A private dormitory that has provided affordable housing to University of Texas students for 62 years is closing, KUT’s Syeda Hasan reported Wednesday. The roughly 60 current residents were told in April that they must vacate the building by May 16, although a few have been offered short lease extensions, according to the story.
Resident adviser Jennifer Beardsley told the Austin American-Statesman Friday that the building’s manager informed her and fellow advisers that the building is being sold, though the paper notes that Travis County records do not yet reflect new ownership. The daily also reported that the building is valued at $5.2 million, according to Travis Central Appraisal District records. and that no site plans for the property have been submitted to the city.
Built in 1956, the building nicknamed the “Woo” has long been a relatively affordable residence for UT and Austin Community College students—as well as providing low rent for some nonstudents, according to the Statesman—as well as a fixture on the Drag/Guadalupe Street, across from the University of Texas. The ground-floor barbershop next door, also called the Goodall Wooten, is almost equally well-known and beloved, and the building’s modernist exterior is appreciated by some local design mavens. The barbershop owner told KUT that his lease runs through 2021, so he doesn’t expect any changes in his location until then.
The off-campus dorm is not affiliated with UT, but its closing will affect many of its students, especially those who can’t afford higher-priced campus-area housing. Beardsley told the Statesman that it offered 91 private and shared rooms ranging in rent from $390 to $864 per month.