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September 2012

There are 17 blog entries for September 2012.

Austin Wins Nod as One of America’s Hippest Cities

Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 6:53am. 2,039 Views

Austin aerial silkThe writers at Forbes are expert list makers and love putting Austin at the top of their lists almost as much as they do making them. This time, Austin has ranked #7 in a listing of America’s hippest cities, with specific focus on the art and culture flourishing in and around East Austin, which sits close to neighborhoods like Barton Creek and Lake Austin.

What makes a city “hip” can be difficult to define objectively and could be measured by the ease in which one can pick up a coffee from a locally owned store, walk to an art gallery featuring new and avant garde artists, have lunch at a restaurant serving organic produce from a kitchen garden, then spend the afternoon taking an aerial silks class from a studio like Sky Candy, before picking up

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Austin Chamber Music Center: The Bach Stops Here

Monday, September 24th, 2012 at 11:34am. 2,632 Views

Austin Chamber Music Center (ACMC)Austin music lovers have the benefit of living in close proximity to hundreds of venues, including iconic downtown music scenes like Stubb’s and the Mohawk, as well as traditional concert halls like the Long Center and Bass Concert Hall. Part of this vibrant music scene is the Austin Chamber Music Center (ACMC,) which has been contributing to the Austin music scene since 1981, starting with music lessons for high school students and expanding to include a concert series in 1988 that now draws musicians from around the world and music lovers of every age and from all corners of Austin: Lake Travis to Circle C.

ACMC still provides music education for both school age students and grown-up students. An academic year academy and intensive summer workshop for

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Waller Creek Conservatory Selects Design Finalists

Monday, September 24th, 2012 at 10:45am. 4,048 Views

waller creek austinThe Waller Creek Conservatory has narrowed entrants down to four finalists in its design competition to transform Waller Creek, and those concepts now will be displayed at locations throughout Austin for the public to view. Waller Creek represents the largest urban creek in the nation to undergo the level of transformation the conservancy envisions. The impact area for the planned project spans 28 acres, from Lake Austin to Tarrytown, and the conservancy encouraged designers to pay special attention to key links and passages connecting people and the environment to the targeted redevelopment zone. The conceptual plan selected will accomplish all of the following:

1. Create a healthy ecosystem for the creek and surrounding areas. This includes the

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Lamar Plaza in South Austin Prepares for Facelift

Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 2:57pm. 3,389 Views

Lamar Plaza designSince the Alamo Drafthouse began using a reserved seating system, vying for space in the lobby of the South Lamar theatre location has become much less difficult prior to a screening. Now, by 2014, with the recent purchase of Lamar Plaza by Greystar developers, a brand new Alamo Drafthouse on Lamar will open with more screens and more lobby room, as well as new neighbors and a renovated Highball.

The purchase of Lamar Plaza will reinvigorate the aging South Austin strip mall into a mixed-use project featuring, in addition to an expanded Alamo Drafthouse and new Highball, shops and restaurants, and more than 400 apartments. The location is close to South Austin neighborhoods like Barton Creek and Lake Austin.

The nine-acre strip mall was appraised at

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SecureNet Plans New Austin Facility

Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 10:43am. 2,174 Views

riata offices austinAnother technology company plans to expand its base of operations in Austin in the coming year, further solidifying Austin’s growing reputation as a technology hub. SecureNet Payment Systems, a company that develops payment-processing technology, plans to establish a technology and innovation center that will create up to 200 new jobs. The type of technology created by SecureNet enables, for example, a shopper in another state to order merchandise electronically, using a smart phone, from a shop in Eanes ISD.

The new building will be located close to the Apple Inc. campus in the Riata office park. “Businesses recognize the talent pool here in town,” said Austin REALTOR Brian Talley. “There is already a wide pool of tech savvy people here, and the city

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Austin Retail Space Expands Rapidly

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 at 5:41pm. 2,267 Views

Austin retail space and rentalsAustin’s economic growth is made manifest in the growing footprint of local and national retail stores. The commercial retail real estate sector has improved by leaps and bounds in recent months and is poised for further growth in Austin, according to a report released by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc., a national commercial real estate brokerage firm.

“Both job growth and a business-friendly environment have been fueling retailers’ decisions to locate or expand within and close to Austin city limits,” said Austin REALTOR® Brian Talley. “This growth is indicative of a healthy economy and helps create more jobs, further reinforcing those positive strides.”

In the coming year, retail inventory is expected to increase by almost

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Creating Luxury Home Scents

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 at 7:02pm. 2,249 Views

homemade fragrance for homesMaking a house smell clean and fragrant has long been an aim of homeowners, and now businesses are catering to Austin luxury homes for unique, ambient scents that linger in every room. Department stores, boutiques, hotels and restaurants have cultivated identifying smells for decades, and now homeowners are seeking out that same effect in their private spaces, often wanting the degree of personalization found in perfumes to wear. Companies like Apothecary & Atelier offer tailored fragrances for people and homes, creating customer-specific, ambient scent.

Realtors understand that when showing a home during an Austin home search, smells can greatly influence people’s opinion of homes, which is why open houses may feature fresh baked cookies or lit

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Sunday, September 16th, 2012 at 5:47pm. 3,550 Views

Bankhead Highway TexasThe Texas Historical Commission has contracted with the Austin consulting firm of Hardy-Heck-Moore to begin surveying the Texas route of the coast-to-coast Bankhead Highway, established in 1916. This is being heralded as the first step on a journey to identify, designate, and promote the historic highways of Texas.

“Communities along the route will once again benefit from having this iconic Texas thoroughfare in their backyards,” said THC Commissioner Tom Alexander. “With the renewed interest in identifying and designating the Bankhead and other historic highways of Texas, the project will give travelers an opportunity to experience first-hand the real places that tell the real stories of Texas, and help to expand tourism statewide.”

In partnership

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Friday, September 14th, 2012 at 7:49pm. 2,549 Views

Austin Chamber Business AwardsOn August 30, the Austin Chamber of Commerce recognized 23 winners from 100 finalists at the 12th annual Greater Austin Business Awards at the Hilton Austin.

Winners of the 2012 Greater Austin Business Awards:

In the category of Innovative Practices, the Austin Chamber recognized any organization in any industry that employed new ideas or new approaches to doing business.

Large Division Winner: WhaleShark, Downtown Austin

Medium Division Winner: Image Microsystems, North Austin

Small Division Winner: TROPHYOLOGY, West Austin

In the category of Customer Service, the Austin Chamber recognized any organization in any industry dedicated to outstanding customer service and satisfaction in all aspects of sales and services.

Large Division Winner:

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Strong Momentum in Austin, TX Real Estate Market Continues in Second Quarter

Friday, September 14th, 2012 at 4:59pm. 5,737 Views

Austin lakefront homesIn another example of how Texas is leading the nation’s economic recovery, the real estate market continues to show marked improvements over last year, according to the 2012-Q2 edition of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report issued by the Texas Association of REALTORS®. Featuring 13% more single-family home sales than the same quarter of the prior year and a median price that was seven percent higher than 2011-Q2, the results demonstrate that Texas’ economic recovery is robust and widespread throughout the state.

“The momentum we saw in the first quarter of this year is continuing and we’re seeing that now not only in increased sales volume, but also in a strong increase in the median price,” says Joe Stewart, chairman of the Texas Association of

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