Annual Report

Our Mission

To create, preserve and enhance the vibe, vitality and value of downtown Austin for everyone.

Foreword from
Our CEO & Board Chair

Great downtowns don’t just happen. They are built by people and organizations that care deeply about making downtown welcoming, vibrant and vitally important to the culture of the city. And this year, people flocked back to downtown Austin and organizations met this demand with exciting new developments, businesses, venues and events.

Downtown’s post-pandemic recovery has been strong, and our urban core continues to be a solid investment. Austin leads the nation in people returning to work, with more than 62% of workers in the office at least three days a week. Pedestrian traffic has returned to 95% of pre-pandemic levels, and many events saw record attendance last year. Our skyline is dotted with 19 cranes, with 31 more projects planned over the next decade.

Far from returning to “a new normal,” downtown is on the precipice of a major transformation. Project Connect and the I-35 reimagining will soon break ground, better connecting downtown to the rest of the city and changing the way the area looks and feels forever.

Downtown has two important assets—our diversity and our energy—that we must protect through this change to keep it thriving year after year. The diversity of industries downtown—including technology, medical, government and hospitality—buffers us against economic uncertainty. The resulting diversity of people and ideas also makes downtown an appealing place to be. Downtown’s energy is an intangible asset, but it is ultimately what makes people want to live, learn, work, invest and visit here. It is what makes Austin stand out from other major cities. To keep this vibe, downtown must remain welcoming and affordable to everyone.

These assets are so important that the Downtown Austin Alliance incorporated them into our 2023-2028 strategic plan. We have refined our mission: to create, preserve and enhance the vibe, value and vitality of downtown Austin for everyone. Cultivating inclusivity is one of our core values, and our strategic plan has many goals aimed at increasing downtown’s inclusivity, affordability and accessibility.

We are able to do this important work because in 2022, downtown property owners and Austin’s City Council reauthorized the Downtown Public Improvement District (PID) for another 10 years. The Downtown Alliance has managed the PID since its inception 30 years ago, and this next decade will be pivotal for downtown. Reauthorization enables us to continue providing direct services, organizing cultural events and planning for areas such as the Palm District and capped areas of I-35. We will also continue listening to downtown stakeholders and advocating for solutions to address your top issues: homelessness, safety and mobility.

To best position ourselves for the next 10 years, we have also changed the Downtown Alliance’s governance structure to be more inclusive. And we look forward to including you—our downtown community—in our ongoing work to build a downtown you will always love.

Dewitt Peart

President & CEO

Jeff Howard

Board Chair

Key Statistics
Downtown Austin 2022-23

Please see the 2023 State of Downtown Report for in-depth data and analysis of downtown’s demographic and market trends.

Square feet under construction
Square feet of planned space
Public Art Installations
Annual Transit Ridership
Residential units
Hotel rooms
Acres of parkland
Miles of downtown area trails
Historic locations
Square feet under construction
Square feet of planned space
Public Art Installations
Annual Transit Ridership
Residential units
Hotel rooms

About the
Downtown Alliance

The Downtown Austin Alliance is the steward of our community’s collective vision for downtown Austin. We are a nonprofit that is funded by commercial and non-homestead property owners in the Downtown Public Improvement District (PID), and we represent the interests of both our members and everyone who works, lives, invests in and visits downtown. We also partner with a diverse array of government, community, business and cultural organizations, with a keen awareness of intersectionality as we create new initiatives.

As downtown’s full-time advocate and champion, we provide:

  • Direct services: Keeping downtown clean, safe, beautiful and welcoming.
  • Advocacy: Listening to everyone to make informed, inclusive policymaking decisions.
  • Planning: Bringing people and organizations together to shape our neighborhoods.
  • Placemaking: Activating urban spaces with inclusive, appealing programming.
  • Research: Serving as a central repository for downtown data and metrics.

Our Core Values:

Lead with Relentless Vision // Foster Collaboration // Inspire Passion
// Earn Trust // Mindfully Impact // Cultivate Inclusivity

By the

social media
Downtown Austin Alliance
Total Impressions
(print, online, broadcast)
Total Publicity Value
(earned media)
Newsletter Subscribers
Website Visitors

Our Impact: Downtown
Public Improvement District

The PID enhances every aspect of the downtown experience.

In 1993, recognizing the need for downtown Austin’s revitalization, private and public sector leadership gathered support to create a Downtown Public Improvement District (PID). Downtown Austin Alliance (Downtown Alliance) was entrusted to manage the district, providing leadership and a source of funding to support a collective vision for the future of downtown. The PID is renewed by downtown property owners every 10 years through a petitioning process. Over the past year, the Downtown Alliance successfully managed this process, and the City Council reauthorized the PID for 2023-2032. The new term starts in May 2023.

Over the last 30 years, the Downtown Alliance’s management of the PID has enabled achievements such as launching the Downtown Ambassadors program; redeveloping, operating and programming Republic Square; funding and managing programs and opportunities to hire local artists and musicians; creating new downtown parking programs; bringing in additional police support and security cameras and redesigning streetscapes.

We look forward to serving downtown Austin over the next three decades. During this time of transformational projects and continued growth, we see nurturing our city’s unique culture and atmosphere as one of our greatest charges. We also honor its history: We acknowledge the area that we call Central Texas belonged to Indigenous Peoples of the Tonkawa, Comanche and Apache communities. This acknowledgment is an expression of deep appreciation for those who were here before us.

  • Downtown Austin
  • Downtown Austin Public
    Improvement District

2023-2032 Downtown PID Boundaries

The PID boundaries have been modified to better align our direct services and advocacy with areas projected to have the most significant growth over the next decade. The PID’s northern boundary has changed from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to 15th Street, the western boundary is more evenly aligned, and the southern edge has been extended to include the future expansion of the Waterloo Greenway system and add properties within the South Central Waterfront area.

PID Taxable Value
acres in the PID

Strategic Plan

The downtown you will always love.

Downtown Austin is a dynamic place, and every five years the Downtown Austin Alliance board members, partners and staff create a new strategic plan to guide our work toward our vision. This plan cares for our fundamental, enduring needs while responding to the forecasted demands of our growing population.

Our strategic priorities and goals for the next five years show our organization is dedicated to keeping downtown Austin a place for everyone. We’ll honor this commitment by focusing our efforts on public space experiences, activating places with creative arts, mobility and addressing affordability challenges. We will achieve our objectives with increased involvement from the Austin community in building a downtown by and for everyone.

In August 2022, the Downtown Alliance initiated efforts to create a strategic plan to guide the organization’s efforts for 2023-2028. More than 75 Downtown Alliance board members, partners, stakeholders and staff contributed to a robust plan that outlines the strategic priorities of the Downtown Alliance over the next five years. With the assistance of BDS Planning and Urban Design, the Downtown Austin Alliance Board of Directors approved the plan in March 2023.

Public Space Experience

Downtown is clean, safe and welcoming for everyone.

Active Urbanism

Downtown ignites, attracts and cultivates authentic arts, culture, music, nature and sense of place.

Built Environment

Downtown grows with a delightful and eclectic mix of modern investment and beautiful public spaces, while preserving historic character and funky weirdness.


Downtown is easier and more enjoyable to access and move within, has enhanced pedestrian and transportation facilities and improved connections to neighboring communities.

Leadership & Influence

The Downtown Austin Alliance is entrusted with the responsibility to effectively lead, influence and visibly steward a downtown for all.


Downtown is the epicenter of Austin’s accelerating growth.

Cities around the world continue to face economic uncertainty as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Austin is America’s second-fastest growing economy behind the San Francisco Bay Area. And Austin’s millennial population grew more than any other U.S. city last year, pointing to its continuing appeal to young professionals seeking their ideal place to work and play. Downtown is the hub for so many of our city’s economic engines, and the demand to invest, work, live and visit here remains a powerful force.

Downtown’s economy is bolstered by the diversity of industries and activities centered here. Our urban core is home both to titans of the tech industry and small bootstrapped startups. It is the core of our state, county and city governments as well as the businesses that serve them. The nearby universities and emerging medical district bring an additional layer of idea-sharing and innovation to our inspired city. Although companies are still finding their new normal in the world of hybrid work, Austin is leading the nation with people returning to the office. We don’t have concrete data on the factors shaping this trend, but do know downtown employers continue to cite the area’s vibe and cultural offerings as draws for employees.

Downtown Austin is also the cultural hub of Central Texas, and 2022 saw strong event attendance, a return of the nightlife economy and a rebound of the tourism industry that comprises 25% of our downtown economy. With residential towers fully leased or sold before they even break ground, it is clear there is an overwhelming demand to live in the middle of this action.


17 projects totaling 5.54 million square feet were delivered in 2022.
8 office projects are currently under construction, and 10 more have been proposed or are in planning.
Downtown will add 3,000 hotel rooms in the coming years, or 25% of current inventory.
Downtown residential projects under construction will add over 11,200 units.

Downtown’s ever-changing skyline continues to be a visual reminder of Austin’s rapid growth. By 2040, the Austin regional population is expected to grow to 3.6 million, a 57% increase from its current population.

Downtown offers the density to absorb this growth and help our city build up, not just out. It will also be the hub for transformational multi-modal transportation projects such as Project Connect and the reimagining of I-35, which will enable people from all over the city to more easily access downtown. This accessibility will also increase the diversity of people connecting with each other and enjoying downtown’s opportunities, events and amenities.

Of the 19 projects under construction downtown, 35% will also be mixed-use, adding vibrancy and a diverse clientele for neighboring businesses.

  • All
  • Buildings Completed 2022-2023
  • Buildings Under Construction
  • Buildings In Planning

Source: Downtown Austin Alliance Emerging Projects, April 2023

Office Market

Despite vacancy rates increasing slightly since 2021, there is still a strong demand for downtown office space and this space commands high rents.

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The Austin metropolitan area’s unemployment rate was 3.3% in January 2023, on par with the national level. In the third quarter of 2022, total downtown employment was higher than pre-pandemic levels.

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Hotel & Tourism

Downtown has the city’s largest concentration of hotel rooms and of entertainment districts, live music venues, restaurants and cultural attractions.

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Retail & Consumers

With 95% of pre-pandemic visitor activity regained and employees continuing to return to the office, downtown has a healthy level of pedestrian activity to support its businesses.

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Housing & Residents

Downtown Austin’s residential population doubled from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and has seen approximately a 0.25% increase year-over-year since then.

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Affordability &

Downtown is for everyone.

Downtown is the cultural, historic and economic heart of our city. It shines when all kinds of people can easily enjoy a wide variety of jobs, places, experiences and events. If we are to successfully create, preserve and enhance the vibe, vitality and value of downtown Austin for everyone, downtown must be more affordable and accessible for everyone.

Austin is now the 11th largest city in the U.S. and faces the same affordability challenges — particularly in housing and real estate — as other major metropolitan areas, including a crisis of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Additionally, our rapid growth has brought increased traffic congestion and other mobility challenges, which transformational transportation projects will ease in the long term but may compound in the short term.

These challenges are intensified downtown due to its centrality and demand for its prime location, but our urban core is also an incubator for innovative solutions. Leaders from all sectors are coming together for thoughtful district planning, which is critical to maintaining downtown’s affordability and accessibility. District planning helps shape neighborhoods that are fully utilized with a mix of office, residential, retail and public spaces; offer a mix of free amenities and attractions; and are linked to multi-modal transportation options. This mobility and economic accessibility will enable residents from all areas of Austin and all income levels to celebrate our city’s cultural heritage and add new chapters to its future. And it gives downtown the incredible opportunity to become a national model for thoughtful, inclusive growth that maintains Austin’s unique character.

Twisted Sisters booth at The People's Market, a collaboration with Downtown Austin Alliance and Frida Friday ATX
GRAMMY nominee SaulPaul performs at Austin's Birthday Bash in Republic Square

Our Impact:
Downtown Affordability

The Downtown Austin Alliance is committed to playing an active role in addressing affordability challenges over the next five years. Our 2023-2028 strategic plan outlines several objectives in these areas: cultivating a more diverse, attainable residential mix; decreasing the number of people living unsheltered downtown by 75%; supporting a variety of affordable venues and creative spaces; and ensuring parks and public spaces are well-managed with inclusive programming.

One of our ongoing initiatives in this area includes advocacy for downtown’s HealthSouth redevelopment, which will provide one of the area’s largest concentrations of affordable housing. We also worked in 2022 to add a parking garage to the city’s affordable parking program, which was developed in response to the Downtown Alliance-led Downtown Parking Strategy, and to promote this opportunity to local businesses.

We advocate for the preservation of live music venues and in 2022 continued our $40,000 annual sponsorship of the Red River Cultural District. To further support the district, we pledged $50,000 in in-kind maintenance work from our ambassador team. We support small businesses through events such as the Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers’ Market in Republic Square, Black Makers Market and The People’s Market. We also plan downtown-wide free programming such as our annual Holiday Stroll, create placemaking opportunities via public art through our Writing on the Walls program and pay artists a fair wage for their work.


Palm District

The Palm District Plan weaves together Austin’s Capitol Complex District, 5th Street Mexican American Heritage Corridor, Sixth Street Entertainment District, Red River Cultural District, Austin Convention Center and Rainey Street destinations.

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South Central Waterfront

South Central Waterfront is one of our most treasured assets, and it’s coming to life with new mixed-use development, housing, waterfront parks and trails, cultural spaces and everyday amenities.

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One unintended consequence of Austin's rapid and dynamic growth is an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness. Based on current information from City of Austin Homeless Strategy Office and ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition), there are more than 4,600 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Austin on an average night. Due to access to social services, shelter and other support services, more than 10% of people experiencing homelessness are downtown.

Austin’s culture of innovation and collaboration has led to the creation of new public, private and nonprofit collaborations and unprecedented funding allocations to address this issue. These solutions build upon best practices from other cities and have led to the implementation of new approaches that are proving to be effective.

Family Reunification Program

In the fall of 2021, the Downtown Alliance launched a pilot partnership with Trinity Center to fund and enhance its existing homelessness family reunification program. To date, 135 people experiencing homelessness downtown have been reunited with family members or others who committed to providing housing and care for the individual.

Family Reunification Program

In the fall of 2021, the Downtown Alliance launched a pilot partnership with Trinity Center to fund and enhance its existing homelessness family reunification program. To date, 135 people experiencing homelessness downtown have been reunited with family members or others who committed to providing housing and care for the individual.

Health Care for the Homeless

In its first year of operation, the new Health Care for the Homeless Health and Wellness Center housed 58 people experiencing homelessness downtown and enrolled 100 people in housing-focused behavioral health care services at Terrace Oak Springs. The Downtown Alliance created and funded this program in partnership with Integral Care and Downtown Austin Community Court after Downtown Alliance-funded research identified a critical need for increased behavioral health services to help people transition out of homelessness.

Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH)

In October 2022, Urban Alchemy took over management of the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) and implemented transformational changes at this longstanding shelter on East Seventh Street. Urban Alchemy employs, at all levels of its organization, people with lived experience including long-term incarceration, substance use, addictions and experiencing homelessness. Its team members make deep personal connections with people experiencing homelessness. The ARCH now offers a safe, clean, peaceful living environment inside and an absence of loitering, litter and criminal activity outside. The ARCH, which had previously been operating under capacity, now has all 135 beds full nightly with a large waiting list.

Unprecedented Collaboration and Funding

Over the past two years, we have seen unprecedented collaboration to address homelessness in Austin. The 2021 Summit to Address Unsheltered Homelessness set goals to house an additional 3,000 people in three years and bolster the homeless service system. Over $450 million has been committed against an estimated $515 million needed to achieve the established goals. The City of Austin and Travis County each committed more than $100 million in American Recovery Plan Act funds. The city and county commitments and financial support from private sector, corporate and philanthropic contributions provide more funding than ever before to rapidly increase necessary services, shelter and housing resources to address homelessness. The Downtown Austin Alliance was the initial convener and helped organize efforts that led to the 2021 Summit.


In 2022, downtown employees continued returning to work downtown. Hotels, restaurants, bars, music venues, cultural institutions and retail establishments have opened fully, and downtown has returned to its regular cadence of in-person events. Car traffic, foot traffic and Capital Metro ridership have all increased year-over-year but are still below pre-pandemic levels. Overall, mobility patterns are changing, but we do not have concrete data on them because work environments are still shifting as companies establish their “new normal.” With a large number of transformational projects on the way, the Downtown Alliance, in collaboration with various leaders and stakeholders, have worked diligently and collaboratively with community leaders, design experts and residents to shape our collective vision for the area’s future.

Project Connect

Planning is ongoing for the light rail portion of Project Connect, a multibillion-dollar plan to expand Austin’s transportation infrastructure. Two MetroRapid bus lines, including the Expo Center line connecting downtown and northeast Austin are underway. And a new McKalla Station near Q2 Stadium will provide better connection between downtown and north Austin via the MetroRail Red Line.

Project Connect

Planning is ongoing for the light rail portion of Project Connect, a multibillion-dollar plan to expand Austin’s transportation infrastructure. Two MetroRapid bus lines, including the Expo Center line connecting downtown and northeast Austin are underway. And a new McKalla Station near Q2 Stadium will provide better connection between downtown and north Austin via the MetroRail Red Line.

Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative

In 2022, the Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative (UDI) released its Congress Avenue Vision, which re-imagines both the infrastructure and everyday experience of Congress Avenue between Riverside Drive and 11th Street. The Congress Avenue UDI is a joint effort from the City of Austin and the Downtown Austin Alliance and reflects a years-long effort to transform the “Main Street of Texas” into a human-centric place and pre-eminent destination. The Congress Avenue Vision recommendations and design concepts reflect extensive collaboration with area planning organizations and experts, and the Congress Avenue UDI will begin a public engagement process on the designs in Summer 2023.

Movability Study

The Downtown Alliance partnered with Movability Austin to conduct a study of mobility challenges faced by downtown storefront businesses, including those in the live music industry. The report identified a variety of challenges and recommendations we will work to implement over the coming years, such as expanding parking options, transit subsidies and educational programming.

Austin Core Transportation Plan

This year, downtown mobility leaders and stakeholders focused on planning for the future. Transformational projects — the I-35 Capital Express Central Project, Project Connect and Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative — had big milestones in moving toward groundbreaking. To prepare for downtown’s transformation, in 2022 the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) led development of the Austin Core Transportation (ACT) Plan. This is a holistic plan for optimizing mobility across downtown’s entire street grid, both focusing on today and when projects are under construction and completed. The Downtown Alliance partnered with the ATD on the ACT by forming a working group of mobility and downtown experts and gathering public feedback. The ACT will be finalized in mid-2023 and adopted as part of the citywide Austin Strategic Mobility Plan.

Spotlight: Our Future 35
Austin’s Cap & Stitch Program

Our Future 35 is more than a transportation project; it is a comprehensive program to enhance Austin physically, socially, and economically after decades of divide. Before 1962, the section of I-35 which now cuts through downtown was called East Avenue. This street was a dividing line of segregation, with Austin’s white population living to the west and people of color displaced to the east.

When I-35 is lowered below the ground in the redesign, the land —or “caps” — above the interstate will be able to be reclaimed as 15+ acres of buildable space for community needs. This development, along with “stitches”, such as bridges, will spur a fundamental transformation of the downtown we know today and will connect people to jobs, services and each other.

The Downtown Austin Alliance is partnering with the City of Austin Corridor Program Office and a Community Steering Committee on Our Future 35, a community-centered initiative to build new city infrastructure and co-create public spaces over the I-35 highway.

In Fall 2022, we kicked off the program with a vision studio, community-wide surveys and community tabling events. From the input received, the Community Steering Committee co-created a vision and set of goals that will guide the project forward. The committee is shaping the engagement effort to ensure that program outputs accurately reflect community feedback received. Also, an Equitable Development Strategy, led by the Austin Economic Development Corporation, is being created in tandem with design ideas for each cap.

Early concepts for each cap along the corridor will be shared for public input in Summer 2023.

Designs featured are for illustrative purposes and are subject to change.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is evaluating two build alternatives (Alternative 2 and Modified Alternative 3) and a no-build alternative in an environmental impact statement. These materials focus on one of the two build alternatives, Modified Alternative 3. Location and size of potential highway caps and stitches are subject to change based on transportation infrastructure improvements and other considerations.

Creative Placemaking

As the pandemic eased in 2022, downtown saw people returning to gather and enjoy downtown’s public spaces. Many of downtown’s longtime events had record attendance. There was a resurgence of partners working together on creative placemaking — activating downtown’s parks, public places and underutilized spaces through vibrant experiences that bring them to life and bring people together. These inclusive new amenities, art, cultural experiences and events draw people downtown and create a sense of wonder and community. And they enhance downtown’s overall vibe, vitality and value.


The Downtown Alliance’s ARTBOX program, part of Writing on the Walls, provides a platform for local artists to showcase their talents and grow by painting murals on utility boxes. In 2022, the program expanded with a mural sponsored by DEN Property Group and created by local artist Hailey Gearo. The City of Austin provides permits, a selection committee chooses the artists and oversees design and production, and artists are paid a stipend for labor and materials. With over 800 boxes downtown, the ARTBOX program will continue to inspire and beautify for years to come.


The Downtown Alliance’s ARTBOX program, part of Writing on the Walls, provides a platform for local artists to showcase their talents and grow by painting murals on utility boxes. In 2022, the program expanded with a mural sponsored by DEN Property Group and created by local artist Hailey Gearo. The City of Austin provides permits, a selection committee chooses the artists and oversees design and production, and artists are paid a stipend for labor and materials. With over 800 boxes downtown, the ARTBOX program will continue to inspire and beautify for years to come.

Art & Parks Tour

Our first annual Downtown Austin Mural Tour invited people to explore the Downtown Austin Mural Map on their bikes on March 9, 2022, or online through the camera lens of Jay Ybarra, one of Austin’s most talented portrait and street photographers. For our second annual tour in 2023, we designed an integrative Art & Parks experience to celebrate the best downtown Austin’s art and parks have to offer. This year’s kick-off event, in collaboration with Pease Park and Ride Bikes Austin, drew more than 250 cyclists. Residents and visitors can also visit to take the mobile self-guided Art & Parks Tour or Downtown Austin Mural Tour at any time.

Austin Marathon

On Feb. 19, 2023, more than 17,000 runners took off from Second Street and Congress Avenue to run the annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. The race concluded at Ninth Street and Congress Avenue with an Austin-style Finish Line Festival, where runners and more than 100,000 spectators enjoyed live music and a beer garden. The event has grown along with Austin, becoming the 25th largest marathon in the U.S.

CMT Music Awards Week

Fittingly, the Live Music Capital of the World hosted one of the biggest nights in country music this year. The CMT Music Awards aired from the Moody Center on April 2, 2023. The celebration went well beyond awards night, treating fans to CMT Music Awards Week events throughout downtown Austin. Events included two outdoor concerts with headliners such as Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban as well as rising country stars like Chapel Hart, a live CMT Crossroads taping with The Black Crowes and Darius Rucker and a two-day block party with live music, artist meet-and-greets, games and prizes.

Viva La Vida 2022

Mexic-Arte Museum’s 39th Annual Viva La Vida Festival and Parade is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event. Festivities include the Grand Procession, hands-on art activities and artist demos, traditional foods, local artists and retail booths, a low-rider exhibition and live performances.

Creek Show

Waterloo Greenway’s Creek Show commissions local artists to create site-specific, light-based art installations along Waller Creek downtown. This immersive annual event attracts more than 70,000 people, evoking wonder and pride in the ongoing transformation of Waller Creek and the new 35-acre park system coming to downtown.

“Dream Pants” by Jodi Bade & Maura Schaffer from Waterloo Greenway’s Creek Show in 2022
Cyclists at the 2023 Art & Parks Tour

Our Impact:
Events & Experiences

We bring the community together to bring downtown to life.

The Downtown Alliance is committed to creative placemaking. That means bringing together people from all sectors — government, community organizations, business, arts and culture — to create experiences that build community for everyone. We go deep to explore our city’s history and identify the stories that need to be amplified and celebrated, while engaging in community-wide conversations to understand what Austin’s diverse population wants from downtown today. The result is a mix of urban activations that transform underutilized places into enjoyable destinations and ensure downtown is a place where everyone can thrive.

301 Congress Porch

Through our Writing on the Walls program, in 2022 the Downtown Alliance produced and curated “Where the Wildflowers Grow,” a five-story mural by Austin-based artist DAAS on the side of 301 Congress.

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Downtown Holiday Stroll

The Downtown Austin Alliance’s annual Downtown Holiday Stroll kicked off the holiday season for more than 10,000 attendees. We turned Congress Avenue into a winter wonderland and holiday market.

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Parks & Greenspaces

More than 50% of downtown land is public space: plazas, parks, streets, green spaces and trails. Downtown’s parks and greenspaces provide a shared backyard for those who live and work here, as well as for Austinites and visitors. Like creative placemaking, parks and greenspaces are a critical component of the downtown economy. The mental and physical health benefits of the natural world are vital to our humanity—and to keeping downtown an inclusive place where people want to spend their time. and are inclusive spaces that anyone can enjoy.

Downtown’s parks were enhanced this year with new features and events honoring the people who’ve shaped this land over past decades and centuries. They provide a welcoming front porch to new residents as well as longtime Austinites rediscovering downtown.

Republic Square

The Downtown Austin Alliance is responsible for activating Republic Square through diverse programming, operations and maintenance of the park, which includes landscape and horticulture design.

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Old Bakery & Artisan Emporium

The Downtown Alliance began a partnership with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Old Bakery & Artisan Emporium and Austin Parks Foundation to transform Old Bakery Park in 2022.

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Waterloo Greenway

The reimagined Waterloo Park marked its first full year of operation in 2022, beginning a new chapter for the eastern edge of downtown. The park’s reopening, along with the addition of Moody Amphitheater, was the first phase of construction for Waterloo Greenway. The second phase, called The Confluence, will break ground in 2023 and revitalize the area along Waller Creek between Lady Bird Lake and Fourth Street.

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Safety & Cleanliness

We are committed to a clean and safe downtown.

Austin consistently ranks among the safest U.S. metro areas with a population greater than 500,000. Violent crime is increasing across the country, including in Austin. However, there was no increase in violent crime downtown from 2021 to 2022, and rates were lower than in 2019 despite nighttime activity being higher than pre-pandemic levels. Downtown property crime fell by 2% from 2021 to 2022 while increasing by 11% in Austin overall.

Perception of safety is what influences behavior, so it is important to educate the public about this data. At the same time, downtown does face very real safety challenges. Downtown stakeholders, including the Austin Police Department (APD), Downtown Alliance, government officials and business owners, are working together to tackle this important issue.

Our Impact:
Downtown Ambassadors

The Downtown Ambassadors are the cornerstone of our direct services program. Our team of 60 Ambassadors (up 46% since 2021) has a 24/7 presence in the Downtown Public Improvement District (PID), including in Republic Square and Waterloo Park. Day in and day out, they work to remove trash, pressure wash streets and beautify the area through painting and planting projects. They support APD’s work by asking people to comply with ordinances, referring individuals to social services and reporting urgent issues to law enforcement.

The Ambassadors provide safety escorts to help people get to or from their cars or transit upon request and they also offer hospitality to pedestrians including friendly greetings, directions and downtown information. The Ambassadors support our hospitality industry, surveying downtown’s 27 hotels and the Austin Convention Center each morning to ensure the surrounding area is well-kept for visitors moving about downtown. This diligent service has made the Ambassadors highly recognizable and beloved icons of downtown Austin.


hospitality contacts
square feet power washed
safety escorts


graffiti & posters removed
pounds of trash removed
beautification projects

Overtime Police

spent on APD overtime initiative
interactions with pedestrians
Compliance Rate for Requests by Our Community Police

Austin Police Department Support

We continue to provide funds to enhance the Austin Police Department’s (APD) safety camera system of 58 cameras throughout the area, which helps support police resources and deter and solve crimes. We also fund an overtime patrol that maintains two additional police officers in the downtown PID, which allows for close monitoring of downtown for 10 hours daily.

Austin Police Department Support

We continue to provide funds to enhance the Austin Police Department’s (APD) safety camera system of 58 cameras throughout the area, which helps support police resources and deter and solve crimes. We also fund an overtime patrol that maintains two additional police officers in the downtown PID, which allows for close monitoring of downtown for 10 hours daily.

Mental Health Diversion Center

The Downtown Alliance is partnering with Travis County elected officials, Austin Police Department, city and county agencies and criminal justice partners to create a Mental Health Diversion Center, which would provide a more effective alternative to jail for people with behavioral health issues that are arrested for criminal offenses. In late 2022 and early 2023, the Downtown Alliance and local partners visited model diversion centers in Nashville, Houston, Tucson and Miami to inform a plan to open a pilot diversion center in Austin in 2023.

Monthly Safety Forums

In August 2022, we brought back our monthly safety forums, which keep members of the downtown community apprised of trends. The virtual forums provide updated information on crime and safety and the opportunity for participants to interact directly with Austin Police Department leadership and key safety partners.

Congress Avenue Resurfacing

In 2022, Public Works finished a complete mill and overlay of Congress Avenue from Cesar Chavez Street to 11th Street, resurfacing the street and applying new striping and markings to lanes and crosswalks. This was in response to the Downtown Austin Alliance’s safety audits of Congress Avenue’s crosswalks, as well as sidewalk and tree audits throughout downtown.

Storm Cleanup

After the February 2023 ice storm, we removed downed trees and branches from downtown rights of way and supported the City of Austin’s ongoing work to keep the area safe.


Projected actual FY22-23


Safety and Hospitality

$5,601,274 (49.99%)


$1,549,117 (13.83%)


$1,359,402 (12.13%)

Planning and Mobility

$1,071,206 (9.56%)


$1,006,588 (8.98%)


$381,487 (3.4%)

Economic Development

$234,717 (2.09%)
Consolidated Statement of
Financial Position


Current Assets

Cash & Cash Equivalents
Accounts Receivable
Prepaid Expenses
Total Current Assets 5,511,365

Noncurrent Assets

Security Deposits
Pledged Receivable
Split dollar life insurance loan receivable
Fixed Assets
Total Noncurrent Assets 538,682
Total Assets 6,050,047

Liabilities and Net Assets

Current liabilities

Accounts Payable
Accrued Expenses
Contributions Payable
Total Current Liabilities 1,232,315

Long-term liabilities

Contributions Payable (net of current portion)
Deferred Rent Obligation
Total Long-Term Liabilities795,175
Total Liabilities2,027,490

Net Assets

Net Assets without Donor Restrictions
Total Liabilities & Net Assets6,050,047
Consolidated Statement of

Changes in Unrestricted Net Assets


Public Improvement District Revenue
Local government contributions
Contract Services
Total Revenue &
Other Supports 10,555,277


Total Expenses 9,884,391
Change in net Assets 670,886
Beginning net Assets 3,351,671
Ending net Assets 4,022,557

Downtown Austin

Consolidated Statements
of Financial Position and
Activities for FY Ending
April 30, 2022

Downtown Austin Alliance

Dewitt Peart

President and CEO

Amanda Baez

Administrative Coordinator

Melissa Barry, AICP

Chief Program Officer

Raven Birk

Social Media + Outreach Manager

Bill Brice

Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Samia Burns

Chief Financial Officer

Amalia Carmona

Urban Planning Manager

Amy Chambless

Office Manager + Employee Events

Brandon Fahy

Director of Downtown Experience

Julie Fitch

Chief Operating Officer

Matt Geske

VP, Public Affairs

Luke Goebel

Economic Development Research Manager

Nick Haines

General Manager, Downtown Ambassadors

Noah Kligerman

Senior Staff Accountant

Olivia Larson

Chief of Staff

Ashley Rose Marino, M.S.

Brand + Marketing Manager

Raasin McIntosh

VP, Urban Activation

Jenell Moffett, MBA

Chief Impact Officer

Angela Navarro

Events + PR Manager

Vanessa Olson

Director, Strategic Communication

Emily Risinger, SITES AP

Director, Planning + Urban Design

Marilyn Willson

VP, Resource Development

Board Officers

Jeff Howard

McLean & Howard

S. Whitney May Knight

Vice Chair
Allensworth & Porter

Nikelle Meade

Husch Blackwell

Megan Wanek Frey

Endeavor Real Estate Group

Writer/Editor: Erica Hess | Design & Web Development: The Killswitch Collective