PRESS

Paleo-Friendly Picnik Is Now Open in Growing St. Elmo District

St. Elmo location of Picnik | Picnik/Official

St. Elmo location of Picnik | Picnik/Official

ERIN RUSSEL | Sep 15, 2017

Famed butter coffee purveyor Picnik opened a new trailer within the St. Elmo Marketplace. This is the first announced food truck for the South Austin development’s planned food truck court.

The new trailer is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The offerings are similar to the other trailer, serving signature specialty drinks (yes, there’s pumpkin spice butter coffee) and paleo-friendly food like breakfast tacos, bone broth, and other grab-and-go items. Scope out the full menu below.

This is Picnik’s third location and a return to its trailer roots for the special diet-friendly restaurant. The first food truck opened on South Lamar in 2013, before expanding in 2016 to a brick and mortar on Burnet Road. It also recently started selling bottled flavored butter coffee in retail locations like Whole Foods Market.

St. Elmo Marketplace was originally going to include an expansion of Saxon Pub, but that isn’t happening anymore. The development will include a hotel, offices, event spaces, as the public marketplace with restaurants, bars, and shops.

Across the street in the St. Elmo district is The Yard, which houses St. Elmo Brewery and its food trailer Soursop, Spokesman, The Austin Winery, and Still Austin Whiskey Co.

AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL: From grain to glass: Look inside Austin's first whiskey distillery built since Prohibition

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 4.52.28 PM.png

WILL ANDERSON | October 10th 2017 | Digital Editor, Austin Business Journal | Photographs by Arnold Wells/Staff

The Austin area has a burgeoning reputation as home for innovative alcoholic spirits.

But the city itself was without a whiskey distillery — at least since Prohibition — until recently. Still Austin Whiskey Co. opened in late September at The Yard, a creative commercial development on St. Elmo Road in South Austin.

Austin Business Journal photographer Arnold Wells recently toured the 9,600-square-foot space. Click on the gallery to follow along and learn how corn and grain are turned into three types of whiskey.

It was a time-consuming process for Still Austin Whiskey CEO and co-founder Chris Seals, who said he had to convince Texas grain farmers to produce more heirloom varieties in order to craft top-notch, locally sourced whiskey.

Construction also included lowering the 42-foot column still through the roof with a crane. The still was made by Forsyths Ltd. of Scotland.

Still Austin Whiskey launched with significant built-in capacity: The column still can produce up to 1,000 gallons of whiskey per day and the bottling station can produce 100 to 150 cases per hour.

TRIBEZA: Food + Thought: Grains of Truth

AUSTIN'S FIRST WHISKEY DISTILLERY SINCE PROHIBITION CRAFTS SMALL-BATCH SPIRITS WITH A SENSE OF PLACE

LAUREL MILLER |  August 2017 | Photographs by Danielle Chloe Potts

TORTILLAS AREN’T NORMALLY WHAT COME TO MIND WHEN TASTING WHISKEY, but that didn’t stop Chris Seals, co-founder and CEO of Still Austin Whiskey Co., from trying a regional white corn in an experimental distillate.

“Our goal is to create whiskey with a sense of place, both in terms of flavor and sourcing,” Seals says. “South Central Texas is covered with fields of this corn, which is grown for the local tortilla market—being coveted for its robust, earthy, sweet flavor—and we were eager to see what would happen if we tried making whiskey with it.”

Left: Co-founder and CEO Chris Seals tell us about the need for a local grain revival program

Left: Co-founder and CEO Chris Seals tell us about the need for a local grain revival program

Seals says the results of this experiment were remarkable. “The whiskey was rich and complex, with subtle fruity notes. Even without aging, it was surprisingly smooth,” he says. “It was a nice confirmation that Central Texas has a lot of outstanding, regional grain varieties that can be used to make distinctive whiskies. We also learned there’s a need for a local grain revival program to help farmers bring more biodiversity and flavorful grain varieties to market and in the process, tell their stories.”

The “we” Seals is referring to are Still Austin’s other co-founders—his father, Cleveland Seals, and couples Andrew and Lisa Braunberg and Sal and Joanna Salinas—and their head distiller, Kris “KB” Bohm. While craft distilleries dedicated to making other spirits have opened around Austin in recent years, Still Austin is the city’s first producer committed to grain-to-glass production, which means the crops used in their whiskey are grown less than 100 miles from the distillery.

The condensed version of Still Austin’s evolution is thus: Chris, an economist and former consultant, grew up visiting his great grandfather’s Missouri farm, which sparked a love of agriculture. Cleveland, a whiskey aficionado, approached his son in 2013 about starting a distillery. Later that year, while attending an American Distilling Institute whiskey-making class, the Sealses met the Braunbergs and Salinases, who were interested in distilling.

Four years and incalculable red tape later, Still Austin has become a reality, opening this summer. It took more than three years to obtain the right permits, but Chris Seals says there was a silver lining. “Being the first whiskey distillery within Austin city limits wasn’t easy—it required a lot of patience,” he says. “But that’s what making and aging whiskey is all about.”

Some of the Still Austin team with one of the distillery’s many dogs, Katie, owned by graphic designer Dan Oatis.

Some of the Still Austin team with one of the distillery’s many dogs, Katie, owned by graphic designer Dan Oatis.

The distillery’s distinctive 50-foot column—part of a custom-made copper-and-stainless-steel Forsyths still from Scotland—serves as a beacon, luring whiskey aficionados and neophytes to The Yard, the 150,000-square-foot “maker’s development” that opened in the St. Elmo district earlier this year.

“The developers of The Yard [Adam Zimmerman, Scott Ungar, and Brian Schoenbaum] wanted to create a mixed-use maker’s space with select tenants who would create an experiential and collaborative community,” Seals explains. “They saw that we had a commitment to authenticity, transparency and quality—traits they shared in their vision—and they’ve been instrumental in developing the infrastructure of our facility.” The Yard’s other businesses include a brewery, urban winery, coffee roaster, metal fabrication studio, custom paddle board company, and recycled granite stone fabricator.

The Still Austin team decided early on that they wanted to form authentic relationships with farmers and make spirits from regional and heirloom grains, which are open-pollinated, antique varieties bred for flavor and other aesthetic traits. Esoteric varieties like Aztec black corn, Oaxacan green corn, Bloody Butcher red corn, and red winter wheat have been used in Still Austin’s research-and-development (R & D) trials and their existing releases.

Bohm, who was an experienced home brewer before he became a distiller in California, had previously worked with local farmers and heirloom grains in a limited capacity, but Texas was new territory. “Andrew did a lot of research on Central Texas,” Bohm says, “and he provided me with information and resources that have helped me grow and understand our local grain economy, which in turn has helped me to create fantastic whiskey.”

Developing relationships with farmers can take years, but with Still Austin, “it happened organically,” Seals says. “We met people like James Brown, a grain mill proprietor at Barton Springs Mill, and Shane Springs [of Springs Deer Farms, in Guadalupe County]. Shane does grain storage for a lot of growers across Central Texas, and he introduced us to the various folks growing the white corn we used in our early recipe development, and things grew from there. Texas has a big agricultural base, and for distillers, it’s just a matter of reaching out to farmers.”

It’s also a symbiotic relationship for farmers such as fifth-generation wheat, corn and grain sorghum grower Mark Prinz of Coupland’s Prinz Farms.

“We like to support local businesses like Still,” he says, “and it’s always exciting to see products made with our grains. We like business relationships that feel like family.”

Collaboration and community are the other core values upon which the distillery and The Yard were founded. “We created a whiskey lab with a custom, 100-gallon pot still so that we can do R & D and collaborate with our neighbor makers,” Seals says.

“We’re using The Austin Winery’s Chenin Blanc to make a local brandy and plan to work with St. Elmo Brewing to create whiskey made from craft beer. We wanted a space where friends and neighbors can get involved. That’s one of the things we love about Austin—people are friendly and like to collaborate.”

For their opening, Still Austin created, in addition to their signature Blue Label, two intriguing makes called Mother Pepper and Smoked Briskey.

For their opening, Still Austin created, in addition to their signature Blue Label, two intriguing makes called Mother Pepper and Smoked Briskey.

That collaboration extends to the public, through production and workshops. Still Austin does all its grain milling, mashing, fermenting, barreling and bottling in-house. Anyone is welcome to work the bottling line on a volunteer basis, but if you’re looking for a more immersive experience, Still Austin has DYOB (Distill Your Own Barrel) workshops for people interested in learning the art and craft of whiskey-making. High-rollers can also throw down ($2,500, to be exact) for Still Austin’s STASH program, in which participants can store their own 53-gallon barrel of bourbon at the distillery and access Bohm’s maturation notes as it finishes.

Fermenting and aging spirits takes time, and Still Austin finishes theirs in charred new American oak barrels. Part of their business model, however, is releasing their New Make Whiskey—a term for spirits taken straight from the still. While many distilleries sell unaged spirits like vodka to generate revenue while their other products age, Still Austin has a different philosophy. Their New Make Whiskey isn’t about making a quick buck. “It’s about showcasing whiskey in its purest form,” Seals says. These smooth, clear, grain-forward spirits are made for sipping or mixing in cocktails.

For Still Austin’s opening, the team created three new makes: their signature Blue Label, made with corn, red wheat and malted barley, with faint notes of freshly baked bread and caramel; Mother Pepper, made with locally-grown Chile pequin, smoked Serrano and aji amarillo peppers, which yield a spice-forward kick with a warm, citrus finish; and Smoked Briskey, a tribute to Austin’s meaty proclivities, made with barley smoked over oak in La Barbecue’s pits.

When I ask Seals why—despite all the red tape—it was important that Still Austin open in Austin, he doesn’t hesitate. “Prohibition wiped out the culture and craft of making spirits,” he says. “We’d love to see the city become a place where craft distilleries can blossom and tell a story.” If Still Austin’s whiskey is any indication, they’ve got the makings of a bestseller.

WHAT IS GRAIN-TO-GLASS, ANYWAY?

In industry-speak, grain-to-glass indicates that a distillery has mashed, fermented, and distilled the base ingredients of its spirits. Though an unregulated term, it’s used to differentiate distilleries that source and process their own grains from those that purchase neutral grain spirits (NGS) in bulk. Spirits made with NGS aren’t necessarily inferior (blending and aging are art forms in themselves), just as grain-to-glass spirits aren’t always better; it’s also impossible to make an exceptional spirit from inferior raw ingredients. What grain-to-glass distilleries offer is transparency in sourcing and support for family farms. If they’re sourcing heirloom grains or other crops, plant biodiversity is an additional benefit.

There are many reasons why distilleries might opt to use NGS: It can be difficult for small farms to meet supply and demand, and the cost of grain and storage can be prohibitive, while some spirits are made with base ingredients that only grow in specific regions. The bottom line: Be a savvy consumer and ask questions, but drink and purchase what you enjoy.

STILL AUSTIN WHISKEY CO.

440 E ST. ELMO RD.
AUSTIN, TX 78745
(713) 240-5101

stillaustin.com

AUSTIN MONTHLY: Restaurant Review: Soursop

THE SOMETIMES-TIRESOME ASIAN FUSION CONCEPT GETS INTERESTING AGAIN WITH SOURSOP

KIMYA KAVEHKAR | April 28, 2017

Photo by KIMYA KAVEHKAR

Photo by KIMYA KAVEHKAR

Blending flavors from Southeast Asian cuisines, Soursop takes fusion food from hackneyed to exciting. Parked permanently at St. Elmo Brewing Company, the truck is helmed by Teddy Bricker, formerly of East Side King and La Condesa. The patio setting is cute and comfortable with painted picnic tables and fairy lights.

Grab a beer from the brewery (I tried raspberry sour Rosa), and head outside to order. One standout dish is the panang eggplant—even those who are weary of the nightshade’s texture will dig the creamy bits smothered in a sweet-ish curry topped by peanuts, Thai basil, and crisped chilies. A panang-esque curry also accompanied the divine roti as a dip. (P.S. They do off-the-menu roti-wrapped tacos every Tuesday.)

I’m partial to the insanely spicy and savory version of panang found at Thai Kun, but this one is quite a bit sweeter than that. The pho-tine is a play on the Canadian classic done with beef, Korean rice cakes, herbs, and the pho gravy artfully poured by your server. The Korean rice cakes were meant to stand in for cheese curds, but I missed the creaminess and salty flavor you get from the dairy product in this otherwise mouthwatering dish.

While it may be a challenge to keep up with which new food trucks are actually worth trying, go ahead and move Soursop to the top of that list.

440 E. St. Elmo Road, Bldg. G-2, (512) 522-7710, soursopaustin.com

 

 

AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL: Think you know Austin's South Congress Avenue? Here's what investors, developers see

Jan Buchholz | April 6th, 2017 

Far South Congress Avenue doesn’t seem like a very trendy locale. Auto-body shops, pawn stores, gas stations and convenience stores don't really contribute to the city's glowing reputation.

But there is a renaissance going on just south of Ben White Boulevard. Get ready for creative office space, mixed-use, condos, apartments and more. The way many see it, far South Congress is on its way to being about as hip and cool as the part of the street closer to downtown known as SoCo.

William White, left, and John Collins of St. Croix Capital Realty Advisors.  They are leading the charge to develop new portions of South Congress Avenue in Austin. 

William White, left, and John Collins of St. Croix Capital Realty Advisors.  They are leading the charge to develop new portions of South Congress Avenue in Austin. 

“This is South Lamar (circa) 2010,” said John Collins, partner at Austin-based St. Croix Capital Realty Advisors — a real estate development, investment and advisory firm.

He should know. Collins was arguably the first broker to lead the charge into South Lamar Boulevard before it became action central for multifamily and retail development. Today, South Lamar is one of the hippest corridors in town with upscale dining such as internationally known Uchi to another local casual favorite, Chi’lantro BBQ. The huge Lamar Union with apartments and stores is complete and more apartments are on the way.

But Collins recognized a couple of years ago that South Lamar had become too expensive for many fledgling businesses and renters. He began searching for the next great commercial strip — and didn't have to look far.

Collins, along with Billy White of St. Croix, recently handled the sale of SoCo Park, about 41,500 square feet of offices and flex space just south of the historic Hill Cafe at 4930 S. Congress Ave., part of a wave of new development in the area.

Collins and White are marketing the property, which includes three buildings that currently are 50 percent leased, but with big potential.

“Renovations are now in the works,” Collins said.

The facade is being modernized and hedges that blocked the property are being removed. Collins said leasing rates between $18 and $24 per square foot should appeal to a variety of enterprising tenants.

Collins said increasing interest by investors from Ben White Boulevard on the north to Stassney Lane on the south affirms his hunches.

Dallas-based JPI Cos. built Sur512, a luxury apartment complex, at 5010 S. Congress Ave. that is 95 percent leased. The second phase has just been completed.

To the north, Texas Properties is building Public, a loft project being marketed by Brandon Miller Group.

“There are 160 condominium lofts including 10 live-work storefront,” Miller said. “We’ve pre-sold 150 units under hard contract with the building completion on schedule for this fall.”

The Yard, a mixed-use development of rehabbed industrial and warehouse space, has been delivering at 440 E. St. Elmo Road, and Transwestern is marketing office space at 220 Industrial Blvd.

Another person who foresaw the potential for the area was Brandon Bolin of GroundFloor Development, who envisioned a large public market, music venue, hotel and residential space incorporated into the so-called “Saint Elmo Public Market District” at St. Elmo Road and South Congress. The project was announced in 2014, but no dirt has turned.

Justin Bailey of Maker Bros. of Dallas, a partner with GroundFloor Development, said the project is proceeding in the city development processes — but did not elaborate on the reason for the delays.

Expect more redevelopment projects to be announced in the area soon. Commercial properties at 4714 S. Congress Ave. and 4719 S. Congress Ave. have recently been sold to companies that have given hints that rehab and redevelopment is on the horizon.

COMMUNITY IMPACT: Construction is nearly underway on the Saint Elmo Public Market

Community Impact Staff | January 25th, 2017

WHAT WE REPORTED The first phase of construction is nearly underway for the Saint Elmo Public Market development—a mixed-use project slated to include an indoor-outdoor public market, food truck court, 100,000 square feet of office space, a 150-room boutique hotel and a 360-unit apartment complex.

THE LATEST Matt Stevens, partner at the project’s development firm Maker Bros., said the building’s current tenants, Office Furniture Now, will move out in February or March, and construction on the 40,000-square-foot marketplace will begin shortly thereafter.

The project is in the design phase,  Stevens said.

“The two biggest [priorities] right now are finishing our research and development and getting the right tenants in place.”

Stevens said the goal for the marketplace layout is to maintain flexibility so the space is equipped for a variety of tenants, which the developer said he hopes to have in place by the end of the year. Live music will have a strong presence in Saint Elmo Public Market, Stevens said; however, plans to relocate the famed Saxon Pub music venue are no longer on the table.

The marketplace will be the heart of the development, Stevens said.

“We believe that once fully occupied, the marketplace will drive demand for every other use in the development,” he said.  

WHAT’S NEXT Maker Bros. has secured 2 1/2 acres in front of the marketplace for a 150-room boutique hotel and a food truck court—the latter of which is slated to be up and running by March.

“We have been talking with an operator and are pretty far down the road with him,” Stevens said. 

THE AUSTINOT: St. Elmo Brewing Co: Newst Beer Lover's Hotspot in South Austin

Bill Tucker | November 21, 2016

Fine beer and good vibes await those visiting St. Elmo Brewing Co (Credit: Trey Crowe)

Fine beer and good vibes await those visiting St. Elmo Brewing Co (Credit: Trey Crowe)

For years, the term “St. Elmo” conjured up images of an awful Rob Lowe movie and an amazingly cheesy John Parr song. After checking out St Elmo Brewing Co, I can add rock solid beer to that list. Situated on the same street that bears its name, this South Austin brewery looks to deliver well-crafted, quaffable beer to a neighborhood thirsty for a brand new hangout.

Austin Beer Pedigree

Nighttime at St. Elmo Brewing is relaxed and beautiful. (Credit: Trey Crowe)

Nighttime at St. Elmo Brewing is relaxed and beautiful. (Credit: Trey Crowe)

Don't think this place was built by newbies.  St Elmo was founded by Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock, both veterans of Austin Beerworks.  As they worked their way up through the ranks, they learned valuable lessons and tricks of the trade.

According to Winslow, values like commitment to quality, cleanliness and consistency are all part of the St Elmo experience. “They influenced me heavily,” shared Winslow. “While I definitely have my own style and beers I want to make, I learned dedication to quality and spending the extra time to make sure things are done right.”

Fast forward a few years, and St Elmo Brewing Co is officially open for business. The brewery’s interior is laid-back and simple. The full brewing line greets guests as they enter the beer hall. Long tables crisscross the main dining/drinking area, while a spacious outdoor space encourages hanging out during good weather. The night I visited was cool and crisp, a lovely opportunity to relax and sip some beer.

St. Elmo Brewing's Eclectic Offerings

St Elmo offers flights of five pours, a prime opportunity to try everything (Credit: Trey Crowe)

St Elmo offers flights of five pours, a prime opportunity to try everything (Credit: Trey Crowe)

But it would all be for naught if it weren’t for the beer. St Elmo Brewing Co is starting out with three main beers, all with names that match the brews’ personalities:

  • Carl – Named after the “Family Matters” character that shares Bryan Winslow’s last name, this is a crisp, dry and true to style kolsch. Well-suited for scorching hot Texas summers.
  • Chico – Bready, malty American pale ale with an up-front hop bite. Named after Chico, Calif., home of the Sierra Nevada brewery that pioneered the modern pale ale style.
  • Angus – Lighter bodied stout full of subtle coffee and chocolate notes, all against a dry, malt-forward backbone. Inspired by the AC/DC front man of the same name.

Along with its core line, St Elmo has a number of seasonal and rotating taps. During my visit, I was able to try the Dampf, a “hefe-barley,” and the Slater, an excellent American IPA. The Dampf in particular blew me away. Featuring all the citrus and clove notes of a traditional hefeweizen with a richer malt backbone, it’s a satisfying blend of refreshing and dark. I kept yammering to my bartender, “This is such a good idea!” One of my favorites from the tasting.

And So Much More

The beer goes down quickly at Austin's latest craft brewery (Credit: Trey Crowe)

The beer goes down quickly at Austin's latest craft brewery (Credit: Trey Crowe)

Don’t expect to find St Elmo Brewing Co in your local craft beer bar anytime soon. According to the founders, they’re taking the slow and steady route.

“The main reason is beer is best fresh,” Winslow explained. “Right now, the focus is on the neighborhood. Here, I can control how it’s poured, the temperature, the music we play, the whole experience of how you enjoy our beer.”

With such a kick back, chill out atmosphere, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a pint straight from the source. They even have an incredible food truck, Soursop, on premises providing Asian-inspired bites. The eatery has exclusively partnered with St Elmo. Protip: Try the “pho-tine,” an Asian-inspired version of poutine with five-flavor flank steak and sriracha, or the exquisite frita burger.

And then relax. Let good conversation and tasty beer melt away the worries of the day. With an exciting array of tasty beverages coupled with an incredible food truck, St Elmo Brewing Co should be your next stop when you’re craving the latest in Austin craft beer.

St Elmo Brewing Co is located at 440 E. St. Elmo Road. For tap room hours, beer list and social media, visit stelmobrewing.com.

AUSTIN 360: The Austin Winery Plans Big Move to South Austin's The Yard

Arianna Auber | November 2, 2016

This rendering of the upcoming Austin Winery building showcases the industrial roots of the original facility. 

This rendering of the upcoming Austin Winery building showcases the industrial roots of the original facility. 

A previously industrial area of South Austin is getting a makeover as the Yard: a group of creative-minded businesses that includes a brewery, a winery and a whiskey distillery in various stages of the opening process. While St. Elmo Brewing has a grand opening celebration planned for Dec. 3, the neighboring Still Austin Whiskey Co. and the Austin Winery aren’t quite ready yet.

In fact, the Austin Winery — which, unlike the other two companies, already has a location where it has been making wine since 2014 — needs a little extra help to get the new, much bigger facility fully open for business. Founded by three young entrepreneurs — CEO Ross McLauchlan, VP and winemaker Cooper Anderson, and chief of operations Matthew Smith — the urban winery recently launched a Kickstarter that the trio hopes will get a crucial aspect of the project funded.

By moving to the Yard, McLauchlan said, the Austin Winery will be able to increase wine production, as well as offer an events space and a bigger tasting room where people can try the reds, whites and rosés like the Texas Work Horse that have made the winery a respectable addition to Texas’ burgeoning wine scene.

“We’ve completely outgrown our current space,” McLauchlan said in a phone interview. “And with the Yard, I think there’s going to be such a nice culture fit with the brewery, the distillery, the music lab and all of the others. The tenant list is a thoughtfully curated mix of creative businesses that have an industrial aspect to them but are customer-facing. We’re going to get natural spillover from each other.”

The bottom level of the winery is 4,800 sq. ft. and will include the tasting area and the barrel room — the part of the business that McLauchlan, Anderson, and Smith are hoping will get Kickstarter support. So far, the campaign has yielded $3,240 out of a $50,000 goal and 27 days left to get it. But the Kickstarter isn’t funding the whole project: The Austin Winery has already gotten permits and is midway through construction on the new location at 440A E. St. Elmo Rd.

“Now, we’re asking you to help us finish the build-out,” according to the Kickstarter.

McLauchlan and his two co-founders, along with assistant winemaker Travis Elliot, source grapes for the Austin Winery from Texas and other prominent wine regions like California, Oregon, and Washington.  Once the grapes come to them still on the stem, the entire winemaking process happens in the winery.

Many area winemakers have at least a small estate vineyard from which to make their wines, but the Austin Winery — like the Colorado transplant the Infinite Monkey Theorem that opened off South Congress Avenue last year — wanted to be an urban destination, a place within the city where people could more easily visit and learn about the process of producing wine. Although the desire to be in the thick of things hasn’t changed, McLauchlan and the others have worked to make sure an ever-increasing number of their grapes are sourced from Texas.

“We’re still so passionate about our wine, so even when we are done making wines that pay the bills, we’re always making new ones,” he said. “We’re up to 50 percent Texas-produced grapes, which we’re proud of. We have nice relationships with growers, establishing trust and getting more to the front of the line in terms of what we have access to and what we can influence (the growers) into making.”

The new facility will allow the Austin Winery to increase production to up to 20,000 cases per year. Best of all, it’ll expose far more locals to the business than the current Northeast Austin location in an industrial section of town.

“There will be much more room, so it’ll be nice to have an expanded presence and options for people to relax, engage and enjoy the space,” he said. “Wine is great on its own, but it’s always better when paired with other things, whether that’s food, music or shopping.”

For more information, visit theaustinwinery.com.

AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL: Sneak peek: St. Elmo Brewing aims to quench Austinites' big thirst for craft beer at south-side outpost

Michael Theis | Nov 4, 2016

St. Elmo Brewing Co. is the newest entrant to Austin's burgeoning craft beer scene.

Founded by Austin Beerworks alumni Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock, the brewery will begin operations with a soft opening on Nov. 8, followed by a grand opening Dec. 3. But it held a private reception Thursday night to give friends and supporters a sneak-peak at the new facility, which is located in a South Austin industrial park at 440 E. St. Elmo Road.

St. Elmo Brewing Co. held a soft-opening party on Nov. 3rd. - Michael Theis ABJ

St. Elmo Brewing Co. held a soft-opening party on Nov. 3rd. - Michael Theis ABJ

So far, St. Elmo's two founders have spent about $900,000 to start the brewery — plus, according to Winslow, the typical "blood, sweat and tears" required to launch a business.

Winslow, brewmaster and bar manager for the new outfit, said St. Elmo plans to produce about 700 barrels of beer in its first year and sell all of it on site. If things go well, he plans to expand in year two into keg sales for local bars and restaurants. Retail distribution is not on the planning board yet.

"The goal is draught sales next year, but only if the taproom demand can be managed as well," he said. "We couldn't bottle here because we just don't have the space. But never say never."

The company plans to take advantage of the 2014 Austin law that allows breweries to sell individual pints for on-premise consumption. St. Elmo's pints — with a regular rotation including a Kolsh, an American pale ale and a dry stout — will set you back about $5 a pop. They'll also be serving coffee, and in-house mineral water and sodas.

The taproom itself is a sleek beer hall, accented with white tile and featuring a 22-foot handmade bar top. The brewery will also debut in partnership with onsite food truck Soursop, owned by chef Teddy Bricker, serving a rotating menu of dishes inspired by the cuisine of Southeast Asia, according to the restaurateur.

SOURCE: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/11/04/sneak-peekst-elmo-brewing-aims-to-quench.html?ana=e_me_set1&s=newsletter&ed=2016-11-04&u=34884485654e551b4369e6bda5ecbc&t=1478267989&j=76352971

CULTURE MAP AUSTIN: Austin declared the No. 1 real estate market to invest in right now

by Arden Ward |   11.2.16

Austin is the third consecutive Texas city to top this list. Photo courtesy of Easton Park. 

Austin is the third consecutive Texas city to top this list. Photo courtesy of Easton Park. 

The hottest real estate market to invest in 2017? It's Austin, of course. That's according to the annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report from PwC US and the Urban Land Institute, which includes interviews and surveys from more than 1,800 leading real estate experts to determine the top markets to watch.

Austin, which was No. 2 for 2016 is the third consecutive Texas city to top the list. The Capital City flip-flops with Dallas-Fort Worth, which was No. 1 for 2016 and comes in second on the new survey. Houston (No. 1 for 2015) sits at No. 40 on the latest report.

"Viewed as a fluke when it hit the study's top 10 list five years ago, Austin’s rise to the top of the list signals the durability of the city’s long-term appeal to investors," says Mitch Roschelle, PwC partner and real estate research leader, in a release. "Austin, along with many of this year’s top 10 cities, boasts attractive, niche neighborhoods and a vibrant, diverse economy."

The Capital City "has consistently ticked the majority of the top boxes related to recent real estate market attractiveness," notes the report. It has a diverse economy, only minimally affected by the global financial crisis; a growing population that boasts an educated labor force; and, of course, that "undeniable 'hip' factor."

Despite being a relatively small market for investment opportunities, Austin tops many domestic investors’ wish lists, making it highly competitive. Even so, local, regional, and national real estate participants operate in relative harmony, says the report.

Those who call Austin home may wonder about the city's growing affordability and transportation concerns. While the uptick hasn't gone unnoticed, the report notes that costs are still competitive with those seen in other top secondary markets, and the 2017 outlook for major property sectors remains good.

"The housing market, both multifamily and single-family, appears to be making adjustments to match supply with the requirements and locations desired by the changing population base," states the report. "To address transportation concerns, the market is likely to continue to see more mixed-use development not only to bring compatible uses together, but also to enhance the experiential feel of developments."

Where should investors looking outside Texas consider plunking down cash? Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and Los Angeles round out the top five. 

SOURCE: http://austin.culturemap.com/news/real-estate/11-02-16-austin-best-real-estate-market-2017-emerging-trends-report/?utm_source=daily-digest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=website

COMMUNITY IMPACT: Developers reignite St. Elmo's fire

Mixed-use projects in the works for former South Austin industrial district

By Joseph Basco  

August 24, 2016

Construction crews work on Public Lofts at the intersection of East St. Elmo Road and South Congress Avenue.  (Joseph Basco/ Community Impact Newspaper)

Construction crews work on Public Lofts at the intersection of East St. Elmo Road and South Congress Avenue.  (Joseph Basco/ Community Impact Newspaper)

In an area that has traditionally been zoned for industrial use and full of scrapyards and auto repair shops, there are three separate developments on East St. Elmo Road at South Congress Avenue that are taking advantage of newer zoning for mixed-use development. Developers are attempting to attract local businesses to transform the area into a cultural district.

Saint Elmo Market, The Yard and Public each offer different uses of space in both new and renovated buildings in the St. Elmo district.

Saint Elmo Market, a 12-acre, mixed-use project with office, hotel, residential and entertainment space as well as a relocated Saxon Pub and public market, is planned to be completed by 2018. The public market portion will take the place of a former industrial warehouse at 113 Industrial Blvd.

Developer GroundFloor Development is preparing to close on the property in late August and is negotiating with several potential tenants, according to public relations firm Juice Consulting.

The Yard, a 150,000-square-foot complex of office and retail space, is a renovation of warehouse space at 440 E. St. Elmo Road by three partners with backgrounds in real estate. Tenants will include wineries, architects, a paddleboard maker and co-working space. The renovations are scheduled for completion later this year.

The Yard, a mixed-use office park renovated from industrial warehouses, is planned to feature an outdoor stage in a centralized area by late 2016.  (Rendering courtesy Royal Frasier)

The Yard, a mixed-use office park renovated from industrial warehouses, is planned to feature an outdoor stage in a centralized area by late 2016.  (Rendering courtesy Royal Frasier)

Public, which includes condominiums for sale by developer Texan Properties, is planned to be completed by the end of 2017. Located at 4361 S. Congress Ave., west of Saint Elmo Market, Public has more than 175 reservations for its 160 units, said Brandon Miller, owner of The Brandon Miller Group, the marketing representative for the condos.

 

Reusing existing spaces

Miller said 12 acres of land zoned for industrial use west of I-35 and south of Ben White Boulevard was rezoned as mixed-use in late 2014 after GroundFloor Development presented city staff with the plan to build Saint Elmo Market in a former industrial warehouse.

Developers argued that the city of Austin’s 30-year comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin, called for the South Congress district to be mixed-use, Miller said.

When Brandon Bolin, president and CEO of GroundFloor Development, gave a tour of the future site of the public market in September 2015, he said he wanted to create a “creative cluster” of office tenants at Saint Elmo Market from industries such as tech, video aming and music. In the public market space, a former hangar built in the 1950s, Bolinsaid he hopes for local tenants to sell their goods and local restaurateurs launch new concepts rather than having an existing restaurant’s second location.

“This part of town has some more large-scale, old, beautiful buildings, some of which are the only ones left in the city of Austin,” said Matthew Roy Spillers, managing partner of Saint Elmo Market who is in charge of the public market. “For the [Saint Elmo public market location] to be smack dab in the middle of Austin is a big prize that we’re able to catch. A large amount of the creative class lives in this part of the city, so to us it was a no-brainer that this needed to be a saved building.”

Brandon Bolin (left) and Matthew Roy Spillers are creating St. Elmo Market, a mixed-use center for food, office space, and live music.  (Joseph Basco)

Brandon Bolin (left) and Matthew Roy Spillers are creating St. Elmo Market, a mixed-use center for food, office space, and live music.  (Joseph Basco)

Bolin said that a large part of his upbringing was spent renovating old buildings, and the preservation of architecturally significant buildings was attractive to him. Bolin’s vision for the entire St. Elmo district, including Saint Elmo Market, is renovation and preservation with new development alongside existing buildings, he said.

Just east of Saint Elmo Market, The Yard uses 135,000 square feet of pre-existing warehouses built in the 1970s next to the Missouri-Pacific railroad line for office and retail space, said Brian Schoenbaum, founder and CEO of Vuka and Impact Hub and one of three partners developing the property. Veteran developers Adam Zimmerman and Scott Ungar are the other two partners working on The Yard.

“This is an adaptive-reuse project,” Schoenbaum said. “We worked with everything that’s already here to keep the spirit of what’s already here and to give the area a new story, a new face-lift.”

The right tenants

The Yard’s ownership looked for tenants that can work together or mesh well with existing tenants, Schoenbaum said.

St. Elmo Brewing Co. Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock are opening a brewery and tap room at the yard. (Joseph Basco)

St. Elmo Brewing Co. Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock are opening a brewery and tap room at the yard. (Joseph Basco)

One of The Yard’s tenants, St. Elmo Brewing Co., is a craft beer brewer with an open-floor brew space and taproom. St. Elmo Brewing Co. co-owner Bryan Winslow, a former employee at Austin Beerworks, started his own business and began looking south of Ben White Boulevard for a location.

“South of Ben White, there are so many awesome people in the area, and it’s really underserved with creative, fun stuff to do,” Winslow said. “I thought it was the perfect spot for the brewery.”

When he first toured the site at The Yard that eventually became the home of St. Elmo Brewing Co., the building was filled with scrap metal “from floor to ceiling,” Winslow said.

“That being said, I was immediately in love with the location even if it was only the second or third location we scouted,” Winslow said.

SUPatx, a stand-up paddleboard company that was formed in 2009, had a few small showrooms, storage spaces and warehouses throughout Austin, but never a centralized location for all operations, SUPatx Vice President Dale Rogers said. SUPatx moved into a large warehouse space in late July at The Yard, across from St. Elmo Brewing Co., and has plans for a showroom, workshop, test pool and other operational uses in the larger space, Rogers said.

“Other spaces we looked at were big industrial parks or strip mall-type spaces, but they didn’t have the character or other businesses that make a community like [The Yard] does,” Rogers said.

SUPatx vice-president Dale Rogers stands in the company's showroom at The Yard. (Joseph Basco)

SUPatx vice-president Dale Rogers stands in the company's showroom at The Yard. (Joseph Basco)

As for Public taking the risk of being the first for-sale condominiums with ground-floor live-work units in the St. Elmo district, Miller said the developers for Saint Elmo Market, The Yard and Public are young, and they all have a vision for not leasing or selling to just any business.

“We want tosell or curate the live-work units to the right businesses that we really believe in [and were] born in Austin and doing something cool in Austin,” Miller said. “There are no [chain stores] down here or anything like that, so we’re trying to support that creative class in the St. Elmo district.”

Tenants interested in Public’s retail space include woodworkers and boutique shop owners, Miller said.

Though all three developments are independent of one another, all three have worked together in one capacity or another, Miller said. The Brandon Miller Group has worked with Bolin ever since GroundFloor Development began the mixed-use zone change request. The group has also worked with Zimmerman for creating The Yard signs facing South Congress Avenue in front of the Public construction.

“We’re getting a lot of referrals from The Yard,” Miller said. “They don’t have apartments or condos; they’re doing something totally different. And it’s good for [The Yard’s retail tenants] to have 160 people living right next door, and the same thing with the proposed Saint Elmo Market.”

SOURCE: https://communityimpact.com/austin/news/2016/08/24/developers-reignite-st-elmos-fire/

AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL: South Austin gets its shot at the artist economy

Mar 13, 2015, 5:00am CDT

Chad Swiatecki Staff Writer Austin Business Journal

South Austin could soon give the east side a run as the new frontier for the creative class in Austin.

A pair of large parcels south of Ben White Boulevard are slated to host creative hubs in the coming years. On South Congress Avenue near St. Elmo Road, an 8-acre parcel slated for a development known as The Yard by ZIR Investment Group is expected to feature creative office space, maker space and artist studios.

But the biggest is GroundFloor Development's St. Elmo's Market and Lofts, which the company hopes will lure creative businesses that could turn the project into a smaller version of Nashville's Music Row.

Dallas-based GroundFloor is interviewing brokerage firms that would recruit music-focused businesses from Austin as well as other major music centers including Nashville, Los Angeles and New York. Executives plan to select a broker next month.

Brandon Bolin, GroundFloor's founder and CEO, said music-focused technology, publishing, marketing, publicity, nonprofits and retail operations are among the tenant types envisioned for the development's 200,000 square feet of office space. He said his company is already negotiating with anchor tenants for the office space, which is expected to be completed by early 2018, if not sooner.

The St. Elmo's project is planned for a 9.5-acre industrial parcel at South Congress Avenue and St. Elmo Road that would feature a music venue and a public market on par with Pike Place in Seattle. The owners of popular Austin live music venue The Saxon Pub on South Lamar Boulevard are among those looking at the property.

A boutique hotel, condominiums and creative office space are also planned for the St. Elmo. The deal to acquire the land is expected to close this summer.

"There's not a huge inventory of the kind of office space we have planned, but it's what there's the most demand for, with tall ceilings, lots of light and an open floor plate," Bolin said. "When you go to Nashville as a musician, Music Row is right there. We want this to be a sort of first stop for any musician who's coming here when they first arrive in town, to take advantage of the services that will be available to them in Austin."

Incorporating space for nonprofit groups was one of the community benefit options Bolin and his partners agreed to while negotiating with the city to get planning approval for the property. Other developments have offered assistance to creative groups in recent years in exchange for planning consideration, with the South Shore District complex on East Riverside Drive providing new office space for the Austin Music Foundation.

Bolin said that trend will likely continue as development moves south, with the area bordered roughly by Ben White Boulevard, South Congress Avenue, I-35 and his own development as the most hospitable for creative spaces going forward.

Asked about concerns over the viability of music-related businesses, Bolin said a he's most interested in creative industry startups that have a technology component.

"Music is fundamentally changing but here in Austin we're in an interesting intersection with music and technology," he said. "Those are the types of users we are very interested in because the music industry has fundamentally changed and the days of record labels throwing a huge budget at an artist are gone."

OURCE: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/print-edition/2015/03/13/south-austin-gets-its-shot-at-the-artist-economy.html

AUSTIN 360: Austin Wine & Cider’s new taproom offers fermented fruit beverages

By:  Arianna Auber  

May 16, 2016

Austin Wine & Cider is located at 411 E. St. Elmo Rd. Ste. 2, next door to Casa Brasil Coffee.

Austin Wine & Cider is located at 411 E. St. Elmo Rd. Ste. 2, next door to Casa Brasil Coffee.

One South Austin cidery is ready to make a big splash with its roster of fermented fruit beverages.

Austin Wine & Cider, which opened quietly at the end of March along the increasingly boozier St. Elmo Road, has been offering a variety of off-the-wall draft ciders made from apples and other fruits. Owner and founder Mike Allgeier is purposely veering from traditional ciders.

“With this place, I’m looking for drinkability with a little bit of funk. We are in South Austin, after all,” he said.

A veteran with a Purple Heart after years in the military, he had traveled extensively through Europe during his time in the service — trying beverages not far from where they were made — and was disappointed to return in the late 1990s to a city with “few local products that I wanted to drink,” he said. “There was a very limited selection of craft beer, no ciders and a small amount of wine. So I started making them myself.”

He’s had a long time and a lot of help to perfect the hobby that friends and family began to urge him to turn into a business. Although he self-taught himself how to homebrew at first, he began reaching out to people in the industry: Austin Homebrew Supply, Real Ale Brewing and Black Star Co-op when it first opened as a revolutionary concept in 2010.

He also got involved with South Austin Brewery — located in the same set of St. Elmo Road warehouses where Allgeier’s Austin Wine & Cider is now.

But unlike his brewery mentors, he didn’t stick with making beer.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The Austin Wine & Cider tasting room is open on weekends, offering visitors four different ciders to try.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. The Austin Wine & Cider tasting room is open on weekends, offering visitors four different ciders to try.

“I worked my way into ciders, meads, Texas-grown fruit wines,” he said. “They’re a very similar process to brewing. I liked making the ciders because… I could apply my brewing experience to blend the two worlds.”

Although the ciders now feature apples primarily from Washington and Canada, he tries to use Texas ingredients when he can. Two of the ciders on tap at theAustin Wine & Cider tasting room are made with Texas-grown grapefruit and lime, in addition to the apples: the Puckering Pomelo Cider and the Smashed Lime Cider. They’ll rotate out as Allgeier comes up with new recipes.

“I want to use cool fruits from Texas that aren’t used a whole lot, like fig and kumquat,” he said.

The other two ciders on draft are Austin Wine & Cider mainstays. The She’ll be Apples cider is a good introduction to Allgeier’s particular style because with apples as the solo fruit, it’s as straightforward as he gets. Not too sweet and not too dry, it’s an easy-drinking and balanced expression of what good cider should taste like.

But that’s not the most popular one. The one he pours for visitors most often on weekends, when the tasting room is opened, is the Hefe Apfel Cider, an unfiltered German-style cider that will appeal to beer devotees: Allgeier crafted it to taste like a hefeweizen, albeit without the grains that give the wheat beer such a distinct flavor.

“It has hops and spices and yeast, but everything else is just fermented fruit juice,” he said. “It’s about as close as we can get to a hefeweizen without having any grain product, which is something we can’t have because we’re licensed as a winery. Notice the lovely smell from the hefeweizen yeast.”

In addition to the four ciders on tap, the tasting room in the modest Austin Wine & Cider space offers, on many weekends, live music and game nights with Cards Against Humanity. Right now, it’s the best place to find these ciders, although they’re slowly going on draft in area bars. Allgeier’s goal is to get them into cans one day as well.

“Apple is just good to cook with, to make ciders with, even if you’re flavoring it with something else like blueberry,” he said.

Austin Wine & Cider, at 411 E. St. Elmo Rd. Ste. 2, is opened 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 11 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit the Facebook page.

SOURCE: http://spirits.blog.austin360.com/2016/05/16/austin-wine-ciders-new-taproom-offers-fermented-fruit-beverages/

AUSTIN EATER: Austin Culinary Food Center Launches $60,000 Kickstarter

by Nadia Chaudhury May 26, 2016, 9:30a @nadiachaudhury

For food nerds to learn and play

Austin will get its first culinary food center and laboratory in the coming years, if Arrel’s Kickstarter is fully funded. The goal is to create a place of food exploration and experimentation for chefs and the community. Through workshops, classes, dinners, programs, including fermentation, wild food, and botany, people will be able to learn, collaborate, play, and share techniques and findings.

The project is run by chef Sergio Perera with the help of fermentation specialist Jason White. Described as "architects of gastronomy," Perra wants to approach food in the same way architects look at buildings: learn everything possible and then creating something that acknowledges that past while looking to the future. The word Arrel means roots in Catalan.

Perera previously worked with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Wiley Dufresne, Ludo Lefebvre, David Chang, and others in the past. He also trained at three Michelin starred Kitcho in Japan. White helped set up Emmer & Rye’s fermentation program and is currently working with L'Oca D'Oro. For Arrel, Perera and White are looking to raise $60,000 by Sunday, July 3.

Arrel will eventually be found at the St. Elmo Public Market near South Congress, which will also become the new home of Saxon Pub. The mixed-use development is set to open in 2018.

SOURCE: http://austin.eater.com/2016/5/26/11784502/arrel-austin-culinary-food-center-kickstarter

AUSTIN EATER: Saxon Pub is Actually Moving to Mixed-use St. Elmo Project

The original spot will stay open for now.

By Nadia Chaudhury  @nadiachaudhury Sep 21, 2015, 9:00a

Saxon Pub, the 1990s bar and music institution, will be moving into the forthcoming mixed-use development St. Elmo on Congress Avenue. The original location on South Lamar will remain open in the meantime. In the works for the new site is a separate listening room for 300 to 400 people and a hotel partnership. Saxon Pub owner Joe Ables previously told Eater that he would "certainly try to keep it as South Austin as I can," of the new iteration.

The St. Elmo project will also house a 40,000 square foot public market. The setup will be like D.C.’s Union Market, Denver’s The Source, and Atlanta’s Krog Street. Food and drink vendors aren’t set yet, but expect about 25 to 30 businesses, including retail, St. Elmo managing partner Matthew Spillers told Eater. Indoor and outdoor communal seating, along with rooftop spots, are in the works. The project is looking to partner with a brewery to create a beer garden, too.

The market will take over the existing defunct Office Furniture Now building. New structures will be added around it, including Saxon Pub. Work on the 11.5 acres of land will begin in the middle of next year, with a projected opening date of 2018.

Similiarly, also in the works for Austin is food hall Fareground, which is opening in 2017.

SOURCE: http://austin.eater.com/2015/9/21/9364035/saxon-pub-moving-st-elmo-public-market

 

AUSTIN 360: First look: South Austin’s St. Elmo Brewing

Arianna Auber April 28, 2016

Photo by Heather Gallagher. Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock, the founders of St. Elmo Brewing, are currently building it in South Austin.

Photo by Heather Gallagher. Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock, the founders of St. Elmo Brewing, are currently building it in South Austin.

Two Austin Beerworks alums — after learning from some of the best brewers in town — have decided to open a brewery of their own in South Austin.

St. Elmo Brewing is one of the businesses opening at the Yard, an in-the-works collection of creative spaces, including offices, a recording studio, a restaurant, artist studios and a distillery, all off South Congress Avenue. Like the bulk of the Yard, the brewery is currently under construction, with tentative plans to open this summer.

Founded by Tim Bullock and Bryan Winslow, St. Elmo Brewing “strives to be a positive contribution to the cultural growth of Austin and its beer scene,” Bullock said.

He and Winslow have a trio of beers already planned out: a clean olsch called Carl, a hoppy pale ale called Chico and a dry stout called Angus. Ultimately, though, the duo is open to brewing just about any style of beer and will offer a wide range at the brewpub.

“There’s not a style that we don’t like, and we really want to dip our feet into all the beer styles out there,” Bullock, who will be St. Elmo’s front-of-house-manager, said. “We’ll have three awesome, easy-drinking house beers. Our go-to beers. Beers you always want to drink. Beers you don’t have to think about, but if you do, there’s a lot to think about.”

The kolsch is full-flavored, taking “the best parts of the ale and lager worlds and (putting) them into one amazing sip,” according to the St. Elmo Brewing website. In the pale ale, “moderate bitterness tees up the citrus and bright-fruit blast of hops in your nostrils.” And the dry, balanced stout goes against its usual style by being low ABV — so you can have more than one.

At St. Elmo, visitors will be able to relax in a beer hall, with views of the 15 barrel brewhouse, or outside in a beer garden where a food trailer will serve southeast Asian street food.

That’s something Bullock is especially excited about. The new food truck, called Soursop, was founded by Teddy Bricker, who “started cooking at 2 Michelin-starred restaurant Gilt in New York and moved to Austin a few years ago, where he worked alongside Paul Qui at East Side King… We’ve already done some tastings of sample menus, and we’re super pumped about pairing the food and the beer in our beer garden.”

But St. Elmo Brewing plans to be much more than a brewery. Bullock and Winslow will have coffee, house-made sodas and mineral water called Wholly Water, to offer “something for everyone.”

“We also plan to incorporate a diverse events calendar at our space to include music, storytelling and brewers panels,” Bullock said. “Our hope is to engage our neighborhood and break down the barrier between brewer and drinker.”

St. Elmo Brewing is opening in the Yard at 440 E. St. Elmo Rd. For more information, visit www.stelmobrewing.com.

SOURCE: http://spirits.blog.austin360.com/2016/04/28/first-look-south-austins-st-elmo-brewing/

INTERIOR DESIGN: Andersson-Wise to Convert Austin School Bus Facility Into Marketplace

Jennifer Nalewicki | November 20, 2015

Texas-based developers GroundFloor Development and Prescott Group are planning Saint Elmo Public Market, a $120 million commercial project housed inside a 1950s former school bus maintenance facility in Austin. Designed by Andersson-Wise Architects , the 210,000-square-foot project will include a 40,000-square-foot marketplace featuring locally owned bars and restaurants, plus two new constructions housing offices for musicians, tech companies, non-profits, and entrepreneurs.


Arthur Andersson, principal at Andersson-Wise Architects, said the idea to repurpose the steel-frame industrial warehouse into a food marketplace came from the developers and was inspired by other food halls, including Pike Place Market in Seattle.


“[The developers] wanted to create a place to fill a niche for young, energetic chefs who have gravitated to Austin in recent years,” Andersson says. “Not everyone can afford to have a $2 million brick-and-mortar restaurant built, so this market is inspired by our city’s food truck tradition, but in a more enclosed setting.”


Andersson says that the repurposed building is a fitting space for the restaurants, since tenants will be more of the mom-and-pop variety and, he jokes, “will not include an Olive Garden.”


“For Austin, a building from the 1950s is considered old,” Andersson says. “The construction of buildings [from that era] are very different and far less generic than buildings are today—just like the restaurants it will house.”


The architect says he plans to keep much of the raw character of the industrial space intact, including its simple steel frame and high transom windows.


“I’ve noticed that buildings in Austin that were built before air-conditioning tend to be remarkable things,” he says. “People were very creative back then to make a space comfortable, so instead of installing a standard ducted-forced air system, we’re including individual A/C units and large fans to circulate the air. We’re also building deep canopies on the east and west sides of the building to help block out the sun at certain times of the day. You get an organic effect that seems natural and connected to the local climate and nature.”


Construction will commence next spring and the project will be completed in early 2018.

SOURCE: http://m.interiordesign.net/articles/11114-andersson-wise-to-convert-austin-school-bus-facili/

COMMUNITY IMPACT: Public market, hotel, office space to open at Saint Elmo site by 2018

Major facility draws inspiration from Seattle, NYC markets

By Joseph Basco October 21, 2015

In 2018, Southwest Austin is slated to become home to a 12-acre, mixed-use development with office, hotel, residential and entertainment space as well as a relocated Saxon Pub and a 40,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor public market.

A news conference and tour for media took place Sept. 22 at the future site of Saint Elmo, a $120 million project being developed by GroundFloor Development and Prescott Group.

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2016 and finish by the first quarter of 2018.

The public market will occupy a warehouse at 113 Industrial Blvd. that formerly housed school buses and is currently the Austin location for vendor Office Furniture Now. Buildings for the office, hotel, residential and entertainment space surrounding the warehouse are planned for construction.

About 225,000 square feet of the 12-acre property will be office space. Brandon Bolin, president and CEO of GroundFloor Development, said the office space will have natural light, tall ceilings, exposed ductwork and concrete floors.

“It’s going to feel like an old warehouse building that you might see in New York, San Francisco or Chicago,” Bolin said.

As for the tenants, Bolin said the development is looking to attract creative companies. In particular Bolin said the mix may include companies working in the technology, video game, software and music industries, adding that developers aim to create a “creative cluster” at Saint Elmo.

From left: Saint Elmo developers Matthew Roy Spillers and Brandon Bolin stand inside the Office Furniture Now warehouse on Industrial Avenue, which is the future site of the Saint Elmo Market.

From left: Saint Elmo developers Matthew Roy Spillers and Brandon Bolin stand inside the Office Furniture Now warehouse on Industrial Avenue, which is the future site of the Saint Elmo Market.

Saint Elmo developers plan to allocate office space for up to four music-related local nonprofits at no monthly rental cost, said Bolin, who is also a musician.

Matthew Roy Spillers, managing partner of Saint Elmo Market, said the market may be full of Austin businesses that make what they sell, citing breweries, bakeries, flower shops and boot makers as examples. Bolin said he hopes restaurateurs launch new concepts at the market rather than open an existing restaurant’s second location.

Spillers referenced Pike Place Market in Seattle and Chelsea Market in New York City as inspiration for the Saint Elmo Public Market.

“[Public markets] are starting to have a resurgence in this part of the U.S.,” Spillers said. “And Austin not having a public market is a great opportunity to house [Saint Elmo Market] in South Austin.”

The “front entrance” to the Saint Elmo property will be the relocated Saxon Pub, which is currently at 1320 S. Lamar Blvd.

Spillers said the new Saxon Pub will be accessible from South Congress Avenue, and the rest of the property, including the public market, will be behind Saxon Pub, east of its South Congress location.

Austin-based Andersson-Wise Architects will be designing Saint Elmo, Bolin said. The firm’s previous projects include Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater and the St. Edward’s University Trustee Hall.

SOURCE: https://communityimpact.com/austin/development-construction/2015/10/21/public-market-hotel-office-space-to-open-at-saint-elmo-site-by-2018/