UT Austin May Use, Develop Portions of Central Health Campus

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin is poised to take another key step toward improving health and promoting medical research by working to move some Dell Medical School operations into two blocks of land in Austin’s nearby innovation district and to partner there with other health-oriented organizations.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the UT System Board of Regents authorized UT Austin to enter into discussions to sublease those two parcels from the 2033 Fund, a nonprofit recently established by alumnus and businessman Sandy Gottesman to benefit UT Austin.

“I thank the regents for their ongoing support as we provide the people of Travis County with quality health care and become a model for transforming health care,” said President Gregory L. Fenves. “By using this property strategically, we will continue to align the mission of Dell Medical School with our partners, Central Health and Seton Healthcare Family.”

Under the terms approved by the Board of Regents, the university will negotiate to lease Block 167, which includes the existing medical facility known as Hospital Tower, and Block 164 along Red River Street south of the existing parking garage. The university could use the existing space for Dell Med operations or lease it to third parties with aligned health care missions. This proposal would allow potential ­redevelopment to begin quickly and cost-effectively.

Central Health, the county’s health care district, is planning to develop the 14-acre campus it owns surrounding the now-closed University Medical Center Brackenridge, which was replaced last year by the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas. The campus is part of the local innovation district being spearheaded by the nonprofit Capital City Innovation.

Last week, Central Health’s Board of Managers authorized negotiations to lease the two parcels on the 14-acre Brackenridge campus to the 2033 Fund. Under the plans now approved by the Board of Regents, UT Austin could then sublease the two parcels from the nonprofit fund.

“We fully support this plan, which ultimately will help make it possible for public, private and non-profit entities to work together for the good of the community,” Board of Regents Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker said. “In addition, it will help the Dell Medical School continue to drive innovation in health care and health care delivery.”