The Austin Chronicle

Music Lab Practice Space Notifies Tenants of Closure

By Kevin Curtin, March 26, 2019, 9:00am, Earache!

Tenants at Music Lab received notice to vacate yesterday. The letter, signed by owner Dan Cabela, informed renters they have until May 31 to clear out of their practice spaces.

One of Austin’s most venerable rehearsal facilities, Music Lab opened in 1992. The Oltorf location served as its primary outpost since 1998. With rooms for rent by the hour as well as on longterm leases that were often shared by bands and even utilized for music lessons, jamming at Music Lab proved a near-universal experience in Austin for over two decades.

Late last year, the 19,000-square-foot property at 1306 W. Oltorf showed up on real estate website LoopNet. Then in January, Music Lab president Dan Cabela and his brother and secretary Joe Cabela, whose parents founded outdoor recreational merchandiser Cabela’s, explained to the Chronicle they considered the move “an attempt to understand whether consolidation is a good move for us.” The listing has been updated as “under contract,” implying a pending sale.

The company also owns a practice space facility on Saint Elmo Road, which operators are steering business toward.

“We will do everything we can [to] accommodate any of you who wish to relocate to our Saint Elmo location,” the 60-day notice, which multiple sources sent the Chronicle, explains. “Currently there are no open rooms at the Saint Elmo location. There is however multiple storage lockers that can be used for storing equipment until more monthly rooms open up.”

Dan Cabela confirmed the closure and sale this morning:

“We do have a contract on the building and plan to close the monthly rentals May 31st,” he texted. “We are hopeful that consolidating everything to our Saint Elmo location will improve efficiencies.”

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