The Downtown Alliance celebrates 30 years of the
Downtown Public Improvement District; unveils five-year strategic plan
AUSTIN, Texas, May 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Downtown Austin Alliance revealed findings from the 2023 State of Downtown report at today’s Future of Downtown: Downtown on Demand event held at Fareground Austin. The report, which has been produced and shared by the Downtown Alliance annually since 2019, presents data on a range of economic indicators that impact downtown Austin and aid in recovery and advocacy efforts moving forward.
“The Downtown Austin Alliance has been honored to manage the downtown public improvement district for the past 30 years, stewarding and preserving the collective vision for a downtown you will always love,” Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, said. “The DPID enhances every aspect of the dynamic downtown experience and has allowed residents and businesses within the district to flourish, even despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic over the last few years. The next decade is pivotal in continuing to provide direct services to create an inclusive and welcoming downtown for all.”
While downtown makes up only 0.5% of Austin’s land area, it accounts for:
- 1,100 acres (the Downtown PID is approximately 600 acres)
- 1,200 assessed properties
- $13.9 million in assessed taxable value
- 14,300 residents
- 117,000+ employees
- 10,050+ residential units
Findings of note from the State of Downtown report include:
- 2022 saw strong event attendance, return of the nightlife economy and a rebound of the tourism industry that comprises 25% of our downtown economy
- Visitors have historically represented the largest audience of pedestrian activity downtown, and in 2022 had returned at 95% of pre-pandemic levels
- The Accommodation & Food Service industry has increased employment more than 80% since 2020
- Total downtown employment has grown more than 11% since its pre-pandemic high
- Austin leads the nation in the percentage of people back in the office at least three days a week
- 8 office projects are currently under construction, and 10 more have been proposed or are in planning
- 17 real estate projects totaling 5.54 million square feet were delivered in 2022
- Downtown will add 3,000 hotel rooms in the coming years, or 25% of current inventory
- Downtown residential projects under construction will add over 11,200 units
The 2023 State of Downtown report also includes a brand new five-year strategic plan, which will guide the Downtown Alliance’s work toward a collective vision for downtown. More than 75 Downtown Alliance board members, partners and staff contributed to the robust plan that outlines the strategic priorities of the Downtown Alliance over the next five years. With the assistance of BDS Planning and Urban Design, the Downtown Austin Alliance Board of Directors approved the plan in March 2023. The updated plan focuses on five pillars of priority including public space experience, active urbanism, built environment, mobility and leadership and influence.
In 1993, Austin City Council created the Downtown Public Improvement District to provide constant and permanent funding to implement downtown initiatives and the Downtown Austin Alliance was formed to manage the PID. The PID is renewed by downtown property owners every 10 years through a petitioning process. Over the past year, the Downtown Alliance successfully managed this process and the City Council reauthorized the PID for 2023-2032, with the new term starting in May 2023.
Additionally, the PID boundaries have been modified to better align with the direct services and advocacy provided by the Downtown Austin Alliance. The PID’s northern boundary has changed from Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., to 15th St., making the western boundary more evenly aligned. The southern edge of the PID has been extended to include the future expansion of the Waterloo Greenway system and add properties within the South Central Waterfront area. The new State of Downtown report highlights the impacts and achievements of the public improvement district over the last year.
About Downtown Austin Alliance
The Downtown Austin Alliance (Downtown Alliance) works with key downtown stakeholders—property owners, residents, business owners, community organizations and government officials—to advance our collective vision for the future of downtown Austin. The Downtown Alliance is engaged in dozens of projects and issues that contribute to the safety, cleanliness and appeal of downtown Austin to residents, employees and visitors. As a full-time advocate for downtown, the Downtown Alliance is actively engaged in planning decisions that impact the area. We also advance downtown’s vision through direct services supporting safety and cleanliness. For more information, please visit downtownaustin.com.
SOURCE Downtown Austin Alliance