Idaho developer makes his mark on Austin with high-profile SXSW party

Mar 13, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Mark Rivers. Remember that name. Chances are, the Austin real estate and restaurant crowd will be hearing more from Rivers, a well-connected Idaho-based developer who has been visiting Central Texas a lot these days to lay the groundwork for future deals


He certainly made a big splash during South By Southwest on March 9 by sponsoring a VIP party at Threadgill’s in honor of the premiere of the new Mike Myers’ documentary “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.” The jam-packed event featured a surprise performance by Willie Nelson, along with his pal Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, and plenty of libations provided by Austin-based Tito's Handmade Vodka


Rivers told me that he really likes Austin's easy-going attitude, which reminds him of Idaho. He's planning on spending more time here but has yet to pull the trigger on any big real estate deals, though he said he was working on a  "couple of opportunities on the hospitality side," because he considers Austin to have plenty of potential as a high-end restaurant mecca


He's behind the largest public-private urban development ever built in Boise, Idaho, the $60 million mixed-use project known as BoDo, and he also funded a small-business incubator in the city known as the WaterCooler. As for mega-projects, they don't get much bigger than the $2 billion Westgate City Center in Glendale, Arizona. Rivers was a developer partner on that massive mixed-use project, home of the Jobing.com Arena where the city's National Hockey League team plays


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