Austin remains nation's fastest growing major metro 

"It's no secret that Austin has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years as companies and people flock to the region. But recently released data shows Austin was again the fastest-growing big metro last year, marking a full decade atop the leaderboard for major U.S. metros.

"The population in the five-county Austin metro jumped to an estimated 2,295,303 people as of July 1, 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released May 4. That was an increase of 3% from the prior year, the fastest population growth among metros with at least 1 million people.

"Since 2010, the Austin metro has gained an estimated 579,014 residents — 34% population growth, according to the data. That's like adding a city roughly the size of Albuquerque, N.M., within the metro limits." (Austin Business Journal)

Texas House paves way for CapMetro tunnel under Austin's Republic Square, O. Henry House

"The Texas House approved a bill Wednesday that paves the way for the construction of tunnels for light-rail trains under two state-owned parks in downtown Austin.

"House Bill 3893 from Rep. Gina Hinojosa, an Austin Democrat, grants Capital Metro a 99-year lease to the underground rights of Republic Square Park and Brush Square.

"Both parks are set to have tunnels constructed under them as part of Project Connect's $7.1 billion light-rail and transit system voters approved in 2020." (Austin American-Statesman)

Texas Children's Hospital reveals first look at $485 million Austin campus 

"Texas Children's Hospital is working on its first freestanding location in Austin — and the hospital system just released a first glance at what the state-of-the-art building will look like.

"The new Texas Children's Austin campus — to be located at 9835 North Lake Creek Pkwy. — will be open in the first quarter of 2024, according to a news release. The $485 million project is expected to break ground this spring." (CultureMap)

Local eviction moratoriums remain in effect despite federal judge’s decision

"Multiple national media outlets reported May 5 that a federal judge has struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium on evictions, which previously were scheduled to be in place through June 30.

"The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, said Judge Dabney Friedrich from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that federal law does not give the CDC the authority to impose the moratoriums.

"Both Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown have orders in place through August 1 that prevent most tenants from being evicted for non-payment of rent. Beginning June 1, landlords in Austin and Travis County will be able to file written notices to evict for tenants who owe more than five months of unpaid rent and have exhausted all options for rent relief.

"Neither Brown’s nor Adler’s orders will be affected by the federal ruling, according to representatives from the county and the mayor’s office. Both the city and the county have rental assistance programs funded through federal dollars aimed at helping Austin residents stay in their homes. The county’s $10.7 million program opened to applications April 19, and the city’s $25 million program has been open since March." (Community Impact)

Zekelman Industries, $2.8B force in construction sector, buys nearly 240 acres north of Tesla factory

"A massive construction materials company has acquired hundreds of acres just a few miles from Tesla's gigafactory in eastern Travis County.

"Chicago-based Zekelman Industries has in recent months purchased nearly 240 acres along State Highway 130, in the city of Austin's extraterritorial jurisdiction, right next to Lake Walter E. Long, according to public records." (ABJ)

It’s not easy to replace a venue where Janis Joplin sang

"Will the treasured spirit of the old Threadgill’s live on in a proposed multifamily development slated to replace the iconic restaurant and live music venue?

"That would be the preferred outcome of the Historic Landmark Commission, which unanimously recommended that the developer retain as much as possible of the structure’s exterior, in spite of the building’s many alterations since its youthful days as a gas station and beer joint in the 1930s.

"The spot at 6416 N. Lamar is most widely renowned for its role in helping launch Janis Joplin’s short yet celebrated career, under original owner Kenneth Threadgill." (Austin Monitor)