North Austin, literally and metaphorically, is at the center of all that's great about this city.
Look at the map of our metro. The top is always a major part of the metro. Every indicator tells us that the majority of the action will be north of the river, in downtown. This is likely to continue for the rest of our lives. Thanks to the housing boom in Williamson County, the Domain area is at the center of the Austin metro area.
New center of gravity
Experts have told me The Domain area will eventually surpass downtown Austin in terms of size, weight and elevation. It remains to be determined. We are still in the early stages of creating twin cities within a single city.
We are not looking at the east or west sides for anything similar to The Domain. South Austin is undergoing some major development, but not anything that will rival the skyline in The Domain.
Recently, city officials in The Domain revised the zoning regulations to allow for buildings as tall as 45 stories. North Austin City Council members have promised to ease restrictions on building size even further in the near future.
What is the new name of your company?
The Domain area is just as attractive as the downtown core, perhaps even more so when you consider its workforce and larger footprints for structures such as light rail.
This begs the questions: What is our second downtown called now that its trajectory has been established?
When I was addressing 400 business leaders at the Growth Summit, I asked this question on stage: Should it continue to be called The Domain area. Perhaps we should call it the second downtown? Or perhaps establish an uptown in our downtown?
The crowd was unanimous in calling our new epicenter of growth on the North Side 'Uptown'.
Austin's Uptown deserves a big cheer. This corner of Central Texas is poised for a bright future. Experts predict that we will have to navigate choppy water for the remainder of the year.
Some dark before more light
Private developers have a number of exciting plans for North Austin, as I explained to the audience at this year's Growth Summit. Sadly, many of these plans have been put on hold, including Kilroy Realty’s project to build Stadium Tower adjacent to our new soccer field.
Many smart people, from Elon Musk to Bank of America's CEO, expect that the economy will get hairy in the third quarter when we catch up with the Fed's decision.
North Austin will likely face some speed bumps, but it's widely believed that the city's economy will resume its normal pace in 2024. North Austin is likely to remain relatively stable until then.