Opening nears for 1st phase of South Lamar development

Aug 4, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Work is progressing on the Lamar Union development project, with the first phase – the Highball entertainment venue and a newly expanded Alamo Drafthouse theater – expected to open within the next few weeks, according to Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League


The mixed-use project, at the site of the former Lamar Plaza shopping center at South Lamar Boulevard and Treadwell Street in Central Austin, will include 86,000 square feet of shops and restaurants plus 443 apartments when it is completed by the end of the year, executives with Charleston, S.C.-based developer Greystar said


Greystar’s Derek Brown said key players in the project, including the BOKA Powell architectural firm and local architect Michael Hsu, are striving to “create a true sense of place, offering a walkable mixed-use experience that is rarely found outside of downtown while ensuring compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood”


League said Alamo Drafthouse’s opening will come in time for the Fantastic Fest film festival it is scheduled to host Sept. 18-25. Last year, the festival had to relocate to Alamo Drafthouse’s Lakeline location in Northwest Austin


Greystar turned the theater space over to Alamo Drafthouse in January and, since then, workers have been finishing out the interior. The new theater will have an enlarged lobby and nine screens – three more than before


A city of Austin spokeswoman told the American-Statesman the only remaining permitting issue standing in the way of Alamo Drafthouse opening its doors is a fire inspection, which the Austin Fire Department is expected to complete next week


The reopening will come a year and a half after the theater closed its doors in January 2013


Parking for the theater and the Highball, as well as other businesses in the development, will be in multi-story garages. Greystar said this week that the garage Alamo Drafthouse patrons will use is nearly complete


Retail and restaurant space at Lamar Union is almost completely leased, according to Greystar. Tenants announced so far include Jose Luis Salon, Resolute Fitness: Cycling and Yoga, Boardlife and Service Menswear


Restaurants that have signed leases include Daily Juice, Caffe Medici coffeehouse, VOX Table, River City Market and the state’s first Shake Shack, a national burger-and-shake chain


Also, the owners of Asti and Fino are planning to open Cantine, a new restaurant concept, and Austin chef David Garrido and the team behind J. Black’s will open two new-to-Austin restaurant concepts


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