downtown

Visions for Plaza Saltillo
9:39 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Hotel or Grocery Store? Two Visions to Redevelop East Austin's Plaza Saltillo

The 11-acre Plaza Saltillo region as it is today. Two teams of developers are vying for the right to develop the area.
Credit Endeavor Real Estate/Columbus Realty Partners/Capital Metro

Update: Capital Metro has chosen a developer for its Plaza Saltillo project, spanning 11-acres that used to be a downtown rail yard.

The team led by Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate and Dallas’s Columbus Realty was awarded the project at the Capital Metro Board of Directors meeting yesterday. Capital Metro will have the final say on the design. Read below for more.

Original story (May 21): What does the future hold for East Austin's Plaza Saltillo? This week, the city came a few steps closer to finding out. 

For years, Austin's Capital Metro has held 11 acres of land in central east Austin. The Plaza Saltillo region – bound by Interstate 35 on the west, Comal Street on the east, and between E. Fourth and E. Fifth Streets – sits adjacent to Cap Metro's commuter MetroRail line.

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View From the Boardwalk
5:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Photos: New Views of Austin From Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

Downtown Austin, as seen from the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk. Photograph by Earl McGhee.
flickr.com/ejmc

The Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk opened June 7. The 1.3 mile boardwalk completes a 10-mile loop of trail around the lake.

While a boon to runner and cyclists, the new boardwalk also lets users view downtown Austin from a fresh vantage point. Many in Austin have already utilized the boardwalk to capture new perspectives of the city after this weekend’s grand opening.

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Seaholm District
2:47 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Building Austin's New Central Library Takes 1,000 Concrete Trucks. They're All Coming This Weekend.

Approximately 1,000 concrete trucks are needed to pour a five-foot foundation for Austin's new central library. The 24-hour pour starts tonight at 10 p.m.
Reddit user TheKnitro, http://redd.it/252o03

Here's a reason to avoid the Seaholm area near Cesar Chavez Street tonight: over 1,000 concrete trucks from Austin and surrounding cities constantly rotating through the area for over 24 hours.

The City of Austin is building a new central library at 701 W. Cesar Chavez, near the former Seaholm power plant. Tonight, construction crews are putting in a five-foot deep concrete slab to create the building’s foundation. That’s a big project – requiring a total of 1,020 concrete trucks.

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Music
2:35 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Learning Secrets: An Austin Dance Party Celebrates 10 Years

A contemplative moment for the DJs behind Learning Secrets, Jeramy Neugent and Ian Orth.
facebook.com/LearningSecrets

When you think of Austin’s "Live Music Capital of the World" status, what kind of music do you think of? Lots of genres may come to mind, but possibly not its thriving underground electronic and dance music scene. Tonight Learning Secrets – one of Austin’s longest running dance parties – celebrates their 10-year anniversary.

OK. But what is Learning Secrets?
 

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Life & Arts
9:57 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Texas Musician Joe Ely & Daughter Showcase 'Lostbound' Travels in Art

Joe and Marie Ely's art is paired together in a variety of styles to show their similarities.
The Den Gallery

This story was originally published on Nov. 29.

Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis: They’re all famous musicians who also moonlighted as visual artists.  

Now, Joe Ely – the Flatlander known by many as the Springsteen of the Southwest – joins their ranks. Ely has been keeping sketches, drawings and photographs since he began life on the road in his teens traveling the U.S. and Europe.

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Downtown
5:06 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Wooldridge Park Reopens – Will it Stay a Magnet for Austin’s Homeless?

Sen. Kirk Watson, Parks & Rec’s Marty Stump, Council Member Sheryl Cole, Austin Parks Foundation’s Colin Wallis, Council Member Chris Riley, Rep. Elliot Naishtat, and the Downtown Austin Alliance’s Charles Betts cut the ribbon on Wooldridge Square.
Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

After a year-long closure, the chain-linked fence surrounding Wooldridge Park is down and the space is open to the public again.

The $306,800 renovation covered park improvements including drought-tolerant turf grass, a new irrigation system and electrical upgrades including high-efficiency LED light fixtures.

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AUSTIN PRIDE
8:07 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Photos: Austin Pride Parade 2013

Two Pride participants share a moment during Saturday's parade.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Update: Austin Pride festivities paraded through down Austin Saturday night. KUT was there to document it all; take a look at our slideshow below, powered by the KUT Flickr page.  

Original post (Sept. 6): Austin’s annual Pride celebration, which kicked off Sept. 1, builds to a close this weekend. The theme of this year’s events, held by the Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation? “Love Unites.”

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Arts and Culture
6:35 am
Mon May 27, 2013

What Are Beehives Doing on a Downtown Austin Hotel Rooftop?

Sorry bats, there’s been a new wildlife sighting in downtown Austin: a colony of honeybees is now living atop a high-rise boutique hotel.

In a small clearing between the network of pipes, condensers, fans and ducts that runs across the roof of the W Austin Hotel, ten bright beehives are humming. To create this buzz, the W partnered with Central Texas Bee Rescue, a local nonprofit on a mission to save the endangered honeybee.

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Austin
7:02 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Austin, TX: The Live Comedy Capital Of The World?

Bill Hader's SNL fan favorite Stefan made a guest appearance Wednesday night at the Paramount, to dish on Austin's hottest new clubs.
Saturday Night Live

“We’re at a festival, and what is more beautiful than watching someone try?” squeaked Maria Bamford on Thursday night at Austin’s Stateside Theater. The comedian had just attempted a new bit that didn’t quite pay off the way she planned. But she was able to pull it off, thanks to an admission of her own failure and a happy, comedy-loving audience.

Bamford isn’t the only comic trying out new material in Austin: she’s one of a 109 stand-up comedians performing at this year’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival (and one of the more recognizable faces at this year’s festival, either for her series of off-kilter Target commercials or her famously strange on-stage antics and voices). 

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Austin
7:01 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

At Fusebox Fest, 'Night Gardener' Shines Light on Neglected Spaces

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Artist Johnny Walker has become The Night Gardener for Fusebox Festival, Austin’s integrative, contemporary art fest. 

Walker’s experiential art involves transforming neglected spaces. For example, one Night Gardener project has Walker chalking flower petals around dark globs of gum on the sidewalk – turning an invisible part of the landscape into a whimsical escape.

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Arts and Culture
8:49 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Changing the Face of Austin – Starting With Congress Ave.

Congress Avenue might become the creative core of Austin.
Art Alliance Austin

Will Congress Avenue become the creative core of Austin? Some art and business leaders think so, and they're trying to make it happen.

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Transportation
5:05 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Map: Texas Relays, Austin Urban Music Fest Cause Road Closures

The Texas Relays could cause some heavy traffic around UT and downtown Austin this weekend.
Matt Largey, KUT News

Austin is keeping busy this weekend — which means there are a few road closures event and non-event goers alike should look out for.

The Austin Urban Music Festival is coming back to Auditorium Shores this weekend. This year, the two-day festival is featuring musical guests such as Brandy and Anthony Hamilton. Tickets are still available online.

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Transportation
5:15 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Austin Aims to Cut Back on Downtown Commuter Parking

A directional arrow inside parking garage in downtown Austin. Incentives for businesses encouraging car sharing and alternatives are getting a tryout at City Hall.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

The Austin City Council is experimenting with a plan to reduce the availability of parking. Today, it approved a pilot program discussed last meeting “to reduce parking requirements for commercial businesses utilizing trip-reduction strategies.”

Council member Laura Morrison said the program was designed “to work with businesses around town and do a pilot in terms of allowing a reduction in their parking if there are mobility friendly amenities added.”

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Austin City Council
5:22 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

City Council Examines Alley Activation & Parking Overload

Seattle developed this concept art when the city began "activating" its alleyways in 2010.
UW Green Futures Lab/Scan Design Foundation/Gehl Architects

The Austin City Council had parking on its mind today. And now Austin is one step closer to eliminating minimum parking requirements for many downtown businesses, and looking at a program could to lessen the number of cars entering downtown. 

Pilot Parking Program

The council heard a briefing on parking program encouraging businesses to reduce car commuting. The program could begin as soon as April, if the council approves a measure next week.

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City Hall Hustle
5:06 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

City Hall Hustle: Luxury Hotels, Affordable Housing & the Zoning Brawl Over Downtown Density

How (or whether) to capture public benefit from increased zoning density Downtown is consuming the council's attention.
flickr.com/dingatx

The City Council adopted the Downtown Austin Plan in late 2011. With it, the council OK’d what’s called the Downtown Density Bonus Program. It basically says that developers who want to build more densely than the standards allow would have to offer certain community benefits: things like on-site affordable housing or a paying into a fund for affordable housing elsewhere.

But nearly a year and a half later, Austin’s still waiting on specific guidelines for the Density Bonus Program.

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Austin
10:15 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Can the Lowly Alleyway Transform Downtown Austin?

An art installation called “20ft Wide” is planned for an alley on Ninth Street between Congress and Brazos Streeets.
Art Alliance Austin/Creative Action and TBG/Dan Cheetham (Fyoog) and Michelle Tarsney

When you think about downtown Austin, do you ever think about the spaces between the buildings?

Probably not, and you're not alone. That’s may be because alleyways – in movies, and sometimes in real life – are usually shady, dirty and even dangerous places. But some local leaders want to bring the city’s alleys back into the light.

In an alley downtown, I met with Meredith Powell and Dan Cheetham. Powell is with the Art Alliance Austin. The alley, she says “was laid out in the original 1839 map by Edwin Waller and it is on Ninth Street between Brazos and Congress.”

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The Lead
8:59 am
Fri March 15, 2013

The Lead: House to Vote on Water Plan, Protecting Capitol Views

A Texas water plan will come to the House for a vote.
flickr.com/bcfoto

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a warm and breezy day, with highs in the lower 80s.

Lead Story: As more people move to Texas, the state is facing a growing need for water. At the state Capitol yesterday, a plan to establish a long-term fund for water projects took a significant step forward.

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SXSW
5:28 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Photos: SXSW Monday, March 11

A duo of jazz musicians play on Sixth Street during SXSW.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With badge pickup for the music portion of South by Southwest open, a changing of the guard is afoot.

While the crowds at Austin Convention Center are as thick as ever, spillover into the streets of downtown Austin is relatively quiet at this point.

“This year it seems a little bit calmer that last year, so far,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.  “Music starts tomorrow, so we anticipate things to start heating up.”

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City Hall Hustle
4:58 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

City Hall Hustle: What’s Up With Downtown Parking?

A detail of a city map designating the Central Business District, aka downtown.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

In a few days, downtown Austin will be overrun with crowds for South by Southwest – so why is the city practically doing away with downtown parking requirements?

“Many cities are reducing or eliminating their parking requirements as a means of reducing congestion,” argued Chris Riley, the Austin City Council’s resident transportation wonk. Coincidentally, he's the prime proponent of a measure deep-sixing most parking requirements downtown.

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Austin City Council
4:11 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

One-Way or Another, Parking, Bike Lanes Coming to Rainey Street

Mobility improvements to the Rainey district are coming, along with an option to make the street one-way.
City of Austin

Transportation and Public Works officials briefed the Austin City Council today on proposed renovations to Rainey Street, the popular entertainment district plagued with more than its fair share of parking and transportation problems.

Officials said converting Rainey Street to a one-way street could add metered parking spaces, two bike lanes, and increased accessibility for those with disabilities, but also presented another, less drastic, proposal that would keep the street a two-way. 

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