Community event space brings new life to iconic Quonset hut-style building
The history of 1100 E 5th Street includes a variety of business uses that dates back to the 1950s such as bookbinding; glass fiber and mobile home manufacturing; and later, motion picture equipment.
The City of Austin Economic Development Department celebrated today with a ribbon cutting for its recent renovated use as - Fair Market - a unique community space housed in an iconic Quonset hut-style building surrounded by the vibrant character of East Austin. The use of a small business loan facilitated by the city helped finance the renovation - at no city or taxpayer expense. As a result, at least 14 new jobs will be created by the community business.
Fair Market business partners Dennis McDaniel and Richard Kooris have shown great respect and admiration for the history of the unusual Austin structure to preserve and protect its integrity and give it new life.
“This is part of the Economic Development Department’s efforts to address the needs of our unique, local businesses,” said Kevin Johns, Director of the City’s Economic Development Department. “Small businesses create a large majority of new jobs and paving the way for easier access to the capital they need is essential to their growth to create jobs. According to the 2012 U.S. Census, Austin area small businesses with 100 or fewer employees were responsible for creating over 238,000 jobs. That’s an average of over 7 jobs per small business.”
The Family Business Loan Program (FBLP), is a public-private partnership between the City of Austin Economic Development Department - Small Business Program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and First State Bank, which offers a low-interest rate loan and low borrower equity requirements to help the expansion. The program utilizes no city funds.
“I want to honor and preserve the architectural history of industrial America and its workers in Austin, Texas, said Fair Market partner, Dennis McDaniel. “This Quonset hut has a great history as a unique and purposeful building design. In its location adjacent to the railroad tracks, the structure served the needs of Austin and provided jobs for hardworking men and women for generations. There’s no gingerbread or Victorian porches, but for me, the purposeful curves on the outside and the five large barrel vaults with open honest exposed structure visible to all on the inside, are beautiful and speak of effort, times and activities that deserve to be remembered.”
The Family Business Loan Program mission is to enhance the overall quality of life for Austin residents. The program is designed for borrowers to create one job al for every $35,000 borrowed, and 51% of individuals hired must be deemed low to moderate income as defined by federal levels.
For more information on the Family Business Loan Program, call 512-978-2502 to speak with a Loan Program Advisor.
About Fair Market
Located in a historic part of East Austin, Fair Market is a unique community space for special events, concerts, and weekend markets. A creative addition to the neighborhood, Fair Market is located just blocks away from downtown, and combines a large, flexible interior space with an expansive outdoor environment. www.fairmarketaustin.com
About the City of Austin Economic Development Department
The City of Austin Economic Development Department (EDD) develops and leads the innovative programs that increase the prosperity of Austin’s citizens, our businesses, and our diverse neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.austintexas.gov/edd. @econvitalityATX
(From left to right, bottom photo: Sawyer & Co, Dusty McCormick, City of Austin; Xavier Zarate, City of Austin; Council Member Sabino 'Pio' Renteria, District 3; Kevin Johns, City of Austin Economic Development Director; Tammye H. Trevino, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dennis McDaniel, Fair Market; Alex Ballentine, Eastside Music School; City of Austin Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, District 9; Richard Kooris, Fair Market) Photos by: Michael Knox, City of Austin
Communications and Public Information Office
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