The Box Bazaar is a temporary neighborhood installation that will activate a piece of city-owned land in East Austin by housing six business incubator spaces for small, local businesses in retrofitted shipping containers and by creating a vibrant neighborhood center with programming designed to benefit the surrounding community.
This City of Austin pilot project aims to bring citywide goals for complete communities, economic opportunity, and equity to life in a yearlong demonstration project - the first of its kind in Austin.
The Box Bazaar is a joint effort between many City of Austin departments including Planning and Zoning, Public Works, Development Services, Economic Development, and the Office of Innovation. The Planning and Zoning department's Imagine Austin implementation team heads the project.
Meet the Entrepreneurs
Learn more about the Austin entrepreneurs who earned their place in the first cohort of Box Bazaar tenants:
"I came to create. I came here to be of service. And I came here to work real hard."
Temporarily activate city-owned land to further citywide goals for complete communities, economic opportunity, and equity by working closely with the community to build vibrant neighborhood centers and prioritize underserved communities' needs.
Activate vacant city-owned land for community benefit and create a vibrant neighborhood center
Imagine Austin points us toward becoming a city of Complete Communitiesthroughout Austin. Such communities are defined by having amenities, transportation, services, and opportunities that fulfill all Austinites' diverse material, social, and economic needs.
Support entrepreneurship and small business development through coaching, technical assistance, and education
The City of Austin's Strategic Direction 2023 outlines six major outcomes to pursue over the next five years. One of those outcomes is Economic Opportunity and Affordability or having economic opportunities and resources that enable us to thrive in our community.
Provide low-barrier business incubator spaces for equitable economic development
Work closely with the community to intentionally prioritize underserved communities' needs
The City of Austin defines Equity as the condition when every member of the community has a fair opportunity to live a long, healthy, and meaningful life. Austin's population is more diverse than at any time in history, and yet we know that this city has inherited many decades of inequality and must deal with the legacy of segregation and racism that is especially present east of Interstate 35. Embedding equity into the City of Austin's operations and provision of services means changing hearts and minds, eradicating disparities, and ensuring all Austin community members share in the benefits of progress.
There are no upcoming events planned at this time. Check back regularly for updates.
Location + Surrounding Community
The first demonstration site for this project is located at 3511 Manor Road on a city parcel, though the project could be replicated in other spaces across the city in future iterations.
The Box Bazaar: Manor Road site is nestled within East Austin off of Airport Blvd and Manor Rd and just south of the Mueller Development. The project site is located within Council District 1 and near the MLK, MLK-183, and Pecan Springs-Springdale neighborhood planning areas and within the JJ Seabrook Neighborhood.
Box Bazaar: Manor Road is anticipated to open in Spring 2019.
The Box Bazaar project is designed to be flexible, low-cost, and simple so as to allow for it to be redeployed after each iteration. Following the closing of the Box Bazaar's pilot location on Manor Road, the project will be evaluated based on tenant feedback and community input and the possibility of replicating the project at another location will be evaluated at that time. The next steps for the Box Bazaar project will be greatly influenced by the success and community reception and feedback of the Manor Road demonstration.
View the presentation slides from our community informational meeting below: