A neighborhood skate shop was spared the wrecking ball.
After a public campaign to save their building from demolition, No-Comly Skate Shop announced Friday that they have reached a deal with their owner, Austin Community College, to stay in their longtime home at 812 W. 12th St. – “until we find a new home, even if it takes years”, according to an Instagram post.
“I am delighted to announce that VAC is committed to extending our lease here until we find new space,” Elias Bingham, owner of No-Comly, told the American-Statesman on Friday. “They’re not only giving us time to find a new home, they’re also committed to helping us find the right place and seeing the value of working with us and our community on collaborative efforts to move forward. before. ”
The college confirmed the news later in the afternoon, adding that it would work with No-Comly towards a “long-term solution” including the possibility of moving the skate shop “to another storefront owned by the college. of the region, “according to a statement.
The ACC on Thursday asked the city’s Historic Monuments Commission to postpone the demolition permit process for the building. The committee was due to resume discussions at its August 23 meeting. This request marked a turnaround in the college; In a letter to the commission last month, ACC Chancellor Richard M. Rhodes opposed both the postponement of the demolition permit to consider alternatives and the granting of historic protection to the building.
According to an agenda posted before the next meeting, municipal staff will recommend that the commission grant the deferral request.
“The request to postpone the application process will allow more time for the college to focus its efforts on finding a mutually beneficial resolution with the owners of the No-Comply skate shop which currently operates outside the building,” said declared the college on Thursday read.
Earlier this month, The Statesman reported that the ACC had applied for a permit to demolish the storefront as part of a long-planned parking extension for its Rio Grande campus. Although Bingham said he had known for years these plans were on the table, he was taken by surprise when the city issued a notice outside his business, stating that the ACC was going from the before with demolition.
Bingham has issued a public appeal to supporters of the store and the local skateboarding community to tell the Historic Monuments Commission that they oppose the demolition. The ACC needed the commission’s approval before demolishing the No-Comply building, which was constructed in the 1940s. Experts said it was an example of a style of architecture once common, now largely lost for redevelopment.
The city has received around 4,000 emails calling for a halt to demolition efforts. At a July 26 meeting of the Historic Monuments Commission, 70 people registered to speak – 68 in opposition to the demolition, two in favor.
CCA representatives questioned the architectural and community value of the building. Supporters of the skate shop insisted that it was a vital hub for the skateboarding community. The committee voted unanimously to postpone action on the site until its August 23 meeting.
“We heard from ACC – they tried to argue that there was no community with community value, and I think that’s really shortsighted,” said commission chair Terri. L. Myers at last month’s meeting. “While we’re not supposed to be looking at the business itself, obviously we’ve never had that kind of support before, in all of the cases I’ve been aware of. ”
The commission urged the ACC and No-Comly Skate Shop to meet and discuss the matter.
“As a community college, we are committed to doing what is best for the community,” said Neil Vickers, executive vice president of finance and administration for CCA on Friday. “We’ve learned a lot about No-Comply and the skateboarding community, and we hope this is an opportunity for a lasting partnership. Our goal is to help non-compliance, and there are many options we can look at. Extending the lease for No-Comply gives us all the time we need to get it right.
The skate shop echoes the new collaborative spirit.
ACC now sees “the value of our community and even more of what we can do together as part of collaborative efforts going forward,” read an Instagram post from No-Comply. “We look forward to working with them and seeing what we can accomplish together. ”
No-Comply Skate Shop has been in the building since 2008. ACC purchased the site in 2009. Bingham moved his business to the 12th Street building to be near Heath Eiland and Morgan Moss BMX Skate Park. No-Comply has become an international attraction for skateboarding enthusiasts, he said.