Austin offered LoneStar $1.95 million in April to end the remainder of its 40-year lease on the terminal that began in 2017. LoneStar rejected this offer.
Austin moved forward with an eminent domain lawsuit to acquire the South Terminal in June. In response, LoneStar Airport Holdings filed a federal lawsuit, citing unjust compensation and a breach of contract.
Austin is seeking to acquire the South Terminal as part of the 2040 Master Plan for ABIA, which was approved by the city in 2019. The plan includes more than 60 projects to expand and make improvements to the airport, including demolishing the South Terminal to make room for more gates for the Barbara Jordan Terminal.
“This step in the case furthers the airport’s mission to deliver critical improvements and modernization projects needed to support increased passenger and airline activity at AUS,” said AUS spokesperson Sam Haynes in a statement. “We look forward to delivering an improved airport experience for Austinites and Central Texans.”
The order was made Feb. 6 by a panel of three special commissioners, assessing that the total damages payable to LoneStar is more than the city initially offered the company. The city must pay LoneStar the $90 million in order to acquire the terminal for demolition.
Austin has spent a total of $3.5 million in legal services for representation in the two lawsuits regarding the terminal takeover.
"We are pleased with the Special Commissioners’ award that recognizes the significant value we have built at the South Terminal,” CEO of LoneStar Airport Holdings Jeff Pearse said in a statement. “We continue to desire to work with the city to find an amicable resolution to avoid ongoing, costly and unnecessary litigation.”