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Austin Community College plans to acquire shopping mall parcel, will build new classrooms and administrative offices

Austin American-Statesman
Austin Community College is poised to acquire a 17.3-acre parcel at Highland Mall that would bring its ownership of the site to 100 percent of the land and accelerate planning for classrooms, administrative offices and other uses.

In addition, the college has disclosed that its partner in this and three earlier acquisitions at the mall plans a mix of residential, office and retail development along the perimeter — a potential economic boon for Central Austin.

"It's a huge opportunity for ACC to make some tremendous strides to accommodate the phenomenal growth we have," ACC President Stephen Kinslow said in an interview Friday. "It's also a great community opportunity."

The latest tract, including a former J.C. Penney store and a small strip center, was put under contract by ACC officials May 26 and is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. The board is expected to authorize the purchase when it meets Monday evening , and the transaction would close in August. The college would issue revenue bonds to fund the cost, estimated at $15.9 million.

The acquisition would bring ACC's investment in the mall site to $41.1 million and its ownership stake to three major buildings as well as all of the land, about 81 acres. ACC leases part of the land to the company that owns what's left of the mall — the building that houses stores, a food court and other operations.
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