Meanwhile, in May 2010, Austin Community College began acquiring sections of HIGHLAND MALL. The final purchase closed in August 2012. An Austin-based firm was hired to reimagine the shopping center as an institute of higher learning, ala Greenville, South Carolina's McALISTER SQUARE.
Graphic from http://www.austincc.edu (Austin Community College District)
The first phase of the ACC Highland renovation turned an abandoned J.C. Penney store into Building 1000. Among other things, it housed the ACCelerator Learning Lab, Library & Media Center and a Cafe'. The facility opened in August 2014.
Photo from http://www.austincc.edu (Austin Community College District)
As the mall's metamorphosis was beginning to unfold, the Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority was putting the final touches on their 32-route-mile MetroRail Red Line. This new transit system served nine stations, with one being adjacent to HIGHLAND MALL. Operation commenced on the initial Leander-to-Downtown route in March 2010.
Photo from Wikipedia / Larry D. Moore