Central Austin Edition - March 2020

CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 5  MARCH 26APRIL 29, 2020

ONLINE AT

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE Due to the fast-changing nature of coronavirus in the region, readers should visit communityimpact.com to nd the latest coverage on announcements, case numbers, school closures and more.

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CORONAVIRUS NEWS

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MONEY

For the rst time in more than a generation, March 2020 came andwent without South by Southwest Con- ference & Festivals, Austin’s famed tech and cultural event that draws hundreds of thousands of attendees from across the world. Locally, the 10-day stretch of SXSW is more than a celebratory festival—it has proven to be an essential nancial asset to the community, now lost in response to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, which the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Initially, several local busi- nesses and laborers said the nancial hardship of los- ing SXSWwas a weight too heavy to bear. The virus has since escalated into anational and local emergency and diminished large swaths of the service economy in Austin and across the country. Like many U.S. cities, Austin’s government has restricted gather- ings of more than 10 people, closed dine-in services at all bars and restaurants, and urged people towork from home to help mitigate the spread of the virus. U.S. President Donald Trump said such measures could last until mid-summer. CONTINUED ON 34 COVID19 fallout forces local businesses into ght for their futures BY JACK FLAGLER AND CHRISTOPHER NEELY

POWER

AT STAKE I N 2020 U. S . CENSUS BUSINESS

4 PAGES OF CENSUS COVERAGE 3033

CHRISTOPHER NEELY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

BY EMMA FREER AND ALI LINAN An inaccuratecount in2010 lost Texasbillions, aectinggovernments, schoolsandbusinesses

THE SPRING SEASON PROVIDES 30% TO 40% OF OUR ANNUAL INCOME. AUTUMN RICH, COFOUNDER OF EVENT PRODUCTION AND FURNITURE RENTAL COMPANY PANACEA COLLECTIVE

for the U.S. Census Bureau. The distributed census is condential and anonymous, he added. The results are then used to determine federal funding allocations, government representation at the federal and local levels, and corporate decisions, all of which could have major impacts on residents, Loveday said. “These funds come to the state of Texas for pro- grams, but they also trickle down all the way to the local level,” Loveday said.

Texas lost an estimated $3.59 billion in federal funding due to an undercount in the 2010 census, pushing local municipalities and nonprots to rev up participation in the coming census, according to census data. The census is a constitutionally mandated sur- vey that is taken every 10 years to count each person where he or she lives on April 1. The rst census took place in 1790 and is only used for data-gathering pur- poses, said Douglas Loveday, senior media specialist

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THE BEST HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

SPRING TUNE-UP Lawn & Garden Check List Spring is just around the corner and yard-of-the-month is in your sights. Austin Water has many rebates and programs to help you maintain a beautiful lawn and garden while eliminating water waste and lowering your water bill! For program deadlines, pre-approval requirements, commercial rebates and more WaterWiseAustin.org

Irrigation ‰ Qualifying customers can sign up for a FREE Irrigation system evaluation or download our DIY instructions to help you calculate irrigation water use, locate broken sprinkler heads, and identify leaks in the irrigation lines. ‰ Apply for the Irrigation Upgrade Rebate up to $1000 to improve irrigation efficiency. ‰ Apply for the Watering Timer Rebate up to $40 for hose timers that can give you more control over hose-end watering and reduce the chance of overwatering. ‰ FREE Irrigation Controller 101 Workshop – check our website for upcoming dates Lawn & Garden ‰ Apply for the WaterWise Landscape Rebate up to $1,750 to convert turf grass to native beds that help you reduce or end the need for extra watering. ‰ Apply for the Landscape Survival Tools Rebate up to $120 for compost, mulch, and core aeration service that can help you keep your garden healthy while saving water. Rainwater ‰ Apply for the Rainwater Harvesting Rebate up to $5,000 for equipment to capture rainwater and reduce the amount of paid water you use on your landscape. ‰ Apply for the WaterWise Rainscape Rebate up to $500 for landscape features to retain rainwater on your property and reduce the need for landscape watering.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

You’re invited to

For egg hunt and Easter service times and locations please visit www.celebration.church @txcelebration

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

FromDeeda: Our store shelves where hand sanitizers usually sit are bare; local restaurants are closing their dining rooms and schools are extending spring breaks. As I write this frommy makeshift oce at home while my kids play behind me, there’s no doubt the threat of transmitting coronavirus is aecting our daily lives. That is why our writers at Community Impact Newspaper are focused on bringing families and businesses the most accurate and useful information as we rally together as a community to stay connected and support our neighbors during this challenging time. Deeda Payton Lovett, GENERAL MANAGER

PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett PUBLISHERAUSTINMETRO Travis Baker GENERAL MANAGER Deeda Payton Lovett, dlovett@communityimpact.com EDITORIAL

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Lanane MANAGING EDITOR Joe Warner ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney EDITOR Jack Flagler REPORTERS Emma Freer, Christopher Neely COPY CHIEF Andy Comer COPY EDITORS Ben Dickerson, Kasey Salisbury STAFFWRITERS Olivia Aldridge, Nicholas Cicale, Iain Oldman ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Chaney Barton-Nichols, Gail Watson DESIGN CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace GRAPHIC DESIGNER Shelby Savage STAFF DESIGNER Chance Flowers BUSINESS GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Claire Love ABOUT US John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1 Pugerville, TX 78660 • 5129896808 communityimpact.com PRESS RELEASES ctanews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

FROMJACK: Many local businesses and workers are hurting right now as Austin does all it can to stop the spread of coronavirus. Part of our mission is to help local businesses thrive. We’ll do what we can, from providing information to ordering curbside tacos ourselves—and maybe even adding a couple to-go margaritas. We will make it through by leaning on each other. Jack Flagler, EDITOR

CORONAVIRUS 12 Newsbriefs,healthtipsandrecentupdates TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 15 Updates on I35, downtown MetroRail Station CITY& COUNTY 18 Project Connect moves forward VOLUNTEER GUIDE 21 Ways to help in the community

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Local sources 43

New businesses 34

Proposed new light rail lines 2

Opportunities to volunteer 55

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon as of March 18

COMING SOON 4 Perspire Sauna Studio is expecting to open in April at 3637 Far West Blvd., Ste. C, Austin. The studio offers infrared saunas that it says increase circulation, improve oxygen flow and help the body rid itself of toxins. The first Texas location of the nationwide franchise opened in Westlake. Another location is set to open on North 5 Hit Athletic is set to open at 7725 Burnet Road in April. The fitness and sports facility with over 25,000 square feet of indoor space will include group classes, indoor batting cages, and pro- grams for both adults and children. www.hitathletic.com 6 Aura on Lamar , a 279-unit residential development at 5629 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, is scheduled to open sometime between January and March 2021. The apartment complex will offer one- and two-bedroom options with 6,000 square feet of ground floor retail. It will be a property of Trinsic Residential, a company headquartered in Dallas that operates buildings in Texas, Oregon and Washington and forthcoming properties in Arizona and Florida. 512-399-3120. www.trinsicresidential.com 7 Far West Veterinary Clinic will open May 15 at 3720 Far West Blvd., Ste. 101, Austin. Debbie Faludi graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001 and moved to Austin in 2004. 512-553-1833. www.farwestvet.com ANNIVERSARIES 8 Louis Shanks Furniture celebrated its 75th anniversary in March. Founded in 1945, the business has an Austin location at 2930 W. Anderson Lane and a second store in San Antonio. 512-451-6501. www.louisshanksfurniture.com 9 Peoples Pharmacy , a pharmacy with five locations in Austin, including at 4018 N. Lamar Blvd., will celebrate its 50th anniversary in April. Founded by Bill Swain in 1980, the local business has an “intense focus on customer service,” according to its website.512-459-9090. www.peoplesrx.com Lamar Boulevard this summer. www.perspiresaunastudio.com

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CLOSINGS 10 James Avery Artisan Jewelry closed its Northwood Plaza shop at 2900 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, on Feb. 25 after more than 40 years at that location. The Kerrville-based jeweler opened a new shop at 9777 Great Hills Trail. near the Arboretum on Feb. 26. 512-452-4237. www.jamesavery.com 11 Fuzzy’s Tacos closed its location at 7010 Easy Wind Drive, Ste. 100, Austin, in late February or early March. The Baja-style Tex-Mex restaurant chain has more than 80 stores in nine states, in- cluding one in Round Rock. The previous north Central Austin location no longer appears on the chain’s website. www.fuzzystacoshop.com 12 Burger Tex , located at 5420 Airport Blvd., Austin, is closed as of March 17. Owner Kibo Yun posted a sign on the door announcing his retirement. He had planned an event over March 16-17 to give out burgers on the last day, but can- celed due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus.512-453-8772. www.burgertex.com

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NORTH CENTRAL AUSTIN NOWOPEN

2 Tribe CBD and Cannabinoid s is open for curbside delivery and will open its storefront at 2700 W. Anderson Lane, Ste. 402, Austin, as soon as possible. The business is in the space formerly occupied by Lofty Dog and offers CBD products and learning opportunities for the com- munity. It was founded by locals Reena Kaven and Rhonda Bly. 512-240-9081. www.mycbdtribe.com 3 Pho MPH opened March 10 in the Triangle development at 4616 Triangle Ave, Unit 203, Austin. The restaurant is open for to-go and delivery only pending further updates from city and county officials. 512-852-8008. www.facebook.com/phomphaustin

1 The new Loewy Family Playground opened in Murchison Pool Park on March 12 at 7022 Hart Lane, Austin. The project was initiated by the Northwest Austin Civic Association, while Phil and Adam Loewy served as lead donors. This is the first playground in the Northwest Hills neighborhood on city parkland, according to the city. www.loewyplayground.com

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon as of March 18

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COMING SOON 6 Chick-fil-A filed paperwork March 5 through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for a renovation project at 600 Congress Ave., Ste. C150, Austin, to open a location in the One American Center building. A statement from Chick-fil-A states it “has no new locations to confirm at this time.” The chain has about 30 locations in Central Texas; this would be its first in the Central Business District. www.chick-fil-a.com 7 JuiceLand will open a location inside the Whole Foods flagship store at 525 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, on April 2. According to a release from JuiceLand, the menu will include all the local juice chain’s offerings except for food, snacks and non-JuiceLand brand drinks containing CBD as an add-in. JuiceLand has 27 loca- tions in Austin, three in Dallas and five in Houston. www.juiceland.com IN THE NEWS 8 Pharmacy and drug store Nau’s Enfield Drug reopened its diner and soda fountain in early February at 1115 W. Lynn St., Austin, after it had been closed for about a year. The family-owned neighborhood pharmacy in Clarksville has been open since 1951. The store and pharmacy remained open over the course of the last year during the closure of the diner and soda fountain. 512-476-3663. www.nausdrug.com NEWOWNERSHIP 9 Sculpt Physique Fitness , located at 1717 W. Sixth St., Ste. 110R, Austin, changed its name from Tetra Fitness and held a grand opening on Feb. 8. Keith Hardy took over as the new owner of the

group fitness studio from previous owner Kathy Redden, who is still involved as an instructor. Other than some interior improvements, Hardy said he aims to keep the programming and classes at the business consistent. 512-383-5434.

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www.sculptphysique.com ANNIVERSARIES

10 Downtown gay bar Oilcan Harry’s is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020. Events from Jan. 23-26 included drag shows, special DJ sets and an appearance by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Honey Davenport. The bar is located at 211 W. Fourth St., Austin. 512-351-8423. www.oilcanharrys.com CLOSINGS 11 Gloria Collective , a store selling candles and other handmade goods from local, women-led brands, closed Jan. 19 at 3016 Guadalupe St., Ste. A101, Austin. In a Jan. 14 Instagram post, the owners said the closing is due to a business part- ner’s unexpected move. www.instagram.com/gloriacollective 12 The Original Hoffbrau Steakhouse , which opened at 613 W. Sixth St., Austin, in 1934, closed temporarily Feb. 2 to undergo a series of updates, including a new menu and modifications to its dining room. “We ask that you please be patient with us during this transition, and be open to some modifications for which you may or may not feel ready!” the restaurant wrote in a Jan. 29 post to its Facebook page. A reopening date has not yet been announced. www.facebook.com/ austinsoriginalsteakhouse

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at 1901 San Antonio St., Austin, in late February. The walk-up window serves burgers, chicken tenders, fries and shakes. 737-243-9030. www.burgerbarcampus.com 4 Love, Tito’s —the first brick-and-mor- tar store from Tito’s Handmade Vodka— opened March 7 at 215 Lavaca St., Austin, in the former Con’ Olio space. It sells branded gear and serves as a community space for programming, live music and nonprofit events. It does not sell or serve vodka. www.titosvodka.com 5 The Mockingbird , a sidewalk cafe, opened at the Austin Proper Hotel at 600 W. Second St., Austin, in late February. Mockingbird offers a counter-service menu of rotisserie chicken, pastries, Greek frozen yogurt and coffee. All food and beverage areas are temporarily closed in the hotel pending further guid- ance from health officials. 512-628-1500. www.properhotel.com

1 Sip Pho opened Feb. 21 at 512 W. 29th St. at the site of the former Ruby’s BBQ restaurant. Husband-and-wife owners Anh Nguyen and Tien Do opened Pho Please on Riverside Drive in 2016. The owners tem- porarily closed Sip Pho of March 17. Pho Please is open for take out and delivery. 512-551-9778 www.sippho.com 2 Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas opened a third area health center at 2911 Medical Arts Parkway, Ste. 12, Austin, early in 2020 . The East Austin health care center is undergoing a two-year renovation to im- prove its facilities and address rain damage sustained last year. 512-477-5846. www.plannedparenthood.org 3 Downtown spot Burger Bar opened a third location— Burger Bar on Campus —

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COMING SOON 5 The Alliance Children’s Garden , a 2-acre space with play and recreational options for children, will open soon in Butler Park between the Palmer Events Center and the Butler Park Pitch and Putt. An opening date was initially scheduled for April. City staff say they are reevaulating the date and will provide updates as they become available. www.austintexas.gov/alliance childrensgarden 6 Lake Travis restaurant Ski Shores Cafe will open a second location in April at 1608 Barton Springs Road, Austin, in the space previously occupied by Darcy’s Donkey. The new space will initially open for take-out and delivery only. The original Ski Shores opened in 1954 on 7 Pavement , a Houston-based vintage clothing store, will be opening at 611 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin, this summer. The store will buy gently worn clothing for 35% in cash or 50% in trade for the price 8 Hotel Magdalena , from Hotel San Jose and Austin Motel hospitality group Bunkhouse, will open in June at 1101 Music Lane in the new South Congress Avenue development. The 89-room hotel features a 1970s theme and will include it will sell for. 713-528-5500. www.pavementhouston.com Lake Austin. 512-394-7511. www.skishoresaustin.com

a restaurant, Summer House on Music Lane, when it opens this spring. 512-442-1000. www.hotelmagdalena.com 9 Lavish Nails and Spa will be opening its second Austin location at 1603 S. Lamar Blvd. Owner Scott Ma said he expects the location to open in June, and he decided on the South Lamar area because of its growth and the number of young professionals moving in. The original location is at 6203 N. Capital of Texas Hwy. 512-531-9747. www.lavishnailspaaustin.com 10 Teal House Coffee and Bakery will be opening at 2304 S. Congress Ave., Austin, in November or December. Owner Lance Phillips started the business as a cottage bakery out of his home in the Mueller neighborhood in 2016 and, two years later, opened a truck in South Austin on Slaughter Lane. This will be the first brick-and-mortar location for the business. www.tealhouse.co EXPANSIONS 11 Crux Climbing Center opened an ex- pansion to its facility at 121 Pickle Road, Ste. 100, Austin, on Feb. 22. The new “fit- ness barn” features more gym space and classes as well as saunas and cryotherapy. Crux is planning a second location in the Highland neighborhood in 2020 and a third in Round Rock in 2021. 512-931-3911. www.cruxclimbingcenter.com

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SOUTHCENTRALAUSTIN NOWOPEN 1 Department store Neighborhood Goods opened at 1009 and 1011 S. Congress Ave., Austin, on March 13. The 10,600 square-foot location includes a restaurant, Prim and Proper, within the clothing and goods store. Neighborhood Goods is headquartered in Dallas. www.neighborhoodgoods.com 2 Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opened Feb. 25 at 1208 S. Congress Ave., in the space previously occupied by The Turquoise Door II. Jeni Britton Bauer founded the business in Columbus, Ohio, in 2002. As of March 18, the business was

at 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin. The new locations are Four Brothers Venezuelan Kitchen , which started as an Austin food truck in 2015; Potato Guys , serving made-to-order french fries; The Baked Bear , which serves ice cream with fresh-baked cookies and brownies, and Le Macaron French Pastries serving macarons and other French sweets. Simon Property Company announced the closure of all its malls, including Barton Creek Square, until at least March 29. 512-327-7041. www.simon.com/mall/ barton-creek-square 4 St. Edward’s University opened an expansion to its Recreation and Athletic Center, located at 3001 South Congress Ave., Austin, on Feb. 11. The 12,400-square foot addition is open for the entire student body and includes a new fitness center, a yoga studio, a wellness center and a meditation center. The original athletic center was built in the 1980s. 512-448-8400. www.stedwards.edu

open only for pint deliveries. 512-394-5038. www.jenis.com

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

Find out what homes are selling for in your neighborhood: realtyaustin.com/market-analysis

Learn about our new transit plan.

Travis Heights - $1,999,000 1204 Reagan Ter, 78704 4 BD 3.5 BA 3,360 SQ FT AdamWalker 512-280-7653 RealtyAustin.com/p/7911500

Barton Heights - $1,477,000 1600 Collier, 78704 4 BD 3 BA 2,360 SQ FT Aaron Nann 512-923-3355 RealtyAustin.com/p/7927517

Four Seasons - $700,000 98 San Jacinto Blvd #604, 78701 1 BD 1.5 BA 990 SQ FT Jennifer Berbas 512-655-3830 RealtyAustin.com/p/1925317

Independent Condos - $1,299,000 301 West Ave #2701, 78701 2 BD 2 BA 1,464 SQ FT Joi Jones 512-417-5611 RealtyAustin.com/p/4578307

Project Connect, Capital Metro’s bold transit plan, includes new light rail that runs underground through downtown, more MetroExpress and MetroRapid routes and tons of new connections. It’s go time, Austin!

Green Acres - $624,900 6900 Daugherty St, 78757 3 BD 1.5 BA 1,755 SQ FT Steve Dean 512-431-5987 RealtyAustin.com/p/9792879

Barton Creek - $519,000 3600 S Lamar Blvd #413, 78704 2 BD 2 BA 1,239 SQ FT Sue Markim 512-825-7053 RealtyAustin.com/p/9864312

See the Plan Online

Discover the Project Connect plan online from the comfort of your home and give us your feedback at ProjectConnect.com.

Zilkr Park Condos - $500,000 1900 Barton Springs Rd #5016,78704 1 BD 1 BA 780 SQ FT Sasha Lifschitz 512-924-6491 RealtyAustin.com/p/5223605

Seaholm Residences - $480,000 222 West Ave #1306, 78701 1 BD 1 BA 688 SQ FT Nicole Sislen 512-632-7875 RealtyAustin.com/p/1077596

Texan Tower Condo - $455,000 2505 San Gabriel St #300, 78705 3 BD 2 BA 1,374 SQ FT Mark Kolbe 512-922-4234 RealtyAustin.com/p/2766731

Bartonplace Condo - $380,000 1600 Barton Springs Rd #5108,78704 1 BD 1 BA 743 SQ FT KimWilkin 512-813-0210 RealtyAustin.com/p/6216234

realtyaustin.com | 512-241-1300

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon as of March 18

Jr. Blvd., Austin, is scheduled to open its office portion in 2021 and residential units in 2022. The project is being de- veloped by Trammell Crow Co. and High Street Residential. They say the building will include 302 apartments and 68,000 square feet of office and retail space. www.trammellcrow.com, www.highstreetresidential.com 7 Dogs Around Austin , a dog commu- nity centeroffering boarding, day care, training, pet photography and social media consulting, is set to open soon at 3404 Oak Springs Drive, Austin. Co-owners Emi- ly Stephens and Amanda Quick initially set early April as an opening date, and now are hoping to open as soon as possible pend- ing more information for local government officials. The business will maintain a low volume of dogs at all times for daycare and educate trainers to provide a safe and welcoming environment. www.dogsaroundaustin.com 8 HŌM Condos will open between July and September at 3101 Govalle Ave., Austin. The development broke ground in August and will feature 59 units, in- cluding one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom options. The complex is being developed by Pearlstone Partners, a real estate investment firm that is also behind projects such as Natiivo Austin 9 Rastegar Property Co. announced March 9 the acquisition of properties at 902 E. Seventh St. and 818 E. Seventh St. The real estate investment firm plans to convert the building at 902 E. Seventh into creative office space. The property at 818 E. Seventh is a parking lot, and Rastegar Property Co. said the proximity of the two lots will “provide flexibility for future development.” 512-729-7777. www.rastegarproperty.com 10 Mendocino Farms , a California sandwich chain, will open its first Austin location at 1109 E. Fifth St. in the new Saltillo development this fall. Husband- and-wife team Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen founded the business in 2003 and have since expanded it to locations across California and Texas. www.mendocinofarms.com and 84 East on Rainey Street. www.pearlstonepartners.com

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EAST CENTRAL AUSTIN NOWOPEN 1 Dear Diary Coffeehouse , a coffee shop and vegan cafe, was set to open in late March at 1212 Chicon St., Ste. 103, Austin. Co-owner Amalia Litsa said the business will serve beer to-go, gallons of cold brew and other takeout items until dine-in service is allowed. https://deardiarycoffeehouse.com 2 Drop Kick , a cocktail bar and restau- rant, opened Feb. 20 at 1630 E. Sixth St., Ste. 100, Austin. Chef Francisco Baca arrives in Austin after 12 years in the food industry, working in New York and San Francisco. The restaurant is taking online orders for delivery and takeout as of March 17. www.dropkickbar.com 3 Hungry, a catering company that connects local chefs with offices in the area, opened its Austin location on March 11 at 1905 E. Sixth St., Ste. 100. 888- 848-6479. www.tryhungry.com

4 Target opened its second Austin-ar- ea small-format store March 10 in the Plaza Saltillo development at 901 E. Fifth St., Ste. 140, Austin. The 25,000-square- foot store offers home decor and essentials, apparel and accessories, and grab-and-go groceries and produce. 512-813-2929. www.target.com COMING SOON 5 Este , a new Mexican-inspired sea- food restaurant from the team behind Suerte, will open in late 2020 or early 2021 at 2113 Manor Road, Austin. Suerte owner Sam Heilman-Mass said he and Executive Chef Fermin Nunez spent time traveling through Mexico to learn more about coastal Mexican cooking ahead of the opening. The new spot will open in the former location of Eastside Cafe. 512-953-0092. www.suerteatx.com 6 The Block Yard , a new 280,000-square-foot mixed-use devel- opment at 2900 E. Martin Luther King

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ANNIVERSARIES 11 Launderette , a locally owned cafe, celebrated its fifth anniversary Feb. 19. It is located at 2115 Holly St., Austin. As of March 18, the restaurant is temporarily closed. 512-382-1599. www.launderetteaustin.com RELOCATIONS 12 Petite Ecole Internationale , a French-immersion Montessori preschool for children ages 2-5, relocated in Janu- ary to 831 Springdale Road, Austin. The school, which was founded in 2000, was previously located at 4520 Burnet Road and is accepting enrollments for summer camps and the 2020-21 school year. 512-302-3180. www.petiteecole.com

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

INSIDE INFORMATION

BY NICHOLAS CICALE

Coronavirus inAustin: What you need to know

In an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, local officials have canceled events, closed restaurant dine-in areas, prohibited gatherings of 10 or more people and extended schools’ spring break. Here is some information on what individuals can do to stop the spread. Find the most up-to-date information on our website: communityimpact.com

GATHERING LIMITS

As of March 17, gatherings of 10 people or more scheduled through May 1 in Austin and Travis County are prohibited. Some businesses, including grocery stores, schools, pharmacies and medical facilities are exempt.

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RESTAURANTS have dine-in services closed until at least May 1.

PUBLIC PARKS are open, but social distancing is recommended.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES are closed as of March 15.

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SHOPPINGMALLS can remain open with 10-person limit. They are exempt if they sell food products or household staples.

GYMS can remain open with a 10-person limit. Many have chosen to close.

IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting contact with other people to slow the spread of the virus, but there are different recommendations based on exposure and symptoms.

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recommends staying out of congregate settings and keeping a distance of 6 feet from others when in public.

separates and restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

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The CDC recommends limiting contact with other people to slow the spread of the virus, but there are different recommendations based on exposure and symptoms.

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Stay home except to get medical care; call ahead to make medical appointments and disclose symptoms; separate yourself from others in your home and wear a facemask when you can.

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SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, CITY OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEWS BRIEFS

Coverage of the coronavirus is changing quickly. Visit communityimpact.com for the latest.

Austin ISDprovidesmeals on extended spring break Austin ISD students will not return to class until April 6 at the earliest after district Superintendent Paul Cruz announced plans to cancel classes through April 3 at a news conference March 16. After AISD closed its schools March 13 following the rst two positive tests within Travis County of the coronavirus, district ocials announced that AISD would be preparing lunch at 14 dierent sites for children under 19 years of age. AISD ocials in an email sent to Community Impact Newspaper stated the district will continue to prepare and distribute meals for children under 19 years of age while school is closed. Beginning March 23, curbside meals were also provided for children. Meals will be available for pickup from noon-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. For a list of locations, visit www.austinisd.org/student-health/coronavirus/meals. BY NICHOLAS CICALE AND IAIN OLDMAN HEB adjusts hours, sets limits on some purchases Retailers throughout the Austin area saw low stocks of nonperishable foods, sanitation supplies and toilet paper as well as long lines in mid-March. As customers stock- piled items due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus, government leaders said panicked hoarding is unneces- sary and people should buy only what they need. “We have a problem that is born out of panic, not out of a health care situation, where people are panicking and thinking they need to go to the store to buy water and toilet paper and things like that. They don’t need to be buying in mass quantities at this time,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a media conference on March 16. “There’s abso- lutely no need to hoard or stockpile supplies.” In a March 13 announcement, HEB said stores will be restocking shelves as they run low. “HEB has been preparing for coronavirus for several months and we are in a strong position to keep replenish- ing our shelves,” HEB said a news release. “Customers should not panic; we have the ability to restock shelves and encourage our customers to remain calm. HEB partners are ready to help Texas slow the spread.” The state grocery chain adjusted its hours March 14 to allow for restocking and replenishment of goods overnight when stores are closed. Since March 15, stores have been BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE AND JOE WARNER Austin ISD announced March 16 its decision to extend spring break through at least April 3. NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The following is a noncomprehensive list of product restrictions H-E-B instituted March 15. PURCHASE LIMITS

FOOD

4 units: chicken, ground beef, pasta, rice 2 units: milk, eggs 8 units: canned soup, beans and meat GENERALMERCHANDISE

2 units: toilet paper, baby diapers, baby wipes, hand soap, hand sanitizer 4 units: disinfecting and antibacterial sprays/wipes, paper towels

SOURCE: HEBCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m. The store also instituted limited purchases on certain items to maintain its supply chain. Some smaller markets and convenience stores have felt the strain of panic-buying as well. A representative from Market at Jester, a small store in the Northwest Hills area of Austin, said the store had been sold out of toilet paper and cleaning supplies for at least two days, and he had seen panic-buying of canned food as well. There was not an estimate for when Market at Jester would be restocked.

Bars, restaurants forced to close all dine-in areas

On March 17, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and acting Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt ordered all restaurants and bars to shut down dine-in service and prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people until at least May 1. Restaurants can still do takeout and delivery, and can also deliver alcohol with food after Gov. Greg Abbott signed a waiver on March 18. The move further implements social distancing—a technique that experts and ocials say is necessary to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus—but leaves people such as Taco Flats owner Simon Madera BY CHRISTOPHER NEELY

with few options.

“There is no strategy, there is no choice; I’m worried about my sta,” Madera said. Madera said he will have to lay o “30 to 40” of his 58 employees. El Chile Group, which runs local restaurants El Alma, El Chile, El Chilito and Yuyo, shut down all of its dine-in services March 16 but is still operating its window service at El Chilito. Owner Carlos Rivero said the move was to protect the health and safety of its customers and 150 employees. “These are unprec- edented times for us. Nothing has come close to this,” Rivero said.

13

CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

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Renderings, maps, plans, elevations, photography and the like are artist illustrations only, may not accurately represent the actual condition of the featured element. Grove Commercial Plans are subject to change at any time without notice, based on a variety of different factors including market conditions. © MileStone Community Builders, LLC. All rights reserved.

14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

BY EMMA FREER

Downtown rail station on track, on budget for 2021 completion Project broke ground last year After breaking ground last March, Capital Metro is set to complete a two-year, $37 million renova- tion of its busiest stop—the downtown MetroRail station—by next spring, Project Manager Marcus Guerrero said at a Feb. 21 media tour. Since construction began, the agency has opened a temporary station, implemented safety improve- ments, completed underground utility work and developed crowd control measures for this year’s South by Southwest Conference and Festivals, during which ridership typically surges. “It’s kind of amazing to see that in order to get the new train tracks on the street, you have to move a lot of the underground facilities,” such as water lines, sewer lines and electrical lines, “out of the way,” Guerrero said. “A lot of the work that’s been done out here in the last year has been under- ground utility work that you will never notice.” Safety improvements include fewer crossings over the newly laid tracks, which reduce pedestri- ans’ exposure to trains, and improvements to the surrounding sidewalks. Car access has also been reduced. In partnership with the city of Austin, Capital Metro closed Fourth Street from Red River to Trinity streets to facilitate the station improvements. Despite the construction and its attendant detours, ridership increased 5.8% in 2019, up to 8 million people, according to the agency. “Across the system, ridership is up,” Guerrero said. “And we’ve seen an increase on the MetroRail itself since the temporary station opened [in early November] and especially since we started Satur- day service back in January.” When completed, the renovated station will include a new platform on Fourth Street between

DOWNTOWN STATION

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NEW STATION

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Neches and Red River streets, three tracks with capacity for up to four trains, a new bridge over Waller Creek and a public plaza. The additional tracks and train cars will allow for increased frequency and capacity, which Guerrero said is particularly important during busy events. The transit agency said its goal is to create a plaza that connects the downtown station, the convention center, surrounding hotels and busi- nesses, and Brush Square, for which Austin City Council recently adopted a master plan. “There could also be potential for food trucks,” Guerrero said. The original station, which was built in 2010 and had only one track, was always intended to be a temporary facility until a permanent mobility hub could be constructed, according to Capital Metro. The new station will allow MetroRail riders to connect to the local MetroBus service as well as to other forms of transit: taxis, rideshares, the city’s bike service and electric scooters. It could also serve as a connection to a the Blue Line light rail station. On March 5, Capital Metro revealed new details for Project Connect, the agency’s plan to expand high-capacity transit, including two light rail lines, the Orange Line and the Blue Line, which would be connected down- town through an underground tunnel. The Blue Line would allow riders to travel between North Central Austin, the University of Texas campus, downtown, and the Austin-Berg- strom International Airport. Capital Metro Project Manager Marcus Guerrero led a media tour of the downtown station construction site Feb. 21. (Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Capital Metro will open a new downtown MetroRail station on Fourth Street in spring 2021. Timeline: April 2019-spring 2021 Cost: $37 million Funding sources: Texas Department of Transporta- tion grant, city of Austin, Capital Metro

RENDERING COURTESY CAPITAL METRO

RENDERING COURTESY CAPITAL METRO

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MARCH 19. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CTANEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

Highway to Hope? The state is planning a major construction project on I-35 through Central Austin after searching for adequate funding for years. Locals say this is an opportunity to eliminate a barrier.

$4.3B Funding the Texas Trans- portation Commission earmarked to begin a project on I-35 in Central Austin

290

2025 Estimated year for construction to begin on I-35 in Central Austin

183

35

O

297,000 Austin’s population in 1974, the last time I-35 saw a signicant upgrade

N

Construction could start on a project to improve an 8-mile stretch of I35 in Central Austin in 2025. (Courtesy Jeremy Lohr)

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SOURCES: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, URBAN LAND INSTITUTECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Statesecures$4.3Bto fund I35 improvement project throughcoreof downtown Local groups see the upcoming TxDOT project as an chance to improve surrounding neighborhoods on there, and ideally the support for those managed lanes drives directly to using the lanes for transit,” Peart said. Bugg said TxDOT is currently be less of an obstruction. “Traditionally highway projects in our nation have been projects that have BY JACK FLAGLER

project “long overdue, but greatly appreciated” and called the project “a multi-generational commitment.” Watson did, however, oer some criticism. “I don’t think this nancing mech- anism is perfect. It’s not, in my view, the best way to meet our mobility needs locally and the nancing needs of our state,” he said in a statement. In August, when the commission approved its 2020 UTP, Watson encouraged the commission not to move forward in a way that would make toll roads impossible. Part of the

The 8-mile stretch of I-35 through Central Austin may be getting its rst signicant upgrade in nearly 50 years. On Feb. 27, the Texas Transporta- tion Commission authorized a plan to allocate $4.3 billion to kick-start what the state calls the Capital Express Central project—which would add two nontolled managed lanes, or carpool lanes, through downtown Austin from US 290 East to Hwy. 71. The commission would allocate the funds by ocially updating the Texas Department of Transportation’s Unied Transportation Program on April 30. The UTP is a planning tool that signals the projects TxDOT expects to take on in the next 10 years and identies funding. Brian Barth, TxDOT’s director of project planning and development, said construction could start in 2025, and the estimated length of the project is expected to be about four years. The Central Austin work is part of a larger $7.5 billion project to upgrade I-35 through Williamson, Travis and Hays counties. Work on the north and south sections of that project, expected to cost about $700 million, is scheduled to start in 2022. “Any further delay in funding improvements to I-35 is simply unacceptable,” TTC Chair J. Bruce Bugg said. Toll roads o the table? In a statement provided to the commission, state Sen. Kirk Watson, DAustin, called the billions of dollars on their way into the I-35

displaced or disconnected commu- nities,” Huston-Tillotson President Collette Pierce Burnett said. “Todaywe have an opportunity tomove beyond that,” Pierce Burnett said. The panel’s recommendations included a proposal to cap parts of the highway through downtown and stitch together additional crossings to create green space, amenities and aordable housing opportunities. “The next six months are critical,” said panel Chair Marilyn Jordan Taylor, a professor of architecture and design at the University of Pennsylvania. Michael Rodriguez, research director for commercial research rm CBRE in Washington, D.C., said based on other cap-and-stitch projects around the country, completing the project in an 11-acre area from roughly the Colorado River to 15th Street would cost about $313 million to build and maintain for 30 years. Diann Hodges, TxDOT’s public information ocer for the Austin region, said after the funding for the I-35 project is approved by the TTC, TxDOT will begin a process of environmental review and commu- nity engagement. “We will obviously fund the highway portion of this. Any cap or stitch would need to be funded by the community or whatever entity they put together to push this forward,” Hodges said.

operating in a “nontolled environ- ment,” and the plan approved Feb. 27 adheres to that policy. “What I’m doing as chairman is I’m working with the tools that I have,” he said. Design and safety The commission made no design or engineering decisions on Feb. 27—it only tabbed the funding for a project to add managed lanes. Jay Blazek Crossley, the executive director

TxDOT project funds will come from Proposition 1 and Proposition 7 revenue—money from sources such as oil and natural gas production taxes, sales taxes and vehicle rental

“TRADITIONALLY HIGHWAY PROJECTS INOURNATIONHAVE BEENPROJECTS THAT HAVE DISPLACED ORDISCONNECTED COMMUNITIES.” COLLETTE PIERCE BURNETT, HUSTONTILLOTSON PRESIDENT

nonprot Farm and City, which is working to end highway deaths in Texas, said design will be crucial to the project’s success. “Modern, safe design standards means not

taxes, which Texas voters approved for transportation uses in 2014 and 2015. In 2017, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said they would not support any Proposition 1 or Proposition 7 funds going toward tolled projects. Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, said whether tolled or nontolled, the managed lanes will be key to moving people through Central Austin. “We can manage what trac goes

designing for people driving fast in the middle of our cities. There’s no point, and it’s killing people,” Blazek Crossley said. Moving beyond the barrier After the TTC announced its deci- sion, a group of national experts with the Urban Land Institute presented plans on Feb. 28 at Huston-Tillotson University on how the highway could

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • MARCH 2020

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