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Birkin creator Hermès bringing luxury Parisian fashion to Austin with weekend opening

(Frank Oudeman/Hermès)

The hip South Congress strip is getting a dose of ultra-luxury class as Parisian fashion brand, Hermès, opens this weekend.

The high-end retailer, creator of the iconic Birkin bag that can run upward of $100,000, is opening its two-story shop on Saturday in proximity to other luxury stores in the Music Lane development on South Congress.

Hermès chose Austin for its third Texas location and first in Austin last year, putting the capital city on the fashion map. However, some fear the opening as a sign of a changing identity for South Congress, a once scrappy home for creatives turned luxe haven.

The company says it chose Austin because it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S and is home to live music and tech festivals that draw an international audience year-round.

Past the silk scarves at the front of the store, you'll find a ramp that connects the first floor’s perfume, beauty, jewelry and watch collections to the upper level.

On the upper level, you'll find the equestrian and leather goods and a large shoe salon.

Hermès is also incorporating an Austin flare with local art from Sophie Roach and Laura Lit.

“We are excited to join the local community with our new South Congress Avenue boutique, which will become our third store in the state,” Robert B. Chavez, Hermès USA President and CEO, said. “We look forward to introducing the beauty and quality of our artisan-made collections to Austinites, who appreciate creativity, culture and individuality.”


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.