Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Travis Co. Farmer's Market May be Redeveloped

The Travis County Farmer’s Market on Burnet Road has long been one of the most woefully under-utilized commercial zones in Austin. Although new restaurants like Brentwood Tavern and Dog Almighty have generated some traffic recently, the farmer’s market aspect of the property is pathetic. Now surrounded by rapidly appreciating neighborhoods and young families, it doesn’t take a wizard to recognize the market’s grossly untapped potential.

Therefore, I’m heartened to hear 6601 Properties is in negotiations with the county to buy the market. 6601 is the company behind the Penn Field project off of South Congress, so they’re well attuned to relatively conscientious, outside-the-big-box development. While adding eclectic retail would be the foundation of a successful rejuvenation, it would be ideal if they could use that to attract more fruit and vegetable vendors, too.

The big “if” in the equation will be parking. As last year’s Texas Barbecue Festival demonstrated, the market’s existing lot can quickly be overwhelmed by success.

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