Schroeder Hall, west of Vic­to­ria, will soon go for sale on eBay.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Kathryn Cargo Vic­to­ria Ad­vo­cate

In the first week of April, Schroeder Hall will go up for sale on eBay with the start­ing price of $1.

It’s no April Fools’ Day joke.

The owner, ATX Brands, based in Austin, bought the dance hall in June 2014 from Sharon and Jack Klei­necke, said the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Doug Guller. Guller said he has been hon­ored to own the hall be­cause of its longevity.

“I’ve en­joyed the his­tory that the hall has; the com­mu­nity that both works there and at­tends the con­certs,” he said. “From an over­all stand­point, it’s such a gem to be a part of some­thing that has such a long tradition.”

ATX Brands is sell­ing off all its prop­er­ties out­side Austin so the com­pany can fo­cus on its Austin venues. With those plans, the com­pany isn’t in a place to raise Schroeder Hall, which is west of Vic­to­ria, to the level where Guller wants it to be, he said.

Guller has talked with po­ten­tial buy­ers dur­ing the past six months and hasn’t been able to find the right per­son or land a con­tract, he said.

He wants to list it on eBay to reach the largest num­ber of peo­ple who might be in­ter­ested in the hall.

“I want some­one to pur­chase the hall who will con­sis­tently be book­ing the right bands and the right events in the hall,” he said. “I’d like to be picky about who takes it over in or­der for it to be in the com­mu­nity for 100 more years, but ul­ti­mately, it will be left in the hands of the high­est bid­der.”

The hall will be up for bid most likely for 30 days, but com­pany of­fi­cials haven’t come to fi­nal de­ci­sion yet on the length of time, Guller said.

The hall is about 14,000 square feet, has a 6,000-square-foot oak dance floor and sits on 5 acres, Guller said. The sale will also in­clude 2 acres across the street that has two older houses, a shed and a ceme­tery.

“There is a lot of value in it,” he said. “I just hope that it ends up in the right hands of some­one that can cu­rate it the right way and do the hall justice.”

Prior owner Sharon Klei­necke said putting the hall for sale on eBay was a good idea. His­toric Texas dance halls are a rar­ity, so it’s es­sen­tial that the hall’s tradition is con­tin­ued, she said.

“I would love for some­one lo­cal to buy it be­cause lo­cals know what lo­cals like,” she said. “Hope­fully they would con­tinue the tra­di­tions of the hall and just re­spect the fact of what it is.”

A busi­ness like the hall needs some­one lo­cal to own it, so they can be there reg­u­larly, Klei­necke said.

“I lived about 10 min­utes away from the hall,” she said. “I was there three or four days a week all day long.”

Klei­necke said she hopes who­ever owns it in the fu­ture has a dance ev­ery week­end or more of­ten.

“I hope some­one lo­cal buys it; it needs that to take it to the next level, get­ting back to where it was when I had it,” she said.

Klei­necke will help who­ever buys it how­ever she can, she said.

Caleb Staudt, 32, of Vic­to­ria, is in a lo­cal band called No Chance. The band has played at the hall three times in the past 18 months, he said.

In April 2016, the band had its CD re­lease party at the hall when they dropped their first al­bum.

The best part about play­ing at the hall is the his­tory the build­ing holds in­side it, Staudt said.

“The first time I got on that stage, the im­me­di­ate thing that jumped to my mind was the peo­ple that played on that stage and had that same view look­ing out on that dance floor,” he said. “It’s re­ally neat to get to play the stage that Dwight Yoakum has played on as well as other big names.”

Staudt would like some­one to buy the hall who un­der­stands and re­spects the his­tory be­hind it, he said. He also hopes the buyer keeps it as a mu­sic venue. One of the of­fi­cers kicked a small dog that he said was bit­ing his leg, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Aguilar, ini­tially charged with a felony, spent about six days in jail be­fore be­ing re­leased on $5,000 bail. Felony charges for as­sault of a pub­lic ser­vant were dropped by the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice in July.

Aguilar’s at­tor­ney, Zachary Mor­ris, ar­gued his client did

M P A G C Anot re­sist ar­rest be­cause he was never un­der ar­rest. Mor­ris did not call any wit­nesses to tes­tify be­cause “we felt the video spoke for it­self.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of the ju­rors for send­ing a mes­sage to the com­mu­nity on what’s ac­cept­able be­hav­ior,” Mor­ris said.

Mor­ris said that Aguilar is in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing a civil law­suit against the of­fi­cers.

AN­GELA PI­AZZA / VIC­TO­RIA AD­VO­CATE

Neon signs hang over the main bar at Schroeder Hall, near Vic­to­ria. The hall is about 14,000 square feet, has a 6,000-square-foot oak dance floor and sits on 5 acres, ac­cord­ing to the owner, ATX Brands, based in Austin.

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