S.A.L.E.: Steve Adler’s Land Empire

Property Interests of Mayor Adler & Wife Diane Land

(click on map for interactive version)

Steve Adler pimped Austin out for his Land Empire

This explains why Austin is in not only an affordability crisis but a leadership crisis as well.

Austin’s First Family made its fortune from Mayor Adler’s real-estate law firm (to which he retains major financial ties) and his wife’s commercial property-management firm: DT Land Group, Inc. Mayor Adler’s personal financial disclosures covering 2017 and early 2018 reveal that he and his wife, Diane Land, had financial interests in at least 71 properties in Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties. Those properties are currently assessed at $319 million. These extensive property interests pose ethical challenges to conducting such city business as deciding where to increase zoning densities or where to spend transportation bonds, to name just a few issues.

Hotel W

Mayor Adler’s family owns three local properties worth $7 million, led by their $4 million dual-condo homestead in the W Austin Hotel (personal properties shown in green). The family has business interests in companies that own 12 local properties assessed at $151 million (shown in blue). Finally, the mayor reported his wife’s top property clients, who own 56 local properties assessed at $161 million (shown in red). The map of local Adler-related properties, allows users to zoom in and out of a neighborhood and click on a property to find such details as its address, owner and value. Take the map for a test drive and let us know if you find anything interesting!

The map is based on three main types of public information:

  1. Mayor Adler’s personal financial disclosures covering 2017 and the first half of 2018
    (download the PDF documents, which are public, but not posted on the city’s website);
  2. Central appraisal district data from HaysTravis and Williamson Counties; and
  3. Texas Secretary of State business filings disclosing who controls which business entities
    (see also corporationwiki).

Adler helped finance these offices, which landed $37 million in city leases.

Big real estate companies often create separate subsidiaries to control each major property. The vast majority of the business-owned properties on this map have clear ties to the business entities in which the First Family reported an interest. In a murkier exception, Adler reports ongoing interests over the years in Riverside Resources Holdings I, LP and Riverside Resources Holdings II, LP. Those entities clearly are tied to local developer Riverside Resources Corp. Yet it’s difficult to tell which Riverside projects on the map directly involved mayoral money.

On the map, “Personal Property” shown in green comes from the section of Adler’s disclosure where he reports real property in which he had a legal or beneficial interest. “Diane Land Client” data (in red) comes from Adler’s disclosure of his wife’s clients who hit such triggers as paying her more than $5,000 a year. “Business” property (in blue) is based on various sections where Adler disclosed: property owned by businesses in which his family owned at least 5%; sources of family income exceeding $5,000; companies in which his family owned shares equal to 5% or $5,000; or companies that named the mayor or his wife as an executive or board member.

More detailed information on these holdings are available in our press release. (Download to access hyperlinked resources).