Austin Music Hall has new owners; no immediate changes planned

Oct 7, 2014
Austin American Statesman

The Austin Music Hall has changed hands again — and the new owners say they’re planning no immediate changes to the downtown Austin music and events venue

Austin-based Cielo Property Group bought the 43,000-square-foot building late last month from Little Rock-based Bank of the Ozarks. The purchase price was not disclosed

OmniBank, which merged with Bank of the Ozarks in March, repossessed Austin Music Hall in May 2012 after its operator, Austin-based Direct Events, fell behind on loan payments

The building, at 208 Nueces St., is valued at $9.2 million by the Travis Central Appraisal District. It was expanded and remodeled in 2007

“It’s still business as usual at Austin Music Hall,” Cielo founding principal Bobby Dillard told the American-Statesman. “Concerts and events already booked will go on as planned and we’re actively seeking new bookings, including some additional shows for South by Southwest.”

Long-term, Cielo officials say, they haven’t decided what to do with the site. It’s possible sightlines and acoustics — the focus of frequent complaints from concert-goers — could be improved to lure more performances and events, the company said. But with lease space tight in downtown Austin, Cielo said there’s also a chance the building could be redeveloped in the future for other uses, such as offices

Upcoming concerts include Bassnectar on Oct. 24, STS9 on Nov. 8, The 1975 on Nov. 25 and Weezer on Dec. 2

Austin Music Hall’s location near several major new developments currently under construction was a primary reason Cielo was interested in the site, executives said. Nearby, the former Seaholm power plant is being redeveloped, a new central library is planned and shops, restaurants, hotels and residences are on the way

“This location is on track to become the center of downtown,” Cielo founding principal Rob Gandy said. “There are more than $2 billion worth of development projects going on in this area. When you look at all the cranes downtown, most of them are right here.”

Aside from Austin Music Hall, Cielo’s other Austin holdings include the 15-story 823 Congress office building, as well as a trio of historical buildings in the 300 block of Congress Avenue

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