A Look at Austin Texas

By: Joe Cline

It's not the largest city in the country. It's not even the largest city in Texas, but that doesn't mean Austin is lacking . . . in anything. As the third fastest growing large city in the United States, Austin is thriving with history, industry and, most importantly, realty.

History

What today is Austin was at first named Waterloo and was originally home to a number of Native American tribes, such as the Tonkawa, a nomadic group who used the area as one of their many stops throughout the year. Plans to turn Austin into a city more European than Native American did not develop until the 1830s. And even then, it was not until 1839 that Austin was truly established and became Texas' capital.

The city began with a promising start, but a severe population drop in the 1840s offset the region's initial growth spurt. Months into 1841, the city was home to only 200 people. In 1842, the title of capital was taken from the dwindling city and given to Houston. But three years later, when Texas was annexed into the United States, that wrong was righted, albeit on a temporary basis. And in 1872, Austin was permanently selected as the Lone Star's capital.

From there, Austin had nowhere to go but up. And up it went. Austin quickly established itself as a legitimate metropolitan, building the Texas State Capitol, creating a reputable public school system, and bringing higher education and booming industry into the region. Today, it houses politicians, businessmen, students, musicians and scientists. It is safe to say that Austin is a far cry from the barely populated town it began as.

Economy/Jobs

Much of the industry in Austin is technology based. The steady flow of graduates from the University of Texas at Austin feed the growing need for employees as technology and science continue to develop, branching out into new, untapped territories. Dell, IBM, Motorola, the University of Texas and the state itself employ most of Austin's citizens. However, there is no lack of other corporations. Everything from Google to Whole Foods has a base in Austin.

This trend of budding corporations finding a home in Austin does not look to end soon. Commercial, pharmaceutical, and state and local possibilities arise every day. Even as the nation's economy teeters, Austin's remains strong, allowing for more jobs, more work and more people.

Real Estate

Just as the economy is strong, real estate is strong. While sales have slowed recently, they have not stopped. The price of living compared to the price of houses is more than appealing, particularly when compared to surrounding areas and metropolitans. New buildings and developments are plotted, begun or finished nearly every day. People are rushing into Austin for homes and offices at startling rates.

To make matters even better, Austin has established itself as one of the greenest cities in the country, mapping the course for green construction, alternative means of energy and environmental friendliness. It is working on becoming an urban area that both respects and takes part in saving the ecosystem.

It is a city that may have begun as a temporary dwelling for nomadic tribes but is now one of the best places to live in the United States, let alone Texas.

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