Friday, January 13, 2017

New Restaurants in Austin

The restaurant landscape in Austin is constantly changing.  Why not start 2017 off with some new dining experiences at one of these new establishments?

Tillery is a brand spanking new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on the banks of the Colorado River.  Located on East Cesar Chavez at Tillery Street, Tillery has a beautiful modern-designed dining area full of light and can seat 90 people.  There is also a huge outdoor area if you want to dine with a view.  Save room for dessert, which includes a house-made ice cream flight.  

Just across the street from Tillery, Grizzeldas is another recent addition to the Austin restaurant scene.  Created by the same team that opened Jacoby’s, the restaurant will serve Tex Mex featuring meat from the Jacoby family ranch in Melvin.  In addition to Tex Mex specialties like enchiladas and queso, there are housemade cocktails focused on tequila and mescal.  

Old Thousand is another new addition to the eastside, this time on East 11th.  The restaurant aims to serve Chinese-American food for dine-in and take-out and was started by veterans from Uchi, Hopdoddy, Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, and St. Philip.  Their goal is to make sure you can get great Chinese food late at night with cocktails specifically designed to pair well with Chinese food.  

Moving away from the Eastside and to North Austin, Brentwood Social House is located on Koenig Lane near Burnet Road and is a cafe serving quiches, scones, and other European-style baked goods.  The owners aim to be a neighborhood destination and have space available for private events, a large outdoor garden, and a cozy atmosphere.

Eberly is located on South Lamar near Barton Springs and features a lovingly restored bar from the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village in New York City.  Eberly focuses on Contemporary American Cuisine, house made cocktails, craft draft beers, and wine.

Further west in Spicewood, Pizzeria Sorelina is opening on the grounds of Apis Restaurant and Aviary.  Everything will be made in-house at Pizzeria Sorellina, including cheese, cured meats, and breads.  They will also have beer, wine, and draft cocktails.

Hate to cook?  We can find you an apartment that has dining downstairs or next door!  Just give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 to find your dream apartment surrounded by restaurants!  

Friday, January 6, 2017

City of Austin to Add an Artist to Staff

The City of Austin is starting an “artist-in-residence” program that they hope will bring a fresh creative eye to city agencies while also employing struggling artists as the price of living in the city increases. The Austin American Statesman reports on the new plan.  

The first department to get an artist’s help will be the Watershed Protection Department, which is in charge of city flood control and solutions to combat erosion and water pollution.  The selected artist, which will be a visual artist, will stay in the department for six to nine months.  They will use their unique skills to come up with creative solutions to the department’s problems, as opposed to creating art.

The exact way the artist could help is open to the interpretation of the individual hired.  They might look at designing flood control systems in more aesthetically pleasing ways or they could come up with innovative ways to reach the community.  

The artist will be paid $8,750 plus have a budget for $5,000 for expenses and will have to devote at least 250 hours between March and November to the city. The money will come from the city’s Innovation Office.

The Innovation Office, part of the city’s general fund, was started to recruit city employees to come up with unique ideas for functions the city was responsible for.  Projects have included a bike path with lighting, shipping containers repurposed for temporary use, and a collection of photos of people doing activities in Austin.  

This particular idea was thought up by City Cultural Arts Manager Meghan Wells, who sees it as a win-win for everyone involved.  She says it allows the artist community more visibility and a chance to be compensated and gives the city a fresh outlook on old ideas.  

The city will be hiring a visual artist this first year, but Wells wants to cast a wider net in the future and bring more city departments into the fold and more types of artists, including musicians, actors and more.

Austin isn’t the first city to have such a program.  Los Angeles and Boston both have similar programs that bring artists into city departments.  

The city is currently looking for ways to support the artistic community in Austin, as many artists are pushed out by rising rents and housing prices. The City Council already has a live music break during their meetings.  

Interested visual artists can go to an informational meeting on January 19th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at the City Hall Boards and Commissions Room at 301 W. Second Street.  All applications are due February 16th.

Are you an artist looking for an Austin apartment?  We can make your search quick and easy so you can get back to creative.  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 and let us help you find your new home.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Austin Apartment Rent Increases Down

Rent in Austin increased just 1.9 percent last month, which was the smallest increase in over six years, the Austin Business Journal reports.

An increase in the supply of apartments coupled with slowed job growth led to the smaller than normal rent increase.  Rent increases will pick back up again in the new year, though, and are forecast to hit 2.9 percent for 2017.

The supply of apartments in Austin reached its peak in the latter part of 2016, although the rest of the country is expected to see its highest number of units in the middle of next year.  Austin will likely see increased demand for apartments next year, as there are projected to be 25,000 new jobs in 2017, compared to 21,000 for November 2015 through October 2016.  

Rent increased the quickest in Eastern Travis County (a 7 percent increase), far north central Austin (6 percent), far northwest Austin (4.7 percent), San Marcos (3.7 percent), and North Travis County (3.7 percent).  

The average rent in the city last month was $1,198, an increase of 1.9 percent from $1,176 in November of last year.  Nationally, average rent was $1,278, an increase of 2.4 percent from $1,248 a year ago.

Occupancy rates in Austin were 94.2 percent last month, compared to 95.1 percent a year ago.  Nationally, occupancy was at 94.6 percent compared to 94.9 percent a year ago.

Now is a great time to take advantage of the Austin rental rates slow down and get a new apartment before things increase next year!  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 to find a great new apartment for the new year.

Friday, December 16, 2016

How to Have a Clean and Organized Holiday Season

It’s just over a week to Christmas and your to-do list is probably longer than the hours in the day.  Check out Realty Times’ advice for a keeping your house clean and organized through the holiday season.

The first step is to prioritize holiday activities and events.  Plan time into your schedule to do the most important activities, which can include shopping for food and gifts, decorating your house, and cleaning the house.  There can be so many invitations this time of year, don’t be afraid to say no sometimes so you can breathe and enjoy the season.

Making an inventory of your decorations can help you make sure you have what you need.  Before you put the decorations away at the end of the year, make a list of what you need to replace because it’s broken or you’re just tired of it. Also, make a list of what you need to store everything so it will be in tip top shape for next year.

You don’t have to do it all by yourself!  Get the family involved in your holiday to-do list.  Delegate tasks to each family member from putting up the tree to making sure music is playing when guests come over.  Other tasks to outsource:  decorating the Christmas tree, decorating the rest of the house, shopping for wrapping supplies, cleaning the house, preparing dishes, putting up outdoor decorations, and sweeping the path and driveway before guests come over.  

Want to truly give yourself a holiday gift?  Hire a cleaning service to come get your house in tip-top shape while you get some shopping done.  Also, new gifts will be coming in, so this is a perfect time to go through what you have and de-clutter, especially in the kid’s rooms, before the presents start piling up.

Wrapping paper can cause a mess, so be prepared by establishing a bin to put all the wrapping, ribbon, and bows in before you start opening presents.  

Don’t forget to make time to spend with your immediate family relaxing.  Rather than watching television, curl up in front of the fire in the glow of the tree and read a book or have a game night.  

Ready to find a new home as a Christmas gift to yourself?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 and we’ll help you find your dream apartment today!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bee Cave Trail Plan

A new comprehensive trail plan was presented at the Bee Cave City Council meeting November 22nd, the Austin American Statesman reports.  

The planned trail will be along RM 620 and continues to grow as the city gets more land for the trail from retailers and developers.  Currently, they are in talks with Target, Home Depot, and A+ Federal Credit Union to get an easement for a paved or granite path in the middle of the the stores.

The Canyonside Trail, which is being built by the developers of the Canyonside subdivision, is almost finished.  The city is working to connect all the disparate trails into a network that follows the roadway.  The biggest focus is on making walkways around the Hill Country Galleria and the Shops at the Galleria.  To make the connectivity plan a reality, the city has to collaborate with commercial and residential developers to either provide easements for trails or construct the actual trail.  The goal is to build trails within floodplains and easements for city services.

There are already 75 foot buffers along highways, so that’s an easy place to develop the trail, but the City Planning Director has more trouble when negotiating with developers to place the trail within their development.  

In the next five years, the priorities include a half-mile trail in the Morningside subdivision, the south portion of the Shops of the Galleria, adding a bike lane to the Ladera subdivision, a path following Bee Cave Parkway from Ladera to Bee Cave Central Park, a trail from Falconhead Boulevard to Bee Cave Parkway, and the portion from the stores on RM 620 to the Hill Country Galleria.  

There will also be some funds to improve pedestrian crossings provided by the Economic Development Board.

If you’re looking to live near this amazing trail system, there are some great apartments nearby. Bell Hill Country was recently renovated and has one, two, and three bedroom apartment homes with ornamental white countertops, white subway tile backsplashes, full size washers and dryers, garden tubs, wood-inspired vinyl plank flooring, USB outlets in the kitchen and stunning hill country views in some units.  The community has a fitness center with classes, a resident lounge with flatscreen tv, billiards, and Starbucks coffee bar, resort-style pool with outdoor kitchen, a pet park, and available garage and covered parking.  

Madrone Apartments have one, two, and three bedroom units with attached and detached garages, private backyards available, patios with ceiling fans, washers and dryers, soaking tubs and separate showers, wood-style flooring and blinds, and spacious walk-in closets.  Amenities include Lake Travis schools, valet dry cleaning and trash pick-up, stunning views of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, a fire pit area and more.

The one, two, and three bedroom apartments in Landmark Conservancy are well-appointed with granite counters, washers and dryers, plank flooring, and elevator access.  The complex has onsite storage, a fenced dog run with dog washing station, 24 hour fitness center, billiard and shuffleboard tables, running trails, and a conference room with presentation tv.  

Ready to make your home in Bee Caves, nearby Lakeway, or anywhere else in Austin?  A Plus Apartments can help! Give us a call today at 512-231-1400 and let us help you find your dream apartment!  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Austin Neighborhoods: Balcones Woods

It’s been over three years since we did our profile of Balcones Woods, an Austin neighborhood located in North Austin off Balcones Woods Drive, east of 183 between Braker and Duval. Balcones Woods' convenient location off major freeways and close to both the Arboretum and the Domain make it a great choice for many Austinites.

Children in the Balcones Woods area attend schools in the Austin Independent School District.  For Kindergarten through fifth grade, students go to Davis elementary, whose mascot is the Dolphins.  

Sixth through eighth graders go to Murchison Middle School.  Murchison is an International Baccalaureate School, their colors are orange and gold, and their mascot is the Matador.

For high school, students attend Anderson High School, whose mascot is the Trojans.  Anderson High School has been named one of the Best Public High Schools by Newsweek.  

As far as employers, there are many in the area and within commuting distance of Balcones Woods.  Apple, Inc. employs more than 6,000 Austinites, many at its one million square foot campus just three miles from Balcones Woods.  This campus is home to its customer service center, human resources, and online store.  

IBM also employs 6,000 Austin residents at its headquarters located three miles away on North Burnet Road.  IBM provides hardware, software, and IT services.  

There are lots of restaurant options in and near Balcones Woods including Roaring Fork, which cooks American fare using a wood fire.  They also have private dining rooms for your special event.

Promise Pizza serves all-organic pizzas with vegan and gluten-free options as well. Their crust is said to inspire diners to make cross-town treks for more!

For shopping, the Arboretum is less than two miles from Balcones Woods and has 210,000 square feet of stores and restaurants featuring everything under the sun.  There’s also a Trader Joe’s in the area for specialty groceries and two buck chuck!

If you exhaust all the options in the Arboretum, The Domain is just under three miles away and has hundreds of stores and restaurants, including anchor tenants Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Macy’s.  This upscale open-air shopping center also has a Whole Foods Market.  

Apartments abound in the Balcones Woods area.  Estate on Quarry Lake’s one and two bedroom apartments range from 621 square feet to 1,177 square feet and feature full size washer and dryers, large walk-in closets, crown molding, vaulted ceilings, and private balconies or patios.  Amenities include two swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness studio, lake views, and a lakeside walking and running trail.

Another community with a jogging trail is Ascent Arboretum, which also has an outdoor kitchen, a large fitness center, a resort style pool with lap lane, and a tea and coffee lounge.  Their one and two bedroom apartment homes have hardwood flooring, large walk-in closets, fireplaces, and washer and dryers.

Looking to be near bus lines?  Arboretum Oaks is near public transit and also has covered parking available, a fitness center, and a pool.  They have one and two bedroom apartments with high ceilings, private patios and balconies, wood burning fireplaces, built-in bookshelves, high ceilings, wood floors, and washer/dryer connections.  

Ready to make the move to Balcones Woods?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 and we can show you all the best apartment communities in Balcones Woods or anywhere in Austin, all in ONE easy appointment!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend Events in Austin

The recipe for surviving Thanksgiving is to make sure you get out and do stuff!  Luckily, there’s always something happening in Austin, and this weekend’s gorgeous weather makes it a great time to pile your relatives into the car and show them around our amazing city!

Earn your Thanksgiving feast by running in the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot to benefit Caritas of Austin.  It takes place Thanksgiving morning and has levels for everyone in the family, from the kid run at 8:15am, to a timed 5 mile walk/run, an untimed 5 mile walk/run, and a one mile walk/run.

Friday morning beginning at 10am, Santa will be on the Terrace of the Long Center, taking free pictures with your family with Austin’s amazing city skyline as the backdrop.  

Saturday is Chuy’s Annual Children Giving to Children Parade.  It starts at 11am at 11th and Congress and goes south on Congress to Cesar Chavez.  Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Operation Blue Santa, which gives toys to deserving children at Christmas.   

Sunday at 6pm is the Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony in Zilker Park.  Kick off the holiday season with music, food, and festivities and celebrate 50 years of the giant tree in the heart of the ATX!

If more sedentary activities are your thing, check out Edward Scissorhands at the French Legation Museum Saturday night at 6:30pm.  Presented by the Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow, you’re invited to bring a blanket, chairs, and beverage of choice for an evening of entertainment.  

Need a drink after a weekend of family?  The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery is offering free wine flights with the purchase of a glass of wine Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6pm.  

So go ahead, get your deep cleaning done today and enjoy the big day tomorrow secure in the knowledge that after the feast you can get out and have some fun!

Would you love to host Thanksgiving, but don’t have the space?  Call A Plus Apartments at  512-231-1400 to find an entertainer’s dream apartment in time for Christmas!