The Downtown Austin Alliance contracted Urban3 to perform an economic analysis benchmarking the revenue productivity of downtown relative to Travis County. Using property tax assessment rolls from Travis County, property values were analyzed with respect to their acreage (i.e. land consumed). The underlying principle of the study was to utilize land as the denominator of productivity because it is a finite commodity, especially within the county. During the Austin analysis, Urban3 utilized prior project data to compare growth patterns in Austin with Nashville, TN and Charlotte, NC.
With Charlotte, there was a particular opportunity to compare the impact of mass transit infrastructure on real estate development and property value. Austin’s MetroRail, while focusing more on regional transportation needs, was found to have much less infill development around rail stations, and subsequently lower value density, than Charlotte’s LYNX light rail line. Within these Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) zones, Austin has a major opportunity to catalyze new development.
Director of Economic Development and Government Affairs, Downtown Austin Alliance