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AISD Takes Steps To Sell Downtown Headquarters and Baker Center

Nathan Bernier
AISD's downtown headquarters sits on 2.75 acres of prime real estate off W. 6th St.

Facing a budget crisis, the Austin Independent School District is taking initial steps to sell two of its largest administrative properties: the 2.75 acre headquarters that sits on prime real estate on upscale W. 6th St., and the 4.4 acre Baker Center in trendy Hyde Park.

AISD says it is starting a “sealed bid process”, also known as a first-price sealed bid auction. Bidders submit their offers without knowing the value of competing bids. After the August 15, 2011 deadline, the school board will unseal the bids and decide if it wants to accept any. The district hopes to lease the building from the buyer for one or two years.

“The District has diligently sought the input from experts and the community at large, and this emerged as potential solution,” said AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said in a news release issued this morning. “Selling administrative buildings won’t cost jobs, won’t hurt education – and may even help prevent us from having to make some of the most difficult cuts now being considered.”

The minimum bid for the downtown headquarters at 1111 W. 6th St. is $32 million. AISD says the property includes five buildings with 128,000 square feet of space.  One appealing trait for developers is that the administrative headquarters does not lie within a Capitol View Corridor, which are areas extending outward from the State Capitol that restrict the height of buildings to protect a view of the Capitol dome.

“The property was originally built as a mixed use property with retail intended to be on the first floor and office and residential above and behind,” Southwest Strategies Group’s Danny Roth told KUT News. Southwest Strategies was hired to manage the bidding process. “I think that is prime now to return to that original use.”

The minimum bid for the Baker Center on 3908 Avenue B near Guadalupe is $7.5 million. It used to be a school but now houses administrative staff in 66,000 square feet of space.

You can view the bid packages here

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.