Photo by qi on Unsplash

An old Home Depot lot has been sitting vacant in North Austin for more than 10 years. That will change on Monday, August 14, as crews will start the demolition process of the lot, paving the way for a major redevelopment of a historic Austin neighborhood.

“The demolition is going to be such a big deal to the community – that this project is moving forward, that things are going to be happening,” Austin City Councilmember Chito Vela (District 4) said.

The demolition will mark the first phase of a redevelopment project for the St. Johns neighborhood that has been in the works for roughly 15 years.

"It's something that's needed for the community,” said community member Ken Ballage. “It's a great project with the city, and it's just a good day for St. Johns."

A plan to overhaul the 19 acres of land began in 2008, when the City bought the former Home Depot site.

"One of the reasons it's taken so long is because we haven't done a similar type of project, and there have been so many different thoughts and iterations of what we wanted to do ... We kept going back to the drawing board and again and again,” Vela said.

The City of Austin, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA), private developer Greystar and the St. Johns community have been working in unison on the project.

The new site will have 526 housing units, with half of them considered affordable housing. To qualify for these homes, a household would need to hit the 50, 60, or 70 percent median family income level in Austin. For a family of four, they would qualify if the household income totaled $55,000, $66,000, or $77,000 per year, respectively.

The redevelopment will also include 15,000 square feet of commercial space, a clubhouse, and an expanded park.


Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.

Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash

This is what Austinites are complaining about the most on Nextdoor

thanks in advance!

Let's talk about Nextdoor – it's the app that can make you laugh and groan at the same time. You either hate it, or you love it. And of course, no Nextdoor community conversation would be complete without someone whining about a noisy pet or a car speeding through the neighborhood.

In fact, a new report by Regional Foundation Repair has found that the most popular topics discussed by Austinites on the Nextdoor app are exactly that: dogs and traffic complaints.

The report combed through nearly 59,000 posts and just under 355,000 comments on the app in the 50 biggest cities in the nation over the past eight years to discover the top discussion trends.

Austin ranked as the No. 6 city with the most barking complaints, and No. 10 as the city where dogs dominate the topic of conversation more than cats do. The report suggests that Austin could be a city with a higher dog-to-cat ratio, but we'll let Austinites be the judge of that.

"As cute as furry friends can be, no one likes when they’re forced to listen to what seems like never-ending barking throughout their day, especially during a time when people are working at home more than ever," the report says. "Constant barking can not only make it difficult to focus on work, but it can disrupt sleep patterns, strain neighborly relationships, and result in an overall annoyance at your current situation."

While traffic complaints can be helpful for some who are trying to avoid it, most of the time it can just be a pain to read about. Though it may be the second-most talked about topic on Nextdoor in Austin, the city actually ranks No. 20 for the most traffic complaints in the overall ranking.

California cities notoriously have the worst traffic, with Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno in the top three for the most complaints on Nextdoor, followed by Houston. But there is one major Golden State city that is noticeably absent.

"Interestingly, Los Angeles, the second most populous U.S. city, ranked as having the least traffic complaints out of all the cities we studied," the report says. "Maybe people have accepted the constant congestion during their commute as normal, and so they don’t bother talking about it with their neighbors."

As far as smelly streets go, Austin has the third-least stinky streets out of all 50 cities included in the study. At least we have that going for us.

The full report can be found on regionalfoundationrepair.com.

Photo courtesy of Harpeth Realty

The best ZIP codes for first time homeowners, according to an Austin realtor

a first for everything

Austinites are getting a lot of mixed signals from the housing market, and those can be especially difficult to sift through as a first-time homebuyer. Between all the trends, jargon, and potentially dramatic shifts in data from month to month, it can feel overwhelming just to decide to start the process, let alone go through the motions.

Barrett Raven, owner and realtor at Harpeth Realty, echoes many peers when he says it’s both a good time, and not a good time, to buy a house. His one stipulation: only do it if you plan to stay at least three years, given capital gains tax and appreciation. Beyond that, “I'm sure most people would expect every realtor to say [this], but I always think it's a great time to buy a home long-term.”

The most recent monthly Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) report found that with more Austin homes in supply, buyers were more in control of prices, resulting in a more stable market. The thorn in a homebuyer’s side right now is high interest rates, but Raven offers a solution: “Marry the house, date the rate.”

Raven’s plan breaks down into three available paths. The first — his favorite — is a simple refinancing. Buy at a high interest rate and wait for rates to drop, hoping it’ll happen in an affordable time frame.

The second option is to permanently buy down the rate through a seller credit. In negotiations, buyers may ask for a credit from the seller, (say, offering $600,000 to get $20,000 back) effectively making the down payment larger without actively spending more. Then, that credit goes to the lender to lower the permanent rate. Raven would avoid this option, since that money may be wasted if the buyer does decide to refinance relatively quickly.

Third, an obscure option that falls somewhere in the middle, is what Raven calls a “3-2-1 buydown.” (There are other versions with different tiers, as well.) In this case, a 3 percent discount is applied the first year, the rate goes up slightly to a 2 percent discount the second year, and then 1 percent the third year. This also necessitates a credit from the seller, but the credit is not wasted if the buyer decides to refinance — the unused portion of the credit transfers to the principal of the loan.

“There are so many advantages right now about buying a home, and I don't want to seem out of touch or anything,” says Raven. “I get [that] the prices in Austin are still very high … and inflation is high, and things just cost more. But this … is what we have to work with. When I look at all the benefits right now, which are vast … the only real downside is high interest rates. We can take care of that for you.”

Raven lists five areas by ZIP Code that offer the most promise for first-time homebuyers ready to take the plunge:

78753 — Eubank Acres and North Oaks/Windsor Hills
This long corridor along I-35 is changing all the time, especially with new residential developments. West of the highway, Eubank Acres has great access to Walnut Creek Park, and has well-cared for houses, often still with their original owners. “I hesitated to even put it on this list because I didn't want more people to know about it,” Raven says. North Oaks and Windsor Hills, on the east side of the highway, are also both well-established and reasonably priced, but with generally younger families.

78704 — The Galindo area
This huge ZIP Code encompasses almost the entirety of South Austin as most Austinites will experience it. The Galindo area is at the southern edge, just north of West Ben White Boulevard. The area is walkable and close to lots of South Austin favorites, including a few outdoorsy breweries. This area, Raven says, is similar to the Zilker Area but more affordable — closer to the $600-900,000 range.

78744 — The Franklin Park area
Bounded by the Williamson Creek Greenbelt and McKinney Falls State Park, this neighborhood is almost country living, but still close to downtown. “This is a controversial area here,” says Raven. “People have been saying that this neighborhood is going to explode in value for the last, like, 30 years.” The draw is fantastic prices for houses in decently good shape, but buyers should do their research, since he calls the blocks “hit or miss.” There will be lots of flipped houses around.

78744 (again) — Easton Park
In the Southeast corner of Austin, on the other side of McKinney Falls, there’s a small neighborhood only a few years old that looks like it was plucked from Pflugerville. “It's kind of like this little oasis of new construction … in the middle of nowhere,” Raven says. This area entails a slightly higher budget, but buyers are less likely to spend time and money renovating, making this less intimidating for many. There is a lot of diversity of home types to choose from, and a little budget goes a long way on square footage.

78728 — Wells Branch
Raven “begrudgingly” chose this obvious contender, because although it’s the starting point of many first-home conversations, it can’t be overlooked. The far-North Austin locale takes on a suburban feel, but isn’t far from The Domain or Central Austin in general. This is a good place to find houses built in the '80s and '90s for a friendly option for first-time homebuyers who don’t want to tackle huge renovations, and at an affordable price. “I would call it the final frontier of being in true Austin,” he says.

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Here are the top 7 things to do in Austin this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

Nonstop cinema, critically acclaimed comedy, and tons of festival fun are in our sights for the next several days. Enjoy riveting conversation and expert journalism up close at the Texas Tribune Festival, or enjoy nonstop cinema with the return of Fantastic Fest. Check out the top seven things to do in Austin this weekend. For a complete list of events, go to our calendar.

Thursday, September 21

Fantastic Fest
The country’s largest genre film festival returns to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar for another year of all things fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and action. Attendees will have the opportunity to screen a curated selection of daring and thought-provoking cinema by filmmakers from around the world. Notable festival events include screenings of the opening night film The Toxic Avenger, the first two episodes of Netflix's The Fall of the House of Usher, the mystery thriller Eileen, the closing night film Totally Killer, and more. Screenings and events are scheduled through September 28. Badges are available at fantasticfest.com.

Texas Tribune Festival
Lone Star journalism takes center stage at the return of the Texas Tribune Festival. The three-day event is curated by the journalists of the Texas Tribune itself and features interviews, surprise talent mashups, panel discussions, and several guest speakers all in one jam-packed weekend. Confirmed speakers for this year’s festival include Jake Tapper, Katie Couric, Coln Allred, and many more. For a full schedule of events and to attend the festival, go to texastribune.org.

ACL Live presents "Jim Gaffigan: Barely Alive Tour"
ACL Live hosts multihyphenate entertainer Jim Gaffigan for two nights back-to-back. He’s widely known for his keenly hilarious observations on life and is also a New York Times best-selling author and three-time Emmy-winning recording artist. Ticket information can be found on acllive.com.

Cap City Comedy Club presents Kevin Nealon
Comedic great Kevin Nealon is the newest featured artist to take up a residency at Capitol City Comedy Club. He’s best known for his decade-long stint on Saturday Night Live and other popular television series including Weeds and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Shows are scheduled through September 23. Get more details at capcitycomedy.com.

Public Power Block Party
Photo by Leah Muse Photography

Bust out your best moves at the Public Power Block Party on September 24.

Friday, September 22

Beerthoven Inc. presents "From the Top: A Duet for the Beginning of Time"
Duo da Capo, a local harp and oboe ensemble, explores the story of creation with a special live concert at Saengerrunde Hall. Guests can expect a program of contemporary music accompanied by creation artwork, for a dynamic showing for multiple senses. Pastries, beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. For tickets, go to Eventbrite.

Saturday, September 23

Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival
Take a short trip to the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead in Dripping Springs to welcome the fall season with a cornucopia of autumn-inspired activities for all ages. Pumpkin Festival highlights include live musical performances, seasonal food offerings, photo opportunities, games, attractions, a marketplace, and more. Following opening weekend, festival programming continues through October 29. For tickets and additional event information, visit geoji.com.

Sunday, September 24

Sierra Club Texas presents Public Power Block Party
Moontower Cider Company partners with the Texas Sierra Club to open its doors and grounds for a block party to raise awareness about clean energy plans and sustainability efforts. Visitors can enjoy food, drinks, live music, and other family-friendly activities all while learning about Austin Energy’s upcoming resource plan and other new initiatives. Block party admission is free and open to the public. Go to sierraclub.org for more details.

Austin wakes up and smells the brews at 2nd annual coffee festival

cool beans

Making a cup of coffee is one of the most ritualistic morning activities for millions of people every day. It's a truly customizable experience: You can use pre-ground coffee or grind whole beans yourself, and there are many different brewing methods, such as a traditional drip coffeemaker, a moka pot, or an AeroPress.

The local coffee community in Austin is in a world of its own, and coffee aficionados can enjoy a special weekend all to themselves to meet their favorite local roasters at the second annual Austin Coffee Festival on September 30 and October 1 at Fair Market.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own reusable cups to enjoy endless coffee tastings from about two dozen well-known Austin roasters like Merit Coffee Co., Medici Roasting, Barrett's Coffee Roasters, and Greater Goods Coffee Co. Master roasters can help newcomers learn more about coffee, and local musicians will provide the soundtrack for the weekend.

If you're not a coffee drinker but would still like to tag along, there will be non-coffee options available, like tea tastings from Kilogram Tea and Kinship Milk Tea. Snacks will be available for purchase from Gelu Italian Ice and casual Mexican mini-chain Pueblo Viejo.

Additional roasters that will be at the festival include:

  • Creature Coffee
  • Red Horn Brew
  • Malone Specialty Coffee
  • Fara Coffee
  • Intelligenista
  • Kimbala
  • Sightseer Coffee Roasters
  • Vision
  • Springtown Roasters
  • Casa Brasil
  • Hard Charger Coffee
  • Haciendo Coffee Roasters
  • Carta Coffee Merchants
  • Dog Day Coffee
  • Tianon Coffee
  • Little City Coffee Roasters
  • Wild Gift Coffee
  • Luna Espresso

ATX Theatre, Topo Chico, Oatly, Mill-King, Minor Figures, and Loveramics will also be in attendance.

More information about the festival and tickets (beginning at $25) can be found on austincoffeefestival.com.

Country star Kane Brown set to land in Austin as part of new 'In the Air' tour

big daddy kane

Country singer Kane Brown will return to the road in 2024 with the 29-city In the Air tour, which will culminate with a stop at Toyota Center on April 28.

Starting on March 28 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the tour will play 2-3 shows a week through the beginning of June at arenas, including in Houston on April 28 and Austin on April 29. He'll end his tour in Arlington, Texas on September 14.

For the final five shows on the tour, Brown will switch to stadiums, including the last show at Globe Life Field. Brown will be joined by Tyler Hubbard and Parmalee in both Austin and Houston.

Just like his previous Drunk or Dreaming Tour, which he just finished in early September, Brown will be touring in support of his 2022 album, Different Man. Although it was the first of his three albums not to go to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts (it charted at No. 2), it still notched four top 10 songs.

The new tour's title, In the Air, is a reference to Brown's new single, “I Can Feel It,” which samples Phil Collins’ legendary drum solo and single from “In the Air Tonight.”

Fans can register now at kanebrownmusic.com for the artist pre-sale starting on Tuesday, October 3, at 10 am ET time. Tickets forthe tourwill go on-sale to the general public on Thursday, October 5, at 10 am local time.


  • Thursday, March 28, 2024: Charlottesville, VA, John Paul Jones Arena
  • Friday, March 29, 2024: Pittsburgh, PA, PPG Paints Arena
  • Saturday, March 30, 2024: Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
  • Thursday, April 4, 2024, Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
  • Friday, April 5, 2024: Toronto, ON, Scotiabank Arena
  • Saturday, April 6, 2024: Buffalo, NY, KeyBank Center
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024: Kansas City, MO, T-Mobile Center
  • Friday, April 12, 2024: Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
  • Thursday, April 18, 2024: Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
  • Friday, April 19, 2024: Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
  • Saturday, April 20, 2024: Grand Forks, ND, Alerus Center
  • Friday, April 26, 2024: Lubbock, TX, United Supermarkets Arena
  • Saturday, April 27, 2024: Houston, Toyota Center
  • Sunday, April 28, 2024: Austin, TX, Moody Center
  • Thursday, May 9, 2024: Eugene, OR, Matthew Knight Arena
  • Friday, May 10, 2024: Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
  • Saturday, May 11, 2024: Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
  • Friday, May 17, 2024: Salt Lake City, UT, Delta Center
  • Saturday, May 18, 2024: Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
  • Sunday, May 19, 2024: Tempe, AZ, Boots In The Park
  • Thursday, May 30, 2024: Orlando, FL, Amway Center
  • Friday, May 31, 2024: Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
  • Saturday, June 1, 2024: Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
  • Friday, June 7, 2024: Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
  • Saturday, June 8, 2024: Atlanta, GA, State Farm Arena
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024: Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest
  • Saturday, July 20, 2024: Boston, MA, Fenway Park
  • Friday, August 16, 2024: Seattle, WA, T-Mobile Park
  • Saturday, August 24, 2024: Los Angeles, CA, BMO Stadium
  • Friday, September 6, 2024: Denver, CO, Coors Field
  • Saturday, September 14, 2024: Arlington, TX, Globe LIfe Field