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Rizer to help with convention center expansion

Thursday, September 17, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Former Austin real estate officer Lauraine Rizer, who worked for the city for 30 years and retired in April 2018, is preparing to help the city negotiate a contract to purchase two pieces of property for the westward expansion of the convention center. The item on today’s City Council agenda asks Council to authorize the contract with Rizer for real estate consulting services “for up to three years for a total contract amount not to exceed $200,000.” Another item on the agenda seeks authorization for the city to enter into a nondisclosure agreement for the purchase of blocks 16 and 32, across the street from the convention center. The city is hoping to do a public-private partnership to finance at least part of the cost of expansion. According to the Austin Business Journal, Manifold Development has planned to build a 47-story tower on Block 16, the current home of several restaurants including P.F. Chang’s. Rizer said the agreement would stop progress on the tower. Council is expected to authorize the agreement, which includes paying $6.3 million in earnest money.

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