highland mall

Halloween
1:05 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Photos: House of Torment’s Last Halloween at Highland Mall

One of the many terrors found within the House of Torment. Celebrating its tenth year, this Halloween is House of Torment's last at Highland Mall.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The House of Torment has reached an agreement to stay at its Highland Mall location for a ninth year. "We couldn't be more excited to share what we've created this year with Austin fear fans," says House of Torment president and founder Daniel McCullough in a press release. "We really went above and beyond in terms of both production and design, and we hope you'll come scream with us."

Original story (Oct. 24, 2012): To encourage trick-or-treating in his neighborhood, every year Halloween-lover Dan McCullough would build a haunted house in his backyard in South Austin.

His plan worked – and soon the house’s popularity grew until one year it got out of hand. Over a hundred people showed up to the house and police were called to direct traffic. McCullough’s operation had to end – in that form at least.

McCullough decided to turn professional. The haunted house that originated in McCullough’s backyard is now the House of Torment.

Jon Love visited the House of Torment in its inaugural space 10 years ago. Now he’s the vice president of Harbinger Events, the organization that puts on the haunted house.

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Education
7:45 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Austin Community College to Break Ground at Highland Mall

Rendering of ACC Highland, phase I.
Elizabeth Day (courtesy BGK Architects)

Austin Community College is breaking ground today at a vacant JCPenney store in Highland Mall. The store will be converted into a learning environment for ACC.

"This is a really big day for ACC as well as the surrounding neighborhood and in fact all of the communities that we serve," ACC spokesperson Alexis Patterson said. "It’s great for the area. It brings new life, new people coming to the mall. And the mall’s still in operation, so we’re excited about the boost this is going to give to the mall as a whole.”

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Austin
1:34 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

ACC Completes Its Highland Mall Takeover

While ACC has acquired the lease for the entirety of Highland Mall, it says "mall business is expected to continue as usual for the immediate future."
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Austin Community College now has complete ownership of Highland Mall. The college announced today that it has acquired the ground lease for the sections of the building it didn’t already own.

ACC now plans to quickly move forward to make new use of the site. ACC President and CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes said in a statement today that the first step will be renovating the former J.C. Penney property into classrooms and labs.

“In particular, the Penney space will house the college’s math emporium, an open-lab model that allows students to move through developmental math curriculum at an individualized pace,” reads a statement from ACC.

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Austin
12:05 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

What Are the City's Plans for Airport Boulevard?

This design proposal for Airport Blvd. shows a divided median, bikeways, improved sidewalks and more.
Image courtesy airportboulevard.com

Airport Boulevard – or at least the bustling but non-scenic stretch of it from the Mueller development to its terminus at North Lamar – may look and function a whole lot differently in the future.

For the past several months, the City of Austin, designers and planners have worked on a plan to beautify the urban thoroughfare, making it more multimodal and pedestrian friendly. Tonight, at a meeting of the city’s Design Commission, we’ll see the result of that work, as the commission discusses and may take action on recommendations in the Airport Boulevard Corridor Study Report.

So why this stretch of asphalt? Its location has several things going for it: The ongoing infill development at the former Mueller airport speaks to the area’s redevelopment potential; so does ailing Highland Mall, the largely-vacant retail destination center that Austin Community College has a large stake in. Then there’s the new Midtown Commons development at North Lamar, located on the Capital Metro Red Line.

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Austin
3:53 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

ACC Picks Architect for Highland Mall

The former J.C. Penny's building at Highland Mall. ACC has named an architect to covert the space into a learning center.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Austin Community College has selected an architectural firm for its redevelopment of Highland Mall.

At their meeting this week, the ACC Board of Trustees selected Austin-based BGK Architects to serve as the architectural and engineering team to oversee renovation of the former J.C. Penny’s store at the moribund mall. ACC plans on using the site as an educational space.

BGK Architects is no stranger to civic initiatives: they’ve previously worked on the Palmer Events Center, the Austin Convention Center Parking Garage, and more.

ACC has steadily acquired nearly all of the land encompassing the largely-vacant Highland Mall. It owns the stores of former anchor tenants Macy's and one of Dillard's two stores, plus the land underneath the mall itself; the remaining mall structures are locked into a lease with their operator through 2070.  An ACC press release notes "existing mall businesses will continue operations according to the terms of their subleases with the ground tenant."

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Education
12:27 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

Highland Mall Land Could Soon Be 100 Percent Owned by ACC

Highland Mall is filled with vacant retail space like this former Dillard's location. By August, Austin Community College could own 100 percent of the land beneath the mall.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Land underneath the beleaguered Highland Mall could soon be under complete ownership of Austin Community College. ACC signed a $16 million deal for the former JC Penney and the surrounding parking lot.

It’s important to distinguish land ownership from building ownership.  ACC would possess all the property beneath the mall, but it would only own three of the four former department stores: the Dillard’s women’s store, Macy’s and JC Penney buildings.

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Business
4:02 pm
Tue January 18, 2011

See What Highland Mall's 50 Percent Vacancy Rate Looks Like (Soon To Be 71 Percent)

The "Fun Zone" at Highland Mall. The mall is crippled by a 50 percent vacancy rate, which will rise to 71 percent once the Macy's anchor store closes.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

If you haven't made time lately to visit the beleaguered Highland Mall, you are not alone. Close to half of the mall's retail space is unleased, and it is about to lose its Macy's anchor store.  KUT News sent freelance photographer Jeff Heimsath to the mall to take some pictures so you can see how deserted it has become. Check out our slideshow.

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Business
4:31 pm
Wed January 5, 2011

ACC Buys Macy's Site at Highland Mall

ACC will acquire the Macy's building inside Highland Mall
Image courtesy Kari Sullivan/Flickr

Austin Community College announced this afternoon that it has bought the 13-acre Macy's property at Highland Mall.

ACC is paying $5 million for the site and plans to renovate the retail space to potentially include classrooms, administrative offices and a conference center.

In a press release, ACC president/CEO Dr. Stephen Kinslow said the space would be used for future expansion:

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Business
3:26 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Macy's To Close Highland Mall Store In Latest Blow To Shopping Center

Highland Mall on a typically deserted day. The lack of customers is why Macy's says it is closing its location there this winter.
Image courtesy Kari Sullivan http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovemypit/

Calling it an "underperforming" location, Macy's has announced it is closing its struggling Highland Mall location and eliminating 125 jobs.

"Associates displaced by the store closing may be offered positions in nearby Macy’s stores where possible," Macy's said in a statement you can read below. "Regular full-time and part-time associates who are laid off due to the store closing will be provided severance benefits and outplacement assistance."

Macy's says a final clearance sale at the Highland Mall store will begin on Sunday will run for about ten weeks.

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