Central Health planning to demolish, redevelop building for Dell Medical School

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A construction worker (or his name) watches the demolition of the former University Medical Center Brackenridge on August 26, 2019. A 17-story Dell Medical School building will soon take its place and will hopefully bring affordable health care through new jobs.

Photo Credit: Pedro Luna | Daily Texan Staff

Over $460 million will gradually fund accessible health care in Travis County through a partnership between the University, Central Health and the 2033 Higher Education Development Foundation. 

Central Health, a health care organization that owns the former University Medical Center Brackenridge, will be leasing a section of the medical center’s campus to the 2033 Higher Education Development Foundation, a nonprofit created to benefit the University. The section will be demolished and redeveloped to house Dell Medical School operations. 

Tenants will also be leasing out space in in the building and will generate the majority of the funds for Travis County health care, said Shahreen Abedin, associate director of media relations for Dell Medical School.

The foundation signed a 99-year lease on the property, with the first redevelopment project expected to finish in 2022. The project will benefit health care through funding and jobs, said Ted Burton, vice president of communications for Central Health. 

“The community has told us they envision a mixed-use development on the property with a focus on medical and health innovation, job, retail and more,” Burton said in an email. “Lease revenue from the redevelopment will fund health care in Travis County for people with low incomes. Over the next 99 years, it’s expected to generate $460 million for Central Health.”

If the appropriate permits are granted around the end of September, demolition of the former office building on the block is expected to finish in about six months. Construction on the 17-story building will begin soon afterward. 

Gary Susswein, UT’s chief communications officer, said the redevelopment plans will help fulfill some of the original vision for Dell Medical School. 

“In this building, we are going to have some Dell Medical School operations,” Susswein said. ”We are also going to have outside partners who are dedicated to thinking about health care in new ways. We’ve really envisioned (Dell Medical School) not just as a place to train doctors … but also as a place that would really be host to an innovation district.” 

Working with other private companies, Susswein said Dell Medical School hopes to create a place where ideas and people can work collaboratively. Biology junior David Pereira, who hopes to work in the medical field, said the project is a great thing for the future of UT medical students.

“I think that with the redevelopment, it’ll bring more opportunities for up-and-coming students like me who want to get into the medical field,” Pereira said. “I feel like … the medical industry here in Austin can only expand.”

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect that tenants will also be leasing out space in the new building.