Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. Revives Plans to Acquire Austin’s Block 21 Complex

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Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire the Block 21 complex in Austin, Texas, from Stratus Properties, Inc. for $260 million.

The two companies had previously reached an agreement for Stratus to sell Block 21 to Nashville, Tenn.-based Ryman Hospitality Properties for $275 million in December 2019, though the agreement was terminated in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Stratus, Ryman Hospitality Properties forfeited $15 million in earnest money to Stratus due to the termination of the deal.

Now, Ryman has renewed its intentions to acquire Block 21, home to the 2,750-seat entertainment venue ACL Live at the Moody Theater (ACL Live), which serves as the filming location for the Austin City Limits television series. The Block 21 complex, which was completed in 2010 and is located on an entire city block in Austin’s 2nd Street District, is also home to the W Austin Hotel, the 3TEN at ACL Live club and nearly 53,000 square feet of Class A commercial space.

The deal is set to close near the end of the fourth quarter of this year. Opry Entertainment, one division of Ryman Hospitality Properties, includes the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, WSM 650 AM, Ole Red, and Circle, a country lifestyle media network owned via a joint venture with Gray Television.

The $260 million price tag includes the assumption of nearly $138 million of existing mortgage debt. Ryman Hospitality Properties will also receive approximately $11 million of existing cash reserves.

Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, said, “We are pleased to again have the opportunity to add this one-of-a-kind asset to our growing entertainment portfolio. Much like Nashville, Austin’s leisure and hospitality industry is recovering and is well-positioned for growth in the years ahead. This acquisition allows us to have a meaningful presence in two of the most dynamic music cities in this country and presents many opportunities to showcase the unique music cultures in each city to millions of fans through our Circle TV network.”

Reed added, “We are thrilled for the long-term opportunities to grow our customer base and create quality entertainment experiences for local music lovers and the millions of tourists who visit Austin each year. We love what Beau and the entire Stratus team created with Block 21 and share their vision for the enormous potential it has to become a world-renowned, music-centric hub in the heart of this great city.”

William H. Armstrong III, chairman of the board and CEO of Stratus, said, “I am proud of the Stratus team for continuing to
position this iconic property for success from early development plans through permitting, construction, leasing and management. I am also grateful for the community’s, our partners’, and our patrons’ continuous support, particularly during
the pandemic. We were pleased to reach an agreement with Ryman in 2019 and again this year. We remain confident that their experience with entertainment and hospitality properties makes Ryman the right partner for Austin and Block 21.”

 
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