A new report shows that downtown Austin isn’t just for workers, tourists, revelers and diners anymore.
The population of downtown Austin has grown from 4,222 in 1990 and 7,635 in 2010 to 13,648 in 2020, according to the report released by the Downtown Austin Alliance. This translates to a population peak of 223% between 1990 and 2020 and a jump of 79% from 2010 to 2020.
Today, the population of downtown Austin roughly equals the population of Manor, a suburb of Travis County.
To accommodate the growing population of downtown Austin, real estate developers have inflated the housing supply there.
In 1990, only 948 dwellings were located downtown, according to the report. This number increased to 5,670 in 2010 and 9,447 in 2020. In other words, the supply of housing in the city center has increased by 897% between 1990 and 2020 and by a much more modest 67% from 2010 to 2020.
“As one of Austin’s hottest residential markets, Downtown continues to evolve as it serves Austin’s diverse population,” the report said.
The downtown residential market is poised to continue to evolve as more office buildings rise in downtown Austin. According to the report, 11 office projects are under construction downtown, and 11 more have been proposed or are in the planning stage. About 106,500 people currently work downtown.
Overall, the report illustrates the downtown’s contribution to Austin’s emergence as an “18-hour city.” Austin-based commercial real estate investment platform Crowdstreet explains that 6 p.m. cities “are defined as second-tier cities with above-average urban population growth that offer cost-of-living and cost to do inferior business compared to first-tier cities or ’24-hour cities’.
“Austin has shown over the past year that downtown is truly built for living, working and playing,” the report said. “With small businesses opening their doors to visitors in the morning, workers bustling the streets in the afternoon, and live music wafting through the streets at night, downtown Austin is a bustling space that crosses it at all hours of the day. ”