Travis County Civil and Family Courts Facility

ClientTravis County, TX
LocationAustin, TX


Creatively delivering a long overdue courthouse using a P3 structure.

Client Goals:

When the Heman Marion Sweatt Courthouse opened in 1931, it was designed to hold four courtrooms. Today, the facility is cramped with 19 civil and family courtrooms and the County projects a need for 10 more by 2035. Travis County sought to replace the 84-year old courthouse with a new 430,000 square foot Civil and Family Courts Facility. Initially planned on a portion of a County-owned block, the remainder of the block was to be developed commercially to offset the cost of the facility. In 2016, voters rejected a bond measure to fund the courts facility, requiring a new strategy, site, and development team.

Hayat Brown Role: 

Issue Request for Industry Comment

Hayat Brown team members devised an innovative financing and delivery structure and tested its viability through a Request for Industry Comments from developers, landowners, and capital providers.

Issue Request for Proposals

With the structure proven acceptable, our team crafted an RFP seeking a team to deliver both a development site and a build-to-suit courts facility within an aggressive timeframe. Our team evaluated proposals, with a primary focus on the financial capability of the offerors and the offerors’ financial approach to the project.

Execute Exclusive Negotiating Agreement

A unique project aspect was the collaborative pre-development period, when County staff, court users, designers, the developer, and general contractor worked collaboratively to finalize a design and guaranteed maximum price, select a lender, and develop a construction schedule. Our team supported the exclusive negotiating agreement that enabled this approach.

Execute Definitive Documents

Hayat Brown team members supported the County through the negotiation of a ground lease that will be effect during construction and a purchase and sale agreement, enabling the County to buy the completed courthouse.

Project Outcomes:

  • New courts facility will deliver 24 months earlier than County’s traditional design-build method
  • Transferred construction, entitlement, and schedule risk to a private developer
  • Collaborative design approach allowed flexibility without costly change orders
Travis County Civil & Family Courts P3