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MD Portal Featured in ABJ “Capital Gains: Hotels set to open; Our own Jon Stewart; ‘Skin-tech’ company in spotlight”

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August 28, 2015 | Austin Business Journal

MORE ROOMS FOR RENT — AT A PRICE

The parade of chic new hotels marches on. The South Congress Hotel, shown in the rendering at left, flings open its doors Sept. 8 followed on Sept. 29 by the Hotel Van Zandt, A Kimpton Hotel.

Up until now, both boutique hotel operators have remained very low-profile. Hotel Granduca, with its Italian inspiration, will open on Nov. 1 — about a month later than originally planned — which will cut it out of the market for the ACL Music Fest and the U.S. Formula 1 race, both of which take place in October.

South Congress Hotel with 83 guest rooms and suites at 1603 S. Congress Ave. and Hotel Van Zandt with 319 rooms at 605 Davis St. in the Rainey Street District will be able to take advantage of that annual influx of visitors.

In fact, based on Hotel Van Zandt’s website, all rooms are sold out every day in October. First availability is Nov. 1 with the least expensive room priced at $343. Prices at South Congress Hotel are expected to be similar. The first availability at Hotel Granduca is Nov. 2 with the least expensive room priced at $297.

— Jan Buchholz, @ABJBuchholz

WE HAVE OUR OWN JON STEWART

Could Austin have its own version of “The Daily Show” soon? The CW Austin is investing locally by developing “ATX Uncensored-ish,” a daily news satire show hosted by local comedian and former Austin American-Statesman business reporter Brian Gaar, who has been praised for his comedy by Esquire, Playboy, Salon and many other outlets. The show will be a blend of pre-recorded clips and a talk show, and will air late nights starting in the fall.

— Chad Swiatecki, @ABJChad

‘SKIN-TECH’ COMPANY IN THE SPOTLIGHT

An Austin health care technology company has been accepted into a Dallas business accelerator program.

The startup, MyDerm Portal Inc., is in this year’s class of Health Wildcatters. The company’s main product, MyDerm Portal, allows dermatologists to provide telemedicine visits for most common skin issues. Health Wildcatters, founded in 2013, provides participating startups with seed financing of $30,000, office space and mentors for an 8 percent equity stake.

MyDerm Portal, founded in 2014, is scheduled to begin the 12-week program this month with nine other health care startups from around the United States. CEO and co-founder Paul Robichaux was previously the director of product marketing for Austin’s Visible Health Inc., according to his online profile.

— Christopher Calnan, @ABJCalnan

A PHONE CALL WORTH MILLIONS

When Adriana Cruz, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, took an unexpected phone call in early May, she had no idea it would lead to the biggest economic development coup in San Marcos’ modern history.

The call came from a site selection consultant working on behalf of an unidentified client looking to open a huge facility in Texas.

That client turned out to be Amazon.com Inc., the world’s biggest retailer, which in late August confirmed plans to build a 855,000-square-foot facility on McCarty Lane, east of I-35, that will initially employ 350 people and when fully staffed will eventually have more than 1,000 employees.

Dirt is already turning on the site, with the plant expected to be ready in early 2017.

Atlanta-based Seefried Industrial Properties Inc. is overseeing the construction project along with Houston-based engineering firm Jones & Carter Inc. In order for the project to proceed, San Marcos and Hays County had to rezone the 101-acre site from general commercial to heavy industrial.

Read more: http://bizj.us/1ixq1s

— Greg Barr, @ABJBarr

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