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AUSTIN-The Haehnel building has just 4,200 sf of office space, hardly noticeable in the greater Austin market. But for East Austin, the reopening of the historic building represents a big step in the redevelopment of a neighborhood.

The Austin Revitalization Authority rehabilitated the building through grants from the City of Austin and a loan from Chase Bank. With a formal reopening, Balcones Recycling has signed a 10-year lease to use the building as its headquarters.

The Haehnel building, located at 1101 E. 11th St., was built in the early 1880s and has served a variety of businesses. The last was Shorty’s, a bar.

The revitalization authority is working to develop the area around East 11th and 12th streets bounded by Interstate 35, Airport Boulevard, East Seventh Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It is seeking to develop 100,000 sf of retail and commercial space and more than 20 homes.

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