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Work space for ‘creative class’ planned in East Austin

More office space for artists, designers, gamers and other creative types is coming to East Austin.

Central Austin Management Group, which developed a complex of artists’ studios and galleries in East Austin called Canopy, plans to break ground in July on Springdale General, a campus of 15 commercial buildings on Springdale Road, just up the street from Canopy.

Springdale General will transform a vacant 10-acre site into 165,000 square feet of space that will have rents within reach of Austin’s creative class, said Daryl Kunik, founder and CEO of Central Austin Management Group, a developer and property manager for a growing number of real estate projects designed with local businesses in mind.

Spaces are now available for lease in the proposed Springdale project, which is expected to be completed in early 2018. An estimated cost for the project was not disclosed.

“Too many of our creative businesses are being pushed out of Austin because they can’t afford the rent,” Kunik said. “Our goal with Springdale General… is to help maintain the city’s culture and creativity by offering dynamic work space that meets the functional and budgetary needs of the creative class.”

Tenants are expected to include a diverse mix of entrepreneurs, among them artists and musicians; filmmakers; fashion, furniture, jewelry and interior designers; tech startups; computer animators; video production specialists; graphic designers; advertising professionals; caterers; and coffee roasters. So far, tenants have signed on for more than 30,000 square feet of space in the project, Kunik said.

Caffé Medici will anchor the project with a sixth Austin location for the coffee house, along with a new roasting facility.

“We were really drawn to the communal aspect of Springdale General,” said Michael Vaclav, co-founder and CEO of Caffé Medici. “Securing a warehouse space for our future roasting facility that’s in a great location and surrounded by other great businesses is exciting. Until now, there wasn’t anything else in Austin that would bring these benefits together, so it’s perfect for Caffé Medici’s sixth location.”

Kunik said Springdale General will be a collection of small- to medium-sized “creative” companies that he hopes will find synergy when they come together in a campus environment.

Michael Hsu, an Austin architect and a partner in Springdale General, is designing the campus with a focus on sustainability and affordability. The complex will have office space that can accommodate studios, showrooms, retail, storage, distribution and office needs.

The 15 buildings will range in size from 691 square feet to 20,000 square feet, and will include parking for tenants and visitors. Each space is flexible, so tenants can customize it to fit their needs.

The buildings will be connected by walkways and a large courtyard.

Warehouse space will start at $12.50 a square foot per year, while the base rent for office space in the project will start at $17.50 a square foot per year.

Campus amenities will include solar panels to power public spaces, rainwater collection, car-share parking, bike racks, and multiple loading areas and docks.

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