Austin's Alamo Drafthouse is out of bankruptcy, opening five new theaters "After COVID-19 dealt a huge blow to movie theaters everywhere, Alamo Drafthouse is out of bankruptcy and in expansion mode. The Austin-based company said it has emerged from its Chapter 11 filing with the completion of a sale to an investor group that includes private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners, Fortress Investment Group and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League." (Lori Hawkins, Austin American-Statesman)

Construction Nears For The 'Y' In Oak Hill As Neighbors Press For Changes "A contentious highway project in Southwest Austin around an interchange that’s become synonymous with gridlock is about to break ground even as neighbors keep fighting to dial it back. The 'Y' in Oak Hill is a heavily congested junction where U.S. 290 and Texas 71 split into separate highways. Pre-construction work has already started on the Texas Department of Transportation's $674 million plan to rebuild the interchange, add nonstop lanes and flyovers, and make the thoroughfare up to 12 lanes wide. TxDOT is calling it the Oak Hill Parkway." (Nathan Bernier, KUT)

TikTok said to be looking at downtown Austin tower that Facebook passed up "TikTok, the social media company known for its wild popularity with teenagers as well as its run-ins with regulators, is in the market for new office space in downtown Austin, according to multiple sources. The company is eying 300 Colorado, according to three sources. That 32-story tower is in final stages of construction at Third and Colorado streets. Sources previously told Austin Business Journal that Facebook Inc. walked away from a lease in the high-rise." (Parimal M. Rohit, Austin Business Journal)

Return of the ‘Dillo? Study looks into new downtown Austin circulator "The Downtown Austin Alliance has been studying the possibility of a free shuttle circulating through downtown over the last year, working to determine the best routes, frequency and type of service that would provide the maximum benefit to residents, employees and visitors. Late in 2020, the DAA opened up a survey to hear from residents directly. Some of the comments struck a familiar refrain that will be recognizable to longtime Austinites. 'Bring back the "Dillo," multiple respondents wrote. One resident cited fond memories riding in the old trolley cars through downtown Austin as a child, another said revitalizing the downtown shuttle would 'replace so many short Uber rides and bad drunken scooter decisions.'" (Jack Flagler, Community Impact)

Austin council gives initial approval to doubling city's homestead exemption "Tax relief is likely coming to Austin homeowners in the form of a pair of increased homestead exemptions — but it's unclear if it will actually result in an out-of-pocket savings when tax bills arrive. Responding to the city's increasingly challenging housing market, the Austin City Council on Thursday gave final approval to a tax break that would help older adults and people with disabilities stay in their residences amid rising costs and valuations. That exemption will increase by $25,000 and scrape off $113,000 from a home's taxable value." (Ryan Autullo, Austin American-Statesman)

Nate Paul vows to keep fighting as deep-pocketed firms foreclose on World Class properties "Nate Paul is pushing back against the results of June 1 foreclosures involving his company, World Class Holdings. The auctions at the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse featured chanting protestors, a police presence and foreclosures on nine properties owned by World Class." (Paul Thompson, Austin Business Journal)

Help Make Housing Happen at Downtown Austin’s Historic Palm District "The ongoing saga of downtown Austin’s historic Palm School site has found the next gear in the last few months, with the City of Austin announcing a new planning initiative in May for what it’s calling the Palm District — a large and sort of poorly-defined area encompassing the Palm School’s approximately 2.08-acre site, the adjacent Palm Park, the Rainey Street District, the Austin Convention Center, the Red River Cultural District, and what we’re calling the 'Innovation District' along I-35 in downtown’s east end." (James Rambin, Towers)

Tesla set to build cars in Austin, but still can't sell directly to Texans "All the vehicles Tesla makes at its new $1.1 billion Austin-area manufacturing facility will still have to leave the state before they can be sold to Texas consumers. That's because a bill that would have allowed the electric automaker to sell directly to Texas consumers failed to pass during the just-completed session of the Texas Legislature. Texas law has long prevented automobile manufacturers such as Ford, Chevrolet and General Motors from selling vehicles directly to consumers. Instead, the sales must go through third-party franchised auto dealerships, which are locally owned." (Kara Carlson, Austin American-Statesman)