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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Data suggests economic boost from later Red River noise curfews

With the six-month pilot program giving outdoor music venues on Red River Street later weekend sound curfews set to expire at the end of the month, business owners and city officials are putting together their case for extending the program…

Monday, October 2, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Med school seeks more ideas in helping distressed residents’ health

The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas is making another attempt to solicit ideas from Austin residents about how to address chronic and sometimes hidden health problems throughout the city.The school’s Center For Place-Based Initiatives announced its second…

Friday, September 29, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Vote moves ‘downtown puzzle’ forward, with amendments aplenty

City Council voted Thursday to move forward with the “downtown puzzle,” a package of possible tax increases and assessment mechanisms seen as a way to fund a variety of public works projects and other community needs.The 10-0 vote – Council…

Thursday, September 28, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Rising hotel and other costs fuel SXSW’s growing economic impact

A rising cost of living and high prices for hotel rooms and other tourist accommodations helped fuel a 7 percent increase to the economic impact the city of Austin felt as a result of the South by Southwest festival.That was…

Thursday, September 14, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

City to set ‘high bar’ for Colony Park developer candidates

City planners leading the move to redevelop more than 200 acres of East Austin property are making no bones about it: Developers looking to turn dirt on the Colony Park project will have a high bar to clear in terms…

Monday, September 11, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Austinites call for halt, and a vote, on CodeNEXT

Residents and activists in East Austin called for a halt and possible public vote on CodeNEXT during a community session Saturday where reparations for displaced individuals and a program to create affordable housing stock on city-owned lands were also discussed…

Friday, September 8, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Could Austin be prime location for Amazon HQ?

To hear the Austin tech community talking on Thursday, it was a foregone conclusion that online retail giant Amazon will become Austin’s largest employer and have a major physical footprint here within the next decade. That prediction came about following…

Thursday, September 7, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Special Events Ordinance could see final approval in October

Staff at the Austin Center for Events will continue working on the city’s long-delayed Special Events Ordinance, despite a push from some City Council members to make the policy official by the end of the month.Council ended up approving the…

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

‘Downtown puzzle’ plan sets aside millions for Austin music

City Council endorsed one new plan for hotel occupancy taxes last week. At the end of this month, it will take up another. Last Tuesday’s release of Mayor Steve Adler’s Initial Financing Framework for Downtown Investments – known colloquially as…

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Vision Zero reports detail progress; crash data mostly unchanged

A pair of documents delivered to city officials last week show that the plan to eliminate all Austin traffic deaths and serious accidents by 2025 is proceeding, and this year’s accident data suggests the effort hasn’t moved the needle in…

Monday, August 28, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Accelerator targets city’s ‘screaming crisis’ of housing affordability

A new program from the Impact Hub Austin social improvement accelerator has set its sights on solving the growing affordability crisis facing Austin’s middle- and lower-income communities.The Affordable Housing Accelerator held its kickoff event last week and brought together local…

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Troxclair: Hotel tax plan separate from Adler’s ‘downtown puzzle’

Today’s City Council budget work session will almost certainly feature discussion about a proposal from Council Member Ellen Troxclair that seeks to reallocate money from the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax to pay for more expenses for Austin’s parks, which she…

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Report spells out Congress Avenue’s potential transformation

The future of Congress Avenue leading up to the state Capitol could see bicycles claiming the middle of the road as cars pass on both sides. That is one configuration in the discussion for an eventual makeover of the street…

Monday, August 21, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Job declines linked to affordability, immigration policies in chamber report

When considering a recent decrease in the number of jobs available in the Austin area, a top official with the Austin Chamber of Commerce points to slow action at the city and state levels to keep Central Texas attractive for…

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Council takes long view on convention center, with eye toward spring

A decision on whether City Council will opt to expand the Austin Convention Center likely won’t come until spring 2018, based on discussions at Tuesday’s Council work session.That time frame came from Mayor Steve Adler after more than two hours…

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Central Health evaluation targets care delivery, med school transparency

To indulge in an extended health care metaphor, one could compare the extensive evaluation Central Health has commissioned to a very public checkup where anyone with any interest in the condition of the community health organization gets a chance to…

Thursday, August 10, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Increased support outside ARCH to target crime, help homeless

Four months after city officials called on the Austin Police Department and other public safety departments to address a spike in drug use around the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, the next phase of help is about to begin.Starting…

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Council begins movement on stalled special events ordinance

Roughly four years after it was created, the city is moving forward with a new ordinance governing special events that, among other things, is intended to make the application process easier to navigate.At Tuesday’s work session, City Council received a…

Monday, July 31, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin real estate exec shifts focus to preserving middle-class housing

Looking to address the problem of Austin’s diminishing supply of middle-class housing, the head of the area’s lead real estate trade group is rounding up investors more interested in social good than eye-popping returns.David Steinwedell plans to leave his position…

Friday, July 28, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Will Merck IT hub anchor Central Health redevelopment?

This much is clear: Pretty much everyone agrees that the redevelopment of the University Medical Center Brackenridge campus is going to redefine the eastern edge of downtown Austin in the coming years.What is much less clear is what, exactly, will…

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