For Release Upon Receipt:
JUNIOR LEAGUE ACQUIRES PROPERTY TO SUPPORT EXPANDING MEMBERSHIP AND OTHER COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
AUSTIN, May 26, 2010 – The Junior League of Austin announced today that it has acquired a tract of land in northwest Austin where it hopes to build facilities that could meet its own growing needs while supporting other non-profits.
2009-2010 League President Kathi Haralson said the organization this month finalized the purchase of a 10.28-acre tract at 5334 Bluffstone Drive, across Loop 360 from Spicewood Springs Road, southwest of the Arboretum retail area. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to acquire this property located in what has become the geographic center of Austin and which meets all the needs identified by our members,” said Haralson.
The League currently occupies 11,000-square-feet of space and anticipates needing at least 20,000 feet for its own operations plus special event and meeting facilities that could be accessible to other community non-profit groups.
“While we have been hit just as hard by the weak economy as everyone else, we were able to make this purchase because of the legacy of support provided by our members and leadership over many years. Nevertheless, a capital campaign will be necessary before we can actually build anything,” Haralson said.
Since 1983, the League has been headquartered in a retail center it owns at 5416 Parkcrest in northwest Austin. Limitations of the space now require the League to rent facilities elsewhere for its own general membership meetings. Consideration of renovating the center and constructing a garage to provide expanded space and adequate parking for members proved cost prohibitive.
“We will maintain our ownership of The Square on Parkcrest Shopping Center and continue using revenues earned from its operations to help support our activities. However, we are landlocked there and, with the addition of our new “Food in Tummies” program and growth in our membership, we simply must have more room,” Haralson said.
The League executive applauded the work of Southwest Strategies and broker Mike Wiley, who handled the acquisition and consulted with the League for more than three years during its consideration of space requirements and opportunities. She also expressed appreciation to sellers Scott Morledge and Bruce Wencel of Land/Creek Development for providing the League time to work through its organizational decision-making.
Sandy Alcala, who will soon take over as League president for the 2010-2011 year, will share responsibility for planning use of the new property with her board and new president-elect Morgen Hardin, who will lead a study of a capital campaign that could bring the League’s facilities vision to reality.
Meanwhile, the League will maintain focus on the community projects it supports annually with funding and volunteer time. On average, the Junior League contributes more than $1 million to 25 organizations, together with more than 100,000 uncompensated hours of volunteer service by its members. The League also sponsors 10 service programs of its own.
The Junior League of Austin was organized more than 76 years ago and today is one of the largest in the Association of Junior Leagues International with more than 700 active members, more than 200 women in its provisional member class for the coming year, and more than 1250 sustaining members. Their mission is to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
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For more information:
Kathi Haralson, 512-467-8982 x 204 (office) or 512-848-1938 (cell)
Howard Falkenberg, 512-579-3800 (office) or 512-632-2258 (cell)