The Bremond Building: going, going, gone earlier, and after paying lip service to historic preservation, they voted not to spare the building. The only councilman to raise objections was Richard Goodman, who asked whether BWC had tried to incorporate the old building in the plans for the garage. Yes, he was told, they were going to try to keep mementos from the Bremond, but saving the entire building was financially out of the question. The council was set on making way for more parking, regardless of the number of colorful and successful enterprises that would be displaced. Mayor Carole McClellan, noting “the special, unique character of Sixth Street,” observed that “Sixth Street is people.” Then she added, “However, I think that parking garages are not just for cars, they are for people, and [the Littlefield garage] provides more opportunities for more people to utilize and revitalize the down town area.” Trouble is, the Bremond Building already had peoplewho ran, among other things, a pharmacy, a tavern, a record shop, a restaurant, and Antone’s, the only rhythm ‘n’ blues club west of the Mississippi. Only last month did BWC send someone over to tell these proprietors they had to be out by March 1, but no one bothered to serve formal eviction notices. Even so, most of the Bremond businesses have managed to find new locations in downtown Austin, although Antone’s is left out in the cold for the time being. It remains an open question whether home-style businesses like these and the people who patronize them can stand much more of the revitalization that’s on the drawing boards for the central city. Bob Sindermann Jr. and Mary Middleton Parking for people? If you’re planning to build a down town parking garage, it sure helps if you can get the required zoning. But if the city also helps with the financing, consider the garage built and paid for. That’s the lucky fate of the Littlefield Building Parking Garage proposed by BWC Associates in Austin \(Obs., a firm that has rigged up a push-mepull-you arrangement in which it leases 501 parking spaces to the city and the city leases those spaces right back to BWC. Austin’s city council agreed to the leasing contract last November to help BWC through its supposed difficulties , in financing construction of the multi-level E structure, although its prime Sixth Street PI locationnext to a’ major bank and E across the street from BWC’s own refurbished Littlefield office building and the Driskill Hotelought to leave no doubts about its profit potential. With the city’s name on the original lease, financing for the garage was assured; without the city’s help, says Austin city manager Dan Davidson, it’s “my understanding” that the firm couldn’t have closed the deal for the project. For the general public, however, the deal isn’t so good, since all but 100 parking spaces will be reserved for customers of businesses who contract with BWC. To build the quasi-public parking garage, the 127-year-old Bremond Building, 34 years older than even the historic Driskill, must be torn down, but that posed no problem and a wrecking crew has already begun the job. The city council did consider historic zoning for the building in late July of last year, heeding a number of citizen petitions and a favorable ruling from the Austin Historic Landmark Commission. But council members had learned of the opportunity for the BWC scheme two months An unmourned passing There’s a chance the Hobby Clayton presidential primary bill \(Obs., significant legislative roadblocks. Though members of the Senate state af fairs committee approved the Hobby Clayton bill, to create a special presiden tial primary next March, the vote was a governor having to plead personally with at least one member to spare him the embarrassment of having his bill die in committee. The less-than-magnificent seven senators who gave Hobby a helping hand were Roy Blake, Bill Braecklein, Ed Howard, Peyton McKnight, Bill Moore, Jack Ogg and John Traeger. Thirteen senators, however, have committed themselves to seeing that the bill gets no further. The 13, enough to block Senate consideration of the bill, have signed a letter circulated by Sen. Ron Clower saying they can’t go along with a separate-day presidential primary that would not prohibit crossover voting. Opposition also has hardened in the House, where Reps. Brad Wright \(Rclaim to have 78 supporters for their same-day presidential primary bill. In addition, the 62-member State Democratic Executive Committee voted on March 3 to oppose Hobby and Clayton’s scheme, with only one dissenter from the majority view. At the March 5 Senate hearing, both the Democratic and Republican party chairmen opposed the presidential primary bill. Vicki Vaughan THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11
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