There is an amazing transformation under way on the 11th and 12th street corridor just East of I-35. Over the last decade, the City has developed a destination gateway connecting East Austin to downtown and the Capital Area. With the development have come businesses such as Blue Dahlia and the legendary Franklin Barbecue which was recently ranked one of the best in the country (and which sells out every day soon after opening).
The City’s vision for East 11th Street sees the area as a visitor-oriented destination consisting of three to five story buildings that provide entertainment, retail and office uses that attract people to this metropolitan area. On neighboring 12th street, the CIty is trying to accomplish similar goals through the historic preservation of culturally significant structures and several small businesses receiving façade improvement grants to dramatically improve the look of the corridor.
East 11th Street: Before and After Revitalization
The City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office is currently working on a master plan development strategy for the area. According to the office, “The East 11th and 12th Streets Development Strategy will provide a framework for the development of a mixture of commercial, retail and residential component in central east Austin. The assessment of both the current market demand and projections of future demand are critical to developing short-term and long-term strategies.”
East 12th Street After Revitalization
The development of East Austin is controversial. As a prime centrally located neighborhood, development has an opportunity to drive density downtown. Many current residents are concerned, however, that development will damage the historic character of the neighborhood while driving existing residents out of the area and by inflating local property values and taxes.
To solicit input from the neighborhood, the City has scheduled an open meeting for 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 21 at the Doubletree Hotel, 1617 IH-35 North. This informal open house is intended to introduce the process and consulting team and begin to solicit input from the community. There will be presentations from staff and consultants from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Over the next five months, additional meetings will be held to present interim findings and solicit further feedback. The dates and location of the meetings will be announced as determined.