Cities evolve. Few quite as visibly as Austin over the past couple of decades.
We’ve got the first look at what’s coming to the site of the former RunTex store at S. 1st and Riverside Drive. Demo permits were approved last month, and fencing has been erected around the site.
In its place, a six-story cousin (some might say “clone”) of The Crescent apartments – just down the street – is planned, called “Broadstone on the Lake.” It will feature 119 affordable units and 207 market rate ones, for a grand total of 326 apartments, according to city records.
The building is being designed by Kelly Grossman Architects, who designed the Hill Country Galleria, The Crescent and 404 Rio Grande.
I’m not going to lie. While I’m thrilled about packing in some more density into the core, I’m pretty “meh” about the whole faux-urban motif of the design. Some might say that level of design is better suited for a series of outlet malls in San Marcos. But, let’s remember that the Broadstone apartment housing brand, much like the Millennium apartment housing brand coming to Rainey Street, is a national chain of apartment complexes, and it is what it is.
Thankfully, The Catherine – a 19-story, $68 million, 300-unit residential tower beginning to be constructed next door – has some design panache. Formerly nick-named “StreetLights at Barton Springs” that building is next iteration of the Aquaterra condominium project, which fell victim to the lending withdraw of the 2008 recession.
(Also, also… the Hyatt Town Lake is removing a substantial amount of surface parking, and building a seven-story parking garage and ballroom behind the Sherry Matthews building. Austin Towers profiled the development there this past February.)
A note about RunTex
Although RunTex was a tenant and was going to get booted anyway, the poetic tragedy of the demolition coinciding with the apparent troubles of the RunTex business and brand is too dramatic to not mention here.
RunTex was founded 25 years ago, and as a fellow entrepreneur who knows about blood and sweat in pursuit of a dream, I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness for all the people whose lives are intertwined with the bricks and pavement about to be wiped from the earth there.
It is important, though, to note that I used the word “evolve” in the first sentence of this post. Change isn’t easy, but the development of the site is a natural and healthy evolution for downtown Austin.