A food and entertainment park project on the Eastside is set to open by January 2018, just in time for the city’s Tricentennial celebrations. The empty lot on 201 Burnet Street is close to the Hays Street Bridge and Alamo Beer Company.

“The food park will be open seven days a week,” said developer Mike Guerrero, a partner with StrEat Park LLC, which includes his brother Joe Guerrero and colleague Chris Morales. They estimate the project will cost $2.5 million. “This development is approved as an official Tricentennial site and we will host one event a month during [the year-long celebration].”

Brooklyn StrEat Food Park, nestled between Austin Street and Brooklyn Avenue, will host nine food trucks weekly, a three-story deck that will let customers eat, relax, practice yoga, and enjoy live music on all levels. The rooftop portion of the deck includes a view of downtown and the Tower of the Americas.

“We’ve been working on this concept for four and a half years,” Mike Guerrero said Friday, during a groundbreaking ceremony at the property. “By revitalizing and cleaning up this part of the area, we hope we can be an entry point or a gateway to the Eastside.”

The project will require street closures on a portion of Burnet Street and one of two lanes on Live Oak Street from Nolan Street to Brooklyn Avenue in order to expand pedestrian and bicycle access to the property.

A community garden will also be built on a portion of Burnet Street, said Joe Guerrero, which will be used to teach students at the Healy Murphy Center about the horticulture and culinary industries. The Healy Murphy Center is a nonprofit that provides an alternative education program for at-risk teens who have difficulty succeeding in a traditional school environment.

“We cultivated a relationship with Healy Murphy to bring them into our project,” Joe Guerrero said. “A lot of kids that come from a single family home or no family and Healy Murphy provides a safe environment for them to learn. In our design you see that there’s planters back there, so we’re going to create a completely sustainable environment.

“The students are going to plant the food and the food trucks are going to buy the food and then create a menu from the fresh garden. We’ll also have freezers and space in the building so the food trucks don’t have to carry so much food.”

The developers are working with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to construct a lot parking lot under Highway-37 off Brooklyn Avenue to increase parking opportunities in the area. In addition, Joe Guerrero said, a pedestrian bridge will connect Live Oak and Brooklyn streets and provide easy access to the nearby Hays Street Bridge.

This rendering shows an illuminated parking lot under Highway 37 off Brooklyn Avenue. Credit: Courtesy / StrEat Park LLC

“There’s a lot of growth and activity out here but finding banks that are willing to take the chance on an Eastside commercial development … is a roll of the dice,” Joe Guerrero said. “There’s still some stigma on the Eastside, and we want to change that.”

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Rocío Guenther

Rocío Guenther worked as a bilingual reporter and editorial assistant for the Rivard Report from June 2016 to October 2017. She is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and holds a bachelor's in English...