Austin Community College is in the midst of two Central Austin construction projects, one to renovate its Rio Grande campus and another to add to its development at the Highland campus in north Central Austin.
According to Paul Mason, renovations project manager for the Rio Grande campus, COVID-19-related challenges have led to delays for construction materials arriving on-site. The Rio Grande campus is now scheduled to open in spring or summer of 2021, according to ACC.
The next phase of the Highland campus will include two new academic buildings. One space will house programs such as culinary arts and the new manufacturing incubator. The other will be home to KLRU-TV’s studios—including tapings for shows such as "Austin City Limits"—as well as the college’s radio, television, and film program and administrative offices.
Those buildings are scheduled to open in spring 2021. Pamela Collier, project manager for Phase 2 of the ACC Highland development, said the canopy overlooking the campus entrance was recently installed featuring ACC’s Riverbat mascot.
Central Austin home sales drop due to effects of COVID-19
According to a report released by the Austin Board of Realtors on July 14, residential home sales in Central Austin fell more than 15% in the first six months of 2020 versus the same time period last year as sellers’ concerns about the COVID-19 virus constricted housing inventory.
The trend was similar in the wider area. In the city of Austin, residential sales decreased 13.6%, and in the five-county metro area, sales dropped 14.6% year over year.
The effect of the pandemic led to fewer sellers putting their homes on the market in the spring, according to ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla, but a bounce back in June sales indicates a positive trend.
“Increased pending sales signal a strong month of sales in July, but we have to be cautious as Texas experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases and we are shrinking housing inventory,” Manzanilla said in the release.
Fewer homes on the market has driven the price of homes higher. According to ABoR, the average price of a Central Austin home sold in 2020 through June is $651,188—up 7.9% from 2019.
Central Austin real estate and development news: ACC buildings ready to open in 2021; COVID-19 causes home sale drop
The canopy overlooking the entrance to Austin Community College’s under-construction campus features a Riverbat logo. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)