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AISD May Sell Headquarters To Austin Developer; Baker Center To Alamo Drafthouse

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon
The district's Baker Center in Hyde Park is slated to be sold, pending approval from the Austin ISD Board of Trustees.

The Austin Independent School District is prepared to sell two of its largest, highest-value properties. Bids for the district’s downtown headquarters and its teaching facility in Hyde Park were revealed in the agenda for the Board of Trustee’s Nov. 27 meeting, where members are expected to OK the sale.

Austin-based development firm SDC placed a $36.5 million bid on the West Sixth Street headquarters, the Carruth Administration Center; Alamo Drafthouse submitted a $10.6 million bid for the district’s Baker Center, located on Avenue B at 39th Street in Hyde Park.

The district began the process of selling the properties last September.

AISD's downtown headquarters sits on 2.75 acres of prime real estate off W. 6th St.
Credit Nathan Bernier / KUT
The Austin Independent School District plans to sell the 2.75-acre property that houses its headquarters.

It’s unclear what SDC’s plans are for the district’s headquarters, but the firm has had a handful of projects in the west downtown area near Lamar, including the Whole Foods and HomeAway headquarters.

Alamo’s plans include the construction of single-family homes on the 4.36-acre lot at the Baker Center – a quarter of those units will be dedicated to affordable housing.

The district will finalize the decisions at its meeting next week. 

This isn't the first time the district has tried to sell the properties. In 2011, Austin ISD put out a call for bids on the two properties, but ultimately turned down the offers.  

The district will also vote next week on a transfer of ownership of the Millett Opera House, which houses the Austin Club, from the district to a private nonprofit. And it could vote to sell properties on Doris Drive and Tannehill Lane.

The sales will help the district pay for and construct its new headquarters.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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