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Skyline changes: Downtown Austin construction continues booming despite pandemic

If you’re seeing a lot of cranes downtown, that’s because more than two dozen projects are still underway with only one canceled due to COVID-19.

AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin’s growth downtown hasn’t slowed down much during the coronavirus pandemic, as more than two dozen projects keep pushing ahead that’ll continue changing the skyline.

According to data kept by the Downtown Austin Alliance, only one project has been canceled because of the pandemic. Five others have been completed.

There are 26 projects under construction with 25 others proposed or in planning, according to DAA data.

“The activity that we see in downtown right now is an indication of the very healthy real estate market economy that we had when we entered this pandemic,” said Michele Van Hyfte, vice president of urban design for the Downtown Austin Alliance.

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2019 was a record-breaking year for real estate and Austin was the number one real estate market in North America for 2020.  

The DAA said a crane is an indicator that a project is at least a year into its lifespan with a year or two left before opening its doors. Over the next few months, more construction or cranes could start to pop up downtown.

“We have seen trends in projects that indicate that we will have taller, larger and more mixed-use, high-rise buildings in Downtown Austin,” Van Hyfte said. “That means that our skyline will continue to dramatically change. We'll see new interesting shapes form on the skyline. There are several large mixed-use projects that are under construction right now that will increase the skyline's height.”

It’ll be six to 18 months before any sort of noticeable slowdown in Austin’s construction projects, Van Hyfte said. There’s also a lot of hope that the city’s strong real estate market at the beginning of the pandemic will make the impacts less severe.

The DAA tracks emerging projects and details in the downtown area.

WATCH: Downtown Austin construction continues despite pandemic

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