Austin Lyric Opera Announces Sale of Office Building

Barton Springs Road Property Sold to Megalomedia for $5.45 million

Austin Lyric Opera has sold its building on Barton Springs Road to Megalomedia Inc. for $5.45 million. Jo Anne Christian, chair of the board of the Austin Lyric Opera, announced that the deal with the Austin-based film and production company closed on Dec. 30, 2011.

“The Opera board began exploring the possibility of selling the building earlier this year,” Christian said. “We are delighted at the price and terms of this sale and thrilled that the deal moved so quickly.”

According to Kevin Smith, interim general director of the Opera, the proceeds of the sale will be ample to lease excellent space for the company and to establish a solid financial foundation to support future opera seasons and opera education programs. “We will spend the first quarter of 2012 locating rehearsal and office space and expect to be settled into new quarters well before summer,” Smith said.

“The gift by the original generous donors to the building’s construction has kept on giving. That original investment has grown exponentially and will permit the Opera to establish a solid financial base for a bright and exciting artistic future,” Ernest Auerbach, board president, said.

Auerbach attributed the speed and efficiency of the sale to Elisabeth Waltz, a board trustee with extensive professional real estate experience, and to Commercial Texas, which represented the opera in the sale. “We are extraordinarily grateful for the invaluable assistance these professionals provided us,” Auerbach said.

The Armstrong Community Music School, which has been a part of the opera family, will become independent and is in discussion with possible merger partners. Auerbach said he expected to be able to give a progress report on those discussions within the next few weeks.

Now in its 25th Anniversary Season, Austin Lyric Opera was founded in 1986 by Joseph McClain and the late Dr. Walter Ducloux. Austin Lyric Opera, along with the Austin Ballet and Austin Symphony Orchestra, is one of the founding resident companies of The Long Center, Austin’s creative home, where productions continue to be performed.

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