Public Improvement
District Authorization
2023-2032

Our Mission

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

Foreword from
Our CEO

Welcome! Since 1993, the Downtown Austin Alliance has been downtown Austin’s full-time advocate and biggest champion. We are a nonprofit that represents and is funded by commercial and non-homestead property owners in the Downtown Public Improvement District (PID). We provide the downtown community with direct services, planning and advocacy that fulfill our mission to “create, preserve and enhance the value and vitality of downtown Austin.”

The PID is renewed by downtown property owners every 10 years through a petitioning process, with renewal occurring this year. Renewing the PID will enable us to continue providing the services that keep downtown clean, safe and welcoming for all who live, work, play, visit or invest in downtown Austin. It will also enable us to plan new districts and advocate for the infrastructure and policy needed to accommodate our area’s explosive growth.

This site shares how we have worked over the last 10 years in partnership with property owners, residents, businesses, community organizations and governmental entities to advance our collective vision for the future of downtown. For questions, or to request a meeting with our investor relations team, please contact PID@downtownaustin.com or 512.381.6269.

We greatly appreciate your support and invite you to authorize the 2023-2032 PID term.

Sincerely,

Dewitt Peart

President & CEO

By the numbers
Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin has grown exponentially over the last 10 years.

18M
Square feet added
119%
Residential Population Growth
22K
Employees added

Assessed values in the Downtown PID have more than tripled in the past 10 years.

$3.1B
2010
$10.7B
2020
$24.0B
2030

Downtown Today

9.2M
Square feet under construction
19M
Square feet of planned space
$624M
Combined tax revenue
16K
Residents
99K
Employees
12,728
Residential units
12,359
Hotel rooms
150
Acres of parkland
15
Miles of downtown area trails
190
Historic locations
9.2M
Square feet under construction
19M
Square feet of planned space
$624M
Combined tax revenue
16K
Residents
99K
Employees
12,728
Residential units
12,359
Hotel rooms
150
Acres of parkland
15
Miles of downtown area trails
190
Historic locations

Source: State of Downtown Austin 2021

Who we are
Stewards of the
Downtown Austin Vision

The Downtown Austin Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works with property owners, residents, business owners, community organizations and government entities to advance our collective vision for the future of downtown Austin.

We serve downtown through:

- Full-time advocacy

- Long-term planning

- Direct services that make downtown clean, safe and welcoming

Our Downtown Vision

We are the drivers of the Downtown Austin Vision, which we worked with the community to create in 2017.

Roadmap to recovery

In 2020, we used our research and extensive input from the downtown community to create Downtown Austin’s Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience. This is a plan for renewing downtown’s vitality and building the area’s long-term resilience.

Where we serve
The Downtown PID

In 1993, the downtown property owners petitioned the City of Austin to create a Public Improvement District (PID) to address the unique needs of downtown Austin. The Downtown PID provides constant and permanent funding to implement downtown initiatives. The City then contracted with the Downtown Austin Alliance to manage these initiatives.

The Downtown Alliance’s primary funding source comes from a special assessment on privately owned, large properties (over $500,000) within the PID. The City of Austin and Travis County also contribute funds to the PID.

The PID is currently authorized through 2022. For the 2023-2032 term, we propose changing the PID boundaries to align our direct services and advocacy with the areas projected for the greatest growth over the next decade.

Clean and Safe
Our Direct Services

For the last 10 years, the Downtown Austin Alliance has supported downtown’s growth by investing half of our annual budget into services that keep the downtown community clean, safe, beautiful and welcoming.

Direct Services 2021

Ambassadors

27,806
hospitality contacts
4,934,826
square feet power washed
601
safety escorts
262,992
pounds of trash removed

Beautification

11,969
graffiti & posters removed
172
planters maintained
58
banners maintained
148
trees maintained

Overtime Police

$600K
spent on APD overtime initiative
1,479
interactions with pedestrians
571
police cases assisted by the camera system

Source: Downtown Austin Alliance Annual Report 20-21

Did you know?

Our bird mitigation program has kept the downtown PID free from grackle droppings since 2008 — without any harm to the birds.

The most significant portion of our annual budget is spent on providing direct services that keep downtown a safe, clean and welcoming place to be. The Downtown Ambassadors are the cornerstone of our direct services program. Every day our team of 46 ambassadors work from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. removing trash, pressure washing streets, painting and planting.

Additionally, the Downtown Alliance team works with City of Austin departments on critical infrastructure improvement projects and crisis response planning. We also fund the Austin Police Department’s (APD) downtown safety camera system as well as an overtime patrol that provides two APD officers in the downtown PID 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Looking Ahead

We’ll expand the Downtown Ambassadors by doubling pressure washing capacity, expanding our beautification service area and forming a dedicated hospitality team to serve parks. We will continue to fund the APD Overtime Initiative, HALO cameras, and partner with City of Austin on critical infrastructure and crisis planning.

From vision to action
2012-2021 Accomplishments

Over the last decade, downtown has doubled in population and built 18 million square feet of new real estate development. Guided by the strategic priorities of the Downtown Vision, we plan for this growth and advocate for the infrastructure and services that will enhance downtown’s vitality well into the future.

Homelessness

For more than a decade, the Downtown Austin Alliance has led and participated in public and
private partnerships focused on innovative, research-based solutions for addressing homelessness.
While the downtown homeless population has increased in the wake of the pandemic, so have our
efforts to drive positive, lasting change.

Housing
Goal
3,000
(Over the next
3 years)
Direct funding for housing and shelter
$2.25M
(Pledged over the next 10 years)
Individuals sheltered or housed
512

Homelessness Health & Wellness Center

In 2021, we formed a new partnership with Integral Care, Downtown Austin Community Court and the Homeless Outreach Street Team (a program we created and incubated) to provide the behavioral health services people need to transition out of homelessness. We are the co-funders along with the City of Austin.

Photo by Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Community First! Village

We pledged $2 million over 10 years toward the development of Community First! Village, a project of Mobile Loaves & Fishes that will eventually house 1,500 individuals and help residents rebuild community.

Other Housing and Support Services

We’ve also provided funding and support to Terrace at Oak Springs, Austin’s first housing-first project; the Salvation Army Rathgeber Center for women and children; and Austin’s first and only sectioned encampment/microshelter community, Camp Esperanza.

Homelessness Summit & Process Triage

We sponsored a process to map Austin’s homeless service system, identify gaps and prioritize steps to increase its effectiveness. In 2021, we also helped spearhead and organize a Homelessness Summit, bringing together 250 entities to develop a comprehensive implementation strategy to address unsheltered homelessness.

Photo courtesy of Salvation Army Austin

Downtown Ambassadors

For more than 17 years, we have provided gainful employment opportunities to many people experiencing homelessness through our Downtown Ambassadors program.

Looking Ahead

We’ll guide implementation of the City’s strategy to address unsheltered homelessness, expand the Homelessness Health & Wellness Center and continue supporting Community First! Village and other entities providing housing and services.

Advocacy

Advocacy is at the core of everything we do. We give voice to the downtown community’s priorities, from infrastructure to
ordinances. And we connect partners from across the region to drive positive change for our district.

Waller Creek

Developing the Waller Creek tunnel has taken 28 acres of downtown land out of the floodplain, unlocking its development potential. The Downtown Alliance started advocating for funding for this tunnel in the 90s, with the long-term vision of parks and neighborhoods lining the eastern edge of downtown.

MoPac Managed Lanes

We formed the task force that recommended adding variable toll managed lanes to MoPac so buses could better access downtown. Toll-free access for Capital Metro has increased Express Bus ridership by 73 percent on MoPac.

Photo by Lars Plougmann, available through a CC license.

Sound Ordinances

In 2021, we successfully advocated to defeat a Texas Legislature bill that would have taken away the city’s ability to regulate or limit uncontrolled, amplified sound near homes and hotels until 2 a.m. Additionally, the bill was created without the input of local stakeholders, including residents, bar owners and live music venue managers who have worked closely to strike a balance with current local ordinances.

Camping Ban

We successfully advocated for the statewide camping ban, which passed the 87th Texas Legislature, to strike a balance between protecting public spaces in Austin and providing resources for the homeless population. The state budget now authorizes up to $10 million in additional funding for the Healthy Community Collaboratives program.

Looking Ahead

We’ll support downtown’s growth through land use and transportation advocacy and thoughtful planning for downtown’s future.

Mobility

Mobility is the lifeline of a healthy, thriving downtown. With Austin’s population projected to double
by 2040, the Downtown Austin Alliance advocates for wide-ranging, forward-thinking transportation
solutions to keep our urban core accessible.

I-35 Corridor

When TxDOT lowers I-35 through downtown, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconnect east and west Austin, increase equity and unlock development opportunity. Over the last decade we have successfully advocated for project funding, compiled an Urban Land Institute panel of international experts to develop a vision and roadmap for capping and connecting the corridor, and continually gathered the community’s input and relayed it to TxDOT during every step of the development process.

I-35 Corridor

When TxDOT lowers I-35 through downtown, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconnect east and west Austin, increase equity and unlock development opportunity. Over the last decade we have successfully advocated for project funding, compiled an Urban Land Institute panel of international experts to develop a vision and roadmap for capping and connecting the corridor, and continually gathered the community’s input and relayed it to TxDOT during every step of the development process.

Project Connect

In 2020, Austin voters passed Capital Metro’s Project Connect, which will connect downtown to North Austin, South Austin and the airport via two light rail lines and other transit. We have been heavily involved in community education around this effort since 2018, working with partners and the downtown community to develop a vision and routes for the rail lines.

Great Streets

Our successful advocacy for bond funding and private sector participation has enabled the transformation of several major downtown corridors. Widening sidewalks and adding shade made these more appealing to pedestrians, and more inviting for sidewalk dining and retail patrons.

Parking Strategy

In 2017, we conducted the first-ever downtown parking inventory and developed a Downtown Parking Strategy. We partnered with the City to implement many of its recommendations, including an affordable parking program with over 550 service workers enrolled.

Circulator Study

In 2020, we hired our longtime partner Nelson\Nygaard to conduct a feasibility study of a downtown circulator system to transport people short distances.

Downtown
Transit Ridership
1.9M
(annual
riders)
Transit Score
73
Micromobility
Ridership
1.4M
(Annual citywide total trips)
Walk Score
99
Daily Average
Vehicle Traffic
100K
(Weekday trips ending downtown)
Bike Score
92

Looking Ahead

We’ll shape the downtown portion of I-35 redevelopment and advocate for a robust transit network that includes Project Connect, transit stations and a downtown circulator.

Public Spaces and District Planning

This year has shown us the value of downtown parks and public spaces, and the Downtown Austin Alliance
has been heavily involved in revitalizing and activating these areas over the past decade. We have also led
and partnered on district planning efforts that will transform underutilized parts of downtown into thriving
neighborhoods, with both new public spaces and new opportunities for economic development.

Republic Square

In the early 2000’s, we brought together the City of Austin, Austin Parks Foundation and Downtown Alliance to form a public-private partnership management team for Republic Square. The City led a master plan to redevelop the park, APF led fundraising and the Downtown Alliance has managed the park’s daily operations and programming since 2017. We’ve significantly increased the number of park events and in 2020 recruited Salt & Time Café as its food and beverage vendor.

Republic Square

In the early 2000’s, we brought together the City of Austin, Austin Parks Foundation and Downtown Alliance to form a public-private partnership management team for Republic Square. The City led a master plan to redevelop the park, APF led fundraising and the Downtown Alliance has managed the park’s daily operations and programming since 2017. We’ve significantly increased the number of park events and in 2020 recruited Salt & Time Café as its food and beverage vendor.

Waller Creek

In addition to 10+ years of advocacy for the Waller Creek tunnel, we formed an operations and management partnership with Waterloo Greenway Conservancy for these parks, and are contributing funding and Ambassador services to the new Waterloo Park.

Downtown Squares

Over the last decade we championed downtown’s historic squares, successfully advocating to renew their leases and make improvements. We led master planning for downtown’s historic Brush Square and Wooldridge Square, added signage to educate visitors about Wooldridge’s history and led the transformation of Old Bakery Park into an accessible and enjoyable public space.

Marching band at Wooldridge Park in 1938, courtesy of Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

Congress Avenue

In 2017, we led the community-wide
effort to create the Congress Avenue Vision and have worked diligently with our partners to implement it. We successfully advocated to move buses from Congress to dedicated lanes on Guadalupe and Lavaca Streets. We supported the addition of pocket patios, added lighting and took over planting and other beautification projects. We also partnered with the City of Austin on the Congress Avenue Urban Design initiative, a plan to completely reconstruct the avenue

Looking Ahead

We’ll drive holistic district planning initiatives for iconic and emerging neighborhoods. And we’ll continue our Republic Square operations and programming while enhancing other public spaces including Waterloo Greenway, Shoal Creek and Butler Trail.

Economic Development

We are committed to preserving and enhancing the assets that make downtown unique.
We champion big projects that aid our economy, improve our mobility and strengthen our resiliency.

Innovation District

Over the last decade, we have brought together a broad, community-wide network to shape Austin’s emerging Innovation District, a regional hub of health innovation in downtown’s northeast corner. We organized government, healthcare and technology leaders to tour and learn from the leaders of Atlanta’s Midtown Innovation District and Cambridge’s Kendall Square. We are a founding partner of Capital City Innovation, the nonprofit coordinating the Austin Innovation District’s vision and strategic direction, and have supported their work through extensive economic impact research and partnership development.

Innovation District

Over the last decade, we have brought together a broad, community-wide network to shape Austin’s emerging Innovation District, a regional hub of health innovation in downtown’s northeast corner. We organized government, healthcare and technology leaders to tour and learn from the leaders of Atlanta’s Midtown Innovation District and Cambridge’s Kendall Square. We are a founding partner of Capital City Innovation, the nonprofit coordinating the Austin Innovation District’s vision and strategic direction, and have supported their work through extensive economic impact research and partnership development.

Sidewalk Dining

We worked with the City of Austin to significantly streamline the approval process for sidewalk dining service. And the Great Streets program we championed has also widened many sidewalks to allow more space for dining.

Farmers Market

We are a longtime supporter of the Sustainable Food Center Farmer’s Market Downtown, which draws Austinites downtown each weekend.

Retail Recruitment

We have recruited more than 45 first-floor retail businesses downtown over the last decade. These include Royal Blue Grocery, Patagonia, Wild About Music, Easy Tiger, Midnight Cowboy, Daruma Ramen Bar, Eureka!, P.Terry’s, Houndstooth Coffee and many more.

Looking Ahead

We’ll shape the emerging Innovation District, advocate for policies and funding that maintain downtown’s competitive advantage and support small businesses and live music, and activate vacant properties to increase foot traffic.

Engagement & Events

We bring the community together through events that celebrate downtown, bring spending to the
area and inform residents of important issues.

These include:

Downtown Holiday Stroll | Austin’s Birthday Bash | Writing on the Walls

Future of Downtown educational event series

Public Safety Forums including the annual Spring Festival Forum

Co-sponsored events with LBJ School, Urban Land Institute, Real Estate Council of Austin

Looking Ahead

We’ll continue to host inclusive events that enrich our culture and draw a wide variety of people downtown to eat, shop and play.

Research & Communications

The Downtown Alliance keeps downtown property owners, businesses, residents and visitors
updated on downtown news, events and development. We also raise the area’s profile through
national and local media outreach. And our in-house research team conducts primary research on
downtown-related issues and also compiles and analyzes third-party research.

New Research Team

We added an in-house research team in 2016 to help our team and the downtown community gain the insights needed to make data-driven decisions.

State of Downtown Report

In 2019, we began producing a comprehensive annual State of Downtown Report full of in-depth data and analysis of downtown’s demographic and market trends.

COVID-19 Communications & Research

In early 2020, we changed our website and newsletters to become some of the city’s most comprehensive resources for COVID-related information. And we have conducted and compiled extensive research on the pandemic’s effects on life and business downtown, giving our community the information needed to respond and recover.

New Brand & Website

We developed a comprehensive brand strategy and website to elevate downtown’s profile and influence, especially as Austin moved to a 10-1 City Council structure with representation spread throughout the city.

37.1K+
Total
social media
followers
20,200+
@Downtown
AustinAlliance
7,500+
@DowntownATXInfo
6,600+
@DowntownAustin
2,800+
Downtown Austin Alliance
6,998
Total Newsletter
Subscribers
289,604,342
Total Impressions
$5,391,020
Total Publicity Value
(Earned Media)

Looking Ahead

We’ll develop targeted marketing campaigns promoting downtown, conduct and report market research and keep downtown stakeholders informed of important issues.

2023-2032
Service Plan Budget

The next 10 years will bring transformative improvements to downtown parks, public space and infrastructure. Our projected budget for 2023-2032 will enable us to maintain our current level of services while scaling to accommodate this growth. It is our commitment to the downtown property owners that maintaining a clean, safe and beautiful downtown will always remain the most significant portion of our budget.

FY 2023-2024 Projected Budget: $14,984,357

FY 2023-2032 Service plan highlights

Safety & Hospitality / We’ll expand the Downtown Ambassadors: double pressure washing capacity, expand our beautification service area and form a dedicated hospitality team to serve parks. We will continue to fund the APD Overtime Initiative and HALO cameras, and partner with City of Austin on critical infrastructure and crisis planning.

Economic Development / We’ll shape the emerging Innovation District, advocate for policies and funding that maintain downtown’s competitive advantage, support small businesses and live music, and activate vacant properties to increase foot traffic.

Homelessness / We’ll guide implementation of the City’s strategy to address unsheltered homelessness, expand the Homelessness Health & Wellness Center program and continue supporting Community First! Village and other entities providing housing and services.

Place & Mobility / We’ll drive holistic district planning initiatives for iconic and emerging neighborhoods. We will continue to support downtown’s growth through land use and transportation advocacy and thoughtful planning for downtown’s future. And we’ll shape the downtown portion of I-35 redevelopment and advocate for a robust transit network that includes Project Connect, transit stations and a downtown circulator.

Marketing & Communication / We’ll develop targeted marketing campaigns promoting downtown, conduct and report market research and keep downtown stakeholders informed of important issues.

Parks & Public Spaces / We’ll continue our Republic Square operations and programming while enhancing other public spaces including Waterloo Greenway, Shoal Creek and Butler Trail. And we’ll continue to host inclusive events that enrich our culture and draw a wide variety of people downtown to eat, shop and play.

Join Us:
Public Improvement
District Authorization

2023-2032

The Downtown Austin Public Improvement District (PID) must be authorized by downtown property owners every 10 years, with renewal occurring in 2022. Continuation of the PID requires petitions in support of authorization signed by assessed property owners and submitted to the City of Austin. The petitions must represent a majority of the value and land area in the PID.

We greatly appreciate your support and invite you to authorize the 2023-2032 PID term.

Why Authorizing the PID is Important

The Downtown Austin Alliance is the only organization that works on behalf of the downtown property owners. We are dedicated to making downtown a place that people want to live, work, entertain and invest.

The advocacy and services we provide address key issues of today—such as land use, homelessness, transit/mobility, planning and policy, public space activation, cleanliness and safety—that also ensure downtown’s long-term value and vitality.

Authorizing the PID ensures that the Downtown Alliance will continue to work in the best interest of the downtown property owners.

Timeline

The Downtown PID has a 10-year sunset that expires October 2022. Property owners must return their signed petitions in support of PID reauthorization to the Downtown Austin Alliance by December 15, 2021. The Downtown Alliance must then submit all signed petitions to the City Clerk by December 20, 2021.

The City of Austin will convene a PID Review Committee to approve our authorization package in February 2022, and City Council will conduct a public hearing & adopt a resolution to authorize in May 2022.

Assessment Rate

The assessment will remain the same: not to exceed $0.10 per $100 of value.

Assessment Rate Comparison

Current assessment rates per $100 of assessed value:

Downtown Austin: not to exceed $0.10

Dallas: $0.129

Fort Worth: $0.105

Houston: Maximum rate of $0.14

San Antonio: $0.15 commercial; $0.09 residential

Exemptions

The first $500,000 of valuation of all taxable real properties in the PID are exempt from assessment. Additionally, nonprofits, hospitals, schools, parks and city, state, county, and homestead properties are all exempt from PID assessment.

The Petition

Ready to sign your petition,
or have questions?

You may request your petition, including online notarization, at no cost to you, by emailing our investor relations team. Please include the address of your property and TCAD IDs if available.

Petitions will also be mailed to the property owners at the address listed by Travis Central Appraisal District, and can be returned to:

Downtown Austin Alliance
Investor Relations
515 Congress Ave., Suite 2150
Austin, TX 78701

If you have questions about PID authorization, or would like to request a meeting with the Downtown Alliance investor relations team, please email
Vanessa Olson, Director of Investor Relations.

*If the owner is a corporation or limited liability company, the petition may be completed by the chairman of the board, the president, a vice president, the secretary, a representative, another authorized officer, or authorized legal counsel to the owner.

If the owner is a corporation or limited liability company, the petition may be completed by the chairman of the board, the president, a vice president, the secretary, a representative, another authorized officer, or authorized legal counsel to the owner. If the owner is a partnership or a manager or managing member, the petition may be signed by a general partner or authorized legal counsel to the owner.