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Friday, July 10, 2015 by Kim Hilsenbeck
It’s About Thyme to move: Nursery to be replaced by apartments
A longtime business on Manchaca Road is searching for a new home. It’s About Thyme nursery recently learned that the property on which it sits was sold for $2.8 million.
The new business taking over that land? Apartments.
Co-owner Diane Winslow recently wrote a letter to friends and customers about the issue.
“Dear Friends. Out of the blue the property that we have leased on Manchaca for 25 years has been sold,” she wrote. “The past few weeks have been very difficult for us,” she added, “because this place has been such an important part of the fabric of our lives. Our nursery, our family-run business, has flourished and grown here, and how can we begin to thank all of you for your friendship and support over all of these years? We appreciate you all so much.”
Diane’s husband and co-owner, Chris Winslow (who is also a columnist for the Hays Free Press), said in a recent phone interview, “We were shocked. Gee whillikers, we’ve been at this location for 25 years.”
The couple knew the landowner, Joe Christian, might sell.
“We knew this day was going to come one of these days,” Chris said. “(Joe) put a sign up maybe three months ago to test the waters.”
Chris said It’s About Thyme approached the new owners after the sale to see if they could remain, but were told they are going to use the entire property. He said It’s About Thyme has a contract through the end of the year, and then will go back to a month-to-month lease until they have to move.
He acknowledged that the business sits on a prime piece of real estate in far South Austin.
“A Realtor said that corner (at Manchaca and Frate Barker roads) is worth $2 million alone,” Chris said. “Other large tracts of land were recently sold right around this area for homes and apartments.”
While Diane called herself an optimist, she said in the letter that she and Chris need a little help.
“We are currently actively seeking a 3-acre property … zoned commercial,” she wrote. “We don’t require it to have a building or structure on it, and ideally it should not have too many trees, because we’ll need to install our greenhouses. If you know of anywhere suitable for us to move our nursery to, please let me know ASAP. It’s About Thyme needs to be open for business in our new location by spring 2016.”
Chris said he and Diane continue their search for a new location, possibly to rent rather than buy.
“To some degree we might be priced out of the market, so we’re looking for a lease, also,” Chris said. “It has to have water, electricity and some visibility.”
He said Buda, Kyle and other nearby locations are under consideration, as many of the nursery’s customers come from Hays County.
On Monday, Chris said he was meeting with a landowner about a possible deal. While he couldn’t divulge any details, he said the area is close to the current location, and an agreement could be a win-win situation for both parties.
Hays Free Press file photo.
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Key Players & Topics In This Article
Hays County: Hays County, adjacent southwest to Travis County, has a total area of 680 square miles. It contains Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle, Wimberley and San Marcos, among other communities.
South Austin: South Austin is, very roughly, the portion of Austin south of Lady Bird Lake.