Con­trast­ing vi­sions vie for Rainey Street par­cel

Builder re­news call for high-rise devel­op­ment, but cul­tural cen­ter wants pub­lic art space.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - scop­pola@states­man.com Rainey Street con­tin­ued on A7

By Sarah Cop­pola

Two months af­ter city lead­ers re­jected a de­vel­oper’s $1.2 mil­lion offier for a small city lot on Rainey Street, de­bate is still sim­mer­ing about what to do with the land — and whether the city should re­think the street’s fu­ture.

Once a His­panic neigh- bor­hood of ag­ing bun­ga­lows on the south­east edge of down­town, Rainey is rapidly turn­ing into a mix of bars and high rises fol­low­ing zon­ing changes made nearly a decade ago.

The city nearly sold a 0.3acre Rainey Street lot in Oc­to­ber to a devel­op­ment group that wants to build a 30story, mixed-use tower. But a split City Coun­cil de­cided not to sell the land be­cause it is next to the Emma S. Bar­ri­en­tos Mex­i­can Amer­i­can Cul-

RALPH BARRERA / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Juan Oy­er­vides, chair­man of the Mex­i­can Amer­i­can Cul­tural Cen­ter board (from left), board mem­ber Cassie Smith and Paul Sal­daña, com­mu­nity ac­tivist and East Austin res­i­dent, visit the va­cant lot on Rainey Street, with the iconic cul­tural cen­ter in the back­ground.

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