Items seized from RunTex this month are set to be auctioned off by the Travis County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office next week in an attempt to collect thousands of dollars in back taxes that the company reportedly owes.
Precinct 5 deputy constables shut down the Central Austin RunTex location April 4 after its landlord, Austinite David Dunlap, obtained a $150,000 judgment against the retailer for unpaid rent. But Travis County says it, too, is owed money and subsequently took control of the merchandise.
RunTex owes the county $17,316.87 in delinquent property taxes, according to Travis County Tax Assessor/Collector Bruce Elfant. The county’s tax lien is superior to Dunlap’s lien and must be satisfied before the landlord can recoup any of the cash he allegedly is owed.
A second store in West Austin on Far West Boulevard had initially been open after the seizures, but has since closed. A “For lease” sign was hanging out front on Monday.
“Typically when taxpayers are delinquent we attempt to work with them to establish payment plans,” Elfant said. “In this instance, the landlord’s decision to evict RunTex necessitated that we move forward at this point to seize all remaining property in order to protect the taxpayers’ interests in this matter. We appreciate the cooperation we have received and hope the proceeds of the auction will satisfy all taxes owed by RunTex.”
The items that will be sold on May 7 by an auctioneer hired by the county include running shoes and apparel, a van and pickup, an autographed Lance Armstrong cycling jersey and even the water jugs the company had placed along the Lady Bird Lake trail for years. The auction will be held at the Runtex store located at 422 W. Riverside Drive.
Dunlap did not return a call from the American-Statesman seeking comment, but signs posted on the doors of the three buildings at West Riverside Drive and South First Street that RunTex occupied indicate January, March and April rent was never paid and that only a portion of February’s rent was received.
Monthly rent, according to the signs, was about $20,000.
“We’d fall behind on rent, catch up, then fall behind again,” RunTex owner Paul Carrozza said.
At the time Dunlap obtained his judgment, RunTex was already preparing to close the Riverside Drive location, at least temporarily, to make way for a development that includes 207 luxury apartments. The developer, Alliance Residential, had indicated it was willing to talk with Carrozza about leasing a spot on the building’s ground floor, which will include retail space.
Carrozza said a failed expansion attempt is largely to blame for the company’s financial woes.
“I’m beating myself up right now,” he said. “I didn’t come into this as a businessman. I didn’t get the capital I needed to sustain an expansion, and we’ve had to work the last five years to try to catch up.”
On the auction block
A look at some of the items seized from RunTex that will be auctioned off on May 7:
- Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, K-Swiss, New Balance and Sketchers running shoes
- Athletic apparel
- Memorabilia signed by former President George W. Bush and Lance Armstrong
- Espresso machine
- Sports supplements