Steve Austin, who directs the new Center for Community Legacy Initiatives at the Blue Grass Community Foundation, formerly headed the “smart growth” group Bluegrass Tomorrow. He is one of those people who tries to think like a hockey player. You know, focus on where the puck is going, not where it is now.
While in Austin, Texas, on the Commerce Lexington trip, he noticed an interview in Austin Monthly magazine with Guy Forsyth, a singer and songwriter. Down in the article, Forsyth was quoted as saying home prices have tripled since he moved to Austin in 1990, pricing him out of many neighborhoods, despite his success.
A generation ago, musicians began coming to Austin because they were being priced out of California. “Austin has peaked, but they don’t know it,” Austin said. “Being the next hot thing has passed for them.”
If young musicians can no longer afford to live in Austin, will they stop going there? Where will they go instead? “Why couldn’t it be Lexington?” he wondered.