An estimated mile-long segment of South Menchaca Road between West Slaughter Lane and Old Manchaca Road has seen a slew of new tenants in the past four years, including Armadillo Den, South Austin Beer Garden, The Hive, Moontower Saloon and more, as previously reported by Community Impact.
Many of these establishments offer full bar services, live music and games, and also have food trucks on-site for a variety of food options for patrons.
Moontower Saloon owners Josh Bumb & Richard Veregge opened the area's first bar more than a decade ago and are partnering with MNO Partners to create a multifamily apartment complex. The five-story, 437-unit apartment complex will make way for a transformation of the area that the team believes will lend to greater connectivity, walkability and a grander sense of community in the area.
"We're bringing all the density here so it'll be that true live-work-play type of [area]," said Tim Downling, owner of BTM Realty in Austin and Moontower apartment project lead.
Features of the apartment complex include a third-floor pool deck and a parking garage, as opposed to regular parking spots, he added.
Despite the competitive nature of so many bars on one stretch of road, Dowling said that several of the fellow owners are building bonds together and working toward the same shared goal and benefits of more residents in the area.
Pickleball courts and a walking trail are also in the works for the area to increase and promote connectivity and more walkability in Austin, akin to other hotspots.
"This is kind of like the next Rainey Street, but it's more of a South Austin, laid-back [area]," Dowling said.
Investcor and Austin NNN also have projects in the works, some further ahead than others, to create even more commercial and residential spaces for new and existing residents.
James Stinson, co-founder of Austin NNN, will be spearheading the walking trail concept and will also be working on the restaurant spaces closer to Slaughter Lane, Downing said.
Frank Navarro, who heads capital raising for MNO Partners, said that they are also moving forward on a multifamily project called The Local, next to Lustre Pearl, which is set to have around 200 units, also at five-stories high, and is expected to break ground in a few months.
Some permitting is still in the works for the Moontower multifamily project, but Dowling said they expect to break ground sometime in the second half of 2024, with the first units up in 2026.
"I would expect within two years the amount of bars and restaurants and other venues to double," Navarro said. "In five years, I think we'll really have a fully fledged, fully connected entertainment district."