Bye bye, Barton Springs?

A bill filed in the Texas House of Representatives by state Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, could threaten the future of Austin's famed Barton Springs—not infrequently called the "soul of the city"—and thwart the enforcement of federal laws that protect the Edwards Aquifer and other environmentally sensitive areas around the state. According to testimony by city environmental officer Chris Herrington, legislation intended to remove interference with the Texas oil and gas industry could prevent the city from complying with a federal permit from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service intended to protect Barton Springs as an endangered species habitat. In normal times (whenever those were), this might seem like a mutual political bluff. Given that the arc of the Texas government bends toward superseding local control, however, don't bet on that. (Austin American-Statesman)

New York Times to city: Austin real estate is hot

Austin's highly competitive home-buying market has received quite a bit of attention lately. Now the nation turns its lonely eyes to the city's commercial real estate market, which, according to a March 23 New York Times story, is the "hottest market in the country." One source in the story, national real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group, cites Austin as "the No. 1 destination in the United States for potential commercial real estate investment." It also credits job-seeking millennials for the migration of companies with said jobs to the area and name-checks Elon Musk. (New York Times, h/t Urbanize NYC for the tip)

TxDOT wants your input on its $4.9B I-35 project

The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on a long-incubating plan to revamp a section of I-35 that runs through downtown Austin. Through April 9, you can view a presentation on TxDOT's proposed design options for the highway expansion project and put in your two cents online online or comment via email (, voicemail (512-651-2948), or regular old mail: I-35 Capital Express Central Project, Attn: Project Team, 1608 W. Sixth St., Austin, TX, 78703. (Community Impact)

How High? Two East Austin projects get pushback on height

Springdale Green, a proposed plan by San Francisco's Jay Paul Company to build two six-story office buildings on a 30-acre tract off Springdale Road near Airport Boulevard, was the subject of a two-hour discussion at a March 23 Planning Commission meeting. The project, which would create about 800,000 square feet of office space, would be game-changing in size and scope for the area. (Austin Business Journal) Meanwhile in Montopolis, requests for rezoning to allow multifamily uses on the properties at 1013 and 1017 Montopolis Drive received pushback from neighbors and others organized by local group Community Not Commodity. On Thursday, the Austin City Council postponed the two relevant items to April 22 at the request of the applicant, Montopolis Acres. (Community Not Commodity)

More headlines

City increases risk level for algae toxins in Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin (KXAN)

Facebook walks away from lease on 300 Colorado (Austin Business Journal)

Travis County sets early voting and election day locations for upcoming races (Community Impact)

Work on luxury apartments breaks ground at former Veracruz All Natural site in North Austin (Community Impact)

Brodie Oaks developer explains plans (Austin Monitor)

With Apartments on Deck, 1155 Barton Springs Shakes Off Years of Bad Luck (Towers)

Austin Transit Partnership OKs anti-displacement funding (Austin Monitor)
Affordable housing for homeless planned in N. Austin; Nonprofit CEO asks for private sector's help on hot-button issue (Austin Business Journal)

Austin Now Has $25 Million In Rent Assistance Available. Here's What You Need To Know. (KUT)

Uproar over update of plumbing, mechanical codes (Austin Monitor)

They Just Moved Into an Austin Neighborhood. Now They Want to End One of Its Traditions. (Texas Monthly)

Warren Buffett group lobbying Texas lawmakers for deal to build $8 billion worth of power plants for emergency use (Texas Tribune)