Fair Market event space to operate from converted East Fifth warehouse

Mar 6, 2014
Austin Business Journal

The former Texas Office Products and Supply warehouse on East Fifth Street has a new name and will become a permanent special events' space, filling a need in an area where such space is hard to come by

The property, which is owned by a partnership group that includes Transmission Events founders James Moody and Graham Williams, has been used to host concerts and other events since it was acquired three years ago

Moody said the owners had entertained plans to turn the Quonset hut space into a live music venue and restaurant, but the upgrades needed to convert the space would have required a demolition of the structure and a rebuild from the ground up. He said the group wanted to keep the vintage industrial shape of the space to appeal to the artsy and creative communities in East Austin that prefer restored and preserved structures to new builds

“We want to make it into kind of a cool Palmer Events Center for things like local markets and craft fairs as well as some shows,” he said. “There’s already plenty of bars but not enough event space and so we’ve adjusted to what’s happening in the market.”

Travis County property records list the warehouse and surrounding property as nearly 17,000 square feet in size. Moody said that after about $200,000 in renovations are finished, the property will be able to accommodate around 2,000 people inside and outside

The space, which has been known for years as the TOPS warehouse, will now be called Fair Market and will be used for concerts during South By Southwest, with plans to begin hosting other events later this spring

The ownership group, which also includes Richard Kooris, Dennis McDaniel, Jesse Herman and Delfo Trombetta, is now looking to move its restaurant and live music concept to a former auto garage property it has acquired at the corner of East Sixth and Brushy streets. Moody said that project will also include some office space but there are no site drawings yet and it would be at least two years before any business is operating there

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