Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Statesman redevelopment getting closer to transforming skyline at Lady Bird Lake

Rendering of the South Central Waterfront project. (305 South Congress)

The south shore of Lady Bird Lake is closer to seeing a skyline with residential, commercial and hotel space.

Known as the Statesman planned unit development, the proposal for the South Central Waterfront includes more than 1,300 apartments or condominium units, a 275 room hotel and 1.65 million square feet of office and retail space.

The project plans involve demolishing the Austin American-Statesman’s property at 305 S. Congress Ave. and are inching near finalization after years of consideration.

The Austin Planning Commission unanimously approved a proposal for the 19-acre site Wednesday. The next steps involve having the plan reviewed by city staff again and it will likely appear before Austin City Council in the coming months.

The redevelopment is coming from Endeavor Real Estate Group. It has boasted enhancing connections to and along the waterfront and establishing a lively pedestrian environment. It’ll include dedicated space for a Project Connect Blue Line rail station.

(305 South Congress)

For additional entitlements like additional stories of height, there have been talks of public benefits like parkland, a new bat observation area and an extension of Barton Springs Road. Affordable housing is another benefit that’s been discussed and the group has said 4% of all on-site residential units will be affordable or have a large fee-in-lieu component for ownership units.

It’s unclear how long the project will take, but the group has anticipated constructing it in three phases over a 12-15 year period.

“As the city continues to evolve, 305 South Congress will complement Austin’s waterfront and the vision for the South Central Waterfront District,” the group has said.


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.