It’s hard not to love all that’s great about downtown Austin – so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that there’s been a lot more activity when it comes to downtown real estate. After all downtowns all over the country are the place to be and it’s easy to understand why. They are often the epicenters of culture and creativity of hipness and newness and vibrant with possibilities for the future of a city.
Austin is no exception. The city’s downtown offers a vibrant lifestyle and is an exciting alternative to single-family homes in more traditional suburban neighborhoods. This kind of “Austin-style” urban living means residents have easy access to all the city has to offer: a thriving entertainment district; the best in music arts and film; fabulous restaurants; great bars; and a plethora of outdoor activities around Lady Bird Lake. 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 Austin 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 development the infrastructure of downtown has changed.
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.