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April 20, 2017 Comments Off on Connect Austin: Celebrating Boom Times Views: 469 Austin, Texas News

Connect Austin: Celebrating Boom Times

Expert panelists were all too happy to share why Austin, TX has been so successful at Connect Austin’s debut conference on April 19, 2017. Attendees throughout the afternoon were treated to market intelligence and commentary from knowledgeable and informative speakers.

In the “Why Austin, Why Now?” panel, experts weighed in on Austin’s “overnight success,” which was actually years in the making, with help from the plan “Opportunity Austin.” According to Charisse Bodish with the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Opportunity Austin launched in 2004 because the metro was losing job. These days, however, Austin is attracting capital, companies and talent. And, from the lending perspective, “it’s a green light,” said Berkadia’s Brant Smith. “We are seeing things get done.”

Meanwhile, the “Austin’s Rising Stars” section focused on those who have been successful in the local commercial real estate sector. The participants shared philosophies, stories and some sound advice, including that offered by CBRE’s Ace Schlameus who said: “If you just listen, it’s amazing how much you will pick up.”

Finally, “CodeNEXT: The Legislative Impact” explored how Austin’s CodeNEXT, currently in the planning phases, is preparing the metro for growth and future challenges, while maintaining the region’s appealing aspects. Panelists were honest in acknowledging that land use regulations need to be changed. In the meantime, housing affordability is a concern. “My main message to the city council is, if 70% of your housing is not some form of density rental housing, you are only building housing for the rich folks,” said Sam Houston with HPI. “This will hurt us economically, and tax-wise.”

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