International homebuyers infused $634M into Austin-area housing market, report says "International homebuyers infused $634 million into the Austin-area housing market from April 2020 to March 2021, according to the Austin Board of Realtors' (ABoR) 2021 Central Texas International Homebuyers Report. That amount is $200 million lower than the same period the year prior due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... 'Over the last year, international buyers showed a preference for townhouses and condominiums for use as investment or vacation properties. The bottom line is that Austin continues to attract people from all over the world, and we welcome them to our community whether they are looking to relocate or invest,' said Susan Horton, ABoR's 2021 president." (Britny Eubank, KVUE)

Austin Planning Commission turns down plan to sell beer, wine at Zilker Cafe "The Austin Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of a Parks and Recreation Department request for a change of use of a 6,673-square-foot area around Zilker Cafe to sell beer and wine." (Trent Thompson, Community Impact)

Green infrastructure pushed as remedy to stormwater pollution threats "An Austin-based environmental group is pushing City Council to approve a plan to protect area waterways from pollution through changes in building requirements that would promote stormwater retention. On Wednesday, Environment Texas delivered petitions with roughly 1,000 signatures to Council offices. The petitions call for a move to include nature-based infrastructure such as rain gardens, green rooftops, porous pavement and varieties of plant life in development projects to offset the impact of pavement that directs rainwater and pollutants, including fecal bacteria, into lakes and streams." (Chad Swiatecki, Austin Monitor)

Capital Metro board approves $50 million for building bus lines "Capital Metro's board of directors on Monday approved spending $50 million over five years to build more high-frequency bus lines known as MetroRapid. The authorization did not include independent job-site monitoring that construction worker advocates have been demanding." (Nathan Bernier, KUT)

Amazon eyes yet another distribution hub in Austin area as regional headcount nears 12,000 " Inc.'s status as one of the largest and fastest-growing employers in the Austin metro could get another boost. The company is eying another warehouse and distribution center in Williamson County. Services LLC recently submitted an application to the city of Round Rock to rezone and annex a 193-acre site at 2801 County Road 172." (Justin Sayers, Austin Business Journal)

Grand Ole Opry owner changes its tune on purchase of famed downtown Austin property "The owner of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry plans once again to buy the downtown Austin complex where Austin City Limits is taped. Nashville-based Ryman Hospitality Properties, whose portfolio includes the Grand Old Opry, said October 26 that it will buy the mixed-use project known as Block 21 for $260 million. Austin-based real estate company Stratus Properties owns the property, highlighted by the 2,750-seat ACL Live at the Moody Theater — home of the long-running Austin City Limits TV show on PBS — and the 251-room W Austin hotel." (John Egan, CultureMap)

Tax break talks lag between Samsung, Travis County "Negotiations appear to be in a holding pattern between Travis County and Samsung over a possible tax incentive deal for a $17 billion semiconductor factory the tech giant has said it is considering building in Austin. Travis County staff members haven't had a dialogue with Samsung executives for about two weeks, county spokesman Hector Nieto said. Samsung and Travis County have been negotiating for several months on a potential deal." (Bob Sechler and Kara Carlson, Austin American-Statesman)