Archives for January 2009

Club FUZE – citizen stakeholders want it gone

Club FUZE is the next venue on the Downtown stakeholders’ list of night clubs identified as hosting recurring criminal activity.  A letter was sent on behalf of several Downtown stakeholders (including DANA, Capital Metro, and multiple residential buildings) to Don Garner, the owner of 505 Neches where Club FUZE is located.  According to the letter:

“In the past year the criminal activity inside and surrounding Club Fuze has escalated considerably. Reports obtained from the Austin Police Department data base reveal a serious escalation of violence, public drunkenness, prostitution, and illegal drug activity both in the club and on the adjoining street.”

The letter goes on to state,

“The club’s dangerous and illegal activities have reached the point that visitors are now being warned to not walk down Neches during peak club hours, hotel guests are being encouraged to avoid the area, and local residents have been forced to avoid the area and to warn their friends to not park near the club.”

Part of the challenge for the Police is coping with venues that have recurring problems.  According to data found at you might want to avoid club FUZE and the area around it.  Below is a list of criminal activity inside or in front of FUZE in December.

  1. 2008-3432326      2008-12-08      POSS OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
  2. 2008-3360157      2008-12-01      AGG ASSAULT
  3. 2008-3360157      2008-12-01      CUSTODY ARREST TRAFFIC WARR
  4. 2008-3500238      2008-12-15      DISTURBANCE/OTHER
  5. 2008-3360157      2008-12-01      ASSAULT W/INJURY-FAM/DATE VIOL
  6. 2008-3371894      2008-12-02      POSS OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
  7. 2008-3550403      2008-12-20      UIPP
  8. 2008-3382492      2008-12-03      PEDESTRIAN ON ROADWAY
  9. 2008-3360157      2008-12-01      POSS MARIJUANA
  10. 2008-3360157      2008-12-01      FAILURE TO IDENTIFY
  11. 2008-3360157      2008-12-01      VIOL OF EMERG PROTECTIVE ORDER
  12. 2008-3361590      2008-12-01      PUBLIC INTOXICATION
  13. 2008-3361590      2008-12-01      REQUEST TO APPREHEND

Citizen stakeholders have recently been successful in purging the neighborhood of offending night clubs.  Last month, Tim Finley, the owner of the building housing Club Paradox and Club Planeta, was urged to clean up his tenant’s act after discussions with residents, police, hotels, and the convention center. After years of increasing crime and violence in and around clubs Paradox and Planeta, it was clear to Tim Finley that change was needed. He terminated their lease.

Downtown Austin – Is Opportunity Knocking?

is opportunity knocking?

is opportunity knocking?

“NY Times article of interest: OK, so it’s NYC, but the buyer sentiments are not unlike those of many Austinites I believe. (Note the negotiated price reductions…)”

He’s dead on.  Traffic at my last few open houses at the Sabine has picked up significantly over the past couple of weeks.   This makes sense for two important reasons:  1) Mortgage rates are at record lows, and 2) sellers understand the need to negotiate.

From the article “Many of these buyers have never received a fat bonus check, so they don’t miss it now. They did not suffer huge stock market losses, because they didn’t have huge stock market investments. They aren’t mourning the loss of value in their existing co-ops or condos, because they have never owned one….They have jobs and good credit ratings, and they are looking to buy.”

link to article “For The Brave, The Moment Is Now”

Public Invited to View Waller Creek Tunnel Models

Waller Creek Tunnel Project

Waller Creek Tunnel Project

This month the public can preview at the Downtown Austin Public Library a model of the future tunnel.  While progress is slower than we would like to see, this has been a good month for Waller Creek.  Below are some other highlites.

US Army corp of engineers report
This is a strong indicator that the engineering efforts are moving forward.

Waller Creek district TIF is now line item on property tax statements

The city and county approved TIF financing is now a line item on the property tax bill for properties within the Waller Creek District.  This indicates that the County is prepared to fund its portion of the redevelopment.  No additional taxes are levied, rather a % of property taxes collected from Waller Creek district properties go towards repaying the bonds financing the construction of the tunnel.

Dale Glover will replace Tracy Atkins on the Waller Creek Citizens Advisory Committee
Dale is a vocal and outspoken advocate of Downtown Austin and Waller Creek redevelopment.  His appointment is for the DAA’s chair on the committee.  This is in addition to his involvement with Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, Downtown Austin Alliance, and the Austin Parks Foundation.

Also, over the holidays, I shared a thought about how the loss of the Marriott and AMOA should reflect positively on 21c’s decision to move forward.  The addition of 21c museum/hotel/residences along Waller Creek would be excellent for our values.  Hopefully, they will begin to see the light!

Downtown Austin Emerging Projects – updated poster

downtown austin emerging projects

downtown austin emerging projects

The City of Austin periodically publishes a poster of emerging projects.  The latest version (pdf) was just released.  This poster shows projects under construction or being planned in Downtown Austin.  Big changes can be seen on this poster compared to the last version.

1) Lance Armstrong Crosstown Bikeway

1) Monarch (complete)
2) 360 (complete)
3) AMLI on 2nd (complete)
4) Museum Tower, AMOA (dead)
5) Red River Flats (complete)
6) La Vista on Lavaca (on hold)
7) Aqua Terra (dead)

Buildings not likely to get built within the next five years.
1) 7Rio
2) Ovation
3) Navare Block 52
4) Federal Courthouse
5) The Orsey
6) Marriott Hotel