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.


By JJ Velasquez
The Central Austin editor since 2016, JJ covers city government and other topics of community interest—when he's not editing the work of his prolific writers. He began his tenure at Community Impact Newspaper as the reporter for its San Marcos | Buda | Kyle edition covering local government and public education. The Laredo, Texas native is also a web developer whose mission is to make the internet a friendly place for finding objective and engaging news content.


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