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Downtown Austin: Where the city’s movers and shakers put down roots

There are so many great places to live in Austin that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.

If you’re considering a move to Austin, real estate agent Carl Shurr says choosing downtown is a sure bet.

“The energy of living downtown is hard to beat,” he says. “It is exciting to see the growth that has occurred since 2006, when I moved here from Chicago. I was told then that no one lives downtown — now it’s the place to be if you want to be connected to what’s happening in Austin.”

Shurr himself — along with his two dogs, Dude and Rocky — has called both downtown and Travis Heights home since arriving in Austin. Currently, he’s renovating his condo at The Austonian, a true skyline staple as the second-tallest building in Austin.

The renovation process is one he’s enjoyed and loves to share his expertise on. He also loves showing condos, and lists the energy, convenience, and people as the main draws to the area, saying it’s where the movers and shakers live.

Shurr offered up a few more of his personal favorites about life in downtown Austin. Here’s his guide to the area:

Where to eat & drink
“While there are many new and exciting restaurants in downtown Austin, a couple of my classic, go-to favorites include Eddie V’s and Truluck’s,” Shurr says. “They both consistently deliver excellent food and service.”

“I’m a big fan of Royal Blue Grocery,” he continues. “I was a regular customer when they opened their first store downtown at the 360 Condominiums in 2008 — now they’re all over the downtown area.”

For the best rooftop patio in town, he heads to Bob’s Steak & Chop House, while Comedor is “arguably my favorite restaurant in all of Austin.”

Peacock Grill and ATX Cocina also make his must-visit list.

Where to play
Lady Bird Lake and the hike and bike trail around it is my favorite place to be outside in downtown Austin,” says Shurr. “It is truly the heartbeat of the city and a beautiful place to exercise.”

Another must-see is the Texas Capitol, a massive, three-story granite structure that is the largest capitol building in the United States. As Shurr points out, it is over 100 years old and stands 14 feet higher than the United States Capitol.

Where to live
Homes in downtown Austin are mostly modern in their architecture, with the majority of the condominium developments in the area being less than 10 years old.

Shurr’s favorite sale in downtown was at the iconic Austonian, at 200 Congress Ave. Another recent sale at Spring was exciting, he says, as it sold off-market with multiple offers well over the asking price: “We set a new price-per-square-foot record for the development.”

A current, three-bedroom condo listing at 300 Bowie St. showcases floor-to-ceiling views and an enviable location that’s only a short walk to Whole Foods, Lifetime Fitness, Seaholm Plaza, the lakefront, hike and bike trail, and many of the best restaurants in downtown Austin.

Carl Shurr lives, works, and plays in downtown Austin. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email, or call 512-944-5977.

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