The Austin American-Statesman is reporting tonight that Players has been sold to the McCombs School of Business Foundation, which sold it to UT.
My earlier information, apparently, wasn’t quite accurate. The owners weren’t interested in selling at the approved, appraised value, but UT was willing to pony up more money to close the sale.
By law, UT could not have paid more than $2.5M for the property as the university isn’t allowed to spend more than the appraised value. They were able to skirt this law by having the Foundation purchase the property above value, then sell it to the university for the appraised value. In other words, the McCombs School of Business Foundation donated $1.5M to make the sale occur.
The official word is there has been no use determined for the site, although my source said that the entire block would be, eventually, used for a business school asset.
The gritty: Players sold for $3M, plus 10-year, rent-free lease valued at $1M. Under the terms of the lease, UT can terminate the lease (thus closing Players) with 6-months notice, however, would have to pay $100K for each year remaining of the original 10.
After two years, Players can terminate the deal themselves netting $100K for each year left on the lease.
Personally, I’m not sure what I think will happen. Assuming my original info regarding the length of lease for the other properties on the Whitis/20th/Guadalupe/MLK block is accurate, I could see Players staying open, at least, that long. At the same time, I can’t imagine UT would leave an empty gas station at MLK/Guadalupe abandoned for that long nor building something unless it was a component piece of a larger project.
In short, we have at least until October to enjoy Players or 2022 may be the end of the line or anywhere in between.