The city experiences an economic development and has attracted numerous investments in the past years. Its population has increased by 23% between 2010 and 2017, a pace that overcomes the average U.S. growth rate by 18%. Moreover, construction plans show that its central residential area will expand by 50% in the future.
"So many new people were moving in. It’s been wild. After a month or two, I was old news," Brin Chartier, who moved from Boston to Austin to start working for a tech startup 3 years ago, stated.
The growth of Austin is greatly depending on technological industry. Recently, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google and Amazon have established facilities in the city and they are eager to invest more in order to expand them. Apple, recently, stated that it will invest a $1 billion fund to construct an office park that will host 15,000 new employees. In 2017, Amazon invested $13.7 billion to buy Whole Foods Market Inc., an Austin-based supermarket chain and to rent part of a new tower that is currently under construction.
Jeff Haynie, an entrepreneur who was involved in start-up companies in Atlanta and Silicon Valley, decided to move his family and his new starting tech firm, Pinpoint Software Inc., from California to Austin. Bessemer Venture Partners, Slack Technologies Inc. and Bloomberg Beta are some of the company's investors. According to Mr. Haynie, Austin provides "more affordable housing, a higher quality of life, relaxed business licensing rules and the absence of personal state income taxes."
However, the quick growth has caused some drawbacks. Traffic has highly increased in the center of the city which has started to look like a worse replica of Silicon Valley. House prices have increased by 40% over the past 5 years and population growth has made public transportation unpleasant. "Artists can’t afford to live here anymore. The cool people are going off to live somewhere else," Josh Baer, founder of a startup accelerator located in the center of Austin, stated.