UTC calls TxDOT proposal to expand I-35 ‘just so weak’ "Urban Transportation commissioners voiced their continuing concerns Tuesday about the Texas Department of Transportation’s plans to reconstruct and expand the portion of Interstate 35 that goes through Austin’s downtown. TxDOT is currently studying the environmental impacts of the two design options it has left – Build Alternative 2 and Updated Build Alternative 3 – and is scheduled to present the study results by the end of this year. But while TxDOT accelerates its plans, the Urban Transportation Commission wondered if the proposals are the best routes forward for the future of the city." (Samuel Stark, Austin Monitor)

IBM starts search for new Austin home "IBM is seeking a new Austin home. On Sept. 14, the tech titan filed a request for proposal for new office space in Austin. The company seeks to leave its two offices near The Domain and consolidate them into a single, cohesive operations hub, said Joanne Wright, IBM vice president of enterprise operations and services." 

Austin OKs an automated license plate reader program "Austin City Council approved a revival of a police department program to use license plate scanners on police cruisers and at fixed points throughout the city. The council on Thursday agreed on a one-year pilot program to reinstate the readers, which passively scan license plates in the hopes of assisting police in tracking down stolen vehicles, missing children and people who have felony warrants. The approval capped off weeks of negotiations over the program, which opponents argued presents privacy issues." (Andrew Weber, KUT)

Majority of Austin’s short-term rentals operating illegally "As the city struggles to enforce short-term rental regulations, a large majority of Austin’s STRs continue to operate illegally, according to a Sept. 6. presentation from the Code Department to the City Council Housing and Planning Committee. There are anywhere between 9,000 and 11,000 STR listings in Austin, depending on the day, according to José Roig, director of the Code Department, but only around 2,000 of those are licensed." (Jonathan Lee, Austin Monitor)

Portland construction and design firm plots Austin expansion "Design+Build, a design and construction firm based in downtown Portland, is branching into Seattle and Austin.The company began outreach within the two cities early this year. It already rents a coworking office in Austin." (Jonathan Bach, Austin Business Journal)

More signs point to Austin's housing market cooling down "The Austin-area housing market continues to show signs it is cooling down from its long red-hot streak. The number of homes sold in the Austin metro area continued to drop in August, according to new data from the Austin Board of Realtors, and while the prices of the homes that sold continued to go up, they aren't rising nearly as fast as they were for much of the past two years." (Shonda Novak, Austin American-Statesman)