Development around new Hyatt House could disrupt Red River clubs, Mohawk owner says

Speedy Ortiz guitarist Devin McKnight (left) and bassist Karl Ferm perform during the South by Southwest music festival at The Mohawk in Austin on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Speedy Ortiz guitarist Devin McKnight (left) and bassist Karl Ferm perform during the South by Southwest music festival at The Mohawk in Austin on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Development of a Hyatt House at 901 Neches St. near the Red River Entertainment District could disrupt business at some of Austin’s favorite nightlife spots, according to a music club owner.

James Moody, owner of the Mohawk at 912 Red River St., said on Friday that his club received a notice from the City of Austin Public Works Department on June 1 to vacate a space on the south side of his club’s building, where a large Dumpster has been stored for the past 10 years. “This notice is a direct result of hotel development in the area,” he said.

The area in question is a shared disposal area for the Mohawk and neighboring club Cheer Up Charlie’s. Each club has one Dumpster in the area, and Moody said the Dumpsters have been repeatedly authorized by the City of Austin fire and building departments over the years. Now, he said, the city is saying the area is a vacated alley and the Dumpsters are blocking the right of way. The notice from the city also notes that portable toilets and a fence-type structure are in the right of way, in reference to the club’s upstairs deck which has also been on the property for over a decade, Moody said.

The club recently added a large section to the other side of the club’s upper deck. The extension involved an extensive permitting process for the whole property from the city’s building and fire departments. The entire space of the club is also permitted every year. The notice from the city gave the club 15 days to vacate the space in question. Moody said they don’t know where they can relocate the Dumpsters and what will be involved in remodeling the deck.

Moody said the most disturbing part of the incident has been the lack of communication from the city. “There was no neighborhood plan. There was no stakeholder notification,” he said. “There was none of that stuff at all.

“We are shocked. We disagree with the interpretations. The requests are unreasonable and we are confused as to why the neighborhood and its stakeholders have not been informed of these plans until now.

“The reason to go to the Hyatt for a lot of tourists is because of live music venues on Red River. That’s the reason you build the hotel in that area.”

Representatives from the Hyatt did not respond to a request for comment. We are reaching to city officials as well.


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