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"Stratus Properties refinances W Austin Hotel and Residences"
7:33 a.m. Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 | Filed in: Business
By Gary Dinges, Austin American-Statesman Staff
From, http://www.statesman.com/news/business/stratus-properties-refinances-w-austin-hotel-and-r/np23Z/

Stratus Properties Inc. has completed refinancing of Block 21, site of the W Austin Hotel and Residences, the Austin-based developer said Monday.

Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co. provided the 10-year, $150 million loan.

Stratus bought out its partner in the project, Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund II, last year, giving it full control of the downtown high-rise, which is also home to the Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater music venue, as well as several shops, restaurants and offices.

Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc. has completed refinancing of the W Austin Hotel and Residences. Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co. provided the $150 million loan.
“Developing the $300 million W Austin Hotel and Residences and live music venue in downtown Austin in 2008 was considered by some at the time to be pioneering, but the W and ACL combination has proven very successful,” Stratus CEO Beau Armstrong said. “We sold nearly $190 million of condominiums and generated $260 million of revenue from the hotel and ACL Live since opening the doors in December 2010.

“This new financial structure provided by Goldman Sachs will afford long-term certainty for this wonderful property, which we at Stratus are all very proud of.”

The W Austin Hotel and Residences, at 200 Lavaca St., is one of a shrinking number of downtown Austin blocks that’s still locally owned, former Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said.

“ I was mayor when the Block 21 project opened in 2010 and I know how hard they worked to make it a success,” Leffingwell said. “Austin City Limits Live and the W hotel have had a very positive economic impact on the Second Street District, which was — and remains — a priority for the city, and I’m very happy to see it remain in local hands.”

The move from a small studio tucked away on the University of Texas campus to a high-profile site downtown has been very beneficial for the “Austin City Limits” TV show and local PBS affiliate KLRU-TV, station CEO and general manager Bill Stotesbery said.

“ACL Live at the Moody Theater has been a phenomenal home for ‘Austin City Limits,’ and has added a new dimension to the energy and quality of the live tapings,” he said. “What Stratus has created with the theater and the entire development exceeds anything we imagined when we first started working together almost a decade ago. Stratus has been an exceptional partner, and ACL and KLRU have both benefited massively from being a part of this amazing project.”

California billionaire Carl Berg made headlines recently when he suggested Stratus executives explore a sale of the company. Berg has also said he intends to nominate two new directors, David M. Dean and Michael Knapp.

In addition to the W Austin Hotel and Residences, Stratus has developed a number of commercial and residential projects in Southwest Austin. Oaks at Lakeway, its new H-E-B-anchored shopping center in Lakeway, opened last year and another center featuring a H-E-B store is planned for Magnolia, north of Houston.

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