Archives for August 2013

Downtown Austin News & Rumor Roundup

Downtown Austin News & Rumor Roundup

It’s official: Rainey St getting a grocer, pizzeria

Exalted sighs of relief erupted among residents in the Rainey Street District, which includes yours truly, with the recent announcement that we are getting proper food establishments… the kind open before 4pm.

Royal Blue Grocery will add a fifth location to its collection of neighborhood grocery stores with a 2,550 square foot location fronting on Rainey Street at the base of the SkyHouse apartment tower.  Salvation Pizza will open its second Austin location, bringing authentic New Haven style pizza there too.

Don’t get me wrong, the food trucks are great but sometimes you just want a simple morning coffee.

Brazos benches yanked out

If you haven’t noticed yet, there are a few less benches along Brazos Street around 6th Street.  The city took decisive action after businesses and residents in the area banded together to demand a solution to the vagrants camping along there and harassing passers-by.   In all, 23 benches were taken out, cleaned and put in storage to live somewhere else another day.

(Disclosure: I voted in favor of supporting a letter to remove the benches as a board member of DANA)

According to a pretty darn good report from KXAN, “The city’s sit/lie ordinance, where loiterers are asked to move, does not apply to benches. It only applies to planters and sidewalks. One business owner said he was calling police for help about six times a day.”

Dell Medical School prep-construction starts this fall

The University of Texas is losing no time getting to work on its ambitious medical district master plan.

Earlier this week, UT officials spent their evening at City Hall, first getting the Urban Transportation Commission’s blessing to move Red River, then a couple hours later sailing through the Planning Commission.

UT officials told the Planning Commission that they plan to get the road reconstruction and utility relocation started this fall, and that sometime between 2014 and 2015 Red River would be closed to through traffic while work is underway.

Transportation Director Rob Spillar promised at the meeting that the campus would focus on bike and pedestrian ease-of-use, not car-centric plans. (Note to Bill Powers: Careful with those benches!)

UPDATE: Rendering of Block 1

UPDATE: Rendering of Block 1

As a follow up to our post last week showing you the elevation drawings for Block 1 (aka Green Water Treatment Facility) at the corner of E. Cesar Chavez and San Antonio Streets, the rendering below was spotted on Reddit this afternoon.  It clearly shows how the building will stair step from Cesar Chavez.

block1-trammell-crow

The Riley – New Development In Downtown Austin’s Warehouse District

The Riley – New Development In Downtown Austin’s Warehouse District

Tom Calhoon, owner of the building at the southeast corner of 4th and Lavaca (Warehouse District), is redeveloping his property into an event-venue space called The Riley.

You might recognize the building, as it used to be home to 219 West, and recently the Red Room.  The latter operator was not there long and notable for accusations of LGBT discrimination.

Details are sparse, but it’s very interesting to see downtown development that’s not a high rise!

Also, this is the second major development on this intersection… caddy corner, Gables and Hotel ZaZa are expected to break ground soon on a 25 story tower.

riley-building4-former-219-west

riley-building3-former-219-west

riley-building2-former-219-west

riley-building

 

Houndstooth Coffee Weaves Into The Fabric Of Downtown Austin

Houndstooth Coffee Weaves Into The Fabric Of Downtown Austin

[Editor’s note: Please welcome Julia Bass as a DAB guest contributor!  Julia is a NYC native who recently relocated to Austin.  As a newbie, she sees downtown through a fresh lens, and will be covering people, places, and events that we might have otherwise missed, or taken for granted.  Please welcome Julia to the downtown community while she flexes her writing muscles for us!  For feedback or questions, please contact her at JuliaBass28 [AT] gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @jul928.]

Artisanal caffeinery Houndstooth Coffee has opened a second location in Austin, anchored in the lobby of the Frost Bank Tower on Congress and 4th Street. High quality coffee shops have woken up the city in a big way, and as downtown Austin grows, so does the availability of high quality coffee.

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