Kilroy Realty has paused construction of Stadium Tower — the site filled with water in the foreground — but there are still plenty of intriguing developments that could rise in North Austin in the coming years. ARNOLD WELLS / ABJ

Austin Business Journal writes, "of all the great parts of this great city, I’m going to say North Austin is in the middle of it all — literally and figuratively.

Take a look at our metro on a map. It’s top heavy — always has been. The bulk of the action is far north of the river and downtown, and every indicator we have says it will continue to be that way in our lifetimes. The Domain area, aka Austin’s second downtown, is the geographic center of the developed Austin metro area, thanks to Williamson County’s housing boom. Downtown Austin is actually on the southern end of our built-out metro.

A new center of gravity

Some experts have told me that The Domain area could eventually eclipse downtown Austin in size, weight and height. That remains to be seen. But to be sure, we are in the infant stages of developing twin cities within one city. We're beginning to see two distinct downtown-like skylines already.

On the west and east sides nothing Domain-like is on our radar. And South Austin has some big developments in the works but nothing that will yield the skyline of The Domain area.

Recently, city officials revised zoning rules in The Domain area to accommodate buildings up to 45 stories tall. North Austin City Council members promise to loosen restrictions on building sizes even more soon, allowing, as Council Member Leslie Pool puts it, developers to “punch through the ceiling and go even higher.”

A new name?

The Domain area has just as much going for it as downtown — perhaps more when one considers the available workforce, a bigger footprint for towering structures and amenities such as light rail.

Which begs the question: What do we call our second downtown now that its trajectory is solidified and it's moving beyond the boundaries of The Domain?

While I had about 400 business leaders in a room for the North Austin Growth Summit on April 20, I posed these questions from the stage: Should we continue to refer to it as The Domain? Or perhaps call it our second downtown? Or establish an uptown to our downtown?

Overwhelmingly, the crowd roared to call our new epicenter for growth on the north side “uptown.

So cheers to Austin’s uptown. This niche of Central Texas has a bright and tall future ahead. But first, we must navigate some choppy waters for at least the rest of the year, experts project.

Some dark before more light

As I told the crowd at this year’s growth summit, there are a lot of exciting plans laid for North Austin by private developers. Unfortunately, many of those plans are on hiatus, such as Kilroy Realty’s project to build Stadium Tower next to our new soccer stadium.

A bunch of smart people — from Elon Musk to the CEO of Bank of America — expect the economy to get a bit hairy in Q3 when we all catch up to the Fed’s decision to tame things.

It promises some speed bumps for North Austin’s progress, but there’s a consensus that things will be humming again in 2024. Until then, North Austin will likely remain in a relatively stable position."


Source: Austin Business Journal

Written by: Colin Pope

Published: April 26, 2023

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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