Development has overtaken Rainey Street for the past decade and a half, but musician John Contreras was long a stalwart in the face of expansion and said he never planned on selling his home at 71 Rainey St. But now it's for sale.
Contreras first moved into the home in the historically Latino neighborhood in 1989. His block has changed drastically since 2005, when the Austin City Council rolled the neighborhood into its Central Business District, allowing businesses to take over homes. Since then, the block has become an entertainment district, bars have taken over homes and a 34-story, high-rise condominium sprung up across the street.
Texas Standard's Kristen Cabrera spotted the "for sale" sign in Contreras' front lawn over the weekend.
— Kristen Cabrera (@MsKCabrera) June 2, 2019
He told KUT he'd likely live out the rest of his days in the home, which was built in 1910 and bought by his grandparents in the 1940s.
"Living here, it’s not easy. Never has been," Contreras told KUT. "But I guess it’s a self-determination thing."
The house is listed online for $2.6 million. Travis County appraised the property at $1.1 million this year, nearly four times the appraised value in 2014.
KUT reached out to Contreras, but has not yet received a response. (You can listen to Audrey McGlinchy's story from our ATXplained story below.)
The listing for the home touts its history and broaches the near-certainty that it, like every other home on the block, will become a business.
"Built in 1910 this is the last remaining residential home on Rainey St. A treasure in time ready to pass this Austin Gem over to the next steward to create their own legacy with a piece of Downtown Austin. These properties rarely go to market and awaiting your next concept, whether it be a Restaurant, Bar, Hotel or Music Venue, the options are endless with the CBD zoning."
Correction: A previous version of this story suggested that Rainey Street was no longer residential