Threadgill’s WHQ Closing, Leaving Valuable Land up for Redevelopment

October 26, 2017 by Kate Harrington

A new, valuable piece of land is about to open up in Austin’s bustling 78704.

The site of Threadgill’s World Headquarters, located at 301 West Riverside Drive, is likely up for redevelopment. Threadgill’s Owner Eddie Wilson plans to keep things running through South by Southwest 2018, and then close the restaurant and music venue. Wilson told the Austin Chronicle that he no longer can afford the lease there, which has grown by a staggering 600 percent over the last five years. Wilson said his monthly costs, including lease, insurance, rent, and taxes, run $38,000.

The two parcels were appraised at nearly $7.4-million for the 2017 tax year, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District.

Threadgill's World Headquarters Site

The restaurant is in the heart of a redeveloping corridor that has seen a jump in dense infill development in the last several years.

While the Riverside Dr. location is not home to the original Threadgill’s – that restaurant is still running at 6416 North Lamar Boulevard – it is an area steeped in Austin history. The Armadillo World Headquarters, a legendary Austin live music venue that hosted musicians from Willie Nelson to Janis Joplin, operated nearby from 1970 to 1980. Wilson, who was also a co-founder of the Armadillo World Headquarters, paid homage to the venue at the Riverside Threadgill’s.

“This is just what happens in a boom town,” Wilson told the Chronicle. “Now I would hope that a developer will come along who wants to build something and have Threadgill’s be part of it.”

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.