87 Rainey Street Downtown Austin Update: NO VA (not NOVA) to Open End of 2012 (Hopefully).

87 Rainey Street Downtown Austin Update: NO VA (not NOVA) to Open End of 2012 (Hopefully).


UPDATE 8/31/2013: No Va is OPEN for Business!  Check out pics and my review HERE.

UPDATE 7/1/2013: Just got a note from Brad Sorenson with an update on what is going on with NO VA

Things are getting really close now. Construction is pretty close to complete with inspections taking place and little odds and ends being finished. I have started hiring for the kitchen and we should be training with in a couple weeks. I don’t want to make a guess on when an opening date will be until we have set it in stone on our end.


Remember that mega post I did on what’s happening on Rainey Street?  In the post, I talked about 87 Rainey Street located in the Rainey Street District of Downtown Austin, and how I had not heard any updates on just what exactly was going on in that space.  Well, that must have hit Brad Sorenson‘s (the head chef of the new concept, perhaps more widely known for his stint on The Next Food Network’s Star) Google Alerts, because he promptly posted a comment on the Blog saying things were still a go for the restaurant concept.

Which was great, but I wanted more info – so I emailed him and asked if we could meet.  I was actually very surprised when he said okay.

So we met.  Last week.  And, let me just say this – the guy OOZES affability. He’s also real, real tall.

I was absolutely charmed, I will admit – but not only by him as a person, but also by what he told me about NO VA.

First off, NO VA is the name (there’s a space in between “O” and “V”, 2 words), not NOVA, as it’s previously been reported.  There’s actually a cute little story behind the name, too, Brad tells me.  “No va” is what the owner of the business said when he looked at the house at 87 Rainey Street when he initially purchased it, in late 2009.  He said “No va”, because, at the time, [Read more…]

Whitley: Downtown Luxury Apartments

Whitley: Downtown Luxury Apartments

Whitley Austin

Developers of the Whitley have launched their marketing website for the forthcoming 16-story, 266 unit downtown Austin apartment high rise.  AustinTowers broke the news in July that the apartment building, currently under construction in the Railyard District, would be branded as “Whitley” – a hat tip to the Whitley Paper company that used to occupy the site.

On the new website, we learn the 6th floor will host a mezzanine level pool deck.  The website also reveals certain amenities that suggest the building is targeting luxury apartment renters, by including a “Dog Park with Artificial Grass and Dog Washing Machine”, “Guest Suites Available”, and “Oversized Private Garages Available”.  Make sure the checkout the construction timelapse video.

Whitley Austin - Lobby RenderingThe Whitley’s site plan includes 10,000ft of retail space at the ground level.  CBRE is handling the commercial leasing with retail space being quoted at $36ft NNN.

Completion should be Q2 2013.

The address of the Whitley is officially:
301 Brazos Street (Brazos @ 3rd)
Austin, TX 78701

Whitley Austin Apartments - Pool Deck

New Apartment Tower At 97 Trinity?

New Apartment Tower At 97 Trinity?


Based on conceptual plans filed with the City of Austin, national real estate developer Wood Partners could be entering the downtown Austin apartment market with a tower at the southeast corner of Trinity @ Cesar Chavez.  Recently, it was announced that the one-acre site was sold from Hixon Properties to World Class Capital Group.

The plans refer to the project as “Trinity Place.”

Even with the Lakeside apartments to the south, a 6-9 story structured parking garage would allow clear lake views for most of a residential tower.  Lakeside is an aging structure, so perhaps this is an opportunity for the City to partner with a developer to provide a modernized affordable housing component.  Also, I think the Convention Center could be interested this site for future expansion.  Either way, it’s exciting to see something happening on this site.

Trinity Place conceptual footprint – Cesar Chavez @ Trinty (pdf)

2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin

2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin


Next Sunday, April 22, 2012, from 11am-5pm, is the 2012 Downtown Living Tour.  The Tour is a showcase of homes located in Downtown Austin, and is put on by the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (it’s DANA’s only fundraiser, and helps keep the organization chugging throughout the rest of the year).  A portion of proceeds this year will also go to The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

The 2012 Downtown Living Tour has [Read more…]

Wanderlust LIVE – Open House on April 13th

Wanderlust LIVE – Open House on April 13th

Wanderlust LIVE Austin

We wrote about the changing face of the Railyard district not too long ago, and one of the new establishment mentioned was Wanderlust, a new Yoga Studio and Live Music Venue that’s opening soon on the northeast corner of 4th and Brazos.

Well, we’ve recently learned a bit more about the concept and wanted to share…..

So a short summary of the back-story – apparently, Austin locals Ashley Spence Clauer and Joanna Kutchey were so inspired by the Wanderlust Festival, that they decided to bring it to Austin!

And here are some excerpts from a press release sent by their marketing department directly to our office:

Located in a revamped historic warehouse in the heart of the entertainment district of downtown Austin, Wanderlust LIVE’s impeccably designed space is not your average yoga studio.  Featuring two studios—one for regular classes and one with a built in stage and top of the line sound and lights—the 6,000 square foot Wanderlust LIVE will offer Austinites a new place to rock out, consciously.


Truly bringing the festival experience home, Wanderlust LIVE will feature organic eats by Austin’s Blenders and Bowls—serving healthy and delicious organic acai bowls, natural fruit smoothies, coffee, tea and more. The studio’s outdoor patio seating will provide ample space to eat, relax after class or sip a beverage at Wanderlust happy hour.  At all live music and other special nighttime events, attendees also may enjoy organic beer and hand picked biodynamic wines. And inside, the Wanderlust LIVE Boutique will offer specialty yoga gear and apparel.

It looks like this place is going to have a few uses – retail, restaurant / bar, live music venue, and yoga studio.  What’s not to love?  And, they’ll be hosting an open house on April 13th, the Friday before they open to the public.

I know that I’m getting a little excited about it after reading about it – and will definitely want to check it out!



Virtual Flyover Of The 3rd & Brazos Apartment High Rise

Virtual Flyover Of The 3rd & Brazos Apartment High Rise

riverside resources downtown austin apartment tower

Not much info has been released about the design of Riverside Resources’ 20 16-story apartment building under construction at 3rd & Brazos (in the newly monikered Railyard District).

The video below is a virtual flyover of the building, and provides more insight into the design. (update: the video settings have been changed to private)

[Read more…]

Recent History: An Original Railyard Condos Marketing Flyer

Recent History: An Original Railyard Condos Marketing Flyer

original railyard condos marketing flyer

This piece of real estate ephemera fell into my hands only a day ago.  I didn’t set out to publish two consecutive posts about the Railyard, but this was too interesting not to share!

Most of you know the Railyard condos were converted from apartments in the late ’90s. This flyer was intended to lure renters of the original Railyard apartments into buyers of the soon-to-be condos before opening them up for purchase by the general public.

railyard condos marketing flyer

Coming Soon: The Changing Face Of The Railyard District

Coming Soon: The Changing Face Of The Railyard District

westlake dermatology downtown austin

Let it be known as the Railyard District, that part of downtown Austin, south of 5th Street and sandwiched between Congress Ave and the Austin Convention Center.  You could straddle the convention center and include the area east, around Moonshine, too.

It’s an interesting mix of conventioneers and locals, both feeding on chicken and waffles at Max’s Wine Dive.

For decades, the district has been anchored by the Railyard condos, and recently flanked by the Four Seasons.  Soon, these will not be the only full time residences.

In the past couple of years we’ve seen improvements and new businesses open in the neighborhood, including AF1 Racing, Vince Young Steakhouse, Hank’s Garage (which is gone), and Skinny’s Ballroom.

Walking around a post-SXSW absent is the hyper-pedestrianism of the past 10 days, and I observe a “coming soon” sign.  I see more as I keep walking.  In one lap around the Railyard district, I counted nine businesses or projects “coming soon”!


What’s COMING SOON to the Railyard District?   [Read more…]