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East Austin bakery to be

Tuesday, March 27, 2001 by

Restored for office space

Historic bakery built in 1890

David West wants to give new life to a turn-of-the-century bakery on East 11th Street, and the Historic Landmark Commission unanimously gave its blessing last night. The commission voted to recommend Historic zoning for the building, as well as for a small addition.

West, who owns the graphic arts firm Shoehorn Design, will have to bring details on windows and doors back to the commission for approval, but his plan to refurbish the former Arnold Bakery site at 1010 East 11th Street seemed to please everyone. The building has been empty for the last 10 years, West said. Before that, it had housed the Jolly Times Recreation Center, a pool hall.

West, whose firm employs a staff of eight, was looking for something close to his home in East Austin. This site was only two blocks from his house, so West sought out the owner and made him an offer.

“At the time, the Austin Revitalization Authority (ARA) was in the process of buying this property. They had intended to restore it and keep the building,” West said. “They are redoing the storefronts along these two blocks of East 11th Street, but they liked my idea and they liked the fact I’d been in the neighborhood.”

Byron Marshall, executive director of the ARA, told the commission, “We’re real excited,” about the project, noting that the organization is encouraging several other restorations in the neighborhood. He praised the design, saying, “It will make this a showplace.”

Arnold Bakery was built in the 1890s, West said. It was eventually expanded around the turn of the century, doubling in size. West suspects the building was passed down through the Arnold family before it was sold in the 1960s. Part of West’s goal is to restore the building’s original façade.

West expects it will take 10 to 12 months to restore the exterior of the building and renovate the interior of the building for office space. The building has never had indoor plumbing, so West also intends to add an extension to the east side of the building that will serve as a bathroom and kitchenette.

Commissioner Teresa O’Connell said, “I can remember a time when it was going to be demolished.” O’Connell at first opposed zoning the new part of the building. However, Barbara Stocklin, the city’s historic preservation officer, pointed out that changes to the addition would not need commission approval if that part were not designated historic also.

Commission Chair Lauretta Dowd said, “I’m just so elated that we’re here and it’s not for a demolition permit.” After further discussion, Commissioner Dan Leary made the motion for historic zoning on the whole tract, which was unanimously approved.

Architect Emily Little explained that the addition to the building will be set back 12 feet from the main building. The limestone façade of the addition will be in conformance with ARA guidelines, she said. She also described awnings and restoration of wooden windows.

Oak Hill carwash wins

Approval from Council

Environmental concerns not paramount

The City Council gave preliminary approval for a self-service carwash in Oak Hill last week, but the operator may have to promise more stringent security measures than he had anticipated. Trey Wyatt, owner of the property at 7300 State Highway 71 West, told the Council that he had planned to build a nursery at that location when he sought general commercial services zoning in 1991. At that time, he agreed to a conditional overlay that prevents the property from being used as a car wash.

Sarah Crocker, representing the applicant, said the car wash would have its own connection to the city’s sanitary sewer, so that no run-off would go into the storm sewer and enter the creek system. Crocker noted that the property is in the Barton Springs Zone, but not in the recharge area. She said her client, Paul Denucci, operates similar car washes around the city, including one on West 5th St.

Wyatt and Crocker explained that the other self-service car wash in Oak Hill would soon be eliminated by the highway expansion. “The biggest thing we’re fighting with water quality is phosphorus,” said Wyatt. Phosphorus is found in most soaps and detergents. If there is no inexpensive carwash nearby, area residents will wash their cars in their driveways and parking lots, Wyatt said.

Council Member Will Wynn said opposition to the zoning change at the Planning Commission did not arise from environmental concerns but because car washes are perceived as gathering places. (Nobody said anything about drug dealers, or about Kenneth MacDuff, who raped and killed a woman after kidnapping her from a car wash.) Crocker did not represent Denucci when he failed to persuade even one Planning Commissioner to vote for the change.

During the hearing, Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Goodman and Council Member Beverly Griffith both asked questions about security. Griffith said that her concerns about disposal of the water had been satisfied. A few minutes after a comment from Denucci about his 5th St. operation, Griffith asked the exact address. Then she recused herself, because she has an interest in that property.

Denucci said he has an onsite attendant at his car washes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no attendant for the other 12 hours, but Denucci said cameras watch over the operation at all times and can be monitored from another location. He said adding another attendant would cause his costs to increase considerably. “It’s a quarter business,” he said.

Goodman asked Crocker if she could work out a better arrangement before the case comes back to the Council for second and third reading. Crocker replied that she would speak with Denucci to see what could be done. When the vote came, Goodman abstained; Griffith recused herself and Council Member Daryl Slusher voted no, leaving four votes in favor of the change.

After the hearing, Crocker said neither she nor Griffith knew before the meeting that her client had any business dealings with Griffith. Jeff Jack, Griffith’s executive assistant, said someone else manages her property.

©2001 In Fact News, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bradleyville bill reaction . . . Bill Bunch, executive director of the Save Our Springs Alliance, has written a letter requesting the City Council to “take immediate action to oppose the introduction and passage of any bill creating the ‘ Hays County Development District’ or similar entity on the recharge zone of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer.” Gary Bradley has been seeking input, but not from Bunch, on the proposal . . . Quiet campaign . . . The city’s Ethics Commission plans to discuss a citizens proposal to amend the City Charter so that candidates receiving enough signatures on a petition would receive city funds for their election efforts. Political consultants Mike Blizzard and Richard Fawal, who helped in the initial stages of the Clean Campaign of Austin, said Monday they are leaving the signature-gathering efforts to others, including Sonia Santana, a leader in the Democracy Now demonstrations against the Bush presidency . . . Name changes, but the product is the same. . . Blizzard, Fawal & Associates has adopted a new name: Grassroots Solutions. Blizzard said his firm has been mistaken at times for a law firm, which is good in some situations, but not others. As the consultants get more contracts outside Austin, such as “helping folks in Spicewood oppose the concrete batch plant” proposed for the area, it’s better that the firm not be taken for lawyers, Blizzard said . . . Valet parking for bicycles. . . The Lance Armstrong Foundation Ride for the Roses is looking for volunteers to assist in valet bike parking after the ride at Travis County Exposition Center on April 8. The idea comes from the folks at the Yellow Bike Project. To help, contact bikeeric@earthlink.net

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