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New Tenants for Second St. Downtown Austin/ PROFILE PIECE on Austin’s Queen of Rainey Street

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New tenants for Second Street signal different direction

Austin Business Journal by Cody Lyon, Staff writer

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 9:00am CST – Last Modified: Friday, December 23, 2011, 1:03pm CST

Rance Wilemon
Submitted by PLAT.FORM

Rance Wilemon, a broker with PLAT.FORM, hopes to make the Second Street District a retail destination where shoppers come for the full experience.

Cody Lyon
Staff writer – Austin Business Journal

Downtown Austin’s Second Street District is set to add eight to 10 new tenants to the retail, entertainment and residential corridor.

Luxe Apothetique, a boutique, apothecary and salon, is taking 2,750 square feet at 201 W. Second St.; Strut, a young women’s fashion boutique, will open its fourth Austin location in a 1,200-square-foot store at 215 Lavaca St.; Austin-based Daily Juice is taking 1,325 square feet at 209 W. Third St.; and Hemline, a women’s apparel store out of New Orleans, is opening up a 1,200-square-foot store at 233 W. Second St.

The creators of Royal Blue are opening The Liquor Shop at 241 W. Third St. The store will have a European cafe feel serving charcutrie, cheese, wine, liquor and house-ware needs.

Milk + Honey, located at 204 Colorado St., is expanding.

Also coming to the district, restaurant Nosh is taking 5,500 square feet at 416 Cesar Chavez St.

The Second Street district will be approximately 93 percent occupied with the new leases.

The landlord for the deals is AMLI Residential   .

The new retailers come at a time when the district still appears to be searching for the successful blend of retail and entertainment. Recent store closures left some blocks vacant, while others flourished. And at night, café’s, restaurants, music and tourists from the W Hotel fill sidewalks.

“With the recession, we went through some challenges, “ said Craig Brockman, development manager at AMLI.

Sales in the district this year were significantly higher than in 2010. The area gained the attention of some national retailers with the addition of the W Hotel and international attention from Austin City Limits PBS broadcast at the Moody Theatre, Brockman said.

“We’re actually not looking for nationals,” he said.

The district should maintain a retail mix that is 30 percent local, according to a city agreement. Brockman said the district is actually 65 percent local.

“We just like the local community,” he said.

AMLI recently brought on broker Rance Wilemon from PLAT.FORM, a new real estate brokerage co-founded by Wilemon and Susan Wasserman.

“Rance has the experience to position the retail mix to a more sophisticated and local clientele,” said attorney Kareem Hajar, who works with retailers and bars in the district.

Wilemon said the hope is to make the area a retail destination where shoppers come for the full experience: shopping, drinks, dinner then perhaps a movie or show.

Wilemon said Austin has numerous talented and savvy retail and restaurant operators that he plans to reach out to when searching for tenants. Landlord AMLI plans to be patience and do research to see if the tenants are the correct fit for the district.

“I’m not tooting our own horns here but we [at AMLI] were sort of guinea pigs when the Second Street district idea first came to be,” Brockman said. “The challenge with retail is you have to have density. Now that the area has gentrified, you can do all these different things and that diversity has made this area much more attractive.”

The area is still in its infancy, but will reach another milestone with the completion of the Greenwater Treatment Plant, Seaholm and the Central Library, Brockman said.


Journal Profile: Bridget Dunlap, Lustre Pearl, Clive Bar, Bar 96

Premium content from Austin Business Journal by Cody Lyon, ABJ Staff, ABJ Staff

Date: Friday, May 13, 2011, 5:00am CDT – Last Modified: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 3:22pm CDT

Bridget Dunlap
Lustre Pearl, Clive Bar, Bar 96

Bridget Dunlap Owner Lustre Pearl, Clive Bar, Bar 96

Bridget Dunlap


Lustre Pearl, Clive Bar, Bar 96

Bridget Dunlap said that for a very long time, she lived life with no rules, not really thinking about tomorrow. But one day that changed. “When I had my child, I knew I had responsibilities. I decided to focus and I learned I can do anything.”

After saying hello to, then buying drinks for, a couple visiting from Chicago who had gotten wind of her bars in Austin’s historic Rainey Street district, she said, “sometimes you have to go through the shitter to understand life and realize how hard you’ve got to work to get what you want.” With life lessons under her belt, Dunlap cautions: “I’m sweet as hell, but if you push me, you better watch out.”

On a recent cool Austin night, she was reigning supreme over her mini empire — a collection of three nightspots in formerly dilapidated houses — sitting, drinking and talking to some friends on the front porch of her first venture here, Lustre Pearl. It’s been just two years since the Houston native who’d traveled the world sowing wild oats turned into an Austin pioneer after spotting an old dilapidated house in what was then a rundown neighborhood. Almost immediately, she raised some capital and transformed the old house built at the turn of the 20th century into one of the area’s most talked about nightspots.

“I think it’s foxy,” she says of Lustre Pearl, which also happens to be the name of her self-descibed alter-personality. Soon after Lustre Pearl, Dunlap spied a couple of other houses, and turned them into Clive Bar, a place where hipsters can mix with suits, and Bar 96, Dunlap’s version of a sports bar.

Pretty soon, across the street from Clive Bar, a strange concept even for Austin’s innovative bar scene will rise — the Container Bar. It will be created from six metal recycled shipping containers.

She’ll once again bootstap the venture and do much of the work herself. “One night when I couldn’t sleep, I was Googling myself and I read I was a trust fund baby,” she said. Not true, she added, throwing in a quick story of once being deported from London for unsaid reasons, and her dad parting ways by saying “I got mine, you get yours.”

What did you want to be when you were a little girl?

I had no idea.

Are you more of a Saturday night or Sunday morning person?

It doesn’t matter to me. Every day is a weekend for me, although I do try to behave during the week because I have a stack of stuff to do and I like to do my Pilates.

What’s the longest you’ve stayed up?

I’ve stayed up for days on end. Sleeping is for dead people.

What’s the biggest misperception people might have about you?

That what you see is what you get.

Besides Austin, where might you live?

A beach in a third-world country. I’d go back to teaching Pilates and live in a hut.

What’s your biggest flaw?

Procrastination and a huge disdain for paperwork.

Talk radio or music in the car?

Loud music in the car, with all the windows and the sunroof open, driving real fast.

The last time you wore a costume, what was it, and what was it for?

[Singer-songwriter] Stevie Nicks. It was for myself a couple of weeks ago for a party I had in my closet.

Your favorite place to eat in Austin?

Vespaio’s Enoteca.

Any hobbies?

Traveling, beaches, riding my super-fancy tandem, rowing, reading, eating, drinking, driving fast, music and making cake (that’s money).

Favorite author?

George Sand. She was naughty and wrote all that erotica under a man’s name.


Written by codylyonreporter

January 30, 2012 at 1:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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