Owners of Statesman Site Take First Steps Toward Redevelopment

February 12, 2016 by Kate Harrington

The new owners of the Austin American-Statesman site have big plans for the 18.9 acres alongside Lady Bird Lake.

The family that purchased the land in December sent out a request for interest and qualifications on Feb. 8. The RFIQ, sent out to developers by law firm Armbrust & Brown, asks for ideas about how to turn the site into a mixed-use development.

Cox Enterprises, the company that owns the Statesman, revealed in late 2015 that it would sell the land to a group of Cox family members. Cox Enterprises is still the newspaper’s owner. Through a lease with the Cox family, the newspaper is still operating at the site.

There’s no word yet on what the redevelopment timeline will be; Armbrust & Brown told Statesman reporters that the Cox family “will evaluate information provided by qualified developers and determine potential next steps and timing with respect to any future development activities.”

Statesman Property
The new owners of the Austin American-Statesman site are formulating plans for a mixed-use development. This is the view from that property.

Alex Taylor, executive vice president of Cox Enterprises, said “There is no predetermined plan, but in general we want to see the area develop in a way that is commensurate with Austin — a thriving economy in a beautiful environment. We’ll find the right partner who understands the difference between that and just making money. But we’re in no rush.”

The Statesman land is one of the largest privately owned parcels in Central Austin.

The Statesman property currently has planned unit development (PUD) zoning, which limits uses without a conditional use property and also limits how much additional space could be built. But with a zoning change, the site and the area around it could transform dramatically.


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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.