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UT: New Hotel & Conference Center

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The University of Texas is planning to build a $60 million hotel and conference center. The project will be 270,000 sf with 70,000 sf going towards convention space and 200,000 sf for hotel rooms. A $20 million parking structure will also be part of this project. Other features include:

John Rishling, associate vice president for campus planning and capital projects, says the center will comprise:

-250 to 300 hotel rooms with online access and work rooms so visitors can study.

-A 250-seat, tiered amphitheater that could broadcast live video to remote locations.

-Three classrooms, with flat-screen or rear-projection monitors that could seat 90 people each.

-12 other rooms that could seat a combined 360 people.

-A new location for a campus club for faculty and staff, which would move from Walter Webb Hall.

Construction could begin in summer 2006 and be completed by fall 2008.

More from the article:

According to UT, the McCombs school is one of a handful of top 20 business schools without executive education centers. The school says it remains the only top 10 executive MBA program without a residential center.

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According to the convention bureau, conferences connected with UT generate about 18,000 room nights a year in Austin -- with an economic impact of about $10 million. But that estimate is "just scratching the surface," Maddox says, because the bureau records only the larger conferences.

Austin Business Journal: UT plans $60M center

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Much remains to be worked out, including the acquisition of several parcels of land along the north side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between University Avenue and Guadalupe Street. Player's restaurant, which has dished up burgers and shakes for more than 20 years, does not want to sell. University officials, although legally allowed to condemn the tract, are reluctant to exercise their eminent domain authority in light of objections to the use of that power by the Texas House last month.

UT has already aquired some parcels on the site and are in negotiations with others, but Player's restaurant and the owner of two other pieces of land are holding out. One possible solution could be to include restaurant space on the ground floor of the planned parking deck and lease it to Player's.

Austin American-Statesman: UT closer to building hotel, but obtaining land could be tricky

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The UT Board of Regents will be hear a presentation giving by the UT President about the proposed hotel and conference center and Wednesday and Thursday.

The regents will consider signing a 10-year contract with FLIK International Corporation Conference Center Management to manage the facility, dubbed the University of Texas Professional Education and Conference Center. Under the proposed agreement, the System would pay FLIK a $521,403 management fee the first year, which would increase to $810,000 in the last five years.

Once the regents have decided on their plan, the University will become more intent on settling the Player's situation and schematic designs of the center which will provide a realistic visual in terms of design, Rishling said.

The Daily Texan: Faulkner to give presentation on new UT hotel

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The University of Texas at Austin announced Wednesday that it would not use its eminent domain authority to acquire the Player's restaurant property for a parking garage at the southwest corner of campus.

Negotiations will still continue to purchase the restaurant property, but plans are being made to design the new facility around it. This will increase the price of the project as some of the parking structure will have to go underground.

Austin American-Statesman: UT won't seize land for garage

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The regents also are expected to authorize construction of a $120.9 million hotel and conference center at the southern edge of campus. That is nearly $37 million more than previous estimates, an increase caused partly by the need to build underground parking to avoid condemning a restaurant that has operated adjacent to the site for more than 20 years.

Austin American-Satesman: $149.9 million expansion of UT stadium planned

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Sitework has begun for the project, but some on the city's design commission are not pleased with the design since in does not address Martin Luther Kink Jr Blvd.

The building's main entrances will be on University Avenue and Whitis Drive, with a landscaped walkway running along the MLK side of the building.

"It's definitely a physical barrier, but it's more a psychological barrier," Cotera said.

That's something Design Commission members fear cuts the community off from the university.

News 8 Austin: UT hotel moves forward

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