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New Owners Envision Mixed-Use Development At Former AISD Headquarters

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
The Austin Independent School District sold its headquarters on West Sixth Street last month for $36.5 million.

The Austin Independent School District's headquarters on West Sixth Street will be turned into retail space.

AISD sold the property to Schlosser Development Corp. for $36.5 million last month.

“It’s got to be one of the best pieces of property in the western side of downtown for retail," David Vitanza, SDC's vice president, said. "We have a lot of interest in it at this point, but we've just got to see what fits together.” 

It's Vitanza's job to find those really great pieces of property. A few years ago, his company bought a similar property downtown and turned it into the Whole Foods complex.

SDC envisions doing something similar at the new property.  

“We’ll bring the mixed-use character and the pedestrian feel to that building,” Vitanza said, with retail in the front and possibly a hotel or residential units on the property.

Unlike some of the other properties AISD sold, this one doesn’t require SDC to include affordable housing in its final project.

But all of these plans aren’t set in stone. Vitanza said SDC will spend the next four months or so working on details of the new development.

As for the school district, it’s planning to move its headquarters farther south, away from downtown.

One reason AISD wanted a new location was to get all its departments in one facility. Right now, they are spread out among various buildings around the city. And, because it’s Austin, there’s another huge reason to leave downtown: parking.

Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.
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