Austin Community College has completed its acquisition of Highland Mall for $1.7 million, clearing the way for the college to move ahead with plans to revitalize the site, officials announced today.
The former J.C. Penney store is expected to open in fall 2014 after a renovation that will include creation of a “math emporium,” an open-lab space in which students can move through the remedial, or developmental, curriculum at an individualized pace.
ACC’s long-term plans call for reshaping the North Central Austin site into a “new urbanist” setting with classrooms, administrative offices and a mix of residential, retail and other commercial development, according to documents obtained last year by the American-Statesman through an open-records request. The college does not plan to develop the site into a full-fledged campus.
The latest acquisition includes a ground lease for the core building that houses retail tenants, the former Dillard’s men’s store and common spaces such as the food court.