Northwest Austin Edition | July 2022

NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION 2022

ONLINE AT

REAL ESTATE EDITION

VOLUME 16, ISSUE 6  JULY 23AUG. 26, 2022

BUILDING BIGGER

IMPACTS

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City ocials hope to bring more aordable housing along Austin’s busiest streets while easing some standards for new development.

TRANSPORTATION REAL ESTATE EDITION 2022

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Many vertical mixed-use, or VMU, projects such as Lamar Union were aected by height limits imposed by nearby homes and could now build taller under a new city program.

BEN THOMPSONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Austin continues to add more hous- ing than any other major U.S. city, but new residents are still pouring into town faster than builders can keep up along busy corridors where the city is poised to grow even more. City ocials said they hope to ensure new development creates denser Austin opts for larger, denser construction to help oset housing crisis BY BEN THOMPSON CONTINUED ON 16 while the cost of living in town grows monthly, according to real estate data. New city development policies for- warded in June could generate big- ger and more aordable construction

MARKET DATA

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FEATURE PROFILE

GUIDE

Speed limits are lowered around the city as trac deaths rise BY KATY MCAFEE

More than 50 fatal accidents have happened in Austin this year as of late June, according to city data. Speeding causes one out of every three trac fatalities in Texas, according to state data. "Nobody wants to die on the road," Lewis Le, Vision Zero’s lead trac safety ocer said. "Nobody should die on the road. It's completely unac- ceptable that from this point forward, it's pretty likely that we'll have over

While area leaders and trac experts acknowledge Austin does not have enough police to enforce speed limits, they are banking on lowering those limits to save lives. On June 16, Austin City Council approved reducing the speed limit of almost 50 roads in the city as speeding is the No. 1 contributing factor of fatal car crashes in Austin, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

BUSINESS FEATURE

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1 in 3 trac deaths are speed-related 48 Austin roads see speed limits lowered SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 20

DINING FEATURE

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EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY

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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/7735422

realtyaustin.com/p/7774188

realtyaustin.com/p/5724699

realtyaustin.com/p/8044418

$550,000

$779,000

$1,030,000

$1,250,000

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,180 sq ft

4 bds

3 ba

2,216 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,435 sq ft

4 bds

2.5 ba 3,067 sq ft

800 Walnut Creek, Austin, TX 78753 Cristina Valdés | 512-843-3572

9400 Bayshore Bnd, Austin, TX 78726 Allie Martinez | 512-240-2603

7913 Davis Mountain Pass, Austin, TX 78726 Kristi Stavrou | 512-567-8348

8501 Del Mesa Ln, Austin, TX 78759 Trevor Heuser | 512-998-5111

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

realtyaustin.com/p/5530564

realtyaustin.com/p/2021650

realtyaustin.com/p/7184329

realtyaustin.com/p/3041857

$1,290,000

$1,369,000

$1,395,000

$1,475,000

5 bds

3.5 ba 3,596 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,449 sq ft

5 bds

3 ba

3,440 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,145 sq ft

8005 High Hollow Dr, Austin, TX 78750 Leah Tremblay | 512-730-0965

12513 Verandah Ct, Austin, TX 78726 Laneigh Hudson | 512-587-3828

6408 Rain Creek Pkwy, Austin, TX 78759 Brad Brown | 512-797-0626

8851 Mountain Ridge Cir, Austin, TX 78759 Brian Copland | 512-576-0288

SOLD

PENDING

PENDING

SOLD OVER ASKING

realtyaustin.com/p/4894118

realtyaustin.com/p/5877424

realtyaustin.com/p/6350807

realtyaustin.com/p/4373460

$899,000

$995,000

$465,000

$475,000

3 bds

2 ba

1,760 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,643 sq ft

3 bds

2 ba

1,470 sq ft

3 bds

2 ba

1,636 sq ft

7008 Anaqua Dr, Austin, TX 78750 Michele Blood | 512-924-5511

9112 Balcones Club Dr, Austin, TX 78750 Joe and Cara Keenan Team | 512-200-2469

905 Conrad St, Austin, TX 78758 Stefan Benteler | 512-487-9993

1211 Clearfield Dr, Austin, TX 78758 Lisa Muñoz | 512-856-4549

Are We at the Top of the Housing Market?

You’re probably hearing a lot about Austin’s shifting housing market. Historically low interest rates drove housing markets across the nation into hyperdrive over the last year. As the market softens, we’ll likely see fewer

offers on homes, fewer bidding wars, an increase in inventory, and more. Scan the QR code to see what experts have to say.

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NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2022

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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. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 30 hyperlocal editions across the state with a circulation to more than 2.4 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM TAYLOR: In this year’s Real Estate Edition, Austin City Hall reporter Ben Thompson looks at two measures Austin City Council recently approved. One measure is the expansion of the aordable housing program, and the other is the loosening of the strict compatibility standards, which have limited development along Austin’s major roadways. Stay cool and hydrated, and enjoy this issue! Taylor Caranfa Stover, GENERAL MANAGER

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.

FROM JENN: Welcome to our annual Real Estate Edition. Inside you will nd helpful tips for your home from local experts (see Page 15), along with numbers illustrating the health of the Northwest Austin real estate market (see Page 13). Happy reading! Jennifer Schaefer, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHAT WE COVER

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NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2022

IMPACTS

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

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4 Impossible Kicks , a shoe store that calls itself “the nation’s largest resell brand” and carries sneakers and athletic clothing, opened May 7 at The Domain between Loft and Kedma Cosmetics. The store carries Air Jordan, Yeezy, Nike Dunks and Supreme footwear for men, women and children at 11501 Century Oaks Terrace, Ste. 129, Austin. https://impossiblekicks. com 5 Reformation , a clothing brand that carries responsibly made clothing and accessories for women, opened a store at 11621 Rock Rose Ave., Ste. 116, Austin, at Domain Northside on June 17. The brand uses low-impact materials; res- cued deadstock, or remnant fabrics; and repurposed vintage clothing. 254-203- 9973. www.thereformation.com 6 Saint Laurent Paris , a luxury fashion brand, opened June 3 in the Domain between Gucci and Tiany and Co. The prominent French fashion house carries modern and iconic pieces and is known for its tuxedo jackets. The location car- ries men’s and women’s fashion, leather goods, shoes and jewelry at 11601 Century Oaks Terrace, Ste. 103, Austin. 737-279-6710. www.ysl.com/en-us COMING SOON 7 Apex Body Works , a business that provides deep-tissue and sports massage to provide relief as well as small-group tness classes, is expected to open Sept. 3. They also will provide skin care and highly skilled therapists for pain management and to restore motion. All services will be on-site, but corporate wellness classes may be avail-

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NOW OPEN 1 Anine Bing , a Los Angeles-based women’s fashion brand that started in 2012, opened June 9 at Domain Northside at 11624 Rock Rose Ave., Ste. 100, Austin. Founded by former model, singer and blogger Anine Bing, the at- tire is inspired by Scandinavian simplici- ty and American energy to dress women in fabrics such as leather, silk, linen and cashmere with an attention to shoes and

14-karat gold-plated brass jewelry. The store is close to the Apple store opposite Nike and is the rst location in Texas. 512- 305-3245. www.aninebing.com 2 Austin-based bake shop Easy Tiger opened a kitchen inside Lavaca Street Bar at Rock Rose on June 24 at Do- main Northside. It serves fresh-baked pretzels with an array of dips as well as charcuterie and sandwiches. This is the rst time Easy Tiger has operated in the Domain area. It is located at 11420 Rock

Rose Ave., Ste. 100. https://lavacastdomain.com/easy-tiger 3 Honey Pig Korean BBQ , known for meats “barbecued Korean-style” held a soft opening July 5 in the H-Mart shop- ping center at Lakeline Boulevard and US 183. This is the rst Austin location, with other locations in Virginia and Maryland. The menu includes barbecued beef, pork, squid, octopus, chicken and shrimp. 11301 Lakeline Blvd., Ste. 7, Austin. www.honeypigbbq.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY JENNIFER SCHAEFER

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Cap City Comedy Club’s new location is at 11506 Century Oaks Terrace, Bldg. B, Unit 100, Austin, in The Domain.

Honey Pig Korean BBQ

Impossible Kicks

SUMAIYA MALIKCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SUMAIYA MALIKCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SUMAIYA MALIKCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

able upon request at 13470 Research Blvd., Bldg. B, Ste. 3, Austin. 512-537- 9440. www.apexbodyatx.com 8 Freestanding emergency room, Austin Emergency Center, plans to open near the Arboretum on Aug. 1. The 24/7 healthcare provider was acquired by private equity rm ZT Corporate and upgraded from an urgent care center to an emergency room with expanded ser- vices and technology. 10407 Jollyville Road. 512-334-6707. www.austiner.com 9 Curry Up Now , a restaurant serving Indian avors for the American custom- er, is opening in Domain Northside by early August at 11601 Rock Rose Ave., Ste. 130. The restaurant, which began as a food truck in the San Francisco Bay area, serves halal options and fusion foods such as an Indian burrito. www. curryupnow.com 10 The Hope Family Thrift Store is set to open its second location in North Austin in September at 13801 Burnet Road, Ste. 200. The store, beneting the Austin Disaster Relief Network, is a free distribution center for survi- vors of disasters and oers aordable, gently used merchandise to customers. Donations can be dropped o Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. at 1122 E. 51st St. 512-467- 4940. https://hopefamilythrift.org 11 Joybird , a modern furniture store carrying “high-quality, responsibly sourced furniture meant to last a life- time” is expected to open at Domain Northside on July 29 at 3211 Palm Way, Ste. 162. The 3,000-square-foot store will carry furniture for every room. It is located near the Park at The Domain

FEATURED IMPACT NOW OPEN Cap City Comedy Club opened its new location at The Domain on July 7. The previous location on Research Boulevard closed in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a previous Community Impact Newspaper coverage, brothers Brad and Marc Grossman, who own the nationwide Helium Comedy Club chain, are the new owners behind the reopening of the club. Colleen McGarr, one of the original owners of the club, remains as part of the partnership group. The new venue has two state-of-the-art showrooms with settings similar to a cabaret theater. A food and drink menu is available, and attendees are required to order at least two items per person. A schedule is available online, and those interested can buy nonrefundable tickets cation and is expected to serve Lakeway as well as Cedar Park and Lake Travis ar- eas. The location is expected to open in fall 2023. It will oer sales, as well as a parts and service center to help custom- ers schedule maintenance appointments at a convenient location. 10600 N RM 620, Austin. www.volvoaustin.com RENOVATIONS 15 Lululemon , the yoga-inspired athletic apparel store, has temporarily

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there or at the door. The club, which has been around for more than 30 years, encourages local and national talent with original programming “to continue growing the Austin comedy scene.” The 18 and older venue provides options for seating with preassigned being the best seats; general admission, which are rst- come, rst-sat basis; and balcony seating at 11506 Century Oaks Terrace, Bldg. B, Unit 100, Austin. 512-467-2333. www.capcitycomedy.com

Curry Up Now

COURTESY CURRY UP NOW

restaurant. https://joybird.com 12 Phoebe’s Diner is expanding into Northwest Austin with a location at 12001-D Burnet Road, at the corner of Gracy Farms Lane. Sta said they hope to open the location by mid-July and are waiting on a liquor license. Phoebe’s specializes in brunch and barbecue fare and has a diverse mimosa selection. The Gracy Farms location will have a full bar with a cocktail menu, a private dining room and a wraparound porch for outdoor dining. 512-215-8910. www.phoebesdiner.com 13 Full-service nail salon Square Nails plans to open at the end of July in the Gateway Shopping Center at 9503 Re- search Blvd., Ste. 540, Austin. Services will include manicures, pedicures and waxing. 14 Hill Country Volvo , certied deal- ers of new Volvo cars including SUVs, sedans, and crossovers, broke ground on July 20 at RM 620 and Buckner Lane with representation of Volvo Cars North America. This will be Volvo’s second lo-

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relocated to 3309 Esperanza Crossing, Austin, while the original store near Neiman Marcus undergoes renovations, which are expected to be completed by fall. The temporary store is fully stocked and has the same amenities and tting rooms like its main store. “We are very excited in our temp space because what it means is that we’re having a brand- new, completely optimized store in the works right now,” Lululemon Assistant Manager Gabe Esparza said.512-339- 2067. https://shop.lululemon.com

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NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2022

The most pediatric specialists in the most places Nationally ranked care in Central Texas * Dell Children’s continues to deliver the most advanced pediatric specialty care in Central Texas. No wonder we’re your first choice for pediatric care — for everyday bumps and scrapes to the more advanced care like pediatric heart transplant, brain and spine care, maternal fetal care and more. And now we’re honored to be getting noticed nationally, too. Our promise to Central Texas families is to always bring you access to the highest level of care, close to home. • New state-of-the-art, full-service children’s hospital in North Austin — opening 2023 • New fourth bed tower, adding 72 inpatient care rooms, with the ability to expand in the future — opening fall 2022

• New Dell Children’s Specialty Pavilion — now open • New Comprehensive Fetal Care Center — now open • New Specialized Delivery Unit* — now open • New High-Risk Obstetrics Clinic* — now open

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

July & August events

COMPILED BY DARCY SPRAGUE & SUMAIYA MALIK

JULY 24 SEE DWIGHT YOAKAM AT ROUND ROCK AMP Dwight Yoakam will perform at Round Rock Amp, an open-air music venue that opened in Round Rock in April. Country and western artist Yoakam has recorded more than 20 albums and compilations and sold more than 30 million records in his multidecade career. His hits include “Little Sister,” “I Sang Dixie” and “Guitars, Cadillacs.” 6-11 p.m. $45-$200. Round Rock Amp, 3701 N. I-35, Round Rock. http://roundrockamp.com 26 VISIT A PFARMER’S MARKET A weekly farmer’s market will be held in Pugerville at Heritage Park on Tuesdays through the end of October. 3-7 p.m. Free admission. Heritage Park, 901 Old Austin-Hutto Road, Pugerville. 512- 990-6360. www.pugervilletx.gov AUGUST 02 THROUGH 7 SEE ‘MEAN GIRLS’ LIVE “Mean Girls the Musical” will come to Broadway in Austin at the Texas Performing Arts center for ve days. The show is crafted by director Casey Nicholaw, from “Aladdin” and “The Book of Mormon,” “30 Rock” composer Je Richmond, lyricist Nell Benjamin and comedian Tina Fey and follows a similar plot to the 2004 Lindsay Lohan movie. Times vary. $35 and up. Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive, Austin. 512-471-1444. www.austin.broadway.com 07 SEE A BAND Three decades after their rst album was released, Canadian rock band Crash Test Dummies is celebrating that milestone with a North American and European tour that will stop in Austin at 3Ten ACL Live. Founding members Brad Roberts, Ellen Reid, Dan Roberts and Mitch Dorge will be joined by Stuart Cameron and Marc Arnould. Their most popular songs include “Superman’s Song” and “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.” 7:30 p.m. (doors). 8:30 p.m. (show). $42 (advance), $45 (at the door). 3TEN ACL Live, 310

Austin Parks Foundation and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will host a screening of “Selena” at the Waterloo Greenway. The event will include audience contests, live music and family- friendly activities. The 1997 movie tells the story of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla Pérez, following her rise to fame and death at age 23. Free. 7:30 p.m. Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park, 500 E. 12th St., Austin. www.waterloogreenway.org/ summer-programs-2022

AUG. 05

CATCH A MOVIE MOODY AMPHITHEATER

Willie Nelson Blvd, Ste. 1A, Austin. 877- 435-9849. www.3tenaustin.com 11 THROUGH 27 SEE A PLAY Pulitzer-winning play “Anna in the Tropics” will come to Ground Floor Theatre. The play tells the story of a Cuban-American family in the cigar business set in Florida in 1929 and a man who sets change in motion at the factory by reading Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina.” The play is written by Nilo Cruz, and the cast includes David Segura as Santiago, Ranferi Salguero as Cheché and Toni Knight as Ofelia. Times vary. $25 (general admission) or Pay What You Can tickets available. Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale Road, Ste. 122, Austin. www.groundoortheatre.org/anna 12 THROUGH 13 HEB CENTER IN CEDAR PARK The rodeo brings two days of fun with bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, girls barrel racing, girls breakaway roping, team roping and mutton busting. Contestants must sign up at the venue the night of the event when doors open at the designated table on the main concourse. 6:30 p.m. (doors open), 7:30 p.m. (Sat.-Sun.). $14-$24 (children), $19-$29 (adults), mutton busting is an additional $30. 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. www.hebcenter.com/events/ ATTEND CEDAR PARK RODEO AT

detail/cedar-park-rodeo-2022 1517 HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL Austin ISD students will head back to class on Aug. 15 after summer break with Pugerville ISD returning Aug. 16 and Round Rock ISD on Aug. 17. The full academic calendar for the 2022-23 school year is available on the districts’ websites. www.austinisd.org, www.psd.net, www.roundrockisd.org 20 ATTEND A TEA CEREMONY Celebrate the culture of Japan with Japanese food, drinks, and children’s activities and cultural education at the Asian American Resource Center. Highlights include a tea ceremony at 12:30 p.m. with Central Texas Chado. Learn and experience calligraphy, origami and paper lantern making. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free (age 4 and younger), $5 (up to age 12), $10 (age 13 and older). 8401 Cameron Road, Austin. www.austinoita.org/2022- oita-japan-festival 27 CELEBRATE BATS Austin will hold its 17th annual Bat Fest on the South Congress Avenue bridge featuring live music from the Toadies and several other bands, food, and a bat costume contest plus a chance to see the world’s largest urban bat colony—1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats—take over the sky. 4 p.m.-midnight. Free (kids under 8), $25. 100 S. Congress Ave., Austin. www.roadwayevents.com/ event/bat-fest

Melat performs at Cheer Up Charlies.

FEATURED EVENT Hot Summer Nights Aug. 04-06 The Red River Cultural District will host Hot Summer Nights, a four-day event featuring free live music at venues including Stubb’s, Mohawk, Cheer Up Charlies and Empire. Musicians will represent a range of genres. Proceeds will benet the Red River Cultural District’s charitable programs that support Austin’s live music community of creative, service, hospitality and production workers. The event will also feature local vendors. Free. Locations and times vary. www.redriverculturaldistrict.org

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Find more or submit Northwest Austin 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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4 Retail Locations in Central Texas Round Rock • Austin • Liberty Hill • Granite Shoals 512-989-7625

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NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2022

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES

McKalla Station groundbreaking draws crowd

ONGOING PROJECTS

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Loop 360 at Westlake Dr./Cedar St. Crews are setting up the work zone. The project consists of improvements to the intersections at Westlake Drive and Cedar Street and includes the removal of trac signals on Loop 360 main lanes and adding an underpass at both intersections. Timeline: spring 2020 to mid-2025 Cost: $72.1 million Funding sources : Texas Department of Transportation, city of Austin’s 2016 mobility bond

State and local community leaders pounded symbolic railroad tracks with mallets as part of the $24 million McKalla Station groundbreaking ceremony July 18. About 300 people gathered on the east side of Q2 Stadium as the band 80Hproject warmed up the crowd. Later, Austin FC’s supporter section band led chants of “Cinco! Uno! Dos!” and sang “McKalla Oh La La” to the tune of Camilla Cabello’s “Havana.” Dottie Watkins, Capital Metro interim president and CEO, said the station at McKalla Place is one of the most anticipated stations the transportation authority has had. “This will be the most fan-friendly rail station in the MLS,” she said.

McKalla Station along Capital Metro’s Red Line is just east of Q2 Stadium and is expected to be completed by late 2023. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)

Watkins said event transportation is a great introduction to public transportation for many. State Rep. Sheryl Cole, DAustin, said she is looking forward to all of the progress Project Connect has in store. “Transit is a powerful equity tool,” she said, adding the station will oer more reliable transit to employment and recreation. The new station is on the east side of Q2 Stadium o Delta Drive. It will include two

passenger platforms and a special event platform along with a shared- use pedestrian and bike path. Other amenities include canopies, bike racks and a ticket vending machine. The station will improve connec- tivity to the North Burnet Road area, Braker Lane and Metric Boulevard along with “direct, convenient, and safe public transportation to events at Q2 stadium,” according to a release from Capital Metro. Completion is set for late 2023.

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 19. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT NWANEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. 183 North Mobility Project Pavement grinding, where part of the roadway is removed to level and smooth the roadway surface, is expected to continue through August. Concurrently, crews are working on bridge foundations and the installa- tion of LED high-mast lighting, which will improve visibility in the corridor. Timeline: January 2022-26 Cost: $612 million Funding sources : TxDOT, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

Diverging diamond opens at I35/Parmer

BY SUMAIYA MALIK

shifting trac to the left side of the road, allowing through trac and left-turning trac to proceed through the exchange simultaneously. This eliminates the need for left-turn signals. The $33 million diverging diamond interchange is part of the Texas Clear Lanes project and is expected to alleviate trac conditions that create a bottleneck at the I-35/Parmer Lane intersection.

The Texas Department of Trans- portation marked the opening of a diverging diamond interchange at 12415 N. I-35, Austin, with a rib- bon-cutting ceremony June 22. A diverging diamond interchange creates a diamond-shaped pattern and addresses congestion by allowing vehicles to travel more quickly through intersections. It increases trac ow by temporarily

35

W. PARMER LN.

E. PARMER LN.

SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & COUNTY Austin seeks to limit abortion law effects AUSTIN City Council could vote to reduce the local effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rollback of abortion rights by limiting the city’s involvement in abortion-re- lated enforcement. The Supreme Court issued its 6-3 opinion overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24, paving the way for Texas to move forward with its near-total abortion ban. Last leg- islative session, Texas lawmakers passed a “trigger law”—the Human Life Protection Act of 2021—which will go into effect following the court’s formal judgment overturn- ing Roe v. Wade. The law will be effective 30 days after the court issues its judgment on the Roe case, which is separate from the opinion issued this month. Attorney General Ken Paxton said his office will announce the act’s effective date after that action, which could take a month.

News from Austin & Travis and Williamson counties

COMPILED BY BEN THOMPSON

QUOTE OF NOTE

City advances on terminal takeover AUSTIN The city will move ahead with a lawsuit aimed at acquiring Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s South Terminal to clear the way for a long-term expansion. Eminent domain proceedings approved by City Council on June 16 seek to take over the South Terminal property from its owner, LoneStar Airport Holdings. As part of the city aviation department’s Airport Expansion and Develop- ment Program, the 10-gate facility currently home to Frontier and Allegiant airlines would be shut- tered to clear the way for other airport improvements. While most of the airport is already owned by the city, Austin entered into a 30-year lease agree- ment for LoneStar’s operation of the South Terminal in 2016. The terminal property is cur- rently appraised at $1.95 million, according to the city.

AUSTIN ABORTION RESOLUTION The city passed a resolution that it would not use city funds for activities related to reporting abortions except where required by state or federal law. Here is a list of some activities the city will not use funds for:

Austin City Council meets July 28, Aug. 17-19 at 10 a.m. at Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second St., Austin. 512-974-2250. www.austintexas.gov/department Travis County Commissioners Court meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. at the Travis County Administration Building, 700 Lavaca St., Austin. 512-854-4722. www.traviscountytx.gov Williamson County Commissioners Court meets July 26, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 at 9:30 a.m. at the Williamson County Courthouse, 710 Main St., Georgetown. 512-943-1100. www.wilco.org MEETINGS WE COVER “THE SIMPLE TRUTH ... IS THAT WE DO NOT ... HAVE THE STAFF THAT WE NEED TO DELIVER THE SERVICES WE MUST.” SPENCER CRONK, AUSTIN CITY MANAGER ON RECRUITING AND RETAINING EMPLOYEES

Storing or cataloging report of an abortion, miscarriage or other reproductive health care act Providing information to any other governmental body or agency about any abortion, miscarriage or other reproductive health care act unless such information is provided to defend the patient’s right to abortion care Conducting surveillance or collecting data related to an individual or organization for the purpose of determining whether an abortion has occurred

SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTIN/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2022

REAL ESTATE EDITION

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ANNUAL COMMUNITY  HEALTH CARE REAL ESTATE  EDUCATION COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. VISIT

REAL ESTATE DATA

Data on the real estate market in Northwest Austin

COMPILED BY JENNIFER SCHAEFER

2021-22 Northwest Austin real estate market at a glance

45 TOLL

78726 78727 78729 78750 78758 78759

620

Much like the rest of Central Texas, the residential real estate markets in Northwest Austin have seen a sharp increase in home prices over the last year. All ZIP codes in the area saw at least a 20% increase in home price, with 78727 and 78759 seeing an almost 30% hike. SOURCE: AUSTIN BOARD OF REALTORSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

183

MOPAC

35

360

2222

N

Average days on market

Average home sales price

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

78726

78750

28

$581,000

$510,000

+29.15%

+21.08%

$750,350

$617,500

20

18

18

78727

78758

17

16

15

15

14

$418,000

$375,000

14

14

+29.9%

+21.72%

11

$543,000

$456,450

78759

78729

-28.57%

+6.67%

+27.27%

+13.33%

-22.22%

-22.22%

$560,000

$407,391

+27.64%

+29.46%

$520,000

$725,000

78727

78726

78750

78729

78759

78758

National mortgage rate data Mortgage rates steadily declined early in the pandemic with the 30-year xed-rate mortgage dropping to as low as 2.65% in January 2021. Rates have since increased, spiking to their highest point since 2009 as of early May. 30-year xed-rate mortgage 15-year xed-rate mortgage

Number of homes sold

June 2020-May 2021

June 2021-May 2022

526

465

461

406

398 382

377

5.27%

348

5%

4.51%

286 302

3.72%

4.52%

4%

182

2.65% 3.22%

128

3%

3.99%

3.16%

-29.67%

-7.69%

+5.59%

-12.69%

-4.02%

-12.36%

2% 0 January 2019

2.16%

2.43%

January 2020

January 2021

January 2022

78726

78727

78729

78750

78758

78759

13

NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2022

PEOPLE Gage Mueller Solar energy specialist, ADT Solar BY LAURA ROBB

Gage Mueller, a solar energy specialist at ADT Solar, has experience in the solar industry as both a customer and a service provider. After installing solar panels on his own house in 2017, Mueller’s interest in solar grew until he decided to pursue a career in the industry in 2020 with SunPro—now known as ADT Solar, a residential and commercial solar panel company. In 2020, ADT Solar installed panels which produced more than 43,600 kilowatts of solar energy in Texas, according to Solar Power World. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD PEOPLE ASK WHEN CONSIDERING SOLAR? Homeowners should ask: ‘Do I qual- ify for the tax credit?’ They should call their [certied public accountant], because the solar sales guy will say, ‘The government will give you 26%.’ But it’s not true—you have to qualify. The other question that I tell people to get answered is: How will this aect your homeowner’s insurance? The panels are attached to your dwelling. Per the law, anything attached to the dwelling is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Your premium may go up—but you need to know that ahead of time to make an informed decision. Once solar is up, there’s nothing you can do. DOES SOLAR AFFECT APPRAIS ALS AND PROPERTY TAXES? Most of the time, solar increases the value of your house—which is good, but you don’t pay a higher property tax. If your house appraises for $200,000 today and you put $20,000 worth of solar on it, then it appraised for $220,000. Your tax liability is still $200,000—because $20,000 is solar renewable energy and qualies for an exemption. So

you gain the value in the appraisal, but not in property taxes. WHAT CREDITS AND REBATES ARE AVAILABLE? It’s a federal tax credit. There is a dierence between the words ‘credit’ and ‘rebate.’ It’s a credit, so you do have to qualify. Currently, it’s 26% of the cost of the solar or the contract. That can mean installation costs, panels, inverters, bolts, railing, all of it. The credit is good through the end of 2022. Next year, it drops to 22%. In 2024, on the residential side, it goes away. WHAT VARIABLES CAN AFFECT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SOLAR PANELS? It can depend on a lot of things. You need to ask yourself: How does your house sit? Do you have a good, southern-facing roof? It doesn’t have to face south, but it helps. Are there obstructions causing shading? The sun has to be able to hit those panels in order for it to do its job. Is the roof less than 5 years old? Does it have roof penetrations? Those elements can complicate installations. ... People like fancy roof lines, but they aren’t very conducive for solar.

Gage Mueller said solar panels can increase a home’s value without increasing property taxes. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Newspaper)

“PEOPLE LIKE FANCY ROOF LINES, BUT THEY AREN’T VERY CONDUCIVE FOR SOLAR. “ GAGE MUELLER, SOLAR ENERGY SPECIALIST AT ADT SOLAR

STATE stats

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade association for the solar industry, Texas was ranked number one in the nation for solar panel use in the rst quarter of 2022. SEIA data predicts Texas will lead the nation in growth in the solar industry over the next ve years.

10,088 jobs in the

of the state’s electricity is solar

3.75%

solar industry

506 solar companies 202 installers and developers

85 manufacturers

219

other

invested by the solar industry statewide as of Q1 of 2022

more megawatts projected to be produced from solar in the next ve years

$16.6B

18,401

SOURCE: SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

Local businesses oer home improvement tips

2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION

HOME IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

out for you and x it for a at fee of about $60. The reason I recommend that, a homeowner does not have to nd a plumber or an electrician immediately. You can call one place. Some are better than others. They are relatively cheap for a call-out fee and generally have quick turnaround times. I suggest researching their reviews and their coverage as they can be a real timesaver for owners. HOW DOES A HOMEOWNER CHOOSE A PROPERTY MANAGER? Every property manager has to be licensed as a Realtor, but every Realtor does not have to handle property management. The dierence is your agent will lease the property for you and work with you up to the point the house is leased. A property manager also will be the point of contact for the tenant for any issues during the lease. But a property manager can make an owner lose money depending on their practices. Properties that are merely listed on MLS take longer to rent. I suggest making sure they list on our MLS (that ensures other agents will bring their tenant clients) and make sure they answer their calls on the weekends, at least while it’s listed. Most tenants with agents look during the weekend, and I can’t tell you how many times we try to show tenants, the keys won’t work and because it’s a property manager that only works during the week, we can’t show the home.

too fancy. This will give an updated and clean feel. Try not to waste too much on landscaping. Make sure the property has a neatly mowed lawn and clean ower beds, but tenants don’t tend to care too much. Also, owners should not expect them to care for the yard as well as they would. WHAT ARE THE COLOR TRENDS IN THE RENTAL PROPERTY BUSINESS? Owners denitely want to go as neutral as possible. They will probably have to repaint in between each tenant, so an easy-to-get, popular color like o-white for the walls is most cost-eective. It helps brighten up the rooms and will match any furniture the renters have. For ooring, we saw a lot of grays over the last decade but that has started to become less popular, and classic wood colors are coming back. For carpet, light neutrals that brighten the room help the home look clean. WHAT KIND OF ESSENTIAL REPAIRS SHOULD A HOMEOWNER LOOK AT? WHAT WOULD BE A REASONABLE COST TO EXPECT IN AUSTIN? With what tenants pay for rent now, they expect everything to be in working order immediately. Having a trusty handyman on call is sometimes hard to nd, so I always suggest having a good home warranty, which costs about $500 per year. If anything breaks, for example a leak or a wall needs repair, or air conditioning, they call the contractor

COMPILED BY SUMAIYA MALIK

ASK A REALTOR

Monica Jones, a Realtor at Compass Realty in Austin, oers advice to homeowners interested in renting out their property and shares what renters are looking for in a home.

HOW SHOULD HOMEOWNERS PREPARE THEIR HOMES BEFORE PUTTING THEM ON THE RENTAL MARKET? If the home is in pretty good shape, the best thing one can do is to make sure the walls are painted and the ooring looks nice. Also, get it cleaned by professionals. You wouldn’t believe the states some of these homes are in, and it can be a matter of hundreds of dollars if a home looks clean. If the carpet has stains that do not come out in the professional cleaning, get quotes on inexpensive carpet because you will probably have to [recarpet].

HOW CAN PEOPLE MAXIMIZE THEIR MONEY WHEN RENOVATING FOR RENTAL? If you want to put some money into the home, updated kitchens and bathrooms are always your best return. Painting cabinets and having counters such as granite, or stone counters that are more durable as opposed to formica, are what tenants care more about as opposed to backsplashes or new appliances. After the kitchen, the bathrooms are a great return on renovations. Ikea and Home Depot carry ready-made vanities. It doesn’t have to be

Monica Jones Realtor Compass Realty 2500 Bee Caves Road, Bldg. 3, Ste. 200, West Lake Hills 512-426-0972 www.compass.com

MOPAC

N

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NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2022

DEVELOPMENT BREAKDOWN City Council signed o on two measures tied to Austin’s housing crisis June 9. One expands an existing aordable development program, while the other could reduce limits on new development along major roadways.

CONTINUED FROM 1

w

neighborhoods linked to amenities and transit while building up much-needed housing stock. The June changes expand a program bringing taller mixed-use buildings on major streets and could reduce restrictions on projects near single-family homes. Those steps are among the most notable the city has taken on since a proposed rewrite of its land development code stalled this spring. But the changes are not backed by all in the community, with some concerned that new allow- ances could cause disruption for neighborhoods and businesses without bringing enough benets. And among more supportive developers and coun- cil members, some said the action may not bring enough relief to Austin’s housing pressures and aordability concerns. “I’m not saying that I’m opposed to those changes by any means; I think it’s a good incremental prog- ress. It’s just, to me, it feels like a drop in the bucket,” said Chris Anito, president of Austin developer Heartwood Real Estate Group. Compatibility constraints Both updates are aimed at encouraging devel- opment on Austin’s major corridors—Burnet Road, Congress Avenue, Lamar Boulevard, and future Project Connect rail and bus routes, for example— where, to varying levels, many believe denser hous- ing belongs. One move City Council initially approved June 9 aims to loosen Austin’s strict limits on building height next to single-family homes, or compatibility stan- dards, which some developers point to as a hindrance on new construction. The regulations are designed to protect existing single-family homes from being overshadowed by larger developments within a cer- tain distance, and cover limits on yard sizes, height and overall building size. One aspect of compatibility acts as a cap on new building heights stretching outward from an exist- ing residence. Alongside other local development requirements, compatibility can often force devel- opers to reduce or abandon construction plans. Austin’s current height limits, and the distance over which a home’s inuence extends, stand out when compared with Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and other rapidly growing peers such as Charlotte,

MIXEDUSE ADDITIONS

EXISTING FUTURE

Austin’s vertical mixed-use, or VMU, program has brought thousands of housing units to the city, including hundreds reserved for those earning lower incomes. Even more could be coming under the expanded VMU2 option. Vertical mixed use (VMU): A city bonus program granting extra building height in exchange for some aordable housing units.

VMU PROJECTS TOTAL HOUSING UNITS AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS

37

36

6,793

8,908

678

1,190

*AS OF APRIL

COMPATIBILITY CEILING

Changes proposed this spring apply only to Austin’s corridors, and include granting greater building height to new development and reducing the distance over which compatibility can aect nearby properties to 300 feet.

Compatibility: An element of residential design standards “designed to minimize the impact of new construction, remodels and additions to existing buildings on surrounding properties in residential neighborhoods.”

120 FEET

60 FEET

Compatibility restricts height closer to single-family homes...

... and gradually loosens farther away.

30 FEET

SINGLE FAMILY HOME

300 FEET

540 FEET

25 FEET 50 FEET

DISTANCE FROM HOME

SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTINCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

as integral to a quality urban life and as a fundamen- tal part of zoning. This protection is more important as redevelopment occurs and cities get denser,” the group said in a statement. “Compatibility between structures and uses, not incompatibility, is the foun- dation of aordable, livable large cities.” The proposed updates would not completely wipe away Austin’s decades-old limits on building height and other characteristics. Rather, the changes would grant denser developments more leeway with com- patibility when building on busy streets. Council’s proposal is now being reviewed ahead of a nal vote as soon as September. More mixed-use In June, council members also agreed to broaden one of Austin’s most prolic aordable building pro- grams: vertical mixed-use, or VMU. The program allows for a trade-o granting taller

Denver and Atlanta. Erica Leak, a development o- cer at Austin’s housing department, said the lim- itations are “the most restrictive” that city sta are aware of. “There are a lot of fast-growing cities, but ours has been growing faster; our housing crisis is worse; and there is an obvious reason why that should be solved fairly easily,” Anito said. Over the past several years, Austin attempted to rework compatibility standards through a revision of the city’s 1980s land code. A group of homeown- ers successfully challenged that process in court, leaving a broader rewrite o the table, and many still believe the limits should not be reduced. Commu- nity Not Commodity, which did not favor council’s recent process, said considerations for homeowners should still be in place regardless of the city’s push for new development. “Access to light and air has long been recognized

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