A new office development could rise four stories at 610 East Sixth Street, according to plans filed with the city. The unnamed project is up for review by the Historic Landmark Commission at its Monday, August 21 meeting.
New York-based real estate investment firm Cayuga Capital Management submitted a package of initial plans to the city this week, showing a structure designed above and around the buildings on the block at the corner of East Sixth and Red River Streets — much of which was previously occupied by iconic local rock venue Emo’s before its move to East Riverside in 2012.
Architecture firm Spector Group, also based out of New York, is named on the plans as well. Spector’s last appearance in the Austin market was in a collaboration with local firms STG Design and Specht Architects on the snazzy new Austin offices of job search engine company Indeed.
Here’s a current view of the location. Oh, and ignore the whole “Old Pecan Street” thing — it’s a long story.
After the Emo’s move, the venue space — which is housed in a building supposedly dating back to 1939 — intermittently hosted events under the name The Main, but it looks these days like the space only opens for big events like SXSW. The property was purchased in 2011 by local beauty supply company millionaire John McCall, who owns a few other interesting properties in the area.
The project appears to preserve the building’s ground-floor facade, seemingly in keeping with the rules of the Sixth Street Historic District, while still increasing the utility of the block by adding three stories of office space above the ground floor.
Despite several floors of office space going in above it, El Sol y La Luna, the Mexican restaurant at the corner of East Sixth and Red River Streets, doesn’t appear to be affected by the plans — but it doesn’t matter much, since the restaurant closed earlier this year, and we have no clue what might replace it. Judging by these plans, Daruma Ramen next door at 612 East Sixth Street won’t be affected either — it’s the building on the far right, after the 2,450 square foot retail space, in the ground floor plans seen above.
The 2,533 square feet of restaurant space shown in the above plans at the corner of Red River and Seventh Streets is a portion of the old Emo’s/The Main venue, which has been carved up to house new retail and office lobby space for the floors above — along with the mysterious “freehold” designation, which doesn’t really give us much information about the space’s intended use. Of course, considering its previous lives, there’s a good chance it could live on as a music venue. We’re just dying to know who the office tenant or tenants on the upper floors will be.
Though it’s the job of the Historic Landmark Commission to be hesitant on new development in historic districts, Sixth Street desperately needs some investment in projects like this one, that appear to go beyond the billion identical shot bars so typical for the area. The commission will review the plans and hopefully make a decision on whether to grant a certificate of appropriateness on Monday. Stay tuned!