New people are moving into Ruben Rengel’s East Austin neighborhood of more than 60 years.
"Downtown jumped over here,” he said. “I've seen a lot of changes in the people."
New residents, many of them moving from outside the area, are starting to populate a neighborhood that’s been given short shrift in the past.
"They're very respectful,” Rengel said. “I've made friends with people I don't even know. The East Side is changing."
It’s changing from a historically Hispanic and African American neighborhood to a more diverse place, in large part because of its close proximity to downtown.
That’s the reason Rey Cardenas opened his donation-based yoga studio, Practice Yoga Austin, on East Sixth Street.
"If you offer a service that can bring in the existing community, as well as other people moving into town or other people coming into the area, that can only be a good thing," Cardenas said.
With downtown Austin to the west and East Sixth Street businesses, nightlife, restaurants to the east, developers see this spot as the perfect place to live.
Cyprus Real Estate Advisors is building The Corazon, a 256-apartment development between East Fifth and East Sixth streets at San Marcos Street. It’s a transit-oriented development, which means it’s close to a CapMetro stop with pedestrian friendly sidewalks.
"To be honest, it’s one of the last places where there are desirable parcels of land," said Bob Brown, of Big Red Dog Engineering and Consulting.
Fortunately, some longtime residents don't mind sharing some of that land with hundreds of new faces.
The Corazon will be complete in spring of next year.
Developers are also planning to build a park next to the apartment complex. It will pay homage to civic leader Roy G. Valazquez. He founded the Austin Chapter of League of United Latin-American Citizens.