An arts district planned for Southeast Austin, which was supposed to pop up at the beginning of this year, has now been delayed.
The folks at Sun Radio thought the new year would bring a new home for them. And it did -- but not the one they planned on.
They were supposed to broadcast from a new location along Pleasant Valley this week as part of the new Pop-Up Riverside Arts District. But instead, that location is still just an empty parking lot.
Sun Radio moved their operations to an apartment complex down the street.
"This is our temporary studio location,” Ben Bethea, Sun Radio's music director, said. ”We still have some technical things to work through, but yeah, we're live off and running.”
Employees worked for days -- even on New Year’s Day -- to turn a conference room at the Edison Austin into a last-minute studio.
"We're very grateful that we’re on the air on January the 2nd, and it’s been a rough road, but we're on and we're rocking,” Daryl O'Neal, the executive director of Sun Radio, said.
O’Neal said the city delayed plans for the new Pop Up Riverside Arts District after they had wind concerns with using tents.
"The definition of temporary kind-of got caught up in red tape,” O’Neal said.
Sun Radio is teaming up with Austin Creative Alliance and the Presidium Group to build the district. They wanted to create a pop-up district, housed in tents, for a few years while they waited for developers to build the more permanent one.
O'Neal said they want to help artists right away, making sure they can live, work and play in Austin -- with an affordable price tag.
"It's very difficult for any artist to live in Austin, Texas,” O’Neal said.
But O’Neal said the city wants them to now put the radio station and other art spaces in modular buildings.
He hopes those will be ready in the next three to six months.
"We don't need a lot to create great radio,” O’Neal said.
After they move into the temporary buildings, O’Neal said it will be another three or four years before they can move into the permanent arts district.
There, they hope to include art galleries, a public art park and affordable housing for artists.
"Getting all these different groups of people together that have just been displaced, you know, in the community, and have a home, and just places where people can do their thing, do their art. And I think it’s going to be a really cool addition to this part of the community,” Bethea said.
If you want to donate to Sun Radio and the new arts development, learn more here.