The Drag’s Goodall Wooten residents told to vacate after dorm’s sale


Highlights

Residents at Goodall Wooten dorm on Guadalupe Street have been told to vacate by May 16.

Many who rely on the Wooten for cheap off-campus housing were upset at the news.

No site plans have been submitted for the property, but resident advisers say it is being sold.

The roughly 60 people who live at the Goodall Wooten, a residential dormitory on the Drag known affectionately as “The Woo,” have been told they have to vacate next month and find new housing after being told the building was sold.

The announcement, which came April 16, surprised many tenants, said resident adviser Jennifer Beardsley, who has lived at the Goodall Wooten, 2112 Guadalupe St., at different times over the past eight years and has relied on it for cheap rent in the otherwise saturated and expensive West Campus area bordering the University of Texas.

“It is a dorm, but really it is more diverse than just students,” she said. “I would say half the people here are working adults. … A lot of them are being put out. Everyone identifies this as a dorm, but we are kind of unofficial low-income housing.”

Beardsley said she and other advisers were called last week into a meeting with the building manager, Kevin Wright, who told them the Wooten would be sold and residents had to leave by May 16, when their leases expire.

She said they weren’t told whether the building would be torn down or redeveloped, but in the days that followed, they told all the residents they would have to leave.

“At least half accepted it,” Beardsley said. “A few people are kind of holding out and trying to get other people to stay.”

The Wooten, which was built in 1956, is valued at $5.2 million, according to Travis Central Appraisal District records.

A deed history shows it has not been sold yet and lists the owner as David McCullough, who could not be reached Friday.

No site plans have been submitted to the city for the property, records show.

The Wooten is classified as off-campus residential housing and is not directly affiliated with UT. Beardsley said it offered 91 private and shared rooms ranging in rent from $390 to $864 per month.

Some tenants said they were offered short-term lease extensions if they needed time to find a new place, UT student newspaper The Daily Texan reported.

The Austin Tenants Council, which advocates for renters’ rights, said it is likely residents don’t have much legal recourse. Its executive director, Juliana Gonzalez, said she couldn’t say with certainty without seeing the leases, but “everything so far indicates to me that their legal obligations have been met.”

“They signed leases for a particular term and that term is done,” she said. “That doesn’t mean it’s right.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Texas Digest: Gunfire near Dallas police station prompts more security

DALLAS Gunfire reported near police station Dallas police officials have advised officers to increase security outside the city’s police stations after someone in a vehicle opened fire near a station. Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell told The Dallas Morning News someone was shooting late Saturday night near the city’s Central Division station...
Accused Santa Fe shooter won't get death penalty -- and could get paroled someday 
Accused Santa Fe shooter won't get death penalty -- and could get paroled someday 

Even though Dimitrios Pagourtzis was charged as an adult in the mass shooting at a southeastern Texas high school Friday, he will not face the death penalty and could even be eligible for parole someday, the Houston Chronicle reported. Pagourtzis, 17, a high school junior, admitted to the shootings that killed 10 and wounded 13, according to court...
Trump demands Justice Department probe claims of spying on his 2016 campaign
Trump demands Justice Department probe claims of spying on his 2016 campaign

In a tweet Sunday afternoon, President Donald Trump said he will demand that the Justice Department investigate whether it or the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign for political reasons, CNN reported. "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated...
LSU football legend, Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon dead at 80
LSU football legend, Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon dead at 80

Billy Cannon, the 1959 Heisman Trophy winner who led Louisiana State University to a national title in 1958, died Sunday, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported. He was 80. Cannon, a running back, is the only player in LSU football history to win the Heisman. His famous “Halloween run” -- an 89-yard punt return in the fourth quarter...
South Carolina authorities searching for 3 escaped inmates
South Carolina authorities searching for 3 escaped inmates

South Carolina authorities are searching for three inmates -- two of whom are charged with murder -- who escaped from a jail, WRDW reported. The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post that the trio escaped from the county detention center Saturday night and that all are considered dangerous. The three inmates were identified...
More Stories