The cavalcade of celebrities relocating to Texas continues. This time, it’s a homecoming of sorts for the longtime host of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Chris Harrison. The Dallas native appears to be moving to Austin.
The New York Post’s Page Six reported December 29 that Harrison is building a home in West Austin’s high-end Barton Creek area for himself and his girlfriend, Entertainment Tonight host Lauren Zima. Many of the homes in the Barton Creek area sell for well over $1 million.
Why Austin (or at least Texas)? Here’s one clue: His son, Joshua Harrison, attends Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, roughly 190 miles north of Austin. On top of that, the senior Harrison is an investor in Dallas’ Steam Theory Brewing Co., and his mom is Dallas real estate agent Mary Beth Harrison.
The new digs in Austin are “partly because of a recent partnership deal he struck with a local brewery," TMZ quoted production sources as saying.
In early December, corporate relocation consultant John Boyd said in an interview that Texas in general and Austin in particular maintain a top-notch reputation as a magnet for talent, innovation, and wealth.
“I expect we will be seeing more and more celebrity CEOs, media figures, pro athletes, and famous entertainers relocate to low-tax Texas in the months ahead,” Boyd said.
Harrison’s pending move to Austin comes amid thorny rumors that he’s exiting The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchise. The relocation to Austin from Southern California, where the reality shows are taped, adds fuel to that speculation. However, TMZ seemingly extinguished the rumors with its exclusive report that Harrison is staying put as host.
In May, Harrison suggested that production of the next season of The Bachelorette might shift from California to another state — mentioning Texas by name — due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that season wound up being taped in a coronavirus “bubble” in Palm Springs, California.
Dallas-Fort Worth fans of the show got worked into a tizzy last season when a disagreement between DirecTV/AT&T and TEGNA resulted in a blackout of WFAA-Channel 8 through much of December. They came to an agreement late last month, in time for the new season premiere at 7 pm Monday, January 4.