Hey, you folks wanna hear about some stuff going on downtown? It’d be a lot cooler if you did. We got the big news out of the way this week already, but there’s always something worth talking about, so here we go:
Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue
The Trail Foundation will celebrate the grand opening of its new bridge under Congress Avenue on Thursday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m., with remarks from Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, and Heidi Anderson, the foundation’s executive director.
New Congress Avenue pedestrian underpass/bat observation deck is already working. pic.twitter.com/4Rzu0l5oBz
— Caleb Alan Pritchard (@cubbie9000) May 23, 2018
The bridge, part of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, which is the official name I’m supposed to use, replaces a smaller wooden bridge that wasn’t quite as accommodating to the needs of various folks passing each other, and also adds a bat observation area. It’s neat! Still, you don’t have to wait that long to see the bridge, which opened for foot and bike traffic earlier this week.
The Line Austin
Speaking of the bridge, the conversion of the lakefront Radission at Congress Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street into the Line Austin hotel is well on its way, with a fresh coat of paint on the building — which you can actually see in the Trail Foundation’s photo of its new bridge in the item above — and plenty of remodeling taking place on the lobby, three restaurant spaces, and pool area. The hotel should open for business this summer, and I’ve already heard ads for it on the radio — which I almost forgot was a thing.
I actually don’t have anything new to report, except that this condo tower’s really coming along. They’re currently installing the cladding on the parking podium, and the 34-story building should be complete by the end of the year. That Rainey Street District skyline is getting more interesting every day, isn’t it?
Some new renderings popped up this week for The Avenue, our favorite 30-story car-free residential tower in downtown Austin. Here’s a look at what to expect from the interior of the building and its apartments:
These renderings appear to match the general appearance of the mock-up we saw at the 721 Congress Avenue building a couple of months back, for what it’s worth.
The 135 residential units range from 420 to 970 square feet, which is petite but on the big side of what you might call a micro-unit. Still, they’re pretty compact, judging from the renderings above. A permit’s been issued for the demolition of the existing building at 721 Congress Avenue, but we still don’t have a definitive start date — either way, we’re gonna keep being very interested in this development’s progress.
The Ginger Man
Get ready to say a temporary goodbye to longtime Warehouse District bar the Ginger Man, which will close for good at its 301 Lavaca Street location after this Sunday, May 27. It’ll reopen at the Plaza Saltillo mixed-use development, currently under construction over between Fourth and Fifth Streets east of the highway, though we’re not sure when that project will deliver — the tentative date of “sometime next year” still seems wildly optimistic considering the scale of what they’re doing over there, but who knows?
The Independent, downtown’s next tallest tower located at 301 West Avenue, celebrated its topping-out last Sunday. We’ll have more on the condo project soon — stay tuned!
Waller Creek’s Big Week
Big ups are due to real estate developer Nate Paul and investor Brian Sheth for donating $5 million to the Waller Creek Conservancy for its mission to revitalize the creek and its surroundings with a string of downtown parks and other improvements.
We’ve opined before that Austin could really use some big philanthropy to ease along large public works projects of this variety — it worked for Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, and we’d love to see a major investment from private donors in projects like that here.