Among all the cities in Texas, Austin has always been a land of opportunity. With a vibrant culture, surge in job opportunities, and timeless eateries like Kerbey Lane and Franklin’s BBQ right in your backyard, it seems as though Austin checks all the boxes. And for real estate developers, it might have just checked another. As of 2017, Austin has become the land of opportunity(zones). If you play your cards right, opportunity zones can be an incredible way to get a federal tax break and unlock potential for widespread regentrification.
In March 2018, Senator Gregg Abbott picked 628 census tracts as opportunity zones; most of which reside in the southeast part of Austin:
Google Maps Image
With all these OZs to choose from, we put together a roundup of our top 3 Opportunity Zone picks for 2019 in the great Capital City:
1. Parmer and Pflugerville area
This is a bit of an OG around Austin, but we recognize this as a great opportunity for a few reasons. For one, major job opportunities are already materializing in this area, as Apple’s new 132-acre HQ gets ready to plop right on Parmer, and Samsung is already hanging out on its namesake Samsung Blvd. Second, Pflugerville ranked #3 fastest growing US city in 2018. Last but certainly not least, Pflugerville plans on building its own Domain (but wait, there’s more). There are plans for building a 120-acre urban-style, mixed-use development - featuring “futuristic tech like 3D crosswalks and virtual reality experiences” (think the Domain meets Back to the Future). Count us in.
Concept Image from Statesman
I want you to first imagine Zilker Park and the epic times you’ve had there attempting yoga on a paddle board and experiencing your first original Kerbey Lane experience. I now want you to imagine a Zilker Park that is 15 times the size of Zilker Park. These are some of the plans for the future in Manor. With people describing the plans for this Zilker-inspired park as “totally wild” and “bonkers,” the plans for this $800M facelift to the Walter E. Long Park is supposed to be out-of-this-world awesome.
Here’s a concept rendering for the park:
Image: City of Austin / Halff
This plan would include a boardwalk, marina, cultural arts center, beach, mixed-use development for retail, and a planetarium, event concert space, kayak rental, and more.
Even if 10% of this park’s facelift materialized, the impact this sort of attraction would have to growth and area appeal leads us to believe this area is on the up & up.
3. Windsor Park
With fixed-up houses in this area already selling up in the mid $500s-600s, we identify this as a great opportunity to get in while you still have the chance. This neighborhood is getting regentrified by the second, and retail/mixed use is picking up on it. This includes HEB who decided to build there, along with other big-box retailers and restaurant chains. This area also features its own Bartholomew District Park, which is a favorite among residents in the summer due to their Volente-style pools, slides and splash-pads.
Just in case you thought we were joking, here’s some of the newly-flipped houses getting snatched up at ~ $250/sqft:
What are your picks for Austin’s Opportunity Zones? Have you made the move on one of these areas yet?