South Congress could be missing some visitors by the end of this weekend, and not just because the last of Austin’s South by Southwest visitors have fled to the airport: the land between East Milton and East Monroe streets on South Congress Avenue where nearly a dozen food trailers are parked each day could be vacated any day now.
When KUT News visited the park on Friday, almost every trailer offered a different closing day: “this Sunday,” “by the end of March,” “sometime around April” or “nothing is certain yet.”
Last year, SOCO ATX Development announced plans for a hotel on the land, which has formally been leased from the Congress Avenue Baptist Church. Construction of the SoCo hotel is slated to begin this year, leaving the future of the location as a popular food destination up in the air.
While dates are still uncertain, workers and visitors all agreed on one thing: the trailer park is a SoCo staple.
Katherine McCaslin has worked at Short Bus Subs on South Congress for over a year. For her, it’s hard to imagine the spot without the iconic food trailers.
“We’re going to figure out another place to go that will do good business, but this is an Austin staple,” she said. “All the food trailers, we’re pretty bummed. Nothing is going to be quite like the food trailer lot on South Congress.”
A petition on the website Change.org has garnered nearly 9,000 signatures urging SOCO ATX Development to rethink their construction plans.