Austin Mayor Steve Adler was full of thanks and pride on Thursday during the State of the City address, in which he boasted Austin's growth and success.
Recognizing this was his final State of the City, Adler took a look back at the last eight years he's been in office. He acknowledged much has still to be realized of the work done in his term, but there is still more to come. "The state of our city is one we should be proud of," Adler said.
Here are a few of the highlights he mentioned:
- Mobility: The city is moving forward with its public transit overhaul Project Connect, in which a third of the cost has been raised, he said. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has a plan to double, in which $400 million is already being used. I-35 is undergoing a makeover to sink and cap the main lanes. By 2025, Austin will have completed one of the biggest bicycle networks in the nation, he said.
- Commitment to social equity and justice: $300 million has been committed to mitigating displacement in the Project Connect plan. The city's investment in public health has been doubled, he said. The city is piloting guaranteed income to keep families in their home. Marijuana has been decriminalized. Police training has been improved to include training around anti-racism and mental health. Austin has also committed to decriminalizing abortion within city limits.
- Homelessness and housing: The continuing HEAL initiative has moved hundreds off the streets. 80% of the $515 million needed to fund the finding home ATX project has been raised. The commitment to affordable housing has quadrupled since 2014, he said. And Austin built more housing than any other city in the country last year.
Adler served as mayor for two terms. The mayoral election is in November. He did not file a petition for a third term. His successor will take office in January.
"While there's more work that I still need to get done, in January, I will leave this office with a glad heart," Adler said. "I believe that today's Austin is a little more just and a little bit more prepared."
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.
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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.
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