Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown vacancies eyed for arts activations, tenants with new pilot program

Vacant storefronts in downtown Austin could become temporary homes for arts and creative organizations beginning this summer thanks to a pilot program under development by the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation. The foundation is currently working on a lease agreement with…

Thursday, May 6, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Working-class housing fund eyes more acquisitions as demand, cost pressures grow

An investment fund focused on preserving working-class housing in Austin is nearing its first property acquisition of 2021, and moving ahead with its reactivation after the slowdown in 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Austin Housing Conservancy Fund is…

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City seeks input on vision, plans for downtown’s Palm District

Residents can begin offering their thoughts to the city about the future use and look of the Palm District, a section of downtown that features historic structures and is surrounded by rapid growth and development. The city will hold a…

Monday, May 3, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Prop E approval OKs ranked-choice voting, with legal questions ahead

Austin voters came out in favor of a new system for conducting local contested elections beginning in 2022, though how or if that change will be made appears unclear. Proposition E was approved 87,516 to 63,510 on Saturday, with nearly…

Friday, April 30, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

EDC eyes push to make more city properties available for music, arts uses

The city’s new economic development corporation will make a push this summer to identify city properties that could be repurposed into music venues or creative spaces, and has started to assemble the financial models for creating two arts spaces in…

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown Commission objects to proposed state rollback of city sound ordinance

The Downtown Commission is the latest city body to formally object to a proposed state law that would invalidate most of Austin’s noise ordinance and make it legal for bars and clubs to generate loud music until 2 a.m. seven…

Friday, April 23, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Foundation Communities gets $1.5M, seeks more to fund affordable housing projects

A pair of affordable housing apartment complexes from Foundation Communities have received $1.5 million in subsidies to help pay for their construction costs and cover part of a remaining fundraising gap. Wells Fargo and the Federal Home Loan Bank of…

Thursday, April 22, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown leaders map out pandemic recovery amid construction boom

Downtown Austin leaders painted a mixed but promising picture of the city’s core on Wednesday, with large-scale construction projects accelerating and helping the area shake off the slowdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Downtown Austin Alliance presented its annual State…

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Questions abound with convention center’s future up in the air

With up being the only viable direction in which to significantly expand the Austin Convention Center, the deal structure and timeline for such a project appears to have gotten far more complicated. Former City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan is now…

Monday, April 19, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Music supporters’ budget proposals seek $20M+ for pandemic recovery

Advocates for Austin’s music community have come forward with a pair of budget proposals urging the city to earmark roughly $20 million in its next budget specifically for music-related purposes to help the creative economy recover from the pandemic. On…

Friday, April 16, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City names anti-displacement officer as real estate prices climb

As Austin’s real estate prices continue to soar, the city has named a new point person in charge of reducing the displacement of residents from affordable housing units. Nefertitti Jackmon recently started her new role as the community displacement prevention…

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Prop H gets support from community leaders pushing ‘democracy dollars’

Leaders from a variety of community and political advocacy groups voiced their support Tuesday for Proposition H, the ballot proposal popularly known as “democracy dollars” that is intended to bring public financing into local elections. Members of Austinites for Progressive…

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City sizes up options for creative space purchases with 2018 bonds

The city’s new economic development corporation will likely be able to purchase two music venue spaces and create a handful of shared facilities for creative arts groups using much of the $12 million voters approved in 2018 for creative space…

Friday, April 9, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City awards second round of SAVES funds to closed music venues

The city has begun awarding grants to 28 music venues selected to receive assistance from a $5 million program created to help preserve businesses that have been largely closed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last spring. The grants…

Thursday, April 8, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City seeks input on post-Covid economic recovery plan

The city is taking feedback from residents on a wide-reaching plan to restructure how many departments operate, and how economic development is handled in the post-pandemic world. The Economic Recovery and Resiliency Framework is a list of 45 ways the…

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

City, live music advocates decry legislation that would limit noise regulations

City leaders and live music advocates spoke out Monday against a bill in the Texas Legislature that would limit the ability of cities to regulate amplified sound from bars and music venues. The press conference at downtown club 3Ten was…

Monday, April 5, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Panel weighs future potential of city’s health care innovation district

The battle over reconstructing Interstate 35, and the stalled Land Development Code update, are factors that continue to influence the shape and scope of the developing health care innovation district in the eastern section of downtown Austin. Those larger civic…

Friday, April 2, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Ranked-choice voting proposal faces legal, legislative questions after May election

There are two questions at play for Proposition E, which would seek to create ranked-choice voting in city elections. One of those questions will be decided by voters in May, while a larger one will likely play out between city…

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Prop H critics want more inclusivity in ‘democracy dollars’ program

Advocates for local immigrant workers have come out against the “democracy dollars” ballot proposal set to go before voters in May, and are pushing City Council to pass an ordinance expanding its eligibility if the initiative succeeds. Proposition H would create…

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 by Chad Swiatecki

Prop G’s extra Council seat could mean gridlock if strong-mayor proposal fails

As voters ponder the eight ballot proposals they will see at the ballot box in May, City Council’s move to split the question of installing a strong mayor from the addition of a Council seat appears to have opened up…

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