What is the South Central Waterfront TIRZ and how will it pay for expanding Austin's downtown? "The approval of Endeavor Real Estate Group's plan to build high-rise towers along the southern banks of Lady Bird Lake in Austin marks another step forward in the urbanization of the city’s core. Some of those changes will, in part, be directed by the city, which recently put the final touches on a new funding mechanism to pay for infrastructure and parks in the area." (Mike Christen, Austin Business Journal)

Austin Energy customers can expect (another) increase on their electricity bills next year "Eight months, more than 260 document filings and countless hours of grueling negotiations later, Austin Energy has new electricity rates. ... The plan, which Austin City Council passed on a 7-4 vote Thursday, raises electricity rates overall and increases a flat-rate monthly charge from $10 to $13. The charge will increase to $14 in 2024 and $15 the following year. That’s a win for customer advocates, who pushed back against a previous plan to hike that charge up to $25 all at once." (Andrew Weber, KUT 90.5)

‘Something is off here': Officials review value of voter-sanctioned Austin parkland swap "Last fall, Austin voters overwhelmingly gave the city permission to trade away 9 acres of land now serving as a parks and recreation department maintenance campus in exchange for nearly 50 acres of waterfront land for a new city park. More than a year since Proposition B passed with 73% support, Austin's future parkland remains in limbo, and city officials are questioning whether the city can deliver to voters and maximize the value of the trade." (Ben Thompson, Community Impact)

Austin’s Waterloo Park Hotel Tower Could Finally Break Ground in 2023 "[A] lot has changed for the roughly half-acre site at the northeast corner of 12th and Red River Streets ... with the grand opening of the new Waterloo Park across the intersection slowly joined by the redevelopment of the former Brackenridge Hospital, Symphony Square, the pending HealthSouth towers, and everything else constituting downtown’s so-called Innovation District. ... [R]ecent permit activity, not to mention a fairly detailed request for bids from the project’s general contractors at Flintco, make us bullish on the possibility of the 12th and Red River hotel breaking ground in 2023." (James Rambin, Towers)

Austin's Moody Center tops Billboard chart as highest-grossing venue of its size in the world "Austin's Moody Center has done big business in its first year, putting it at the top of the charts. According to Billboard magazine's 2022 year-end box score charts, the Moody Center swept the competition on concert ticket sales and cemented its status as the highest grossing venue of its size in the world." (Brianna Caleri, CultureMap Austin)

Not just 'another luxury golf community': Thomas Ranch could add thousands of homes, urban node west of Austin "Salt Lake City-based Areté Collective LP announced Dec. 4 plans for Thomas Ranch, a 2,200-acre neighborhood that could rise along State Highway 71 near Spicewood. It would feature a dense urban core that developers hope to anchor with a major grocer, plus thousands of housing units across multiple types of residences and price points, a school, health care options, a resort hotel and a golf course designed by the mind behind the newest addition to the world's oldest course — The Castle Course at Scotland’s St. Andrews Links" (Cody Baird, Austin Business Journal)

Report: Austin home prices cooling faster than anywhere else in US "The latest data shared Nov. 28 from real estate company Redfin showed Austin’s median price per square foot went up 1.3% year-over-year in October. Despite that slight increase, it is still 23 percentage points lower than what Redfin reported in February." (Will DuPree, KXAN-NBC)

Austin renters could soon see relief in monthly rates, research shows "Austin renters could soon see relief in monthly rates, according to a recent study by Apartment List, a research firm that studies rent prices across the U.S. Overall, rent in Austin is still up about 24.7 percent since the start of the pandemic. But, in November, prices went down by about 1.2 percent, compared to a 1 percent decrease nationally. That's the first sign of a decrease since the start of the pandemic, according to Rob Warnock, a senior research associate for Apartment List." (Eric Pointer, KVUE-ABC)