festival is an annual event that celebrates all things television with panels, screenings and Q&A sessions with industry professionals. Times and locations vary, including including the Driskill Hotel and Paramount Theatre. $28-$53 (single-day). $50-$525 (badges). www.atxfestival.com 11 PLAY POKER ON HORSEBACK Dripping Springs Ranch Park will host its second annual poker trail ride. Riders will receive ve cards along the trail, and the top ve hands will win prizes. There will be an after-party. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $30. 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. 512-894-2390. www.destinationdrippingsprings.com 11 DANCE TO TALKING HEADS The Far Out Lounge & Stage will present a kid-friendly and an adult- only tribute Talking Heads show. Both feature tribute band HeartByrne. Kids: noon, $15+. Adults: 7 p.m. $24+. 8504 S. Congress Ave., Austin. 512-351-9909. www.thefaroutaustin.com 18 CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH Juneteenth marks the

commencement ceremony to celebrate its 139th graduating class. Students who graduated in fall 2021 will be allowed to participate. Former NFL linebacker and author Emmannuel Acho will be the commencement speaker. 7:30 p.m. Free, but ticket required. 2139 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin. www.commencement.utexas.edu 26 AND 27 STUDENTS, START YOUR SUMMER BREAK The last day of classes for Dripping Springs ISD students will be May 26, and the last day for Austin ISD students will be May 27. Both districts will resume classes Aug. 17. www.dsisdtx.us, www.austinisd.org 28 EAT CRAWFISH FOR A CAUSE Chisos Boot Co. will host a crawsh boil to benet the Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry. The event will feature a long slip ‘n slide, crawsh, live music and dancing. 1-5 p.m. Free entry, cash donation for crawsh. 3507 South First St., Austin. 512-866- 7222. www.chisos.com/memorialday

SHOW YOUR PRIDE DRIPPING SPRINGS RANCH PARK

JUNE 25

announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The Central Texas Juneteenth Committee will host a parade and festival celebrating the day. 10 a.m.-noon (parade), noon-10 p.m. (festival). Free.1183 Chestnut Ave., Austin (parade start). 2300 Rosewood Ave., Austin (festivities). www.juneteenthcentraltexas.com Pride of Dripping Springs will host Pride Rodeo to celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity and encourage allyship. The event will include family-friendly activities. Noon-11 p.m. Free. 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. Facebook: Pride of Dripping Springs

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Find more or submit Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

SATURDAY BUDA AMPHITHEATER FEB 26 TH

MAY 21 1 10 PM AND MAY 22 1 6 PM LOS TEXMANIACS Cedryl Ballou & The Zydeco Trendsetter Chubby Knuckle Choir & Josh Baca and the Hot Tamales SUNDAY FUN DAY WITH Jukebox Preachers Rochelle and the Sidewinders

BUDA CRAWFEST IS A TWO DAY EVENT

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THE SOUND OF MUSIC

The hills are alive

MUSIC BY RICHARD RODGERS LYRICS BY OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN DIRECTED BY DAVE STEAKLEY MUSIC DIRECTION BY ALLEN ROBERTSON

with the sound of music!

tickets.zachtheatre.org T H E A T R E

ON STAGE BEGINNING JUNE 15

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES Project Connect rail cost jumps

COMPILED BY DARCY SPRAGUE & BEN THOMPSON

ONGOING PROJECTS

PROJECT CONNECT RAIL LINE COSTS INCREASE $4.5B As Austin’s Project Connect team moves from its 15% design to 30% design stage this summer, planners say factors such as real estate and construction costs and inflation are upping project costs 77%.

W. STASSNEY LN.

Original estimate (5% design stage)

Revised estimate (draft 30% design stage)

BY BEN THOMPSON

New cost estimates show a 77% spike in cost as planning for Project Connect’s Orange and Blue light-rail lines is on track to progress from the 15% to 30% design stages this summer. Austin voters approved a $7.1 billion package for Project Connect in November 2020 to expand the city’s bus and rail network. At the 5% design stage, estimates for the light-rail lines totaled $5.8 billion: the Orange Line at $2.5 billion, the Blue Line at $1.3 billion and extensive tunnel work for both tracks at $2 billion. Now, heading into the 30% design phase, those figures have jumped to $10.3 billion. Transit officials said the $4.5 billion revision, including $600 million more for the Blue Line and around $2 billion each for the Orange Line and tunnel, has several causes.

$1.3 billion

Blue Line

$1.9 billion

N

$2.5 billion

Orange Line

Emerald Forest Drive connectivity The Austin Department of Transpor- tation is upgrading bike lanes and installing new pedestrian crossings on Emerald Forest Drive to improve connectivity and safety in the area. The work includes adding protective barriers along existing bike lanes and adding three pedestrian crossings at Austin Highlands Boulevard, Speer Lane and Gobi Drive. The road will remain open throughout construction. Timeline: April 2022-end of May 2022 Cost: $800,000 Funding source: 2016 mobility bond

$4.3 billion

$2 billion

Tunnel

$4.1 billion

0

$1B

$2B

$3B

$4B

$5B

SOURCE: CAPITAL METRO/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Among those is a “significant” increase in land acquisition costs along the proposed rail lines given Austin’s hot real estate market and nationwide inflation that is driving up the construction budget. Officials said the new estimates will not affect Project Connect’s voter-approved tax rate, but the extra cost could affect the timeline

of the project. “The Project Connect program is not immune to the global and national economic pressures that everyone is feeling. Transit, air- port, highway, utility, housing and commercial projects are all seeing cost increases,” Project Connect Program Officer David Couch wrote in an April 7 memo.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MAY 13. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SWANEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

RETURN TO COLLEGE & FINISH YOUR DEGREE! The NEXT step in your journey starts at TXST. Learn more: go.txstate.edu/finishyourdegree

Texas State University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, committed to inclusive thought and action in support of our diverse community. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups and all those who share our commitment to inclusivity and passion for the strength of our diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.

13

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

PEC Board of Directors Election

Are you a PEC member in district 4 or 5? Cast your ballot! Voting begins May 18 and ends June 10 at 5 p.m.

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Locally Owned. An Austin Institution since 1986.

ESTATE HOMES FROM THE $900’s Move-in 2022

Compass Development Marketing Group is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not reflect actual property conditions.

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

ELECTION RESULTS

RESULTS BREAKDOWN

On May 7, Austin residents weighed in on a local proposition that would decriminalize possession of four ounces or less of marijuana and ban “no-knock” warrants. Dripping Springs residents chose two new school board members. All Texas voters considered property tax changes. SOURCES: HAYS COUNTY, TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE, TRAVIS COUNTY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COMPILED BY GLORIE MARTINEZ & BEN THOMPSON

For more election information, visit communityimpact.com .

Incumbent

Winner

DRIPPING SPRINGS

STATE PROPOSITION 1

The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.

2,981 votes Olivia Barnard 2,979 votes Tricia Quintero 2,914 votes Joanna Day 2,749 votes Thaddeaus Fortenberry DRIPPING SPRINGS ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES

1,121,860

Against For

169,011

AUSTIN PROPOSITION A

STATE PROPOSITION 2

The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.

Shall an initiative ordinance be approved to (1) eliminate enforcement of low-level marijuana oenses and (2) ban the use of “no-knock” warrants by Austin police?

For

Against

1,106,460

Against For

57,967

197,960

9,839

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15

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

CITY NEWS

Downtown demolitions pave way for skyline growth

VERTICAL VOYAGE Over the past several decades, downtown Austin’s skyline has shifted away from a history of low-rise oces to welcome more high-rise towers.

BY BEN THOMPSON

make the market stand out among growing cities, Peart said. Many towers on the horizon are not dedi- cated to a single use with some mix of oce, residen- tial, and hotel or retail space. Resident and corporate demand for mixed-use options could lead to down- town Austin becoming an “18-hour city” where personal and work activities take place just a small distance apart due to new development options, Peart said. Chad Barrett, managing principal at Aquila Com- mercial, said today’s vertical swell builds on initial changes dating to the mid-2000s when downtown had a more “sleepy” vibe. Signature development has since moved either to the central business district or north to The Domain, in part given tech’s hold over development trends. “Nowadays, your big tenants are the Facebooks, the Googles, now TikTok and Cirrus Logic. Those are the tenants that are really driving the growth of downtown,” he said. Much of that new growth comes partially at the expense of what came before, an issue that can prove to be divisive both for specic projects and in the broader context of Austin’s growth. District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo, who rep- resents downtown, said she embraces much of the change the city has seen over her term in oce. How- ever, she said she has also aimed for years to improve local preservation systems as older oces, homes, warehouses and restaurants are torn down to pave the way for new towers. “There are huge benets to the redevelopment we’ve seen downtown,” Tovo said. “I do wish … we approached redevelopment with more creativity and that we didn’t make demolitions so very easy in this city.” Preservation in focus Some downtown stakeholders have held for years that Austin’s protections for other historic buildings are lacking. Advocates say the absence of eective tools leaves the city without many options to protect historic spaces. “This economic wave has risen so high that even

Austin’s development boom is showing no signs of slowing down with plans already in place to bring hundreds of stories of new development to the city skyline in the next few years, potentially at a cost to much of the familiar downtown landscape. As Austin’s core is moving further from its mid-1900’s low-rise prole to prominent high- rises and high-prole buildings, some o- cials and preservation advocates say Austin will not be able to recoup the historic character. Some of Austin’s land-use and preservation pol- icies have set the stage for the widespread redevel- opment underway downtown. While the Historic Landmark Commission reviews properties on a case- by-case basis and can recommend their preservation, many redevelopments still move through City Coun- cil, especially if the property owner opposes historic designation. Because leaders chose not to designate historical districts, the trend of redevelopment has already been set, some experts said. Areas such as the Rainey Street Historic District, a nationally recognized residential block that quickly became a hub of luxury condo and hotel towers, exemplify how quickly Austin blocks are changing. “[People] want to see something with Austin’s character and soul,” said Lindsey Derrington, exec- utive director of Preservation Austin, a nonprot focused on the conservation of historic areas and structures. “And where you tip the scales of, all of a sudden, more is new than old, you’re really going to Even with all the recent development, cranes still dot the downtown skyline as dozens of new tower projects are in the works—including 98 Red River St., which at 74 stories would be Austin’s tallest. “Looking at what we know is in the pipeline, the vertical development downtown will essentially dou- ble the size of downtown,” said Dewitt Peart, presi- dent and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, an advocacy group focused on downtown. The types of developments coming to Austin also change that dynamic.” Building up downtown

Downtown Austin circa 1988 PICA25891, AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER, AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY

Downtown Austin circa 2006 LARRY D. MOORE, CC BYSA 3.0, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

existing or under construction future projects

Renderings show future downtown towers COURTESY DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE

Make a difference on June 3 and join United Way for Greater Austin for Summer Day of Caring! Family-friendly, in-person volunteer activities are available in both Travis and Williamson counties. Before or after you volunteer, connect with CEO David C. Smith and fellow volunteers at breakfast in Austin or lunch in Leander!

Thank you to our Summer Day of Caring sponsors!

16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HIGHRISE HIGHLIGHTS

DEVELOPMENT

STORIES COMPLETION

25 stories or under buildings

1 TBD , 311 E. Fifth St.

13

TBD

More than 20 towers over a dozen stories tall are expected to rise across downtown over the next decade including 98 Red River which is set to become Austin's tallest tower at 74 stories.

2 Cambria Hotel , 68 East Ave.

14 Summer 2023

3 CitizenM , 617 Colorado St.

17

Late 2023

23

5

4 405 Colorado , 401-405 Colorado St.

25

June 2021

3

26- to 50-story buildings

21

5 Hyatt Centric Austin , 721 Congress Ave.

31

August 2022

11

13

6

6 Sienna at the Thompson , 501 Brazos St.

32

March 2022

14

4

7 Block 185 , 601 W. Second St.

35

April 1, 2022

8

12

1

7

8 TBD , 213 W. Fourth St.

40

TBD

18

9 Vesper , 84 East Ave.

41

2024

10

10 Block 16 , 200 E. Second St. 11 Hanover Republic Square , 303 W. Fifth St. 12 Perennial , 216 E. Fourth St.

41

Early 2026

44

TBD

22

46

Late 2025

13 Fifth and Colorado , 415 Colorado St.

47

TBD

24

14 The Republic , 401 W. Fourth St.

48

TBD

20

23

15 44 East , 44 East Ave.

49 Summer 2022

16

19

16 56 East Avenue , 56 East Ave.

49

Early 2025

17

17 80 Rainey , 78-84 Rainey St.

49

TBD

35

2

18 Cielo project , Fourth Street

50

TBD

19 The Travis , 80 Red River St.

50 Late fall 2024

9

Once complete, Sixth and Guadalupe will take over as Austin's tallest building. RENDERING COURTESY LINCOLN PROPERTY COMPANY

51- to 75-story buildings

15

20 The Modern Austin , 610 Davis St.

56

TBD

N

21 321 West , 311-321 W. Sixth St. 22 Conrad Residences Austin , 311 E. Second St.

58

Early 2025

SOURCES: VARIOUS DEVELOPERSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

65

2026

very well-supported and very loved—and you would think o-the-table—institutions are feeling the exact same pressure,” said Ben Heimsath, vice chair of the Historic Landmark Commission, at a March meeting. The commission is tasked with determining the potential historic value of structures citywide. But even if the board attempts to designate a building as historic, contested demolition cases can be elevated to City Council. At that stage, Tovo said ocials’ backing of a preservation tag over a property owner’s wishes happens “extraordinarily rarely” given defer- ence to owners—while allowances for towering high- rises more often get a green light. The conict between old buildings and new growth recently generated a large public response around plans to rebuild a portion of West Fourth Street, home to Austin’s LGBTQ nightlife scene. Development of a new tower would result in the demolition of several bars tied to the gay community. Criticism around the project led the commission to designate the properties as historic—although the move may only temporarily stop the project ahead of council review. The Hanover Co. project team said its plans would preserve aspects of the block by bringing back Oilcan Harry’s and reconstructed brick facades. That type

of middle ground is something Tovo also said she hopes city policy could better provide. History and new growth

23 Sixth and Guadalupe , 400 W. Sixth St.

66 Summer 2023

24 TBD , 98 Red River St.

74

TBD

The case, and others recently considered by the commission, also served as an example of the varying pressures that often lead to the loss of older, poten- tially historic structures without signicant pushback. “It’s frustrating how the few tools that we do have are being overwhelmed,” Heimsath said May 4. “This is going to be our future over the next several years, and it’s going to be pretty dismal.” While the West Fourth Street project generated enough support for a delay, many older buildings downtown have not. One example, a warehouse building at 301 San Jacinto Blvd. now home to Vince Young Steakhouse, was recommended for historic zoning by the city’s preservation oce this year. Despite its links to old Austin industry, its property owner’s wish to likely move toward more protable redevelopment led city ocials to avoid imposing a historic tag, which could limit development options. As it currently stands, the preservation issue is typically addressed in Austin on a case-by-case

basis. Derrington said the city fell behind on an eort to designate more historic districts, rather than lone properties, that could have stabilized more historic areas. “We just started late, and so we missed a lot of opportunities,” she said. The lack of an ocial designation covering Aus- tin’s Warehouse District has led to multiple demo- litions or project proposals there, one of the areas highlighted by Tovo and Derrington. But even nationally listed districts along Rainey Street and East Sixth Street are not immune. A new proposal from the owner of many Sixth properties east of Brazos Street could see modern oces stacked atop those landmark buildings in the near future. “Over the next 10 years … there’s going to be an immense amount of construction going on,” Peart said. “We do have challenges with infrastructure and aordability that are constantly needing to be worked on.”

17

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • MAY 2022

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