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Planning for the future: Downtown Austin Alliance releases updated growth data

The mid-year downtown development report was presented to the Downtown Commission recently showing economic development.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin's picture-perfect skyline could look different in a couple years. In fact, folks with Austin's Downtown Alliance said it's shifting and they're seeing explosive growth in a specific part of downtown, according to their mid-year downtown report.

"You could say the skyline has shifted 90 degrees. Instead of being predominantly viewed from the East and the West, you can now see a really nice skyline shot from the South," said Michele Van Hyfte, AIA LEED AP, Downtown Austin Alliance's vice president of urban design. “In our recent mid-year downtown development report, we reflect upon the 35 million square feet that have been built in Downtown Austin. If the current rate continues for development in downtown, we could match the 35 million square feet in the next 10 years.”

Van Hyfte said planning the future of Downtown Austin is important: it's the heart of the city and it plays a huge role in the region's economy. 

The Downtown Alliance created the State of Downtown report. The report shows the central role downtown plays as Austin's economic, governmental and cultural center. 

The report indicates growth will be mainly along Lady Bird Lake. Another area that could attract a lot of developers is around Waller Creek on the eastern edge of downtown.

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This fall, the Waterloo Greenway will open up a series of parks and trails winding along the creek. Van Hyfte said that's a big reason why the growth could be concentrated in that area.

"It’s possible that that part of downtown is going to experience the next round of growth and will help fill out maybe even a different downtown skyline that we can't even imagine yet," Van Hyfte said. 

The State of Downtown report was presented in Spring 2019 and the Downtown Alliance plans to present a new one this spring.

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