Rainey Street Rising

Rainey Street Rising - Austin, Texas

Rainey Street Rising – Austin, Texas

We are moving about a mile southeast of 6th Street to the Rainey Street District, arguably the hottest bar area in Austin — at least before the pandemic started. While there is plenty of construction throughout downtown, Rainey Street has probably seen the most changes.

In 2004, this rundown residential area was re-zoned as part of the central business district. The first bar, Lustre Pearl, opened in 2009. Over the next decade, more than a dozen bars and restaurants have followed. The appeal of Rainey Street is the conversion of small bungalows into intimate bars. Going there is more like visiting a friend’s house for cocktails rather than a typical bar.

Along the way, the neighborhood has also attracted high-rise apartments and condos. Each new development seems to be growing taller, with some in the planning stages that rival the tallest buildings to the west.

The newest under construction is The Quincy, a 30-story mix-use tower with 328 apartments. Located at 91 Red River Street, it’s scheduled for completion in 2021. Directly behind is the 16-story Hotel Van Zandt completed in 2015. I made this picture in March when The Quincy is a little over half of its final hight.

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