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Educate, Inform and Connect: Exploring the South Austin Entertainment District with Frank Navarro

Our recent conversation with Frank Navarro from MNO Partners where Frank leads deal selection and capital structuring.

As our client Cosmic Hospitality Group is under construction for their new concept in the South Austin Entertainment District along Menchaca Rd, we wanted to dive a little deeper into what’s to come.


Who is MNO Partners? 

“We are all in on the mixed use concept and we believe that as physical location for jobs becomes more flexible for some people, they will have way more housing options to choose from and will gravitate toward higher quality mixed use areas since they will be spending more time there and are less concerned with proximity to employment”-Frank

From our perspective: 


In a market like Austin you are forced to be creative and now developers are looking to start a new trend by developing their own (in real estate terms) market or for everyone else, neighborhoods. 

This requires a higher level of collaboration and a variety of skill sets to make happen. One example is what is now named the South Austin Entertainment District. One of the more underrated sections of bars located on the Menchaca corridor is soon to get a boost.

In a recent conversation with Frank Navarro from MNO Partners we met at Cosmic Pickle (South Congress & Pickle location), we got a glimpse into what it actually takes to accomplish this tall task. Cosmic is in the process of adding another building block with their third location.

One of the more interesting parts of the project is the potential walking path connecting Moontower, Armadillo Den, South Austin Beer Works, Lustre Pearl South and the new Cosmic as well as Frank’s two multi family projects. The path would be a collaboration amongst these businesses and landowners that would also connect to the existing trail networks in South Austin, further adding to the concept of building a new district.

I may be biased but development is a good thing, especially responsible development. You can’t have jobs without people to fill the jobs and companies don’t come if there aren’t enough employees to fulfill their needs. People are no longer satisfied with just finding an apartment that is convenient for their drive to work, they are being more thoughtful about their quality of life and Frank recognizes that and showed a true passion for putting thought into the full picture of what it takes to meet those expectations.

What’s next?

Moonlight Tower: 431 apartment units behind Moontower Saloon. This development is a joint venture between MNO Partners and some of the Moontower owners. Project is in the capital raise phase at this time. From a real estate perspective, a unique integration between Moontower Saloon and the new residential development is in the works as part of the project.

Moontower Saloon Expansion: Pickleball courts to be added soon

The Local: Apartment development with roughly 230 units and some ground floor retail which will likely be a restaurant owned by another popular hospitality group that already has a presence in the area

Cosmic: Cosmic is taking over the site formerly occupied by Indian Roller. Cosmic is currently in phase 1 construction to deliver a coffee, beer, and full cocktail programmed building with extensive patio & landscape installations. Phase two construction will begin shortly as well allowing the full site to have all things Cosmic does so well; habitats, live animals, Cosmic Coffees (yes, the boozy too!), water features, mature trees, fans, heaters, Cosmic Cocktails on tap, a full beer tap wall, and a vibe it seems only Cosmic can pull off. 

Greenway project: A proposed walking path to better integrate the district and allow customers to feel the energy of a multi venue district

Expect more development updates and behind the scenes insights into design, architecture and real estate in Austin.

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