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Central Health rethinks strategy on Brackenridge redevelopment

Thursday, February 22, 2018 by Katy McElroy

Central Health announced Wednesday that Baltimore-based Wexford Science and Technology has withdrawn from master developer consideration for the Brackenridge Campus. In addition, the health care district is considering moving away from its master developer strategy on the campus altogether, in an effort to move more quickly through its redevelopment process. The press release reveals that on Wednesday the Budget and Finance Committee of Central Health’s board of managers recommended that Mike Geeslin, Central Health president and CEO, “negotiate with parties, including The 2033 Fund, who are interested in developing two blocks on the 14-acre campus.” The 2033 Fund is a nonprofit established by Sandy Gottesman, a graduate of the University of Texas. The release shares that the nonprofit “is interested in two specific blocks on the Campus for health and research operations. The tracts are Block 167, the former University Medical Center Brackenridge hospital tower, and Block 164, which is located along Red River Street south of the existing parking garage. Block 164 would be used for future health-related needs and to support the joint mission of Central Health, Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, and their partner Seton Healthcare Family.” The UT Board of Regents will discuss leasing those blocks “both for Dell Medical School activities and to potentially sublease portions to other entities with an aligned health care mission” next week. A partnership with UT through The 2033 Fund would provide a quick and steady opportunity for income for the district to help support its development of the rest of the site. The press release promises that this potential agreement does not mean that the Central Health Brackenridge Campus Master Plan, which was developed with community involvement and adopted by the board in 2016, is being abandoned. “If Central Health reaches an agreement with The 2033 Fund, it will not preclude the health care district from redeveloping the remaining blocks in alignment with the Central Health Brackenridge Campus Master Plan. With or without a master developer for the project, the Master Plan can serve as a guiding document.”

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