As an Austin resident, I’ve always been a fan of the Seaholm District architecture and building. The large smokestacks add a great contour to Austin’s already dynamic skyline and I’ve always wanted to explore the area for a more behind the scenes look.
Now that the Seaholm Residences and the Austin Central Library are complete, the Seaholm District is open and ready for exploring. Since we had such nice weather on Saturday, November 17th, I decided to go exploring the Seaholm District and see what it has to offer.
Walking Around the Facade
I started my exploration of the Seaholm District by just walking around the building and grounds. There is plenty of parking in and around Seaholm District, even on a Saturday afternoon. I parked just north and west of the Trader Joe’s and walked along Power Plant Road. The 3rd street avenue forms a quaint little promenade with a mix of storefronts and street-level apartments.
I walked along Walter Seaholm Drive to the west of the old power plant admiring the black and white murals along the way. At the corner of Seaholm Drive and Ceasar Chavez, you can see the entire Seaholm complex, including the smokestacks, old power plant building which still features the red “City of Austin Power Plant” sign on the side, and the glass lined Seaholm Residences just behind the old power plant.
The grass field in the front offers nice curb appeal to the build and gives residents and employees of the companies at Seaholm a nice green space with some waterfront within sight.
While I couldn’t’ go into the offices, they look well appointed, modern, with plenty of natural light throughout.
By the time I made it to the Seaholm Plaza which connects all the Seaholm District’s features, the sun was going down. That didn’t stop me from admiring the towering facade of the Seaholm Residences. The building has a modern facade and reflects just as much light as it allows in for the residents.
There are several things to admire on the plaza. From pictures, I felt that the astroturf lawn was a questionable choice, but once you’re on the lawn it feels like a natural fit. It also adds a clean, crisp look and feel to the area.
The main attraction on the plaza are the smokestacks, which the developers of the Seaholm Residences artfully utilized for the project.
From there, you can see the entire Seaholm complex. There are a lot of industrial accents throughout so you can really feel the history of the place. Exposed steel stairwells, corrugated aluminum, and more really encapsulate the old Seaholm Power Plant.
Shopping & Dining
After I got the lay of the land, I decided to have a bit and a cocktail at Boiler 9, a swanky gastropub. Meals were moderately priced ($12 – $17 for menu entrees, more for the grill items) and the cocktails we’re nicely executed. The interior of the restaurant continues the industrial theme with plenty of exposed metal and concrete. The facade is mostly glass, so it’s almost as if Boiler 9 is inviting the Seaholm complex in. Downstairs the Boiler Room Bar is a nice little speakeasy with even more great cocktails. Fun fact: Boiler 9 offers a $4 take home treat for you dog on the dessert menu.
After dinner, I wandered through the Trader Joe’s (it was my first time) and while it’s a small grocery store, it looked to offer plenty for the locals to peruse through. You can actually walk through the Trader Joe’s to access the 3rd street side of the Seaholm District.
I also went into the boutique pet store, Healthy Pet, and looked at the biggest selection of dog foods, toys, treats, clothes, and more. I actually ended up buying some salmon skin and good head snacks for my pups in the process.
After that, I did another loop on plaza took a couple of pictures and called it a night.
Overall, I had a great experience in my day at the Seaholm District. From my short time there, there seems to be a lot to do and enjoy in the area. I feel like the developers did a great job of including all the necessary amenities for residents and those that work there. They’ve got it all right there so you never have to go far to find what you’re looking for.
This is a guest blog written by Chris Galis, an Austin SEO professional who moonlights as a culture and architecture enthusiast.