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  #281  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 5:29 PM
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JManc JManc is offline
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Austin and Charlotte are absolutely big cities. Are they Houston or Seattle big? No but big none-the-less.
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  #282  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 6:00 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Austin and Charlotte are absolutely big cities. Are they Houston or Seattle big? No but big none-the-less.
It's a semantic argument, but I generally don't think metros with less than 3M really qualify for the "big city" tier.
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  #283  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 6:17 PM
edale edale is offline
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Originally Posted by Mountain man View Post
Just coming from Austin and after spending significant time in both Seattle and Denver...

I will say this, in no way is Austin even comparable to Seattle; and Denver in my eyes is still light years ahead of Austin. But yes, Charlotte seems comparable.

Austin-ites (or whatever your called) don't get mad at me, but I honestly was pretty let down by all the hype. Still though, it is hands down my favorite Texas metro.
mmhmm...yet I was looked at crazy for saying there are some similarities between Austin and Columbus. I think Austin is closer to a Columbus than it is Seattle, for sure.
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  #284  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 6:35 PM
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Austin reminds me a lot of Columbus more so than any other city; here in TX or elsewhere.
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  #285  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 7:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
I don't think anywhere in Montreal looks like that. If you blindfolded me and took me there, you couldn't make me believe I'm in Montreal.

If all I could see is 12 to 16 Clinton Place (from your view, just ahead and on the right hand side) then I could believe I'm in Philly.
I was being playful hence the emoji. But surely it's reminiscent given the outside staircases?
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  #286  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 7:12 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
It's a semantic argument, but I generally don't think metros with less than 3M really qualify for the "big city" tier.
then give it 10 years or less... cause it's happening.
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  #287  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 7:23 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by ATXboom View Post
then give it 10 years or less... cause it's happening.
Yes, I would be surprised if it didn't.

Just did some projections and Austin is the fasting growing region in the top 31. Even more interesting, the only non-Texas region in the top 5 fastest growing is Orlando. Texas is an outlier even for the Sun Belt.
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  #288  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 7:31 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Austin reminds me a lot of Columbus more so than any other city; here in TX or elsewhere.
Lived in both cities. In 2008 I think they were very similar. Not as much so today.

They are comparable in many ways:
  • Dominated by 2 N/S freeways.
  • A massive university in the urban core.
  • Reasonably liberal in a conservative state.
  • River running through downtown with some parks along it
  • Similar metro population.
  • Airport service was similar

The big differences:
  • Austin is densifying at a much more frantic pace... on top of overall metro population growth
  • Economy and attitude toward work is different (much more start up culture in Austin)
  • Much more outdoorsy culture in Austin... dogs allowed everywhere / people more active with outdoor activities... much more robust and used park system along the river
  • Columbus has better Zoos / museums
  • Foody culture isn't comparable. Austin hands down
  • Airport service is becoming much more separated
  • Of course weather and terrain are different

IMO As of today:
  • Austin is more on par with Charlotte with better food/nightlife.
  • It is racing toward Denver / San Diego in the urban core and on their heals. But they are also moving rapidly.
  • It shares a cultural vibe with Portland but will never have the prewar fabric / grid to look and behave like Portland
  • Austin is not comparable to Seattle... Seattle has stepped up big time in the last 10-20 years... Seattle is more comparable to SF IMO.

My takeway:
  • Austin appears to me to be changing the most (relative to itself) of any city in america. (I travel a LOT) What it is will be radically different every 2-3 years. I once moved away for 2 years and came back and didn't recognize the place. Over the longer term (20 years) I have seen downtown Austin grown from the size of downtown Toledo to what it is today... nothing short of an amazing ride - and I think this pace of change is what attracts certain types of people to Austin. You can really be part of the change and leverage it.
  • I think its a good 20-25 years behind Seattle for those up in arms... and Amazon will likely keep it that way.
  • In the next decade I expect Austin to quantifiably have more density above 150' than the likes of denver and SD.


BY THE WAY... if interested, someone in the Austin sub-forum did a breakdown comparison of density above I think 150' with peer cities... it is quantifiably larger than Charlotte now and is actually very close to Denver. Go there to check it out or perhaps that poster can jump in with the stats...

Last edited by ATXboom; Jan 28, 2019 at 7:50 PM.
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  #289  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 7:41 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
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Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
it depends on where you decide to start measuring the shaft.
Quote of this thread.
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  #290  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 8:20 PM
skyscraperpage17 skyscraperpage17 is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Yes, I would be surprised if it didn't.

Just did some projections and Austin is the fasting growing region in the top 31. Even more interesting, the only non-Texas region in the top 5 fastest growing is Orlando. Texas is an outlier even for the Sun Belt.
It just goes to show, *EVERYTHING* is bigger in Texas.
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  #291  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 8:22 PM
skyscraperpage17 skyscraperpage17 is offline
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Originally Posted by ATXboom View Post
then give it 10 years or less... cause it's happening.
Does Austin have any plans in place to expand transit or road capacity?

Not to rain on its parade, but from an infrastructure standpoint, it could be argued it's the least prepared for such growth.
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  #292  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 8:33 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Interesting how the growth of the bigger TX/FL cities came mostly from migrating Latin Americans and Yankees, while Atlanta seems to have grown on its own / from its own hinterlands. That's what explains the difference in cultural character. Had Houston instead become big because everyone in rural East Texas, in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi moved to it because it's "The City" for the region, then it would be a multi-million metro that would still be Southern in character. I guess this kind of trend may snowball once it's started - if some random guy from somewhere in the Deep South wants/needs to move to a big city, that person will probably pick Atlanta.

From the purely anecdotal examples i've seen in my life from friends living in Jonesboro Arkansas(pop around 75k):

Nashville
.
Dallas
.
.
Houston
.
Atlanta

That seems to be the general theme of moving to the 'big city.' Memphis still gets some of the transplants but its crime reputation and not-so-good-economy keeps people away.
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  #293  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 8:36 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
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Originally Posted by skyscraperpage17 View Post
Does Austin have any plans in place to expand transit or road capacity?

Not to rain on its parade, but from an infrastructure standpoint, it could be argued it's the least prepared for such growth.
Good point... and it is under prepared. However, I do believe that the limited transportation infrastructure is a key driver of densification (i.e. if you have $ you will live central city to avoid a terrible commute) It's a proxy for a space limited region that drives up density and prices unfortunately - like SF, Hong Kong, NYC, etc.

To answer your Q:
  • Sprawl enabling roads and highway extensions are always being built and expanded on the fringes of the metro.
  • I-35 is due for a significant expansion and dig through downtown... but that may not be realized for 10 or more years.
  • The other major N/S freeway has expanded on the north side and is due for expansion on the south side.
  • City leaders are putting together a high capacity transit plan now - likely to go up for vote in 2020. It includes 2 light rail lines and an 1 additional commuter rail line for a total of 2.
  • To alleviate commute pressure on the central core - a secondary core is emerging about 10 miles north of downtown proper.
  • The airport is rapidly expanding... no issues there - it could accommodate DFW traffic levels if ever necessary in the future.

My take away:
  • Road infrastructure will never catch up.
  • This will drive further densification... which could allow mass transit to function well in the future.
  • It will also continue driving up prices in the central core (office rents are on par with NYC and Boston) (Condo/Apartment costs are similar to Seattle)
  • Central Austin will run risk of becoming a hamlet for the rich because of poor infrastructure.
  • As most employers now do - they split their offices between a more suburban location and downtown to accommodate a weak infrastructure. Google/Facebook/Indeed, etc... all do this

Last edited by ATXboom; Jan 28, 2019 at 8:52 PM.
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  #294  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 8:55 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Originally Posted by skyscraperpage17 View Post
Does Austin have any plans in place to expand transit or road capacity?

Not to rain on its parade, but from an infrastructure standpoint, it could be argued it's the least prepared for such growth.
Having lived there for two years (moved in 2014), my personal opinion is absolutely NO.

The city will never vote on transit. There is a large part of the city that resemble adolescence, where if they don't get *exactly* what they want, they vote no. The light rail debate in the city had me scratching my head. Their one commuter rail is really nice. I used it often when I lived there, but it is extremely limited, because....its only one line.

As far as traffic, it will never end. I've never been in a metro of its size with such undersized roads. I know we tend to hate them, but multi-lane roads are the norm and needed in suburban style areas. In suburban Austin you are hard pressed to find those "mega roads" or whatever the term would be.

The interstate problem will never go away. There are issues with the environmentalist to make any type of loop in the SW part of the city. I 35 will never be fixed. The city has too many toll roads. And again, I 35, as long as thats not fixed, the city will remain a parking lot.

I don't want to seem too negative, but I got extremely negative about the transportation situation while living there. I loved most everything else.

Oh, and the drivers were great. Best metro drivers I've encountered. It could be because we were always stuck in traffic though...
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  #295  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2019, 10:03 PM
jayden jayden is offline
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NYC doesn't "look up" to any other city of course. But I would say NYC looks to London and Tokyo as it's peers.

I think Atlanta looks up to Chicago. It's probably the next tier up.
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