Residential Project to Replace Bingo Hall in East Riverside’s Growing Corridor
A current view of the American Bingo hall at 1919 East Riverside Drive. Photo by James Rambin.
UPDATE: Thanks to a tip from an intrepid reader, we’ve now got our hands on a selection of the 1919 East Riverside Drive project’s site plan, submitted to the city via engineering firm Stantec. Take a gander for yourself:
A selection from a site plan document for 1919 Riverside Drive, showing the proposed building’s layout and orientation in relation to the surrounding shopping center and streets. Click for a larger view. Image: Stantec
Though this image doesn’t give us as much information as a rendering, it shows that the proposed building at the bingo hall site appears to be playing nice with the other businesses in the strip mall.
According to recent city filings, Dallas-based multifamily real estate outfit Trammell Crow Residential plans to develop a seven-story residential and retail project atop a 2.55-acre property at 1919 East Riverside Drive. The site in question is currently occupied entirely by the American Bingo hall and its parking lot — yes, this will mark at least the second Austin bingo hall to find itself replaced by a residential building in the last couple of years.
It’s important for us to point out that while American Bingo is connected to the larger River Hills shopping center located along East Riverside Drive between Parker Lane and Royal Crest Drive, the Family Dollar, China Express restaurant, and other businesses to the west of the hall are located on a differently addressed tract of land that is not mentioned in these documents — a map of the property’s boundaries in relation to the rest of the shopping center is below:
The limits of the 2.55-acre property at 1919 East Riverside Drive are outlined in red, with the American Bingo hall and its parking lot labeled. Though the outlined land and the tract directly above it labeled “285452” on this map are both owned by corporate entities associated with Rick DuPont, the latest city filings discussing development at this site only concern the 1919 tract. Image: Travis Central Appraisal District
Still, it’s also good to note that the 1919 property containing the bingo hall, and the adjacent tract with all of the shopping center’s other businesses — except for the Church’s Chicken on the corner, mind you — appear to be owned by corporate entities associated with the same person: Rick DuPont, president of local commercial real estate firm the DuPont Group.
It’s certainly possible, even probable, that this adjacent site could be developed as part of a second phase sometime in the future, but that’ll probably depend on the length of its tenants’ leases. The Family Dollar store directly to the west of the bingo hall is currently flying a “Store Closing” banner, but that could mean a lot of things. The DuPont Group, for what it’s worth, could not be reached for comment.
Looking west towards downtown at the other businesses in the shopping center adjacent to the bingo hall site, which are seemingly not included in these current development plans. Photo by James Rambin.
The documents providing us with info on the new development were formally submitted to the city earlier this month by engineering firm Stantec, filed on behalf of the property’s owner and billed to Maple Multi Family Land TX LP. This entity is only one small star in a tremendous galaxy of connected LLCs, LPs, and Inc.’s affiliated with Trammell Crow Residential, many of which use the “Maple” naming convention as a reference to the developer’s offices on Maple Avenue in Dallas. They describe a seven-story multifamily development — almost certainly apartments, going by the existing portfolio of the developer — with three floors of parking, one of those underground, leaving us with five floors of residential space.
According to a submittal for the project’s Traffic Impact Analysis from the city, the development will contain 308 residential units and 4,000 square feet of retail space, presumably on the ground floor. Vehicular access to the completed building will be from Royal Crest Drive, meaning despite the 1919 East Riverside Drive location stated in much of these documents, some filings also use the address 1400 Royal Crest Drive. Doesn’t really matter at all, we just don’t want you to get confused.
Here’s our attempt to show the property lines and potential height of the 1919 East Riverside Drive project. This massing shows the height of a 60-foot building at the site, the maximum height permitted by right through the area’s corridor plan. This is just a rough estimate, however — the exact height of the development is unknown at this time. Image: Google Earth / James Rambin
This property is part of the Corridor Mixed-Use (CMU) subdistrict of the East Riverside Corridor Regulating Plan, which gives developers the right to build a 60-foot building here — but they could also double that height, going up to a maximum of 120 feet, if they fulfill the requirements of the corridor plan’s development bonus program, which allows for additional heights and other entitlements in exchange for building on-site affordable housing and other community amenities.
That seven story number from the city filings doesn’t specify whether the single underground parking garage level is being counted as the building’s first floor, but it makes sense — six floors above ground, ballparked at roughly 10 feet per floor, gives us a tight 60 foot building. We could be wrong on this, but it appears the corridor’s lonely development bonus remains underutilized by developments in this region.
This project joins a whole slew of growth in various stages of realization along the East Riverside Drive corridor — just looking north from the bingo hall parking lot, like in the photo below, you can see 78741’s growththe expansive South Shore District apartment developments, the recently-completed South Shore Pointe townhomes, and a few more cranes hinting at the expansion of the new Oracle campus:
Looking north-ish across the American Bingo hall’s expansive parking lot towards several recently-completed developments on the other side of East Riverside Drive. Hey, that’s my car! Photo by James Rambin.
While we’re speculating, there are some pretty compelling clues out in the open regarding the upcoming project’s identity. Alexan apartment properties have comprised the vast majority of Trammell Crow Residential’s national development to date, with local outposts of the brand including Alexan E6 and the upcoming 30-story tower previously called Alexan Capitol but now possibly going by Alexan Capital, with an “a” — either one works, right?
When I say “vast majority,” I mean you’ve really got to dig into their portfolio to find exceptions, so it’s hardly sticking my neck out to say this project is probably getting an Alexan name of its very own. Not gonna bet my life on it or anything, but I’d wager at least a small sum on something like Alexan East Riverside. I’d also be happy with Alexan Lakeshore, since we’re trying to get that neighborhood name off the ground, but I’m not sure if this site’s close enough to South Lakeshore Boulevard to qualify. We’ll just have to wait and see — is Alexan Bingo Hall out of the question?
James is an Austin native, but tries not to brag about it. He writes about new development, local history, and urban design. Email him anything at [email protected] .
American bingo austin texas
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