Central Austin Edition | December 2021

CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 2  DEC. 24, 2021JAN. 25, 2022

ONLINE AT

Ocials continue weatherization, urge personal prep Central Texans brace for winter after February’s deadly storm

“I LITERALLY

FROZE TO DEATH

FOR FIVE DAYS.” LYNN WILSON  AUSTIN RESIDENT

BY BEN THOMPSON

… I can’t see me weathering another ve-day [freeze].” More than200people inTexas diedas a result of Winter Storm Uri, including 21 in Austin. The cold led to an unprec- edented demand for electricity while it also damaged generator infrastructure. A federal report and a city of Aus- tin audit show that ahead of the storm, the state failed to heed con- cerns about the grid for years and the city failed to address known gaps in its emergency response. CONTINUED ON 26

Almost one year after deadly Winter Storm Uri caused Texas’ power grid to fail, leaving millions across the state without power or water, residents are taking emergency preparedness into their own hands. For Lynn Wilson, surviving Uri meant braving temperatures below20 degrees in her North Shoal Creek home with a com- promised immune system, leaving her exhausted and causing her to lose weight. “I literally froze to death for ve days,”Wilson said. “It was somiserable

Wilson purchased a full home generator for $9,000 after February’s winter storm.

DARCY SPRAGUECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Work on 15-lane Southwest Austin project begins When Eduardo Lopez moved from Mexico to Austin in March to open Bene-Fit Nutrition, a healthy smoothie shop, he did not realize his storefront sat in the middle of a $674 million highway project set to last ve years. the Oak Hill Parkway project that is underway. “The thing here is that we are trying to move. Even before the construction, we were like, ‘Oh yeah, this is a very crowded area for cars,’” Lopez said. “Also, [traveling] the other way, it’s a little bit harder to get into the plaza.” BY BENTON GRAHAM

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Oak Hill Parkway has been in the works for decades and broke ground in July. CONNECTING AUSTIN

EXPANDING UP TO 15 LANES 7.5 MILES OF ROAD WORK BEGINS AT THE EAST AND WEST SECTIONS OF HWY. 290 SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER MAJOR CONSTRUCTION

Just eight months into his three-year lease, Lopez said he is considering moving away from his location that sits near the Hwy. 290 and Wil- liam Cannon Drive intersection at the center of

The full force of construction has yet to aect Bene-Fit Nutrition, but the Texas Depart- ment of Transportation began major work

CONTINUED ON 28

IMPACTS

TODO LIST

BUSINESS FEATURE

DINING FEATURE

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FOR YOUR READERSHIP

PARTNERSHIP

DONATIONS

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WASTEWATER AVERAGING You are in control of your wastewater costs for the next year STARTING Mid-November ENDING Mid-March Find your wastewater averaging period and START SAVING TODAY! www.austintexas.gov/department/wastewater-averaging

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Curious what is selling in your neighborhood? Scan me *All prices shown are list price

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

realtyaustin.com/p/9421247

realtyaustin.com/p/3162585

realtyaustin.com/p/9063932

realtyaustin.com/p/2826461

$875,000

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$950,000

$1,100,000

4 bds

2 ba

2,033 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,214 sq ft

4 bds

4 ba

2,194 sq ft

3 bds

2.5 ba 2,081 sq ft

1818 Richwood Dr, Austin, TX 78757 Tony Elias | 512-351-0823

4105 Threadgill St, Austin, TX 78723 Nelson Batchelor | 512-650-8684

1715 Justin Ln, Austin, TX 78757 Chad Proctor | 512-870-7292

1112 Algarita Ave #A, Austin, TX 78704 Damon Brown | 512-689-5723

PENDING

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realtyaustin.com/p/5202091

realtyaustin.com/p/2951462

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$750,000

$895,000

$1,600,000

$1,795,000

2 bds

2 ba

1,122 sq ft

3 bds

2 ba

1,448 sq ft

4 bds

2.5 ba 3,130 sq ft

4 bds

2.5 ba 2,864 sq ft

1202 Canterbury St, Austin, TX 78702 Robert Albertson | 512-653-8939

2113 Kenwood Ave, Austin, TX 78704 Hannah Vaughan | 512-470-6086

3210 Enfield Rd, Austin, TX 78703 Susan Galyean | 512-784-6850

2109 De Verne St, Austin, TX 78704 Kevin Haines | 512-294-9002

SOLD

SOLD OVER ASKING

SOLD OVER ASKING

SOLD OVER ASKING

realtyaustin.com/p/6429046

realtyaustin.com/p/2970757

realtyaustin.com/p/9829960

realtyaustin.com/p/6468600

$750,000

$825,000

$1,200,000

$1,500,000

3 bds

3 ba

1,595 sq ft

3 bds

3 ba

1,741 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 2,556 sq ft

4 bds

4 ba

3,691 sq ft

2903 Corbin Ln, Austin, TX 78704 Michelle & Michael Kopp Team | 512-657-3305

3913 Valley View Rd #B, Austin, TX 78704 Cynthia Mattiza | 512-940-5293

1808 Sanchez St, Austin, TX 78702 Charles Runnels | 512-914-0183

6210 Bon Terra Dr, Austin, TX 78731 Brian Copland | 512-576-0288

Since 2012, Realty Austin has partneredwith Austin Habitat for Humanity to build homes for deserving families and has committed more than $830,000 of their commissions to change lives.

Scan the QR code to learn more about our mission to bui ld more equitable housing in the community.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

Moving forward together

We’ve been through a lot together and have proved to be resilient. The approaching new year brings with it new possibilities to help our clients, communities and teammates move forward and prosper—safely. Using our industry-leading digital tools, like mobile check deposits, Erica, ® CashPro ® and access to Zelle, ® individuals and businesses are finding it easier to do their everyday banking. Across the country, the expertise of our specialists and our teammates in financial centers is helping clients meet all their financial needs at every stage of their lives. In our communities, we continue to collaborate with local partners, business leaders, experts and academics across the public and private sectors to fuel job growth and financial stability. More than $400 million of our $1.25 billion commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity is already supporting diverse small businesses and partners, including many recipients here in Austin who provide job skilling and hiring programs. We’ve also increased resources to support our teammates’ emotional and financial well-being. Recently, we raised our minimum hourly wage for U.S. employees to $21 per hour, moving closer to our goal of $25 by 2025. My teammates and I look forward to growing existing partnerships and creating new ones as we work together to make a difference. Have a safe and happy holiday season. What would you like the power to do? ®

David Bader President, Bank of America Austin

Learn more at bankofamerica.com/austin

Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license. Bank of America, the Bank of America logo, Erica® and CashPro® are registered trademarks of the Bank of America Corporation. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender © 2021 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMDEEDA: Up to fteen lanes, two yovers and millions of dollars of investment is a lot to wrap your brain around. In our front-page story, Reporter Benton Graham shares where the massive Oak Hill transportation project is starting and what to expect in the coming months regarding your commute and how the detours will aect local businesses. Deeda Lovett, GENERALMANAGER dlovett@communityimpact.com

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROMDARCY: For many in Central Texas, the winter storm this February was devastating. After months of city, state and federal reports showing the amount of work still yet to be done to prevent another disaster, our front-page story looks at what Austinites are doing to prepare for future emergencies. Darcy Sprague, EDITOR dsprague@communityimpact.com

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHATWE COVER

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the latest headlines direct to your inbox. communityimpact.com/ newsletter DAILY INBOX Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Deeda Lovett EDITOR Darcy Sprague REPORTERS Benton Graham, Olivia Aldridge, Maggie Quinlan, Ben Thompson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Miranda Baker

BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Gail Watson METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney

ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1, Pugerville, TX 78660 • 5129896808 PRESS RELEASES ctanews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2021 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

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$20 average donation choose to give monthly 35% edition newsletter called The InCIder and occasionally reach out with other opportunities to directly engage. hyperlocal, unbiased journalism and help build informed communities. As a thank you, we'll include you in a special Saturday

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

COMPILED BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE, CLAIRE SHOOP & DARCY SPRAGUE

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon or relocating

REGIONAL IMPACTS

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COMING SOON Construction has begun on Uptown ATX , a 66-acre master-planned community. The $3 billion project will bring 7 million square feet of residential, retail and oce space to North Austin at 11501 Burnet Road. The project is located across from The Domain and will redevelop the site of the IBM Austin campus. Construction on the oce portion of Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in late summer 2023, with the multifamily units to be completed in mid-2024. www.uptownatx.com

5 Highland Collective , a studio facility for artists and makers, opened Sept. 15 at 6401 Airport Blvd., Austin. Artists and craftsman in the collective work in a range of mediums, including metal, wood and composite materials. 512-265-1820. www.highlandcollectiveatx.com COMING SOON 6 Apotheca Salon and Barbershop plans to open in the Highland area at 110 Jacob Fontaine Lane, Austin, by the end of 2021. The business, owned and founded by Stean Bentley, is operating at 9025 Research Blvd., Austin. The salon has been delayed moving to its permanent location due to the ongoing pandemic. Apotheca Salon and Barbershop oers a range of hair care services and focuses on being an encouraging place for customers to experiment with new looks. 737-336-0136. www.apothecaatx.com RELOCATION 7 The Christian Science Reading Room relocated to Northcross Center, 7739 Northcross Drive, Ste. T, Austin, on Oct. 9. The local bookstore and library opened in Austin in July 1889, and was most recently located at 102 Trinity St., Austin. Operated by the First Church of Christian Science Austin, the Reading Room oers Bible study resources, story time for children, and other resources related to biblical research and the Christian Science faith. 512-472-8109. www.rstchurchcsaustin.org/ reading-room

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NORTH CENTRAL NOWOPEN

GUADALUPE ST. and serves fried and grilled chicken meals, as well as yuca fries, empanadas and other Central American dishes. Food is available for pickup and delivery only. www.us.compero.com 3 Spicewood Springs Animal Hospital in mid-October announced its new Spicewood Springs Cat Hospital . This new wing of the veterinary hospital focuses on cat wellness exams, dentistry and surgery. The cat hospital, at 8108 Mesa Drive, Ste. B-105, Austin, also features a drive- thru pickup window for prescriptions. 512-345-2727. www.spicewoodanimalhospital.com 4 Image consulting business House of Colour opened Sept. 15 at 4413 Spicewood Springs Road, Ste. 225, Austin. Stylists help clients discover the colors and styles that best suit them. Owner Meredith Wooderson said she prioritizes helping individuals look their best while being “authentic to themselves.” 512-869-9750. www.houseofcolour.com

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1 Martial arts studio Premier Martial Arts opened a new location Oct. 6 at 2925 W. Anderson Lane, Austin. The studio teaches mixed martial arts, including kickboxing and Krav Maga techniques. Owned by Tara McNair and Austin native Stephen McNair, Premier Martial Arts oers classes to students age 3 and up, with a belt advancement system to promote character development through self-discipline, respect and anger management skills. 512-400-4415. www.premiermartialarts.com 2 Fast-casual restaurant Pollo Campero opened its rst Austin location Nov. 18 at 8023 N. Burnet Road, Austin. The restaurant is operating out of Kitchen United Mix commercial kitchen. Pollo Campero originated in Guatemala

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COMING SOON Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and its partners will build Four Seasons Private Residences Lake Austin, a 179-unit residential property located o Lake Austin in West Austin. The 145-acre private residence community, which will be located on Bridge Point Parkway west of Loop 360 and the Pennybacker Bridge, is expected to break ground in 2023 and open in 2025. www.fourseasons.com/residences/ private_residences/lake-austin/

At ARA, our doctors work with your doctor to get a clear picture of your health. We schedule imaging exams such as 3D mammography, CT, and MRI at your convenience and then deliver results quickly. With more than 115 subspecialized radiologists, ARA partners with more patients, hospitals, and doctors than any other medical imaging provider in Central Texas. Thanks for trusting us.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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COURTESY DANI PARSONS

LIONS MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE

737-263-0555 www.smashatx.com COMING SOON 3 The Cambria Hotel Austin Downtown will open in summer 2023. Located at 68 East Ave., Austin, the 14-story, 212-room hotel will include a multifunctional meeting space, a tness center, a pool, a bar and other amenities. This is the third property for Cambria Hotels in Austin, which broke ground on the project in October. www.choicehotels.com/cambria 4 Houston-based restaurant Local Foods will open its rst Austin location in February at 454 W. Second St., Austin. The menu will focus on ingredients from local farms, serving sandwiches, salads and sides alongside wine, beer and coee. Local Foods’ Austin pop- up location at 5350 Burnet Road will continue to oer takeout and delivery service until the downtown restaurant opens. www.localfoodstexas.com 5 Wax Myrtle’s Club & Pool will open in January. The restaurant and bar will be located on the fourth oor of the new Thompson Hotel at 506 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin. The menu at Wax Myrtle’s will be led by Executive Chef Nick Erven, who has previously worked for Austin restaurants Aba and Perla’s. The kitchen will serve “fresh and accessible” dishes featuring seasonal produce, local sh and sustainable cuts of meat. www.waxmyrtles.com ANNIVERSARIES 6 The Beer Plant , located at

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Thrive Pet Healthcare

COURTESY THRIVE HEALTHCARE

DOWNTOWN

3110 Windsor Road, Austin, celebrated its fth anniversary in business Sept. 27. The plant-based gastropub oers vegan dinner and brunch menus along with craft beer, wine and cocktails. 512-524-1800. www.thebeerplant.com 7 Tarrytown Pharmacy celebrated 80 years in business Dec. 4. The locally owned pharmacy, located at 2727 Exposition Blvd., Ste. 105, Austin, opened in 1941. It oers standard pharmacy services, including vaccinations against COVID-19 and inuenza. 512-478-6419. www.tarrytownpharmacy.com NAME CHANGES 8 Austin-based Pathway Vet Alliance has rebranded to Thrive Pet Healthcare . With a location at 800 W. Cesar Chavez St., Ste. B100, Austin, Thrive Pet Healthcare is a network of more than 400 pet care providers across the United States. It also provides service and technology solutions

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DOWNTOWN WEST CAMPUS NOWOPEN 1 Cisco’s Muny Cafe opened in late October at the Lions Municipal Golf Course clubhouse. Located at 2901 Eneld Road, Austin, the new eatery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to golf course visitors with menu items including breakfast

tacos, burgers and nachos. The cafe features indoor and outdoor dining spaces. 512-542-9459. www.instagram.com/ ciscosmunycafe 2 Smash ATX opened Oct. 6 in the former location of Spin. Like its predecessor at 213 W. Fifth St., Austin, Smash ATX is a bar and restaurant featuring ping-pong tables. Smash ATX’s menu focuses on comfort food, and it has a full bar, including signature cocktails.

to veterinary hospitals. www.thrivepetcare.com

hours: tues - sat | 4pm - 10pm all day happy hour on tuesdays A NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT & WINEBAR RING IN THE NEW YEAR! Space is limited, call now for reservations.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

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COMING SOON 5 Blue Suede , a women’s designer shoe and accessory boutique, will open before the end of the year at 1600 S. First St., Ste. 120, Austin. The store will feature a lounge with beer, wine, coee and cheese boards from Antonelli’s Cheese for sale. Blue Suede will carry clothing and accessories such as jewelry, shoes and handbags from designers, including Dolce Vita, Jerey Campbell and Valentina. www.bluesuedeaustin.com 6 Trudy’s, the Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant, is planning to open a new seafood restaurant concept called Trudy’s Del Mar on South Congress on Dec. 29. The new restaurant’s menu will include a seasonal ceviche and crudo selection as well as a seared tuna garnished with grilled pineapple pico and surf and turf fajitas made with steak and lobster. The restaurant will be located at 1600 S. Congress Ave. and will replace the South Congress Cafe. www.trudys.com

EXPANSION 7 Easy Tiger opened a market and bake shop Dec. 8 at its 3508 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, location. The new additions represent the completion of the location’s nal phase after initially opening for outdoor dining in October 2020 due to the pandemic. The new market and bakeshop includes additional indoor seating and serves fresh bread and pastries alongside a full bar and menu of staple German fare, charcuterie and more. 512-964-8229. www.easytigerusa.com RENOVATIONS 8 Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B will be demolished and rebuilt. The H-E-B located at 2400 S. Congress Ave., Austin, opened in 1957 and grew to 69,000 square feet. The new facility will be 145,000 square feet. Construction is expected to take two years to complete, and a temporary store will open adjacent to the Twin Oaks Shopping Center. 512-442-2354. www.heb.com

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SOUTH CENTRAL NOWOPEN 1 Japanese grocery store Asahi Imports opened a second location at 3005 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. B-105B, Austin, on Dec. 13. The store carries more than 30,000 Japanese grocery products, including handmade onigiri rice balls, daily bento oerings, and a variety of fresh and prepared food. The original location for Asahi Imports, located at 6105 Burnet Road, was launched by owner Sally Matsumae’s grandmother. www.asahiimports.com 2 Freddo ATX opened Dec. 15 in the historic Walter Tips House at 2336 S. Congress Ave., Austin. The coee shop also oers Greek food, beer and wine served inside the house built in 1876 and on the patio. 512-599-4069. www.freddoatx.com

3 Eatery Thunder Chief opened in early October inside Lavaca Street Bar at 3121 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, serving bar fare, including ballpark hot dogs, risotto balls, cauliower wings, fried chicken sandwiches and vegan chicken sandwiches. Menu oerings will change based on seasonal availability. 512-291-3407. www.lavacasouthlamar.com/thunder-chief 4 Tso Chinese Delivery opened a third location Nov. 27 at 2407 S. Congress Ave., Ste. F, Austin. It delivers within an approximately 4-mile radius. The company’s other two locations serving Central Austin are located at 3909 N. I-35, Ste. E-5, Austin, and 9333 Research Blvd., Bldg. E, Ste. 402, Austin. The company was founded by four Austinites: Min Choe, Angell Tsang, Jenna Choe and Eunice Tsang. They serve Chinese- American classics such as General Tso chicken, honey walnut shrimp and Beijing beef. 512-774-4876.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

We’re here to help you get around the state. And around billing issues. • Be sure your TxTag account is up to date, so you’ll always pay the lowest toll rates and avoid extra fees. • Install a TxTag on each vehicle and link it to the license plate. • Keep your account on AutoPay and your credit card up to date, so there are always funds to pay your tolls. Signing up for AutoPay means your TxTag sticker is free. • Have a question? Visit the Contact Us page at TxTag.org to chat with a representative or submit questions online. Our call center is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

COMPILED BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

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ANCHOR LN.

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The French Legation State Historic Site

Contigo

COURTESY TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION

COURTESY SALT & TIME WINE

EAST AUSTIN

RELOCATIONS 6 Popular local dessert trailer Hey Cupcake relocated to Mueller Lake Park at 4209 Airport Blvd., Austin, on Dec. 3. Most recently located by Native Hostel just East of I-35, the cupcake purveyor has been in the process of seeking a permanent location this year. The bakery business was founded in 2007 and sells a variety of cupcakes and desserts, including classic flavors such as Vanilla Dream, 24 Carrot and Tuxedo. 512-964-6938. www.heycupcake.com 7 Peruvian restaurant Llama Kid relocated to 4620 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, opening Dec. 6. This is the first independent brick-and-mortar space for Llama Kid, which was previously located inside the ghost kitchen space CloudKitchens at 5610 N. I-35, Austin. The restaurant serves modern Peruvian cuisine, including dishes such as Pollo a la Brasa and fried yucca. 737-222-5200. www.llamakidatx.com CLOSINGS 8 New American restaurant Contigo is closing after 10 years. The restaurant, located at 2027 Anchor Lane, Austin, will have its last day of service Dec. 30. Co-owners Ben Edgerton, chef Andrew Wiseheart and Dana Curley said in the closing announcement they felt it was “time for us to let Contigo rest.” They added, “it has been an incredible ride, and we are overwhelmingly thankful for the support we have received over the years.” The restaurant serves dishes such as rabbit and dumplings, and burgers. 512-614-2260. www.contigoaustin.com

to a hiring pipeline between the two. Students who participate in the 14-week program will be hired to work at Tesla’s new Travis County gigafactory or other Tesla facilities, working with robotics, control systems and other manufacturing roles. The program began in August. The Tesla START facility is located at ACC Riverside’s Frank Squires Building, 1020 Grove Blvd., Austin. www.tesla.com/careers/tesla-start 4 Thicc Mamis Fit Lab opened Sept. 25 at 2505 E. Sixth St., Ste. A, Austin. Owned and operated by coach Erica Medina, the fitness studio offers personal training and nutrition coaching with a range of customized programs that especially focus on building glute strength. www.thiccmamisfitlab.com COMING SOON 5 Austin Lofts will soon break ground on a second mixed-use condominium project in the Mueller area located at the corner of 51st Street and Mueller Boulevard. The four-story project will include a mix of retail and residential space, including 39 homes for sale, eight of which will include ground-floor commercial space. Six of the units will be reserved for families who earn up to 80% of Austin’s median family income. Austin Lofts has not announced an exact groundbreaking date for the project but expects the facility to open by the first quarter of 2023. This project will join a similar 90-unit development from Austin Lofts that recently broke ground at Berkman Drive and Tom Miller Street. www.muelleraustin.com

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the Texas Historical Commission, the site features a new visitors center with retail space and a cafe. The French Legation State Historic Site was built as a private home for France’s representative to the Republic of Texas in 1841 and is located at 802 San Marcos St., Austin. 737-226-1399. www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites 3 Austin Community College and Tesla officially opened their new Tesla START manufacturing training facility at the ACC Riverside Campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 19. The new facility will be used for a manufacturing technician training partnership between the college and the electric carmaker, contributing

1 Austin Animal Center opened its new trap, neuter, release recovery center for cats, known as the Cattyshack, on Dec. 11. The new unit will assist in AAC’s efforts to neuter and spay Austin’s free-roaming cat population. It is located on the AAC campus at 7201 Levander Loop, Bldg. A, Austin. www.austintexas.gov/ austin-animal-center 2 The French Legation State Historic Site reopened to the public Oct. 30 after a two-year restoration period. Operated by

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

December & January events

COMPILED BY MAGGIE QUINLAN

THROUGH DEC. 31

WALK INAWINTER WONDERLAND

THROUGH JAN. 30

DELIGHT IN HOLIDAY LIGHTS

JAN. 09

WATCHANUPDATED FABLEWITH FAMILY

Starting on Thanksgiving Day, a Southwest Austin house is lit up each year for the Maywald Christmas Lights display. Visitors can park and walk to the property for free, though the Maywalds ask for donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The family-friendly event is open nightly except when it is raining. 6-10 p.m. 10505 Twilight Vista, Austin. www. maywaldchristmasdisplay.weebly.com (Courtesy Maywald Christmas) DECEMBER THROUGHDEC. 31 SIP, SHOP AND STROLL Music Lane and the South Congress Shopping District have teamed up for the SoCo Stroll. The event features window displays, holiday lights starting at dusk, snacks and live music from several participating venues, including Aba, Madewell Men and Perla’s. Times vary. Free. South Congress, from East Riverside Drive to West Johnna Street, Austin. www.musiclaneatx.com/socostroll THROUGHMAY 8 CELEBRATE BLACKARTISTS The Blanton Museum of Art exhibition “Assembly,” showcases 12 Black Americans’ pieces. The exhibit includes several mediums, such as paintings and textiles. Normal hours. $12 (adults); $10 (seniors); $5 (ages 13-18); free (members, children age 12 and under, teachers, and military and University of Texas ID holders). Free Thursdays. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin. 512-471-5482. www.blantonmuseum.org 31 TOAST TO 2022WITH AMERICANAACTS The Saxon Pub will celebrate the New Year with a complimentary champagne toast and two musical acts, singer-songwriter Guy Forsyth and Americana band South Austin Moonlighters. 8 p.m. $50-$65. The Saxon Pub, 1320 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin. 512-448-2552. www.thesaxonpub.com

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildower Center will host Luminations through January. Visitors walk a path dotted by lights to see art installations in the Texas Arboretum. 6-9 p.m (Thu.-Sun.; closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 10. $10-$20. Free (age 4 and under), $15 (ages 5-17), $25 (age 18 and up), discounts available for members. 4801 La Crosse Ave., 31 HAVE A ROCKIN’ NEWYEAR Folk Trio and Sweet Spirit, will play a New Year’s Eve show at ACL Live. 8:30 p.m. $69-$89. 310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin. 512-225-7999. www.acl-live.com 31 GET FESTIVEWITH FIREWORKS The city’s New Year’s Eve event will feature a rework show at Vic Mathias Shores. To avoid gatherings due to COVID-19, city-organized activities, vendors and entertainment will not be present in the park. The show can also be watched virtually at atxn.tv. Free. 10 p.m. 700 W. Riverside Dr., Austin. www.austintexas.gov/event/austins-new- year-reworks-afar JANUARY 02 GET A RUNNING START IN 2022 The annual USA Fit Resolution Austin. 512-232-0100. www.wildower.org (Courtesy Theresa Dimenno) Spoon, along with bands John Doe Race will start at the Central Texas Food Bank. A portion of the proceeds will go to the food bank. 6500 Metropolis Drive, Austin. 7:30 a.m. (half marathon begins), 7:45 a.m. (5K begins). $40. 6500 Metropolis Drive, Austin. www.usatrrrace.com 02 AND 08, 09 RECYCLE THE TREE City residents can drop their holiday tree o at Zilker Park on three collection days. City curbside customers can leave their trees at the curb on their regular collection day starting Dec. 26. 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. 2207 Lou Ne Road, Austin.

An electroluminescent puppet show put on by Lightwire Theater—which was featured on “America’s Got Talent”—comes to Austin. The show will be based on Aesop’s fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” but nds the characters 10 years after the race, now with children of their own. 2 p.m. $21-$25. Paramount Theater. 713 Congress Ave., Austin. 512-472-5470. www.austintheatre.org (Courtesy Barry Mendelson) www.austintexas.gov 05 GO BACK TO SCHOOL Classes resume for Austin ISD students after more than two weeks of winter break. As of press time, Dec. 20, all AISD classes will be in-person. The district will not oer a virtual option. According to the district’s website, “medically vulnerable” students can apply for homebound services. www.austinisd.org 06 THROUGH08 LAUGH THE NIGHT AWAY Comedian Mike Cannon will do a standup set at Creek and Cave downtown. Cannon has recently been featured as a guest on Comedy Central’s Stupid Questions with Chris Distefano and as a panelist on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. 8 p.m. (Jan. 6-7), 9 p.m. (Jan. 7-8). $25. 611 E. 7th St., Austin. 737-222-0852.www.creekandcave.com 12 GET FREEMULCH Christmas trees collected by the city will be mulched. The gardening product will be available for free on a rst-come, rst-served basis. The mulch giveaway date is subject to change due to weather. 9 a.m. 2207 Lou Ne Road, Austin. www.austintexas.gov 14 DANCE INTO 2022 Producer duo Two Friends will play at Emo’s along with another DJ duo Ship Wrek and EDM artist Koastle. 7 p.m. $29.50-$209. 2015 E. Riverside Drive, Austin. 888-512-7469. www.emosaustin.com

121 Pickle Road Austin, Texas 78704

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Find more or submit local events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit Central Austin events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY BENTON GRAHAM & DARCY SPRAGUE

City pilots tech project to protect pedestrians

COMPLETEDPROJECT

EAST WIND DR.

290

A pilot to alert vehicles when a pedestrian is about to cross the street in East Austin began in November. The program, monitored by the Austin Transportation Department, is at two crossings on Rosewood Avenue: Angelina Street and Navasota Street. The technology for the project runs on solar power and is provided by TAPCO and Siemens. When a pedestrian pushes the signal, it alerts oncom- ing drivers who have vehicles connected to wireless networks, or connected vehicles, that someone is trying to cross. It also provides an alert if the driver is about to run a red light. In addition to displaying messages for connected vehicles, the crosswalks also have rapid flashing lights that will go off.

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Capital Metro funds complex intersection

Crosswalks added at Menchaca, Fort View Roads

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF DEC. 17. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CTA@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Austin Transportation Department employees painted new crosswalks at the intersection of Menchaca Road and Fort View Road in South Austin in November. The crosswalks are designed with white paint in a series of horizontal stripes crossing the street with a line for drivers to stop. This pattern is safer for pedestrians than standard styles because it is more visible, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Timeline: complete Cost: $702,000 for crosswalks and other area improvements Funding source : 2018 Mobility Bond and Austin Transportation Department

The Capital Metro board of directors authorized $4.7 million in federal funding for preliminary work at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Airport Boulevard. The funding will go toward preliminary engineering, final design and environmental clearance, which will allow Capital Metro to take the next step in deciding if it will put the MetroRail Red Line above or below street level at the intersection. Project Connect envisions the area as a critical convergence of MetroRail lines, as the systemmap shows the Red, Orange and Blue lines all running through the adjacent Crestview Station. “We’re basically separating rail from vehicular traffic to limit congestion,” aid Sharmila Mukherjee, Capital Metro’s executive vice president for planning and development. “It’s just a very tough intersection that affects our reliability.”

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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

HAMPTON DR.

WESTMINSTER DR.

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DEVELOPMENT

Transwestern Development Company discontinued 16 leases in the Windsor Village Shopping Center after purchasing the property in November 2020. (Courtesy Windsor Village Shopping Center Working Group)

East Austin neighborhood worries development will push out local businesses

2020 to discuss the site plan submissions and their communication with city ocials and Transwestern. Rick Krivoniak, an architect and member of the working group, said Transwestern discontinued 16 leases of the small businesses after purchasing the 12.36-acre property in November 2020. Transwestern did not respond to requests for comment. Transwestern plans to develop a little over 11 acres of the site, while keeping the restaurant and bar Hank’s Austin, according to site documents. Transwestern is technically allowed to develop the property by keeping only one original business within the shopping center, Krivoniak said. However, it does not reect a typical vertical mixed-use development, which is intended to create housing and commercial areas, such as The Triangle in Central Austin, where there is a shopping center below several apartment complexes, he said. “We strongly believe the entire project is being

W I N D S O R P A R K W O R R I E S Windsor Park Neighborhood groups have said the Windsor Village apartment complex will knock out most retail space in the neighborhood. Many worry this will change the neighborhood’s sense of community and ability to gather.

The plan for the apartment complex calls for eliminating over 90,000 square feet of the 105,000 square feet of commercial space in Windsor Village Shopping Center. L O S I N G C O M M E R C I A L S P A C E D I V E R T I N G A C C E S S The Windsor Village Development site plan does not provide an internal circulation route, which is a public street or private drive edged by a curb within a development. The neighborhood groups are concerned this does not provide adequate connectivity and public access. The site plan does not have publicly accessible sidewalks around the project. The proposed drive is gated. Vertical mixed-use developments are intended to be open to the public for commercial use, according to the groups. M A K I N G I T P R I V A T E

BY TRENT THOMPSON

have residential units above retail, commercial or oce spaces. This zoning aligns with the neighborhood plan developed in 2005-07. When the neighborhood association found out about Transwestern’s plan in 2019 to develop a 405-unit multifamily apartment complex, they noted that 90,000 square feet of commercial space within the shopping center would be lost, Brooks said. Initially, the site plan was 100% residential, according to a letter sent to city ocials Oct. 27 from the neighborhood association, the Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team and the Windsor Village Shopping Center Working Group. These groups are made up of neighborhood advocates who have been meeting once a week since January

Transwestern Development Company is seeking approval from the city of Austin to develop a multifamily apartment complex known as Windsor Village. In preparation, the company has discontinued the leases of all but one of the small businesses within Windsor Village Shopping Center after purchasing land for the development, the neighborhood association said. The shopping center, located at 5811 Berkman Drive, Austin, was once a neighborhood hub, said Jackie Brooks, president of the Windsor Park Neighborhood Association. The location used to be home to several businesses, including Joyce Willet School of Dance and Sharp Looks Hair Salon. The shopping center is zoned as vertical mixed-use, meaning developments must

SOURCE: WINDSOR PARK NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

built upon a awed vertical mixed-use interpretation and simply must be revisited,” the neighborhood groups wrote to the city of Austin. Krivoniak said there have been no public hearings for the groups to voice concerns since Transwestern is not seeking a zoning change. Rodney Ahart, chair of the contact team, said the

neighborhood groups will continue to work with city and Transwestern ocials to push for more commercial space to be incorporated. “We’re not opposed to development or more residential development at all,” Ahart said. “It really comes down to the neighborhood commercial uses that we have lost.”

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEWS BRIEFS

Abridged stories from online

Three cases of omicron variant detected in Travis County, AustinPublic Health says

AustinOffice of Civil Rights granted newpowers

COVID-19 INAUSTIN Austin and Travis County remains at safety requirement level 3 as hospitalizations remain low but community spread rises. This data is updated as of Dec. 15.

BY MAGGIE QUINLAN

Austin City Council approved an ordinance Dec. 2 that grants the city’s newly formed office of civil rights enforcement authority, creating local civil and criminal penalties for civil rights violations. Carol Johnson, the city’s first civil rights officer, said at a press conference ahead of the vote that the new powers will make existing workplace and civil rights protections enforceable. Speakers, including City Council Member Greg Casar, who sponsored the item, pointed out how the ordinance will support Black workers, members of the LGBTQ community and formerly incarcerated people. “With the establishment of the civil rights office here in the last budget and now the civil rights ordinance today,” Casar said, “Austinites will know that we have your backs—that if you face sexual harassment, you have a place to come. That if you are discriminated against at work, or out on the street, that you have somebody to call who can enforce those civil rights ordinances.”

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BY MAGGIE QUINLAN

Preliminary omicron cases

Three people in Austin and Travis County have preliminary tested positive for the COVID-19 omicron variant, according to Austin Public Health. “It was inevitable,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said of the detection. “It is now more important than ever to get the vaccine and your booster shots.” The University of Texas at Austin Health Services notified APH of the results. It will confirm the results through genetic sequencing, according to a press release. The cases were not confirmed as of press time, Dec. 20. The three people infected have not traveled internationally, which offers a “strong indication” of community transmission of the omicron variant in the area, the release said. Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, said the community has already dealt with the consequences of the delta variant’s spread. “Our mission and our approach remain the same,” Walkes said. “Get vaccinated; get boosters; stay home if you are sick; wear your masks to protect yourself, your loved ones and our hospital systems from this virus.”

5% 18 79.8

Seven-day moving average of hospitalizations

Positivity rate in Travis County

Community transmission rate, the number of people per 100,000 who have been infected on average.

SOURCE: AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not know how the speed of omicron’s transmission will compare to the delta variant. Health researchers expect vaccines will protect against hospitalizations and death from the omicron variant, but they also expect breakthrough infections in people who are already vaccinated, according to the CDC.

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