AUSTIN, Texas - The legendary music venue, The Hole in the Wall, received a $1.6 million real estate investment. The venue is a staple on the Drag that has been on Guadalupe Street for nearly 50 years.
"This is the first iconic music venue that we have reached an agreement with, and it is a combination of H.O.T. and general fund dollars we are providing in this $1.6 million investment," said Theresa Alvarez, the CEO and President of Austin Economic Development Corporation.
Alvarez says the venue is one of 45 applicants receiving the money from hotel occupancy tax dollars and general funds. This comes through the Austin Economic Development corporation, a nonprofit organization created by city council.
"Music, arts and culture are such an important economic driver for the Austin community, so we are trying to look at all aspects of preserving music arts and culture," said Alvarez.
According to Alvarez, the lease for The Hole in the Wall ended in April 2023. The negotiation process started shortly after. A new 20-year lease was signed this week.
"It really is a real estate investment with a contract with rules and reporting requirements set in place and the 20-year lease is 10 years with 2 five-year extensions," said Alvarez.
Neighboring businesses are in support of the extended stay.
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"You know they have a sound stage, they do shows and stuff like that. If it's a hole in the wall, and it's a local spot, and that is what they have been doing, then why would we not [extend the lease]. Hopefully, they are here even longer, that they do well and by them doing well, the neighbor benefits too," says Kaab Malik, who works at iVape ATX Austin.
The city has given Austin EDC the funds for the real estate investment that will be disbursed monthly, and will not have to be repaid as long as the guidelines of the contract are followed, according to Austin EDC.
"The Hole in the Wall is open 364 days a year. They have 3 to 5 bands playing on a daily basis, so it’s really the driver for the local musicians, and the bartenders and the employees. So it's helping to keep a venue like that in place so that's going to drive our local economy," said Alvarez.
It's an advantage for the city, the venue and surrounding businesses.
"We can benefit from there crowds being out here on the strip, whenever they are here for their shows," said Malik.