A zoning change approved by the City of Austin’s Planning Commission this week will allow the Amaya family behind local Tex-Mex institution Amaya’s Taco Village to redevelop their 1.2-acre restaurant site at the far edge of the North Loop neighborhood near the southwest corner of I-35 and Highway 290, with plans for a five-story mixed-use building containing an estimated 80 condo units.
This sort of drastic change on the grounds of a popular neighborhood business would normally spark controversy, but alongside city approval the project has easily found favor with the North Loop Neighborhood Association and the area’s neighborhood plan contact team, for the simple reason that it will provide the Amayas with the financial security to continue operating their beloved restaurant here, helmed by family patriarch Roberto Amaya, as long as they like — the Taco Village will be moving into a new space on the ground floor, described by its project architect Andrew Logan of Logan Architecture as the core of the new building, with its overall design inspired by the restaurant’s history featuring “a uniquely Austin style.”
It won’t be the first move for the restaurant, which has occupied several locations in this area since its opening in 1976, but it’s a significant change of pace for the land itself, currently covered mostly by a surface parking lot. This week’s rezoning item, which passed unanimously as part of the meeting’s consent agenda, adds a mixed-use designation to the property — clearing the way for the 60-foot residential building planned here alongside the restaurant and a second small retail space on the ground level, plus structured parking at the rear of the site.
i cannot even begin to image what living upstairs from amaya’s would be like, it is too good, it is like staring directly into the sun
— Paula Forbes (@paulaforbes) September 8, 2021
Now that the family has cleared its zoning hurdles, the only thing left for the project is actually getting it built — there’s no firm timeline for construction available at the moment, but we already believe this uniquely family-focused plan is the most shining example of a positive new development we’ve seen lately in a city famously suspicious of growth and change. Preserving a Tex-Mex staple and providing its operators with financial security while maximizing the use of their property and bringing more housing to the area in a good-looking package? It’s downright heartwarming.