AUSTIN (KXAN) — Will Austin have more than one skyline by 2040?
According to the Texas Demographic Center, the metro area’s population is going to double.
KXAN’s news partner, the Austin Business Journal (ABJ), explored answers to that question Friday at its “Austin 2040: Our Business Future” panel discussion.
The panel was comprised of local leaders from the tech world.
“Just the influx of companies, the need for space, the need for capital for investors who want to own real estate in the community. It’s at the greatest volume it’s ever been,” said Corey Martin, Managing Director at commercial real estate services firm Avison Young Global, told KXAN.
As Central Texas continues to grow, ABJ is keeping a close eye on these developments:
- The Broadmoor campus next to the Domain
- 1.5 million square feet of office space
- East Parmer Lane in north Austin
- Facebook and Apple have offices in this area
- In Nov. 2019, Austin FC announced it’ll build a $45 million practice facility near here as well
- Former Motorola site on U.S. Hwy 183 in east Austin
- Indigo Ridge in Cedar Park
- Northpointe in Pflugerville
ABJ says those six areas could eventually each have their own skylines.
Martin told KXAN there is a huge interest from investors in areas like Pflugerville and Cedar Park.
“Amazon is going to be building that 3.8 million square feet,” said Martin. “That’s the largest distribution facility in Texas, and it’s in Pflugerville. That’s a demonstration of how you’re seeing expansion taking place in Austin.”
He said that by being in those suburban neighborhoods, the companies don’t have to worry about their employees driving into downtown during rush hour.
“A lot of their employees that live in this area, they don’t want to get on congested freeways and commute an hour, hour and a half to their location of business,” Martin said.
Kara McGregor, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Independence Title, said, “I grew up in Austin when it was a sleepy little college town.”
She said everything the panelists discussed about the future of Austin makes sense.
“You see the seeds of it,” McGregor told KXAN. “You see the emerging alternate downtowns, the new skylines that are coming out in certain parts of Austin. I do think it’s clear that we’re going to have multiple city centers as we move forward.”
When it comes to growing pains like traffic, the panelists talked about some high-tech solutions like autonomous vehicles and drones.
Until those become reality, McGregor said, “I think we have to be creative in looking for different ways for people to work that doesn’t necessarily involve getting on the road.”
Friday’s event kicked off the Austin Business Journal’s year-long look at Austin’s economy in 2040.
On Feb. 7, ABJ will publish an in-depth report online and in print that chronicles more details of Friday’s event. A video of the entire event will also be posted on the ABJ’s website.