10 stories to follow in Central Austin in 2018

The city of Austinu2019s population exceeded 950,000 residents in 2017.

The city of Austinu2019s population exceeded 950,000 residents in 2017.

2018 is shaping up to be a jam-packed year in Austin. Here are the top 10 stories we are following in Central Austin this year.

1. Austin leaders hopeful to finally adopt CodeNEXT in 2018 after 5 years of development

After almost five years of contentious CodeNEXT debates, two draft proposals and more than $8 million spent, the city heads into 2018 hoping it can do something it has not been able to do since the 1980s: adopt a new code.

2. Austin mulling 2018 bond to address drainage system, parks, affordable housing

Austinites in November could vote on whether the city government can borrow hundreds of millions of dollars—a debt which taxpayers would pay off—to fund high-priority projects throughout the city.

3. Austin on verge of hiring Spencer Cronk as city manager; police chief vacancy remains

In December, City Council voted unanimously to name Spencer Cronk, a city coordinator in Minneapolis, as its choice for city manager.

4. Major League Soccer stadium proposals come to the fore as Columbus Crew SC explores Austin move

The Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew SC is weighing a move from Ohio to Austin with ownership group Precourt Sports Ventures hinging the potential relocation of the team on securing a stadium site—preferably in the city’s urban core.

5. The Independent set to become Austin's tallest building in 2018

Expected to become Austin’s tallest building, The Independent will be 58 stories high when it is completed. Ground was broken on the building in 2016.

6. Central Austin schools set for facility upgrades; Austin ISD plans summer move to new headquarters

In November voters approved Austin ISD’s largest bond in district history. Totaling $1.05 billion, the bond includes several construction projects, but the overarching goal is to modernize learning spaces for AISD students.

7. Here are the 2016 mobility bond projects that around the corner this year

The city started construction last summer on the first projects funded through the 2016 mobility bond. These projects were mostly sidewalks and related to Safe Routes to School.

8. Will Amazon pick Austin for its HQ2 in 2018?

Austin, like 238 other North American cities, submitted a proposal to host  Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters, or HQ2.

9. New Austin Police Department contract set to be taken up in March after previous agreement expires

On Dec. 13, Austin City Council rejected a proposed five-year contract with the Austin Police Department, citing concerns about affordability and accountability.

10. Capital Metro to make major bus route changes throughout Austin area starting June 3

Transportation is the No. 2 expense for more Austin households, according to AAA, and city leaders face the challenge of offering meaningful alternatives to driving automobiles.



Romeo's Pizza held its Georgetown groundbreaking April 6. (Courtesy Romeo's Pizza)
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Photo of a Moderna vaccine vial
Austin Public Health coronavirus vaccine portal opens to all adults April 12

APH will continue outreach efforts to high-priority groups.

Austin Public Health holds a vaccination clinic at the Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from Central Texas.

Tavel Bristol-Joseph has started a scholarship fund that will provide $6,000 to two Austin Community College Culinary Arts students and give them opportunity to be mentored by Bristol-Joseph and to stage at one of the Emmer & Rye group's five restaurants. (Courtesy Emmer & Rye)
Austin chef starts scholarship and mentorship program for Austin Community College students

Tavel Bristol-Joseph started the scholarship fund, which will provide $6,000 to two ACC students and give them the opportunity to stage at one of the Emmer & Rye group's five restaurants.

Snow and ice cover the pond on the southeastern side of the Mueller development in East Austin in February. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
After winter storm, Austin puts together a plan for better temporary shelters

The locations, which could be schools, libraries or recreation centers, would be disconnected from traditional infrastructure and be able to sustain operations if the city were to experience widespread power or water outages.

Austin ISD is holding community conversation sessions April 12-May 6. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD community conversation sessions continuing through May 6

The series offers AISD families an opportunity to learn about the district’s strategic plan and ongoing budget planning.

Photo of a spread of fancy food
Lutie's Garden Restaurant now open at Commodore Perry Estate

The restuarant features "Texas heritage fare" by an award-winning husband-and-wife pair of chefs.

A resident at EdenHill Communities receives their second dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Amid the struggle to get vaccinated, these Austin moms have helped over 3,900 people get appointments

The women volunteer their time searching for hard-to-find time slots that often become available in the middle of the night.

Photo of Austin Central Library
Austin Public Library to begin resuming in-person services May 10

Austin Public Library will begin reopening branches to the public in May after operating with only digital and curbside pickup services since June 2020.

The upper decks of I-35 that run between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Airport Boulevard were constructed in the 1970s and could come down as part of a project the Texas Department of Transportation is planning for the highway through Central Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
As time runs short to weigh in on a $4.9B I-35 project, Austin community members say they hope TxDOT is listening

The official comment period for community members to share their thoughts on the highway closes April 9.