Travis County to Hold Court Downtown
(RECON, 5/10/13) – Travis County commissioners have approved what will be the county's first downtown Austin construction project in 13 years.
The planned seven-story, 130,000-sf office building will house the district attorney's office and other court-related departments. Estimated cost is $38.5 million.
The building will be at West 11th and San Antonio St. The county paid Development 2000 Inc. $7.25 million for the lot last year.
Lakeway Town Center Planned
(RECON, 5/10/13) – Stratus Properties plans to break ground next year on a 240,000-sf retail and residential development.
Plans for Lakeway Town Center include a roughly 90,000-sf H-E-B and movie theater. According to Stratus officials, the H-E-B is slated to open in 2015.
The development could also include a hotel and either single-family housing units or a retirement facility.
The development will occupy 75 acres at Glen Heather Dr.
TA Associates Crossing Bridgepoint
AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – TA Associates Realty has purchased two area office properties totaling almost 178,000 sf. The seller was Dallas-based L&B Realty Advisors Inc.
Bridgepoint Plaza I and II are at 5914 and 5918 Courtyard Dr. The buildings were developed by Graeber, Simmons and Cowan in 1985 and 1992.
Among the tenants in the 90 percent leased buildings are State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co., TMF Health Quality Instruments, PMB Helin Donovan and Media Tek Wireless.
CBRE handled the transaction.
More Rainey Street Residential, Restaurant Space
(RECON, 5/7/13) – The city's Rainey St. nightlife district may be losing its Lustre, but look at what it's getting in exchange.
Houston-based Dinerstein Group plans to replace the Lustre Pearl bar with a 250,000-sf mixed-use development.
The project, which Brian Dinerstein said will likely be called Millenium Rainey, will have 250 apartments and a ground-floor restaurant.
Dinerstein said the project will be at least LEED Silver-certified. He hopes to break ground by second quarter 2014.
Governor Appoints Three to Commission
(RECON, 5/3/13) – Governor Rick Perry has reappointed Avis Wukasch and Adrian Arriaga to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), and appointed Chart Westcott as a new member.
Wukasch, who lives in Round Rock, was reappointed as the TREC Chair. She also currently serves as ex-officio member of the Real Estate Center's advisory committee, representing TREC.
Arriaga of McAllen was reappointed to serve as a broker member of the commission.
Westcott of Dallas will serve as a public member of the commission.
Austin Industrial Leasing Slows
(RECON, 5/3/13) – The amount of industrial space absorbed in the Austin area last year topped two million sf in 2012 — the first time that’s happened in more than a decade. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a chunk of it was the result of short-term leases that have since expired.
Kim Gatley, senior vice president and director of research for NAI REOC Austin, said about 345,000 sf of the space absorbed last year was attributed to short-term leases. NAI REOC recently released findings from its survey of more than 37 million sf of area industrial space.
According to the survey, some of those leases expired in the first three months of this year, returning vacant space to the market and slowing growth. As a result, the local industrial market had 141,372 sf of negative absorption in the first quarter, increasing the citywide vacancy rate to 13.2 percent from 12.9 percent in the previous quarter. However, that's still well below the 17.4 percent recorded in the same quarter last year.
More space is on the way, including:
- Scottsdale Crossing Commerce Park in Cedar Park. The 27,500-sf building is the first of seven planned office/flex buildings in the project.
- 130 Commerce Center in Pflugerville. Six buildings are proposed. The first warehouse under construction spans 120,000 sf and is reportedly 50 percent preleased.
- HID Global Corp. has purchased almost 23 acres at 617 Center Ridge with plans for a 200,000-sf facility for a new Northeast Austin Operations Center.
IBC Bank's Downtown Office Endeavor
(RECON, 4/26/13) – Construction began Wednesday on downtown Austin's first office tower in more than a decade.
Endeavor Real Estate Group is developing the 13-story, 195,000-sf IBC Bank Plaza at 500 West Fifth St.
The building will serve as headquarters for IBC Bank-Austin, which currently occupies 15,000 sf at 816 Congress. IBC plans to move late next year.
Cousins Presides Over 816 Congress
(RECON, 4/26/13) – Cousins Properties Inc. has purchased the 20-story office building at 816 Congress Ave. from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
The Atlanta developer paid $102.4 million for the 434,000-sf Class-A building.
Occupancy at the 30-year-old property is at 78 percent. Tenants include the Teachers Retirement System of Texas, Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend PC and AT&T Inc.
TREC Meeting Minutes, Now With Video
(RECON, 4/23/13) – The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) have launched their new online interactive electronic meeting minutes.
Meeting agendas — annotated with actions taken and including bookmarked video recordings of the meetings — are on the TREC/TALCB website under "video minutes."
TREC's next meeting will be May 6 at 10 a.m. It will be streamed live on TREC's website.
Seaholm Redevelopment Back on Track
(RECON, 4/19/13) – More than eight years in the making, the landmark Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment is about ready to roll.
The $100 million public-private partnership deal between the City of Austin and lead developer Southwest Strategies Group is being signed, spelling out the terms of the renewal of the former power plant site.
The project calls for a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower as well as a two-story building with a Trader Joe’s, retail, office and restaurant space. The city will invest $13.6 million in infrastructure improvements to the site, plus $9.9 million for 315 city-owned parking spaces.
Apartments and the Trader Joe’s grocery store are slated to open in early 2015.
Upgrades Planned for Austin’s Lincoln Village
(RECON, 4/19/13) – California-based Misuma Holdings has acquired the 180,000-sf Lincoln Village.
The retail center at 6406 N. I-35 is expected to undergo capital improvements, new tenants, rebranding, additional signage and possibly a mix of uses, according to Dean Davidov, partner at Misuma.
Lincoln Village is anchored by Gold’s Gym, Men’s Wearhouse and The Marchesa Hall & Theater.
Seven RIO Gets Green Light
(RECON, 4/19/13) – Work is set to begin this month on the $60.7 million, 24-story Seven RIO apartment project announced last year.
Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I Inc. is co-investing with developer CWS Capital Partners LLC to construct the 220-unit luxury apartment community at Seventh and Rio Grande Streets downtown.
Seven RIO is Behringer Harvard’s first Austin project.
GLO, GBRA Pour Energy into Drinking Water Study
(RECON, 4/16/13) – Turning the Gulf of Mexico into a long-term source for fresh drinking water is the focus of a study Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) have agreed to begin.
The $2 million effort will investigate the feasibility of building a natural-gas-fired power plant next to a seawater desalination facility on the Texas Gulf Coast to produce both electricity and fresh water for Texans. Both are vital to keep up with Texas’ steady growth.
“Texas needs water, and Texas needs electricity,” Patterson said. “This idea has exciting potential to bring both a sustainable source of water and power to Texans who need it most.”
Creating an additional source of water on the Texas Gulf Coast is vital to maintaining the region’s current industries, as well as encouraging new ones to relocate to the region, Patterson said. The Texas Legislature concurs, as evidenced by House Concurrent Resolution 59, which calls for an interim committee to study seawater desalination on the Texas coast. Patterson hopes his initiative with GBRA will help jump start this process and lead to greater understanding of the role seawater desalination will play in Texas’ future.
GBRA proposes the building of a 500MW natural-gas-fired power plant next to a desalination facility that would process from 25 to 50 million gallons of seawater per day into fresh drinking water — enough to supply the typical water usage for more than 125,000 homes.
Austin's New Office 'Champion'
(RECON, 4/12/13) – Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group and Granite Properties plan to start construction soon on what the Austin American-Statesman says is "the first major office project to launch in the area in almost five years."
The 220,600-sf Champion Office Park will be at the northwest corner of RM 2222 and Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360).
The project, designed by Overland Partners of San Antonio, will have one 116,800-sf building and one 103,800-sf building. Both buildings will have four stories.