N.Y. investment firm joins $400 million Waller Creek project

Mar 21, 2014
Austin American Statesman

A New York investment firm said Thursday that it has signed on as a financial backer of one of the most ambitious projects ever planned for downtown Austin, a move the developer said puts the $400 million project on track for a fall groundbreaking

McCourt Global told the American-Statesman that its real estate venture, McCourt Partners, teamed with Austin-based developer the Sutton Co. to buy 3 acres along Waller Creek for the project, which envisions three skyscrapers, the tallest of which could be more than 50 stories. About 1.4 million square feet of development is envisioned for the project, which is tentatively being called Waller Creek Center. The development would include offices, apartments and condominiums, a hotel, shops and restaurants

The sale of the land, at the southwest corner of East Cesar Chavez and Red River Street, closed Tuesday, said Mac Pike, chairman of the Sutton Co. He declined to disclose the purchase price

Last year, the Sutton Co. had brought on Klabzuba Realty, a longtime family owned real estate and oil and gas investment company based in Fort Worth, as a financial partner, but Pike said Klabzuba is no longer involved in the project

The project is planned for an area that is seeing a spurt of development. A $370 million Fairmont hotel is planned at the northeast corner of Cesar Chavez and Red River, and new residential towers have emerged on nearby Rainey Street. With a medical school and teaching hospital planned at the north end of Waller Creek, Waller Creek Center “will undoubtedly provide a significant amenity to their students, staff and administration,” Pike said

McCourt Global, founded in 2007 by former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, invests in real estate, private equity, sports and media ventures. McCourt Partners, which has more than $550 million in assets and capital at its disposal, is a venture between McCourt Global and financial services firm Guggenheim Partners

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