AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The Downtown Austin Alliance released their first-ever “State of Downtown” report as well as announced a new foundation at the inaugural Future of Downtown event on Tuesday at the Austin Central Library.
The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation will raise funds to support transformational projects included in the downtown vision.
Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, called the release of the report "the start of a journey."
"The community’s vision for the future of downtown is based on inclusion, vibrancy and resilience,” Peart said. “We’re putting partnerships in place to help us achieve the 20-year vision for downtown.”
To be released on a yearly basis, the report includes a comprehensive look at current market conditions in the downtown area, from development to employment and talent to culture and mobility, and according to Peart, will keep the Alliance focused on making progress, recognizing success and identifying challenges Austin faces as "a growing downtown."
Mayor Steve Adler says the Alliance serves a "trusted steward of downtown Austin" and that their work "significantly helps make our downtown a truly special place."
"The forward-thinking downtown vision is imperative to maintaining a downtown that is the cultural, economic and development hub of our region and which generates tax revenue critical to funding projects all over the city,” Adler said. “The Downtown Alliance works toward solving homelessness, planning and implementing initiatives to improve public spaces, and keeping downtown clean and safe."
Peart spoke on the highlights of the report, including that downtown is 20 times more valuable per acre than the citywide average and included opportunities for action, such as addressing the needs of people experiencing homelessness through leadership and philanthropic investment and planning for mobility as a way to maintain and continue to grow the value of downtown.
Other speakers at the event included Erin Reilly, director of innovation and entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin, who discussed the importance of making connections to public spaces; award-winning singer/songwriter Patrice Pike, who spoke about the value of the music industry to downtown; and Josh Baer, founder and CEO of Capital Factory, who considered downtown as a living-lab experiment for technology.
For more information on the report, visit here.