Travis County to seek proposals for office tower project

Travis County plans to request proposals to develop an office tower that is slated to be located adjacent to a proposed civil and family courts complex in downtown Austin.

The Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a motion Aug. 4 directing staff to pursue a request for proposals for the adjacent "South Tower," which would be located along Fourth Street between Guadalupe and Lavaca streets.

Voters in November will decide whether to approve bond funds to build the civil and family courts complex. Commissioners did not discuss a separate agenda item regarding ballot language for the $291.6 million courts complex bond proposal.

Staff provided an update Aug. 4 to the commissioners about an industry forum attended by more than 60 attendees including developers, constructors and contractors interested in learning about the project.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said the county is trying to offset the associated tax increase through several initiatives, including constructing the office tower at the same time as the proposed courts complex.

Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea said building a new courthouse is necessary.

“This is, I think, a very creative effort that we’re undertaking to try to both utilize downtown real estate and to generate value for the taxpayer,” Shea said. “We are attempting to try every way we can to generate revenue to offset the cost to the taxpayer of building a new courthouse, which we have to do.”

 


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