Austin Business Journal / 06 March 2015

Posted on April 22, 2015

'Mini Music Row' planned for sprawling South Austin development

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal

GroundFloor Development has big plans for its St. Elmo's Market and Lofts in South Austin, with hopes of turning the ambitious project into a hub for creative businesses that could gain a reputation as a smaller version of Nashville's Music Row.

Company officials told Austin Business Journal that interviews are underway with brokerage firms that would recruit music-focused businesses in Austin and major music centers including Nashville, Los Angeles and New York, with hopes of opening satellite offices in Austin.

Brandon Bolin, GroundFloor's founder and CEO, said music-focused technology, publishing, marketing, publicity, nonprofits and retail operations are among the tenant types envisioned for the development's 200,000 square feet of office space. He said his company is already negotiating with possible anchor tenants for the office space, which is expected to be completed by early 2018, if not sooner.

The project is planned for a 9.5-acre industrial parcel that would feature a music venue and a public market on par with Pike Place in Seattle or Quincy Market in Boston. The owners of popular Austin live music venue The Saxon Pub on South Lamar are among those looking at the property.

A boutique hotel, condominiums and creative office space are also planned for the project. The deal to acquire the land is expected to close this summer.

"There's not a huge inventory of the kind of office space we have planned, but it's what there's the most demand for, with tall ceilings, lots of light and an open floor plate," Bolin said. "When you go to Nashville as a musician, Music Row is right there. We want this to be a sort of first stop for any musician who's coming here when they first arrive in town, to take advantage of the services that will be available to them in Austin."