You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Triangle finally comes together


This story originally was published on Oct. 19, 2005.

Nearly 10 years after a local developer announced plans for a major shopping center at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Guadalupe Street, the first businesses are finally moving into The Triangle.

Among the first expected to open early next year is Mandola's Italian Market, a restaurant and imported food and wine store that is the latest venture of Damian Mandola. He's the nationally known chef, co-founder of the Carrabba's Italian Grill restaurant chain and co-host of the television cooking show "Cucina Amore."

Described as a one-stop shop for everything Italian, the 6,000-square-foot market will sell a wide variety of food to eat in or take out including pizza, pasta, sandwiches, soups, pastries, rustic breads and gelato along with items such as olive oils, wines, cookbooks and pottery.

"This is something I've wanted to do for almost 20 years, " said Mandola, a Houston native who now lives in Driftwood.

Mandola said his goal is to replicate the cozy markets he's seen on trips to Italy. The Triangle, with its dense urban feel, was an ideal location, he said.

Also set to move in are local eatery Galaxy Cafe, which is opening its second location, the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium and Mama Fu's Asian House.

The restaurants and other businesses will occupy about 24,000 square feet in The Triangle. The project eventually will include 115,000 square feet of retail space and 700 apartments.

Simmons Vedder, which is developing the project with Cencor Urban, already has leased about 70 percent of the first 335 apartments, which are scheduled to be completed by the end of this month. Another 115 units should be ready by next summer.

Cencor Urban will begin building its part of the project at the end of this year. RunTex, the Austin-based running store chain, is expected to be a tenant in the retail space. That part of the project , which is expected to open in the spring of 2007, will include 68 apartments and seven townhouses.

The project is a far cry from the suburban-style shopping center Cencor originally proposed when it leased the 22 acres from the state of Texas in 1996.

Those plans, for a 275,000-square-foot center with a grocery store, multiscreen movie theater and bookstore, met fierce resistance from nearby residents concerned about traffic and what they saw as the incompatibility with their neighborhoods.

Years of negotiations resulted in the elimination of large retail buildings in favor of multistory, mixed-use buildings and two smaller retail-only structures. A large surface parking lot was replaced by streets broken into blocks, and nearly 6 acres of open park space will be preserved.

Cencor's plans received approval from state and local officials as well as neighborhood groups in 2001, but the challenges were far from over.

Cencor had partnered with residential developer Post Properties Inc. to build what was then expected to be 835 apartments. Less than six months after the partners got the go-ahead from the city, Post announced it was pulling out of the Austin market and would not participate in the project.

Post eventually was replaced with Simmons Vedder, and site work didn't start until last year.

Cathy Echols, a 12-year Hyde Park resident who represented the neighborhood in shaping The Triangle, says she's happy with the project and hopes its success will encourage neighborhoods and developers to work together more.

"The project going in has more monetary value than the original project, " she said. "I think that if people see that when neighborhoods and developers work together you can come up with something that can meet the needs of both the groups, but can also be a better project, hopefully this kind of thing can happen more."


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Real Estate

Business Digest: Citigroup to pay $97.4 M in money laundering case

FINANCE Citigroup to pay $97.4 M to settle money laundering case For years, Citigroup employees feared that millions of dollars the bank was moving to Mexico might be suspicious. Yet in many cases, the bank did not alert regulators or step up its monitoring for money laundering, federal prosecutors said Monday. Even as the Citigroup unit Banamex USA...
2 more Blue Bell flavors return to stores this week
2 more Blue Bell flavors return to stores this week

Blue Bell’s slow return to normalcy continues following a nationwide recall prompted by listeria fears nearly two years ago, with the Brenham-based creamery rolling out two more flavors this week. Lime sherbet and orange sherbet are both once again available beginning Monday, the company said. Blue Bell has been gradually adding back...
Up the Ladder

Financial services Citizens Inc. has named Jeff Conklin chief accounting officer company. Health care St. David’s Medical Center has named Esther Chung chief operating officer and Lynn O’Neill chief nursing officer. Medical Elligo Health Research has named Rebecca Kush scientific innovation officer. Retail Whole Foods Market has named the...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

HOME SALES Area home sales, home prices surge in April: Central Texas home sales rose just over 3 percent in April and the median price of those sales hit $305,000 — the second-highest level ever, according to new data from the Austin Board of Realtors. The median also set a record for an April. To date, the all-time high for the median home-sales...
America’s fiscal sword of Damocles

“Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.” President John F. Kennedy delivered those frightening words in front of the United Nations back in 1961. Not much has changed over the decades &mdash...
More Stories