I thought this new development was interesting. On the one hand, I generally bristle at anything that might generate urban sprawl. The last thing I want Austin to look like is Dallas or Houston. But on the other hand, this will probably eventually mean good things for my inside-the-loop property values, and they’re building green and with large green spaces in an area that was formerly a gravel mine, so that’s nice. I do think it’s funny, however, that they allow the phrases “15 minutes from downtown” and “8,000 houses” to exist in the same story, as if those two things could exist in the same universe. A large suburban area 15 miles from downtown will only be 15 minutes from downtown on Sundays after 10pm. No matter how green you make a community, sprawl equals traffic, and traffic decreases air quality and overall quality of life. Or maybe they’ll have a MetroRail line going out there. That’d be cool.
A 300-room Westin Hotel is planned for downtown Austin’s Warehouse District, as a San Antonio development firm goes ahead with long-delayed plans.The 18-story hotel will replace the former Bitter End, a longtime popular restaurant that closed after a 2005 fire, and a parking lot at West Third and Colorado streets.
If you never had the Noble Weiss, I pity you like Mr. T. Sing it, Janice:
Check out this crazy future panorama of Austin’s skyline. You can click on the buildings for more info. Call me a cynic, but I get a bad feeling about this irrational condo exuberance.