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Deal To Buy Downtown Complex That Includes Austin City Limits Venues Is Scrapped

A Willie Nelson statue outside the Moody Theater in downtown Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. planned to buy the Block 21 complex, which includes ACL Live at the Moody Theater, for $275 million.

An agreement to buy the Block 21 development in downtown Austin – home to ACL Live at the Moody Theater and the W Hotel – is off due to the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nashville-based Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. made the deal in December to buy Block 21 from Stratus Properties Inc. for $275 million.

But in a news release Friday, Ryman Chairman and CEO Colin Reed said due to “current capital markets and economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of our shareholders to focus our resources and capital on this project at this time.”

The sale included more than $140 million in mortgage debt. The Block 21 complex includes office and retail space as well as the 3TEN ACL Live venue. 

William H. Armstrong III, president and CEO of Stratus, said in a statement he was disappointed, but understanding given the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. 

“Ryman’s experience and depth in both the hospitality and music industries would have been a meaningful addition to the Austin community,” he said. “We believe Block 21 is a great asset and we remain focused on its continued success in Austin.”

Got a tip? Email Jerry Quijano Follow him on Twitter @jerryquijano.

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Jerry Quijano is the local All Things Considered anchor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @jerryquijano.
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