Central Austin Edition | December 2020

CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 2  DEC. 26, 2020JAN. 28, 2021

ONLINE AT

Texas distributed the rst doses of COVID-19 vaccines beginning Dec. 14 then sent out an additional shipment of vaccines Dec. 21. AT THE END OF THE LIGHT TUNNEL

844,650 DOSES Texas has received as of Dec. 21 42,000 The Austin area has received These have been given to 106 health care facilities in T ravis, Hays and Williamson counties . 4.97% of doses went to the capital area. 21 days after the Pzer vaccine or 28 days after the Moderna vaccine, those 844,650 people will need a second dose.

IMPACTS

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SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Austin-areahospitalsbegindistributingCOVID19vaccines COVID-19 vaccinations for thousands of Austin’s health care workers are already underway, but just a few months ago, many health experts believed a workable vaccine for the novel coronavirus was still a long way o. researchers—including some in Austin—wasted no time, kicking into high gear in January, before the coronavirus ever reached the United States. BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

DEVELOPMENT

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By November, pharmaceutical companies Pzer and Moderna announced they had produced vaccines with ecacy rates around 95% in clinical trials. After the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pzer vaccine for CONTINUED ON 18

NewAustin City Council member elected

Typically, it takes 12-18 months to develop a new vaccine, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. But vaccine

Post-pandemic eviction ‘tsunami’ a growing realitywithout a clear x BY CHRISTOPHER NEELY

Making Rent

CITY & COUNTY

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Texas tenants felt less condent in November than in August about paying rent, returning to levels of uncertainty seen early in the pandemic. CONFIDENCE IN ABILITY TO PAY RENT

with a fraction of their typical earnings and raising four school- aged children, the Antonios are behind on rent—for the rst time ever—by two months. Antonio and her family are protected through local and federal eviction moratoriums but they are temporary. She applied to the city’s rental assistance program but those dollars are limited. She is worried her rent debt will become insurmountable under current economic conditions. So, each morning, she has been catching her neighbors CONTINUED ON 20

Over her family’s eight years at Creeks Edge Apartments in North Austin, Petra Antonio, 38, has gotten to know her neighbors well, their weekday morning routines intersecting as they head to work or send children o to school. Over the last eight months, that reliable hum of morning activity has dulled, she said, as neighbors have struggled to nd work and classrooms continue to operate through Zoom. Antonio lost her job as a house cleaner, and her husband’s hours at construction sites have been cut inhalf.Working

No condence

Aug. 19-31 Nov. 11-23

9.2%

13.8%

BUSINESS FEATURE

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Slight to moderate condence

40.1%

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

46.8%

High condence

Find deals in a snap: Point your camera to the QR code or visit communityimpact.com/deals .

43.2%

31.6%

Occupying unit without rent/deferred rent

7%

SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU NATIONAL HOUSING PULSE SURVEY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

7.5%

COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON . Complete 2020 by joining your neighbors with a contribution of any amount to CI Patron. Funds support Community Impact Newspaper ’s hyperlocal, unbiased journalism and help build informed communities. Choose IMPACT . Make a CONTRIBUTION . Strengthen JOURNALISMFORALL . Contribute today! Snap or visit

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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Take part in our live or self-guided virtual public scoping meetings, beginning in late January 2021. Visit ProjectConnect.com to learn more about the Orange and Blue Line projects and see meeting details. Live Zoom Meetings: January 25 – 29 Self-Guided Virtual Open House: January 25 – March 5 (extended) Meeting materials will be available in English and Spanish. Información de la reunión se disponible en inglés y español.

Join us to learn more about Project Connect’s Orange and Blue Lines. Take part in our live or self-guided virtual public scoping meetings, beginning in late January 2021. Visit ProjectConnect.com to learn more about the Orange and Blue Line projects and see meeting details. Live Zoom Meetings: January 25 – 29 Self-Guided Virtual Open House: January 25 – March 5 (extended) Take part in our live or self-guided virtual public scoping meetings, beginning in late January 2021. Visit ProjectConnect.com to learn more about the Orange and Blue Line projects and see meeting details. Live Zoom Meetings: January 25 – 29 Self-Guided Virtual Open House: January 25 – March 5 (extended) Meeting materials will be available in English and Spanish. Información de la reunión se disponible en inglés y español. Meeting materials will be available in English and Spanish. Información de la reunión se disponible en inglés y español. Join us to learn more about Project Connect’s Orange and Blue Lines.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMDEEDA: I’m more excited to turn to ’21 than I was to turn 21 myself, and that is saying a lot! Happy New Year, friends. May 2021 be the year we put words like “social distancing,” “asynchronous learning” and “nger cots” in our rearview mirror as we are once again able to safely drive over to each other’s homes and parties without worry. We are not there just yet, but with multiple vaccines working their way through the Food and Drug Administration approval process as I write this, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling more hopeful than ever about our future. Happy Holidays! Stay healthy, and keep the faith, y’all! Deeda Lovett, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Deeda Lovett, dlovett@communityimpact.com EDITOR Jack Flagler jagler@communityimpact.com SENIOR REPORTER Nicholas Cicale REPORTERS Olivia Aldridge, Christopher Neely GRAPHIC DESIGNER Miranda Baker ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Gail Watson METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner

BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1, Pugerville, TX 78660 • 5129896808 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: The pandemic has disrupted most everything in 2020, but Austin’s development and growth does not seem to be slowing down. In this month’s issue you can read about a planned $1 billion project at a busy intersection in South Austin. Before a shovel hits the dirt, the owners of the property will be going through a long approval process—negotiating with city planners, council members and neighborhood residents over the course of years. Our reporting team will be staying with this one from the beginning of the process to the end, hopefully long after COVID-19 has passed us by. Jack Flagler , EDITOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE

communityimpact.com

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. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full- time journalists in each community we serve.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Get instant listing alerts, save your favorites, share comments with your co-buyer and see sold prices on the new realtyaustin.com.

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$2,650,000

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3 bds

3 ba

2,517 sq ft

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501 West Ave #3001, Austin, TX 78701 Cyndi Cummings | 512-423-6782

702 Oakland Ave, Austin, TX 78703 Betsy Gallagher | 512-431-8265

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$935,000

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3 bds

3.5 ba 2,430 sq ft

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1,280 sq ft

3115 Clawson Rd #301, Austin, TX 78704 Liz Reese | 512-589-9813

360 Nueces None #3411, Austin, TX 78701 Deborah Novelli | 512-699-0856

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realtyaustin.com/p/3218184

$699,000

$875,000

4 bds

2.5 ba 2,716 sq ft

3 bds

3.5 ba 2,304 sq ft

1116 Stobaugh St #A, Austin, TX 78757 Kevin Haines | 512-294-9002

207 Lessin Ln, Austin, TX 78704 Brad Bradburn | 512-228-9531

realtyaustin.com/p/8720363

realtyaustin.com/p/5021080

$479,900

$360,000

1 bds

1 ba

861 sq ft

3 bds

1 ba

1,079 sq ft

360 Nueces St #1113, Austin, TX 78701 AdamWalker | 512-554-5516

5202 Old Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78723 John Mundell | 512-655-9056

realtyaustin.com/p/4860394

realtyaustin.com/p/2328652

$249,000

$290,000

1 bds

1 ba

525 sq ft

2 bds

1.5 ba 905 sq ft

1422 Collier St #101, Austin, TX 78704 Sherry Ellenbogen | 512-294-4488

2215 Post Rd #2004, Austin, TX 78704 Alexandra Hernandez-Bobrow | 512-766-7433

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon

COMPILED BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

has been practicing for more than 13 years in the Austin area. The oce is open nights and weekends for emergencies, and it is following protocols regarding COVID-19. 512-489-0474. www.moontowerdental.com 6 Senor Churro joined the takeout cooperative Kitchen United Mix in September. Located at 8023 Burnet Road, Austin, Kitchen United Mix serves as a pickup spot for 17 restaurants. Senor Churro serves freshly fried churros in classic cinnamon and other avors, including special holiday varieties. It also serves other desserts and beverages, including tres leches and horchata. 512-669-9069. www.senor-churro.com 7 Pizza and sandwich shop Shortie’s opened Dec. 16. The new restaurant, located at 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd., Bldg. C, neighbors and shares ownership with District Kitchen & Cocktails. The restaurant’s name honors co-owner Ali Hajimaleki’s late dog. The menu at Shortie’s features Northeast-style pizza and grinders. 512-770-1385. www.shortiespizza.com 8 Tony C’s Pizza & Beer Garden opened Dec. 17 at 2900 W. Anderson Lane, Bldg. B, Austin. Owners Tony Ciola and Creed Ford IV also operate a group of restaurants that includes The League Kitchen and Tavern, which has three Austin locations. Another Tony C’s location opened in Round Rock in September. 512-595-7151. www.tonycsbeergarden.com COMING SOON 9 The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center completed construction in early December. The 251,000-square-foot oce building is located in the Highland development at 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive, Austin. The project from RedLeaf Properties and Ryan Companies will be home to 900 city employees in the permitting and development review departments. There is no estimated timeline for those employees to move into the new facility, and the city says it will be tracking COVID-19 case numbers to make that determination. www.austintexas.gov

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RELOCATIONS 10 Dance and tness center Austin Bellydance will move to a new location at 2417 Buell Ave., Unit A, Austin, on Jan. 4. Owner Betsi “Bahaia” Robins said the current location at 8650 Spicewood Springs Road, Austin, will close Dec. 31. 512-401-0202. www.austinbellydance.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 Simple Radiance Medspa celebrated ve years in business Nov. 1. Located at 5758 Balcones Drive, Ste. 104, Austin. Simple Radiance Medspa is a woman- owned business providing anti-aging and cosmetic treatments for the face and body. 512-433-6308. www.simpleradianceaustin.com 12 The dental practice of Sweta Tailor DDS PLLC celebrated 10 years at its current location, 4105 Medical Parkway, Ste. 100, Austin, on Nov. 15. Tailor started practicing in Austin in 2005 after beginning her career in Calgary, Canada. 512-458-1133. www.drtailor.com

NORTH CENTRAL NOWOPEN

Ste. B, Austin. The veteran-owned business prepares handmade cakes and family meal boxes for pickup or delivery in Austin and its surrounding areas. Owner and Executive Chef Deanthony Colbert said he will also oer private chef services in which he will come and personally prepare meals for customers. 205-983-1042. www.colbertsculinarycreation.com 4 Luck’s Wagyu Burger Shoppe opened in mid-November at 2900 W. Anderson Lane, Ste. 250, Austin, inside Zen Japanese Food Fast. The burger restaurant from the team behind Zen and South Austin restaurant Lucky Robot features wagyu beef from Peeler Farms, located in Floresville in South Texas. The new spot oers Asian condiments such as tonkatsu ketchup and katsu burgers, which include panko-crusted patties. 512-451-4811. www.eatzen.com/lucks 5 Moontower Dental opened Nov. 20 at 5307 Airport Blvd., Ste. A, Austin. Dr. Landon Gillett is a native El Pasoan who

1 Austin Regional Clinic opened a new clinic in early December at 6818 Austin Center Blvd., Ste. 205, in the Austin Surgical Plaza. ARC’s cardiology and gastroenterology services moved into the new clinic from the ARC Far West Medical Tower, located across the street. 512-344-0450. 5635 I-35, Austin, on Dec. 1. This is the second location for the Nashville hot chicken-focused ghost kitchen with takeout and delivery options only. The original opened in San Francisco. 512-698-5228. www.chickenascluck.com 3 Colbert’s Culinary Creations in www.austinregionalclinic.com 2 Chicken as Cluck opened at late September opened inside Manon’s Shared Kitchen at 8309 Research Blvd.,

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ARA radiologists Dr. Ryan Vancura and Dr. Arthy Saravanan

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon

6 Rainey Street Burgers is set to open in January at 51 Rainey St., Unit 140A, Austin, on the ground floor of the SkyHouse apartments next to Salvation Pizza and Emmer & Rye. Owner Karen Robinson has been an Austin resident since 1976 and comes from a career in tech. 512-399-5711. www.raineystreetburgers.com ANNIVERSARIES 7 The W Austin at A 200 Lavaca St., Austin, and ACL Live at the Moody Theater at B 310 Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin, celebrated their 10th anniversaries in December. The Block 21 property later added another, smaller music venue, 3Ten at ACL Live, which opened in 2016. The W Austin: 512-542-3600. https://w-hotels.marriott.com; ACL Live: 512-225-7999. www.acl-live.com CLOSINGS 8 Fabi + Rosi , a West Austin neighborhood restaurant located at 509 Hearn St., Austin, closed its doors for good as of Dec. 10. In a note to the community, husband and wife owners Wolfgang Murber and Cassie Williamson wrote that the time has come for them to say goodbye and thanked those who worked beside them or dined at the restaurant. “Because of you, not only did this little dream of ours come true, it expanded into much much more than the two of us could have imagined 12 years ago,” they wrote. www.fabiandrosi.com 9 Second Bar + Kitchen closed its downtown location at 200 S. Congress Ave., Austin, in mid-November after 10 years in operation. “We appreciate all our amazing patrons as well as the incredible group of professionals involved throughout the last decade,” read a note on its website. The restaurant from James Beard Award- nominated chef David Bull has two locations that remain open, one at Domain Northside and another at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. www.secondbarkitchen.com 10 Downtown LGBTQ+ bar Sellers Underground , located at 213 W. Fourth St., Austin, closed permanently as of Dec. 5. “COVID-19 capacity restrictions have made it impossible for us to continue,” wrote the owners in an Instagram post.

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DOWNTOWN NOWOPEN

restaurant comes from local restaurant group McGuire Moorman Hospitality, which also operates another restaurant, The Peacock, and bar Goldie’s within Austin Proper. 512-628-1415. www.properhotel.com 4 Refine Aesthetics opened Nov. 16 at 713 W. 14th St., Austin. The new medspa is owned by Courtney Gill, a graduate of the University of Texas who has been practicing medical and cosmetic dermatology in Austin for close to 10 years. 512-375-3386. www.refineaesthetics.com COMING SOON 5 An unnamed 41-story tower at 84 East Ave., Austin, that developers are calling The East Tower for permitting purposes is set to break ground in the middle of 2021, with construction completion scheduled for 2023. The tower will include 284 condominium units averaging 975 square feet, according to a news release from Austin-based developer Pearlstone Partners, which is partnering with New York-based ATCO Properties and Management on the project. Austin’s Design Commission approved the project Nov. 23. 512-835-4890. www.pearlstonepartners.com

The East Tower

RENDERING COURTESY PEARLSTONE PARTNERS

1 Bandit Coffee opened a second Austin location at 2902 Medical Arts St., Austin, in mid-November. The coffee shop originally started in New York City before moving operations to Austin, and its first Austin location on North Lamar Boulevard opened in October—customers order coffee at the store through a mobile app. www.thebandit.com 2 Cookie Rich , a new cookie pickup and delivery service, is taking orders in Austin as of Dec. 10. The new company comes from Lorin Peters, a native Austinite whose career as a chef included a stint as chef de partie at three-Michelin star restaurant The French Laundry in California. Customers can order Cookie Rich for delivery through DoorDash or pick up at the company’s kitchen, 2201 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin. www.getcookierich.com 3 La Piscina opened Dec. 2 on the fifth floor of the Austin Proper Hotel & Residences, 600 W. Second St., Austin. The Mexican restaurant includes ceviches, seafood and fajitas. The

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ACL Live at the Moody Theater

CHRISTOPHER NEELY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Electric moped company Revel announced it has discontinued service in Austin as of Dec. 18. “This decision was made after careful consideration, and it was not an easy one,” read a statement on the company’s website. Revel initially launched in Austin in 2019. The company is still operating in New York, where it was founded, along with Miami; Washington, D.C.; and the Bay Area. www.gorevel.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

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SOUTH CENTRAL NOWOPEN

6 Tiny Grocer will open in the space formerly occupied by Farm-to-Market Grocery at 1718 S. Congress Ave., Austin. Peg McCoy, the owner of Farm-to- Market, said she closed in November and sold the property to Tiny Grocer owner Steph Steele Dec. 1. According to Tiny Grocer’s website, the location will open in Spring 2021. www.tinygrocer.com RELOCATIONS 7 Hatbox: A Modern Haberdashery moved from its downtown location at 704 Congress Ave., Austin, to 1205 Kinney Ave., Austin, on Sept. 15. After 46 years in business, owner Lauri Turner said challenges related to COVID-19 caused her to set up shop in the garage of an Airbnb she owns and operates. Hatbox is currently open by appointment only. 512-914-1144. www.hatbox.com 8 VIP Chiropractic Care relocated within South Austin Dec. 5 to a new office at 4309 S. First St., Austin. Previously, the chiropractic office was located at 1221 Ben White Blvd., Austin. Dr. Glen

Owner Leah Reed named the space after Pikopye, her son Micah’s imaginary friend. Only reserved play sessions are being offered to adhere to safety protocols. 512-368-4011. www.pikopyestown.com COMING SOON 4 Pinthouse Pizza began hiring for its future taproom in Southeast Austin at 2201 E. Ben White Blvd., Austin, on Nov. 30. Co-founder Kyle Detrick said the owners hope to open around the new year, although no official date has been set. The brewpub also has locations in Round Rock and in Austin on Burnet Road and on South Lamar Boulevard, respectively. www.pinthousepizza.com 5 The Salty Donut announced Dec. 5 that it will open its first Central Texas location at 2000 S. Congress Ave., Austin, across from Magnolia Cafe, this spring. The Miami-based chain offering gourmet doughnuts held a pop-up event at its future location Dec. 11-13 to celebrate the announcement. www.saltydonut.com

1 Colton House Hotel , a three-story, 80-suite hotel at 2510 S. Congress Ave., Austin, opened in December. The suites range from 460 to 1,170 square feet and include one-, two- or three-bedroom options with either a kitchenette or a full kitchen and living room. This is the second hotel from Inherit Group, which first opened the Guesthouse Hotel in Chicago in 2008. 512-537-6684. www.coltonhousehotel.com 2 Mumtaz Market , a sister restaurant of Rainey Street Indian restaurant G’Raj Mahal, opened in October at 1816 S. First St., Austin. Its menu features South Asian cuisine including curries, seafood and deconstructed samosas. 512-480-2255. https://mumtazmarketatx.com 3 Pikopye’s Town , an indoor play space for kids, creative space for work-from- home or stay-at-home parents, and boutique toy shop, opened Nov. 1 at 2919 Menchaca Road, Ste. 205, Austin.

The Salty Donut

COURTESY PIKOPYE’S TOWN

Wilkinson received his bachelor’s degree at Texas State University and his doctorate from Parker University in Dallas before beginning his practice. 512-809-1113. https://blog.vipchiropractic.care ANNIVERSARIES 9 The South Austin location of La Patisserie celebrated 10 years in business Nov. 23. Located at 602 W. Annie St., Austin, the bakery owned by Soraiya Nagree serves from-scratch French pastries and coffee from Tweed Coffee Roasters. 512-912-0033. www.lpaustin.com

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Moving forward as a community

The pandemic and humanitarian crisis has brought us together with intensified passion and resilience. At Bank of America, we remain focused on supporting the well-being of our teammates, providing the essential financial services our clients need and helping local communities across the country move forward. Here in Austin, we’ve donated masks to local partners to distribute to those most at risk. We’ve provided lending to local small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help strengthen our local economy. And we continue to partner with local nonprofits and organizations that are working to advance racial equality and economic opportunity in the communities we serve. We’re grateful for our employees, who have worked tirelessly to support our clients. And we are especially grateful to the healthcare and essential workers who have helped Austin recover.

My teammates and I remain fully committed to the work to come in 2021 and beyond.

Nikki Graham Austin Market President

Working together Grateful for our partners in Austin who gave our community support when it needed it most. 300,000 PPE masks donated 2,847 PPP small business client loans totaling $180 million

Bank of America employees

To learn more, please visit bankofamerica.com/community

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Credit Opportunity Lender. © 2020 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon

COMPILED BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

resulting from COVID-19. O’Neal said she had been working on a doughnut shop concept for the past few years and decided to open it in the former Sugar Mama’s on a small budget. Lola’s is open Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.- 1 p.m., and O’Neal said she plans to add Friday service in the new year. www.lolasdonutsatx.com 4 Uncle Nicky’s opened Dec. 7 at Hotel Eleven, 1123 E. 11th St., Austin. The Italian cafe will serve the same menu of cocktails, brunch, sandwiches and other Italian dishes as it does at its Hyde Park location, which opened in 2019. The ownership team of Uncle Nicky’s includes chef Nicholas Yanes of Juniper, Brandon and Zane Hunt of Via 313, and Travis Tober of Nickel City. 512-359-5466. www.unclenickys.com COMING SOON 5 Apartment complex Alexan Springdale is set to open the rst of its 251 units by August 2021 and is scheduled for completion by April 2022, according to developer Crow Holdings. Located at 5619 Springdale Road, Austin, the facility is a project of JHP Architects. www.crowholdings.com/alexan-springdale RELOCATIONS 6 Blackbird Fitness and Nutrition moved to a new location, 701 Tillery St., Unit B3, Austin, on Nov. 17. Formerly located at 2400 E. Cesar Chavez St., the gym oers personal and small-group tness training as well as nutrition coaching. 737-210-6868. www.blackbirdtnessandnutrition.com 7 Tsuke Honten will relocate from its food truck at Hopsquad Brewing Co., 2307 Kramer Lane, Austin, to a permanent dine-in location at 400 Mueller Blvd., Ste. 1035, Austin, in March. Chef Michael Che will open by reservation only at his new location, which formerly housed Kyoten Sushiko, in February. 512-825-3120. www.exploretock.com/tsukehonten IN THE NEWS 8 Drinks Lounge, a bar located at

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2001 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, launched Buy Austin Art , a virtual local art market, in early December. Drinks Lounge owner Tim Lupa said the website would serve as a “locals-only Etsy” and was an eort to replace the in-person art markets Drinks Lounge used to host before the coronavirus pandemic. www.buyaustinart.com 9 Silicon Valley-based technology company Oracle announced Dec. 11 it will move its headquarters from California to Austin. The company did not announce how many jobs the move will create in the local area, but Laura Human, CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said she expects an increase in local employ- ment. Today, Oracle has about 2,500 existing employees at its local oce o Lakeshore Drive at 2300 Oracle Way, Austin. Oracle is planning to expand that campus. In 2018, when the oce opened, founder Larry Ellison said he expected to eventually have 10,000 employees in Austin. 737-867-1000. www.oracle.com 10 Developers Presidium and Partners Group released plans Dec. 21 for River Park , a 109-acre project east of the Oracle campus near the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and East Riverside Drive. Plans include more than 10 million square feet of development including oce, retail, hospitality, entertainment and residential space. The developers re- ceived approval in 2019 from Austin City Council for a 97-acre project then called 4700 Riverside. The new project adds the 12-acre Parke Green retail center into the plans, which the developer also owns. www.riverpark-atx.com

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construction Dec. 3, and units became ready for residents to move in later in the month. The condo development from Pearlstone Partners consists of 59 units, according to a news release. Floorplans range from studios to three-bedroom units, and prices for available units range from $339,000 to $590,000. 512-327-0012. www.homcondos.com 3 Lola’s Donuts opened Oct. 2 at 2406 Manor Road, Ste. B, Austin, replacing Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. Owner Olivia O’Neal is still operating the Sugar Mama’s location in South Austin at 1905 S. First St., Austin, but was forced to close the shop on Manor Road this summer due to business declines

1 East Side Pet Ranch opened Dec. 21 at 4700 Gilbert Road, Austin. The 7-acre, “all-inclusive pet lifestyle center” will rst launch its doggy day care and pet boarding services in December, followed by a veterinary clinic, grooming salon and training center in early 2021 with shuttle service to East Austin. Additionally, East Side Pet Ranch plans to foster rescue dogs and oer them for adoption. 737-273-0480. www.eastsidepetranch.com 2 HŌM Condominiums , located at 3101 Govalle Ave., Austin, nished

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES As $4.9billion I35 projectmoves forward, some community groups ask TxDOT to shift its approach The 8-mile stretch of I-35 through downtown Austin is the COMPILED BY JACK FLAGLER

information ocer for TxDOT’s Austin district, said they are not the only options on the table. All three proposals would take down I-35’s upper decks, and replacement options include a tunnel or lowered lanes with strategically placed yovers. “We are open to considering other things [in addition to the proposed designs],” Hodges said. “This has been a long process. These ideas are coming out of feedback we’ve received previously, and we’ll take what we receive now to modify those concepts.” While TxDOT ocials said the department is open to any and all feedback, some community members were frustrated by the initial release of designs because they said the state agency is coming at the project with the wrong approach. A group called Rethink 35 is calling for replacing I-35 with a boulevard rather than expanding it to include

additional lanes. While some may think removing trac lanes will lead to worsening congestion, the group argues in fact, replacing the highway with a boulevard will lessen congestion because it will divert large trucks to other routes, reconnect the street grid across I-35 and lead people to seek alternatives rather than driving. Community groups such as Rethink 35, the North Central I-35 Neighborhood Coalition and Reconnect Austin—which has long advocated for a “cap-and- stitch” proposal to bury I-35 and reconnect the street grid on top—hope they can move TxDOT to shift its frame of mind when approaching the project. “With TxDOT, we’re always asking the wrong question,” Brendan Wittstruck of NCINC said. “To us, the highway is not the connection fromMexico to Minneapolis; it’s a boundary that’s cutting apart our ability to move around in our home.”

most congested piece of road in the state, according to a Dec. 1 report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The Texas Department of Transportation is in the early stages of $4.9 billion project to address these congestion issues by adding two managed lanes in each direction to include public transit, emergency vehicles and carpools. Construction is set to begin in 2025, but the best time for public feedback is now, according to the state agency. A virtual open house is open through Dec. 31 in which residents can provide feedback. TxDOT said another virtual meeting is scheduled for early next year, although an exact date has not been released. The open house presents three proposals for the I-35 project, although at this point the designs are just conceptual. Diann Hodges, public

Vehicles travel along the upper decks of I35 on Dec. 1. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

COMMENT ON I35 Web: www.mobility35openhouse.com Email: my35capex@txdot.gov Voicemail: 512-561-2948 Mail: I-35 Capital Express Central Project Team,

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Capital Metro starts program to cap fares for transit riders Capital Metro oers riders who use public transportation frequently a discount if they buy a pass rather than paying ride by ride. The system rewards those who use public transportation often and encourages commuting by bus or rail. However, those who cannot aord the upfront

cost of a pass miss out on that discount and ultimately pay more to use transit than those with the means to aord a pass. A pilot program that began in the fall aims to address that inequity. Capital Metro has opened a program for up to 200 participants that will track customers’ rides and automatically cap them daily and by month. That means if a customer takes a third ride on public transportation in one day, it is free, because that individual has already exceeded

the fare for a day pass. Also, if a customer pays ride by ride and hits the cost of a monthly pass within a 31-day period, they will ride for free for the rest of the month. Participants can sign up online at Capital Metro’s website for the initiative if they are already enrolled in certain public aid programs. After the initial program ends, Chief Financial Ocer Reinet Marneweck said the public transit organization hopes to expand the program to wider use.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF DEC. 21. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CTANEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Plans at Brodie Oaks call for towers as high as 275 feet, but construction is at least two years away. TALL TASK

DEVELOPMENT SouthAustin stripmall could become towers, green space

Envisioned plan

Barshop & Oles, the company that owns Brodie Oaks, plans to build green space, oce buildings, residential units, retail stores and restaurants on-site. Some parking, ground-oor retail and restaurant space would be woven into the residential and oce buildings.

Office Office OFFICE RESIDENTIAL Residential Residential Office Offic

Hotel Hotel Residential Residential Retail Retail Hotel HOTEL RETAIL Hotel Retail Retail

BY JACK FLAGLER

Burdette said, is the developers will have to build up. Initial plans call for structures as high as 275 feet, or about 30 feet shorter than The University of Texas tower. Upon early review, that trade-o does not add up for Peter Hess, the chair of the development committee of the Barton Hills Neighborhood Association. Hess said his

The Brodie Oaks shopping center at the convergence of three major South Austin roadways is a reminder of a time when strip malls with ample parking were in vogue. It opened in 1982, and in the years since, malls of its time have increasingly fallen out of favor among city planners, local leaders and residents. Today, many of the store names on the facades have changed, and some of the spaces are vacant. However, as businesses have moved in and out, the layout has remained the same. “It’s a sea of parking lots and buildings,” said Milo Burdette, partner and vice president of development at commercial real estate company Barshop & Oles, which owns the plaza. Barshop & Oles, along with a team of architects, planners, lawyers and experts, announced Dec. 3 plans to replace the 38-acre site of big-box stores and asphalt lots with 3 million square feet of retail, oce and residential space. The plans include 13.7 acres of green space, 1,600 residential units, 1.1 million square feet of oces, 450 hotel rooms, and 140,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Pending approval, the total estimated budget could be over $1 billion over a decade. Before the project begins, it will have to go through an extended negotiation with city planners, City Council members and neighborhood residents called a planned unit development, or PUD. That process will extend through 2022 and likely into 2023, according to developers. Landscape architect Rebecca Leonard, who is leading the land- planning aspect of the project, said about 84% of the site as it exists today is impervious cover—either parking lots or buildings that do not absorb rainfall. The new plans will reduce the impervious cover to 54% and include a retention irrigation pond on-site to avoid runo into Barton Creek, located just behind the mall. The trade-o for a more environmentally friendly project,

association has not yet taken a formal stance on the project. But from his perspective, the benets are not

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worth increasing height restrictions from 60 feet under current zoning to 275 feet as planned. “The trade-o they’re proposing is completely

BIG picture plans

The project will go through an extensive planned unit development review process, a negotiation with the city and the community that often takes years.

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disproportionate,” Hess said. “There is not enough in this package to make it this dense.” Not another Domain The team behind the project recognized the temptation to compare Brodie Oaks to another high-prole, mixed-use development on the northside of Austin. “We love The Domain, but we want it to be dierent from The Domain,” Burdette said. Leonard, who is also involved with the Broadmoor mixed-use redevelopment on the IBM property next to The Domain, said there are some important dierences. The Broadmoor project is about 65 acres— nearly double the size of the Brodie Oaks project—and The Domain encompasses more than 300 acres. The total square footage of Brodie Oaks—about 3 million square feet—is nearly double The Domain’s 1.8 million square feet of retail space. Leonard said the Barton Creek Greenbelt will make the Brodie Oaks project distinctive. “There is no greenbelt like that adjacent to The Domain or Broadmoor,” she said. “The greenbelt is the DNA of Southwest Austin.” The PUDprocess Barshop & Oles submitted a development assessment to the city

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Dec. 3. The developer then plans to le a PUD application early in 2021, starting a process Burdette expects to last at least 18 months to 2 years, setting up construction in late 2023 or early 2024. ”It’s a long process. We’re prepared for that,” he said. PUDs are designed for large or complex developments, generally larger than 10 acres. For developers, simpler than receiving individual zoning variances for each use of the property, and it can provide additional benets such as increased height or density allowances that traditional zoning cannot. The community, meanwhile, the advantage of the PUD is it provides more exibility; it is can receive more benets, such as parkland or aordable housing. And for City Council members and sta, the PUD presents a chance to improve uses of land to be more in line with city goals. Often, the PUD process involves extended negotiations

among the developer, the neighborhood and elected ocials to come to a compromise. As the process plays out, the future of the existing businesses in the mall is a “tenant-by-tenant discussion,” Burdette said. Todd Gibbs, owner of ToddPilates & Barre, is one of those tenants. He said he was not surprised to hear the news of the plans, and even though ample parking was part of what attracted him to the spot when he opened in 2012, he is interested in staying at Brodie Oaks through the redevelopment. As he weathers the challenges of COVID-19 and remains open, Gibbs said it put the challenges of the city’s changes in perspective.

“That’s what happens when you live in an amazing town like Austin that’s growing so fast and is so vibrant,” he said. “That’s what you’ve got to deal with.” COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

14

CITY& COUNTY

News from Austin & Travis County

Austin City Council No regularly scheduled meetings. Inauguration of new and re-elected council members Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. www.austintexas.gov/department/ city-council Travis County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays at 9 a.m. www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court Meetings are being held virtually, not in person. MEETINGSWE COVER are Austin Mayor Steve Adler; Capital Metro board member Eric Stratton; Huston-Tillotson University President Colette Pierce Burnette; WSP USA Vice President Tony Elkins; and Veronica Castro de Barrera, the owner of VCdB Architecture and Art. states local hotel tax revenue can only be used to directly promote tourism and the convention or hotel industry. By deeming certain sites as iconic to the city’s brand, Austin plans to use historic preservation funds from hotel taxes to acquire, subsidize or otherwise help ailing music venues and restaurants. AUSTIN The city of Austin and Capital Metro took one of the rst steps Dec. 18 on the path to approving and building Project Connect, its voter-approved $7.1 billion public transportation expansion plan. City Council and Capital Metro’s board of directors approved the ve members of the Austin Transit Partnership, the board responsible for overseeing the process. The members CITY HIGHLIGHTS AUSTIN District 4 City Council Member Greg Casar is lobbying to be Austin’s next mayor pro tem, and he said Dec. 16 he has the support of a majority of his fellow council members. The mayor pro tem is a largely symbolic position under city charter. If the mayor is absent or disabled, the mayor pro tem assumes all power and responsibility of the mayor. AUSTIN City ocials released details Dec. 2 for a proposal from Austin-based Aspen Heights Partners to build two towers on a city-owned site on the northeast corner of downtown formerly occupied by HealthSouth. The plans include a 36-story residential tower as well as a 15-story oce building. City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal Jan. 28. AUSTIN Using a fresh interpretation of a state law that governs how cities can spend taxes levied on hotel guests, Austin City Council told City Manager Spencer Cronk Dec. 3 to set aside $15 million in hotel tax revenue to preserve music venues and restaurants the city deems “iconic.” Texas law

Healthocials say COVID19 risk factors are ‘moving in thewrong direction’

BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

move Travis County to Stage 5 under its COVID-19 risk-based guidelines as of Dec. 21. If they do, changes could include recommendations for residents to only make essential trips out of the home and avoid gatherings outside the household as well as a possible curfew for certain businesses, such as bars. Escott said an escalation over Christmas or New Year’s Day could risk moving Travis County into a scenario similar to what the El Paso area has experienced, where hospital capacity has been overwhelmed. More than 1,500 El Pasoans have died from COVID-19 in the county of just over 836,000 residents, according to state numbers as of Dec. 21. “I want to be very clear that a surge like what’s seen in El Paso would mean another 1,500 Travis County residents dead in the next 60 days,” Escott said.

TRAVIS COUNTY Bars operating as restaurants while not observing safety precautions and people gathering together in groups during the Thanksgiving holiday have both led to an accelerated spread of the COVID-19 virus in Travis County, according to Dr. Mark Escott, the Austin-Travis County interim health authority. In a Dec. 15 presentation to the Travis County Commissioners Court, Escott said active coronavirus cases are up by 45% since Dec. 1, and hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are up by 28% and 13%, respectively. “This is bad. We’re moving in the wrong direction. I really don’t know how to make it any more clear that what we’re doing now as a community is not working,” Escott said. Ocials had not yet made the call to Newmembers on City Council, school board after runoelection

RAZORTHIN RUNOFF RACES  I The Dec. 15 runo elections for Austin City Council and the Austin ISD board of trustees were decided in close races.

BY NICHOLAS CICALE & CHRISTOPHER NEELY

AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL

AUSTIN After close runo races Dec. 15, one incumbent Austin City Council member was ousted, another retained her seat to earn another term and two new faces earned spots on the Austin ISD board of trustees dais. City Council challenger Mackenzie Kelly toppled incumbent Jimmy Flannigan’s re-election campaign in Northwest Austin’s District 6. Kelly earned 52.25% of the vote cast between Travis andWilliamson Counties. In West Austin’s District 10, Alison Alter defeated challenger Jennifer Virden 51.22% to 48.78% in the runo to claim her second consecutive four-year council term. Noelita Lugo and Lynn Boswell each won their rst term on the Austin ISD board of trustees—Lugo in an at-large seat and Boswell representing Central and Southwest Austin’s District 5.

Mackenzie Kelly

7,875

Jimmy Flannigan

7,198

Alison Alter

12,348

Crux South

Jennifer Virden

11,761

121 Pickle Road Austin, Texas 78704

AUSTIN ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Lynn Boswell

4,030

Crux Central

Jennifer Littleeld

6015 Dillard Circle #B Austin, Texas 78752

3,320

Noelita Lugo

19,426

Leticia Moreno Caballero

17,824

SOURCE: TRAVIS COUNTY CLERKCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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