Austin is officially on the map—more and more influencers, celebrities and companies are making Austin home every day. However, the capital city's globalization comes with a hefty price: the biggest national rent increase in the last decade.
A recent report from Zillow showed that over the last decade, Austin's rent jumped higher than any other city in the U.S.
The report showed how much renters have spent on housing from 2010-2019, cumulatively $4.5 trillion nationwide. In 2019 alone, Americans spent $512 billion on their rent bill and have seen on average a 50% increase.
Austinites spent more than $2 billion on rent in 2010, which jumped to more than $4 billion in 2019, a nearly 93% increase. Though that figure may not seem like much compared to New York City's $56 billion or Los Angeles's $39 billion in 2019, Austin's situation is worse than it sounds.
With each Austin departure, the city gains one-and-a-half new residents and has been seeing an incline even during a pandemic; Austin was called a "magnet" for jobs by the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
Despite ranking as the 35th biggest market, Austin ranked 22nd in highest rent paid, meaning high rent prices are compensating for a smaller market. Though it could be worse—Austin was sandwiched between Sacramento, California and Portland, Oregon, which both have smaller populations.
As the city gains new people and places each and every day, experts have said this growth is not likely to slow down from the more affordable to the more luxurious. In fact, homes in Austin are more desirable than ever. Austin is experiencing a shortage in homes on the market, including multi-million-dollar homes desired by celebrities.
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Terry Black’s Barbecue is journeying outside of the smoked meats sphere and into the hospitality sector, announcing plans to open “Friday Mountain,” a resort-style vineyard near Driftwood.
According to a report from the Austin Business Journal, Friday Mountain will be located on 64 acres at 150 Concord Circle, featuring a boutique hotel with 22 rooms, a 14-acre vineyard and a 20,000-square-foot underground wine facility, a spa, event space, all-day café and high-end restaurant. Construction is poised to start in the next month.
The courtyard outside of the event space will echo Hill Country architecture. (Rogers-O'Brien Construction)
Co-owner Mark Black said he expects construction to last about 10 months, hoping for opening early next year, and would hire around 140 employees: 60 full-time and 80 part-time.
The new project has long been in the works for the restaurateurs—including Mark’s twin brother Mike and sister Christina—who come from the same lineage as those behind Lockhart’s Black’s BBQ but separated the business due to a falling out within the family.
Friday Mountain was originally planned to be a wedding venue but issues arising about noise, traffic and environmental concerns led the Dripping Springs City Council to ask for updated plans.
A rendering of the entrance to the planned underground wine cave. (Rogers-O'Brien Construction)
In the new plans, which have since been submitted, Black said he heard the neighborhood's concerns and is focusing on working with the right contractors to avoid issues. Black said he knows not everyone will be on board with the venue but that it will provide a little something for everyone.
To bring the concept to life, Black is partnering with engineers at Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., architects at Lawrence Group, and Rogers-O’Brien Construction Co. Ltd. as the general contractor.
As for the vineyard, Black has partnered with Salt Lick Cellars to have wine aged and ready to drink wine upon opening and will hand off wine making operations to enthusiast Phil Price.
According to a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filing, the project will cost an estimated $20 million to be completed in January 2023.
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The Texas French Bread Bakery, located on 2900 Rio Grande Street, has been completely destroyed after a fire erupted on Monday night.
The Austin Fire Department responded to the fire just before 11 p.m., where they arrived to see flames coming from the roof of the bakery. Firefighters fought the fire for about an hour before the roof collapsed.
While no one was injured in the fire, firefighters say the historic building was completely totaled.
Texas French Bread just went up in flames pic.twitter.com/agXqKN3c00
— Jordan (@AimIessFriend) January 25, 2022
AFD determined that the fire was accidental and caused by mechanical failure. AFD said the damages amounted to $1.6 million total: $1.1 million in structural damage and $500,000 in damage to the contents of the bakery.
This year, Texas French Bread will celebrate 40 years of business. Before the bakery occupied the building, it was the Rome Inn, a music venue that hosted 1970s artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan.