The DAA has been working for years to recruit retailers and destinations to Congress Ave. Operating with a bold vision that Congress Ave can return to its pre-1950s prominence.
Many downtown Austin stakeholders (including this author) are concerned about “bar creep” from 6th Street and the Warehouse district.
Yesterday, the Statesman reported on a possible boutique hotel concept in the 400 block of Congress Ave. This is a step in the right direction. A hotel concept that embraces the historical nature of the building.
When done right, boutique hotels provide terrific branding for a city and a district. It’s hard to imagine SoCo without Hotel San Jose or the Austin Motel. Historic-ish structures that have been modernized.
One reason a hotel concept like this is so important to a burgeoning district is because boutique hotels are talked about outside of Austin. They are reviewed and discussed on travel forums and websites like TripAdvisor.
That discussion ends up having a significant role in branding and defining the character of a district. Years ago, Hotel San Jose helped revitalize SoCo into a destination for visitors. A boutique hotel like this could be another catalyst for Congress Ave.
I’d love to see this happen.