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Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos

Austin industrial slow, but positive1Q 2014: REOC 

(4/18/2014 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The local industrial market experienced a slow but positive first quarter, according to the 1Q 2014 survey of more than 37.4 million sf of industrial lease space conducted by REOC Austin.

New leases and expansions were largely offset by tenant move-outs resulting in a rather quiet 82,407 sf of positive net absorption for the first three months of the year.

As a result, the Austin industrial market closed 1Q 2014 with a citywide vacancy rate of 10.6 percent which is unchanged from last quarter but significantly improved compared to 13.2 percent recorded in the same quarter the previous year.

The city’s inventory of roughly 24.3 million sf of warehouse space dominated 1Q 2014 activity with a total of 284,088 sf of positive net absorption recorded.

Austin Industrial Market
  1Q 2014 1Q 2013
Inventory 37,683,831 37,195,507
Available 4,002,280 4,910,488
Vacant 10.6% 13.2%
1Q absorption 82,407 -141,372
YTD absorption 82,407 -141,372

Need every fact including the 2014 Forecast? See REOC Austin. For other commercial firms, see Industrial under Austin Market Data Sources.

Leander's Travisso underway on thousands of homes 

(4/17/2014 6:56:00 AM)

LEANDER - Construction on the first of thousands of houses in the Travisso neighborhood is underway east of Nameless Rd. on FM 1431. Plans for Travisso include 2,100–3,173 single-family homesites, a 64-acre mixed-use district and about 16 acres allocated for commercial use.

House prices start in the high $200,000 range and increase to about $700,000.

Home builders include Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers, Drees Custom Homes, Highland Homes and Grand Haven Homes. Developers announced Travisso will be the first master-planned community in Austin to offer AT&T Gigapower, the company’s fiber Internet service.

The 2,118-acre site is slated for a master-planned community from the developers of Steiner Ranch. The land was annexed in May 2012.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Underway: 228-Unit Summit at Rivery Park in Georgetown 


GEORGETOWN - A 228-unit luxury, multifamily project within The Summit at Rivery Park has broken ground. The Class A apartment community is located just off I-35, adjacent to a city park.

The Summit at Rivery Park apartment homes will feature a clubhouse and resort swimming pool. The Summit at Rivery Park, is a mixed-use community consisting of a Sheraton Destination Resort Hotel, Brownstones, and over 300,000 sf of retail and restaurants.

Tony Austin (TAC Inc.), Novak Brothers Development, and Western Securities Ltd. have teamed up on the development of the project.

Source: The Summit at Rivery Park

Read more at PRNewswire.

ABIA plane passengers flock by droves Feb. 2014 


AUSTIN - Passenger traffic continued on its upward trend at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in February, with traffic rising 3.5 percent over the same month last year, according to the airport's data.

A total of 684,798 passengers passed through the airport in February, compared with 661,556 last February.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Passenger Statistics
  Feb. 2014
Feb. 2013
Domestic enplaned 331,014 319,118 3.73%
Domestic deplaned 334,484 323,639 3.35%
International enplaned 1,677 1,064 57.61%
International deplaned 1,702 1,025 66.05%
Passenger total 684,798 661,556 3.51%

Source: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

TCEA buys 37,297 SF, moves in Austin  


AUSTIN - Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) has purchased a 37,297-sf building on the campus at 3100 Alvin Devane Blvd. for $2.9 million. The association, which promotes the use of technology in the classroom, plans to renovate the space and move from its current facilities at 8134 Exchange Dr.

The new site is on East Ben White Blvd. near Montopolis Dr. southeast of downtown. The company bought the building from Drawbridge Realty Trust LLC who subdivided the two-building campus because the education association wanted to own its own building.

The 81,116-sf building adjacent to TCEA's property is still on the market.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Trees Escape at Four Points completed in west Austin 


AUSTIN - Escape at Four Points, a 344-unit Class A, luxury garden apartment complex, has been completed by Embrey Partners. The complex is located at 11210 FM 2222 in west Austin.

The multifamily community contains one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 700 sf to 1,355 sf. Amenities include a pool, fitness center, resident lounge with coffee bar and game room.

As part of the construction process, San Antonio-based Embrey worked closely with the City of Austin in order to preserve as much of the natural environment as possible.

Embrey built the buildings to have walkout basement foundations that worked with the site’s grade, which allowed the company to preserve more trees.


Tuscan-style hotel brings 194 rooms to Hotel Granduca Austin 


AUSTIN - Construction is underway on the 194-room Hotel Granduca Austin located at the northwest corner of Bee Caves Rd. and Capital of Texas Hwy. The 38-acre Austin site includes an adjacent parking garage and a seven-story office complex.

The nine-story hotel will feature a 220 guest ballroom, private conference rooms, a library, massage rooms, a fitness center, a billiards and game room, and gardens. It is scheduled for a completion in late 2015.

The hotel build is a joint venture of Houston-based Interfin Companies LP and Riverside Resources of Austin. The hotel will be based on the design similar in style to the original Hotel Granduca in Houston.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin: Midland's Parlsey inks Colorado Tower space 


AUSTIN - Two companies new to Austin have signed leases in the Colorado Tower currently under construction at 303 Colorado St. in downtown Austin’s warehouse district.

Parsley Energy is moving its headquarters from Midland and has secured 73,843 sf in the building. About 50 employees will move from Midland and dozens more will be recruited in Austin immediately, according to Parsley Energy.

Australia-based Atlassian Software Systems Pty Ltd. has also signed for 24,411 sf and could bring as many as 300 jobs to the area.

Hendricks said Colorado Tower now is about 51 percent preleased with about 180,000 sf still available. The first tenants will move into the 30-story building in December, while most of the currently signed tenants will move in by next summer.

Also see Australian Atlassian opening in Austin; hiring.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

$13M Pre-K centers on 600 kiddos in San Marcos 


SAN MARCOS - San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District broke ground on a new pre-kindergarten campus at the site of the now-demolished old Bowie Elementary School at 1225 N. SH 123.

The 69,000-sf campus will accommodate 600 students and include 27 classrooms, special education classrooms, computer labs, a music room, activity room and library.

The $12.7 million construction of the pre-kindergarten center was approved in a bond. The new pre-kindergarten campus will be the district’s first campus dedicated solely to the early childhood development program.

The new campus is being built with the anticipation of an expansion of the school district’s pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs, currently housed at Hernandez Intermediate.

Read more at the San Marcos Mercury.

318,000-SF Avallon sold in NW Austin 


AUSTIN - Avallon, a five-building, 318,000-sf office complex, was acquired in Northwest Austin by San Francisco-based DivcoWest Real Estate Investments. The complex is located near Morado Circle and Jollyville Rd. DivcoWest plans new signage and updates to common areas.

The five office structures were constructed in 1986, 1997 and 2001. The property was 88 percent occupied at the time of closing with 19 tenants.

Avallon was appraised at $40.3 million, according to Travis Central Appraisal District.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Braker Center 13-building portfolio sold in Austin 


AUSTIN - Westmount Realty Capital LLC has acquired a 13-building, 546,984-sf portfolio within the Braker Center business park in Austin. The portfolio is located between I-35 and the MoPac Expy. in the North Central submarket.

Originally developed in the mid-1980s for light industrial use, the structures are now primarily finished out as office space.

The assets were 88 percent occupied at the time of the sale. The Dallas-based company is planning to invest approximately $1.5 million in an architectural facelift and will rebrand the complex as The Offices at Braker Center.

Source: Westmount Realty Capital LLC

Robust housing starts still cranking up in 1Q 2014 Austin 

(4/3/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Demand for housing in the city is cranking up the velocity of home starts, according to Metrostudy in Austin. During first quarter 2014, there were 2,209 new detached single-family home starts, a 16 percent increase from 1Q 2013.

During the past 12 months, builders have started 9,668 houses or 15 percent more year-over-year. Lot supply has dropped to 14,219. That’s about 17.6 months of supply, meaning demand is outstripping supply.

Sales closing were a little less impressive for the first three months — 2,045 or a 2 percent increase over the same time period in 2013. However, for the last four quarters, builders have closed on 8,916 homes, a 19 percent increase over the previous four quarters.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's downtown Hyatt Place lodges $87M buy 

(4/3/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The recently built Hyatt Place Austin Downtown has been purchased for $87 million by Carey Watermark Investors Inc. The 17-story Hyatt Place is a 296-room hotel at 211 E. Third St.

The hotel, finished in 2013, will continue to be managed by the original developer and owner, White Lodging Services Corp., which has a long-term management agreement for the hotel.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Autumn Leaves bright in $10.3M Georgetown community 


GEORGETOWN - Autumn Leaves of Georgetown, a $10.3 million memory care community, is underway at 3600 Williams Dr. The 26,000-sf community will provide expert care for nearly 50 residents living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory impairment.

The Georgetown complex marks the company's first community in the city. The community is expected to open fourth quarter 2014.

Source: Autumn Leaves

Austin pegged as fastest growing in U.S. 

(4/2/2014 6:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The city has been pegged as the fastest growing large metro area in the country, according to the U.S. Census' latest population estimates. Between July 2012 and July 2013 the Austin metro area grew by 2.6 percent, or 47,941 to a population of 1.9 million residents.

Houston and San Antonio are also in the top ten nationwide for population growth.

The report notes that the unemployment rate in the metro area fell to 4.7 percent in January, the lowest unemployment rate for cities with a population of more than 1 million.

Austin Demographer Ryan Robinson told CNN that the city's "cultural vibrancy" is helping to drive the economy.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For other Texas cities see CNN.

Austin: 104 mid-sized afforable units coming near S. Lamar 

(4/2/2014 6:40:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Ground will break this spring on the new 104-unit property named 2505 Thornton Road. The project is at the southeast intersection of South Lamar Blvd. and Oltorf St. Construction is estimated at $6.75 million, according to state filings.

The complex will feature one- and two-bedroom apartments divided among three buildings, each with three stories. Construction will take about 18 months.

The mid-sized apartment complex will compete against more trendy and expensive developments along South Lamar Blvd. The developer, PSW Real Estate, expects the apartments to average about 25 percent less than new inventory in the area.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

The Cottages trade for $39M in Austin 


AUSTIN - The Cottages, a 330-unit multifamily property, has traded hands for $39 million. The complex is located at 8515 S. I-35.

The complex features studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Prices on the units range from $836 to $1440. The new Midwest-based owner has no plans in place for major improvements of renovations.


German Ottobock prostheses HQ to Austin 


AUSTIN - Ottobock HealthCare LP will relocate its North American regional headquarters to Northwest Austin. The move is expected to bring 110 jobs and $4.6 million in investment.

The company plans to move into a 40,000-sf facility at 11501 Alterra Pkwy. in Northwest Austin, according to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. The company expects to have a temporary office in the city by May with a bulk of the move completed by the end of the year.

German health care manufacturer Otto Bock began making prosthetic devices in 1919 for injured World War I veterans and opened its North American arm in 1958. Ottobock Healthcare is the company's U.S. subsidiary.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

NW Austin Autumn Leaves memory care community going up 


AUSTIN - Autumn Leaves has broken ground on a new $10.7 million community in Northwest Austin. The Autumn Leaves of Northwest Austin community will be about 26,000 sf and be able to accommodate 46 residents

The complex will be located on four acres at 10025 Anderson Mill Rd. and will open to residents in November 2014. The assisted-living community will cater to caring for people who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Autumn Leaves anticipates hiring 40 part- and full-time staff members for the Northwest Austin complex.

Source: Autumn Leaves

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Reshaping Austin's character with blitz 

(4/1/2014 6:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - In the past decade Austin has been in a rebuilding boom that is changing not only the aesthetic and architectural character of the city but the way people live, work, shop and play. There were 47,941 residents added to the Austin area between July 2012 and July 2013.

The Austin area has the nation's highest growth rate among metro areas with more than 1 million people at 2.6 percent. According to Census Bureau data, an estimated 4,000 people a month are moving in to the city.

Driven by growth, a construction blitz is reshaping the city’s character. Spurred by the area’s booming economy and rapid population growth Austin has added $13.3 billion in new residential, office and retail development to the tax rolls since 2005, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District.

The city's growth has also created a new breed of development — dense, mixed-use projects that create mini-neighborhoods, with an emphasis on walkability and a sense of community. The city also has seen a boom in apartments stacked atop retail.

Rents in the Austin area rose 8 percent last year, and Austin’s median home price is now the highest among the state’s major cities. As long as the Austin metro area continues to add 4,000 new residents a month, and builders are starting fewer than 15,000 new homes a year, housing demand will continue to grow.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Boomers expected to boost Austin housing sector 


AUSTIN - Generations X and Y may drive Austin's culture, but baby boomers present the best opportunity for home builders in the next five years. Nearly 42,000 people living in Austin in that age range will move in the next five years.

While the opportunities are huge for businesses associated with home building, the boomer mindset is very different from generations past, and one size does not fit all. Boomers want several home style choices and features that accommodate a work-from-home lifestyle.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Buda, Kyle, San Marcos home sales: Feb. 2014 


BUDA, KYLE, SAN MARCOS - Real estate market data for the San Marcos, Buda, and Kyle Multiple Listing Service area have been released.

Buda, Kyle, San Marcos Monthly Home Sales
Number of Homes Sold Median Price
Month Buda Kyle San
Buda Kyle San
Feb. 2014 40 52 15 $197,950 $152,500 $157,817
Feb. 2013 32 33 17 $175,491 $124,900 $150,500
Jan. 2014 32 40 25 $184,950 $161,995 $149,900
Dec. 2013 29 51 11 $180,954 $150,000 $160,000
Nov. 2013 28 50 14 $199,000 $148,900 $172,450
Oct. 2013 40 53 11 $208,000 $159,000 $152,000
Sept. 2013 56 70 22 $186,820 $153,000 $168,000
Aug. 2013 58 88 28 $189,000 $149,950 $170,000
July 2013 43 68 34 $219,000 $146,000 $157,750

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Cedar Park, Leander home sales: Feb. 2014 


CEDAR PARK, LEANDER - Real estate market data for the Cedar Park and Leander Multiple Listing Service areas has been released for February.

Cedar Park, Leander Monthly Home Sales
Month # of Sales Median Price
Feb. 2014 101 62 $230,886 $274,342
Feb. 2013 102 84 $165,000 $229,750
Jan. 2014 84 67 $183,809 $243,000
Dec. 2013 126 95 $179,900 $250,000
Nov. 2013 123 66 $174,000 $252,480
Oct. 2013 123 62 $177,500 $225,000
Sept. 2013 134 107 $178,900 $254,000
Aug. 2013 160 131 $169,900 $251,500

*Beginning in 2007, the Cedar Park/Leander area was changed from Multiple Listing Service area CL, which included all of Leander and Cedar Park, to MLS areas CLN and CLS, divided by FM 1431. CLN includes most of Leander, while CLS includes most of Cedar Park.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Round Rock emerges as strong industrial market: CBRE 

(3/28/2014 6:55:00 AM)

ROUND ROCK - Market demand for industrial properties is strong in the Austin area with the Round Rock submarket catching on fire in fourth quarter 2013, according to fourth quarter 2013 MarketView by CBRE. During the last three months of 2013, nearly 183,000 sf of positive absorption was recorded in Round Rock, far outpacing other areas.

Vacancy fell to 9.8 percent, marking the lowest level since 2001. Nearly 461,000 sf of industrial space was absorbed by new leases or expansion.

The average asking rate for industrial space was 63 cents per sf, up from 61 cents the previous quarter and 57 cents a year earlier. While no new construction was delivered, about 623,000 sf is currently under construction.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal. Also see CBRE's Industrial Austin MarketView 4Q 2013 under Market Data Sources.

Dripping Springs' landfall with 600-acre community 

(3/28/2014 6:42:00 AM)

DRIPPING SPRINGS, HAYS COUNTY - Allegiant Realty Partners has broken ground on a $500 million master-planned community that will bring about 585 homes along Onion Creek. Of the 600-acre development, 250 acres will be preserved as open space.

The first two sections of Phase I lots will be delivered by September 15 and model homes are scheduled to debut in December.

Amenities include a Central Park, bluff overlooks, a fishing pier, community orchards and gardens, a treehouse, Barn Hall and gardens for events and a community clubhouse with pool.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Lake Travis / Westlake home sales by zip: Feb. 2014 

(3/27/2014 6:45:00 AM)

LAKE TRAVIS / WESTLAKE - Real estate market data for the Lake Travis / Westlake Multiple Listing Service include:

Lake Travis / Westlake Home* Sales by Zip Code
Month Number Sold / Median Price
78726 78730 78732 78733 78734 78735 78738 78746
Feb. 2014 9 / $367,931 6 / $176,450 18 / $442,500 8 / $572,300 23 / $297,775 15 / $427,000 28 / $527,500 24 / $867,784
Feb. 2013 10 / $334,258 10 / $447,005 23 / $509,000 12 / $511,250 38 / $327,250 23 / $335,000 30 / $405,184 24 / $765,000
Dec. 2013 4 / $371,000 29 / $570,000 21 / $415,000 13 / $451,385 34 / $310,000 19 / $390,000 38 / $496,079 31 / $935,000
Sept. 2013 11 / $352,500 18 / $357,500 33 / $362,500 12 / $569,000 40 / $329,280 19 / $425,000 38 / $515,000 36 / $767,000

 *Market data include condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes.

Zip Code Guide:

• 78726 Four Points
• 78730 River Place
• 78732 Steiner Ranch
• 78733 Bee Caves Road area
• 78734 Lakeway
• 78735 Barton Creek
• 78738 Bee Cave
• 78746 West Lake Hills/Rollingwood

Source: Austin Board of Realtors

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin's Anderson Springs sold; renamed Avesta Agave Falls 


AUSTIN - The 325-unit Anderson Springs apartment complex has been acquired by Florida-based Avesta Communities in northeast Austin. The multifamily community has been renamed Avesta Agave Falls.

The complex is located at 1901 E Anderson Ln. next to eastbound US 183.

Developed in 1974, the community offers residents 11 floor plans, including one- and two-bedroom apartments and townhome units, with an average unit size of 824 sf.


Georgetown home sales: Feb. 2014 


GEORGETOWN - Real estate market data for the Georgetown Multiple Listing Service area by zip code have been released.

Georgetown Monthly Home Sales
Month Number of Sales Average Price
78626 78628 78633 78626 78628 78633
Feb. 2014 33 42 36 $159,900 $252,750 $257,200
Feb. 2013 20 36 45 $162,500 $240,950 $233,000
Jan. 2014 20 30 37 $155,750 $214,500 $292,000
Dec. 2013 20 42 50 $156,500 $241,150 $279,750
Nov. 2013 34 42 57 $156,962 $254,950 $248,500
Oct. 2013 29 57 48 $153,000 $240,000 $233,500
Sept. 2013 35 43 54 $170,000 $220,000 $248,500
Aug. 2013 52 67 76 $174,722 $273,514 $245,688
July 2013 45 57 97 $166,506 $274,000 $235,000

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

San Marcos REO gym goes med 


SAN MARCOS - The 20,550-sf former World Gym Fitness Center has been acquired by SRP Medical Investments. The single-story facility is located at 1106 N. I-35.

Built in 2005, the building is situated on 1.832 acres in the Corridor Plaza, adjoining the San Mar Plaza. At the time of sale, it had been vacant for at least two years. The property was purchased from Wells Fargo Bank as an REO sale.

SRP Medical will convert the former fitness center into a specialized hospital building.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Leander's housing boom from the air 


LEANDER - As one of the nation's fastest-growing suburbs, the population of Leander grew from about 10,000 to almost 32,000 between 2000 and 2014. Assuming 3.5 people will live in each home, Leander has enough housing in the works to accommodate 50,000 more residents.

There are already 14,000 homes on Leander's drawing board that will create stark opportunities for commercial developers and retailers. City officials report having a difficult time keeping pace with all the activity.

Photos taken from a helicopter above the North Austin suburb underscore the scale of the housing boom Leander is experiencing.

For the photos and more see the Austin Business Journal. Wow! And there's more under Podcast 210 under Small Towns, Big Deals.

ABIA passenger traffic swings up 


AUSTIN - Passenger traffic continued on its upswing at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in January, with traffic rising 7 percent over the same month last year, according to the airport's data.

A total of 736,782 passengers passed through the airport in January compared with 690,023 last January.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Passenger Statistics
  Jan. 2014
Jan. 2013
Domestic enplaned 352,780 326,445 8.07%
Domestic deplaned 360,181 342,630 5.12%
International enplaned 1,957 804 143.41%
International deplaned 2,216 1,219 81.79%
Passenger total 736,782 690,023 6.78%

Source: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Map: Where the new Central Texas Texans live 


AUSTIN - It's no secret that people are moving to the Austin area in droves. Attracted by a booming economy, the city attracts a net 110 new residents every day, according to the City of Austin Demographer Ryan Robinson. And that's just for the city limits. Central Texas as a whole gets an estimated 150 newcomers a day.

The areas most heavily preferred by Central Texas' new Texans include Round Rock, Pflugerville and West Austin. A Round Rock Census Tract which encompasses the Eagle Ridge subdivision and Ikea claims the largest number of the area's new Texans, with an estimated 975 people.

The second largest concentration of new Central Texas Texans can be found in the Steiner Ranch subdivision in West Austin, with an estimated 829 new Texas residents.

The third largest concentration of new Central Texas Texans is a tad closer to the heart of the city. Bounded by the MoPac railroad to the west, Research Blvd. to the south and Walnut Creek and Duval Rd. to the North, the area around The Domain shopping center claims an estimated 776 residents who have moved to the state in the last year.

See the map showing new arrivals to the city and more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin home sales, prices hit record high in Feb. 2014 


AUSTIN - The local housing statistics show that home sales and home prices hit an all-time high in February. The average price of a single family home in February was $293,746, up 12 percent from the same month in 2013, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

In February 2014, the median price for Austin-area homes was $230,530 — an 11 percent gain from February 2013. There were 1,761 sales, up 9 percent from February 2013, and 4,724 active listings, 8 percent fewer than the same period last year.

In February 2014, inventory remained at a historically low level of 2.0 months, compared to 2.6 months of inventory in February 2013. Austin-area homes also continued to sell at an accelerated rate, spending an average of 55 days on the market in February 2014 and 16 days fewer than in 2013.

The total dollar volume in February 2014 was $517,286,706, a 21 percent increase from February 2013.

Read more at the Austin Board of Realtors and see Housing historical data at Austin Market Data Sources.

Austin drives $9.6M buy for Grey Rock Golf and Tennis Club 

(3/21/2014 10:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Southwest Austin Grey Rock Golf and Tennis Club facility will be purchased for $9.6 million by Austin's City Council. The 292-acre Grey Rock facility is located off Hwy. 45 within Circle C Ranch.

The property includes an 18-hole golf course, eight tennis courts, three maintenance facilities, a driving range and a clubhouse. The $9.6 million price for the course includes $8.5 million for the real property purchase and $1.1 million in funding for the city's due diligence and a number of other services.

The deal has been billed as both the acquisition of a new recreation facility and an important preservation step. City staff indicated that the property, which sits on an environmentally sensitive area over the aquifer, may have been at risk of development.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

127,000-SF MOB completed at Dell Children's Medical Center 

(3/21/2014 8:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - A 127,000-sf medical office building on the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Texas campus has been complete by BBL Medical Facilities. The property is anchored on the second and fourth floors by tenant Specially for Children, a 26-physician multi-specialty practice.

The four-story structure includes six pre-operative stations, seven post-operative bays, and 12-final-recovery stations; an imaging center, including two diagnostic X-ray rooms, CT, and MRI; a seven-station dialysis center; and a pharmacy. The struction also has an attached 650-space parking garage.

Cardiology, Neurosurgery, Lance Armstrong Clinic; Orthodontics, Orthopaedics, Pediatric Surgery; Prosthetics, and Urology are located on floors three and four.

Source: BBL Medical Facilities

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Addison 550-home development to Southeast Austin 

(3/21/2014 8:43:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has started on Addison, a 200-acre community that is expected to bring up to 550 new homes to Southeast Austin. The community is located off US 183 and east of I-35, about two miles south of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Addison will be built in at least three phases and will represent an investment of more than $100 million. The homes will be priced from the upper $100,000 to more than $300,000.

Brookfield Residential, the land developer on the project, is planning another master-planned community in southeast Austin called Easton Park, which is due to break ground later this year.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Window shopping at new FIAT of Austin 


AUSTIN - FIAT of Austin is now open at its new location at 13040 US 183 North, about five miles north of its original location in The Domain shopping mall. FIAT of Austin now has a state-of-the-art facility and 29,000 sf of space.

The dealership is hiring up to 30 additional sales and service staff at its new location.

The new facility is up from the restrictive 6,000 sf at The Domain. Service and parts are now provided at the new location and there is ample space for inventory. The new FIAT of Austin location will become an art gallery showcasing the four hand-painted vehicles.

Since opening in February 2011, FIAT of Austin has sold 2,237 units — more units sold than any FIAT studio in the country. Additionally, FIAT of Austin was the first FIAT studio to sell more than 100 Fiat 500s in a given month.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Austin problem: teen employment 


AUSTIN - The local labor market may get a lot of praise, but for teens and young adults Central Texas does not live up to the hype. Austin’s employment rate for teens and young adults up to age 24 ranks in the bottom half of the country’s top 100 metro areas, according to a report from The Brookings Institute.

In fact, the report says the employment rates for teens and young adults actually decreased in Austin between 2000–2012.

Nationwide, younger workers have seen a similar slide. The national unemployment rate for young adults age 20–24 has risen from just over 5 percent in 2000 to nearly 15 percent in 2011. For teens 16–19, that number has jumped from just over 10 percent in 2000 to nearly 25 percent in 2011.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Optimum Steel unlocks 20,000 SF in Lockhart 


LOCKHART, CALDWELL COUNTY - Optimum Steel has signed a lease for a 20,000-sf building where it will locate a new manufacturing facility. The company is expected to invest $1.2 million in the new manufacturing facility.

The company expects to bring as many as 55 new jobs, with 30 coming in the first year. Optimum Steel was founded in 1989 and lists nearby Kyle as its headquarters.

Lockhart, a city of about 13,000, is located 30 miles southeast of Austin.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Las Cimas IV trades hands with $43M in Austin 

(3/20/2014 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Las Cimas IV office building has been acquired for $43.2 million at 900 S. Capital of Texas Hwy. New York City-based Clarion Partners purchased the five-story complex that totals nearly 140,000 sf.

Las Cimas IV was constructed in 2007 and is the newest of the Las Cimas buildings.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Austin OnRamp ramps up live data 


AUSTIN - OnRamp will open its new 42,000-sf data center on March 20 at 7000 Burleson Rd. The new OnRamp facility, which cost about $10 million to construct, will offer services including high security hosting, cloud computing and disaster recovery services.

The center will serve customers across the country and internationally. The OnRamp facility was built in response to the expanded need for highly protected private data for health care, technology and financial services companies.

The new data center will be located two miles from the company’s existing 22,000-sf data center on Montopolis Dr.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

The List 2014: Austin top residential developments 

(3/18/2014 8:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 2014 List of the top 25 residential developments tracks neighborhoods by number of housing starts during 2013 in Austin's five-county area. The Austin Business Journal partners with Metrostudy Inc., whose surveyors physically count new homes under construction regularly throughout the year. Housing starts are defined as the time when foundations have been poured.

Overall, the 2014 list represents 3,517 new home starts compared to 3,138 new home starts the year before. Here's a sample of the top five.

Austin Top Five Residential Developments by
Home Starts*
Neighborhood City New Home
Sun City Texas by Del Webb Georgetown 304
Crystal Falls Leander 272
Teravista Round Rock 248
Harris Branch Manor 177
Summerlyn Leander 162

*Only the top five of the top 25 are listed.

See The List: Residential Development 1Q–4Q 2013 for all 25 developments with price range and closings under Housing in Austin Market Data Sources.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal Book of Lists 2014.

Georgetown's Best Self Storage sold 


GEORGETOWN - Best Self Storage, a 56,650-sf self-storage facility in the far north Austin suburb, has been purchased. The property offers 451 rentable units and is in close proximity to I-35 and the Georgetown Municipal Airport.

The facility is located at 3009 Dawn Dr.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

$41M arts center unveiled at Texas State University 


SAN MARCOS - Texas State University has officially opened its new $40.9 million Performing Arts Center. The 69,122-sf building includes a 397-seat mainstage theater and a 312-seat recital hall, both of which will serve as venues for the university’s theater, music and dance events.

Situated on the corner of University Dr. and Moon St, the center also has classrooms, rehearsals studios, faculty offices and theater production studios. A new 455-space parking garage is adjacent to the center.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Doggy marketing in real estate: Doís and doníts for agents 


AUSTIN - Do you take your dog for regular walks or out for a run when you exercise? Is your dog pictured on any of your marketing materials? If so, make sure that you know the do’s and don’ts of “doggy marketing” in real estate.

Doggy no-no No. 1
If you have a picture of yourself and/or your dog on the home page of your website, get rid of it now. The appropriate place to include your photo is on the “about” page of your site, not the home page.

Doggy no-no No. 2
This is a corollary of no-no No. 1. Take you and/or your dog’s picture off your marketing materials as well.

Doggy do No. 1
Figured out a clever way to incorporate what you love into your marketing.

Doggy do No. 2
Volunteering has always been a great way to meet potential clients. If you are passionate about animals, meeting other people who share your passion creates the foundation for doing future business.

If you’re going to do “doggy marketing,” always remember that your clients and their needs must be your primary focus, not you and your dog.

See more "doggy marketing" in real estate at Inman News.

Austin 'Golden Girls' double up for affordable housing 


AUSTIN - The number of seniors living in Central Texas is soaring — and so is the cost of living, causing many to seek affordable housing outside the city. Census data shows the population of people 55 to 64 in all of metropolitan Austin more than doubled between 2000 and 2010.

This fact makes The Golden Girls far more than a funny 1980s TV show on cable. The show's shared-living arrangement could become a template for senior housing in cities like Austin.

The National Shared Housing Resource Center has a list of organizations that match seniors up for what’s called co-housing. There are no such agencies in Austin right now, but a similar organization in Central Texas is Family Eldercare.

The demand for co-housing is only likely to grow. Austin’s city demographer expects the share of the area’s population of people 65 and older to grow from 8 percent now to about 20 percent by 2040.

Source: New America Media

NAR Austin housing market 4Q 2013 


AUSTIN - Fourth quarter 2013 housing data have been released for the Austin market by the National Association of Realtors.

Local Price Trends
  Austin U.S. Local Trend
Price Activity      
Current median home price (4Q 2013) $220,600 $197,000 Prices continue to grow
relative to last year.
1-Year (4-quarter) appreciation (4Q 2013) 8.7% 10.2%
3-Year (12-quarter) appreciation (4Q 2013) 15.9% 16.0%
3-Year (12-quarter) housing equity gain* $30,300 $27,133 Gains in the last 3 years
have extended the trend
of positive price growth
after the recession.
7-Year (28 quarters) housing equity gain* $46,000 -$22,400
9-Year (36 quarters) housing equity gain* $69,300 -$1,900
*Note: Equity gain reflects price appreciation only

See the full report PDF reports at Prudential Ada, Realtors. See other housing resources under Austin Market Data Sources for future reference.

Websense moves HQ, brings jobs to Austin 

(3/7/2014 6:41:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Websense Inc. will move its corporate headquarters to a 90,000-sf facility and bring a projected 470 jobs. The company will invest about $10 million in its relocation to 10900 B Stonelake Blvd., just north of West Braker Ln.

In exchange, the city approved a $438,000 incentive package and the state came through with a $4.5 million performance-based grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund.

San Diego-based Websense is a technology security company that was founded in 1994.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Sheraton hotel comes to Georgetown's Rivery 


GEORGETOWN - The City of Georgetown has finalized development agreements for a $65 million, 220-room Sheraton hotel and 16,000-sf conference center at the Rivery near I-35 between SH 29 and Williams Dr.

Plans for Rivery — a 280-acre, multiuse development — include future phases with retail stores, restaurant sites, single-family homes, and multifamily residences. The entire project totals $150 million.

The Sheraton hotel project is slated to break ground this fall and be completed by the end of 2015.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

FedEx Ground ships Pflugerville a $33M expansion 


PFLUGERVILLE - FedEx Ground will expand and consolidate its offices into a new $33 million, 250,000-sf building at 130 Commerce Center. The new center, located at the corner of SH 130 and Pecan St., will make the largest FedEx Ground facility in Central Texas.

The company plans to hire 25 to 35 additional part-time workers within the next four years as part of the expansion. When fully completed, FedEx will employ a total of of 120 drivers and warehouse employees at the Pflugerville location.

Scannell Properties, which develops and owns FedEx locations across the U.S., closed on the 33-acre tract of land March 4. The City of Pflugerville projects tax revenue from the project of $173,000 annually.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Buda's 300-unit Silverado Crossing sold 


BUDA - Silverado Crossing, a 300-unit multifamily property, has been purchased by Meagher Family Trust from Encinitis, Calif. Constructed in 2013 for $23 million, the complex is located at 1480 Cabelas Dr. Occupancy at the time of sale was 73 percent.

The community includes one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 852 sf each, plus amenities including a swimming pool, fitness center, movie theater and sand volleyball court.

JCI Residential was the seller.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and Texas Real Estate Business.

Class C Brownstone Park trades hands in Austin 


AUSTIN - Parker Lamar LP has purchased the Class C Brownstone Park, located at 5106 N. Lamar Blvd. Constructed in 1966, the multifamily property has 152 units. The asset is in proximity to the Triangle mixed-use development.

The complex offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Nordstrom's heading to Austinís Domain 


AUSTIN - Nordstrom Inc. announced plans to open a new store at the Domain mixed-use project in North Austin. The two-level store will be about 123,000 sf at MoPac Blvd. and Burnet Rd.

Nordstrom will anchor the third phase of the Domain’s expansion. When the Nordstrom store is complete, the 304-acre development is expected to include 1.8 million sf of retail space, 5,000 residential units, 3.5 million sf of office space and 800 hotel rooms.

The store will be the second full-service Nordstrom store in Austin. Nordstrom is expected to open in fall 2016.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin's 120-unit The Arbor at Tallwood purchased 


AUSTIN - The Arbor at Tallwood, a 120-unit multifamily property, has been sold. Built in 1972, the apartment community is located at 8810 Tallwood Dr. The garden-style community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, a swimming pool and a dog park.

Rents on the units range from $803 to $1,425 per month. The complex, which was 96 percent occupied at the time of the sale, is in close proximity to retail outlets such as the Arboretum and the Domain.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Brits bag 787 Dreamliner nonstop from Austin 

(3/5/2014 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) has begun a nonstop European route. British Airways officially launched the inaugural flight from London’s Heathrow Airport for the direct route to ABIA.

British Airways will operate one of the newest aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. British Airways provides meals, snacks and beverages, including full-service bar for free. Customers can also benefit from a generous baggage allowance.

The service will be available five days a week, increasing to daily flights in May.

Visitors from the United Kingdom represent the largest group of European travelers to Austin. In 2011, about 25,000 visitors from the United Kingdom visited and spent about $24.3 million in the city, according to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The new route marks British Airways’ third destination in Texas, with the airline also serving Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Source: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman and

For more ABIA statistics, see Infrastructure on Austin Market Data Sources.

Austin Shops at Mira Vista sold 


AUSTIN - The Shops at Mira Vista, a 68,340 sf neighborhood shopping center, has been acquired by Regency Centers Corporation. The Class A center is located at the southwest corner of Bee Cave Rd. and Edgegrove Dr.

The Shops at Mira Vista is anchored by Trader Joe’s and tenants include Panera Bread Company, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Champions Cheer and Dance. The center is currently 98 percent leased.

The property is approximately three miles southwest of the Austin Central Business District. The acquisition is Regency’s fifth center in the Austin area.

Source: Business Wire

Buda, Kyle, San Marcos home sales: Jan. 2014 


BUDA, KYLE, SAN MARCOS - Real estate market data for the San Marcos, Buda, and Kyle Multiple Listing Service area have been released. Here's the latest.

Buda, Kyle, San Marcos Monthly Home Sales
Number of Homes Sold Median Price
Month Buda Kyle San
Buda Kyle San
Jan. 2014 32 40 25 $184,950 $161,995 $149,900
Jan. 2013 33 40 23 $173,000 $131,750 $114,400
Dec. 2013 29 51 11 $180,954 $150,000 $160,000
Nov. 2013 28 50 14 $199,000 $148,900 $172,450
Oct. 2013 40 53 11 $208,000 $159,000 $152,000
Sept. 2013 56 70 22 $186,820 $153,000 $168,000
Aug. 2013 58 88 28 $189,000 $149,950 $170,000
July 2013 43 68 34 $219,000 $146,000 $157,750
June 2013 41 60 19 $206,596 $159,900 $155,500

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin Whitley units sold to Hartz Mountain 

(3/3/2014 6:39:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Whitley, a 16-story, 266-unit apartment complex, has been acquired by N.J.-based Hartz Mountain Industries. The five-star multifamily community delivered in April 2013 at 301 Brazos St., near the inland of Lady Bird Lake.

The property offers studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as approximately 16,000 sf of commercial space, 6,000 sf of which is built out for a restaurant, and five floors of parking.

There is approximately 750,000 sf of office space currently being developed within walking distance of Whitley.

Other nearby developments include a 1,000-room JW Marriot, which is being constructed adjacent to Whitley, and a new 342-room Westin Hotel and a 327-room Van Zandt Hotel, which have both broken ground within a five minute walk from the property.

The seller was a joint venture between Principal and Riverside Resources.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Northwest Austin sales by zip code: Jan. 2014 


NORTHWEST AUSTIN - Real estate market data for the Northwest Austin Multiple Listing Service Areas are available.

Homes* Sold
Northwest Austin by Zip Code
Month Number Sold / Median Price
78726 78727 78729 78750 78758 78759
Jan. 2014 2 / $342,356 12 / $185,625 21 / $219,500 18 / $251,175 15 / $200,000 24 / $335,000
Jan. 2013 12 / $327,500 17 / $180,000 18 / $203,950 34 / $233,000 19 / $117,000 30 / $308,750
Dec. 2013 4 / $371,000 20 / $200,500 30 / $222,000 31 / $250,000 24 / $167,125 34 / $344,400
Nov. 2013 13 / $388,500 22 / $247,500 12 / $195,000 36 / $211,500 30 / $173,532 28 / $358,000
Oct. 2013 10 / $422,500 36 / $206,500 26 / $216,950 36 / $319,875 31 / $141,500 33 / $279,000
Sept. 2013 11 / $352,500 27 / $218,000 34 / $206,900 30 / $359,500 25 / $172,000 40 / $388,450
Aug. 2013 13 / $325,000 50 / $223,750 41 / $309,900 48 / $327,500 27 / $160,000 53 / $335,000
July 2013 14 / $398,600 40 / $240,500 41 / $219,000 45 / $240,000 37 / $159,220 52 / $313,500
June 2013 18 / $620,221 38 / $232,500 41 / $207,250 44 / $390,000 27 / $162,000 60 / $298,117

*Market Data includes condominiums, townhomes and houses.

Source: Austin Board of Realtors

ZIP code guide:
•78726 Four Points
•78727 West Parmer/MoPac
•78729 Anderson Mill/McNeil east
•78750 Anderson Mill/McNeil west
•78758 MoPac/Braker
•78759 Great Hills/Arboretum

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin apartment sales 2013: Hendricks-Berkadia 


AUSTIN - The city's multifamily transactions declined 34.2 percent with 86 sales in 2013, after having three years of rising sales. Last year's sales volume of $1.5 billion was down 21.8 percent from 2012, still more than the annual average of $1 billion since 2004, according to Hendricks-Berkadia.

Buyers targeted properties with 100 or more units, accounting for nearly three out of four sales. Even with the annual decline, last year's deal flow was above the average of 76 sales during the prior decade.

The average price per unit rose 9.4 percent to $79,478 in 2013, a milder increase from the 26.7 percent rise during the preceding year. Large, top-tier properties sold within the City of Austin averaged $137,163 per unit — up from an average of $112,667 per unit one year prior.

Austin Apartment Sales
  2013 2012 Change
100+ unit sales Average price (per unit) $79,387 $76,423 4%
Average price (per sf) $89.40 $95.92 -7%
Transaction count 62 90 -31%
Total volume $1,433,148,801 $1,829,446,547 -22%
Less than
100 unit sales
Average price (per unit) $80,028 $64,080 25%
Average price (per sf) $101.98 $99.88 2%
Transaction count 24 40 -41%
Total volume $67,237,900 $88,993,279 -24%

Read more at Hendricks-Berkadia. Log-in is free.

Austin's future retail space picture murky? 

(2/28/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - With all of the in-migration to Austin, it might be easy to assume that retail development is in high gear, but it’s not. In fact, retail development is pretty slack in Central Texas. Retail experts weighed in on the situation at the Bisnow Retail and Restaurant Development Summit recently.

“It’s a whole new day. The old model doesn’t work any more,” said Greg Weaver with Catellus Development Corp., the master developer at Mueller in Central Austin. “Smaller tenants want to be with big anchor tenants, but they’re not there anymore,” Weaver said.

Big-box power centers are losing a grip as retailers continue to downsize and move product to Internet platforms.

The construction of regional malls has also is almost nonexistent, though there are a few more big boxes now being built by the likes of Walmart Stores Inc. and Costco in the smaller cities surrounding Austin.

According to Weitzman Group, much of the current development and redevelopment is being driven by two product categories: movie theaters and fitness centers. Retail occupancy is 95 percent, which is approaching the highest occupancy recorded of 95.5 percent in 2004.

There are 30 strip centers of 15,000 sf or less are in some stage of development. Retail projects added 631,700 sf of space in 2013, a jump from 462,800 sf in 2012.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For more retail stats, see Austin Market Data Sources.

Best Western Plus Pflugerville's pfirst hotel 


PFLUGERVILLE - Best Western Plus is set to build Pflugerville's first hotel in the 130 Commerce Center at the corner of Pecan St. and SH 130. The $5 million hotel will feature 70 rooms on the three-acre tract.

The hotel will employ at least five full-time and ten part-time employees. Construction is expected to begin in 90 days and will be complete in mid-2015.

The city expects to bring in approximately $28,500 in property taxes from the hotel annually, and will also receive a hotel occupancy tax equal to 7 percent of each room's night stay.

Lightwater Hospitality No. 1 and RamRan Holdings are the developers for the new hotel.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Taylor Morrison cranks on all cylinders in Round Rock 


ROUND ROCK - Taylor Morrison Home Corp. has announced it will build another master-planned community in the Austin market. The company will build about 1,200 homes across six product lines at the northeast corner of North A.W. Grimes Blvd. and University Blvd.

The name of the development is Vizcaya and should be open for sales by the end of the year. Taylor Morrison purchased the 475 acres last year.

In addition, the company is building homes in nearby Crystal Falls, Leander; Steiner Ranch, Reunion Ranch near Dripping Springs; and Ladera and Sweetwater near Bee Cave.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's Central Health $12M redo of former VA 


AUSTIN - Central Health is set to begin the $12 million renovation of its 73,000-sf Southeastern Health and Wellness Center on Montopolis Dr. near Ben White Blvd.

Previously the VA Outpatient Clinic, the center will provide health care services where high poverty rates drive more residents into emergency rooms instead of primary care centers.

The first phase of the center’s renovation is expected to be completed this summer and will usher in basic services such as primary care physicians, specialty care services, dental care, radiology and a pharmacy when it opens in the fall.

The project’s second phase will address the wellness needs of the community, with services such as exercise classes, a garden, nutrition counseling, health screenings and an insurance exchange center as possible offerings.

Central Health purchased the building for $8 million in 2011 with the intent of converting it into a center that could address the health care service crunch east of I-35.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

East Austin: 7EAST feast of 186 apartments plus mixed-use 

(2/26/2014 6:50:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Grounbreaking is today on 7EAST —186 high-end apartments in East Austin. 7EAST will be built on East Seventh St. between Chicon St. and Robert T. Martinez Jr. Blvd. Additionally, 7EAST will have nine street-level commercial spaces for small businesses and shops.

The project will include some units with rents within reach of families earning 60 percent of the area’s median family income. The first apartments are expected to be ready for tenants by summer 2015, with the entire project due to be completed in early 2016.

Ardent Residential and Stonelake Capital Partners purchased the land in November 2012 and has torn down a run-down warehouse to make way for the new development.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Down in Del Valle units have sold 


DEL VALLE, TRAVIS COUNTY - A-Mini Storage, a 47,050-sf self-storage facility, has sold. The asset’s list price was $1.3 million.

A-Mini Storage is located at 2381 Hwy. 71 East.

Source: Marcus & Millichap

Austin's Townhollow Apartments trades to California investor 


AUSTIN - Townhollow Apartments, located at 1200 Treadwell St., has been purchased by a California investor. But don’t expect the buyer to tear it down in favor of new construction.

Built in 1982, the buyer plans to make an investment in upgrading the 77-unit property.

The complex offers efficiency, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 450 sf to 1,020 sf. Features of the complex include a swimming pool, covered parking and an onsite laundry facility.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

$50M office view on Rollingwood hilltop near Austin 


ROLLINGWOOD, TRAVIS COUNTY - Construction has started on the $50 million Rollingwood Center — the largest office project to break ground near downtown since the recession as Austin area’s office market continues on a healthy run.

The project includes a four-story office building with 155,000 sf and another two-story building with 60,000 sf.

The project is on a hilltop on the north side of Bee Cave Rd. in the City of Rollingwood, just west of Zilker Park and minutes from downtown Austin. The buildings are scheduled to be ready in early 2015.

LatinWorks, an Austin advertising agency, will initially lease 50,000 sf in the smaller building, but expects to occupy the entire building as it continues to grow. In the larger building, Heritage Title Company of Austin Inc. will be a tenant, occupying about 9,000 sf.

A third building is expected to eventually be added to the complex, which is currently home to a BB&T branch. Central Texas’ job growth has spurred demand for office space, raising overall rents, occupancies and investor interest in the region’s office market.

Endeavor Real Estate Group, based in Austin, is the development group working on the project.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin 2013 retail market indicators: CoStar 

(2/21/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin Chamber of Commerce retail data for 2006–2013 are now available.

Data include all classes and all sizes, and both multitenant and single-tenant buildings, including owner-occupied buildings.

Preview: Austin MSA Retail Market Indicators
Year* Existing Inventory Vacancy Net
Under Construction
Quoted Rates
Bldgs. Total RBA Direct SF Total SF Vacancy Bldgs. Total RBA Per FS
2011 8,222 99,369,230 5,691,030 5,900,067 5.9% 523,703 34 609,067 $17.55/FS
2012 8,265 100,253,021 5,158,611 5,401,160 5.4% 1,382,698 38 517,444 $17.72/FS
2013 8,307 100,727,006 4,718,510 4,904,463 4.9% 970,682 34 1,014,703 $17.41/FS

*Annual & YTD figures are as of end of the period except Net Absorption and Deliveries.
  FS=All rental rates reported in the CoStar Office Report have been converted to a Full Service equivalent rental rate.
  RBA=Rentable building area.

Source: CoStar Group

See more at The Austin Chamber of Commerce.

For historical data since 2006, see Retail Austin Chamber of Commerce under Austin Market Data Sources.

Austin housing market takes off in Jan. 2014 


AUSTIN - The local real estate market is off to a strong start in 2014, with home sales up 4 percent year over year in January, according to a report from Austin Board of Realtors.

There were 1,449 single-family homes sold in the Austin area in January at a median price of $211,800 — a 7 percent increase in value compared to the start of 2013.

There is about two months of housing inventory available in Austin as of January, compared to 2.5 months of inventory in January 2013. Austin homes are selling faster than before, selling after 63 days on the market. This number compares to an average of 72 days during the same month last year.

Also, sales of townhomes and condominiums were up 13 percent in January compared to January 2013. In that time, the average number of days townhomes and condos remained on the market dropped from 73 to 53.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin college campus renovating more than Penney's 


AUSTIN - The former JCPenney department store at Highland Mall is currently undergoing a dramatic multimillion transformation to be Austin Community College's 11th campus. The college is spending $60 million to renovate the 214,000-sf building, plus $10 million for associated utility work.

  • Draft concept plans call for renovating other portions of the mall for college use over time. About 70 shops and a food court will continue operating until the space is needed

The new school will have the capacity for 6,200 students. In August 2013, ACC opened its ninth campus in Elgin and in January 2014 the school opened its tenth in Kyle.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Kyle ranks No. 2 for homeownership in Texas 


KYLE - Kyle is the second-best city in Texas for homeownership, according to a report by NerdWallet. Homeownership costs in Kyle account for 23 percent of the median household income.

The company compiled a list of the top 20 cities in the state for owning a home based on each municipality’s home inventory, affordability and population growth. Kyle's homeownership cost is among the three lowest in that category.

Three other Austin suburbs — Leander (No. 3), Cedar Park (No. 6) and Pflugerville (No. 8) — also made the list. Little Elm, a northern suburb of Dallas, was ranked No. 1.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin's Anderson Mill Shopping Center sold 


AUSTIN - Anderson Mill Shopping Center, a 171,794-sf retail property, has been sold. Located at the intersection of Lake Creek Pkwy. and US 183, the community center is currently anchored by 24 Hour Fitness and has co-anchor space available.

Anderson Mill Acquisitions LLC purchased the property and will rebrand the property as Market at Lake Creek.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Sonesta Bee Cave a 200-room Galleria 


BEE CAVE - Work is set to start on the new 200-room Sonesta Bee Cave hotel at the Hill Country Galleria. The six-story hotel will be built behind Dick’s Sporting Goods, on the east side of the Galleria mixed-use project at RR 620 and Texas 71.

Estimated construction cost is $25 million, according to state filings.

The hotel will include 10,000 sf of meeting space, as well as a swimming pool, lounge rooftop bar.

The Sonesta hotel is due to break ground March 6. The project is scheduled to be completed in spring 2015.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman. Listen to Podcast 206 for this story and more.

Elan Southpark Meadows senior housing 


AUSTIN - Plans have been announced to construct the Elan Southpark Meadows, a 110-unit senior housing development. The $22 million community located at 211 W. Slaughter Ln. will be comprised of around 36 memory care units and 70 to 80 assisted-living units.

Construction on the project is slated to begin in summer or spring 2014.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Georgetown housing growth (ex)spurts 2013 


GEORGETOWN - In 2013, the City of Georgetown issued 1,042 housing permits — an increase of more than 39 percent compared with the previous year.

According to Williamson County Association of Realtors (WCAR), resale residential properties in Georgetown had an average selling price of $255,723 in 2013. "There were more homes sold in 2013 than there have been in seven years," according to Gary Cocanougher, president of the WCAR.

“There are a lot of people … just moving here with jobs,” he said. “They’re mainly families, but also there were a lot of young couples moving here. And people getting out of the armed services were settling down here, particularly ones [formerly stationed] at Fort Hood.”

In January 2014 the number of available homes in Georgetown costing more than $250,000 was more than double the number of homes costing less than that amount.

Georgetown homes were on the market an average of 64 days in the first half of 2013 and 49 days in the second half of the year.

The population of Georgetown is expected to grow to more than 100,000 by 2030, according to the City of Georgetown Planning Department, and the increasing population has driven a high demand for homes.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin's job factory gears up 2014 


AUSTIN - The first five weeks of 2014 have already seen at least 15 companies announce their intentions to hire more than 1,600 employees in the Austin region, according to data by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

These numbers far exceed the Chamber’s tracked announcements in past years. In January and February of last year, for example, 19 companies announced plans to hire 562 employees, while in the first two months of 2012, 16 companies announced plans to hire 760.

Among the 2014 windfall, the largest hiring announcement was Massachusetts-based Athenahealth Inc.’s commitment to hire 607. Websense Inc. has proposed to add 470 jobs and Dropbox Inc. has proposed to add 170.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal. You are on the tip of the iceberg. See the Greater Austin Chamber link under Austin Market Data Sources!

Australian Atlassian opening in Austin; hiring 


AUSTIN - A fast-growing Australian software company, Atlassian, is opening operations in Austin with plans to hire as many as 300 workers. Atlassian, which makes software for programmers to collaborate on projects, will move to Austin to support its expansion in North America.

The company plans to make 40 new hires in Austin by June, and expects up to 35 additional employees to transfer here from other offices. Atlassian plans to grow its overall workforce by 30 percent in the next six months.

Atlassian is looking for permanent office space in downtown Austin and is hiring in areas including engineering, customer support, marketing and design.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

No stopping No. 1 Austin in Forbes' fastest-growing cities 

(2/17/2014 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - For the fourth year in a row, Austin ranks No. 1 on Forbes' list of the country's fastest-growing cities. Austin had a 2.5 percent estimated population growth in 2013 — the highest of all geographic regions in the country, according to Forbes. Austin's economy grew 5.9 percent in 2013.

It's something that Austin demographer Ryan Robinson laid out in his latest findings that estimate how many people are moving to the Austin area every day.

Houston, which has ranked near the top of the list in recent years due to the huge surge in domestic oil and gas production, fell all the way from No. 2 last year to No. 10.

Dallas ranked in the top five at No. 4 and San Antonio ranked No. 20 this year.

Texas’ strong population growth, unemployment rate under 6 percent, business-friendly regulatory environment, lack of state income tax and highly educated labor market helped it put four cities on the list.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Vibra Healthcare gets physical in Lakeway 


LAKEWAY - Lake Travis Specialty Hospital, vacant since its 2011 completion, is now leased to Vibra Healthcare. The approximately 58,000-sf hospital is located at 2000 Medical Dr. behind the Lakeway Post Office. The company plans to develop the site into a physical rehabilitation hospital.

Vibra Healthcare plans to staff about 200 employees when the facility is at full capacity. The building has the capacity for 42 patient beds, and Vibra Healthcare plans to add a physical therapy gym to the two-story structure.

The company plans to open the hospital in May or June 2014.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Australian software hiring 300 jobs in Austin  


AUSTIN - Atlassian Software Systems will open a permanent office in downtown Austin, and plans to hire as many as 300 Central Texas workers, according to company President Jay Simons.

The Sydney-based company is hiring in areas including engineering, customer support, marketing and design. Of the new workers, 40 will be hired by June 2014, and up to 35 additional employees will transfer to Austin from other offices.

Atlassian has a 300-person office in San Francisco and 800 workers worldwide. The company plans to grow its overall workforce by 30 percent in the next six months.

The company currently has 34,000 customers in 134 countries, ranging from small startups to corporations including Citigroup, Coca-Cola and United Airlines.

Atlassian posted $149 million in revenue last fiscal year and has been profitable every year since being founded. The company raised $60 million in 2010 from Silicon Valley-based Accel Partners.

Customers use Atlassian for all aspects of software development. It allows engineers to perform testing and reporting of software bugs.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman and Atlassian.

Round Rock's Highlands at Mayfield Ranch opens 


ROUND ROCK - National home builder Lennar Corp. has opened The Highlands at Mayfield Ranch, a new residential development. There are currently has 57 home sites available with another 200 home sites are in the pipeline.

Floor plans available range from 1,500 sf to more than 3,300 sf. Prices start in the low $200,000.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Semiconductor campus trading for mixed-use in Round Rock 


ROUND ROCK - The former Cypress Semiconductor campus has been purchased by World Class Capital Group LLC. The firm plans to transform it into a development with shops, housing, office and industrial space.

The first phase of the project will involve renovating and leasing the existing 98,700-sf former semiconductor manufacturing facility for office and industrial space.

The campus sits on 118 acres behind the IKEA retail development at I-35 North and University Dr. Cypress Semiconductor Corp. closed the facility in 2009.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Take three: two office towers, one aspen in Austin 

(2/10/2014 7:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Three office properties have been purchased in northwest Austin. Fortis Property Group bought the Austin portfolio which includes 205,000-sf Aspen Lake, 174,448-sf Tower of the Hills and 178,000-sf Tower Point.

The three properties are located at the intersection of US 183 and SH 45. Crimson Real Estate Fund, Admiral Capital Group and USAA Real Estate Company sold the properties.


Dell, Emerson pull South University to Round Rock 

(2/10/2014 6:45:00 AM)

ROUND ROCK - South University, based in Georgia, will construct a $7 million, 42,000-sf campus adjacent to the Emerson buildings at 1100 W Louis Henna Blvd. W.

South University will become the fourth higher education campus within Round Rock’s city limits. The city already hosts Austin Community College, Texas State University–Round Rock and the Texas A&M Health Science Center campuses.

South University has agreed to lease the property through at least December 31, 2018, and retain at least 55 full-time employees by the fifth year of the agreement.

Construction on the campus will begin soon after the property closes on the land this month. The school hopes to have the new campus open by February 2015.

South University opened its first Central Texas campus in November 2011 at a vacant office complex on West Parmer Lane in Austin.

It now appears, however, that South University’s time in Austin was only a temporary stop before a new arrangement could be secured with Round Rock.

South University is an accredited university with 13 campuses in nine states. The school offers a variety of four-year graduate and undergraduate degree programs. The Austin campus includes business administration, criminal justice and nursing programs.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin $558M breeze from Castro County 


AUSTIN - The City of Austin will purchase energy from Hereford 2, a Castro County wind farm, for up to $558 million over 18 years. Lincoln Renewable Energy LLC currently owns Hereford 2.

The arrangement will supply Austin with all the power from Hereford 2, which will be situated on nearly 15,000 acres about 50 miles southwest of Amarillo. Construction of Hereford 2 began in November 2013.

When completed, the wind farm will have 160 turbines and a capacity of 300 megawatts. The energy will flow into the grid on new transmission lines constructed through the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone program.

Purchasing this amount of wind power will boost Austin toward its goal of having 35 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2020.

Hereford 1, the 200-megawatt sister project, was sold to EDF Renewables in In July 2013. The operation is located on about 15,000 acres in Deaf Smith County.

Chicago-based Lincoln Renewable Energy LLC partnered with Dallas-based Higher Power Energy LLC to develop both Hereford projects.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and Amarillo-Globe News.

Austin: Aspen, Tower Point, Tower of the Hills sold 

(2/7/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Three northwest Austin office properties, the 205,000-sf Aspen Lake, the 174,448-sf Tower of the Hills and the 178,000-sf Tower Point, have been sold to Fortis Property Group.

•  the four-story Aspen Lake property is located at 13785 Research Blvd.;
•  the ten-story Tower of the Hills is located at 13809 Research Blvd.; and
•  Tower Point is located at 13805 Research Blvd.

Crimson Real Estate Fund LP along with investment partners Admiral Capital Group and USAA Real Estate Company sold the properties.

At year-end 2013, the Austin market had an occupancy rate of 87.9 percent, compared to 85.8 percent at the end of 2012, according to CBRE.

The Northwest submarket has an even higher occupancy rate of 89.6 percent. Average rents in Austin saw an increase of over $2.00 per sf, reaching historical highs.

“The sales prices for most Texas office towers will continue to increase in 2014,” according to Matthew Deal, commercial appraiser with Deal Sikes & Associates. “As office leases become available for renewal, tenants are signing new leases with major increases in rents. Those higher rents lift the values of office assets,” said Deal.

Read more at Globe St.

Austin's Block 1 sells for $16M 

(2/7/2014 6:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Green Water Treatment Plant parcel known as Block 1 has been sold for $15.8 million in downtown Austin. Block 1 spans 1.8 acres on the southeast corner of the Green Water site and is bordered by San Antonio St. and Cesar Chavez St.

Developers will transform the property to house a 38-floor, three-tier tower with 440 apartments, including 50 affordable units as well as more than 40,000 sf of office and retail space.

The Green Water Treatment Plant redevelopment is expected to deliver a total of 1.7 million sf of mixed use development near the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment and the city's future public library.

The property will be developed by a partnership between Trammell Crow Co., Hanover Co. and Pacific Life Insurance Co. The development team expects to begin construction in mid-February. The development team expects to begin construction in mid-February.

Source: City of Austin

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's Apple campus rounds out 


AUSTIN - Apple Inc.'s expansion in Northwest Austin with the company's new Americas Operations Center is well underway, with a minimum of $27 million already invested in the project. In December 2012, Apple broke ground on the 39-acre campus.

The Calif.-based technology company has been issued temporary certificates of occupancy for two buildings totaling 290,000 sf. Another four buildings are in early stages of permitting review, totaling 513,000 sf.

Two parking garages and two additional buildings are also planned. In March 2012, Apple said it would invest at least $282 million and bring 3,635 jobs to Austin as it establishes its Americas Operations Center.

The deal was divided into two phases: in the first Apple was to invest $56.5 million to construct the new facilities, and in the second phase the technology company was to invest an additional $226 million for a further build out. The first phase sets an end date as December 2015.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

CoStar: Austin industrial vacancy decreases in 4Q 


AUSTIN - The local industrial market ended fourth quarter 2013 with a vacancy rate of 7.8 percent — down from the previous quarter. Net absorption totaled positive 305,802 sf in 4Q 2013, compared to positive 462,582 sf in 3Q 2013.

Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending at 259,510 sf. Rental rates ended 4Q 2013 at $7.32, no change over the previous quarter.

A total of two buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 119,655 sf, with 448,464 sf still under construction at the end of the quarter.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Roku streams to Austin; company hiring 


AUSTIN - Roku Inc. will open a development center at the Westech 360 building off North Capital of Texas Hwy. in West Austin. The company could employ up to 50 software and hardware engineers.

Scott de Haas, vice president of Roku's hardware engineering department, said the company is turning to Austin, which has tech talent waiting to be hired, despite the region's impressively low unemployment rate. "We're here to expand our engineering efforts," said de Haas.

Other major California-based tech companies have announced Austin expansions. Dropbox Inc. and Websense Inc. are expected to add more than 600 jobs, and Spansion Inc. also appears to have major expansion ideas.

Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku Inc. makes streaming media players for televisions.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin armory creative hub as $5.4M film studio 

(2/6/2014 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The former National Guard Armory Building, totaling more than 75,000 sf, at the Mueller development has been purchased by the Austin Film Society. The company will spend $5.4 million to convert the property to the new Creative Media Hub.

One proposed configuration includes two sound stages and five smaller office spaces ranging in size from 2,500 to more than 6,500 sf. The Austin Film Society is seeking anchor tenants who could occupy at least 10,000 sf of space on the property.

The project is set to open in 2016.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Elgin Walmart opening on home stretch 


ELGIN - The new 152,000-sf Walmart store moves closer to opening as associates have begun stocking shelves. The new store, located at 1320 W. Hwy. 290, will include a full line of groceries and a wide assortment of merchandise.

Elgin’s Walmart will have a deli section, bakery section, apparel section and include all the same groceries as other stores in other areas. The store will also have a large pharmacy with two drive-thru pick-up locations, vision center, bank and a Subway inside.

Walmart has already hired 220 to work at the store. The minimum goal set was to hire 202 people. The grand opening of the facility is scheduled for February 19.

The new Walmart in Elgin opens the same day as the new Walmart in Manor, although the Elgin store is approximately 2,000 sf bigger.

Read more at the Elgin Courier. Listen to Podcast 204 for more Texas news in real estate.

Austin office 4Q 2013: REOC 


AUSTIN - Office properties in the Austin area turned in another strong performance in fourth quarter 2013, ending the year on a high note. New leases and expansions generated 269,356 sf of positive net absorption in 4Q 2013, according to fourth quarter report by REOC Austin.

Combined with the gains logged earlier in the year, 4Q 2013 pushed the annual total absorption figure over the 1 million mark to 1,071,129 sf. In turn, the positive absorption tightened the citywide vacancy rate to 11.3 percent — a level not seen since 2007.

At the close of 2013, the citywide average quoted rental rate climbed to $25.59 per sf — which is up $1.68 or 7.0 percent compared to a year ago.

Austin 4Q 2013 Office Report
Submarket Total
Vacant SF
Vacant Avg. Quoted
Rent Rate
CBD 8,364,672 883,452 10.60% $34.09
Central 2,230,593 319,230 14.30% $24.20
North 914,248 241,635 26.40% $19.14
Northwest 12,824,810 1,310,293 10.20% $26.33
Far Northwest 3,670,981 489,153 13.30% $22.48
Northeast 1,866,972 266,610 14.30% $17.08
South 1,533,096 66,593 4.30% $23.81
Southeast 1,070,401 157,843 14.70% $18.71
Southwest 8,299,605 807,819 9.70% $27.64
Round Rock 865,942 147,687 17.10% $21.04
Totals 41,641,320 4,690,315 11.30% $25.59

Source: REOC Austin. See more office under Austin Market Data Sources.

H-E-B adding 27,000 SF to Bastrop store 


BASTROP - As business and residential developments continue to sprout up — or add extensions — in Bastrop, H-E-B is planning a 27,000-sf expansion to its current store, Melissa McCollum, city planner, said.

“They have submitted their site development plan,” McCollum said. The addition will be on the west side where the drive-up window for the pharmacy is.

Dave Quinn, executive director of the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, said Bastrop is under the spotlight for another retailer. But nothing is nailed down.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

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