Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks, trails and connectivity to the eastern half of downtown.
What’s unique about living in downtown Austin compared to other cities?
Few cities have kept pace with Austin’s growth. It has an undeniable entrepreneurial spirit and creative energy that can be felt just by walking the streets of downtown. This has paved the way for smart urban growth projects - such as repurposing historic structures into functional spaces from residences and offices to grocery stores and event spaces. I think the Seaholm Power Plant development is doing a great job of mixing all of these.
Describe a perfect Saturday living in downtown Austin.
My perfect Saturday would be spent on foot, first waking up to a view of downtown then walking to Royal Blue Grocery to grab a breakfast taco and coffee. After people watching for a while, I’d walk the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike trail en route to the Farmers’ Market at Republic Square to pick up some fresh produce from the local vendors. In the afternoon, I’d catch a movie at The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz with a friend before eating at the Whole Foods Flagship on Lamar. I like ending my Saturdays with a nightcap in the Rainey Street district before heading back home.
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Jude Galligan is the Broker-Owner of REATX Realty and Publisher of DowntownAustinBlog.org and AustinTowers.net. He has closed more sale transaction sides of downtown condos than any other REALTOR® in Austin in 2014 and 2015 (source: MLS). Jude Galligan has served on the Downtown Commission, the Waller Creek Citizens Advisory Commission, and currently serves on the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association Board of Directors and the Downtown Austin Alliance Board of Directors.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TRAVIS HALLMARK