Austin and SXSW's Waning Weirdness? Blame Spiking Real Estate Prices and a Tech Industry Influx

March 13, 2015 3:27 PM

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Austin and SXSW's Waning Weirdness? Blame Spiking Real Estate Prices and a Tech Industry Influx

On Feb. 12, Sergio and Monica Lejarazu arrived at Jumplin, their beloved Austin piñata store, only to find it razed. Amid conflicting reports of what actually happened -- their realtor said they were behind on rent, among other complaints. It was rumored the tech company behind the demolition was planning to use the space for a South by Southwest event (they weren't). One narrative emerged from the dust-up: the locals that had kept Austin so proudly "weird" were becoming a victim of their city's success.

"The personality and fingerprint of this city is unlike anywhere else," Dave Grohl told Rolling Stone last November. "The preservation of that needs to be a priority because if you're not careful, that could be wiped away and you're left with just a strip mall."

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