4️⃣ 4 things to know in Austin right now
- 5 min read

4️⃣ 4 things to know in Austin right now

Plus, Austin is already warmer than normal so far this year.

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Introduction

☀️ Hey there, Austin.

We're trying something new today (exciting, I know). We've got four numbers for you and what they mean for our lovely city.

Plus, check out how Austin is already warmer than normal so far in 2024, and peep how nearby towns like New Braunfels got their names.


Austin news by the numbers

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107 – The number of acres that sit along the planned light rail line that City Council will consider buying at Thursday’s meeting

Mayor Kirk Watson said in his Monday newsletter that the purchase would cost the city $87 million. 

Why buy it? Because the city’s trying to build affordable, transit-oriented neighborhoods along its future light rail, which is part of Austin’s Project Connect plans. Watson said the city would build a neighborhood – a la Mueller – with 1,100 housing units on the 107 acres.

Doing that means folks could more easily live in Austin without a car. We’re Team Walkability. Plus, it’d help make the city greener.

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7 – The number of months before Elon Musk’s brother opens a restaurant in downtown Austin

❗Musk invasion alert❗ (Just kidding. Sort of.) 

Kimbal Musk was a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” this past Friday. He confirmed that his restaurant The Kitchen, which already has three locations in other cities, will be opening in Austin in October.

Musk had already shared a few details about the new Austin location last year, like the fact that it’ll be on the first floor of Austin’s tallest downtown tower at Sixth and Guadelupe, but now we have a firm date. 

Maybe this means we’ll have more Elon sightings in the city. 👀

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2025 - The last year SXSW will be held in the Austin Convention Center until 2029

The city has been planning to redevelop the convention center for years. But it secured contracts worth a whopping $1.3 billion in the fall to actually move forward with expanding it. It'll start after next year's Southby.

How’s it funding the expansion? With convention center revenue and a Hotel Occupancy Tax that visitors have largely been paying.

The center will expand upward, not outward, and available space will double.

While the center gets its facelift, Southby and other events could be held at the Palmer Events Center, Stateside At the Paramount Theatre, or the Speakeasy, a Visit Austin exec said at a meeting last week.

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No. 3 - What Austin’s East 11th Street ranks in Time Out’s 30 coolest streets in the world

Yeah, you read that right. It not only appeared alongside trendy and historic streets in the likes of Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires, Lisbon and Barcelona, it beat them out.

Why? I mean it’s Austin, so duh. But Time Out specifically cited the fact that the stretch is home to Franklin Barbeque, Paperboy and Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar, among other spots. 

Would you have chosen a different Austin street for the list? Reply to this email and let us know. 

— Katie Canales, Editor


Temperature: 66 degrees | Sun: Behind Clouds | What to Expect: Storm chances late night

Spring has officially started, at least according to the Earth’s position around the sun. It seems that Mother Nature has gotten the memo in Texas as well because our next spring storm will move in later this evening with a chance of some strong to severe storms.

Mary’s Tip: Put on your cowboy boots and get down to your Texas roots by seeing cowboys do their thing at the Austin Rodeo this week.


The blistering summer of 2023 for some of us remains a fresh memory, so when a major freeze two weeks into January plunged daily temperatures, a few of us refused to complain.

But Austin temperatures quickly rebounded in February, and then some. With an average temperature of 60.7 degrees, last month turned out to be the city's sixth-warmest February on record.

By about halfway into March, Austin has not only already recorded its first 90-degree temperatures of the year, but so far 2024's average temperature is 56.1 degrees, which is about 0.8 degrees above normal for the year to date.

Who's ready for around-the-clock sweating?

— Rob Villalpando, Contributing Editor


What's in a name?

Most locals know that Austin, AKA Waterloo until 1839, was named after the “Father of Texas,” Stephen F. Austin. Here's a look at the who and why behind other nearby names, according to Edward Callary’s “Texas Place Names.”

Wimberley: Named after Pleasant Wimberley, who arrived in Texas from North Carolina. He established the compound known as Wimberly Mills, which included a cotton gin and a gristmill. 

New Braunfels: Now one of the fastest-growing cities in America, New Braunfels gets its name from royalty. In 1844, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels was appointed to lead a German emigration company. He led a major group of German immigrants into Texas and settled along a fertile tract near the confluence of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers the following year. He named the site Neu Braunfels, after his family’s home in west central Germany. Braunfels is translated as “brown rocks.” 

Tubers in New Braunfels in July 2023. Source: Sergio Flores for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Dripping Springs: "Apparently chosen in the mid-1850s by Indiana ‘Nannie’ Moss for the Glen Ross springs that dripped from overhead limestone formations," Callary writes. He cites the Milk House Branch Spring as often being credited as the original source of the name.

— Randi Stevenson, Managing Editor


Were so glad you found us. Find our bios and contact info here, or reach out at hello@austindaily.com. Behind todays send: Katie Canales, Mary Wasson, Randi Stevenson and Rob Villalpando.