From low-rise condos dotting the shores of
the lake to high-rise loft living, there’s no
doubt that the perks to living downtown
can’t be beat.
But it wasn’t always this way. Years ago,
businesses were all that occupied the
downtown area, with the exception of
four or five condo high-rises and a few
apartment buildings – and those who lived
downtown had to drive or take a bus to get
to services like grocery stores and specialty
shops. The closest entertainment was on
Sixth Street, which was lined with bars
and restaurants and had very few shops.
Now, the rise of new residential units has
had a definite influence on the kinds of
businesses that have sprung up downtown
to support those who embrace the urban
living scene. With all the recent develop-
ment, the infrastructure of downtown has
Consider that, without Whole Foods, the
closest major grocery store would be at
least two miles away. The eclectic mix of
other businesses, many of which are locally
owned, are also huge benefits because they
contribute to downtown’s status as a walkable city that’s easy to get around.
WHO’S MOVING TO
Like many downtowns across the country,
there was a large concentration of single,
young professionals, and investors snapping up downtown Austin lofts and
condos. Not anymore.
The market may have catered to singles
and empty-nesters several years ago, but
now there’s a much broader spectrum of
who lives downtown. While singles and
professionals still dominate, more families with children are making the move.
And, with plenty of good public, private
and charter schools within easy access
of downtown – plus parks and a location that’s minutes away from tons of
kid-friendly activities – it’s getting easier
for families to make the transition.
Another factor that’s drawing more and
more people to downtown Austin are the
increased services. Whole Foods Market’s
flagship store and corporate headquarters
at Sixth and Lamar, plus tiny neighborhood
grocery stores like Royal Blue Grocery in
the Second Street District are welcome
additions for downtown residents in need
of a bottle of bubbly or a loaf of bread.
The newest downtown Austin development
projects, such as the Second Street District,
additions to the Warehouse District, and