Motivations questioned on bill that could kill Austin's Project Connect "Proponents and opponents of Austin's voter-approved mass transit proposal Project Connect are accusing one another of deception, intensifying a debate in the Legislature on whether voters knew what they were getting with the multibillion-dollar investment and whether there should be a do-over election this fall." (Ryan Autullo, Austin American-Statesman)

Graduate Hotel Planned in Downtown Austin’s Growing Northwest Corner "It’s always a great day here on the blog when our idle speculation actually predicts the future, so we’re thrilled to announce that after months of connecting the dots around the roughly acre-sized property at 1800 Guadalupe Street, we can now confirm with an outrageously cool sense of self-assuredness that Nashville-based real estate firm Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners plans to build the latest location of its Graduate Hotels collection at this northwest downtown tract, within hollering distance of the University of Texas." (James Rambin, Towers)

Texas lawmakers want to crack down on 'daisy chain of loopholes' in controversial tax breaks  "A little-known tool that provides huge tax breaks for housing development is stirring debate in Texas, including in the halls of the State Capitol. Reform of what are known as public facility corporations has emerged as a key issue at the legislature, where a pair of comprehensive reform bills have made their way in front of House committees." (Paul Thompson, Austin Business Journal)

Texas joins California in population, passes 30 million mark in 2022 "Texas has surpassed the 30 million mark in population, officially clocking in with 30,029,572 residents in 2022. That number vaults Texas into California’s tier as the only two states with populations in the 30 millions, according to the United States Census Bureau." (Tim Glaze, Community Impact)

The City of Austin wants to pay people to help their neighbors stay housed "More than a dozen Austin residents could soon be earning an hourly wage to help others learn about local programs to help pay rent, avoid eviction or fund home repairs. Running it as a pilot program, the City of Austin says it will hire 15 people at $25 an hour and provide child care for those who need it. Those hired will work in two neighborhoods, Dove Springs in Southeast Austin and Colony Park in Far East Austin." (Audrey McGlinchy, KUT 90.5 FM)

Planning Commission discusses whether city should preserve industrial areas "A case at the Planning Commission on March 28 sparked discussion about whether the city should try to preserve remaining industrial areas or encourage their redevelopment. In question is a 13-acre property at 5010 Burleson Road in Southeast Austin. The property owner requests a change from industrial to commercial use on the site’s Future Land Use Map, or FLUM." (Jonathan Lee, Austin Monitor)