Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is seeking to move its headquarters to the Baker Center, one of 40 bids and proposals for 10 of the Austin school district’s surplus properties that remain in negotiations.
Baker, a former school built in 1911, had a minimum bid of $10.6 million. Alamo was among the six bidders, and one of three (including the city) that made separate proposals for the property, but Alamo’s plan to transform it into a community cultural center, art galleries, commissary kitchen space and affordable housing for district employees and families appears to be the favorite among Hyde Park neighbors.
It’s been nine months since the Austin district made known the offers that could have yielded up to $90 million for the school district if all the properties were to be sold. So far, two properties have sold for $11.8 million, and two were pulled off the list. What will happen with the remaining six remains unclear, but district officials are in negotiations.
No decisions on the properties are expected in September, though it’s possible some could move forward prior to the end of the year, school officials said.
Among the high-interest properties:
• Two properties are no longer for sale. The former Allan Elementary in East Austin and land adjacent to the district’s Central Warehouse property on Alpine Road in South Austin are off the table. District officials did not explain why to the bidders, but Allan could be used as future swing space.
• Two properties sold. Trustees this summer approved the bids by RSI Communities for $7.2 million for the 32 acre-Loyola Lane property, at Loyola Lane and Ed Bluestein Boulevard, and $4.6 million for the 12-acre Service Center site, located south of East 51st Street. RSI plans to develop single-family residences, designating 25 percent as affordable housing with priority given to district employees and Austin district families.
• The Carruth Administration Center, or administration headquarters, on West Sixth Street fetched three bids and one proposal to lease. The minimum bid required was $30 million. The school district had previously sought bids in 2011 for the administration building, as well as the Baker Center, but wasn’t satisfied with the offers.
• The former Millett Opera House downtown (home to the Austin Club) had a minimum bid of $5.3 million, but the only bidder, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Historic Millett Opera House, bid only $1.7 million and proposed a long-term lease instead.
• The other properties still in play include one on Tannehill Lane, which garnered two bids and a proposal; a Travis Country site, with five bids and three proposals; and a Doris Drive property, with the city as the lone bidder.
A list of the properties by address can be found here.