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Nashville Invades Austin: Grand Ole Opry Owner Buying Austin City Limits Site for $275 Million – The Biggest Real Estate Deal in Country Music History?

Austin’s Second Street is home to the Austin City Limits Live theater and the W Hotel, which are being acquired by the Ryman organization. Copyright 2019 Photo by Ralph Bivins of Realty News Report. (Copyright enforced. Use of photo requires written permission.)

AUSTIN – (Realty News Report) – Nashville-based Ryman Hospitality Properties, owner of the Grand Ole Opry and the historic Ryman Auditorium country music hall, is acquiring a mixed-used development in downtown Austin that includes the Austin City Limits theater.

The $275 million deal gives Ryman – a unique brand that controls the crossroads of country music and real estate – a strong music-oriented location in Austin, which is known as the Live Music Capital of the World.

The urban Austin property which Ryman is buying is two blocks north of Lady Bird Lake on a block bounded by Second, Third, Lavaca and Guadalupe streets.

Ryman is buying the property from Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc.

The 37-story property, known as Block 21, includes the 251-room W Austin Hotel and the Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, a 2,750-seat entertainment venue that serves as the location for the filming of Austin City Limits, the longest running music series in American television history. Block 21 also includes Class A office space, retail space and the 3TEN ACL Live entertainment venue.

A large statue of legendary musician Willie Nelson is located near the building.

“Ryman Hospitality Properties is a great company that understands and respects the strong connection that exists between Austin and its music scene,” said William H. Armstrong III, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stratus. “We think Ryman Hospitality Properties’ expertise in both hospitality and live entertainment, plus their demonstrated stewardship of the iconic Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry make them the ideal company to usher Block 21 and ACL Live into their next decade.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

The block is in the heart of new high-rise residential office development in downtown Austin. The site is about three blocks from a 35-story Google office project that is under construction by Trammell Crow. And other new towers are underway nearby. A 58-story residential tower, called The Independent and nicknamed the Jenga Tower, was completed a few months ago.

“The Stratus team has done a remarkable job realizing Stratus’ vision for Block 21 with high-quality brands, like W Hotels, and entertainment choices, like Austin City Limits,” said Colin Reed, CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties. “We believe Block 21 is an ideal addition to our existing portfolio of entertainment and hospitality assets.”

Dec. 9, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019

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