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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Friday, July 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City’s new flood plain maps would affect building regulations

New federal data on Austin’s rainfall patterns will cause the city to expand the size of areas in the 100-year flood plain and likely lead to a change in development requirements for properties exposed to flash-flooding risk.The city’s Watershed Protection…

Thursday, July 19, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Oyervides passes arts program concerns to his MACC board replacement

One of the longest-serving members of the advisory board for the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center – and a frequent critic of city staff and programs affecting the Latino community – says he plans to stay vocal even…

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Case management, facilities improvements among recommendations for new ARCH contract

An analysis by a national agency focused on ending homelessness has given the city its recommendations on how to revamp services and operations at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. Among them are a change to make the downtown…

Monday, July 16, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Another report, same story: Austin’s too pricey for artists

Don’t stop, even if it seems like you’ve read this one before: A new city report finds that Austin’s musicians and creative class are feeling the financial squeeze while the rest of the city prospers.That finding, released last week, comes…

Friday, July 13, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Winnebago tract could blossom with Urban Roots agreement

The city is exploring a possible deal that would see the 9-acre East Austin parcel widely known as the Winnebago tract used as a site for urban farming, job training and possible collaboration with Austin’s arts community.Council approved a resolution…

Thursday, July 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts, music supporters eye bond money to assist existing creative spaces

Leaders in Austin’s arts community appear to be in favor of using $12 million in proposed bond money to help existing creative businesses in purchasing their current spaces before they can be priced out or forced to move because of…

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

SXSW economic impact grows north of $350M

The economic impact of the South by Southwest festival inched across the $350 million mark in the latest analysis by Greyhill Advisors of the spring festival’s effect on the community. The $350.6 million total for the 2018 festival represented growth…

Friday, July 6, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Questions of timing, community benefits linger over stadium negotiations

With little more than a month before City Council is expected to formally consider an agreement to possibly provide city land for the construction of a professional soccer stadium, it seems one of the most important considerations is what constitutes…

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Possible changes to panhandling ordinance draw concern from business leaders

A possible revision of the city’s ordinance regulating panhandling is drawing concern from downtown business leaders who say the proposed changes would allow aggressive requests for money and could create safety issues in areas with heavy foot traffic.The amendments to…

Friday, June 29, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council OKs stadium negotiation and other proposals, with early August deadline

Austin will move forward with negotiations on a deal that could bring a Major League Soccer stadium to the McKalla Place property in North Austin, with an early August deadline to reach an agreement.City Council approved a pair of soccer-related…

Thursday, June 28, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Epstein, PSV held soccer meeting prior to McKalla proposal’s release

A co-owner of the Circuit of the Americas met with representatives from Columbus Crew SC owners Precourt Sports Ventures about a possible deal to use the property as the team’s new home, just prior to the city receiving a proposal…

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Draft audit recommends changes, improvements for Visit Austin

A draft summary from the Office of the City Auditor finds that the city’s convention center needs to improve its internal communication and tracking of deliverables related to its annual contract with the city of Austin.The complete audit is expected…

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City tour support, tipping program previewed in summit for Austin musicians

The city’s music office is moving ahead with plans that could provide up to $5,000 in assistance for touring bands, as well as installing credit card kiosks in a handful of city music venues so fans can more easily tip…

Monday, June 18, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

New Tourism Commission to advise on hotel tax funds, issues related to $9B industry

Austin’s tourism industry will get some additional City Hall oversight as City Council prepares for budget workshops that are almost certain to include decisions on how to spend the quickly growing reserve of Hotel Occupancy Tax funds.Council voted 8-1-2 Thursday…

Thursday, June 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

$29.5M appraisal backs claims city eyed McKalla for commercial use

A 2016 appraisal of the city-owned property commonly known as McKalla Place found that it had a market value of $29.5 million if used for “commercial development, including retail, office and multifamily development.”The appraisal, performed by Paul Hornsby & Co.…

Thursday, June 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Houston withdraws, and Harding enters, in race for D1 Council seat

Austin’s City Council District 1, which is made up almost entirely of portions of East Austin, will definitely have a new representative in 2019, with current Council Member Ora Houston announcing Wednesday she will not seek re-election. Houston’s decision came…

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Council members ask questions and PSV surveys support as soccer relocation winds on

The debate around using city property to build a professional soccer stadium in North Austin looks to be one of the larger issues on City Council agendas ahead of the July recess, and Council Member Leslie Pool provided an early…

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City seeks input to tee up Dougherty redevelopment at Butler Shores

Voters will decide in November if the city will receive bond funds to build a replacement for the Dougherty Arts Center, but a public forum next week is intended to give city leaders input on their plan to build a…

Monday, June 11, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Developer: $22.5M offer intended to open McKalla Place for alternative proposals

A local development partnership has offered $22.5 million to purchase the North Austin property that is currently being considered as the site for a professional soccer stadium.The offer letter from developers John Chen and Marcus Whitfield was submitted on Friday…

Friday, June 8, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Pool wants Council to see all proposals for possible soccer stadium site

City Council Member Leslie Pool is planning to open a request for proposal process for the city-owned property at McKalla Place, a move that could have significant impact on a push by owners of a Major League Soccer franchise to…

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