[Part two] City of Austin v. Harry Whittington: the saga of a parking garage

by jude galligan

Who has legal claim to the Convention Cener parking garage?  The City of Austin or Harry Whittington?

Who has legal claim to the Convention Center parking garage? The City of Austin or Harry Whittington?

Part one begins here.

In 2003 Harry Whittington begins to win.  But, the City is proving to be just as stubborn with their appeals – just as Whittington had been between 2000-2003.

Whittington has postured himself along the following legal issues
1)    originally, the condemnation was incorrectly  processed
2)    on the second condemnation attempt, the City did not properly condemn the alley
3)    the City hasn’t demonstrated the condemnation was done out of necessity for a public purpose
4)    the City already has parking on 2nd & Trinity and the new parking lot and (later) chiller system are intended to benefit private sector, beginning with the new Hilton hotel, and specifically future developers

Chronology of events from 2003 to 2007 begins after the jump.

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City of Austin v. Harry Whittington: the saga of a parking garage

17k square feet of retail held hostage by the court

17,000 square feet of empty retail space rests at the base of the Convention Center’s parking garage. This retail space has the potential to add vibrancy and day time services to the Entertainment District.  This is the only retail space within a few hundred feet of the 555, the Sabine on 5th, the Hilton, the Hilton Garden Inn, and the Convention Center.   So, why hasn’t this space been filled?

After the jump:  Part 1 of the chronology of City of Austin v. Harry Whittington
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Progress Coffee keeps it real – Thursday Nov. 20th

free food and drink in exchange for your consideration

free food and drink in exchange for your consideration

Joshua Bingaman is an entrepreneur who really, truly, understands how to create a culture around his business.  Click above image for more details.  Quoting directly…

“So on Thursday, November 20th, everything we brew, bake, heat or fix at Progress will be FREE. Gratis. Complimentary (with our compliments, of course).

“In return, all I ask is that you consider contributing whatever you can to Bread for the World and/or Capital Area Food Bank. Any amount (or no amount) is fine, whatever you’re comfortable with a penny, a buck, a hundred bucks- cash, credit, check or change Progress will take it and donate it all. And if you can’t or just don’t want to contribute, no worries—it’s certainly not a requirement (and nobody will look at you funny).”

[Progress Coffee]

Is Downtown Austin ready for another grocery store?

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Whole Foods made Downtown Austin what it is today. There, I said it. Without an anchor grocery store Downtown Austin would never have come so far. The Market District wouldn’t exist. It helps that Whole Foods has a brand cache and a great shopping experience. Personally, I end up spending as much money at other grocery stores, so I don’t believe Whole Foods is over priced. And, as big as it is today, Whole Foods was at one time a small business in Austin.

Royal Blue

Royal Blue

When AMLI Downtown opened, Downtown Austin got its second grocer. George Scariano opened Royal Blue Grocery. It was an instant hit. Urban dwellers want to see more of those blue awnings around town. Anyone that’s lived in NYC will feel at home here. It’s a small bodega-style grocer that has a little bit of everything. Outside you’ll find a magazine rack, tables, and people enjoying the scene.

Recently, the city received design ideas for the Green Water Treatment facility on Cesar Chavez. One of the entries prominently rendered a two-story H-E-B as part of the retail mix. The first time I saw that rendering I was sold on the idea. I realized how nice it would be to have some choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love Whole Foods and Royal Blue, but there is a place for a “regular” grocery store. I’ll go a bit further and say that I’d like to see it along Congress Avenue.

Featured: The Good Life Barber Shop

Before

Before

Almost hidden, located beneath the Brazos Lofts exists one Downtown Austin’s best businesses – The Good Life Barber Shop.

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