Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Thursday, February 9, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Theater group seeks city lease deal to stay in business

A nonprofit theater group hopes to tap into the city of Austin’s recent focus on preserving creative spaces within the city and get a new home for experimental fine arts in the process. Representatives of the Rude Mechanicals (or “Rude…

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Hotel tax increase would fund most aggressive convention center plan

A 2-percentage-point uptick in the city’s hotel occupancy tax appears to be the most favored method of expanding the Austin Convention Center and turning the area around it into a lifestyle and tourist epicenter. That financing option, which would be…

Friday, February 3, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Music venues’ ‘agent of change’ proposal faces revisions ahead of spring vote

The city of Austin has concluded its series of public forums on a pair of proposed policy moves that would attempt to draw clear lines of responsibility between new residential developments and creative spaces that are increasingly co-mingling in the…

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Medical school outlines spending, outreach for care in eastern ‘Austin crescent’

With Travis County putting more scrutiny on one of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas’ largest financial contributors – specifically Central Health and the $35 million in taxpayer dollars it provides the school annually – leaders of…

Monday, January 30, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Economic forecast puts focus on transit, housing, jobs for 2017

AngelouEconomics’ annual economic forecast for Austin sees the city’s economy slowing its growth somewhat in 2017 and 2018. But roughly 107,000 new residents in that timespan will add more pressure on the local cost of living and transportation systems. The…

Monday, January 30, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin Monitor Radio: The City of Austin and its music policies

Austin Monitor freelancer Chad Swiatecki chats with guests Amy Lombardi and Rick Carney about the City of Austin’s live music policies. Post is embedded below:

Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

For historic grants program, use-it-or-lose-it process leaves dollars unspent

Historic sites around Austin could be on the receiving end of money from the city’s fast-growing Hotel Occupancy Tax if the advisory body formed to examine how the tax revenue is allocated recommends that City Council relax the application process.…

Thursday, January 19, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

For Austin tech Trump means uncertainty, mixed with opportunity

On issues ranging from immigration to support for clean energy technology to the future of media, the coming Donald Trump presidency brings a whole lot of uncertainty and possibly some opportunity to the tech scene in Austin. That was the…

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

New Rodeo Austin chief calls Expo Center expansion ‘a no-brainer’

With a deep banking and private investment background as well as an extensive business network throughout Texas, new Rodeo Austin CEO Rob Golding could be an important dealmaker in the long-brewing effort to conduct a grand revamp of the Travis…

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Highways and interstates a top priority for pedestrian safety plan

Austin appears to have had some early success in recovering from an all-time high in road fatalities in 2015, with 76 in 2016 compared to 102 the year prior. But reaching zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2025 remains the…

Thursday, January 12, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Council seeks robust feedback on first CodeNEXT draft

City Council and the other groups involved in completing and implementing CodeNEXT – the multiyear process of rewriting the city’s Land Development Code – got a hard look Wednesday at how citizens will be able to review and give feedback…

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Hotel business – and HOT revenue – would accelerate with convention center expansion

The biggest number looming over the Visitor Impact Task Force is fairly easy to grasp: The city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax generated more than $90 million in revenue in 2016, with double-digit growth expected well into the future. It’s the many…

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Council expected to take up agent of change and entertainment licenses in March

Regulations for live music venues throughout Austin appear to be changing both very quickly and remarkably slowly. At Monday’s meeting of the city’s Music Commission, the dominant topic was the long-proposed “agent of change” principle that is intended to reduce…

Monday, January 9, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Hopes for music industry growth fuel first omnibus resolution

For all the focus Mayor Steve Adler and others in city government have put on the health of Austin’s music economy in recent years, it’s easy to lose sight of what it means to be a “working musician” in Austin…

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 by Chad Swiatecki

With $90 million up for grabs, Visitor Impact Task Force faces hefty charge

The city’s new Visitor Impact Task Force hopes to accomplish several goals in the next four months, all of them having to do with how the city can best grapple with the growing number of tourists coming to Austin each…

Thursday, December 15, 2016 by Chad Swiatecki

Liquor tax cut a top priority for music venue lobbying group

Music venues in Austin are lining up to try to get their state liquor tax rates reduced in a bid that’s being presented as a needed step to preserve clubs and bars that heavily promote live music. The effort is…

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 by Chad Swiatecki

Task force report recommends moving popular events to different parks

Parks facilities in East Austin are likely to become host sites for a variety of large events in the coming years as the city looks to reduce the event schedule at its major urban core parks. A move toward utilization…

Friday, December 9, 2016 by Chad Swiatecki

CodeNEXT could allow new music districts and creative spaces around Austin

Affordability – for both the city’s mostly lower-income artists and the venues and galleries where they work – will be the creative community’s biggest concern as Austin rolls out and gradually revises its CodeNEXT plan, a comprehensive rewrite of the…

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 by Chad Swiatecki

Medical school seeks solutions to boost community health

The Dell Medical School is on the lookout for ideas big and small that may improve the health of Austin’s vulnerable communities concentrated in East Austin. The school’s Center for Place-Based Initiatives (CPBI) put out the call for ideas and…

Friday, December 2, 2016 by Chad Swiatecki

Oversight committee discusses making city carbon-free by 2030

“Can Austin be a carbon-free energy city by 2030?” was one of the more prominent questions up for debate Wednesday as the City Council’s Energy Utility Oversight Committee got its first update on the 10-year road map for Austin Energy’s…

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