Archives for February 2011

[Stop] Signs Of Progress In Rainey Neighborhood

[Stop] Signs Of Progress In Rainey Neighborhood

I was expecting the City to share with stakeholders a draft of an “in the works” plan for Downtown Austin’s Rainey neighborhood. There’s not much to report. Instead, stakeholders were met with City staff taking notes on what the stakeholders had to say.

Staff from several City departments were in attendance, including: Public Works, Parks & Recreation, Austin Energy, Transportation, Planning & Development, Austin Police. Also present was perennial sustainability advocate and Austin City Council member Chris Riley.

What’s next? Each department will organize their feedback and report to…. nobody is sure. I’ve asked the City to create a dedicated web presence for Rainey Street (e.g. www.cityofaustin.org/raineystreet) to better organize and distribute information. Here is pdf scan of the handouts. And, I’m glad to share that there is real progress to report. [Read more…]

Tribute To Tejano Culture Coming To Capitol Lawn

Tribute To Tejano Culture Coming To Capitol Lawn

The gently sloping hill of the historic south lawn of the Texas Capitol grounds will soon host a monument that recognizes the legacy and contribution of Tejanos to Texas Culture. This monument will cover slightly more than 500 sq. ft. and will be the largest monument on any state capitol grounds in all 50 states.

There was a ban on new monuments on the south lawn, but an organized and persistent group of legislators helped push legislation which would mandate that the Tejano Monument be constructed on the South Lawn of the Capitol Grounds and [Read more…]

Fat Guy Cycling Club – Downtown Austin Bicycle Rides

Fat Guy Cycling Club – Downtown Austin Bicycle Rides

My friend Zeke had a vision.  He had a vision to make workouts fun and accessible to guys who don’t usually work out and who generally don’t really like working out.  He had a vision to blend exercise with exploring.  Zeke (and the other founding members of the group) made his vision into reality with a small (but growing) bike club call “Fat Guy Cycling Club.”  The group does weekly (weather permitting) bike rides around central and downtown Austin, usually followed by a pretty manly lunch.  Downtown Austin Blog loves his concept, and asked him to write a very short blurb on his group….

[Read more…]

Varsity Theatre

Varsity Theatre

I enrolled at the University of Texas in 1995… when Tower Records was the SPOT!  I was buying Wu-Tang CDs like Ol’ Dirty Bastard was having kids.  The building was originally the Varsity Theatre.  In recent years it’s been vacant, after a poorly timed retail attempt by a bookstore, Intellectual Property Capital.  The ABJ’s Jacob Dirr scoops what’s next for one of the most desirable retail sites in Austin, along with some history of the building.  We found some old photos to share with you. [Read more…]

Progress at 68-74 Rainey Street

Progress at 68-74 Rainey Street

A couple of weeks ago we discovered this Rainey Street development site was placed under contract.  Asking price was $2.4MM for the 0.57-acre parcel (24,840ft) assembled from three contiguous single family lots.

Thanks to a tip from Downtown Austin Blog reader Austin Talley [Austin is a rare downtown resident who owns and lives in a single family home in the Rainey Street neighborhood] there appears to be geotechnical survey truck on the 68-74 Rainey Street property today taking core samples.

Austin, who is an engineer, shared with us “… geotechnical engineering studies are primarily done to investigate subsurface conditions to assist with engineering design for a large scale building or other large projects. The previous times I saw a geotechnical truck in the Rainey area the Legacy, Shore, and Milago were later built on the sites. It is likely [Read more…]