Austin, Texas: Funky and Financially Potent

 

Austin, Texas is one of the country's most unique cities. With an incredible music and food scene, its not a surprise that over 100 people move to Austin every day.  Downtown Austin is the heart of why the region is booming. Not just because of the cultural amenities and employment centered around Downtown, but also because Downtown Austin produces enormous wealth to the city, county and entire Central Texas region.

This past summer, Urban3 had the pleasure of analyzing the economic value of Austin and its Downtown. As the biggest city we've ever analyzed (sorry, Charlotte), we knew it would be impressive, but we were astounded with the results. We found the most valuable building of all our studies in the $486 million an acre "Austonian" condo building and uncovered massive production of retail, hotel and alcohol sales in the downtown area.

  The 4  downtown area zipcodes take up 1% of Travis County's land area but generate a whopping 12% of the county's retail tax sales.

The 4  downtown area zipcodes take up 1% of Travis County's land area but generate a whopping 12% of the county's retail tax sales.

We were fortunate to get zipcode-level retail sales data for the six-county Central Texas region, broken into different categories-Mixed-Beverage (alcohol) Sales, Hotel Sales, and General Retail Sales. Visualizing the sales per acre of each of these categories was incredible. The trends were obvious-Downtown Austin of course attracts foodies, music junkies, and young folks broadening their horizons at UT-Austin, but it also brings a huge amount of spending.

 Alcohol Sales per Acre. Yes..people spend a few dollars on drinks in Downtown Austin.

Alcohol Sales per Acre. Yes..people spend a few dollars on drinks in Downtown Austin.

 Viewing food and retail sales per acre cross the six-county region, the gravity of Downtown Austin as an attraction is evident. As a center of culture, commerce and employment, it absorbs a huge amount of spending.

Viewing food and retail sales per acre cross the six-county region, the gravity of Downtown Austin as an attraction is evident. As a center of culture, commerce and employment, it absorbs a huge amount of spending.