NewsTalk Texas

Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos

Lago Vista: $350 million Montechino on Lake Travis kicks off 

(12/19/2014 10:45:00 AM)

LAGO VISTA - Construction has started on the long-delayed Montechino project, a $350 million luxury community planned for Lago Vista that could bring more than 300 homes in coming years.

The project is planned for 250 acres on Lake Travis’ north shore. The developer, Houston-based investor Brian Atlas, bought the project out of bankruptcy nine years ago.

A 30-acre park, a 70-slip marina and a 96-room hotel also are planned, although Atlas said he does not yet have a hotel developer.

Montechino will have several housing types: garden homes, single- family homes, and waterfront condominiums as well as estate homes on lots ranging from three to ten acres. A few houses are nearing completion, and several more will be starting soon.

Plans call for 60 garden homes in a section called Camelot Woods, with three of those homes currently under construction. Prices will range from $280,000 to $470,000, Atlas said.

The 56 waterfront condos, in the Bella Vista section, will range from $780,000 to $1.75 million.

Among the single-family homes, the Signature Homes series will have 102 houses priced from $450,000 to $700,000. Another series, the Heritage Homes, will have 100 residences priced from $650,000 to $1.2 million.

The estate homes are expected to range from $1.2 million to $5 million.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

2,400 Homes set to rise in Sun City Texas 

(12/18/2014 8:45:00 AM)

GEORGETOWN - Del Webb, a national home builder, will develop an additional 1,100 acres at its Sun City Texas active adult community in Georgetown.

Some 2,400 new homes will be built mostly on two parcels — one along SH 195 and another along Ronald Reagan Blvd.

Infrastructure work is scheduled to begin in early 2015 with construction of the new homes projected to begin next summer.

Del Webb will introduce 11 new home designs, ranging in size from 1,300 sf to more than 3,500 sf.

Prices will begin near $190,000.

Sun City Texas, which caters to the 55 and older demographic, currently encompasses 4,100 acres with 7,500 home sites and 11,500 residents.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Ogle buys two Austin offices; leases rush in overnight 

(12/18/2014)

AUSTIN - Ogle Properties has purchased a 56,100-sf office building at 8920 Business Park Dr. and Hyridge Plaza, a 30,300-sf office building at 8716 N. Mopac Expy.

Within days of closing the deal, Kucera Cos. helped Ogle improve the occupancy with a lease with Tech Ranch for 11,000 sf at the 8920 Business Park Dr. building.

The seller of 8920 Business Park Dr. was RGK Rentals Ltd. and the seller of Hyridge Plaza was KMS Ventures.

At closing on December 5, occupancy for the Business Park Dr. building was 46 percent and for Hyridge Plaza was 54 percent.

Now with the Tech Ranch deal, occupancy at Business Park Dr. is 67 percent.

Kucera also negotiated a lease with Western Land Services at Hyridge for 2,615 sf. Occupancy there currently is up to 65 percent.

The Business Park Dr. property is valued at $5,781,472 and Hyridge Plaza at $2,041,669, according to the Travis County Appraisal District.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin: first tenant for 220,000-SF Champion Office Park 

(12/18/2014)

AUSTIN - Champion Office Park, a 220,600-sf campus in northwest Austin, has been completed. The development is located at RM 2222 and Loop 360.

On Dec. 15, Jobs2Careers moved into 13,000 sf at the park, making it the first tenant.

Endeavor Real Estate Group developed Champion Office Park.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Showtime: 239,000 SF kicks up in Austin's Expo Business Park 

(12/17/2014 9:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Trammell Crow Co. and Clarion Partners have broken ground on two buildings totaling 239,205 sf in the Expo Business Park Phase II in Southeast Austin.

Expo 10 and Expo 11 will measure 109,263 sf and 130,002 sf, respectively, and consist of warehouse, flex and manufacturing space with 28-foot clear heights and 24 dock-high doors per building.

The facilities are expected to be move-in ready by June 2015.

New York-based Clarion Partners is a joint venture partner on the two-building project and has been since the first phases of the 15.5-acre park at 6231 E. Stassney Lane were built in 1996.

Some of the largest tenants in the business park currently are Calendar Club, Goodwill Industries, Crawford Electric Supply, Dakota Hardwoods, USA Cable and Wire, Otis Spunkmeyer, Shelton Keller Group, Chaparral Distributors and Illumitex.

Read more at CoStar Group and the Austin Business Journal.

ABoR: Peek inside new 33,000-SF HQ 

(12/17/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors is preparing to move to its new headquarters on a hillside overlooking Bull Creek at 4800 Spicewood Springs Rd. in Northwest Austin.

The 33,000-sf building features a wrap-around terrace, mini-ballroom, production studios, Realtor retail store, membership lounge, training rooms and executive offices.

Most of the move for the 50 employees will take place over the holidays, and a grand opening celebration is planned for early January.

ABOR hopes to solidify its status in the community by opening the ballroom and meeting spaces to public and private events. ABOR plans to employ an event specialist to make those arrangements and create an additional stream of revenue.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Indeed to click 300 Austin hires in 2015 

(12/17/2014)

AUSTIN - Indeed, a job-listing service, plans to hire 1,000 workers next year — including 300 in Austin.

The Austin-based company that aggregates job listings from thousands of other online job posts reported a 72 percent growth this year and needs engineers, customer service and sales workers to keep up with demand, according to CEO Hisayuki Idekoba.

It currently lists 55 Austin job openings on its website.

Indeed, which was founded in 2004, employs 1,278 workers, including 330 in Austin. It hired 130 local workers this year and reached 150 million unique visitors to its website in November.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin neighborhoods where houses sell like hot cakes 

(12/17/2014)

AUSTIN - Redfin has analyzed residential sales in major U.S. markets and picked the fastest-selling houses at the biggest markups.

In the Austin market, Redfin postulates that older bungalows in trending neighborhoods present the best opportunities for quick sales at prices substantially exceeding the list price.

Redfin ranks the Crestview, Brentwood and Windsor Park neighborhoods among the hottest in town. All are in North Austin. Crestview and Brentwood are west of I-35 and Windsor Park is east of I-35.

Redfin highlighted three specific sales in its report.

One was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house originally built in 1932 on Pecan Springs Rd. that sold within three days with a 26 percent increase from the list price of $294,000. It sold for $370,000, or $214 per sf.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Georgetown 225-room Sheraton construction set 

(12/17/2014)

GEORGETOWN - Construction will start on the 225-room Sheraton Hotel in the next 30 to 45 days as part of The Summit at Rivery Park project.

The project — located west of I-35 between SH 29 and Williams Dr. — also includes a conference center, a parking garage and a park.

The City of Georgetown has agreed to a $25 million tax incentive deal and recently amended the agreement to push the construction deadline back to June 30, 2016.

The tax deal includes $12.5 million the Georgetown City Council agreed to pay for a parking garage and other transportation improvements and $11.7 million that Williamson County is contributing.

The developers also agreed to spend more than $3 million for infrastructure improvements. The city, the county and the developer will pay for most of the improvements through taxes generated by increased property value at the project.

The Georgetown Economic Development Corporation is also kicking in an additional $750,000 for roads for the project.

The Summit will eventually include more than 200 apartments, retail stores and restaurants. It already has luxury apartments.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

MPF Research: Austin multifamily 3Q 2014 

(12/15/2014 6:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Broad-based economic gains combined with the metro’s already favorable demographics have fueled demand for housing in Central Texas, which has generated strong revenue growth for the apartment sector, according to the latest report from MPF Research.

Such solid demand for apartments has strengthened the market’s fundamentals and led to elevated levels of apartment development.

Occupancy has hovered around the 95 percent mark for over three years. In response to the high occupancy, apartment operators have pushed rents around 4 percent to 7 percent annually for 14 straight quarters.

A point of strength for the apartment market so far has been middle- and lower-tier units that generally feed off economic growth but don’t compete with apartment development or single-family sales.

What changed this quarter? Quarterly apartment demand surged to a 17-year high during third quarter 2014, outperforming the 20-year high concurrent supply volume.

As a result, occupancy increased 0.3 points, with the rate landing at a solid 95.7 percent. Meanwhile, apartment operators pushed same-store rents 1.9 percent during 3Q 2014.

3Q 2014 Austin Apartment Trends
Effective Rent Occupancy Annual Job Change Annual Permits Annual Demand Annual Completions
$1,078 95.7% 31,700 jobs 9,898 units 10,181 units 10,562 units


Find the report at MPF Research. Be sure to check out the Submarket Map with Zip Codes.

tag: Austin apartment

Kyle Medical Pavilion sells for $17 million to REIT 

(12/15/2014)

KYLE - Health Care REIT has purchased a portfolio of medical office buildings (MOBs) that include the 42,000-sf Kyle Medical Pavilion at 135 Bunton Creek Rd.

Completed in 2012, the three-story facility is home to tenants including Hays Surgery Center, Texan Urgent Care and Austin Pain Associates.

Health Care REIT paid $402 per sf for the property, totaling $16.9 million. The REIT paid at least $69 million for the five-property portfolio, according to information from Real Capital Analytics.

After taking a bit of a hiatus from acquiring MOBs in 2013, Health Care REIT has been very active in the space in 2014, as its purchases of such properties could total about $306 million in the second half of the year, according to the company.

Read more at GlobeSt.com.

Orangetheory Fitness working out in Austin in 2015 

(12/15/2014)

AUSTIN - Orangetheory Fitness, a Florida-based chain of workout studios, has inked a franchise agreement for its first three locations in the Austin area.

The first location will debut on Jan. 1 in Four Points northwest of Austin near Lake Travis, at 7301 N. FM 620. The other locations are expected to open later in 2015.

Franchise owners Ron Levy and Stephanie Wang-Levy said they were drawn to Orangetheory Fitness by its high-intensity interval training, heart-rate monitoring and class camaraderie; it had everything they had been looking for in a workout concept.

The classes are centered around a 60-minute, five-zone, heart-rate monitored interval training workout.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

ABoR: Austin area home sales Nov. 2014 

(12/15/2014)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors has released home sales facts for November 2014. Below is a snippet of cities that you might want to see. There's more at the link below!

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $240,050, up 0.6 percent from October 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales decreased 22.7 percent from October 2014, totaling 1,614 units.
•  Condos decreased in price to $201,000, down 7.2 percent from October 2014.
•  Existing condo sales decreased 42.8 percent from October 2014, totaling 143 sold units.

Select region cities are represented below along with statistics from the ABoR MLS area as a whole.

Austin Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
  Nov. 2014
Price Chg.
Nov. 2013
Units Sold
Nov. 2014 
Sale Chg.
Nov. 2013
ACTRIS* (single-family) $240,050 10.6% 1,614 0.7%
ACTRIS (condo) $201,000 7.2% 143 -26.7%
Region Cities**        
Austin $302,000 11.0% 663 -4.6%
Round Rock $205,000 2.0% 167 0.6%
Georgetown $228,000 -1.3% 105 1.0%
Pflugerville $195,000 28.3% 97 11.5%
Cedar Park $245,000 25.6% 73 -18.9%
Leander $193,000 20.6% 63 -14.9%
Kyle $167,000 15.2% 50 22.0%
Buda $228,000 16.3% 41 115.8%

*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold at least 40 units during November 2014.

See the full report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

tag: Austin data, Austin real estate news

CoStar inventories Austin industrial data 3Q 2014 

(12/15/2014)

AUSTIN - During third quarter 2014, two buildings totaling 18,250 sf were completed, according to CoStar Group.

There was 821,396 sf of industrial space under construction at the end of 3Q 2014.

The largest projects underway at the end of 3Q 2014 include:

  • FedEx Ground Distribution – a 199,865-sf building with 100 percent of its space pre-leased and
  • Heritage Crossing – Bldg. 3, a 109,887-sf facility that is 23 percent pre-leased.

Some of the notable 2014 deliveries include Heritage Crossing - Bldg. 1, a 222,454-sf facility that delivered in 1Q 2014, and Pecan 130 Business Park - Bldg. 1, a 120,000-sf building that delivered in 2Q 2014.

Total industrial inventory in the Austin market area amounted to 93,463,535 sf in 3,776 buildings as of the end of 3Q 2014.

The flex sector consisted of 21,643,972 sf in 561 projects.

The warehouse sector consisted of 71,819,563 sf in 3,215 buildings. Within the industrial market there are 250 owner-occupied buildings accounting for 17,381,439 sf of Industrial space.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Austin: sale rounded up with 25,952-SF Trails at 620 

(12/14/2014)

AUSTIN - The Trails at 620, a mixed-use development at 8300 N. FM 620, has been sold.

The property includes retail locations, restaurants and The Moviehouse & Eatery theatre.

The 25,952-sf development was sold by a local private development partnership. The Trails at 620 was 93 percent occupied at the time of sale.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Downtown dirt turnover: Austin's 500,000-SF office tower 

(12/11/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Trammell Crow Co. is set to begin work on a 29-story tower at 500 W. 2nd St. The tower will have 489,403 sf of office space and 11,033 sf of ground floor restaurant and retail space.

The project is the second of four phases of a master-planned development on land that formerly housed the Green Water plant.

The tower will be built just north of Northshore, the three-tiered tower that constitutes the first phase, that is already under construction at W. Cesar Chavez St. and San Antonio St. and which will have about 440 apartments plus office and retail space.

Construction on Northshore is scheduled to be completed in late 2015.

When the entire project is completed, it will add more than 1.7 million sf of mixed-use commercial development downtown, bringing added revenue to the city’s tax base.

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

Picking up PODS for San Marcos distribution facility 

(12/11/2014 7:29:00 AM)

SAN MARCOS - PODS Enterprises Inc. (portable on-demand storage) will shutter four of its Central Texas facilities and consolidate distribution in San Marcos, company officials say.

The Florida-based company will build a 56,000-sf warehouse and distribution facility off Clovis Barker Dr. on a tract fronting a partially completed extension of Leah Ave., said Glenn Couch, a vice president at Uniprop, a real estate investment company.

PODS will invest $9.5 million, including the undisclosed cost of acquiring about 18 acres, to establish its new San Marcos facility. The city’s access to I-35 and SH 130 made San Marcos an attractive regional home base for PODS Enterprises.

The city’s access to Interstate 35 and Texas 130 made San Marcos an attractive regional home base for PODS Enterprises.

“When it came time to consolidate our operations into one central location for our Austin and San Antonio markets, the San Marcos region was an obvious choice,” Couch said.

The new facility will create 15 warehouse jobs, said Greater San Marcos Partnership President Adriana Cruz.

Founded in 1998 by former firefighter Peter Warhurst, PODS maintains an inventory of more than 140,000 of its portable shipping containers which more than 100 franchisees deliver to customers’ doors in 46 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Read more at the San Marcos Mercury.

Austin Milestone: $47 million high bid for Bull Creek land 

(12/10/2014 8:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Milestone Community Builders, Austin’s largest locally owned home builder, is the top bidder for 75 acres of prime land in Central Austin owned by the Texas Department of Transportation.

With an offer of $46.7 million, a subsidiary of Milestone trumped five other bidders in the competition for the tract at Bull Creek Rd. and W. 45th St., east of MoPac Blvd. (Loop 1).

Other than having a single-family component, Milestone has no specific plans for the site yet; rather, they will evolve over time through discussions with surrounding neighborhoods and city officials, according to Garrett Martin, Milestone’s president and CEO.

Several months ago, the City of Austin tried to work out a deal to buy the land but ultimately was unable to come up with the money.

In 2012, Austin-based Stratus Properties made an unsolicited offer for the site, saying it envisioned a mixed-use project with an H-E-B grocery store.

"Today marks a big win for Texas taxpayers," said Roland Tilden, director of TxDOT's real estate development office, according to the Statesman. "This piece of property will now be back on the tax rolls."

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

Transwestern: Austin retail market watch Nov. 2014 

(12/10/2014 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Transwestern has released its November MarketWatch report for the Austin area's retail sector.

Austin Retail Lease Statistics by Submarket*
Submarket #
Bldgs.
Inventory YTD Net
Absorption
Total
Occ.
Avg. Net
Rent
Central Business District 14 773,895 48,274 96.7% $32.61
Central & West Central 86 6,638,069 37,508 95.0% $16.31
North 70 4,940,701 -77,243 94.7% $14.21
Northeast & East 73 4,515,930 7,232 95.0% $13.31
Northwest & Far Northwest 95 6,831,266 91,926 91.8% $15.61
Round Rock & Cedar Park 136 11,658,653 14,979 93.8% $16.59
South 99 7,733,693 -94,577 96.0% $17.33
Southeast 26 1,794,668 29,238 99.7% $16.92
Southwest 63 5,674,823 32,921 97.3% $19.32
AUSTIN TOTAL 662 50,561,698 89,808 94.8% $15.93


*Survey includes Austin retail buildings larger than 25,000 SF

See Transwestern for the current report and previous reports.

See Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources for office, industrial, multifamily, retail and hotel reports.

EZ find at Texas real estate news

2014 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin 

(12/9/2014)

AUSTIN - The Austin American-Statesman has released its 2014 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin. The list includes top employers for large, mid-size and small companies.

Below are the top 15 large employers (500 or more employees) as of September 30.

2014 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin
Rank Employer Industry
1 Cirrus Logic Semiconductor
2 Keller Williams Realty Real estate
3 Charles Schwab Investment management
4 The Progressive Group of
Insurance Companies
Insurance
5 Yodle Online marketing
6 Teacher Retirement System of Texas Public pension fund
7 Cisco Systems Information technology
8 Accenture Strategy, Digital,
Technology, Operations
9 Austin Regional Clinic Medical group
10 Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa Resort
11 Rackspace Hosting Managed cloud services
12 Electronic Arts Video games
13 Whole Foods Market Natural foods grocer
14 ebay E-Commerce
15 Continental Automotive Group Auto dealership


For the full list, see the Austin American-Statesman.

For more info on employers and maps, check out Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources.
Texas real estate news

Round Rock $9M extension over Hairy Man Rd. 

(12/9/2014)

ROUND ROCK - The City of Round Rock will begin work on a $9 million extension of Creek Bend Blvd. in first quarter 2015, according to city officials. The project has been in the works for more than a decade.

The city’s plan includes a 3,100-foot extension from Creek Bend Blvd. to Wyoming Springs Dr. and Brightwater Blvd. To do that, an overpass will be built over Hairy Man Rd. and Brushy Creek, according to city documents.

The project will also include a raised median, a five-foot-wide sidewalk for pedestrians and a ten-foot-wide sidewalk to accommodate cyclists.

The goal is to provide a north/south arterial route as an alternative to I-35 on the city’s west side, Round Rock Transportation Director Gary Hudder said. The project should last approximately 18 months, according to Hudder.

The project costs $9 million because significant portions of the road will be elevated and because it will be a four-lane, divided arterial road, causing higher material costs.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.
Texas real estate news

New 54,000-SF HQ for People's Community Clinic Austin 

(12/9/2014)

AUSTIN - People's Community Clinic (PCC) will move into a new 54,000-sf headquarters in northeast Austin, with help from a $10 million grant from the St. David's Foundation.

The $16 million project will give the group that serves at-risk communities a second location since it will also keep its downtown facility open.

The new headquarters was formerly home of the Texas Real Estate Commission and was purchased in fall 2013.

The new facility was necessary because the group's patient population is moving east, according to Regina Rogoff, CEO of PCC. She said only 15 percent of its patients live within two miles of the downtown headquarters, but that number will jump to 50 percent once the move is complete.

Approximately 125 employees in a variety of health care disciplines will be hired for the new center.

The donation is the largest grant ever from St. David's Foundation, which began providing funding to PCC in 1996.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Demolition to glitz for Austin's Fifth & West condos 

(12/8/2014)

AUSTIN - Demolition has begun on the former headquarters of the Texas Press Association at 718 W. Fifth St.

Austin-based Riverside Resources purchased the site and is building Fifth & West, a 39-story condo tower that will be one of the tallest buildings in the city when finished in fall 2017.

Demolition is expected to take 15 working days, according to project spokesman Scott Dunaway.

Fifth & West will offer 154 residences ranging in size from about 900 sf for a one-bedroom unit to about 2,700 sf for a three-bedroom unit. A 5,200-sf penthouse will be available.

Prices begin at $500,000. A limited release of units have been reserved, according to Dunaway.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For more on Fifth & West, see previous story Austin Fifth & West condo tower set to start.
Texas real estate news

35,000-SF St. David's Children's Hospital opens in Austin 

(12/8/2014)

AUSTIN - The 24-bed St. David’s Children’s Hospital, located at the St. David's North Austin Medical Center, has officially opened.

Construction of the 35,000-sf facility began in March.

The pediatrics wing, located at the south entrance of the hospital at 12221 N. MoPac Expy., offers emergency, inpatient and intensive care services for children ages 17 and younger.

The emergency department includes ten beds with another eight beds in the inpatient medical surgical unit. Six beds are reserved for the pediatric intensive care unit.

The space was previously used for office and labor delivery services. The children’s hospital also has a trauma room and a pediatrics operating room.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.
Texas real estate news

Austin apartment report 3Q 2014 Marcus & Millichap 

(12/5/2014)

AUSTIN - Central Texas apartment operators will enjoy tight conditions and significant rent growth this year despite record-high completions, according to Marcus & Millichap's most recent quarterly report.

Strong job creation in the metro, particularly in the high-tech sector, remains a lure for young professionals.

In third quarter 2014, effective rents averaged $1,078 per month, up 6.2 percent from 3Q 2013. Vacancy closed 3Q 2014 at 4.3 percent, a 20-basis point decline from 3Q 2013.

Approximately 10,560 apartments were brought online in the last 12 months, 76 percent increase from the corresponding period in 2013.

Austin Submarket Vacancy Ranking*
Rank Submarket Vacancy
Rate
Y-O-Y Basis
Point Chg.
Effective
Rents
Y-O-Y
Change
1 Round Rock/Georgetown 3.1% -100 $1,007 6.8%
2 Downtown/University 3.2% -10 $1,974 -1.4%
3 Arboretum 3.2% -30 $1,060 4.0%
4 North Central Austin 3.5% 0 $865 6.0%
5 Far South Austin 3.6% -180 $1,061 5.9%
6 Cedar Park 3.6% -170 $1,017 5.1%
7 Northwest Austin 3.7% 10 $1,024 5.0%
8 Pflugerville/Wells Branch 3.8% -20 $967 6.7%
9 Far West Austin 3.9% 0 $1,061 4.4%
10 Austin 4.3% -20 $1,078 6.2%


*Chart includes top ten of 16 submarkets, ranked by vacancy.

Read more at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.
(Texas real estate news)

ATCO sells retail, buys office in Austin 

(12/5/2014)

AUSTIN - ATCO Properties & Management — a New York-based investor — has sold an Austin-area retail center and acquired a local office building.

ATCO purchased 1300 Guadalupe St., a 45,000-sf office building that is 100 percent occupied and represents the opportunity for growing rents, according to Damon Hemmerdinger, co-president of ATCO.

The company also sold Crossroads Center, a shopping center located at 9070 Research Blvd., near Burnet Rd.

The 98,918-sf property center was purchased by ATCO in 2011 and was most recently valued by the Travis Central Appraisal District at $15,293,781.

With assistance from The Retail Connection, ATCO nearly leased the center to 100 percent with tenants that include Chili's Grill & Bar, Pluckers Wing Bar, Subway and West Marine.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.
(Texas real estate news)

Austin hotel, restaurant property near UT sells fast 

(12/5/2014)

AUSTIN - The 63-room Days Inn at 3105 N. I-35 has been sold.

DBG Austin Hotel LLC, an investment company in Plano, purchased the hotel, which is near the University of Texas and St. David's Medical Center.

Also included in the sale was the property housing Star Seeds restaurant.

The property was listed for $5.4 million and interest was so strong that it was placed under contract in two weeks, according to Jay Weir of Hotel Brokers of Austin.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.
Texas real estate news

Plenty of $1 million+ home sales under contract in Austin 

(12/5/2014)

AUSTIN - Million dollar homes sales are on pace to eclipse the 570 mark, which would top 2013 when 525 such homes were sold.

There is no shortage of options — more than 500 homes priced at more than $1 million are for sale in the Austin market.

As of Nov. 15, 61 are under contract, according to multiple listing data provided by Brian Talley, owner and broker of Regent Property Group LLC in West Lake Hills.

The average price for $1 million-plus homes sold thus far in 2014 was $1,617,000, or $352 per sf, an 8 percent increase compared with last year. The median price is $1,350,000, or $343 per sf, a 14.7 percent increase compared with 2013.

Even though luxury home sales have been fluid and steady all year, the sweet spot for Talley has been in the $400,000-$600,000 range.

His primary buyers this year "tend to buy in Lake Travis, west and southwest Austin with some in central Austin. My observation is that people either want to be in the Hill Country suburbs for privacy and family reasons or as close to downtown as possible for lifestyle reasons."

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Will new supply ease Austinís apartment rents? 

(12/4/2014 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Although a record number of new units are opening in Central Texas this year amid an ongoing apartment-building boom, rents are continuing to rise due to robust job creation, particularly in the high-tech sector, according to Marcus & Millichap's fourth quarter 2014 report.

Builders are due to wrap up construction on more than 14,500 apartment units in Central Texas this year, the highest level of new supply since at least 2000.

As of the end of September, rents averaged $1,078 a month, a 6.2 percent increase from September 2013.

“While high-tech salaries in the Austin area among the most generous in the U.S. relative to the cost of living, many workers in the industry prefer the flexibility and lack of maintenance associated with apartment living,” Marcus & Millichap said.

Meanwhile, the growth in Austin’s population of 20- to 30-year-olds — who are more likely to rent than buy — is projected to grow by 2.6 percent this year, compared to a 1 percent gain forecast nationally, the firm reports.

The year should close with the region’s apartment complexes 95.5 percent full on average, just a smidge lower than the 95.8 percent average occupancy at the end of 2013, according to MPF Research.

Rent growth has slowed a bit as landlords try to quickly fill the estimated 3,500 new units that MPF says will be completed in 4Q 2014.

However, the Austin area is on track for annual rent growth this year of about 3.6 percent, down from 4.8 percent in 2013, according to Greg Willett, vice president of research and analysis at MPF.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman and at Marcus and Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

For more on multifamily and other sectors, check out Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources.

CoStar: Austin retail update 3Q 2014 

(12/4/2014)

AUSTIN - During third quarter 2014, four buildings totaling 58,239 sf were completed in the retail market, according to CoStar Group.

Over the past four quarters, 737,331 sf of retail space has been built, and there was 446,065 sf of retail space under construction at the end of 3Q 2014.

Some of the notable 2014 deliveries include

  • 601 E. 5th St., a 64,000-sf facility that delivered in 2Q 2014 and is now 77 percent occupied, and
  • Hill Country Galleria – Building W, a 54,750-sf building that delivered in 1Q 2014 and is now 74 percent occupied.

Total retail inventory in the Austin market area amounted to 101,837,421 sf in 8,460 buildings and 810 centers as of the end of 3Q 2014.

This trend is compared to U.S. National Retail deliveries and construction, which saw 542 buildings totaling 13.9 million sf complete construction, with an additional 53.3 million sf of retail space still under construction at the end of 3Q 2014.

Read more at CoStar Group.

For more on retail and other industries, check out Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources.
(Texas real estate news)

Aquarena Springs $21M project set for San Marcos 

(12/4/2014)

SAN MARCOS - The Texas Department of Transportation will begin a $20.7 million construction project on Aquarena Springs Dr. in May that officials hope will improve mobility, safety and the aesthetics of the area.

The Loop 82/Aquarena Springs project will construct an overpass across the train tracks on Aquarena Springs near Bobcat Stadium. Construction is expected to take about 2.5 years, TxDOT spokeswoman Kelli Reyna said.

The project is intended to improve mobility in the area. Trains passing through the city on Union Pacific tracks that cross Aquarena Springs can back up traffic, causing congestion and delays for San Marcos drivers.

The department is not anticipating any major lane closures except for a one-month period when the road, which normally features a center turn lane as well as two lanes each traveling east and west, will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

The project will include eight lanes at its widest point, with two lanes in each direction on the overpass and two lanes in each direction on access roads adjacent to the elevated roadway.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.
Texas real estate news

Help wanted! Austin job fair for 700 openings at JW Marriott 

(12/3/2014 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - More than 700 jobs need to be filled at the new JW Marriott Austin and a job fair will be held at the Austin Convention Center Dec. 5 and 6 to begin that process.

The job fair on the third floor of the Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St., begins at 9 a.m. both days. Applications also can be submitted online at whitelodging.com.

Available positions include front desk jobs; housekeeping and laundry; restaurant, banquet and beverage service; security; engineering and accounting.

The JW Marriott Austin will open Feb. 13, 2015, making it the largest hotel in Austin with more than 1,000 rooms. Located at Second St. and Congress Ave., it will be the largest property in the JW Marriott collection in the U.S. and the second-largest in the world.

Positions with the JW Marriott include a benefit package with access to health care insurance, a 401K plan, paid time off and vacation, tuition reimbursement and discounted room rates.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For more on the JW Marriott, see previous story Austin: 34-story JW Marriott moves opening date to Feb.

Round Rock's 512-Unit Orchard brings $56 million 

(12/3/2014)

ROUND ROCK - The Orchard Apartments, a 512-unit apartment community at 2811 La Frontera Blvd., has been sold for $55.5 million. The Class A community was purchased by Griffis Residential, who renamed the property Griffis Las Frontera.

The community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 640 sf to 1,232 sf and in price from $815 to $1,955 per month.

Griffis Residential has a $4 million upgrade platform in the works that will target common areas and units in the 1997 development.

The property is near the La Frontera master-planned commercial park, the Forest Park Medical Center that will open this month, and Dell Computer.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

Canadian buys Austin's Tree 

(12/2/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - One of the newest urban-styled apartment communities in Austin has sold to an undisclosed Canadian buyer. Tree, located at 3715 S. First St., opened in September and was 94 percent leased at the time of sale.

Tree offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 564 sf to 1,309 sf.

One of the property’s main assets is its location, just three miles from Austin’s CBD.

Travis Central Appraisal District values the Tree property at $44 million. A joint venture of Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar and The Carlyle Group sold the property.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Nearly 1,000 new homes in Hays County's corridor cities 

(12/1/2014 9:08:00 AM)

HAYS COUNTY - In 2013, a net average of 124 people moved to Hays County each week, and the influx shows no sign of letting up.

During the first three quarters of 2014, officials in the county’s three corridor cities issued new building permits for 950 single-family homes: 241 in San Marcos; 385 in Kyle; and 325 in Buda, according to the San Marcos Mercury.

In San Marcos, the estimated value of new single-family residential totaled about $38 million and $44.5 million in Kyle.

New single- and two-family residential construction between January 1, 2014 and September 30, 2014 is detailed below.

Top Subdivisions in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda
Subdivision City 2014
YTD
Valuation
Blanco Vista San Marcos 125 $19,915,610
Garlic Creek Buda 89 -
Waterleaf Kyle 84 $10,054,288
Post Oak Kyle 80 $6,754,125
Plum Creek Kyle 50 $6,289,705
Whispering Hollow Buda 49 -
Elm Grove Buda 48 -
Stonefield Buda 48 -
Hometown Kyle 39 $5,316,408
Woodlands Park Kyle 39 $3,896,896
Total 950 $80,797,041


Read more at the San Marcos Mercury.

Austin Community Landfill set for 15-acre waste cell 

(11/28/2014)

AUSTIN - One of the chief landfills in Central Texas announced it is expanding within its permitted space.

The new 15-acre cell of the Austin Community Landfill will eventually hold about a million tons of waste, according to Bubba Smith, a senior district manager for Waste Management.

The cell is expected to begin receiving waste in January and will likely fill up within three years.

Overall, the Austin Community Landfill in Northeast Austin has filled up roughly 190 of its permitted allotment of 241 acres. Most of the waste comes from within Travis County. The company forecasts the landfill will be operational about 15 more years.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Rockspring jumps to 28-acre Leander tract 

(11/25/2014)

LEANDER - Rockspring Capital has purchased a 28-acre tract near Old FM 2243 and US 183.

The Houston-based land investment firm plans to take the land through the platting process and then sell it to a multifamily developer.

The land is currently zoned for apartments and retail uses.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

REOC Austin office 3Q 2014 

(11/22/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Employment growth and an expanding economy continue to drive demand for office space, according to REOC Austin’s 3Q 2014 report.

According to the survey of nearly 42 million sf of Austin area office lease space, area properties experienced 337,467 sf of positive net absorption in 3Q 2014. The total gain was split between Class A properties, with 161,087 sf, and Class B properties, with 169,704 sf.

The Austin office market closed the quarter with a citywide vacancy rate of 9.0 percent, down compared to 9.7 percent in 2Q 2014 and 11.8 percent in 3Q 2013.

In all, the market has nearly 3 million sf of office space currently under construction. Roughly 725,000 sf is expected to come online in 4Q 2014 led by two downtown projects — IBC Bank Plaza (195,378 sf) and Seaholm Power Plant Building (113,063 sf).

The citywide average quoted rental rate climbed $0.72 to reach $26.06 per sf per year, up 2.8 percent from 3Q 2013.

Austin 3Q 2014 Office Report
Submarket Total
Inventory
Total
Vacant SF
Vacant Avg. Quoted
Rent Rate
CBD 8,355,282 668,708 8.0% $34.93
Central 2,246,769 216,659 9.6% $25.10
North 942,488 184,453 19.6% $19.17
Northwest 13,021,065 1,140,070 8.8% $26.80
Far Northwest 3,532,895 334,858 9.5% $24.37
Northeast 1,855,269 211,688 11.4% $16.40
South 1,688,035 88,707 5.3% $24.15
Southeast 915,462 119,054 13.0% $19.09
Southwest 8,463,665 674,998 8.0% $28.08
Round Rock 884,716 124,263 14.0% $20.11
Totals 41,905,646 3,763,458 9.0% $26.06


Source: REOC Austin

Click here to see the full 3Q report.

For more stats, look under Office in Austin Market Data Sources.

Austin's 99,000-SF Crossroads Shopping Center sold 

(11/22/2014)

AUSTIN - The 98,918-sf Crossroads Shopping Center at 9070 and 9094 Research Blvd. has been sold.

Major tenants include Plucker's Wing Bar and Chili's Grill & Bar. Records at the Travis Central Appraisal District indicate a value of about $15.6 million for the shopping center.

Houston-based MWM Fund II Ltd. purchased the retail center from XRDS LP of Glendale, New York.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

ABoR: Austin area home sales Oct. 2014 

(11/21/2014 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors has released home sales facts for October 2014. Below is a snippet of cities that you might want to see. There's more at the link below!

• The median price of existing single-family homes remained at $239,000, the same seen in September 2014.
• Existing single-family home sales decreased -6.5 percent from September 2014, totaling 2,048 sold units.
• Condos increased in price to $215,500, up 7.2 percent from September 2014.
• Existing condo sales increased 14.5 percent from September 2014, totaling 245 sold units.

Select region cities are represented below along with statistics from the ABoR MLS area as a whole.

Austin Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
  Oct. 2014
Price Chg.
Oct. 2013
Units Sold
Oct. 2014 
Sale Chg.
Oct. 2013
ACTRIS* (single-family) $239,000 11.2% 2,048 10.5%
ACTRIS (condo) $215,500 19.7% 245 4.3%
Region Cities**        
Austin $300,250 10.8% 856 5.4%
Round Rock $214,032 9.8% 201 6.3%
Georgetown $265,000 20.7% 122 7.0%
Pflugerville $181,850 0.3% 116 20.8%
Cedar Park $243,500 8.7% 99 12.5%
Leander $189,000 1.9% 77 -9.4%
Kyle $166,500 11.1% 61 29.8%
Hutto    $171,000 17.9% 57 14.0%
Buda $229,000 10.1% 45 36.4%

*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold at least 45 units during October 2014.

See Housing under Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources or see the full report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

EZCorp rolling to 140,000 SF in Rollingwood 

(11/21/2014)

ROLLINGWOOD - EZCorp Inc., the Austin-based pawnshop chain and payday lender, has signed a major lease at a new development under construction in Rollingwood.

EZCorp will occupy 140,000 sf at Rollingwood Center, currently being built by Endeavor Real Estate Group near the northwest corner of S. Mopac Expy. and Bee Cave Rd.

EZCorp. is consolidating six local offices and around 300 employees. The move-in is scheduled for fall 2015.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's Westin Hotel tops out; other brands break ground 

(11/21/2014)

AUSTIN - Construction on the 366-room Westin Hotel on Congress Ave. has topped out. The hotel plans to welcome its first guests in summer 2015.

The 17-story hotel will have 14,500 sf of conference and meeting space, including a 4,500-sf ballroom.

The hotel activity in downtown Austin continues at a pace matched only by much larger metros such as New York City and Washington, D.C.

Westin’s developer, White Lodging, is also developing the 1,012-room JW Marriott down the street that is expected to open in February 2015.

The $370 million Fairmont Austin recently broke ground and is projected to deliver 1,066 rooms when it opens June 2017.

Hotel Zaza is under construction as well, and will add 160 rooms to the market when completed late 2016.

The Hotel Van Zandt is under construction on Rainey St., and a hybrid Hotel Indigo/Holiday Inn Express is under construction at E. 9th St. and Neches St.

Across town near Westlake, the Hotel Granduca is taking shape and recently was added to a special collection of luxury hotels.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Round Rock Crossing tracking to 90,000 SF in 2015 

(11/20/2014 6:30:00 AM)

ROUND ROCK - The 460,000-sf Round Rock Crossing shopping center at I-35 and SH 45 is poised to add as much as 90,000 sf of space in 2015, according to the Weitzman Group.

The center is anchored by a Target store, with other retailers including Gander Mountain, Michaels, Best Buy, Stein Mart and Dollar Tree.

The shopping center is currently 98 percent occupied, according to Britt Morrison, a senior vice president at the Weitzman Group. Several prospective tenants are close to signing deals for space in the center’s next phase.

Construction is expected to start in early 2015.

“The third phase will be designed for a variety of anchor and junior anchor concepts, as well as specialty tenants,” Morrison said.

The center serves a trade area with about 222,000 people, including 80,000 households within a five-mile radius, according to the Weitzman Group.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Five Austin towers ownership all shook up, uh-huh! 

(11/20/2014 6:28:00 AM)

AUSTIN - A partnership between Parkway Properties Inc. and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CSTRS) that owned several prominent downtown buildings has been dissolved, causing the ownership of those buildings to change.

Parkway Properties said it has acquired the CSTRS’s 60 percent stake in the 21-story San Jacinto Center at 98 San Jacinto Blvd., and the 30-story One Congress Plaza at 111 Congress Ave., and now owns both buildings outright.

Meanwhile, Parkway Properties transferred its 40 percent ownership stake in the 33-story Frost Bank Tower at 401 Congress Ave., the 32-story One American Center at 600 Congress Ave. and the 23-story 300 W. 6th St. to the CSTRS.

Parkway Properties said it also received $43.6 million from the CSTRS as part of the transaction.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

New record set! Leander issues over 1,000 home permits 

(11/20/2014)

LEANDER - The City of Leander has issued more than 1,000 permits for new homes this year — setting a new record for the city — and the number is still climbing.

City staffers said by the end of 2014 the number of permits could exceed the city’s total permits issued from 2009–2012.

The demand is leaving staffers struggling to keep up and planning to reorganize the Leander Building Inspection Department.

From 2009–2011 the City of Leander issued builders 943 single-family housing permits.

In 2012, the city issued 418 permits, and in 2013 the city issued 666 permits. As of Oct. 31, the city’s issued permits in 2014 had reached 1,016.

The growth in single-family housing development is not in specific areas but throughout the city, such as in Northside Meadows northwest of Old FM 2243 and US 183, the Villas at Vista Ridge on Bagdad Rd. and Travisso on FM 1431, according to City Manager Kent Cagle.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

145 Acres overlooking Lake Austin sold 

(11/17/2014)

AUSTIN - Exxon Mobil Corp. has sold a 145-acre tract overlooking Lake Austin.

Exxon, which had owned the land for a quarter century, sold the land to Luna Heights LP, a partnership between Eduardo “Eddie” Margain and Austin-based Riverside Resources.

The land is appraised at $9.2 million by the Travis Central Appraisal District.

Located on a prominent ridge near Capital of Texas Hwy. and W. Courtyard Dr., the land is one of the last few undeveloped tracts along Lake Austin. Last year, real estate experts speculated that the property could sell for tens of millions of dollars.

Plans for the land “are being carefully considered,” according to Margain. Under zoning dating to the 1980s, it has approvals to develop 70 home sites.

In purchasing the property, Margain decided to align with Riverside Resources because of the firm’s extensive background in high-quality projects and its successful track record in Austin.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

San Marcos Springtown shopping center sold 

(11/17/2014)

SAN MARCOS - Endeavor Real Estate Group has purchased the Springtown shopping center located at I-35 and Springtown Way.

The new owner is planning facade improvements and other upgrades, according to Adam Zimel, Endeavor’s director of real estate leasing.

Springtown has been largely vacant since its anchor tenants — Target, Best Buy, JCPenney and Bealls — left about five years ago, choosing to relocate to newer shopping centers nearby.

The departures left behind about 200,000 sf of empty space. The former Target store alone spans 103,000 sf.

Today, only a handful of small shops call Springtown home, including Bath and Body Works, Radio Shack, GNC and Twin Liquors. Endeavor hopes to quickly change that. Talks are underway with several prospective tenants, according to Zimel.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

What boomed in 3Q 2014? Austin office market 

(11/14/2014 9:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Central Texas office market posted a strong showing in third quarter 2014, as the region’s job growth continued to drive demand for space, according to Cushman & Wakefield / Oxford Commerical.

Top-tier office space was 91 percent occupied for 3Q 2014, up from 88 percent in 3Q 2013, according to Austin-based Cushman & Wakefield / Oxford Commercial, which tracks the market. Rents for the top-tier space hit $32.95 in 3Q 2014, up 2.4 percent from 3Q 2013.

Austin employers added 32,100 jobs in the past four quarters, a year-over-year increase of 3.7 percent, according to Marcus & Millichap’s 3Q 2014 office market report. The metro’s thriving high-tech sector continues to drive demand for office space.

The downtown office market had one of its best quarters ever, according to Katie Ekstrom, a vice president in Austin with CBRE. Tenants leased more than 255,400 sf of net new space, Cushman & Wakefield / Oxford Commercial reported.

Two new downtown towers — Colorado Tower and IBC Bank Plaza, which combined will add more than 500,000 sf of office space — are both almost fully leased, local brokers say, and are setting the stage for additional new construction.

Austin is building new office space at one of the highest rates in the country, according to Marcus & Millichap. About 530,000 sf of space were completed during the last four quarters, including the first phase of Apple Inc.’s new campus in Northwest Austin.

In all, developers have nearly 2.6 million sf of space under construction in the Austin metro, 1.5 million of which is due to wrap up by the end of 2014. Another 2.4 million sf of space is in the planning pipeline.

Ekstrom said that tenant prospects are currently scouring the market for more than 4 million sf of space, and buildings under construction across the city are seeing strong leasing activity.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

For more stats and info on office and other sectors, check out Austin Market Data Sources.

Hotel Granduca Austin part of exclusive hoteliers 

(11/14/2014)

AUSTIN - The Hotel Granduca Austin will be designated as a member of The Leading Hotels of the World organization. The only other hotel in Texas to receive that recognition is the original Hotel Granduca Houston.

The organization includes about 420 hotels in 80 countries and was established in 1928 by European hoteliers who were interested in creating an exclusive brand of high-end hotels and resorts.

The Hotel Granduca Austin is under construction near Westlake on the northwest corner of Capital of Texas Hwy. and Bee Cave Rd.

The Italian inspired hotel is the brainchild of Giorgio Borlenghi, founder of Interfin Cos. LP and a native of Milan, Italy. The 194-room hotel is scheduled to open fall 2015.

It will include the upscale Ristorante Visconti, which will feature Northern Italian cuisine.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Two Austin office towers bringing almost 1M SF to downtown 

(11/13/2014)

AUSTIN - Two office towers that will add almost 1 million sf to downtown Austin are set to begin construction in the coming months.

The 32-story office portion of Trammell Crow’s Block 23 Green Water Treatment Plant redevelopment project is expected to begin construction in April 2015, with completion scheduled for November 2016.

The apartment tower portion of the mixed-use project has been under construction for several months.

The $100 million project is on Cesar Chavez St. between San Antonio St. and Lamar St., in one of the most intensive development sites in the country. It is expected to add 492,333 sf of office and 6,806 sf of retail to the area.

Schlosser Development Corp. is also preparing to build a $52 million, two-building office project on a 2.7-acre site at 835 W. Sixth St. Shoal Creek Walk is expected to have 430,417 sf of office space and 44,427 sf for retail.

The Schlosser website indicates the project will include 17 floors of office — one building of 12 stories and one building of five stories — and ground level retail.

The push to develop more offices downtown probably has been encouraged and expedited by the success that Cousins Properties and IBC Bank encountered with the development of Colorado Tower and IBC Bank Plaza.

Although Colorado Tower isn't finished, it is more than 95 percent preleased. IBC Bank Plaza is largely completed and tenants are now having their spaces built out. It also is more than 95 percent leased.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Hyatt buys Bastrops' Lost Pines Resort for $143M 

(11/12/2014 8:00:00 AM)

BASTROP - Hyatt Hotels Corp. has assumed full ownership of the 491-room Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa between Austin and Bastrop.

A Hyatt affiliate has acquired its partner's 92 percent interest in the property for approximately $143 million and assumed $65 million in property-level debt, bringing the total price to approximately $203 million, or roughly $450,000 per key.

The resort features more than 60,000 sf of indoor meeting space and over 240,000 sf of outdoor function space with pavilions and an amphitheater, as well as the Wolfdancer Golf Club, Spa Django, Crooked River Water Park and the Renegade Trailhead equestrian facility.

The resort, which opened in 2006, was developed by Woodbine Development Corp. of Dallas. Hyatt was one of the original co-owners and has managed the resort since its opening.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal and CoStar Group.

CoStar: Austin office market 3Q 2014 

(11/12/2014 7:43:00 AM)

AUSTIN - CoStar Group has released third quarter 2014 data for the Austin office market.

Six buildings totaling 102,912 sf were completed in 3Q 2014, less than the eight buildings totaling 342,617 sf that were completed in 2Q 2014.

There was 2,800,908 sf of office space under construction at the end of 3Q 2014.

Some of the notable 2014 deliveries include:

  • Domain 2, a 143,331-sf facility that delivered 2Q 2014 and is now 80 percent occupied; and
  • Apple Campus — Phase I #1, an 88,000-sf building that delivered 1Q 2014 and is now 100 percent occupied.

The largest projects underway at the end of 3Q 2014:

  • Colorado Tower, a 371,348-sf building with 95 percent of its space preleased; and
  • 3700 San Clemente, a 249,870-sf facility that is 38 percent preleased.

Total office inventory in the Austin market area amounted to 88,360,935 sf in 4,301 buildings as of the end of 3Q 2014.

This trend is compared to U.S. National Office deliveries and construction, which saw 233 buildings totaling 13.2 million sf complete construction, with an additional 108.2 million sf of office space still under construction at the end of 3Q 2014.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Austin Monterey Ranch's 1,072 units sold 

(11/12/2014)

AUSTIN - The 1,072-unit Monterey Ranch, located at 4701 Staggerbrush Rd. in Southwest Austin, has been purchased by Northland Investment Corp.

The Travis Central Appraisal District values the property, which includes 54 buildings on 32 acres, at $47.6 million. It was built in stages between 1995 and 1999.

The seller of the property was IMT Residential of Sherman Oaks, California, which owned the asset since September 2009

Northland now owns 18 communities in the Austin market, including two others in the southwest submarket: Sedona Springs at 4201 Monterey Oaks Blvd. and River Stone at 5701 S. Mopac Expy.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

CoStar: Austin retail market 3Q 2014 

(11/10/2014 10:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin retail market did not experience much change in market conditions in third quarter 2014, according to CoStar Group.

The vacancy rate was unchanged from 2Q 2014, at 5.1 percent. Net absorption was positive 126,290 sf, and vacant sublease space decreased by 39,901 sf. In 2Q 2014, net absorption was positive 44,839 sf.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2014 include:

  • LA Fitness moving into 70,049 sf at LA Fitness;
  • LA Fitness moving into 40,794 sf at Lacks Home Furnishings; and
  • Gold's Gym moving into 39,892 sf at 6001 Middle Fiskville Rd.

Quoted rental rates increased from 2Q 2014 levels, ending at $17.78 per sf per year.

A total of four retail buildings with 58,239 sf of retail space were delivered to the market in 3Q 2014, with 446,065 sf still under construction at the end of the quarter.

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Retail vacancy rate, which decreased to 6.3 percent, with net absorption positive 26.48 million sf in 3Q 2014. Average rental rates increased to $14.84, and 542 retail buildings delivered to the market totaling more than 13.9 million sf.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Harte Hanks to add 250 jobs at Austin call center 

(11/10/2014 7:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Harte Hanks, a San Antonio-based direct marketing firm, plans to add 250 jobs to its workforce of 800 at its Austin call center office on Wells Branch Pkwy.

That expansion will come as Harte Hanks adds client programs and shifts toward seasonal campaigns that require more personnel.

The company will likely have to take more space in its current office building just east of the Mopac Expressway if it grows its workforce by more than 25 percent, according to Craig Johnston, Harte Hanks’ director of operations.

There are currently no plans for a second Harte Hanks location in Austin, but continued growth in 2015 and beyond could make such a move necessary, according to Johnston.

The company’s clients are typically Fortune 100 companies in industries such as electronics, cellphones, health care logistics and higher education.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

City Point's 396-unit Austin complex sold 

(11/7/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 396-unit City Point apartment community at 1071 Clayton Lane has been sold to a Canadian firm.

Located near I-35 and US Hwy. 290, City Point offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 504 sf to 920 sf and in price from $699 to $999, according to rentlingo.com.

Firmus Equity Partners of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, secured a $19.5 million Fannie Mae fixed rate loan for the acquisition of City Point.

City Point was built in 1983 and about 20 percent of the units were recently remodeled. Firmus plans to continue the upgrades.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Leander: Rockspring acquires 28 acres 

(11/6/2014)

LEANDER - Rockspring Capital, a real estate investment firm based in Houston, has acquired a 28.4-acre site off Old FM 2243, just west of US 183. The site is a prime location for a multifamily development with commercial fronting.

The site is located within the Leander Independent School District. Adjacent to the property is a 350-acre plot, which will soon hold 1,000 single-family homes.

Old FM 2243 will expand from two to four lanes next year, which will make the already-popular corridor one of the most-traveled in the area.

“According to U.S. Census data, Leander has more than tripled in size in the last 15 years. This is a result of Austin’s booming economy,” says Jim McAlister IV, president and CEO of Rockspring.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Grow Texas: Austin by the numbers 

(11/6/2014)

AUSTIN - As of 2014, Austin's population is 799,939 people. Since 2000, the population has grown by 14.5 percent.

The median home cost in Austin is $229,700. Homes have appreciated 12.6 percent in the last year.

Compared to the rest of the country, Austin's cost of living is 6.5 percent higher than the U.S. average.

Austin public schools spend $11,995 per student. The U.S. average is $12,435. There are about 14.7 students per teacher in Austin.

The unemployment rate in Austin is 3.5 percent. The U.S. average is 6.3 percent.

JUST THE FACTS

Median resident age: 31.1 years
Household Size: 2.4
Est. Household Income: $58,932
Median Home Price: $229,700
Homes Owned: 41.4%
Home Appreciation: 12.6%
Family Households: 51.9%
Married Population: 42.5%
Single Population: 57.5%
College Education: 40.5%
Commute Time: 23 mins.

SOURCE: www.city-data.com

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Austin 246,000-SF McNeil 1 brings $11 million 

(11/5/2014 6:20:00 AM)

AUSTIN - McNeil 1, a 246,390-sf industrial complex at 12317 Technology Blvd., has been sold for $10.6 million.

The building, which is 53.3 percent occupied, is adjacent to the 279,000-sf McNeil Business Park which is 100 percent leased. 

About 140,000 sf at McNeil 1 is available for lease.

PS Business Parks, who bought McNeil 1, is a publicly traded company based in Glendale, California, which owns and operates nearly 29 million sf of commercial space in eight states. The purchase increases the company’s presence in Austin to 2 million sf.

Vacancy rates continue to drop in the industrial sector to 11.3 percent, according to CBRE's third quarter report. The northwest submarket is close to that average with 11.2 percent vacancy.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's Mueller adding more than 250 homes 

(11/5/2014)

AUSTIN - Construction has started on 275 new houses at the Mueller development in Central Austin.

There are already more than 1,000 houses and 1,200 apartments already built or under construction, bringing the total number of homes in the development to more than 2,500.

Since beginning in 2004, the 700-acre project has been buzzing with construction. Dozens of stores and restaurants and hundreds of homes have been built, but the project is still only 40 percent complete.

Mueller is expected to be completed in ten years. When all of the construction is complete, there will be about 5,600 homes.

Construction is also starting on Town Center, a 40-acre entertainment district. Town Center is a planned 1.2 million-sf mixed-use lifestyle district that will feature a mix of retail, dining, cultural and entertainment options as well as workplaces, apartments and condominiums.

Read more at KVUE News.

UT-Austin hooks groundbreaking on $172M business school 

(11/3/2014)

AUSTIN - The McCombs School of Business will officially break ground on the new 458,000-sf graduate business building on Nov. 7. The building will be located at the corner of Guadalupe St. and E. Martin Luther King Blvd.

The $172 million building will house the Texas MBA and Texas Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization programs, expand executive education and conference capacity and include additional spaces for campus parking.

Robert B. Rowling Hall is scheduled to welcome its first class of students in 2017. The building is named after McCombs alumnus and former University of Texas regent Bob Rowling whose gift of $25 million launched the campaign to fund the construction of the building.

Read more at the University of Texas at Austin.

For more, see previous story $172M, 458,000-SF Rowling Hall set for UT-Austin debut.

Red-hot Austin apartment market could see relief soon 

(10/31/2014 10:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The data behind Austin's red hot apartment market could spell relief for some renters. Almost 18,000 units are now under construction in the metro area and some of the new complexes are concentrated in smaller submarkets.

Those submarkets could see rent concessions return after years of escalating prices and diminished supply, according to the latest Austin Multifamily Trend Report from Austin Investor Interests LLC.

With 17,639 units in the pipeline — making Austin one of the most aggressive apartment markets in the nation — concern is rising about the viability of an estimated 8,000 units that are scheduled to break ground in the next 180 days.

Here's a look at other highlights of the Austin Multifamily Trend Report for third quarter 2014:

•  94.8 percent occupancy, compared to 95.8 percent for the same period a year ago
•  $1,070 average rent, compared to $1,007 in 2013
•  853-sf average size, compared to 852 sf in 2013
•  $1.26 rental rates per sf, compared to $1.18 in 2013
•  19,991 units in far North Austin make it the largest submarket in the city.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal. See more apartments data under Austin Market Data Sources.

Austin Senior Care of Onion Creek sold for $14 million 

(10/31/2014)

AUSTIN - The 125-bed Senior Care of Onion Creek, located at 1700 Onion Creek Pkwy., has been acquired for $14 million by Sabra Health Care REIT Inc.

The skilled nursing facility opened in 2011 and is operated by Senior Care Centers LLC, which operates nursing facilities throughout Texas.

Read more at GlobeNewswire and Senior Care of Onion Creek.

HomeAway Austin opens 115,000-SF office at the Domain 

(10/31/2014)

AUSTIN - Online travel marketplace business HomeAway Inc. has opened an office at 11800 Domain Dr., across from Whole Foods Market. The 114,665-sf office is HomeAway’s fourth Austin-area office.

In the spring, retail tenants are expected to occupy the first floor of the building and additional HomeAway employees will occupy the fourth and fifth floors once they are completed.

Currently, HomeAway at The Domain has about 300 employees and by April, the company hopes to have more than 750, said CEO and Founder Brian Sharples.

"HomeAway was founded in Austin nine years ago with a staff of six, and today has more than 920 local employees and more than 1,720 worldwide," Sharples said.

"We are still a relatively young company, and there is a lot of opportunity ahead of us, which means we will continue growing our headcount in Austin for the foreseeable future."

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin Techni Center I, II, IIB sold to Calif. company 

(10/30/2014 10:23:00 AM)

AUSTIN - IC Berkeley Partners III of San Francisco purchased the 145,027-sf Techni Center I at 4100 Ed Bluestein Blvd. and the 61,893-sf Techni Center II and IIB at 6001 Techni Dr.

The seller was Techni Center Partners Ltd. of Austin.

Source: Austin Business Journal

Oden Hughes adding 561 apartments to Austin market 

(10/30/2014)

AUSTIN - Oden Hughes has started construction on the second phases of two of its Austin apartment projects that will bring 561 new units to market for renters seeking luxury living south of downtown.

Oden Hughes will add 285 units just south of its Landmark Southpark community at S. 1st St. and Slaughter Lane. Units will rent for between $950 and $1,750 a month when the first units open in October 2015.

The developer also recently broke ground on 276 units adjacent to the South Austin community formerly known as Landmark Double Creek, which Oden Hughes completed in 2013 and sold last year to Toronto-based Brass Enterprises. That complex has since been renamed The Landing.

Both projects were planned as expansions of the company’s previous developments. However, the new complexes will operate independently under yet-to-be determined new names once they open.

With the new projects, Oden Hughes will have 800 units under construction in Austin. The multifamily developer also has two projects under construction in Houston and one in San Antonio.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Pflugerville: newspaper founders plan Class 32,000-SF office 

(10/29/2014)

PFLUGERVILLE - 130 Commerce Center is getting a new $5 million Class A office building, adding an additional 32,000 sf of office space to the rapidly developing business and industrial center.

The building will be built by MRS Holdings Inc., which plans to begin construction in early 2015. The Pflugerville City Council approved an agreement Tuesday that lets the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. (PCDC) prelease up to 66 percent of the building.

"This was a mutually beneficial opportunity for the PCDC and MRS Holdings. They have assurance of tenants upon completion, and I am more than confident that we will fill the space with businesses," said PCDC Executive Director Floyd Akers.

MRS Holdings is owned by Pflugerville residents John and Jennifer Garret, who founded the Community Impact Newspaper chain in 2005.

Previously, their company built a $2.5 million, 16,000-sf building at the 130 Commerce Center park, where they then relocated Community Impact Newspaper's headquarters.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

$370M Austin Fairmont Hotel groundbreaking Nov. 3 

(10/27/2014 9:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction will begin on Nov. 3 on the 1,066-room Fairmont Austin, at the corner of E. Cesar Chavez St. and Red River St. The 1.7-acre site, located next to the Austin Convention Center, is currently a parking lot.

The 37-story hotel is currently projected to open June 3, 2017.

The development will total roughly 1.4 million sf, and — at 595 feet tall — will be the second-tallest building in Austin's skyline after the 680-foot Austonian residential tower.

The $370 million project will be the third convention hotel in the downtown area, joining the 800-room Hilton Austin and the JW Marriott Austin, which is currently under construction on Congress Ave. and is expected to open in February 2014.

The hotel will be the second Fairmont hotel in Texas and will have more than 106,000 sf of meeting space and a 19,000-sf deck. It is expected to generate more than $15 million in hotel occupancy tax revenue and more than $6 million in property taxes each year.

Read more at Culture Map Austin and the Austin Business Journal.

Hillwood grabs $700M Georgetown residential development 

(10/24/2014)

 

GEORGETOWN - Hillwood Communities has purchased the 755-acre, $700 million Wolf Ranch residential community. The property consists of two separate tracts located off Wolf Ranch Pkwy. and Hwy. 29.

Wolf Ranch will include approximately 1,700 single-family homes, 388 multifamily units, 350 age-targeted units and 20 acres of commercial development. Home prices are expected to range from the high $200,000s to around $550,000.

Groundbreaking is expected to occur in the middle of 2015, with model homes available the following spring.

The development, situated one mile from Georgetown’s historic courthouse square and just west of I-35, is planned to have over seven miles of trails and over 100 acres of parks and open space.

Over 4,000 residents will call Wolf Ranch home after the final building phase is completed within eight to ten years. Hillwood Communities has two additional developments in the Austin area: Rocky Creek Ranch, near Bee Cave, and Sarita Valley in Leander.

Read more at GlobeSt.com.

Pflugerville lures West Coast coating manufacturer  

(10/23/2014)

PFLUGERVILLE - LifeLast Inc., a Vancouver, Washington-based manufacturer of polyurethane coatings for steel water pipes, is moving its headquarters to Pflugerville.

The company will move into a new, 24,000-sf industrial space at 130 Commerce Center near SH 130 and Pecan Street.

The headquarters relocation is expected to bring about 15 jobs to the region over the next three years and includes a $500,000 capital investment for the company to build and furnish its new base.

The community development corporation is also providing a suite of incentives to the company for its relocation, including six months free rent on its new space, $3,500 in incentives per employee, and a $25,000 relocation expense grant.

Source: Austin Business Journal

DivcoWest secures 185,000-SF office purchase in NW Austin 

(10/22/2014)

AUSTIN - DivcoWest has purchased 185,000 sf of Austin office space, acquiring the Lakewood Center and The Park from Dallas-based Lone Star Funds.

The three-building portfolio consists of Lakewood Center I and II at 6801 Capital of Texas Hwy. and The Park at 8300 N. MoPac Expy.

Located in Northwest Austin, the two-story Lakewood Center buildings measure approximately 47,000 sf each, while the three-story The Park building totals 93,000 sf.

This is the second major Northwest Austin acquisition this year by San Francisco-based DivcoWest, which closed on the 317,000-sf The Campus @ Arboretum in January.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Northwest Austin Cousins kisses $44M Research Park V 

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

AUSTIN - Cousins Properties has announced that it will break ground in November on the final installment at Research Park Plaza.

Research Park V, at 12301 Research Blvd., will be delivered in 11 months, according to Tim Hendricks, senior vice president of Cousins Properties.

The building will encompass 173,000 sf and cost about $44 million.

"We really feel there's a need for new product in the northwest market where occupancy rates are over 90 percent," Hendricks said.

Cousins Properties is also building Colorado Tower at 303 Colorado St. in downtown Austin, which will begin delivering space in December.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For more on Colorado Tower, see previous story Austin's Colorado Tower 95% leased.

Austin Lakeline Station affordable housing planned 

(10/20/2014)

AUSTIN - Nonprofit Foundation Communities is slated to begin construction on an affordable housing complex near Capital Metro’s Lakeline Station Park & Ride in 2015 to provide low-income families with access to public transportation, retail and jobs.

The property, located in Northwest Austin, is named Lakeline Station Apartments and will be located at 13635 Rutledge Spur Rd.

Upon completion, the property will have 128 units including 13 units dedicated for families transitioning out of homelessness. The complex will have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and average rent for an apartment will be about $650 per month.

Residents who live at Foundation Communities properties typically make an average annual income of $25,000, said Julian Huerta, deputy executive director at Foundation Communities.

Austin-based Foundation Communities offers housing, education and financial planning services to low- and moderate-income families.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs gifted $30 million in funding to Foundation Communities on July 31 to build three low-income residential properties in Austin, including Lakeline Station Apartments.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Pflugerville chooses 150-acre tract for fourth high school 

(10/18/2014)

PFLUGERVILLE - Pflugerville ISD (PISD) has chosen a 150-acre tract off Weiss Lane near Lake Pflugerville for the district’s fourth high school.

Construction is expected to begin before the end of the year, with the expectation of opening for the 2017-18 school year.

The high school was approved by district voters in May as part of a $287 million bond package and will be home to 2,500 students.

The site is expected to become the home to additional campuses in the future, as the district is seeing most of its growth east of SH 130.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

ABoR: Austin area home sales Sept. 2014 

(10/17/2014 7:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors has released home sales facts for September 2014. Below is a snippet of cities that you might want to see. There's more at the link below!

• The median price of existing single-family homes decreased to $239,900, down 2.5 percent vs. August 2014.
• Existing single-family home sales decreased 12 percent from August 2014 for a total of 2,160 sold units.
• Condos decreased in price to $201,000, down 4.3 percent vs. August 2014.
• Existing condo sales decreased 20.5 percent from August 2014 for a total of 210 sold units.

Select region cities are represented below along with statistics from the ABoR MLS area as a whole.

Austin Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
  Sept. 2014
Price Chg.
Sept. 2013
Units Sold
Sept. 2014 
Sale Chg.
Sept. 2013
ACTRIS* (single-family) $239,900 9.0% 2,160 3.6%
ACTRIS (condo) $201,000 6.3% 210 -8.3%
Region Cities**        
Austin $304,000 8.6% 867 0.5%
Round Rock $219,000 12.3% 237 1.7%
Cedar Park $262,750 14.2% 146 15.9%
Georgetown $250,000 13.6% 139 24.1%
Pflugerville $187,000 8.7% 116 2.7%
Leander $194,500 12.4% 102 7.4%
Kyle $163,000 7.2% 72 4.3%
Hutto    $159,000 8.7% 53 0.0%
Buda $200,000 8.1% 35 -30.0%

*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold at least 35 units during September 2014.

See Housing under Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources or see the full report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

Austin ranks among America's best 'college destinations' 

(10/15/2014 8:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin area — home to the University of Texas, St. Edwards University, Austin Community College, Concordia University Texas and others — was ranked the No. 2 mid-sized metro college destination in America by a new report from the American Institute of Economic Research.

The report, the 2014 edition of its annual College Destinations Index, ranked the top 75 metro areas in the U.S. for college students.

“These cities offer opportunity and a high quality of life not just for students, but for residents as well,” said Luke Delorme, the researcher behind the study. “People considering a new place to live or open a business would do well to consider these locations.”

The College Destinations Index ranks locales by the number of college students per capita, the cost of housing for a two-bedroom apartment, walkability, culture, economic health and research and development dollars available per student.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

See the full report at the American Institute for Economic Research.

Austin Fifth & West condo tower set to start 

(10/15/2014)

AUSTIN - Construction is set to begin on Fifth & West Residences, a 39-story tower planned for the northeast corner of Fifth St. and West St.

Demolition on a building that housed the Texas Press Association will start later this month to make way for the new tower, which will bring 154 new luxury condos to market when it opens in fall 2017.

Units will start in the $500,000s, according to Scott Dunaway, a spokesman for the developer, Riverside Resources.

The upscale tower will include conference spaces, outdoor and lounge areas, a fitness center, a yoga studio, a pool deck and a dog park — complete with an indoor lounge and coffee bar.

At 448 feet, the tower will be the fifth tallest downtown, after the Austonian, the 360 Condominiums, the W Austin Hotel & Residences and Frost Bank Tower.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

St. David's Foundation firm on $22M Austin HQ 

(10/15/2014)

AUSTIN - Construction is underway at the corner of 13th St. and San Antonio St. for St. David’s Foundation’s new headquarters.

Upon completion, the $22 million headquarters, located at 1303 San Antonio St., will house its grant writing department and operations for all of its programs, according to Lisa Trahan, director of communications.

St. David’s Foundation is a nonprofit partner of St. David’s HealthCare and currently leases space downtown on Barton Springs Rd.

St. David's Foundation programs serve the Austin metropolitan area and include mobile dental services, scholarships for aspiring health care professionals and initiatives for mental health, healthy living and clinics for the safety net population.

The nonprofit hopes to move into the building in 2015, and will occupy two of the four floors. The foundation has yet to find tenants for the remaining two floors.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Hotel ZaZa high-end apartments, hotel to downtown Austin  

(10/13/2014 8:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction is about to begin on a 24-story tower that will include a high-end Hotel ZaZa and more than 200 apartments across from Republic Square Park in downtown Austin.

The apartments and 160-room boutique Hotel ZaZa are scheduled to be completed in late 2016, according to Z-Resorts and Gables Residential, which are partnering in the project.

The site at W. 4th St. between Guadalupe St. and Lavaca St. is currently used for parking. The hotel entrance will be on Lavaca St. and the apartment entrance will face Guadalupe St.

Rates for the Austin Hotel ZaZa are projected to range from $195 to $495 per night.

The hotel is expected to employ about 140 people, said Benji Homsey, president of Texas-based Z-Resorts Management LLC, the development and management group for Hotel ZaZa.

The hotel will have two restaurants, a bar, a spa, conference and event space and a pool overlooking Republic Square Park.

The apartments, which will be built atop the hotel, will have a separate, private rooftop pool.

Austin will be the third Texas market for the ZaZa brand, which also has locations in Houston and Dallas.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

North Austin land buy; next step to Montebello 140 homes 

(10/13/2014)

AUSTIN - Home builder Taylor Morrison has purchased more than 50 acres at 9100 N. RR 620, between RR 2222 and Anderson Mill Rd.

The home builder will develop a 140-site detached condominium residential community on the tract, with plans to begin development this fall.

The new community, Montebello will offer single-family homes ranging from 1,800 sf to more than 2,700 sf, with a mix of one- and two-story homes.

Montebello is zoned to Leander ISD and backs up to the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. The property is currently located in the City of Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdiction but is slated for public hearings on its annexation in October.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper and at PR Web.

Lottery for South Austin's 15-unit Solavera homes 

(10/13/2014)

AUSTIN - Meritage Homes Corp. construction on Solavera will start by the end of the year. The upscale 15-unit development is in the South Lamar Blvd. corridor.

Solavera encompasses a little over three acres at 2807 Del Curto Rd., a short distance east of the intersection of South Lamar Blvd. and Manchaca Rd.

Prices will likely begin in the $600,000s for the contemporary-styled houses that range in size from 1,814 sf to 2,866 sf.

Interest in Solavera is so strong that the home builder will hold a lottery for qualified buyers. Potential buyers must be prequalified for a loan of $520,000 or more, according to Charlie Coleman, Austin division president of Meritage Homes.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Pflugerville Home Decor Superstore At Home in 101,000 SF 

(10/9/2014 2:00:00 PM)

PFLUGERVILLE - At Home, the home decor superstore, will host grand opening events for a new 101,000-sf store at 19000 Limestone Commercial Dr. on October 9 at 11 a.m.

At Home offers an expansive selection of more than 50,000 items — including patio furniture, home furnishings, wall decor and decorative accents, rugs and housewares.

The company will be opening another Austin-area location in Cedar Park later in October. Including the Pflugerville location, At Home currently operates 79 stores across 21 states.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Listen to Podcast 230 for this story and more.

Austin industrial 3Q 2014 REOC 

(10/9/2014 6:43:00 AM)

AUSTIN - REOC has released third quarter 2014 data for Austin’s industrial market. Despite some notable leases, the market remained relatively quiet.

The lackluster gain was not nearly enough to make up for the 168,774 sf of negative absorption recorded in 2Q 2014 and did little to boost the cumulative absorption which now stands at 71,663 sf of negative net absorption year-to-date.

The local industrial market closed 3Q 2014 with a vacancy rate of 10.8 percent, which is improved compared to 12.1 percent in 2Q 2014 and stable compared to 10.7 percent in 3Q 2013.

The city’s inventory of roughly 24.1 million sf of warehouse space experienced 118,087 sf of positive net absorption, outperforming the flex market, which recorded negative absorption.

In fact, the warehouse market has accumulated more than 583,000 sf of positive net absorption year-to-date compared to the 655,000 sf of negative absorption experienced in the flex market.

Below are highlights of the Austin industrial market for 3Q 2014.

Austin Industrial Market 3Q 2014
  3Q 2014 3Q 2013
Inventory (SF) 37,198,386 37,070,193
Available (SF) 4,005,698 3,977,855
Vacant 10.8% 10.7%
3Q absorption (SF) 14,704 492,996
Absorption (SF) -71,663 708,307


Source: REOC Austin

$75M mixed-use project takes root in Lakeway 

(10/8/2014)

LAKEWAY, TRAVIS COUNTY - Stratus Properties Inc. has broken ground on a $75 million mixed-use project at the corner of RR 620 and Main St.

The Oaks at Lakeway will include a 95,000-sf HEB Grocery Co. store, a 31,000-sf family fun center with a bowling alley, a 120-room hotel, a single family housing component and some associated office space.

The grocery store and first phase of retail is scheduled to be complete by November 2015.

The 90-acre development will be LEED certified, and about 50 percent of the retail portion has been preleased.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Mapped: Austin's rents skyrocketing where? 

(10/6/2014 11:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Median rents for homes and apartments just north of Circle C Ranch in Southwest Austin increased 110 percent between 2010 and 2012, from $761 to $1,604.

That is the greatest percentage rent increase in the entire Austin area since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2010, average median gross rent per Census tract was $985. The 25 percent of Census tracts where rent grew fastest saw average median rents of $914 in 2010, almost 7.3 percent lower than the regional average. Their average median gross rents jumped more than 22 percent by 2012, an average increase of $199 and almost 2.5 times the 6.2 percent regional average median rental growth rate.

The highest-quartile tracts for median gross rent increases also saw the median number of rooms per housing unit shrink by 1.4 percent, contrary to the average 0.8 percent growth seen throughout the region.

The lowest quartile of median gross rent growth tracts — roughly 88 Census tracts where rent grew the least — saw the average median rent per tract for this group declined $52, or roughly 5 percent, from $1,085 to $1,033. That is a rate roughly 1.7 times slower than the region average.

The bottom quarter of Austin’s Census tracts entered 2010 with average median gross rents 10 percent higher than average. They were larger, with an average 11 percent more rooms per housing unit in the overall housing stock. These tracts also have significantly less renter-occupied housing units, 40 percent below average in 2010, and 33 percent below average in 2012.

The Austin Business Journal has mapped the tracts where rent increases between 2010 and 2012 were the greatest, colored from blue on the low end to red on the high end.

The map data is based on the 2010, 2011 and 2012 American Community Survey's five-year estimates. Michael Theis is the Austin Business Journal's digital editor.

See the map at the bottom of the story at the Austin Business Journal.

$67M Multi-Generational Austin neighborhood underway 

(10/6/2014 7:40:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 250-unit Pointe at Ben White and the 183-unit Villages at Ben White have broken ground next to each other at 7000 East Ben White Blvd. near Montopolis Dr. The projects will cost a combined $67 million.

The apartments will house working families and residents 55 and older earning up to 60 percent of the area’s median income, or $51,000 a year.

Rents at The Pointe will start at $744 a month for a one-bedroom, $844 a month for a two-bedroom and $944 a month for a three-bedroom.

Onsite amenities at The Pointe will include a furnished clubhouse, a business center with complimentary wi-fi, an exercise facility and a swimming pool and playground.

At The Villages, a one-bedroom will start at $744 a month and a two-bedroom unit is priced at $844 a month.

The Villages at Ben White will be situated over 11 acres and the Pointed will cover 16 acres.

Read more at MultifamilyBiz and The Austin American-Statesman.

Metrostudy: Austin housing starts rise 17% in 3Q 2014 

(10/3/2014 6:48:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Builders started work on 3,123 homes during third quarter 2014, a 17 percent increase compared with 3Q 2013, according to Metrostudy.

Austin’s housing market is still going strong, but rapidly rising prices are starting to slow momentum.

On an annual basis, housing starts were up 9 percent in the 12 months that ended in September 2014 as builders started construction on 10,205 new homes. That 9 percent increase marks a significant slowing from 2013, when the annual increase was 30 percent.

“The Austin market has experienced a strong year thus far but momentum has started to slow as builders and home buyers are starting to feel the pinch of higher costs and home prices,” said Randall Allsup, Metrostudy regional director of the Austin market.

The region continues to see robust job and population growth, and demand for new homes remains strong, especially in areas that are producing entry- level houses priced below $200,000.

The upswing in third quarter home starts was primarily due to lots becoming available in high-demand areas where builders rushed to get houses started.

Builders are seeing a slowing in their sales, especially in the $300,000 to $700,000 price range, according to Eldon Rude, a local housing market expert. However, builders constructing homes in the $250,000 and below category say their business is picking up.

“The number of new homes under construction can either be an early indicator of future closings, but also may harbor higher levels of inventory and a softer market,” said Allsup.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Allergan grabs 90,000 SF in North Austin 

(10/1/2014)

AUSTIN - Allergan Inc., the California-based pharmaceutical giant behind Botox and other treatments, has leased 90,000 sf at 301 Howard Lane in North Austin.

Allergan’s lease is in an existing 293,000-sf building that had been vacant and is surrounded by the 300-acre business park dubbed Parmer. CBRE, which represents Parmer developer Karlin Real Estate, changed the building’s name to Parmer 6.2.

The existing loading dock doors will be replaced with a glass facade to create a prominent corner entry that faces Center Ridge Dr.

The 90,000-sf lease represents a major expansion that bodes well for the life sciences and biotech industry in Austin, according to Mark Emerick of CBRE Group Inc.

Emerick said that expansion in that industry sector can be expected with the creation of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin Investor Interests 2Q 2014 apartment facts 

(9/30/2014 7:10:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The second quarter continued to reflect the health and vitality of the local apartment market, according to Austin Investor Interests.

Rental rates soared, rising another 2.6 percent over the quarter to reach 6.9 percent annually, while occupancy remained steady despite seeing the largest number of completions in five years hit the market over the last six months.

Prevalent new trends include the addition of outdoor enhancements involving common social/entertainment areas, pet related features and social/music venues poolside or in the lounging community center.

Over the next 12 months, the inventory of Class A units will rise nearly 44 percent.

The largest amount of new construction will occur in the central sector, where there is much leasing traffic, but many applicants are unqualified and those that are qualified fear the inclusion of student living.

Just the Facts 2Q 2014
Avg. occupancy 94%
Avg. rent $1,053
Avg. SF 852
Avg. $/SF $1.24
New units added
(conventional)
2,134
Avg. sales price/unit $94,039


2Q 2014 Affordable Housing Stats:
16,415 Units — 97.5% — $.93 psf

2Q 2014 Student Housing Stats:
10,459 Units — 95.9% — $1.53 psf

Source: Austin Investor Interests

Click here to see the full 2Q 2014 Austin Multifamily Trend Report, courtesy of Robin Davis.

Austin Stonecreek, Canyon rock with 314,000-SF office sale 

(9/30/2014)

AUSTIN - Three Class A office buildings totaling 314,399 sf have been sold — Stonecreek I and II and Canyon at Wild Basin.

Stonecreek I and II, located at 11920 and 11921 N. Mopac Expy., total 239,819 sf. The buildings sit on a combined 9.6 acres north of The Domain. The two buildings are 97.9 percent leased to CoreLogic, Time Warner, Century Link, Intellimark, TSMC and Siemens.

The Travis Central Appraisal District values Stonecreek I at $11.3 million and Stonecreek II at $34.8 million.

Canyon at Wild Basin, a 74,580-sf building at 115 Wild Basin Rd., was also sold. The property is located on 10.7 acres and includes a three-story building as well as a two-story parking garage.

The property is 80 percent leased to tenants including Open Symmetry, Alliance Association Management, Downs & Stanford, Dynamic Computing Services, X1 Labs, Creative Solutions, Cloud eight Sixteen, Powell & Leon, Human Software Group and Texas Republic Capital Corporation.

The Travis Central Appraisal District values the property at $12.6 million.

A private real estate fund purchased Stonecreek I and II, while CapRidge Partners purchased Canyon at Wild Basin. All three buildings were sold by Intercontinental Real Estate Group.

Read more at Commercial Property Executive and at the Austin Business Journal.

JLL: Austin No. 5 in U.S. high-tech markets 

(9/29/2014)

AUSTIN - The Austin area is ranked fifth in the nation for its high-tech market, according to the 2014 JLL High-technology Office Outlook report.

The report ranks metropolitan areas based on high-tech growth, high-tech wage growth, high-tech services concentration, share of U.S. venture capital funding, intellectual capital, innovation and market dynamism.

The Austin area was given a weighted score of 58.5. Topping the list was San Francisco with a rating of 84.6, followed by Seattle-Bellevue (71.4), Silicon Valley (70.6) and New York (58.7).

The report noted that Austin has 65,010 high-tech sector employees, up 8.3 percent from 2013. The average high-tech wage in Austin is $100,431, with annual wage growth in 2013 of 8.3 percent.

The JLL report gave Austin high marks for its pro-business environment and quality of life, with its growing access to accelerators and incubators.

It also reported an average rent of $30.44 per sf and noted that due to the fierce competition for workers, high-tech companies are investing heavily in amenities in office spaces.

The Dallas area, which includes Dallas proper and surrounding suburbs north of Fort Worth, also ranked tenth.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For the full report, see JLL.

Transwestern Austin office: premium not only in gas 

(9/26/2014 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Austin is one of the most expensive office investment markets in the country, according to information compiled by Transwestern using data from Real Capital Analytics.

The average sf cost for second quarter 2014 was $269 in Austin, ranking it as No. 7 among high-priced markets.

The most expensive market, as might be expected, is Manhattan with an average price per sf of $770. Washington, D.C., San Francisco, San Jose, Boston, and Salt Lake City all landed above Austin on the list.

Of course, Austin doesn’t compare with the big markets when it comes to total volume and velocity of deals. Manhattan topped the volume list with $11.2 billion in sales in the second quarter followed by Los Angeles with $5.1 billion.

According to Transwestern, there were 27 office investment sales including properties or portfolios valued at more than $2.5 million in Austin during the first six months of 2014.

CoStar Group, which has different parameters, calculates the price per sf in Austin much lower — $138. CoStar’s data also indicates a dramatic drop in the amount of office investment deals in the past two quarters — $137 million in 2Q 2014 and $348 million in 1Q 2014.

Compare that with $818.4 million in 4Q 2013, which was the highest quarterly total since 3Q 2012 when nearly $1.1 billion in office investment deals were closed locally.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For an infographic with the full ranking, see Transwestern.

Austin office space: More supply, less demand? Guess again 

(9/26/2014 6:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Even with nearly 750,000 sf of office space under construction in downtown Austin, the area's occupancy rate is poised to increase under intense demand from tenants in a variety of industries.

"When all the buildings that are under construction deliver, the occupancy rate will actually go up, because of the preleasing in the buildings," said Charles Heimsath, president of Austin-based Capitol Market Research.

"That may be an unprecedented situation and shows the tremendous strength of the downtown market."

The occupancy rate in downtown Austin was 88.2 percent in second quarter 2014, up from 84.4 percent two years ago, according to CBRE.

Of five office projects scheduled for completion over the next 15 months, four are more than 90 percent leased, and the developer of the fifth project expects to be fully leased by January 2015. That means the buildings will likely add little to the supply of available space upon completion.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

Austin XBiotech firm on Phase I of $200M campus 

(9/26/2014)

AUSTIN - XBiotech USA Inc., an emerging Austin drug developer, has broken ground on the first manufacturing and research (R&D) facility at its 48-acre site off Riverside Dr. in Southeast Austin.

The R&D facility is expected to eventually house a $200 million campus of buildings.

The 46,000-sf building will cost “no more than $12 million,” according to company President and CEO John Simard.

Currently, there is no firm timeline for the start of construction of a second manufacturing and research building — the campus will eventually feature several such buildings and employ about 2,000 people.

Construction is expected to finish by mid-2015 and start manufacturing and shipping the company’s colorectal cancer-fighting drug Xilonix by early 2016. That drug is currently going through Phase Three trials in the United States and Europe.

XBiotech is privately held company that was started in the mid-2000s and has raised more than $50 million. The company is constantly raising capital to fund development and clinical trials, with a new drug intended to fight MRSA-resistant staph infection expected to start clinical trials in late 2014 or early 2015.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Set to start on 179,000-SF Austin 5th+Colorado Tower 

(9/26/2014)

AUSTIN - Construction is set to begin on the 179,000-sf 5th+Colorado Tower at the corner of Fifth St. and Colorado St.

Lincoln Property Company (LPC) is developing the 18-story tower, which is scheduled to be completed in first quarter 2016.

The 5th+Colorado Tower will feature nine floors of office space above the eight-floor parking structure. Floor plates will be 19,000 sf, with the first floor featuring retail tenants.

Though tenants have not yet been announced, preleasing interest has been strong, according to Trish Williams, a vice president with LPC.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

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