Salvation Army lists downtown Austin acre

Half a city block in total, it could be redeveloped as mixed-use

CBRE’s Peter Jansen and Jennifer Joseph with 718 Red River Street and 501 East 8th Street
CBRE’s Peter Jansen and Jennifer Joseph with 718 Red River Street and 501 East 8th Street (CBRE)

An acre of land in downtown Austin primed for redevelopment has hit the market. 

The Salvation Army is selling its parcel at East 7th Street and Red River Street, which currently has two buildings and a half-acre surface parking lot. The larger of the structures is the former Salvation Army Downtown Center at 501 East 8th Street, and the other is a 1,500-square-foot retail building at 718 Red River Street, which sits noticeably tenantless amid a string of happening bars and restaurants.

The parcel, half a city block in total, has the potential to be redeveloped as a 230,000-square-foot, mixed-use development. Peter Jansen and Jennifer Joseph of CBRE are marketing the property.

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Red River Street sits between the more densely developed Central Business District and lower-rise East Austin. The area has seen increasing interest from developers in recent years as East Austin and the Rainey Street District have built robust office and multifamily markets of their own. Stream Realty has announced plans to redevelop a long stretch of popular bars along so-called “Dirty Sixth.”

The Salvation Army said it is focused on providing services in its centers elsewhere in the city, noting its extensive waiting list. The proceeds of the sale will be reinvested in those services, said Lewis Reckline, the organization’s area leader. 

As of their most recent tax appraisals, the properties were estimated to be worth roughly $16 million, though their true value is likely much more. The Salvation Army has owned the parking lot and the parcel with its building since 1985, and the retail plot since 1995.

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