About the East Austin Tank Farms & thinkEAST 

The site is 24 acres, including a portion of what was formerly known as  the “Tank Farm” properties between Airport, Bolm and Shady Lane. The Tank Farm was an area where the six largest major oil companies operated petroleum storage-tanks and distribution facilities for decades. 

In the 1980s, Susana Almanza of PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources) led a successful community-based effort to remove the tank farm facilities, to clean the land to residential standards, and to rezone many East Austin properties to prevent future heavy-industrial uses.

In 2012, partners Richard deVarga and Robert Summers purchased the cleaned site and began the process to rezone the property to allow the mixed-use vision of thinkEAST.

PODER presented the Cesar E. Chavez “Si Se Puede” Award  to Summers and deVarga for their commitment to include  affordable working, living and studio spaces for neighborhood residents and creatives in thinkEAST

PODER presented the Cesar E. Chavez “Si Se Puede” Award  to Summers and deVarga for their commitment to include  affordable working, living and studio spaces for neighborhood residents and creatives in thinkEAST

In 2013, the City of Austin Environmental unanimously approved the thinkEAST Creative District PUD.  The neighborhood supported the PUD zoning and designated thinkEAST as a “Neighborhood Plan Housing Priority."

Richard deVarga and Robert Summers pictured with Daniel Llanes, chair of the Govalle-Johnston Terrace Neighborhood Contact Team and head of the neighborhood planning team, in Austin City Hall after the PUD was approval by city council.

Richard deVarga and Robert Summers pictured with Daniel Llanes, chair of the Govalle-Johnston Terrace Neighborhood Contact Team and head of the neighborhood planning team, in Austin City Hall after the PUD was approval by city council.

thinkEAST will contribute to the CreateAustin Cultural Master Plan and Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan by offering community amenities, connectivity, walkability, opportunities for local small businesses, and affordable living and working spaces.