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What is the Downtown Austin Space Activation program?

Downtown pop-ups could get easier for small businesses, nonprofits, and artists with the Downtown Austin Space Activation program.

A building with rainbow film, reading "XOXO Welcome to Downtown" in the windows.

The first DASA activation at 506 Congress Ave. is easy to spot from the street.

Photo by ATXtoday

Small businesses, organizations, performers, and event organizers have a new opportunity to get some space Downtown: the Downtown Austin Space Activation.

The new program, launched by the Downtown Austin Alliance earlier this month, is an effort to connect folks to centrally located storefronts and increase Downtown’s vibrancy simultaneously.

Plus, with approximately 12% of stores in Downtown Austin sitting vacant, someone has to use it.

Here’s how it works

DASA takes empty or underutilized spaces and converts them into affordable pop-up spaces, which can be used for:

  • Retail
  • Food and beverage stands
  • Mini-markets
  • Art and cultural installations
  • Co-working spaces
  • Event venues
  • ...and more

While new space could be added at any time, there are a few areas currently available for activation:

  • 506 Congress Ave.
  • Central Presbyterian Church at 200 E. 8th St.
  • Old Bakery Emporium at 1006 Congress Ave.
  • 301 Congress Porch at 147 E. 4th St.
  • Republic Square Park at 422 Guadalupe St.
A man stands on a ladder adding "DASA" graphics to the wall, where in front of it sits a black desk and black chair.

DivInc. set up shop in the DASA storefront on Thursday, June 13.

Photo courtesy Joi Conti

The program’s first storefront — a partnership with DivInc — is open now through the summer at 506 Congress Ave. Next spring, DASA will launch an artist residency and exhibition program.

Spaces can be rented for $250-$350 per day (plus a refundable $150 deposit).

How does the Downtown Austin Alliance gather these spaces?

While some spaces are managed by or associated with the Downtown Austin Alliance, the program also opens up a way for property holders and business owners to donate space.

In fact, the Downtown Austin Space Activation program is actively seeking new partners to offer their space — apply here.

Ready to get involved?

If you’ve got an event or organization that could use some Downtown space, apply here to get matched with a location.

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