Central Health plans to lease out portion of Brackenridge Campus, loses master developer

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Central Health, Travis County’s health care district, may lease a portion of the 14.3-acre downtown Brackenridge Campus to the 2033 Fund, a nonprofit entity created for the benefit of The University of Texas at Austin, following a vote from its Budget and Finance Committee meeting Feb. 21.

Leasing two tracts of the campus was deemed a cost-saving measure with the condition that the land is still used for health- and research-related purposes.

With a change in development strategy from redeveloping the entire campus to leasing a portions of it out, Central Health also announced the withdrawal of Wexford Science & Technology LLC as the master developer for the project. The developer was originally chosen in October 2017.

The 2033 Fund is interested in developing two tracts on the campust: the former University Medical Center Brackenridge hospital tower and a section of the campus located along Red River Street south of the existing parking garage.

Next week the UT board of regents will consider authorizing UT Austin to lease these sections of the Brackenridge Campus for Dell Medical School activities and other health-related needs, according to a statement from Central Health.

In January 2017 Central Health developed the Brackenridge Master Plan through public input with intentions to create a mixed-use, high-density development including medical and health care use.

Other parties are also interested in leasing the two blocks of the campus, which Central Health CEO Mike Geeslin said he is also taking into consideration.

Central Health still has authority to redevelop the remaining blocks of the campus and follow the Central Health Brackenridge Campus Master Plan, the release stated.

The primary goal of leasing a portion of the campus is to save money for future redevelopment, Central Health Board Chair Dr. Guadalupe Zamora said in the statement.

“Central Health will benefit from having tenants on its campus paying rent as quickly as possible. The board is determined to do what’s in the best interest of Central Health, Travis County taxpayers and the people we serve,” Zamora said.

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Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.
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