Community Development

Highlights of the ARA’s  first twenty years:

  • Purchased the East Room Night club (now referred to as the Herman Schieffer House) and shut the facility down. This contributed greatly to a reduction in crime in the neighborhood (1997).
  • Developed the Central East Austin Master Plan (CEAMP) and East 11th and 12th Streets Community Redevelopment Plan (CRP), (1995-1999).
  • Completed the $850,000 rehabilitation of the Haehnel Building (locally known as shorty’s Bar) located at 1101 east 11th St. (2001).
  • Produced SoulFest: an annual concert that helped to bring jazz back to 11th St. (2001-2007).
  • Managed the $3M Infrastructure improvement project on east 11th and Juniper streets. This project upgraded 70 year old water and sewer lines and produced the Urdy Plaza murals, clock tower, and 11th Street/ IH-35 entry arch (Phase I completed 2003, Phase II completed 2005).
  • Built the $12M, 54,000 sq. ft. Street-Jones and Snell buildings on 11th Street (2004).
  • Built and sold 12 affordable homes on Juniper, Curve, and Olive Street (2005-2009). In addition, the ARA managed the construction of a single family affordable housing unit on behalf of Anderson Community Development Corporation (2011).
  • Helped to push forward African American Quality of Life Initiative which led to the designation of the African American Cultural Heritage District (2007).
  • Completed construction two community parking lots to serve small businesses in the area 92008).
  • Established a mobile food vendor court at the corner of 11th Street and Lydia (2010).
  • Achieved 100% tenant of the street-Jones & Snell buildings (2011).
  • Supporting role for the BL Joyce Parade (2011-Present).
  • Achieved 100% tenant of the street Jones & Snell buildings (2011).
  • Secured a $5M loan for the Street Jones & Snell building to complete the New Market Tax Credit financing 92012).
  • Formed a strategic partnership with InTown Homes to acquire Block 17 for the development of 16 townhomes, of which two units will be sold to  income-qualified families (2014).
  • Secured $1.4M in funding to complete the historic renovation and two story addition of the Herman Schieffer House. The recently completed 5,555 sq. ft. office facility is the home of the ARA along with three other tenants: Sunny Days Dental, Moontower Mental Wellness, and Mental Health and Wellness-Austin (2015-Present).
  • Sponsors and acts as fiscal agent for organizations to access the city of Austin Community Initiative Program under the cultural Arts Division (2015-Present).
  • Provides technical assistance for homeowners having property tax issues (2015-Present).