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Closing date set for sale of Town Center

By Roxana Orellana

rorellana@postbulletin.com

By the end of the year, Town Center is expected to have a new owner.

The building, which sat empty for more than 10 years before Port Authority bought it, now pays more than $20,000 a year in taxes and has more than 40 people working in it.

On Wednesday, Port Authority members agreed to sell the building that is seen as a success in downtown Austin.

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The authority approved a purchase agreement with 329 North Main LLC. The sale price is $812,500.

Part of the agreement, according to Port Authority secretary Tom Dankert, is not to close on the sale until Dec. 31 for rent purposes.

All five commissioners present at the meeting voted to go ahead with the sale. Commissioners Mike Bednar and Georgette Hinkle were not present.

With the sale approved, Port Authority would work with the new owner, tenants and businesses that provide services to the building to make a smooth transition. Plans are to meet with tenants to explain the process. The leases would transfer as they are, Dankert said.

David Hoversten, city attorney, verified that everything so far was in order for the process to continue.

The buyer, Patrick Bradley, is in the process of getting its financing lined up. Dankert said that would not be a problem. Bradley has owned property in Austin in the past, Dankert added.

The building is expected to have a book value of $770,056 by the day of closing. With the set purchase price, the authority would have a profit of $42,000 minus any other costs with the transfer. The authority would use the money to pay the city for an outstanding loan.

According to Dankert, any excess operating rent the tenants may have made during 2006 would be returned at the end of the year.

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"This is a wonderful project," Commissioner Larry Maus said, adding that it was not only profitable but an asset to downtown. "It's a beautiful building and a success story."

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