Quantcast
Photo courtesy of Steinberg Hart

A 22-and-a-half-acre section of East Austin is getting a modern transformation. In a bid to bring office, retail, and residential space to tech workers and families, architecture firm Steinberg Hart has announced plans for a new seven-building, urban mixed-use complex at the corner of East Riverside Drive and Highway 71, called East Riverside Gateway.

The site, a former mobile home park, currently hosts a storage facility, but once construction is complete it will be home to over two million square feet of space for housing, offices, a plaza, and shopping amenities. Four multi-family buildings totaling more than 1,100 residential units will be created to provide Austinintes with deluxe condos, family-oriented residences, and compact affordable housing. The three remaining buildings will be dedicated to office spaces and create a walkable connection to the anticipated Blue Line light rail from Project Connect.

Steinberg Hart president and Austin native David Hart expressed his excitement in a press release for the project, and hopes it brings a valuable transformation to the city.

“Building on over three decades of experience in the State of Texas, we are thrilled to be making our mark on the City of Austin with this iconic project, and we look forward to continuing to be a part of this city’s continued evolution,” he said.

To prioritize pedestrians, Steinberg Hart has planned walkable neighborhoods that “celebrate [their] connection to nature” and have committed to retaining the area’s heritage trees. A 3-and-a-half-acre park is also expected to restore the site’s native Blackland Prairie habitat while providing many outdoor activities such as a bike path, playground, outdoor pavilion, and more.

With the connection to the Blue Line, residents and non-residents alike will be able to travel easily to and from the complex. Those using personal vehicles to travel from farther away will have their choice from an estimated 4,000 parking spaces.

Asheshh Saheba, Mixed-Use Studio Leader at Steinberg Hart, believes the East Riverside Gateway complex will be a “central hub of activity” that brings a variety of Austinites together from any and all areas of town.

“Being involved from the earliest stages of master planning made for a truly holistic design process,” said Saheba. “We’ve thought about every aspect of the user experience at every scale: the size of the city blocks and their organization, the unit mix and the size of the office floor plates, and the Austinite taking public transit and walking home from this new rail station. East Riverside Gateway is a truly transformative vision of the future of Austin.”

The East Riverside Gateway project is currently in the entitlement phase and Steinberg Hart has submitted requests for a site development permit. Another, even larger development of 545 acres, much farther north and less price diverse, was also recently approved for development in Austin, highlighting the range of new construction planning early in 2023.

East Riverside Gateway project rendering

Photo courtesy of Steinberg Hart

Once construction is complete, the East Riverside Gateway complex will be home to over 2 million square feet of office, residential and shopping spaces.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

This is how big Austin apartments get for $1,500 a month

NO SPACE TO WASTE

We all know what renters dream about when they’re not thinking about the logistics of owning a home: low rent prices with the perfect amount of space. In a city like Austin, that’s getting harder and harder to come by.

In fact, for renters who have a budget of $1,500 a month, the average apartment size they can get in Austin spans about 714 square feet. That’s according to a new study by apartment rental marketplace RentCafe. The study looked at data from their sister site, Yardi Matrix, to determine the average size and price per square foot for a $1,500 monthly budget in 200 of the largest American cities.

Austin is at the bottom of the list in the overall analysis of Texas cities with the smallest space for the price. In Killeen, which is only 70 miles north, renters can find apartments that span a whopping 1,095 square feet. San Antonio renters can similarly find apartments that are nearly 300 square feet larger for the same budget.

If you head to the Houston area, Pasadena residents get an average of 1,180 square feet of space for $1,500 a month, whereas renters searching for apartments in Houston proper will only get about 997 square feet.

Renters looking to live in Fort Worth or Dallas will notice a nearly 100 square foot difference between apartments, at 909 and 805 square feet, respectively. Residents can get the most bang for their buck in the suburbs with an average apartment size well into the 900-square-foot range. Mesquite residents, by far, get the most space, at 999 square feet, whereas renters in Garland and Arlington get an average of 937 and 928 square feet for the same budget.

Elsewhere in Texas, apartments in the Rio Grande Valley have the best price per square foot in the state. McAllen residents get the most space out of any other Texas city with an average apartment size of 1,471 square feet. Renters in Brownsville, which is 60 miles east on the border, can get a similarly sized apartment that’s 1,307 square feet for the same $1,500 a month budget.

Here’s how much space you can rent for $1,500 a month in other Texas cities:

  • Amarillo – 1,318 square feet
  • El Paso – 1,222 square feet
  • Lubbock – 1,218 square feet
  • Corpus Christi – 1,126 square feet
  • Grand Prairie – 873 square feet
  • Denton – 868 square feet
  • Irving – 848 square feet
  • McKinney – 809 square feet
  • Plano – 766 square feet
  • Frisco – 740 square feet

The full report can be found on rentcafe.com.

ATX TV Festival cooperates with WGA strike by hosting panel and adjusting programming

Not Written Off

Anyone on social media or the news has likely heard of the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. This demonstration since May 2 has had TV writers stepping away from creating content, while getting out in the streets to protest entertainment industry practices that put writers in a tough position.

Like any strike, it can be hard to understand the depth of the problem or the nuances of proposed solutions. But this is an important topic; Not only do most people benefit from the work of TV writers (who create what almost everyone uses to unwind at some point in their week), but the conversations occurring tackle subjects that apply to workers in many more industries, especially as AI content proliferates.

The ATX Television Festival (June 1-4) is making sure Austinites have local access to this discourse, using its "Season 12" programming as a platform for some of the WGA leaders to explain their goals and concerns. A panel conversation will cover what problems writers have been seeing in their daily work, what changes they want to see, and what this means for non-writers.

Perhaps most importantly, this will become a tactical conversation not just about creative rights, but what a strike can achieve, and how. (WGA Negotiating Committee member Adam Conover of Adam Ruins Everything briefly explains the logistics on YouTube, with a hopeful spin and some strong language.)

Panelists will include Zoanne Clack, Damon Lindelof, and Julie Plec of WGA West, plus Negotiating Committee member Greg Iwinski of the WGA East. Beau Willimon of WGA East will moderate the panel.

The WGA's demands, nearly unanimously agreed upon at 98.4 percent approval, are publicly listed and include increases of minimum compensation, adjustment of compensation after writing is finished (in reuse cases and excerpts, for example), and regulation of AI use for producing scripts.

“ATX TV Festival has always been a place of celebration and community," said co-presidents and founders Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson in a statement. "It is where important conversations are had about the history and future of television in a safe and inclusive environment. We will maintain these tenets as we believe education and conversation between both Industry and Consumers are needed now more than ever."

"There wouldn’t be television without writers," the statement continues. "They have always been the rock stars of our festival, and though this year will look a little different, it will continue to be a place to showcase their talents and importance. The stories and characters we care so deeply about would not exist without them, and neither would this festival.”

Being careful not to figuratively cross the picket line, the festival has cleared the rest of the programming with the WGA, adding and removing coverage as necessary. It has also been sure to include content that focuses on a writer's experience outside the strike conditions, such as the panel “Why Do You Write?” The programming track "Hollywood, Health and Society" steps away from show business itself to discuss "social issues in storytelling."

Finally, the festival's sponsored pitch competition is still on the books, even though pitching shows is currently barred as part of the strike. In this case, the goal is not to sell any shows, but to receive feedback from mentors, inclduign other writers, showrunners, and producers. Hopefully, this advice can be applied in the future when participants return to business as usual — or rather, business in a whole new way.

More information, tickets, and badges are now available at atxfestival.com.

Clarification on added and canceled programming, from the announcement in its original language:

Programming Additions:

  • WGA on Strike!
  • Beyond the Page
  • Why Do You Write?
  • Queer Stories We Want To See
  • …The End Programming

Cancellations:
Please Note: These members of the WGA support and believe in their series and teams, but stand with the WGA at this time and will not be attending.

  • Late Night with Seth Meyers
  • Andor: A Conversation with Tony Gilroy
  • Tiny Beautiful Things with Liz Tigelaar and Cheryl Strayed
  • Dawson’s Creek 25th Anniversary Screening & Conversation

Hill Country resort hosts fun whodunnits for guests eager to embrace their inner Sherlock

The butler did it?

Crime is afoot at the Cactus Oak Tavern, and the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa needs your help to find out whodunnit.

From May 27 to August 12, the San Antonio-area resort will be hosting an interactive murder mystery every Saturday at the Cactus Oak Tavern. Doors open at 6:45 pm with the event itself starting promptly at 7 pm sharp. Each $60 ticket includes the ability to participate in solving the murder mystery of the night (and yes, the theme of each week's murder mystery will rotate!) full access to an open bar, and a selection of appetizers.

There will be prizes for guests who correctly guess the murderer as well! (Whoever pulls off the most convincing "I'm not the murderer" act of the night may also win a prize for their Academy Award-winning acting skills.)

You don't actually have to stay at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in order to reserve a spot (or two) at one of the Saturday murder mystery events. However, if you do book a staycation there, you'll get to enjoy $50 million dollars worth of recent renovations.

Another option to extend the night after the murder mystery is solved is by dining in at one of the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa's in-house restaurants. Guests can choose from two options if mystery-solving stirs up your appetite: For anyone craving classic bar fare, head to Charlie's Long Bar, which features a menu full of comfort food favorites, from nachos, ribs, pulled pork tacos, fish and chips, and more. Charlie's serves food until 10 pm on Saturday nights (they're open until midnight otherwise.)

Option two is for the fine dining foodie guest: Antler's Lodge is open Saturday nights until 9:30 pm and features a menu full of wild-game centric cuisine, from a wild game sausage trio appetizer to main courses like chili coffee rubbed elk tenderloin, multiple cuts of fine steak, and more.

In other words – if you're looking for a fun, full Saturday night this summer, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa has you covered.