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"..."No one could figure out a way to address such a complex issue, so the result was an oversimplified proposal that didn't address anything," says Julie Fitch of the Downtown Austin Alliance, a nonprofit partnership of local business owners. "It was a one-size-fits-all approach that didn't take into account the surrounding area and how it might change over time..."
"...However, although the residential potential of the city-owned lakefront was important enough to the R/UDAT team to justify an actual rendering, it figured only minimally in the text of the report, and even less so in "A Call to Action," the translation of the R/UDAT augurs by the local boosters on its implementation committee, which begat today's Downtown Austin Alliance. Instead, page after page of these 1991 documents focuses on opportunities for downtown retail -- reflective of the big chicken-and-egg question of the time, as well as of the interests of the nascent Alliance..."
"...But in an increasingly big city and a sinking economy, panhandling has become a persistent and vexing question, and it's about to make its not infrequent return to City Hall. As we report elsewhere in this issue (see "The Latest Proposal"), the Downtown Austin Alliance is recruiting support for strengthening of the anti-solicitation ordinance (proposed in coordination with a Responsible Giving campaign)..."
"...A push for the plan was visible late last week, at the annual meeting of the Downtown Austin Alliance. While the DAA's red-eye breakfast was devoted to the topic of urbanism generally, the city's adoption of the Downtown Austin Plan was on everyone's tongue..."
"...An honest-to-God big-city mayor. Why can't we see that here?Where Was Will? In case it needs repeating, I like Will Wynn personally and have since getting to know him back in his days at the Downtown Austin Alliance..."
"...The lunch program at Wednesday’s fundraiser is "The Mayor’s Roundtable," to be emceed by Charles Betts, executive director of the Downtown Austin Alliance. Former Austin Mayors attending include Ron Mullen (1983-1985), who spanned the High Tech Boom and co-founded the Greater Austin/San Antonio Corridor Council; Lee Cooke (1988-1991), a shepherd of the construction of the Austin Convention Center and Austin Technology Incubator; and Senator Kirk Watson (1997-2001), whose terms ushered in the Austin Bergstrom Airport, funding for the Palmer Events Center, and awards for Austin as “Best City for Business” from Fortune and Forbes magazines...."
"...For someone hoping to build a multimillion dollar project, Kahn does a fairly convincing job of portraying himself as an everyman oppressed by forces far more powerful. In his presentation to the Planning Commission, he flashed a slide of the monocled, top-hatted "Rich Uncle Pennybags" of Monopoly fame when discussing his opponents, calling out Downtown real estate heavy-hitters Thomas Properties and Tom Stacy as the sources of the vocal opposition from the Downtown Austin Alliance...."
"...And so far -- at least from downtown -- the response has been positive. (The council isn't expected to receive the recommendations until June.) "It strikes a really good balance between the need to be able to get in and out of downtown, and making it a better place when you're here," said Lucy Buck, associate director of the Downtown Austin Alliance..."
"...Shame on us if we don't."Shuffling the Pieces The notion of a public purpose for Block 21 helped motivate the city to offer to buy the rights to the block back from CSC in 2001. Then Council Member Wynn (who, as former chair of the Downtown Austin Alliance, had special credibility on the subject) almost immediately made a pitch for Block 21 to once again be the library site..."
"...The much-maligned "downtown developers" weighed in all on their own, in a spirited press release by Tom Stacy, chairman of the Downtown Austin Alliance. Calling Levy's claims against Downtown "misdirected," Stacy points out that Downtown generates roughly $4 billion in tax base, thereby generating "about 80 percent of its taxes to the benefit of the entire city (outside the Central Business District), with recipients including the Austin Independent School District, Travis County, the Travis County Healthcare District, Austin Community College and, of course, the City of Austin."..."
"...The same issue was raised March 25, when McCann Adams presented the proposed regulations at a Downtown Austin Alliance "Issues and Eggs" breakfast. "On non-core retail streets, you ought to allow more flexibility, rather than specify allowed uses at ground level," suggested real estate analyst Charles Heimsath..."
"...So have its Downtown waterways, Waller Creek and Shoal Creek, and the unrealized potential of their greenbelt trails. Working valiantly to fill the love-and-money gap have been the Downtown Austin Alliance and the Austin Parks Foundation, which expect to partner with the city on implementing the Open Spaces Plan..."
"...While the alphabet soup of Downtown boosters the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Alliance, etc. has stirred up support of the measures, opposition has registered from some unexpected quarters..."
"...This is an issue that will always have two sides. What has changed is that, during the boom of the 1990s, the momentum was with the Smart Growth side -- most vocally the Downtown Austin Alliance -- that wanted to change things, presumably for the better..."
"...the riffraff -- out of the path of their businesses, with little thought to where they might land. Council sources confirm that downtown interests, including presumably the Downtown Austin Alliance, were putting not-so-subtle pressure on the council to find an out-of-downtown site, but DAA executive director Charles Betts said that's not a fair characterization..."
"...courthouse. That hardly resolves local concerns about the location, design, and construction of the $60-million-plus project, but key players -- at City Hall, the GSA, and the Downtown Austin Alliance -- are hopeful the worst will be avoided...."
"...That's pretty much twice the existing level of federal, state, and local funding specifically dedicated to homelessness in Austin (which, as Hensley suggests, is less than is actually spent), and that kind of cash is not readily available from taxpayers alone. "It would be terribly unfair to say it's the city of Austin's sole responsibility," says Bill Brice of the Downtown Austin Alliance, which invests its private-sector members' funds in homelessness strategies, notably "hard assets" inside and outside of Downtown, such as the Community First! Village and Housing First Oak Springs..."
"...Participants included about 50 city of Austin and Travis County elected officials, social service agency providers, criminal justice officials, and community leaders. The broad attendance on the full-day tour, co-organized by the Downtown Austin Alliance and County Court 5 Judge Nancy Hohengarten, testified to the diverse, systemic stresses that homelessness creates on local nonprofits, churches, hospitals, mental health agencies, the courts and jails, the urban core, and the larger community...."
"...The third question, unspoken and unanswered in the R/UDAT Revisited proceedings, is "Why is downtown booming anyway?" The most dramatic transformation within the city center has clearly been in the Warehouse District, which has little to do with either the Convention Center or the 1991 R/UDAT's other "success story," the creation of the Downtown public-improvement district managed by the Downtown Austin Alliance. The automatic members of the latter, by statute, are major property owners with holdings worth $500,000 or more; as a result, the DAA board and leadership is full of commercial/office property interests...."
"...For all its quirks, The Real World is something of a cultural barometer, a concept that may send cold shivers through anyone who hasn't bonged a beer in the last 24 hours. Molly Alexander, associate director of the Downtown Austin Alliance, says she has been getting calls from all over the country about renting the party house (sorry, it's already leased)..."
"...The Downtown Austin Alliance, the big daddy of the Central Business District, is not taking an official position on the parking dustup. However, DAA Executive Director Charlie Betts noted, "Many of our members are private property owners and they don't ever feel good about condemnations, so of course there's some sympathy for the landowner." Betts also noted that the DAA "believes the city should follow its own design guidelines," which call for pedestrian-friendly buildings..."
"...Downtown Austin Alliance's Bill Brice said he considers Downtown safe, but added that "it's hard to keep that area safe ... when people wait in line" to get into the ARCH..."
"...It's an idea that Black has championed before, most recently in the mid-Nineties, through the Downtown Austin Alliance. Black's latest project was triggered by his participation in the Design Waller Creek competition as part of the finalist Turenscape + Lake|Flato Architects team..."
"...Initial reaction to the mayor's announcement from rail proponents was muted, even supportive. Jeb Boyt of the Alliance for Public Transportation said via email, "A no tax increase election that includes funding for urban rail planning is the best position for the City of Austin to take." Pamela Power, board chair of the Downtown Austin Alliance, issued a statement saying in part, "While we are disappointed urban rail will not be part of the November 2012 bond election ....."
"...(See www.ci.austin.tx.us/downtown.) "City departments and developers need to know what the rules are," Knox points out. Charlie Betts at the Downtown Austin Alliance says the same is true for the property owners that DAA represents...."
"...This is a collaborative beautification effort between Parks and Rec, Austin Parks Foundation, and Downtown Austin Alliance...."
"...As the neighborhood has become more and more upscale, we've seen many long-time businesses fall away. With the end of our lease looming, the Downtown Austin Alliance stepped in quickly and brought us together with the owners of the Ritz Theater on 6th Street..."
"...This story has been updated to accurately reflect the name of the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, not Downtown Austin Neighborhood Alliance...."
"...As you may have heard, the centerpiece of Mayor Will Wynn's speech to his supporters at the Downtown Austin Alliance today was a call for a November 2008 rail referendum – specifically, a "linear circulator alignment" to run from Downtown, the Capitol, UT, Mueller, and the Triangle. But what did he say that we can make fun of? Well, how about this: The "fabulous" descriptor was trotted out at least a dozen times, with "dazzling" closing in towards the end..."
"...On Wednesday, APD issued a press release announcing the federal indictment of six people – four in Austin, and two in Houston – for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids/money laundering, the result of two separate investigations into subjects responsible for manufacutring thousands of bags worth of K2, or "spice.") ARCH passersby should also expect to see new lighting around the building; temporary spotlight trailers are going up on the west and south sides. And the Downtown Austin Alliance is coordinating temporary restrooms (porta-potties) for those milling about outside...."
"..."I have some resentment that [we had] to use citizen dollars to do what I think is the right thing in the first place," said Slusher (who sponsored the city's anti-war resolution). "If we hadn't done that, they would be over the aquifer right now." Adds Wynn, who supported the CSC deal as president of the Downtown Austin Alliance: "I'm not going to be in the business of second-guessing local employers who have defense contracts..."
"...(According to Planning Commissioner Dave Anderson, little Pflugerville had 300 people show up for its comprehensive plan meetings.) A number of close observers are critical and concerned, including Jeb Boyt and Glenn Gadbois of the Austin Urban Coalition. That group is advancing a New Urbanist, or "town centers," model for sustainable growth; its participants include the Alliance for Public Transportation, Congress for the New Urbanism – Central Texas, the Downtown Austin Alliance, League of Bicycling Voters, and others..."
"...The crowd was thick with advocates for a wide range of causes, including affordable housing, health care, and neighborhood and environmental issues. Supporters also included Downtown developer Perry Lorenz, Downtown Austin Alliance executive director Charlie Betts, and County Court-at-Law Judge Nancy Hohengarten...."
"...One issue was the genesis of the proposal – transparently a simplified version of the "Affordability Agenda" currently being promoted by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Troxclair's Council message-board postings cited the support of the GACC and other groups (RECA, Downtown Austin Alliance, contractors and builders associations) that also includes surprising bedfellows the NAACP, Goodwill, and One Voice Central Texas (the broad coalition of social service organizations)..."
"...Since 2013, Armstrong has been doing Austin a great service with her collaborative Austin's Atlas project, which has become in part an online preservation tool, if a subjective and accidental one. "It started with an idea for an idiosyncratic map" – an illustrated pedestrian guide map that focused on "urban oddities," funded with a Downtown Austin Alliance placemaking grant..."
"...After apparently significant backstage pushback, the official panel suddenly included a wider range of viewpoints: rail opponents Jim Skaggs and Bill Oakey; Project Connect opponents Scott Morris (subbed Tuesday by Andrew Clements) and Lyndon Henry; and Project supporters Martha Smiley of the Chamber of Commerce, CM Bill Spelman, and Thomas Butler of the Downtown Austin Alliance and Let's Go Austin. The result was a lively discussion, and though it was hard to tell if any minds were changed, by the end it was least possible to imagine progress on Smiley's injunction: "Whether you vote it up or down, you will at least understand what you're voting on." Best and Worst..."
"...Leffingwell, going away at 62%, was never threatened, testimony to both the success of his early campaign and the corollary that the same momentum drove his toughest potential competitors elsewhere, especially to Place 3. The big boys down at the Real Estate Council, who first showed Downtown Austin Alliance ingenue Jeff Trigger the door and then herded Gregg Knaupe over to Place 3, must now be kicking themselves twice over lost opportunities..."
"...But both the Save Our Springs Alliance and developer Beau Armstrong, who says he came "very, very close" to sealing a deal with the company in Southwest Austin, agree that the company's decision to move downtown was in part due to concerns about expanding in environmentally sensitive terrain...."
"...We didn't. (The irony of the Save Our Springs Alliance's holding its 10th-anniversary bash at the Hard Rock is probably lost on recent Austinites.)..."
"...The birds are out, the weather isn't yet scorching, and the city is coming alive after some damp and dreary winter days, which can only mean that we're overdue for some outdoor festivities. Art Alliance Austin's annual Art City Austin will be taking place this Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, turning the Downtown blocks of Cesar Chavez between Guadalupe and Lamar into a huge open-air gallery for more than 100 artists from around the country..."
"...Art City Austin 2009 is on its way this weekend, and the annual outdoor visual-arts fair is seriously spreading the love this year: to architects, to performance artists, to bicyclists, and to, well, everyone in town. See, not only has sponsoring organization Art Alliance Austin expanded its Art City partners to include Pecha Kucha Austin, the Fusebox Festival, and Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop, it's also commissioned performance-art visionary Jaclyn Pryor (floodlines) to create a new iteration of her love-note courier service, pink, so anyone who visits Art City this Saturday and Sunday will be able to send a love note to anyone else in the city via a messenger on a pink bike...."
"...You may recall the wildly popular "Play Me, I'm Yours" project in April 2011, in which 15 pianos were installed in public locations around the central city, and anyone was free to play them. Well, Art Alliance Austin, which sponsored the project for its annual Art City Austin festival, was so pleased with the response that it's bringing more merriment to our mundane municipal environs, and this time, it's doubling the fun...."
"...The restaurant was one of several local joints featured in Russell Yarnell’s 2003 documentary film, Masters of Texas BBQ, and Luke was one of the founders of the Central Texas BBQ Association the next year. On behalf of the CTBBQA, Luke approached Southern Foodways Alliance director John T..."
"...History is written by the victors, which means Mark Tschurr is getting a little ahead of himself. The recently departed chair of the Save Our Springs Alliance and aspiring political tyro wrote the Chronicle recently to strongly take issue with our assertion (two weeks ago in this space) that SOS had supported Smart Growth..."
"...Though some arts activists felt that this fact was simply the shallow end of a very deep problem, Mitchell's bid to boost funding was approved. The Black Arts Alliance (BAA), an organization set up 14 years ago to present touring acts and sponsor African-American artists for city cultural contracts, was awarded an additional $30,000 from the city's Bed Tax coffers, raising their contract from $20,000 to $50,000...."
"...As names go, Austin Fine Arts Alliance was serviceable enough for 50 years. But with the Downtown skyline changing and the Blanton and Long Center signaling a major shift in Austin's cultural identity, the organization behind the institution once known as Fiesta and lately as the Austin Fine Arts Festival thought it a good time to, as the kids today put it, rebrand..."
"...Hosting the 2011 Art Week Austin, Art Alliance Austin is taking advantage of the exceptional convergence of special arts events this month, including the annual Fusebox Festival and Umlauf Garden Party, the Texas Biennial, and the Austin Museum of Art's triennial "New Art in Austin" exhibition. The events span April 27-May 1, with a special arts summit co-sponsored by Art Alliance Austin, AMOA, Fusebox, and Texas Biennial on April 30..."
"...The space remained a vital producing venue until June 2006, when a city water-main break flooded the State, causing several hundred thousand dollars in damage and forcing the theatre to suspend production indefinitely. Repairs have been delayed because of construction on the Reynolds-Penland Building, which was sold by the Austin Theatre Alliance (a union of the State and the Paramount) and is being developed at 721 Congress..."
"...A phalanx preceding Johnson took a similar tack, regarding their vision of environmental preservation. Several speakers from the SOS Alliance urged council to pass at least a "symbolic" resolution requesting that Advanced Micro Devices abandon its planned Lantana campus above the Edwards Aquifer..."
"...We have been treated, if that is the word, to copies of an e-mail spat (not the first) between Council Member Daryl Slusher and Save Our Springs Alliance Executive Director Bill Bunch, on the topic of whether, and how, and when, they supported Smart Growth. Since we inadvertently started this madness ("I Once Was Smart, but Now I'm Dumb," Sept..."