The cavalry of celebrities moving to Austin continues. This time around, it’s the longtime host of ABC’s reality dating shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
Page 6 of the New York Post reported on December 29th that TV presenter Chris Harrison was building a house for himself and his girlfriend, Entertainment Tonight presenter Lauren Zima, in West Austin’s high-end Barton Creek neighborhood. Many of the homes in the Barton Creek area sell for well over $ 1 million.
Why Austin (or at least Texas)? Here’s a clue: His son Joshua Harrison attends Texas Christian University, about 190 miles north of Austin. Additionally, the senior Harrison is from Dallas and is an investor in Dallas’ Steam Theory Brewing Co., and his mother is Dallas real estate agent Mary Beth Harrison.
Harrison has not confirmed or denied moving to the Austin area with podcaster Joe Rogan and actor James Van Der Beek.
In early December, corporate relocation consultant John Boyd told CultureMap that Texas in general, and Austin in particular, have a world-class reputation as a magnet for talent, innovation and wealth.
“I expect more and more prominent CEOs, media representatives, professional athletes and famous entertainers to move to Texas in the coming months,” said Boyd.
Harrison’s upcoming move to Austin comes amid thorny rumors that he is leaving the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchises. Moving from Southern California to Austin, where the reality shows are taped, adds to that speculation. However, TMZ apparently erased the rumors with its exclusive report that Harrison remains in custody.
In May, Harrison suggested that the next season’s production of The Bachelorette could be relocated from California to another state – with Texas being mentioned by name – due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this season ended in a coronavirus “bubble” in Palm Springs, California. By the way, Harrison let the Texas reference with him during a television interview – who else? – his girlfriend.