'Texas Monthly' Sues Developer

Magazine sole occupant on undeveloped lot

Where's our walkable neighborhood? The corporate owner of Texas Monthly – which moved the magazine's offices into the new University Park (formerly East Avenue) project last August – is suing project developer Andy Sarwal and East Avenue IG LP for failing to meet the terms of their lease agreement. The site, on the former Concordia University campus along I-35 at 32nd Street, was supposed to be redeveloped into a $750 million mixed-use mecca with restaurants, a movie theatre, a luxury Hyatt Andaz hotel, a health club, a grocery store, and housing and amenities galore.

Instead, Texas Monthly sits all by its lonesome as the sole tenant in a see-through office building – the one structure that's arisen on an otherwise desolate site. TM President Elynn Russell confirmed that Emmis Publishing has filed suit because the promised benefits and amenities (including restaurants in the building) weren't completed by deadlines written into its contract, making Sarwal and his group liable for monthly rent-abatement payments.

Lenders Texas Capital Bank and U.S. Bank recently took back the eight-story office building and attached parking garage for $22 million at a foreclosure auction. The general contractor, Lyda Swinerton Builders Inc., earlier filed a $2.5 million lien against the building, Sarwal previously confirmed. In March, Sarwal sold the bulk of the undeveloped 10-acre site to Cypress Real Estate Advisors. He retained the office building and the hotel site; he has said his firm, Alexandrina Manage­ment, still plans to build more than 300 apartments.

Lehman Bros. provided the original financing on the land purchase; according to published reports, Cypress became the new lender ($39 million for the office building) after Lehman went bankrupt in 2008.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Texas Monthly
New Leaders at KUT and <i>Texas Monthly</i>
New Leaders at KUT and Texas Monthly
Legacy media powers move past scandal with outside hires

Mike Clark-Madison, Jan. 11, 2019

Smith Takes 'TM' Helm
Smith Takes 'TM' Helm
Monthly presses on in wake of layoffs, shrinking budget

Kevin Brass, Aug. 29, 2008

More by Katherine Gregor
Climate Protection: City in No Hurry To Cool It
Climate Protection: City in No Hurry To Cool It
Checking in on the Climate Protection Program's progress – or lack thereof

Aug. 6, 2010

Climate Change Crosses County Lines
Climate Change Crosses County Lines
Study predicts how climate change will affect Texas' future water needs

July 30, 2010

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Texas Monthly, Andy Sarwal

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle