Financial forecaster predicts big-time boom for Austin
Central Texas is on track to see near record growth like it did before the recession.
Economist Angelos Angelou gave his financial forecast for Austin Thursday. He anticipates nearly 90,000 more people will call greater Austin home by 2014.
It’s something that can already be seen in downtown Kyle. City data lists the town, just south of Austin, as one of the fastest growing cities in the country,
Economic Development Director Diana Blank says improving and expanding sidewalks, roads and utility services seven years ago paved the way to handle a population explosion.
"We really have invested quite a bit over the past number of years, in TxDOT projects and improving the infrastructure that was already here," she said.
The task now is keeping families from leaving their hometown and hitting Interstate-35 to go to work in Austin, San Marcos or San Antonio.
"Our goal is to become a full-service community, so we can offer those bread winner jobs, so our families can live and work and support their families in the city of Kyle," Blank said.
Economist Angelos Angelou says economic growth in the suburbs is key to Austin's future. Our region gained 39,000 neighbors last year, and Angelou expects another 86-thousand by 2014.
"The new jobs that will be created--45,000 of them--will definitely be a way of moving our economy forward and hopefully reaching those areas of growth we had pre-recession," Angelou said.
Angelou warns that focusing on downtown development will create bigger traffic headaches. He recommends creating economic centers in every suburb.
Angelou urges cities like Kyle to focus on bringing the incomes families need without joining the rush hour crawl.
"When people begin to spend more time in their cars and less time spent with their families, they question the viability of the city to support their quality of life," he said.
Angelou said venture capital investments increased 75 percent in Austin last year. He says that indicates several small business start-ups find our area a great place to grow and pick up talent.