Southwest Austin Is Growing!!!

Southwest Austin is the fastest growing metro area according to Community Impact Newsletter. Not only is the population growth increasing but the business growth and employment is also increasing. The fastest growing ZIP codes metro-wide (from San Marcos to Georgetown) are 78748 and 78749.

From 2006 to 2010, Southwest Austin has seen a significant amount of new homes constructed in the area in relation to its size in the market. Although the growth has been mainly residential, “from 1997 to 2007, the area was faster growing in terms of employment and the number of business establishments according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns/ZIP Code Business Patterns survey. Small businesses along the retail developments, such as Southpark Meadows, are mainly responsible for the growth in employment.

Southwest Austin is expected to continue growing but not at the same rate as previously seen because of the shortage of available land for residential development. Because Southwest Austin is an attractive area in which people want to live, we are likely to see more apartment development. Commercial growth is also expected to continue, resulting in more employers, retail business and jobs in Southwest Austin.

I have lived in Southwest Austin for a total of almost 20 years and have seen many changes. It is exciting to be a part of a rapidly growing area of this beautiful city!

YMCA Southwest – Expansion

YMCA in Southwest Austin / Oak Hill has been around for approximately 20 years and has served many people. With the growth in the Oak Hill area, the age of the facility and survey input from members and the community, it was decided that a face-lift was needed. Thus the beginning of a $5.4M renovation began. The facility was 26,000sf and was expanded to 38,000sf.

The expansion was broken down into 2 Phases. Phase 1 has already been completed. It consists of two outdoor pools with six lap lanes and a splash area for kids, larger gymnasium, new equipment, larger indoor running and walking track, a kitchen, a lounge, community meeting rooms and new locker facilities. Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed by year-end. It consists of  improvements to the men’s and women’s locker rooms and expansion of the Child Watch and teen facilities.

Child Watch is FREE to members on a Family Plan or to One-Adult Family Membership Plan for a maximum of 1.5 hours per day. Child Watch takes care of children from age 6 months to 7 years while the parent is at the YMCA facility. Hours for Child Watch: M-Th 8am-7pm, F 8am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm, Sun-CLOSED

YMCA Hours of Operation

M-F 5:30am – 10:00pm   Sat 8:00am-7pm  Sun 1-7pm

Holiday schedule: Christmas Eve 5:30am-3pm, Christmas Day-CLOSED, New Years Eve 5:30am-6pm, New Years Day 8:00am-3pm

Membership does NOT require a contract, however, a 30-day cancellation notice is required. Membership includes access to all local YMCA facilities as well as over 2000 nationwide facilties, free fitness classes, year-round swimming indoors and out, etc.

For further information, please visit

Avana – NEW Southwest Austin subdivision!!

Avana is a 1,000 acre project that is being developed in Southwest Austin and lies in both Travis and Hays County.   Construction began in November on 100 acres of residential development by Standard Pacific homes. Avana is located at the southeast corner of Escarpment Blvd. and Toll 45 SW.

The project has filed for foreclosure in the past year and has changed ownership. Transcontinental Realty Investors Inc., a Dallas-based company, owns the Avana property. Previously, this property was to be a master planned community with around 1,000 homes, an 18-hole golf course and a hotel. Now, the Avana property is being sectioned off and sold to different developers and is being rezoned for residential development only. Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Co. bought 200 acres for a section known as Spillar Ranch within Avana while Standard Pacific purchased 100 acres. Other properties may be ready for sale in the Spring of 2011 depending on the timing of the rezoning. The price range of homes in Avana is projected to be from the mid $200K’s to the low $300K’s.

Circle C accommodates approximately 5,000 acres in Southwest Austin and has over 4,300 homes with the master plan reaching completion. With little room to expand, Circle C homeowners are looking at nearby developments, such as Avana, in which they may want to eventually include in the Circle C homeowners association.

South Austin – Neighborhood Light Displays

Want to know where you can go to look at Christmas lights in South Austin? Since Austin’s Trail of Lights Festival will not be occurring for the 2010 holiday season because of City of Austin budget cuts, people are wondering where they can take their families now to enjoy Christmas lights.

The Zilker tree is still around for everyone to enjoy. The tree consists of over 3000 multicolored bulbs and stands around 155 feet tall and is adorned with a 10 foot double star with 150 frosted bulbs. When driving down Mopac (Loop 1) after dark, you can see this colorful tree display. The Zilker tree is open to the public from 6pm and is free to visit in Zilker Park at 2100 Barton Springs Road.

The entrance to Circle C Ranch at Slaughter Lane and Escarpment is always nicely decorated for Christmas. This is a nice area to drive around with the family and see all of the holiday lights.

Shady Hollow has an annual Christmas lights contest. The homes will be judged from Dec.13-17 and a map of the winners can be picked up from the mailbox at the Shady Hollow Community Center (on Doe Run) after the 17th.

Flaming Oak Cove and Woodcreek Road. This is an annual ‘must see’ I have taken my family to for the past 10+ years. Located near the public library on Convict Hill is the entrance to this cul-de-sac display of lights. My favorite is the home with the trains running around the front yard.

For around 20 years, neighbors on 37th Street at Guadalupe have done some eclectic light displays to help ‘Keep Austin Weird’ during the Holiday Season.

Although we will not have the ‘Trail of Lights’ this year, there are still plenty of places to take the family and enjoy festive lights!

Happy Holiday!!!

Whole Foods Market – South Austin

Whole Foods Market will be opening at a new location in Southwest Austin in the Fall of 2011. It will be located in The Shops at Arbor Trails at the intersection of Mopac (Loop 1) and William Cannon and will be housed at the current Havertys Furniture location. Havertys plans to relocate.

Whole Foods is a locally founded grocer that specializes in natural and organic foods. Founded in 1980, the business has now expanded through various acquisitions and can be found throughout the U.S. and the United Kingdom with over 250 stores now. It is the worlds leading natural and organic supermarket. The world headquarters and global support offices are located in downtown Austin at 550 Bowie Street 78703.

Whole Foods prides themselves on finding the highest quality, least processed, flavorful and natural foods for their stores. They are avid supporters of organic farming.

For healthy cooking tips, recipes, etc., visit their website:

Being a South Austin resident, I am very excited about the opening of the Whole Foods Market in The Shops at Arbor Trails.