Developer Sues AISD Over Alamo Drafthouse Bid

October 31, 2017 by Kate Harrington

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is hoping to move its headquarters to one of the properties that the Austin Independent School District is selling or leasing, but a recent lawsuit from an Austin developer argues that the bidding process has been flawed.

Alamo Drafthouse was one of six bidders for a former school in Hyde Park, the Baker Center. That property, which dates to 1911, had a minimum bid of $10.6 million. Colina West Limited, which developer David Kahn owns, filed a lawsuit in late September that alleges AISD didn’t follow rules around the bidding process.

“The purpose of the lawsuit was to insure that the bidding and award process was compliant with the bidding package and/or applicable law,” the Austin American-Statesman quoted Mitchell Savrick, the lawyer representing Colina West, as saying. “The highest bid was apparently not accepted and Colina West wants to make sure that a full and open vetting of that process occurs. Colina West has full confidence that a Texas court is the best place for such vetting.”

Alamo’s plans for the Baker school include a community cultural center, and art gallery, and affordable housing.

AISD put 10 of its properties up for bids last year. The district has sold two of its properties, including a 32-acre Loyola Lane property and a 12-acre site south of East 51st Street. High interest properties the district hasn’t yet made any decisions on include the Carruth Administration Center on West Sixth Street, and the former Millett Opera House on East Ninth Street.

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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.