The North Door
"...Venue owners and club workers on Red River are growing increasingly worried that the legions of beggars, hustlers, drug dealers, and homeless are creating an unappealing business environment on the walkable music strip. With rental prices in Austin's central business district increasing faster than those citywide, Downtown clubs now need to appeal to wider audiences – a challenging task when the music district overlaps with Austin's centralized consortium of transients...."
"...The move to Red River means a chance for growth for Cheer Up Charlie's. The city's recent decree of the Red River Cultural District, means potentially fewer hassles and clearer boundaries for what club owners can and cannot do with their spaces..."
"...When Wickham and a couple of friends combined their savings to purchase his favorite hangout, Atomic Cafe, from the parents of deceased buddy Randall Goodwin in 2001, Red River wasn't the entertainment district it is today...."
"...The platinum value of property in our central business district doesn't bode well for music venues in the area. Case in point: neighboring Seventh Street clubs Red 7 and Holy Mountain are fighting to renew their leases in the face of rent increases..."
"...The merger represents solidarity in the Red River Cultural District, a vibrant entertainment strip recently challenged by rent increases and encroaching development as embodied by Red 7’s sister venue Holy Mountain being forced to close because of a rent hike. Since that announcement in June, area business leaders have worked to save Red 7 from the same fate...."
"...The Austin Children's Museum launched the city's cultural makeover in 1992 with construction of the Dell Discovery Center (above), a replacement for the 5,000-square-foot space on West Fifth that the museum had been leasing for five years. With aid from Schlotzsky's and Downtown property owner John Woolley, the museum secured a 10-year rent-free lease on an old plastics factory in Downtown's Warehouse District and raised $4.8 million to transform it into a 20,000-square-foot museum..."
"...Top that, Antone's. Red River Cultural District..."
"...Last Wednesday, a group representing the Red River Cultural District, including Mohawk owner James Moody, Holy Mountain partner James Taylor, and Austin Music People (AMP) Executive Director Jennifer Houlihan, met with the developers to welcome them to the neighborhood and open a dialogue about the hotel's impact on the area's live music ecosystem...."
"...Building on the idea of the Red River Cultural District, the Creative Enterprise Zone would preserve established live music clubs, especially in the blocks between Seventh and 10th streets, and also make zoning changes and add development incentives to make it easier for other creative entities (art galleries, small theatres, comedy clubs, a music museum) to be established in that area, as well as bring in rehearsal and studio spaces and co-op housing for creatives. The idea is to drive more tourism to the area and to maximize creative activity in the area around the clock. 3) Concert Hall and Education Campus..."
"...Restricted access and revenue could bankrupt the clubs. The call went out to fight on every front, from calling code enforcement to demanding action from District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo...."
"...(See News, p.32.) According to such accounts, smaller neighborhood bars and venues are the first to go. Locally, that coincides with the heart of Austin's rock scene, the Red River district, where the Live Music Capital's lifeblood pumps every single night...."
"...26 the mayor posted another proposal, this one a draft resolution pursuing the Music & Creative Ecosystem initiative previously approved by Council, with $475,000 designated in this year's budget for implementation. Adler's resolution would direct staff to move forward with four elements: 1) a case study for extended venue hours in the Red River Cultural District; 2) $200,000 in "transition funding" for performing arts venues; 3) $75,000 to implement a "Revenue Development Platform"; and 4) $200,000 for "creation of an Entertainment Services Group and the Nightlight Initiative."..."
"...Under the ownership of Taylor and Jared Cannon, Bart Butler, Niraj Mehdiratta, Ryan Cano, and Aaron Berkowitz, the 200-capacity club made all the right moves to remain relevant: nurturing homegrown acts, hosting rising (inter)nationals (like Kate Tempest's recent sellout), and participating in festivals including South by Southwest, Chaos in Tejas, Fun Fun Fun, and Weird City Hip-Hop. They also became models of community involvement, with Taylor spearheading Red River Cultural District initiatives...."
"..."I told them they needed to talk to the people it impacts before going to Council," says Houston, whose District 1 includes several smoking patio-equipped music venues like Sahara Lounge and Skylark Lounge...."
"...Council also managed to address a couple of vexed questions, most surprisingly Austin Water Impact fees – closing the meeting with an initial vote to raise them across the city to the maximum, part of an effort to help make "growth pay for itself." It was a first vote only, so the matter may return in a somewhat adjusted form. With a wave of their hands they ended tubing on and swimming in the eastern end of the Colorado (see "The Secret's Out," p.20), and with just a little more strain added Rainey Street to the Density Bonus Program, and established the Red River Cultural District...."
"...Garza echoes much of what Pool said, even more skeptically: "What's that definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?" She acknowledged supporting the changes when first installed in 2015 – "We were the first 10-1 Council, and we wanted to consider different ways of doing things" – but has concluded, "It doesn't seem to have accomplished what I envisioned it would accomplish." She mentioned both the loss of time and efficiency, and opportunities to work on other Council and District 2 priorities...."
"...A bar featuring DJs splices between the two. The venue has been instrumental in swinging the Red River Cultural District eastward. [image-6] Lamberts 401 W..."
"...In brief, Adler brainstorms a "comprehensive" approach to funding all these various Downtown-related initiatives, which he sees as "pieces of a puzzle" best considered as a whole. The memo floats various overlapping ideas for tax increment or public improvement district financing, for a potential "comprehensive, integrated vision of one possible way to approach the future of a part of the downtown core and how it might serve as a major engine for preservation and progress."..."
"...Whether they play it safe and run it up the gut or go deep depends on whose viewpoints are heard. There are myriad voices in that conversation: the respective music and arts commissions, Riedie's Creative Alliance, the Red River Cultural District Merchants Association, Austin Music People, and, potentially, a consortium of music venue owners...."
"...Barracuda partner Jason McNeely reports the meeting opened doors for increased communication going forward, while APD's message remained the same: Call the cops when you see something illegal. The Red River Cultural District is working toward gating the alleyway between Beerland and Sidewinder, currently a popular place for sex, drugs, and toiletry...."