Press Releases / Austonian Updates
Caffe Medici to Open at The Austonian Austin Business Journal by Francisco Vara-Orta
Caffé Medici will open this winter at The Austonian in downtown Austin. It will be the Austin-based espresso and coffee house's third location in Austin.
The announcement marks the fourth locally owned business to open in The Austonian's roughly 11,000 square feet of retail fronting Congress Avenue and Second Street. Frozen yogurt shop Berry Austin and two restaurants by La Corsha Restaurant Partners - Congress and Second at Congress - will open there this fall.
About 2,600 square feet of retail space remains available on the north-northeast end of the building.
"We welcome the addition of Caffé Medici to the downtown neighborhood we're helping create," said David Mahn, vice president with Benchmark Development, the developer of The Austonian. "We believe this project, along with our other restaurants and shops, brings a new and engaging dimension to this corner of downtown Austin. Second and Congress is going to be a bustling spot."
The 178-unit, 56-story luxury high-rise - touted as the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi River - opened in June. About 70 of its units are sold or under contract and range in price from $500,000 to $8 million.
Caffé Medici's Austonian location will operate from a 2,200-square-foot storefront on Congress Avenue between Second and Third streets, serving a growing downtown population and foot traffic from nearby workers. It will offer coffee, tea, beer, wine and light snacks. The shop's design, which includes a mezzanine level overlooking Congress Avenue, an open storefront and a freestanding espresso bar, was created by Aaron Vollmer and Jean Pierre Trou of Runa Workshop. Blake Taylor with Taylor Real Estate represented Caffé Medici.
Caffé Medici opened its first store in 2006 in Austin's Clarksville neighborhood and added its second location on Guadalupe Street across from the main mall of the University of Texas in 2008.
In general, retail in Austin's downtown core has experienced some turnover because of the down economy. But higher-end condos and efforts in downtown revitalization have helped projects like The Austonian.
Retailers at The Austonian are paying in the mid-$30s per square foot. By comparison, the average for general retail space in Austin is $20 to $30 per square foot, said Eric DeJernett, a senior vice president at CB Richard Ellis. DeJernett is representing The Austonian, Four Seasons Residences Austin and various downtown spaces, including The Littlefield Building.
"There's definitely synergy between the ground floors and what's above. The ground floor really reflects the image of the building, but it also provides services for the [residents] above," DeJernett told the Austin Business Journal earlier this year when asked about retail in new high-end downtown condos.
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