Residents of downtown and East Austin might want to invest in a new pair of sweatpants, because they will soon have a new food trailer park to keep them well-fed.
Dubbed the GoodLife Food Park, the latest addition to Austin’s food truck scene is currently setting up shop near the corner of Interstate 35 and East Cesar Chavez, providing what founder Garry Wise refers to as the "Gateway to East Austin."
"My wife, Krisstina, and I own GoodLife Realty and our offices are located right here on East Cesar Chavez. And we’ve been looking at this piece of land for seven years," says Garry Wise. "For seven years we’ve been driving by this spot for years wanting to buy. There was this house on the spot that had been there since maybe 1910 but was incredibly run down ... It was falling over and an eyesore in what is essentially the gateway to East Austin."
Wise says that improving and beautifying East Austin has always been at the heart of GoodLife Realty. "We want to offer the same services to East Austin that the rest of the city has access to, and part of that is good food. And we thought that now that we had this land, let’s offer it to the community what we want for ourselves, which is a place to find really great food and to be able to sit and eat with the people who live and work in East Austin or downtown. We’ve been ambassadors for East Austin since before East Austin was cool."
GoodLife quickly snatched up the property on March 7, and the couple has been moving full steam ahead with development. Wise says that they are aiming for a soft opening of June 1, with applications still being accepted online and his team currently conducting restaurant tours.
"I can’t publicly announce yet who’s going to be moving there," says Wise. "They don’t want to announce it because they have leases in effect. We’ll move food trucks in there slowly, and we won’t take in everybody. We’re not looking to have seven different food trucks that all sell tacos."
The website states that there’s ample space for up to 17 food trucks, but Wise says it’s unlikely they’ll have that many in the end. He's currently working with consultants to determine the optimum number of tenants.
What else can local foodies expect at the GoodLife? As a self-proclaimed "upscale" food park, one of the top priorities will be cleanliness. Unlike many other parks that are landscaped with dirt or gravel, GoodLife is landscaping with wood chips. "One of the things I’ve found with some other food parks in dirt lots is that they feel dirty and there’s dust in the air," says Wise. Ample on-site parking and live music events are also planned for the park.
And most importantly, the food options will cater to all tastes — from simple to high-end. "One thing that we’re focused on is we want to offer several, very healthy options as well."