After months of delays, construction began in early July on the Austinville 78750 shopping center, which will have as tenants Amy's Ice Creams, Phil's Ice House and iFLY, an indoor skydiving simulation facility.
Steve Simmons, who co-owns Amy's Ice Creams with his wife, Amy Simmons, said the goal of Austinville is to help Austin businesses thrive in an environmentally- friendly development.
"That area is starving for a little chunk of Austin," Steve Simmons said.
The project is slated to open in early 2013.
Steve Simmons said that once completed, Austinville 78750, located at 13265 N. US 183 Blvd., will be composed of 21,000 square feet of restaurant, retail, indoor recreation space and a playscape. The project includes remodeling the adjacent shopping center at Research Boulevard and Boardwalk Drive.
iFLY will have a three-story facility that simulates skydiving in a wind chamber with wind speeds up to 160 mph. The company, SkyVenture, is based in Austin and is expanding to several countries across the globe, including Singapore, Australia and Brazil, SkyVenture chief marketing officer Stuart Wallock said.
"We couldn't be more excited about bringing iFLY and the thrill of indoor skydiving, to our home town," he said. "Austin is a perfect location, with a huge population of active, adventurous people that will find the experience invigorating."
The skydiving facility will fit in with family-oriented nature of the other businesses, Steve Simmons said.
"SkyVenture took this project from a home run to a grand slam," he said.
Other confirmed tenants are Society Bakery and EcoClean, a green laundry and dry-cleaning business, which has a location on Guadalupe Street. Dallas-based Society Bakery makes cupcakes and custom cakes. Steve Simmons said he is looking to secure tenants for a few more vacancies.
Architect Michael Hsu designed the Austinville center, and included rain water harvesting to water the trees and landscape as well as a biofiltration system, which would replace a detention pond and will use natural materials to filter the water.
Austinville 78750 is a project about five and a half years in the making, Steve Simmons said, as delays with the city and issues with water runoff from a neighboring property halted the project from moving forward in the past. He said he and Amy wanted to open the north Austinville before opening Austinville 78704, located on South Lamar Boulevard.
Steve Simmons last announced movement on the project in June 2011 with plans to open at the end of that year. Shortly thereafter, the project faced delays because of an expired permit. This time, Steve Simmons said construction is proceeding with only a few delays because of recent rainstorms.
"It went from [being] a site with so many nightmares and now it's turned into a good things come to those who wait," he said.