Archives for August 2013

It’s Open!  No Va Kitchen and Bar on Rainey Street

It’s Open! No Va Kitchen and Bar on Rainey Street

I’ve been watching 87 Rainey for some time, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting to try No Va Kitchen and Bar since I first saw the TABC notice on the door in May 2012.

Well, it’s finally open, and I had the chance to try it last night.  Despite the name, the restaurant / bar concept is a definite go.

So many things to like!  First off, there’s a celebrity chef component (Brad Sorenson of The Next Food Network Star fame), AND he’s really friendly! Second, more FOOD on Rainey (which, as a Rainey resident, is very near and dear to my heart and stomach).  The food is tasty and not crazy expensive!

[Read more…]

Downtown Austin Art: The People’s Gallery at City Hall

Downtown Austin Art: The People’s Gallery at City Hall

Downtown Austin is home to several galleries, The Contemporary Austin (formerly known as AMOA-Arthouse), Lora Reynolds Gallery at the bottom of The 360 Condos, Women & Their Work in the northern part of downtown near Cambridge Towers to name a couple.

However, one of our favorite galleries is actually one you may not hear about as often: City Hall.

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Judges Hill Neighborhood in Downtown Austin Applies to Become Local Historic District

Judges Hill Neighborhood in Downtown Austin Applies to Become Local Historic District

We recently received notice that the Judges Hill Neighborhood Association, representing the area of downtown Austin between W 15th and W 18th and West Avenue and San Gabriel has applied for a rezoning to a Local Historic District.

Per the notice:

Local historic districts were created by the City Council as a tool to preserve the historic character of the city’s older neighborhoods by introducing design standards for additions and changes to existing buildings and for new construction within the district.  Designation of a neighborhood as a local historic district helps ensure that new construction within the district is compatible with the character of the area.  Local historic district designation does not prohibit change or new construction, but rather sets design parameters based upon historical precedents while encouraging conservation and energy efficiency.

Here’s a link to the notice, in its entirety. (note, in the second to last paragraph on the first page, it mentions “Hyde Park Local Historic District.”  We are assuming this is a typo and that the Hyde Park notice was used as a template for this notice).

A Local Historic District is not to be confused with a National Register Historic District:

local-historic-district-vs-national-register

 

If everything goes as planned, Judges Hill Historic District will join Castle Hill, Harthan Street, and Hyde Park as LHD’s.

If you live in Judges Hill and want more info – we came across this website that has a PLETHORA of info (we’re not sure how often it’s updated, though – so read with caution).

Phase 2 of Medical District Plan Aims For 2018

Phase 2 of Medical District Plan Aims For 2018

Last month, DAB took an in-depth look at the first phase of the Medical District plan, which looks at opening a UT medical school in the fall of 2016, while the planned opening of the Seton/Central Health hospital in January 2017.

But that is just the first phase.

Unlike the first phase, the second phase of development would not be developed by UT Austin, but instead by the Seton network and/or Central Health. The second phase, which happens south of 15th Street, would kick off only after Brackenridge can be repurposed or destroyed, which means sometime after 2017 (if all goes to plan).

[Read more…]

Families in Downtown Austin Condos

Families in Downtown Austin Condos

Sometimes when I’m chatting with a peer of mine about where they’d like to live, I ask them if they would consider downtown.  A common response to that question is “Well, I have (or want to have) kids….so….” as though that’s the consideration keeping them from a condo. I guess when people think of the demographic of downtown Austin (and, I guess, downtowns in general), they think that high-rises are for singles, young couples, or empty nesters – most folks don’t feel like condo buildings are places where families do or should dwell.

Well, believe it or not, there are lots of families living in downtown Austin that are bucking the stereotype.  I’ve had the chance of over the last several months to interview a few families living in downtown Austin [Read more…]