AUSTIN (KXAN) - New apartments, restaurants and retail store will soon take over the South Lamar Plaza.
But it could be at the expense of the old businesses that will have to find a new place to operate.
Within a couple miles from downtown, the prime location has the area booming with several new construction projects.
On Monday, developers closed a deal to renovate the Lamar Plaza located on the corner of South Lamar Boulevard and Treadwell Street.
A day later, customers expecting to get a meal from their usual lunch spot, Suzi's Kitchen , which is located in the plaza, were in for a surprise.
The owner posted a note on the door saying they were closed for business until they found a new location.
"We expected we would get one last meal in at our favorite restaurant," said Kelly Childress, a regular. "But there is clearly not going to be one last meal."
A new mixed-use development is moving in featuring more than 400 new apartments, retail stores and restaurants. Now that developers have closed the deal, stores currently there are on notice that they have to move out.
"When they came in I said, 'How long do we have?' and she said, 'You typically get 60 days,'" said Andrew Greathouse, an employee at Alien Scooters located in the plaza for more than 10 years.
Developers say the new project is much needed for the shopping center that hasn't been renovated in decades.
"I think what you are seeing is a lot of development like this shopping center that was done in the '60s and '70s that hasn't had lot of change until recently," said Michael Hsu, the architect for the project.
For Ray Hennig, owner of The Heart of Texas music store, the news struck the wrong chord.
"Well, after 38 years here you really don't have to steer your car here in the morning," said Hennig, "because 38 years in the same place it's sort of home."
But his home will soon be someone else's apartment making way for the development that starts construction in January. The new mixed-use development will center around an expanded Alamo Drafthouse. The Highball will also be included in the multimillion-dollar project.
"In the new development you essentially won't see cars to the street you'll see people and pedestrian oriented ways and bicycle lanes and a lot of connectivity," said Hsu. "So I'm hoping it will be a lot friendlier development when it's done."
But for Hennig, who is now hosting a "moving sale" the new development is driving out parts of old Austin.
"Of course I'm in the music business but to me its kind of sad you trade music for condominiums," said Hennig. "We'll find another location but we would like to stay here on South Lamar because we've been known to be here for 38 years."
The Alamo Drafthouse is expected to temporarily close down on January 3rd, and The Highball in mid November. Developers say they will offer the businesses a chance to return to the new shopping center once it's complete.
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