BG Reads | News You Need to Know (June 10, 2019)



Council zones McKalla Place for end-of-summer groundbreaking (Austin Monitor)

City Council unanimously approved a rezoning of the city-owned McKalla Place property on Thursday, granting Precourt Sports Ventures the entitlements needed to move forward with its proposed site plan.

The vote redesignates the property at 10414 McKalla Place and 10617½ Burnet Road from limited industrial services (LI-NP) zoning to limited industrial services-planned development area (LI-PDA-NP) zoning.

The requested planned development area designation will accommodate the professional soccer stadium as designed, permitting multifamily residential, outdoor entertainment, a cocktail lounge, a transportation terminal, and club or lounge uses… (LINK TO STORY)

See also:

BG Episode 46: Austin FC Updates from Club President Andy Loughnane

Why does one company get all of Travis County’s electronic monitoring business? (Austin Monitor)

In recent years, Travis County has seen an increase in the number of people released from jail on bail on condition that they wear some type of monitoring device, whether it tracks their location or detects the presence of alcohol.

This trend represents a big business opportunity for the multiple companies in Central Texas that provide the devices. However, in contrast to most other surrounding jurisdictions, defendants in Travis County don’t get to choose where they get their device. The county has a designated local provider that provides all of the devices.

In recent years, Victim Safety First has been the exclusive provider of GPS monitoring devices and radio frequency devices (the latter are for people under house arrest), while Dallas-based Recovery Healthcare has provided alcohol monitoring devices, often referred to by their brand name, SCRAM… (LINK TO STORY)


State Rep. Eric Johnson easily defeats council member Scott Griggs to become Dallas mayor (Dallas Morning News)

State Rep. Eric Johnson, who rose from the blight of West Dallas to a career in law and public service, defeated council member Scott Griggs on Saturday and will become Dallas' next mayor.

Johnson, 43, was backed by most of the city's business and political elite — including term-limited Mayor Mike Rawlings — and had a huge money advantage over his opponent. The election results showed the veteran legislator enjoyed strong support from northern and southern Dallas, while running well enough in the east to pull out an easy victory. The Dallas lawyer campaigned on bringing the city together to solve its nagging problems, effectively casting Griggs as a dangerous divider who would set the city backward… (LINK TO STORY)

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg wins second term after bruising battle (San Antonio Express-News)

Mayor Ron Nirenberg narrowly survived a bruising runoff Saturday, earning a second term and fending off challenger Greg Brockhouse in what widely was considered to be the most polarizing local election in a generation.

The mayor won by a slim margin of 51-to-49 percent, with all precincts reporting. The contest drew more votes than any municipal race since 2005, when Phil Hardberger beat Julián Castro. Nirenberg campaigned on a vision to continue guiding the seventh-largest city in the United States into a new chapter. He vowed to do so with carefully laid, far-reaching plans he initiated in his first term to tackle mass transit and affordable housing, among other long-term challenges… (LINK TO STORY)

See also:

Women run away with San Antonio City Council seats, forming first female majority council in a decade (Texas Public Radio)

Dwight Boykins kicks off campaign for Houston mayor (Houston Chronicle)

Houston City Councilman Dwight Boykins formally kicked off his mayoral campaign Saturday afternoon, jumping into the race by promising to lead with “courage and compassion” in a speech laden with references to Houston firefighters and implicit critiques of Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Under sweltering heat in a parking lot across the street from Fire Station 46, located in the heart of Boykins’ southeast Houston council district, the new mayoral candidate pitched his candidacy for the first time, citing his experience on council and support for the fire union during the months-long Proposition B dispute. "We need leadership that has the courage to stand for what's right, even if you have to stand alone, as I have,” Boykins said. “...For me, standing with the men and women of the Houston Fire Department wasn't just talk. It was action.”… (LINK TO STORY)


Mexico agreed to take border actions months before Trump announced tariff deal (New York Times)

The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations.

Friday’s joint declaration says Mexico agreed to the “deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.” But the Mexican government had already pledged to do that in March during secret talks in Miami between Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of homeland security, and Olga Sanchez, the Mexican secretary of the interior, the officials said… (LINK TO STORY)


Episode 49 - Downtown Talk with Kevin Burns, Founder and CEO, Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors

On today’s episode we speak with Kevin Burns, founder and CEO of Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors. Bingham Group CEO A.J. Bingham discusses Urbanspace’s evolution as well as thoughts on brand development, entrepreneurship, and hustle with Kevin.

Founded as real estate office in 2000, Urbanspace has evolved into a full-service firm specializing in residential real estate, project sales + marketing, and interior design + furniture.

The firm is linked to some of Austin’s most visible downtown projects, including the Seaholm Residences (where they closed all 274 units) and The Independent, the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi, expected to close out in 2019.

Follow Urbanspace on Twitter at: @urbanspace


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The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.


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