Troubled Student Housing Firm Would Pay Tens of Millions to Investors "Hundreds of investors in a troubled luxury student apartment building near the University of Texas at Austin are close to recouping much of the $75 million they committed to the project, with most of the bill footed by a management firm that has drawn complaints from tenants across the country." (Matthew Goldstein, New York Times)

South Congress retailers grapple with street's future as rents touch $150 per square foot "There’s one place in Austin where retailers pay Manhattan-like rents: South Congress Avenue. Interest from around the globe has boosted demand to stratospheric levels for a city known more for cowboy boots than expensive handbags. ... South Congress is one of the few places in the country where retail rents now push into the triple digits. On the main stretch, some stores are paying $100 to $150 per square foot. Compare that to the average triple-net retail rent in Austin, which reached $20.75 per square foot in the first quarter, according to CBRE research. That was actually down 75 cents from average rent in the fourth quarter of 2021." (Sahar Chmais, Austin Business Journal)

Austin's unaffordability problem: Pay hasn't kept up with the rising cost of housing "The Texas population continues to boom, which is both exciting for growth and concerning as the housing market in and around Austin gets more strained. 'Wages have only gone up about 44% in the last 10 years, but cost of living has gone up much more, and especially now when we're dealing with issues like inflation," Lila Valencia, the City of Austin's demographer, said. A shortage of housing combined with the relatively slower growth of wages has led to a potentially dangerous financial division among people in Austin, according to Valencia." (Mike Marut, KVUE)

Developer releases proposal to clean up East Sixth Street "Following years of public outcry over the deterioration of East Sixth Street, Dallas-based Stream Realty has stepped forward with aspirations to give the notoriously rowdy block a facelift. Real estate attorney Richard Suttle stopped by last Wednesday’s meeting of the Historic Landmark Commission to share a preliminary look at Stream’s vision. Increasing height and density, introducing a more varied mix of uses and opening the street back up to through traffic are all on the table." (Kali Bramble, Austin Monitor)

Travis County median home value jumps to $632,000 — a $200,000 increase over 2021 "New appraised home values are out in Travis County, and it won't surprise anyone who has been tracking the area's sizzling real estate market to learn they leaped dramatically over last year. The median market value for all homes — the amount for which the county thinks a home would sell — rose to $632,208, a 53.6% jump over last year's value of $411,658. The median market value has risen 78% since 2020." (Ryan Autullo and Shonda Novak, Austin American-Statesman)

Report shows ACL contributed record high $369.16 million to Austin economy, 2022 lineup announced "The 2021 Austin City Limits Music Festival contributed $369.16 million to Austin's economy last year, according to a new report from the economic analysis firm AngelouEconomics. During a May 10 press conference covering the findings of the analysis, city officials commended the festival both for its economic effects and for the portion of festival-related dollars that support Austin parks." (Ben Thompson, Community Impact)

Utility commission ponders letting new developments shoulder rate increase "Austin’s Electric Utility Commission is thinking over some suggestions to offer to City Council about Austin Energy’s rate review, which as currently proposed would increase the utility’s base rate by 7.6 percent to make up for a $48 million deficit." (Willow Higgins, Austin Monitor)

Westview in downtown Austin sells to LA firm "Westview, a downtown office building near the Texas Capitol totaling 100,166 square feet, has changed hands. JLL Capital Markets announced May 12 it procured the buyer, Arc Capital Partners of Los Angeles LLC, and represented the seller, Dallas-based Prescott Group Inc. JLL also said it helped facilitate the acquisition loan." (Austin Business Journal)