County-owned downtown lot will be home to a new mixed-use development

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County officials were hoping the plot of land at 308 Guadalupe St. would have been home to a new courthouse, but after voters rejected a $287 million bond, the county has inked a deal to make money off the site.

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners agreed to a ground lease with the Lincoln Property Company and Phoenix Property Company to develop the county-owned property. In 2010, the county paid $21.8 million for the property. By leasing the property, the county says it will yield nearly $430 million in lease payments over the next 99 years.

The property groups plan on building a vertical, mixed-used development at the 77,215-square-foot site, which is one of the last undeveloped sites in downtown Austin. As part of the lease agreement, 10 percent of all housing will be affordable to low to moderate income residents.

Even though the 2015 bond to build a new civil and family courthouse was shot down, the county says it still plans on building it with the funds it’ll make from the lease. The county will receive an initial $13.4 million at closing on Wednesday, July 12.

“We listened to the community when they told us that this downtown block was an asset that should be available for private development,” said Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt. “By establishing a smart, competitive procurement process, we are unlocking the potential of this block to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to Travis County and its taxpayers that we can use to meet our ongoing urgent needs for new civil and family courts capacity.”

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