In the shifting landscape of growing Austin, neighborhoods are reimagined (and grass fed burger joints are built) everyday. Here are five on the rise—put a stake down while you can.
For a long time, the Austin you knew had boundaries. They weren’t set in limestone exactly; they would move a couple miles north or south, but rarely far enough to make an impact on your life. But in recent years, the Austin landscape has been shape-shifting faster than a late-model Terminator. It’s as slippery as a garter snake.
Austin is the fastest-growing city in the United States. A hundred and fifty people move here every day. They have to live somewhere. Because of that crazy influx, seemingly every neighborhood, from low-income central areas to older middle-class neighborhoods to upper-middle-class ring communities, is being remade by the city’s extraordinary boom.
We’d be naive to say all these changes are for the better. The traffic is a mess, and public transportation sits somewhere between limited and laughable. Longtime businesses, places that helped make Austin such a fun place to live, are shuttering, and longtime residents are leaving, forced out by higher taxes, higher rents, or just because they received an offer on their bungalow that they couldn’t refuse. Not everyone benefits when a city gets hot.
That said, growth and change have benefits as well. There’s been a restaurant explosion unlike anything the city’s ever seen. The city’s hangout penumbra has expanded as fast as its festival roster. Suddenly, not everyone lives in the same five neighborhoods. Our geography is changing fast. “You live where?” is quickly being replaced by “oh, you live there.”
With that in mind, we present a brief and selective guide to Where We Live Now. These neighborhoods aren’t new, but for now, they’re new to you. Drive over and check them out—and get in while you can. By 2020, “It’s only a 15-minute drive to downtown. On Sunday morning,” will sound like heaven.