Downtown Resiliency Plan Takes Aim at Central Austin Storefronts, Public Spaces, Homelessness Strategy

Following a year that saw sharp drops in consumer and resident activity throughout downtown Austin, the city’s central economic and cultural district is poised for recovery on several fronts heading into the latter half of 2021 and beyond, according to new analyses from the Downtown Austin Alliance. “The much-anticipated light at the end of the tunnel is burning brightly for Austin and downtown because of the adaptability we have witnessed from business owners, the hospitality industry and signs pointing to a record-setting 2021 for the development of Class A office space in downtown,” DAA President and CEO Dewitt Peart said during an April 21 videoconference. The DAA’s outlook for sustained growth projected in its 2021 annual report comes after a year that saw business and entertainment venue patronage, tourism, and in-person office work and occupancy plummet throughout the approximately 1,100-acre Austin downtown, according to DAA Director of Research and Analysis Jenell Moffett. “Not only is it the central business district, it’s where you hear live music; it’s where you attend your favorite concert or show; it’s where you eat at your favorite restaurant … and the list goes on and on,” she said. “Downtown is truly a place for everyone, and COVID-19 tried to change that.” One of the most visible examples of the pandemic’s effect on the downtown economy is the dozens of spaces that permanently closed their doors through 2020 and early 2021. Moffett said declining activity from residents, commuters and tourists alike contributed to the closures of 10 music and event venues and 88 storefronts tracked by the alliance downtown since last March. Click to read more at