Williamson County To Sue Austin Over Hotel For People Transitioning Out Of Homelessness "The Williamson County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to request a lawsuit be filed against the City of Austin for purchasing a Candlewood Suites hotel to house people transitioning out of homelessness. Austin’s plans for the Candlewood Suites, which is located on Pecan Park Boulevard in Williamson County, have been the target of county commissioners and nearby residents since the project was initially approved by the Austin City Council in February." (Allyson Ortegon, KUT)

More than 250 companies circling Austin area "The rush of businesses moving to Central Texas is not slowing down. In fact, it seems to be accelerating. More than 250 companies are considering putting down roots in the greater Austin area, according to data compiled Aug. 8 by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and its economic development initiative, Opportunity Austin. Among the prospects are dozens of potential headquarters relocations." (Kathryn Hardison, Austin Business Journal)

Pandemic throws a wrench into growth of new home construction in Austin "Get ready for a substantial slowdown in the growth of home construction in Austin and the state’s three other major metro areas. In a new forecast, the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University expects the percentage growth in home construction to fall from the double digits in 2020 and 2021 to the single digits in 2022 and 2023 for the Austin, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston metro areas. The research center says the number of permits for construction of single-family homes in the Austin area grew 19.4 percent from 2019 to 2020 and should rise 20.8 percent this year versus last year. But the center predicts year-over-year growth in Austin permits will plummet to 5.2 percent in 2022 and 4.8 percent in 2023." (John Egan, CultureMap)

Bowie underpass project derailed "After two decades of planning, negotiations to construct the Bowie underpass have come to a halt. The project at Third and Bowie streets is part of the 2001 Seaholm District Master Plan. It would have provided a link between the Pfluger Street bridge and the Market District, giving bicycles and pedestrians a path under the railroad tracks and off of Walter Seaholm Drive. According to an Aug. 17 memo from Economic Development Director Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, city staffers have terminated negotiations with Union Pacific Railroad to develop the crossing." (Elizabeth Pagano, Austin Monitor)

ACL will require COVID-19 vaccine or negative test documentation; masks still undecided "Austin City Limits Festival will require either proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination upon entry, ACL announced Aug. 19. The negative COVID-19 printed test result must be from within 72 hours of entry into the festival. Attendees who have had both doses of the vaccine can show their vaccination proof instead, the ACL news release said. The festival has not announced if masks will be required but will release more information closer to the festival dates, the release said." (Maggie Quinlan, Community Impact)

Medical marijuana provider breaks ground on $8 million facility in Bastrop to address high demand "A medical cannabis provider recently broke ground on an $8 million cultivation and processing facility in Bastrop aimed to address growing patient demand for medical marijuana as the Legislature approved expanding the state’s Compassionate Use Program. Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation is building a 96,000-square-foot facility on 25 acres at 176 FM 969, just northwest of the Burleson Crossing shopping center. The facility will contain dedicated cultivation space for growing medical marijuana plants to serve patients through the company’s full-service, onsite dispensary and its networks of pick-up locations throughout the state." (Andy Seville, Austin American-Statesman)

New brewery planned in Southeast Austin opportunity zone dubbed 'craft brewery desert' "Dave Childress hopes his forthcoming Southeast Austin brewery can be a neighborhood hangout in the middle of what he describes as a 'craft brewery desert.' The 16,500-square-foot brewery, called Fast Friends Beer Co., will be located just east of I-35 in South Austin, between William Cannon Drive and Slaughter Lane. Construction recently began at the site." (Paul Thompson, Austin Business Journal)

Trail Foundation and PARD poised to formalize long partnership "The Trail Foundation has been a steady partner of the Parks and Recreation Department since the nonprofit’s 2003 formation, growing out of a community-led effort to enhance the beauty of what is now known as Lady Bird Lake. Now the foundation and PARD are in the final stages of formalizing their long relationship with a partnership agreement, part of a directive from City Council last year to create formal agreements with eligible nonprofits dedicated to improving parks and trails." (Amy Smith, Austin Monitor)

The growth along the corridor between San Antonio and Austin is ‘kind of mind-blowing.’ "Not too long ago, the span of Interstate 35 in Texas linking San Antonio and Austin ran through a smattering of smaller cities and lots of wide-open land. Now, it’s a blur of subdivisions, commercial development and soul-crushing traffic, coalescing into a singular mass of population. As the U.S. Census Bureau released its decennial counts on Thursday, officials confirmed what has long been plainly visible in that stretch of Central and South Texas: Many new people were moving in." (Edgar Sandoval and Rick Rojas, New York Times)

In Praise of Austin’s TRS Headquarters, a Doomed ’70s Concrete Wonderland "After being solidly shamed out of a big-spending plan to relocate its Austin offices to the recently-completed (and architecturally quite brilliant) Indeed Tower, the state pension managers at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas are now humbly weighing the possibilities of departing downtown for Mueller’s emerging Aldrich Street business district and selling its current headquarters at 1000 Red River Street. ... With the opening of Waterloo Park practically next door representing the centerpiece of an emerging district of projects including the Waller tower at Symphony Square along with the Brackenridge and HealthSouth redevelopments, it’s only a matter of time until the TRS complex comes down, and its demolition probably wouldn’t cause much of a stir. ..." (James Rambin, Towers)