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…]

Skyhouse Apartments on Rainey

Skyhouse Apartments on Rainey

If you are looking for a new downtown apartment to rent come late November 2013, Skyhouse Apartments on Rainey Street across from the Milago Condos may be a viable option.

They’ve been on our radar lately, most notably because of the recent announcement confirming that Royal Blue Grocery will be occupying a large part of the ground floor frontage, which will be a HUGE add to the Rainey Street District (we’re excited about the Salvage Pizza, too!).

I personally also think this is an interesting apartment development because Novare and Batson-Cook are building / have built, for all intents and purposes, the EXACT same building (the footprints of the units are a little smaller in the Austin iteration) in two other major southern cities that I’ve lived in – Houston and Atlanta.

Prices for the Skyhouse Austin [Read more…]

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!)

A Development Map of Rainey Street

A Development Map of Rainey Street

News and stories about Rainey Street’s neighborhood growth is often scattered and disparate, so we thought it would be helpful for the casual development-watcher to see everything on one map.

The image below shows what is coming down the pike.  You can click on the map to get a full size version.  DAB will continue to update the map as we get new intel.


Rainey Street Poster

Rainey Street Development

Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt Begins Site Work

Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt Begins Site Work

It’s for real this time.  Planned in 2006 as a sister development to the Shore Condos, which shares the southern part of the site, the Hotel Van Zandt was originally going to be a $100 million, 29-story hotel and condo tower.  The scope of the development was reduced to 16 stories and will include just the hotel.

JMI, the developer of the hotel, told the ABJ in March that June was their target month to break ground.  Bulldozers began clearing the site this morning.

Here are target dates for the construction:

  • Start date: July 2, 2013
  • Subterranean excavation now through November 2013
  • Install tower crane in October of 2013
  • Concrete structural frame of hotel: Up to ground level in January 2014
  • Pool deck level poured in March 2014
  • Building tops out at level 16 in July 2014
  • Construction Completion in March 2015
hotelvanzandt-begins construction

bulldozer begins clearing the site of Hotel Van Zandt

hotelvanzandt-begins construction2

bulldozer begins clearing the site of Hotel Van Zandt

render by WDG

Hotel Van Zandt render by WDG