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County to go fishing for ideas on downtown tract

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

Travis County is turning to the free market for ideas on what to do with one of its most controversial properties. The Commissioners Court voted on Tuesday to instruct staff to prepare a formal request for proposals for 300 Guadalupe St. That, of course, is the site the county had proposed for its failed $287 million Civil & Family Courts Complex bond project last year. The move to solicit proposals comes as a citizen advisory committee is working with county planners to explore alternative options for a courthouse site. While 300 Guadalupe St. is still technically on the table for consideration, the county is not bound to keep it fallow in the meantime. The county is also not committed by the proposal process to divest itself of the property, and the expected proposals themselves are not expected to be limited to sales requests. Strategic Planning Manager Belinda Powell told the Austin Monitor on Tuesday afternoon that she anticipates returning to the court with more details on the request for proposals in late June. Once it’s released, county staff aren’t expected to reel in the nets for anywhere between 90 and 120 days.

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