There has been lots of talk about gentrification of central neighborhoods such as south and east austin over the last few years. It seems that central living is in high demand — prices are going up, developers are moving in, and whole swaths of central austin are being gentrified. But no area is being gentrified faster than downtown where warehouses, parking lots, and office buildings are being replaced by large condo projects.
With this wave of development, downtown Austin should gain a much more vibrant downtown. At the same time, the city is losing some landmarks. Las Manitas is being displaced by a hotel, Austin Music Hall is being razed and rebuilt. And now, the bright pink Railyard condos are being painted a much more neutral palette.
The Railyard of Today: Bright Pink
The Railyard of Tomorrow: Cream, Tan & Red
Here is the summary of the change from the Statesman:
For decades, Austin’s Railyard Condominiums on East Fourth Street downtown have been a blast of Pepto-Bismol pink stucco amid the drabber hues of nearby commercial and public buildings. But faced with a more competitive downtown real estate market, with hundreds of new condominiums coming online this year and next, the Railyard is trying to update its look. The board of the Railyard Condominiums Owners’ Association Inc. has voted to pitch the pink for more muted colors of brown, cream and dark red. “The (directors are) working hard toward the changing of the pink to multiple wonderful colors to continue to raise property values for the association as well as the downtown area,” said David Wang, community association manager for the Railyard.
As downtown becomes a hotbed for residential development with rapidly increasing condo prices, it seems the Railyard community association has decided to ride the wave by trading the development’s quirky allure for a much tamer palette.
For Austin, the challenge will be to balance preservation of the fun downtown landmarks with the benefits and vibrancy that come with the current downtown development boom. It is the balance of density and quirkiness that will give downtown Austin a lasting allure.