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AISD Proposes to Sell Two Prime Properties

Anticipating continued budget challenges into the 2013-2014 school year, and possibly beyond, the Austin Independent School District is requesting sealed bids for the sale of two prime administrative properties.

The two properties include the District's main administration headquarters on West Sixth Street, and another key administrative facility located in Hyde Park. AISD's first step begins immediately, by initiating a "sealed bid process" for the properties. Through this process, potential buyers will have an opportunity to tour the buildings and attend two pre-bid conferences. The deadline for submitting sealed bids is August 15, 2011. The combined requested minimum bid for both properties totals $39.5 million.

AISD declared Financial Exigency – or fiscal emergency – in late February, and has been scouring its budget for ways to bridge the gap. The idea to sell administrative facilities arose this spring during deliberations by the District's Facilities Master Plan Task Force.

"The District has diligently sought input from the community on budget and facility issues, and this option to sell administrative facilities has emerged," Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said. "Now it's time to see if there are potential buyers."

The final decision on a possible sale of either District location will be made by the AISD Board of Trustees.

Southwest Strategies Group, an Austin-based brokerage firm, has been retained to assist the District in disseminating the Bid Package and property information for the two properties. All qualifying bids will be evaluated by AISD executive staff. AISD's Board of Trustees will ultimately make any final decisions regarding acceptance or rejection of bids. The process will fully comply with state law regarding the sale of land by a governmental entity, which is designed to "stimulate competition, prevent favoritism, and secure the best price for the property."

SWSG Principal Danny Roth notes the properties are considered two of the most valuable real estate assets in the District's possession. He also says bids for the two properties will be accepted individually, and deliberated upon separately.

"The properties are as prime as prime properties get, and present special redevelopment opportunities in Austin's core," Roth said.

AISD's headquarters, named the Carruth Administration Center, is located at 1111 West Sixth Street. It contains more than 128,000 square feet spread across five buildings on 2.75 acres. The site has access along both Fifth and Sixth Streets, and underground parking garage and residential units. It does not lie within the protected Capitol View Corridor, meaning it isn't limited by height restrictions protecting views of the State Capitol. The minimum requested bid is $32 million.

The other administration property on the market is called Baker Center, located at 3908 Avenue B – just one block east of Guadalupe Street. It contains nearly 66,000 square feet on 4.4 acres. Originally built as a school in two phases, in 1911 and 1952, the building features unique architecture, and has been utilized as administrative offices for many years. The minimum requested bid is $7.5 million.

Complete bid packets for prospective bidders are available online at www.swsg.com and http://archive.austinisd.org/misc/bid/requests.phtml or can be picked up at the offices of SWSG or AISD's Office of Facilities.