Downtown Austin News & Rumor Roundup

Downtown Austin News & Rumor Roundup

Wooldridge Park is open again 

Wooldridge Park – the basin-like lawn and gazebo at 9th & Guadalupe – opened this past week after a year-long upgrade with drought-tolerant turf grass, a new irrigation system and electrical upgrades including high-efficiency LED light fixtures.

The upgrade was made possible, by in-large, due to the selfless and dogged determination of DAB friend Michael McGill, a city council staffer in Sheryl Cole’s office and a founder of Friends of Woolridge Square.

If you see Mike in the ‘hood, and you value downtown Austin, please take a moment to tell him: “Thank you.”

That aside, the question everyone is asking is if the park will revert back into a hangout for homeless people, as it was pre-upgrade. I have a hard time believing that the people who invested so much time and energy into upgrading this place will allow it to revert back into a Hooverville.

I’ll keep tabs on this and update everyone in a few months!

New Kids on the (Downtown) Block

Downtown Austin’s largest property holder – Thomas Properties – just let go of it’s book of commercial properties… sort of.

Orlando-based Parkway Properties Inc. acquired Thomas, in what is described as a “merger,” but it remains to be seen how the acquisition will impact downtown Austin, as Thomas Properties’ influence runs deep around here.

The ABJ did a bang-up job detailing the properties impacted and digging into the local reaction.

Children’s museum shutters downtown

The Austin Children’s Museum closed its doors earlier this month, as it prepares to rebrand and relocate to new, custom-built, space out in Mueller.

First opened in 1983, the museum moved to its 2nd Street location in 1997.  Since that time, 2nd Street has grown into a thriving live/work/play strip of downtown.  I think that the bright green, children-themed façade of the museum helped lend an air of comfort to people exploring downtown from the suburbs, which helped revitalize downtown.  So, it’s departure is a loss for downtown.

The ABJ previously reported that the building would be leased, but I’ll be interested to see if it is razed for another skyscraper instead.

About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.

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