The Future of Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin, a two-square mile district, has experienced exponential growth over the last decade and continues to grow at rates far above the average across the country. Page Senior Principal Larry Speck participated in a BisNow panel dedicated to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The Future of Downtown Austin event highlighted the concentration of residential development, noting that half of the three million square feet of new space that has come on line this year is residential. Challenges that accompany this growth include transportation, quality of public space and the inherent conflicts of residential clients and the economy of the music and nightlife scenes. 

Areas adjacent to downtown will also see transformations over the next decade. The University of Texas Dell Medical School, the Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan and the Brackenridge Campus Master Plan will create connected nodes of significant growth. The importance of the Waller Creek Redevelopment and the proposal to build a deck connecting downtown to East Austin by rebuilding the I35 corridor below a park were noted as quality of life improvements that will also spur development in the district.  

Larry Speck concluded the morning’s discussion noting that he hopes to see a variety of neighborhoods each with their own distinct characters contributing to the culture and vitality of Austin. “The next step for the city is connectivity between unique neighborhoods,” he said. “I look forward to that.”  

BisNow published an interview with Larry Speck in advance of the panel discussion. Click here for the article.