NewsTalk Texas

Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos

Calif. MIG loves Austin; buys 562-unit Midtown Commons 

(2/26/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Midtown Commons at Crestview Station, a mixed-use property consisting of 562 multifamily units and 58,883 sf of commercial space has sold. The buyer was Newport Beach, Calif.-based MIG Real Estate.

Midtown Commons at Crestview Station is MIG Real Estate's fourth investment in Austin, following the 2014 acquisition of Adagio Swenson Farms Community, the 2013 acquisition of Barton Oaks Plaza and the 2012 acquisition of The Cottages.

"Austin is consistently on the Milken Institute's list of Best Performing Cities where America's jobs are created and sustained, reaching No. 2 in 2014," said Greg Merage, CEO of MIG Real Estate.

The property is located in Central Austin at 810 W. St. John's Ave., adjacent to the Crestview MetroRail Station.

Midtown Commons at Crestview Station consists of five two-, three- and four-story buildings and three parking structures. The commercial portion features two, two-story buildings with ground level retail space and top level creative office space.

The retail portion features tenants such as Midtown Grocery & Cafe, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, Fuzzy's Tacos, Subway, Modo Yoga and Fat Cat's Desserts.

The multifamily component offers studio, one- and two-bedroom floorplans. Common area amenities include two resort-style swimming pools, pool courtyards with fire pits and outdoor kitchens, two fitness centers and more.

Read more at Marketwired.

REOC Austin industrial market 4Q 2014 

(2/26/2015 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Demand for industrial space led to increased leasing velocity in the final three months of the year resulting in a solid fourth quarter performance for the Austin industrial market.

New leases and expansions generated a robust 548,474 sf of positive net absorption for the period — which measured more than the first three quarters combined.

The local industrial market closed the year with a citywide vacancy rate of 10.9 percent, which is improved compared to 11.9 percent last quarter and relatively stable compared to 10.6 percent recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.

Looking ahead, steady demand for space is expected to continue to tighten vacancy although the delivery of new supply may cause some fluctuations.

Austin Industrial Market 4Q 2014
  Office/Bulk/
Manufacturing/Warehouse
Flex/R&D
Sector Existing
SF
Current
Vacancy
Under
Const.*
Existing
SF
Current
Vacancy
Under
Const.*
Round Rock 2,498,932 17.8% 240,000 663,446 3.5% 22,000
North 10,177,069 10.3% 0 5,002,017 6.4% 0
Northeast 4,115,363 5.2% 153,000 3,016,576 32.5% 0
East 1,283,071 3.8% 0 0 0.0% 0
Southeast 4,882,511 5.0% 351,805 4,259,656 13.8% 0
South 1,945,884 11.7% 0 131,848 0.0% 0
Total 24,902,830 9.0% 744,805 13,073,543 14.6% 22,000

*Expected to deliver within six months

See REOC Austin's full report. See more categories under Austin Market Research.

tag: CBRE Austin Industrial MarketView 4Q 2014 (PDF); Transwestern 2014 Austin Industrial MarketWatch (PDF)

Jobs, construction show Apple's continuing growth in Austin 

(2/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Apple Inc. is continuing its expansion in Austin, according to city and county documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman.

The technology giant has already created more than 900 full-time jobs in its Austin operation as of the end of 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, according to a report the company filed with Travis County.

That’s on top of 3,100 local positions the company agreed to retain. As of the end of 2013, Apple reported 4,091 full-time employees in Austin.

What’s more, in a report last month to the City of Austin, Apple said it is about 67 percent completed with its Americas Operations Center, which it has valued at more than $348 million.

Taken in total, the documents suggest that Apple is outpacing its agreed-upon performance metrics, for which it is scheduled to receive millions in incentive payments from the city, county and state.

In 2012, the Austin City Council approved $8.6 million in tax breaks for Apple in exchange for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company establishing its Americas Operations Center here. Apple also is in line for $21 million in state incentives for the project, along with between $5 million and $6 million from Travis County.

Apple, in turn, agreed to create more than 3,600 new full-time jobs in Austin while retaining at least 3,100 existing full-time jobs. The company also agreed to spend $282 million on new buildings and equipment in Austin over the next decade.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Texas State adding $10M wet lab in San Marcos 

(2/26/2015)

SAN MARCOS - Texas State University plans to spend $10 million to pay for an addition to the STAR Park research facility that will provide facilities for life sciences companies in Central Texas.

The addition to the STAR One building will feature wet lab space that will be used by companies requiring chemistry work and other research conducted for the development of pharmaceuticals and biotech-related products.

Another component of the addition will be office space that will be made available for outside leasing.

The university has also committed to building out the 6,000 sf of shell space in the building with the hope of attracting research work from businesses involved in geospatial tools, computer engineering, water and environmental science, advanced education and advanced infrastructure materials, among others.

Local need for wet lab space is expected to heat up as the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas nears completion and more life sciences startups go into business in Austin.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Lakeway: All-Ways Storage sells to Maryland firm 

(2/25/2015)

LAKEWAY - The 538-unit All-Ways Storage facility at 15402 Kollmeyer Dr. and 911 N. Ranch Rd. has been sold.

The site includes 131 climate-controlled and 386 non-climate-controlled units, along with 21 uncovered outside storage parking spaces. The property sits on three tracts of land with frontage along RR 620.

A Maryland-based self-storage company purchased the property.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Colliers: Austin Office Market Research and Forecast 4Q 2014 

(2/25/2015)

AUSTIN - Office vacancy rates decreased by 13.1 percent between third quarter 2014 and 4Q 2014, according to Colliers International.

However, citywide absorption slowed to 206,565 sf in 4Q 2014 compared to 728,703 sf in 3Q 2014.

The citywide average rental rate decreased 1.5 percent from $28.20 per sf to $27.79 per sf when compared to 3Q 2014, but increased from $27.19 per sf to $27.79 per sf since 4Q 2013.

Demand for office space remains strong spurring new development. Of the 26 buildings currently under construction citywide, 41.5 percent of that office inventory is already preleased.

The report shows CBD and suburban data with rental rates and vacancy

Austin Office Market Indicators 4Q 2014
Indicator 3Q 2014 4Q 2014
Net absorption (SF) 728,000 207,000
Avg. vacancy 9.7% 9.6%
Avg. rental rate
(per SF)
$28.20 $27.79
Delivered
inventory (SF)
0 131,500


Find CBD, suburban and citywide data in Colliers International Research and Forecast Report.

tag: Austin Market Research, Austin office NewsTalk

TACC adding sweet 'Pickle' with 38,000-SF center in Austin 

(2/25/2015)

AUSTIN - Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has announced its third expansion in 13 years to accommodate the center's growth and demand for computing systems.

TACC has broken ground on a new three-story, 38,000-sf building adjacent to its existing facility, which is expected to be completed in January 2016.

TACC sits on The University of Texas’s J.J. Pickle Research Campus at 10100 Burnet Rd.

TACC is able to keep growing because users can tackle more challenging problems in science and engineering and access more types of systems, such as data storage and cloud computing, according to TACC Executive Director Dan Stanzione.

Users are more diversified because more industries, such as biomedical, realize the usefulness of computing in their fields. Stanzione said in the biomedical field, genomics — the study of genetics and molecular biology — is now a digital science instead of just a lab-based science.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Mixed-use Summit at Rivery underway in Georgetown 

(2/25/2015)

GEORGETOWN - Construction is underway on one of Georgetown's first luxury mixed-use developments, which will include a seven-story, four-star Sheraton hotel and conference center.

The Summit at Rivery Park project has been in the works for some time, and finally the tax increment financing and development team has moved it first shovel of dirt on a 32-acre site west of I-35 and north of SH 29.

Hines, based in Houston, is teaming up with Georgetown-based Novak Brothers.

The 222-room hotel, which will include a 30,000-sf conference center, is scheduled to deliver in summer 2016.

A three-level parking garage, along with various Rd. and utility infrastructure, also will be built in part with public monies — about $13.25 million.

Novak Brothers has already built 31 brownstone homes at the site. About 114 brownstones ultimately will be built along with 223 apartment units.

The project also will include restaurants and retail shops.

The City of Georgetown, the Georgetown Economic Development Corp. and the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp. are jointly involved in the complex financing package. Property and sales tax receipts generated by the development will be collected into a fund that will reimburse the parties over the long run.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

$400M Lakes at TechRidge underway in North Austin 

(2/24/2015 7:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on The Lakes at TechRidge, a $400 million commercial development near I-35 and Howard Lane.

The 66-acre development is being developed by a joint venture of two Canadian companies — Ledcor Group and Qualico.

The two-phase project will compete head-to-head with Parmer, another large suburban mixed-use development under construction to the northeast.

Both developers are appealing to the value-driven tenant that doesn't want to pay the extreme rates being charged for downtown Austin high-rises.

In all, there will be about 800,000 sf of office space — enough to fill out two Austin-sized skyscrapers if it had been built downtown — with an emphasis on appealing outdoor spaces, breezeways and a dog park.

Phase I — about 137,000 sf — should welcome its first tenants in October.

Though no tenants have finalized contracts, interest has intensified particularly for the larger Phase II, which could accommodate single or multiple users of as much as 700,000 sf.

"The look and design of the property is geared more toward creative and technological users, but we have also had a lot of interest in traditional office users that are seeking efficiencies in their real estate cost but do not want to sacrifice quality in construction," said JLL Vice President Brent Powdrill.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

See The Lakes at TechRidge for more information about the development.

Transwestern: Austin retail market watch Feb. 2014 

(2/24/2015 6:45:00 AM)

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

Austin Retail Lease Statistics by Submarket*
Submarket #
Bldgs.
Inventory YTD Net
Absorp.
Total
Occ.
Avg. Net
Rent
Central Business District 14 773,895 0 98.1% $32.00
Central & West Central 86 6,758,626 11,149 95.8% $17.51
North 73 5,074,413 1,488 95.0% $14.14
Northeast & East 73 4,495,271 -9,908 96.7% $14.73
Northwest & Far Northwest 96 6,812,399 -16,002 91.2% $16.05
Round Rock & Cedar Park 139 11,589,059 57,225 94.3% $16.15
South 102 7,822,899 1,775 97.5% $22.19
Southeast 23 1,470,398 0 99.6% $9.96
Southwest 65 5,779,049 0 97.8% $18.44
Austin total 671 50,576,009 45,727 95.5% $16.30

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

See Transwestern for the current report and previous reports.

tag: Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Research (office, industrial, multifamily, retail and hotel reports)

Transwestern: Austin apartment MarketWatch Feb. 2015 

(2/23/2015 9:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Transwestern has released its Apartment MarketWatch released in February 2015. Below are some statistics from 4Q 2014 that were included in the report.

Austin Apartment Statistics 4Q 2014
Submarket Units Occ. Avg.
Rent/SF
Bastrop 734 97.5% $0.94
Central 9,458 89.4% $1.76
CBD 2,900 92.7% $2.39
Cedar Park/Leander 4,951 95.9% $1.11
Far North 20,066 95.6% $1.18
Far Northwest 5,166 91.2% $1.05
North 10,741 95.9% $1.12
Northeast 9,838 94.2% $1.22
Northwest 17,262 94.7% $1.14
Northwest Hills 13,352 94.7% $1.26
Round Rock 10,690 92.5% $1.09
South 14,274 94.7%  $1.32
Southeast 14,673 93.7% $1.24
San Marcos 6,354 95.6% $1.14
Southwest 13,417 92.5% $1.32
Austin MSA total 156,558 94.1% $1.25


See Transwestern for the current data and previous MarketWatch reports.

You can always find data on multifamily and more at Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Research.

Sold for $128M: Austin's 591,000-SF River Place 

(2/23/2015 8:10:00 AM)

AUSTIN - River Place, a 591,000-sf office complex, has been sold for $128.1 million.

The property consists of seven Class A office buildings and is located on River Place Blvd. near the intersection of RM 2222 and RM 620.

River Place was acquired by Brandywine Realty Trust.

Read more at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Transwestern: Austin office MarketWatch Feb. 2015 

(2/20/2015 7:58:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Transwestern has released its February 2015 MarketWatch report for the Austin area's office sector.

Office Lease Statistics by Submarket
Submarket # of
Buildings
Total SF YTD Net
Absorption
Total
Occupancy
Quoted Rate
(NNN)
CBD 66 10,424,742 49,965 92.9% $26.96
Central & West Central 55 3,602,553 18,242 90.6% $20.74
North 66 6,318,544 -349 89.7% $19.94
Northeast & East 54 3,875,151 -21,505 84.3% $12.58
Northwest & Far Northwest 204 16,083,201 73,796 87.6% $19.95
Round Rock & Cedar Park 22 1,586,807 -8,813 88.8% $16.18
South 32 2,172,103 -3,495 96.6% $16.50
Southeast 17 1,749,304 -2,523 69.1% $15.50
Southwest 107 8,380,475 -29,377 92.3% $22.46
TOTAL 624 54,192,880 75,941 89.4% $20.46

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

See Transwestern for the current report and previous reports.

tag: Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Research for office, industrial, multifamily, retail and hotel reports.

REOC Austin office market 4Q 2014 

(2/20/2015)

AUSTIN - A construction boom is underway in the Central Texas office market, according to REOC Austin’s fourth quarter 2014 report.

“Twenty major office projects totaling roughly 3 million sf are currently pushing through the development pipeline,” says Kim Gatley, Senior Vice President and Director of Research for REOC Austin.

By the close of 2015, the Austin office market will boast an inventory of approximately 46 million sf — an increase of nearly 7 percent.

Many projects are reporting strong pre-leasing activity, such as Colorado Tower, reportedly 95 percent pre-leased already. In fact, buildings currently under construction are closing in on a pre-leasing rate of nearly 40 percent.

Vacancy rates may fluctuate as new projects come online but area job growth will continue to translate into demand for office space.

Austin 4Q 2014 Office Report
Submarket Total
Inventory
Vacancy YTD SF
Absorp.
Avg. Quoted
Rent Rate
CBD 8,550,031 9.0% 267,487 $36.52
Central 2,246,769 12.5% 77,898 $25.22
North 1,619,764 14.6% 103,864 $20.07
Northwest 13,414,009 11.6% 269,385 $28.19
Far Northwest 3,532,895 8.9% 180,161 $23.20
Northeast 1,855,269 12.5% 21,472 $18.26
South 1,688,035 4.3% 9,646 $27.10
Southeast 915,462 12.7% 35,704 $21.29
Southwest 8,464,371 7.5% 200,524 $29.13
Round Rock 884,716 10.8% 49,965 $22.56
Totals 43,171,321 10.0% 1,216,106 $27.24


Source: REOC Austin

Or see REOC's full report here.

For other commercial reports, see Office under Austin Market Research.

Inland treasure in Austin's Lakeshore Pearl 

(2/20/2015)

AUSTIN - Lakeshore Pearl, an upscale apartment complex near East Riverside Drive, has been sold to Inland Private Capital Corp.

The 230-unit complex at 2223 Waterloo City Lane was 95 percent occupied at the time of sale. The garden-style multifamily development sits on 6 acres near Lady Bird Lake's south shore and Pleasant Valley Road.

Lakeshore Pearl offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 517 sf to 1,480 sf.

Austin-based Cypress Real Estate Advisors and its affiliate Argyle Residential developed Lakeshore Pearl.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Arise Healthcare sets up in 36,000-SF MOB in Manor 

(2/20/2015)

MANOR - Arise Healthcare of Austin has opened its 14th medical facility in the area, a 36,000-sf building that is the first home for specialists and other professionals beyond primary care physicians in the area. The building is located at 14008 Shadow Glen Blvd.

The $9 million facility employs approximately 60 people between all of the specialist offices.

Manor Medical Tower at Shadow Glen has offices for specialists in cardiovascular care, wound treatment, hyperbaric care, plastic surgery and neurology in addition to an urgent care facility from Texan Urgent Care.

The center also features a timeshare suite for other specialists from around the Austin area looking to move into the Manor market east of Austin, which has more than 35,000 people in the area without many specialists nearby.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Aquarena Springs Drive's $21M overpass gateway to San Marcos 

(2/19/2015)

SAN MARCOS - Construction will begin this spring on a $20.7 million project on Aquarena Springs Dr. that officials hope will improve mobility, safety and aesthetics of the area.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will construct an overpass above the train tracks that currently cross Aquarena Springs near Bobcat Stadium. Construction is expected to take about 2.5 years, according to TxDOT spokeswoman Kelli Reyna.

City officials said construction could begin as soon as April.

The project is intended to improve mobility in the area. According to City of San Marcos estimates, more than 30 trains travel through the city each day.

According to TxDOT estimates, there were about 31,000 vehicle trips on Aquarena Springs each day in 2012.

The overpass will begin its elevation near Charles Austin Dr. west of Strahan Coliseum, span the railroad tracks and level off near Mill St., east of the stadium, according to Rey Garcia, project engineer for the City of San Marcos.

Garcia said the city is incorporating a hike and bike trail on the north side of Aquarena Springs to the plan as well.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Mansfield Dam: 70 years later, rehab's gonna cost 'yah' 

(2/19/2015)

TRAVIS COUNTY - The Lower Colorado River Authority has launched a ten-year, $10 million plan to completely overhaul the Mansfield Dam’s floodgates.

The project is the first time the gates have been overhauled in the more than 70-year history of the dam, which was completed in 1942.

The floodgates are removed and repaired one at a time, leaving the remaining 23 gates to operate in the rare-chance of a flood, according to Ryan Rowney, LCRA vice president of water operations.

The 50,000-pound gates cost about $600,000 each and take six to eight months to repair. The majority of the repair work is done at LCRA facilities, such as the Fayette Power Projects machine shop.

The project, which was budgeted and paid for as a capital improvement project by LCRA, will not affect local water prices and outside of a monthly parts delivery, should have a minimal effect on traffic on RR 620, Rowney said.

“These gates need to work like they were designed to, that way when we do get that next flood — which is going to happen someday — they are ready to go and operate exactly how they were designed in the 1940s.”

The Mansfield Dam work is part of a project to work on all six of the dams of the Highland Lakes.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin scene adds 1,012-room JW Marriott 

(2/17/2015 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 34-story JW Marriott at E. Second St. and Congress Ave. is open, adding 1,012 rooms to the Central Texas hotel market. The hotel is helping boost the city into a higher tier as a tourism destination, according to area officials.

The hotel is not only the largest hotel in Austin but also the largest JW Marriott in North America and second largest Marriott hotel in the world.

It cost $300 million to build. The hotel will create about 800 full- and part-time jobs.

Before it even opened its doors, the JW Marriott said its sales team had already booked 520,000 room nights through 2021.

The first convention guests started checking in on February 13, according to Jay Spurr, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

A third convention-sized hotel, the Fairmont Austin, recently started construction at Red River St. and E. Cesar Chavez St. and is set to debut in 2017. The Fairmont, when it opens, would unseat the JW Marriott as the city’s largest hotel, promising 1,066 rooms.

Several other downtown hotels are in the works, including a 366-room Westin that opens this summer at East Fifth St. and San Jacinto Blvd.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman and myFOXaustin.com.

tag: Texas city hotel data by Source Strategies (REVPAR, occupancy, rate by brand)

Austin's 300-unit Bluffs at Townlake draws Calif. buyer 

(2/17/2015)

AUSTIN - The 300-unit Bluffs at Townlake at 2005 Willow Creek Dr. has been sold.

Built in 1974, Bluffs at Townlake is a garden-style apartment community that includes efficiency, one- and two-bedroom units.

Amenities include a sand volleyball court, indoor basketball court, a health and fitness center, a dog park and an urban oasis pool. The property is also within walking distance of Lady Bird Lake as well as the Roy Butler hike and bike trail. Occupancy was 97 percent at the time of sale.

California-based The Lighthouse Group sold the property to Thrive FP, an Austin-based real estate investment firm.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

445,952-SF mixed-use underway on Austin's 6th St. 

(2/16/2015 10:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on a two-building mixed-use project on a 4.2-acre site at the intersection of E. 6th Street and Comal Ave. The first building is a 94,500-sf creative office building, which is scheduled for completion in January 2016.

The second building, called the Arnold, is slated for delivery in July 2016 and consists of 346 apartment units with 9,600 sf of specialty retail at three key intersections of the property.

Each unit in the Arnold will feature quartz countertops, custom wood cabinets, a gourmet prep island, stainless steel appliances, full-sized washer and dryer connections, bike storage and private balconies.

The project, 1621 and 1645 E. 6th St., is building developed by Transwestern Development Co.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Austin senior living? Pub, bistro, spa in new Elan Southpark 

(2/13/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on the $22 million Elan Southpark Meadows — a 110-unit senior living community near I-35 and Slaughter Lane.

The project, a collaboration between Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Titan Senior Living and Guggenheim Real Estate, is located within the Southpark Meadows mixed-use development.

The community features a restaurant, a bistro, a pub, a salon and spa, a wellness center and concierge services, all within a four-acre plot.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Why drive when you can fly? Austin-Big Bend non-stop and ... 

(2/13/2015)

AUSTIN, DALLAS, HOUSTON - Texans looking for a quicker way to Big Bend have another option, as Dallas-based Resort Air Services has announced non-stop service between the famed West Texas vacation destination and Texas' largest cities.

Austin, Dallas and Houston will all offer one-way flights to Lajitas Resort in Big Bend.

The Austin flight departs from Austin Executive Airport, located in Manor off SH 130 and lands at a private airport at the Lajitas Resort in Big Bend.

A 30-seat twin-engine jet operated by Ultimate Jet Charters will be used for the flights.

According to a schedule posted on Resort Air Services' website, the Big Bend flights will begin the first week of March.

The Austin-Lajitas Resort flight is scheduled to run one to two times per month, flying out of Austin Executive Airport on Mondays at 9:15 a.m. and landing at 10:30 a.m. Return flights are scheduled for Tuesdays, flying out of Lajitas at 3:30 p.m. and landing in Austin at 4:45 p.m.

Round trip flights start at about $400 for adults and $99 for kids under age 16.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Downtown Austin tract sold for Waller Creek development 

(2/13/2015)

AUSTIN - The developers of a proposed downtown Austin development have purchased more land that could allow their project to grow to 2 million sf of development.

New York-based MG Properties and The Sutton Co. purchased a 1.4-acre tract at E. Cesar Chavez St. and Red River St., along the banks of Waller Creek. The land is across from the three-acre site the group already owns.

The new site provides an additional 607,640 sf of development, which potentially could be used for a second phase, said Mac Pike, chairman of the Sutton Co.

Construction is expected to start this summer on the larger site, where three buildings are still planned, according to Pike.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Home Depot to hire 585 in Austin for DIY season 

(2/12/2015)

AUSTIN - The Home Depot is preparing to hire 585 people at its 13 stores in the Austin area as part of the company's national workforce ramp-up for its spring season, when people traditionally tackle long-awaited do-it-yourself projects at the house.

Atlanta-based The Home Depot is looking to hire 80,000 people nationwide for its busiest selling season. Some 500 people are expected to be hired at its 16 San Antonio-area stores as well.

The company is accepting applications for these positions online. Once online, applicants should select "Austin" or "San Antonio" and search for available positions at individual locations. The company encourages college students, retirees and veterans to apply.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Southwest Austin: Bell rings for Estancia sale, rebranding 

(2/11/2015)

AUSTIN - Greensboro, NC-based Bell Partners has purchased the 276-unit Estancia apartments in southwest Austin.

The community consists of 12 three-story buildings on a 45-acre site just off Route 71 in Austin's West Oak Hill Multifamily submarket.

Rebranded as Bell Hill Country, the community features a unit mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with eight different floor plans.

CoStar Group

Metrostudy: Austin housing starts end 4Q 2014 on high note 

(2/10/2015 6:16:00 AM)

AUSTIN - February 2015: The count of the quarterly numbers from Metrostudy’s survey shows the Austin market finished 2014 on a high note, exceeding expectations in the process.

The annual rate of starts as of 4Q 2014 was 10,686 units, up 500 units from 3Q 2014. Metrostudy recorded 2,627 housing starts in the Austin area, up 23.5 percent compared to the number of starts in 4Q 2013.

There were 2,364 new home closings in the market in 4Q 2014, a 4 percent increase compared to 4Q 2013.

Total housing inventory has risen over the past twelve months but remains at low levels. There were 5,850 homes in inventory at the end of 4Q 2014, which represents 7.5 months of supply based on the current Annual Closings rate.

Metrostudy documented 3,871 homes under construction at the end of 4Q 2014, up 815 units from 4Q 2013. The inventory of finished vacant units totaled 1,576 homes at the end of 4Q 2014.

In addition, there were approximately 8,500 lots under construction at the end of 4Q 2014. The months of supply of vacant developed lots has decreased from a high point of 41.3 months reached in 2Q 2009 to the current supply of 16.6 months.

Read more at Metrostudy.

Canadian firm ships FedEx 200,000 SF to Pflugerville 

(2/10/2015)

PFLUGERVILLE - A 200,000-sf distribution center at 130 Commerce Center has been completed.

Canada-based Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust (PIRET) announced the completion of the property, which was built as part of a 1.9 million-sf deal with FedEx Ground, who will occupy the space.

The 33.4-acre tract of land was sold for $4.1 million. FedEx has taken occupancy of the space and has leased the property through January 2025.

The building cost $33 million, according to the Austin Business Journal. When fully expanded, FedEx will employ 120 drivers and warehouse workers at the location with an average annual salary of $40,000.

The facility will generate $1.6 million in net operating income, according to PIRET.

A 202,000-sf facility that is also part of PIRET’s deal with FedEx is under construction in San Antonio and is expected to be completed in February 2015.

Read more at CNW, Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust and the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's Lakeway Resort & Spa sells for $34M 

(2/10/2015)

AUSTIN - Ashford Hospitality Trust has purchased the 168-room Lakeway Resort & Spa for $33.5 million or $199,000 per key.

Located on the shore of Lake Travis at 101 Lakeway Drive in Lakeway, the hotel features 24,000 sf of meeting space.

The hotel achieved RevPAR of $108.67, with occupancy of 62.5 percent and an Average Daily Rate of $173.87.

The Lakeway Resort & Spa recently benefited from capital improvements of $6 million ($36,000 per key) over the past 24 months including a complete renovation of the guestrooms.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin: Post South Lamar 344 units, $65M phase two underway 

(2/9/2015 8:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Post Properties is underway on the development of the second phase of its Post South Lamar apartment community located at 1500 South Lamar Blvd.

Post South Lamar II is planned to have 344 luxury apartment units with an average unit size of approximately 734 sf and 5,800 sf of retail space.

The second phase is expected to have a total estimated development cost of approximately $65.6 million. The Company anticipates first apartment unit deliveries first quarter 2017.

In total, Post has 1,705 units in five apartment communities and approximately 5,800 sf of retail space under development or in lease-up with a total estimated cost of $309.2 million.

Read more at InsuranceNewsNet.

CoStar: Austin retail market 4Q 2014 

(2/9/2015 6:40:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin retail market experienced a slight improvement in market conditions in fourth quarter 2014.

The vacancy rate went from 5.1 percent in 3Q 2014 to 4.7 percent in 4Q 2014.

Net absorption was positive 303,447 sf, and vacant sublease space increased by 9,796 sf. In 3Q 2014, net absorption was positive 67,693 sf.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2014 included LA Fitness moving into 46,245 sf at 4001 S. Lamar Blvd. and LA Fitness moving into 40,794 sf at Lacks Home Furnishings.

Quoted rental rates increased from 3Q 2014 levels, ending at $17.88 per sf per year.

Six retail buildings with 55,788 sf of retail space were delivered to the market in 4Q 2014, with 387,769 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 6.1 percent, and with net absorption positive 34.91 million sf in 4Q 2014. Average rental rates increased to $14.90, and 561 retail buildings were delivered totaling almost 14.7 million sf.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Georgetown police, fire operations to 76,600 SF 

(2/9/2015)

GEORGETOWN - The City of Georgetown has completed construction on new facilities for its police, fire and emergency operations.

The 76,604-sf main building includes space for Georgetown’s entire police department as well as the administrative offices of the Georgetown Fire Department, the city’s emergency operations center and the Texas attorney general’s cyber crimes unit.

The facility is located at 3500 DB Wood Rd. The city’s voters approved $29.5 million in bonds in 2011 to pay for construction of the new facility.

The project replaces the police’s current 19,000-sf building, which was built in 1910.

The new Public Safety Operations and Training Center has an outdoor driving track, gym, lockers, conference rooms, padded floors for combat training, an area where cars can be lifted up to search for evidence and even two rooms where police can relax in easy chairs.

The complex also includes areas for police training that are below a catwalk system, allowing instructors to observe the officers in action.

The facility is so big that it will only be about 65 percent full when everyone moves in, said Roland Waits, a spokesman for the police department. It was built to accommodate Georgetown’s growth, he said. Georgetown’s population is expected to double in the next ten years.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

210,000-SF buy for Extra Space Storage in Austin 

(2/6/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Extra Space Storage has purchased a three-property self-storage portfolio in Central Texas. The facilities encompass 210,084 sf of storage space and 1,919 units.

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed, but recent appraised values are available through the Travis Central Appraisal District.

Properties are:

  • 9300 Brodie Lane, built in 2011 and valued at $5.5 million,
  • 2631 S. Capital of Texas Highway, built in 2013 and valued at $7.85 million,
  • 9215 S. First St., built in 2014 and valued at $4.5 million.

Extra Space Storage purchased the portfolio from Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group.

Read more at the Inside Self-Storage.

Austin rents ease as new units come into market 

(2/4/2015 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Central Texas apartment dwellers are about to get some relief in 2015, as thousands of new units enter the market and ease the metro area’s demand crunch.

More than 10,000 apartment units opened in the metro area last year, and another 8,000 or more units are expected to enter the market this year, according Charles Heimsath, president of Capitol Market Research.

The boom in apartment supply dropped the area’s occupancy rate to 94 percent in the last half of 2014 — the lowest occupancy level in more than three years, and nearly 4 percent below the recent high of 97.8 percent in June 2012.

The 10,000 new units added last year in the region, which stretches from Georgetown to San Marcos, marked the largest increase Heimsath has recorded since he began tracking the numbers in 1991.

The influx expands the region’s apartment inventory by 6 percent, to 180,280 units in all.

With all those new units entering the market, supply is catching up to demand. That means apartment rents are stabilizing after rising rapidly — sometimes as much as 7 percent per year — from 2010 through 2013.

The average rent in the metro area was $1,107 a month in December — an all-time high, but an increase of only $8 from the average rent for June.

“That’s virtually unchanged,” Heimsath said. “You can clearly see that the rapid pace of increase has slowed to almost nothing.”

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

CoStar: Austin office market 4Q 2014 

(2/3/2015)

AUSTIN - The Central Texas office market ended fourth quarter 2014 with a vacancy rate of 8.6 percent, according to CoStar Group.

The vacancy rate was unchanged from 3Q 2014. Net absorption totaled 136,619 sf in 4Q 2014, down from 762,325 sf in the 3Q 2014. Vacant sublease space increased in 4Q 2014, ending at 738,190 sf.

Tenants moving into large blocks of space in 2014 include SolarWinds moving into 229,792 sf at The Summit at Lantana  — Building 4; HomeAway, Inc. moving into 114,665 sf at Domain 2; and Acxiom moving into 32,945 sf at River Place Corporate Park — Bldg. III.

Rental rates ended 4Q 2014 at $28.44, a decrease over the previous quarter.

Two buildings were delivered to the market in 4Q 2014 totaling 131,500 sf, with 3,235,427 sf still under construction at the end of the year.

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Office vacancy rate, which decreased to 10.9 percent from 3Q 2014, with net absorption positive 37.5 million sf in 4Q 2014.

Average rental rates increased to $22.65, and 194 buildings delivered to the market totaling almost 15.9 million sf.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Cool vacant building on South Congress! It's been sold. 

(1/30/2015 7:50:00 AM)

AUSTIN - An iconic 25,000-sf building built in 1936 at 220 S. Congress Ave. has been sold.

The South Austin brick building once housed Brink's cash handling and security business as well as a commercial garage and a furniture store.

It was purchased by Cielo Property Group, which recently bought the Austin Music Hall.

The three-story building had fallen on hard times in recent years and was sold by an Austin family.

"You couldn't lease it the way it was," said Cielo co-founder Bobby Dillard. "It didn't have any good stairs or an elevator."

Demolition and the construction of infrastructure including stairs, elevator and a new heating, air conditioning and ventilation system will commence quickly, as Cielo hopes to have a tenant in place by summer 2015.

The area is one to watch now that the Hyatt Regency Austin has completed its renovation and parking garage addition and The Catherine high-rise apartment is delivering its first units soon.

The Embassy Suites Austin is across the street. Another apartment is under construction on South First Street around the block.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Kendra Scott to anchor Austin's Lamar Central project 

(1/29/2015)

AUSTIN - Kendra Scott Design, a locally based jewelry retailer with customers worldwide, has signed on to be the anchor tenant in a new mixed-use project under construction in Central Austin.

Headquarters for the company, which got off to a humble start in founder Kendra Scott’s home in 2002, will move into 43,500 sf — the entire fourth floor — at Lamar Central, 3800 N. Lamar Blvd.

The lease runs for ten years with Kendra Scott Design expected to relocate from its current headquarters at 1400 S. Congress Ave. by the end of 2015, according to Houston-based Highland Resources Inc., Lamar Central’s developer.

Kendra Scott Design currently has about 85 employees in its corporate offices and expects to grow to about 160 workers within the next year.

As part of the deal, Kendra Scott Design will also open a 1,500-sf flagship retail store — the chain’s 37th U.S. location — on the building’s ground floor. The new store will create between 15 and 25 additional jobs.

The Kendra Scott Design lease, Lamar Central’s first, accounts for about a quarter of the space in the four-story, 165,000-sf building, which is on the site of the former Lamar Plaza shopping center at West 38th St. and North Lamar Blvd.

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

CBRE: Austin Industrial MarketView 4Q 2014 

(1/28/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Central Texas industrial market ended fourth quarter 2014 with 325,620 sf of positive net absorption, pushing vacancy down to 10.6 percent, according to CBRE.

Net absorption finished up 265,989 sf for the year.

Construction remained unchanged in 4Q 2014 with 469,423 sf in progress. Almost 240,000 sf of that total was in the Southeast submarket, which made up over half of the construction in progress.

For the year, developers have delivered 578,109 sf of new industrial space to the Austin market.

Austin Industrial Market Statistics 4Q 2014
Market Rentable
Area SF
Vacancy
Rate (%)
Net
Absorption
(SF)
CBD 26,776 0.0 0
Central 1,426,566 7.8 -5,806
East 3,554,975 22.5 -13,661
Far Northeast 2,476,336 10.4 86,337
Far Northwest 510,465 1.9 3,641
Georgetown 1,238,554 0.6 3,150
Hays County 593,663 32.8 0
North 13,829,571 9.7 157,781
Northeast 7,830,210 14.4 93,029
Northwest 2,600,971 10.6 13,719
Round Rock 3,274,070 14.7 20,428
South 1,761,700 1.7 -2,717
Southeast 10,210,364 8.6 -15,272
Southwest 415,046 15.2 -15,009
Totals 49,749,267 10.6 325,620


Source: CBRE Research

See CBRE's 4Q 2014 Austin Industrial MarketView.

tag: Austin industrial news

Lookout! 600-Acre Clearwater Ranch set for Liberty Hill 

(1/28/2015)

LIBERTY HILL, WILLIAMSON COUNTY - Model homes are open to the public on the 600-acre Clearwater Ranch master-planned development on CR 200 just north of SH 29

The Clearwater Ranch project includes 500 custom homes on one-acre lots. The builders are Austin-based Giddens Homes, San Antonio-based Sitterle Homes and Kentucky-based Drees Custom Homes.

Model homes are open to the public and the community's official opening is set for March 1.

The Lookout Group will develop Clearwater Ranch. The company has also developed Crystal Falls, a 5,000-acre master-planned community in Leander, and Esperanza, a 1,200-acre community in Boerne.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's Promontory Point(s) to apartment sale 

(1/28/2015)

AUSTIN - The 228-unit Promontory Point Apartments at 2250 Ridgepoint Dr. has been sold in Austin's Northeast submarket.

The garden-style apartment complex was constructed in 1983 and renovated in 2007. It consists of 48 studios, 120 one-bedroom units and 60 two-bedroom units.

The property received capital improvements in 2012 with major investments in exterior painting and modifications in the drainage and erosion system.

San Francisco-based Hamilton Zanze & Co. purchased the property from China-based Standard Portfolios Asset Management Co.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Weitzman: 2015 Austin Retail Survey & Forecast 

(1/28/2015)

AUSTIN - Austin's retail real estate market is the tightest it's been since the end of 2004 with an overall occupancy rate of almost 96 percent, according to the 2014 year-end report by The Weitzman Group and its affiliated Cencor Realty Services.

Though 1.2 million sf of new retail space was added, much of that included the opening of three Walmart Supercenters in outlying markets — Elgin, Manor and Cedar Park.

The numbers may improve in 2015 based on projects in the pipeline, but much of that activity will be in the form of large single-user stores. No major shopping centers are on tap, even though Austin's population and overall building construction continues on a torrid pace.

Other major retail projects scheduled to open in 2015:

•  Lamar Union, the mixed-use project on S. Lamar Blvd., which already includes Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and the Highball.
•  At the Seaholm LLC multi-use project downtown, Trader Joe's and True Food Kitchen should be finished shortly.
•  Redevelopment of the former Round Rock Garden Ridge property near I-35 and SH 45;
•  Lamar Central, an office project with 34,000-sf of ground level retail at North Lamar Blvd. and 38th St.;
•  Sam's Club in Cedar Park;
•  Walmart in Kyle;
•  HEB Grocery Co. in Cedar Park and in Wimberley;
•  55,000-sf Hobby Lobby in Bastrop.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

See the full report from The Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services for more.

Underway: 20-story $54M University House near UT Austin 

(1/27/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on the 185,000-sf University House just one block west of the University of Texas. The $54 million 20-story project is on the site of the former University Lutheran Student Center at 21st St. and San Antonio St.

The project, just one block west of the University of Texas at Austin campus, is expected to be completed by the start of fall semester 2016, and preleasing will begin summer 2015. The project includes 188 apartments with 504 beds.

A variety of fully furnished floor plans will be offered, including studio, one-, two-, three, and four-bedroom units. The building will also include a five-story covered parking facility.

University House will strictly cater to students and includes 6,000 sf of ground level retail that will be leased by the new University Lutheran Student Center. The religious-based organization first built on the site in 1971.

The total estimated cost is $53.5 million, according to Inland American Real Estate Trust. This represents 100 percent of the development’s estimated costs, including the acquisition cost of the land and building, if any, and excluding capitalized interest.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and Inland American Communities.

tags: Transwestern Apartment Market Watch 2014, multifamily market conditions 2014, Austin data, Texas student housing

DPF dips into Austin, ducks out of Dallas with buy and sale 

(1/27/2015 7:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DALLAS - Dividend Capital Diversified Property Fund (DPF) has bought one Texas office property and sold another.

In Austin, DPF acquired Rialto I and II from Lincoln Property Co. for $37.3 million or approximately $240 per sf.

The 155,000-sf, two-story office portfolio is located at 7500 Rialto Blvd. within Southwest Austin's Lantana Corporate Center.

It is 94 percent leased to 21 tenants and features a 205-space parking garage.

In Dallas, DPF sold Park Place on Turtle Creek to a third party for $46.6 million or approximately $263 per sf.

The 177,000-sf, 14-story office property was constructed in 1986 at 2911 Turtle Creek Blvd. in Uptown. Renovated in 2012, the Class A property is currently 87.5 percent leased to 27 tenants.

Including these transactions, DPF owns 25 office properties totaling approximately 5.1 million sf.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Report: Austin population boom happening no matter what 

(1/27/2015)

AUSTIN - Even under the most pessimistic projections — if some sort of plague and economic slump were to take hold in the region — the Austin area's population will still grow by more than 30 percent over the next 15 years, a report from the Urban Institute shows.

If migration and the birth rate are higher than expected, the Austin area could grow by more than 80 percent by 2030.

The report includes an interactive mapping element that lets readers select different projected birth, death and migration rates to see how demographics across the United States could be affected.

Here is how Austin's population growth is expected to play out, using a range of projections:

•  Under a worst-case scenario with a low birth rate, a high death rate and a low migration rate, the Urban Institute projects the area's population will increase by 30.5 percent, from 1.7 million in 2010 to 2.3 million by 2030.

•  With average birth, migration and death rates, the report projects the Austin area will increase its population by 55.3 percent, from 1.7 million in 2010 to 2.7 million in 2030.

•  At the high end of the spectrum, a scenario with a higher-than-average birth and migration rates and lower-than-average death rates, Austin could grow its population by 81.7 percent by 2030, with population jumping from 1.7 million in 2010 to 3.2 million in 2030.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and the Urban Institute.

East Coast buyer snags Austin's Elan East 

(1/27/2015)

AUSTIN - Elan East, a 251-unit apartment complex at 2900 Manor Rd., has been sold.

The Class A community was 95 percent leased at the time of sale. It was built in 2014 and offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 505 sf to 1,356 sf.

Elan East is an urban, garden-style community with amenities including include a pool with outdoor lounge area and full kitchen with grilling stations/prep space, a gym, business center and club lounge.

South Carolina-based Greystar and Washington, D.C.-based The Carlyle Group sold Elan East to a Boston-based institutional buyer.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Bryson bringing 1,200 homes to Leander 

(1/22/2015)

LEANDER - Construction has begun on Bryson, a 500-acre master-planned community near San Gabriel Pkwy. and Toll 183A.

Crescent Communities will build 1,200 single-family homes at Bryson, ranging in price from the high $200,000s to the low $400,000s.

The first homes in Bryson will be under construction by summer with move-in dates during the fall.

Home builders include David Weekley Homes, Drees Custom Homes, Grand Haven Homes and Scott Felder Homes. The site plan includes an amenity center and an additional 250 to 500 multifamily or high-density units.

Crescent purchased the property, formerly called the Villages of Messina, in early 2014.

Prior to the sale in December 2013, Leander City Council approved a set of agreements that require Crescent to contribute $1.5 million for improvements to the nearby intersection of Toll 183A and US 183.

The amenity center will open in spring 2016, and the neighborhood will be built out in about ten years.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

129,000-SF Aspen Lake Two takes root in Austin 

(1/22/2015)

AUSTIN - Construction on Aspen Lake Two, a 129,000-sf office building in far northwest Austin near Lakeline Mall, is underway. The address is 13785 Research Blvd., which is in the City of Austin but sits in Williamson County.

The Class A office building is already 54 percent leased to Q2 Holdings Inc., and Austin-based financial services company. Construction is expected to be complete in fall 2015.

About 59,000 sf remains available for lease — about 34,200 sf on the second floor and 26,000 sf on the first floor.

Crimson Real Estate Fund is partnering with San Antonio-based USAA Real Estate Co. as the owners of the project.

Crimson purchased the first phase of the platted development in a distressed financial state. Aspen Lake One, which although it was shiny and new, sat vacant for a long time during the recession. The original developer filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Crimson picked up the property in March 2011.

Crimson then leased it up to 100 percent as Austin's economy surged ahead — largely on the strength of technology growth. One of the first major tenants Crimson secured was Q2 Holdings, which provides cloud-based banking solutions.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin HQ to Dripping Springs; housing affordability cited 

(1/21/2015)

DRIPPING SPRINGS - HHS LLC, a medical housekeeping company, will relocate its corporate headquarters from Austin to a new facility at 12495 Silver Creek Rd.

The company will move from its current location at 216 E. 4th St. in downtown Austin, bringing 86 jobs that pay an annual average salary of $60,000 along with it.

"We chose to move out of downtown Austin and settle in Dripping Springs … to help our team members access more affordable living opportunities close to their work place," said HHS Chief Executive Joe Terry.

The move was facilitated with an economic incentive agreement approved by the Hays County Commissioners in mid-December. The agreement will give a 75 percent property tax rebate over ten years to HHS in exchange for the company's $9 million capital investment.

HHS was founded in 1975. It now claims more than 350 hospitals as clients.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's 64,000-SF Executive Plaza sells in off-market deal 

(1/21/2015)

AUSTIN - The 64,158-sf Executive Plaza office building at 14205 Burnet Rd. has traded hands.

Travis County Appraisal District records show the multitenant office building is valued at about $5.9 million and includes almost 2.7 acres.

Located near MoPac Expy. and Wells Branch Pkwy., the six-story structure was built in 1985.

CAD-WAL Ltd. purchased Executive Plaza from Sage-Executive Ltd., who has owned the property since 2000.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin: Iron Rock Ranch saddles up $35 million buy 

(1/20/2015)

AUSTIN - Iron Rock Ranch, a 300-unit apartment community located at 1215 Slaughter Ln. W., has been acquired by Philadelphia-based Independence Realty Trust.

Acquired for $35.3 million, or approximately $118,000 per unit, Iron Rock Ranch is located immediately west of I-35 along the Slaughter Ln. thoroughfare in Austin's Outer South Multifamily submarket.

Completed in 2001, the 316,644-sf community on a 22.67-acre site offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans.

The community traded at roughly 96 percent occupancy and has an effective rent per occupied unit of $1,146 for the three months ending November 30, 2014.

Source: CoStar Group

tags: Austin apartment, Austin multifamily data

Austin area: Ryland opens five housing communities 

(1/20/2015)

AUSTIN - Ryland Homes Austin has opened five communities across the region. Each community offers homeowners a quality new homes, prime locations and excellent community amenities.

Here are the new developments:

•  Saratoga Hills, Austin
•  Rancho Sienna, Georgetown
•  Santa Rita Ranch, Georgetown
•  ShadowGlen, Manor;
•  Rockwell at Wyoming Springs, Round Rock

Saratoga Hills, featuring large estate homes on acreage homesites, offers nine floor plans ranging from 2,947 sf to 4,598 sf. The community is less than 20 miles from downtown Austin.

Rancho Sienna boasts a prime location, allowing an easy commute across the greater Austin area. The floor plans range from 2,422 sf to 3,619 sf.

ShadowGlen is home to an 18-hole golf course, a retail center, a four-acre waterpark, a 4,300-sf amenity center, a fitness center and an on-site elementary school that will open this fall. It offers floor plans ranging from 2,422 sf to 3,317 sf.

Rockwell at Wyoming Springs offers a selection of four condominiums that range from 1,369 sf to 1,578 sf.

Santa Rita Ranch, set to open this month, exhibits 135 acres of natural landscape, which includes hiking, biking and nature trails and a four-mile San Gabriel River Trail.

Homebuyers can select from six floor plans, ranging from 1,788 to 3,081 sf. The community also features two welcome centers, swimming pools and splash parks.

Read more at BusinessWire and Ryland Homes.

tag: Austin housing

RR 620 boom: Lakeway 

(1/16/2015 9:30:00 AM)

LAKEWAY, TRAVIS COUNTY - With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.

Below is a snippet of completed and upcoming projects in Lakeway.

Construction on the city’s largest project, the 175,000-sf Oaks at Lakeway, began in late 2014, said Jon Andrus of Stratus Properties, the project’s developer.

The 90-acre development is expected to be a “true neighborhood retail center” driven by anchor H-E-B that is anticipated to open Oct. 30.

The 65-acre Lakeway Medical Village is also under construction, with its Goddard School — a preschool and after-school care program — expected to be up and running in April, school owner Raul Alvarez said.

The Harbor at Lakeway, a 150-room, assisted-living and memory-care community in Lakeway Medical Village, is expected to open in 2015. 

Lakeway witnessed the opening of its first acute medical rehabilitation facility — Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital — on November 24.

This is one part of a four-part story on the boom occurring along the RR 620 corridor. See similar stories about Bee Cave, Four Points and Hudson Bend at Newstalk Texas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

RR 620 boom: Bee Cave 

(1/16/2015)

BEE CAVE, TRAVIS COUNTY - With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.

Below is a snippet of completed and upcoming projects in Bee Cave.

During the past year the City of Bee Cave paved the way for additional development on RR 620.

In March, developer Adrian Overstreet led a groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s first major hotel — Sonesta Bee Cave in the Hill Country Galleria. The 195-room hotel is slated to open in June.

Sister projects Terrace at Bee Cave and The Backyard at Bee Cave were approved to add entertainment venues, movie and television production studios, office buildings, dining, parking garages, residences and hotels to the planned development districts located just off RR 620.

Hill Country Indoor, an 85,000-sf sports facility, will be going forward with construction in 2015.

City Council approved site plans Oct. 28 for the 16.8-acre Park at Bee Cave commercial project. It will offer office, retail, and commercial space beginning in early 2015, developer Bill Walters said.

Phase One of Gateway to Falconhead — an open-air commercial project including office, dining and retail space — was greenlighted in December by Bee Cave City Council.

The site development permit approved for Phase One includes 46,000 sf of retail with the remaining 80,000 sf of office space reserved for Phase 2. Groundbreaking on the development is expected in January.

Three apartment developments added residential space to the city in 2014, beginning with the July opening of the Estates at Bee Cave, a 316-unit apartment complex.

Construction on the 315-unit Cielo Apartment Living was finished in August, and the adjacent 228-unit Madrone Apartment Homes opened its first units in October, with completion slated for March.

This is one part of a four-part story on the boom occurring along the RR 620 corridor. See similar stories about Lakeway, Four Points and Hudson Bend at Newstalk Texas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

RR 620 boom: Four Points 

(1/16/2015)

AUSTIN - With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.

Below is a snippet of completed and upcoming projects in the Four Points area.

Last fall, Taylor Morrison broke ground on its final Steiner Ranch neighborhood — the 84-home The Grove at Steiner Ranch, Vice President Adib Khoury said.

Shopping center High Pointe Village is being offered for lease and purchase, said owner Nancy Bui of the planned 70,000- to 80,000-sf commercial development.

Four Points received two major medical facilities along RR 620 in 2014 — the Austin Diagnostic Clinic and the Austin Regional Clinic.

Embrey constructed 344 apartment homes at Escape at Four Points in 2014. Standard Pacific is completing The Preserve at Four Points’ 146 single-family homes.

Phase two of Trails at 620 is slated to include new dining, entertainment and a 35,000-sf child care facility — Children’s Learning Adventure — in 2015, adding to a Holiday Inn Express hotel now under construction in Phase 1.

Three new residential projects on RR 620 are zoned to Leander ISD and Vandegrift High School:

•  Taylor Morrison’s Montebello, a 50-acre gated community slated to begin construction early this year, will offer single-family homes.
•  A 25-acre tract along RR 620 at Buckner Rd. is being developed into residential neighborhood and retail center, Stokes Ranch. The project will include 30 single-family homes and an 8,000- to 10,000-sf neighborhood retail center.
•  Land on RR 620 has been cleared for a 120-unit affordable housing complex, Windy Ridge Apartments, set to open this fall.

This is one part of a four-part story on the boom occurring along the RR 620 corridor. See similar stories about Bee Cave, Lakeway and Hudson Bend at Newstalk Texas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Central Texas ranks No. 2 in U.S. for STEM jobs 

(1/15/2015)

CENTRAL TEXAS - Central Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation for workers in jobs involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to the latest analysis by WalletHub.

The Austin area ranked No. 5 for the largest percentage of STEM workers and No. 7 for STEM-related employment growth. It also ranked No. 7 for the annual median wage of STEM workers factoring in the adjusted for cost of living, according to the report.

Central Texas ranked No. 13 in the number of job openings per capita for STEM graduates and No. 21 for the annual growth of median wages for such workers.

In the overall STEM job ranking, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 23 and the San Antonio area ranked No. 48.

In Central Texas, 47 percent of the area's job openings were found to require STEM skills — the ninth-highest percentage in the study that compared 100 U.S. metro areas. Overall, local job openings took an average of 35 days to fill — the 41st-longest time in the study.

WalletHub analyzed the 100 most-populated metropolitan areas across 11 metrics to produce the report.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Click here for the full report.

Up! Home starts, inventory, sales all up in Austin 

(1/14/2015 7:10:00 AM)

AUSTIN - New home inventory in Austin has increased dramatically in the past year but demand could still outstrip supply if population growth remains robust and building cycles continue to increase, according to a report from Residential Strategies Inc.

Home starts, home closings and inventories were all up in 2014 compared to a year earlier.

New home inventory — which includes model homes, homes under construction and finished vacant homes — stood at 7,279 units at the end of 2014, up 46 year over year.

Here are some other highlights of the report:

•  Builders reported that sales activity through fourth quarter 2014 surpassed their own business projections.
•  There were 12,354 new home starts through Dec. 31, up 24 percent from 2013.
•  There are 20,828 vacant but entitled homesites at the end of 2014, a 20.2-month supply.
•  At the end of the year, 9,284 lots were under development, considered a record pace by Residential Strategies.
•  Resale listings remain tight with a 2.4-month supply, though the inventory at the end of November was 8 percent higher than in 2013 at the same time.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin: 390 acres near airport sell 

(1/14/2015)

AUSTIN - Nearly 400 developable acres in Southeast Austin have been sold to local investors who say they plan a mixed-use commercial project on the site, which is just east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The site is known as Eastbourne Crossing.

The area is in the Triple Freeport Zone where goods are exempt in transit when stored for no more than 175 days before being shipped out of state.

The land is located at the corner of SH 71 and SH 130. It is near the Circuit of The Americas racetrack and amphitheater.

The sale involved two tracts. Eastbourne Crossing was the seller of 385.7 acres, while an Eastbourne affiliate sold an adjoining 4.9 acres at the corner of FM 973 and SH 71.

Charles Heimsath, a local real estate consultant, said the land — which has City of Austin utilities — is a good fit for any commercial or industrial use.

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

RR 620 boom: Hudson Bend 

(1/14/2015)

HUDSON BEND, TRAVIS COUNTY - With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.

Below is a snippet of completed and upcoming projects in the Hudson Bend area.

Residential development in the traditionally moderately priced Hudson Bend area gained ground in 2014 with four communities slated for construction in the City of Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Lakeside Villas is slated to have its 32 duplex units completed in 2015, said developer Rob Swett. Each unit will have about 400 sf of outdoor space and an elevator, with the project’s driveway located on Mansfield Dam Rd.

A 71-home development — Vistas of McCormick Mountain — had been on hold for seven years following the area’s economic downturn, but was greenlighted in 2014.

A 14.8-acre project — Canopy at Hudson Bend — is being developed jointly in the La Hacienda Estates subdivision by builder Castle Rock Communities and Eck Lane Properties.

The gated neighborhood will feature 38 detached homesites with 40 percent of the property dedicated to greenspace, said Lance Wright, owner of Castle Rock Communities.

Waterfront community Waterfall on Lake Travis will feature lake views from some of its 36 condominium units, said developer Cosmo Palmieri, who is developing the project with Kelly Gray.

This is one part of a four-part story on the boom occurring along the RR 620 corridor. See similar stories about Bee Cave, Lakeway and Four Points at Newstalk Texas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

ABoR: Austin area home sales Dec. 2014 

(1/13/2015 3:00:00 PM)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors has released home sales facts for December 2014. Below is a snippet of cities that you might want to see.

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $244,900, up 1.9 percent from November 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales increased 13.0 percent from November with 1,877 sold units.
•  Condos increased in price to $215,000, up 2.7 percent from November 2014.
•  Existing condo sales increased 19.1 percent from November with 181 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
  Dec. 2014
Price Chg.
Dec. 2013
Units Sold
Dec. 2014 
Sale Chg.
Dec. 2013
ACTRIS* (single-family) $244,900 10.8% 1,877 7.1%
ACTRIS (condo) $215,000 6.0% 181 -3.7%
Region Cities**        
Austin $307,155 10.5% 779 5.1%
Round Rock $212,250 4.6% 184 -8.5%
Georgetown $255,000 3.2% 109 4.8%
Pflugerville $192,000 6.9% 103 -6.4%
Cedar Park $259,900 13.4% 87 -22.3%
Leander $201,750 13.0% 78 -7.1%
Kyle $167,000 11.5% 59 22.9%
Buda $235,000 35.3% 51 70.0%
Hutto $159,000 7.4% 50 43.9%

*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold 50 or more units during December 2014.

See the full report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

tags: Austin data, Austin housing

Germans invest in 'Prominent' Austin office space 

(1/13/2015)

AUSTIN - Prominent Pointe I and II, located at 8310 N. Capital of Texas Hwy. in Northwest Austin, have been sold to Munich, Germany-based GLL Real Estate Partners.

Prominent Pointe I and II encompass about 256,000 sf. Prominent Pointe I was built in 1985 and remodeled in 2013, while Prominent Pointe II was built in 2008.

The offices have about 900 parking spaces. The project is on 21 acres near Spicewood Springs Rd.

Current tenants include IXIA, JMJ Associates, Sony Online, UTC Fire and Security Americas, Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange and the law firm of Naman Howell Smith & Lee LLP.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

AT&T calls veterans and others for 200 jobs in Austin 

(1/12/2015)

AUSTIN - AT&T Corp. has 200 job openings in Austin. The Dallas-based company said the positions include technicians for U-verse installation and customer-service representatives for call centers and retail stores. The salaries vary by position and experience.

The company is asking Texas-based veterans to visit AT&T's online veteran career website that includes tools for veterans to match their military skills with job openings.

Prospects can apply online at www.att.jobs.

AT&T, founded in 1983, employs more than 243,000 workers.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Mattress Firm puts 99,000-SF Austin lease to bed 

(1/12/2015)

AUSTIN - Mattress Firm can sleep easy now that it has secured its new distribution center location.

The American retail company and mattress store chain signed a lease for 99,200 sf at 401-B Parker Dr., Building 9 in Northeast Austin's Corridor Park Corporate Center, effectively tripling the size of its current Austin facility.

"Bulk distribution space in Austin is challenging to locate. We were very fortunate to secure this space with the help of Prologis, who continues to assist Mattress Firm in their national expansion," said Damian Rivera of E Smith Realty Partners, who represented the tenant in negotiations.

Read more at CoStar Group.

$35.3M sale: Austin's 300-unit Mandalay Bay 

(1/9/2015 7:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Mandalay Bay, a 300-unit apartment community at 12443 Tech Ridge Blvd., has been sold.

Acquired for $35.3 million, or approximately $118,000 per unit, Mandalay Bay sits immediately east of the Parmer Ln. and I-35 intersection and adjacent to the Dell Computer–South Campus in North Central Austin.

Completed in 2001, the 247,470-sf Mandalay Bay is on a 16.6-acre site and offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans with an average size of 1,055 sf.

The community was 96 percent occupied at the time of sale and has an effective rent per occupied unit of $1,146 for the three months ending November 2014.

Philadelphia-based Independence Realty Trust purchased the community using approximately $26.7 million of cash and issued operating partnership common units valued at approximately $8.6 million.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Austin: 114,000-SF Park Central sells 

(1/8/2015)

AUSTIN - The 114,091-sf Park Central office building at 12345 N. Lamar Blvd. has been sold.

The three-story office building, which was built in 2008, was 74 percent leased at the time of sale. The Travis Central Appraisal District values the property at $10,004,233.

Vista Equities Group of Houston purchased Park Central office building from Cornerstone Austin Park Central LLP.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

City of Buda lands Main Street property 

(1/8/2015)

BUDA - Buda City Hall will have a new address, and so will the city’s public library and police department.

On Jan. 6, Buda City Council approved ratifying documents in connection with the $1.7 million purchase of 8.6 acres on Main St., near downtown. The city purchased the land from D.L. Jardine Foods, a food producer whose headquarters on Chisholm Trail is near the city’s Stagecoach Park.

The property is bound by Main St., E. Loop St., Chisholm Trail and Hawk Lane.

The city received the land for $4.53 per sf, which Ruge said was below market, as a property across the street sold for $4.81 per sf.

Mayor Todd Ruge was elated the city was able to find a “good property” for its new facilities, which will be funded by $27.8 million in bond money approved by voters in November.

“I think [the piece of property] really hit all the marks,” Ruge said. “It's important to have that Main St. address. This piece of land is going to help us build for the future.”

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Ledgestone paving way for new senior living in Austin 

(1/7/2015)

AUSTIN - Civitas Senior Living LLC will break ground soon on Ledgestone Senior Living, a new senior lifestyle apartment community.

Ledgestone will offer not only independent and assisted-living apartments, but also a memory care cottage.

The development’s architectural plan includes 120 independent senior lifestyle apartments, approximately 60 assisted-living studios and one-bedroom units, and ten private and semi-private memory care units.

The independent units will feature balconies, island kitchens, and several floor plans of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with walk-in closets.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

Bigger in Texas: Austin homes among largest in U.S. 

(1/6/2015 6:53:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Houses in Austin on average are among the largest in the U.S., according to 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and commentary website.

24/7 Wall St. culled data from Realtor.com and the U.S. Census for its analysis of "Cities with the largest homes."

Austin ranks No. 9 nationally for largest home sizes, with a typical house being 1,837 sf.

That compares with the No. 1 market for home sizes — Provo, Utah — with a typical house of 1,980 sf.

Houston ranked No. 2 on the list with a median size of 1,900 sf, and Dallas ranked No. 10 on the list with 1,828 sf.

The common saying that everything is bigger in Texas seems to hold true, although Colorado had the most markets on the Top 10 list — Colorado Springs (No. 2), Boulder (No. 6), Greeley (No. 7) and Fort Collins (No. 8).

The statistical analysis included median estimated price — $207,000 for Austin and the expanded metro area — and a median household income of $61,750.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

tags: Austin housing, Austin housing data

Sold! 344-unit Remington, 284-unit Reserve in Austin 

(1/6/2015)

AUSTIN - The 284-unit Reserve at Walnut Creek and the 344-unit The Remington Apartment Homes have been sold in separate transactions in North Austin.

Houston-based Tradewind Properties purchased the Reserve at Walnut Creek at 8038 Exchange Dr. It was built in 2002 on 14.3 acres and was 94 percent occupied at the time of sale.

The Travis Central Appraisal District indicates the most recent appraised value for the garden-style community was $22.8 million.

A California-based investor purchased The Remington Apartment Homes at 13730 RR 620 near Lakeline Mall in Williamson County.

The Williamson County Appraisal District last valued the property at $30.3 million. Built in 2007, The Remington is situated on 17.5 acres and was 98 percent occupied at the time of sale.

Both apartment communities are located near growing employment bases.

The Reserve at Walnut Creek is near Samsung Inc., the General Motors Innovation Center and the growing Parmer business park. Meanwhile,

The Remington is adjacent to Paloma Ridge, a new commercial office project being developed by Stream Realty Partners in Austin.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

The 'inn' crowd: Austin braces for hotel multiplicity 

(1/6/2015)

AUSTIN - Austin's inn crowd is very inclusive. Hotel options abound and are about to multiply — from contemporary Zen-like havens in the midst of downtown to soaring skyscrapers with floor-to-ceiling views of the city.

Prices run the gamut, too. Austin's average daily room rate across the city has been escalating rapidly and edging up to the $200 mark — but some unembellished but new rooms are closing in on the $800-per-night mark.

Some 8,649 rooms are in the development pipeline within the metro area, adding what would be a significant 28 percent increase of the current supply of 31,316 rooms, according to Lodging Econometrics, a hotel research company.

Austin is in the top ten markets for new hotel construction though markets with much larger population bases — New York and Houston, for example — lead the pack.

The Central Business District will post the most significant increase of rooms.

Downtown room supply could grow by more than 55 percent in the next few years — from about 8,600 rooms to more than 13,000.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

tags: Austin hotel, Austin hotel data

Four for Texas in top eight U.S. cities' record home prices 

(1/5/2015 6:58:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DALLAS, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO - Texas’ four largest cities were included in the top eight U.S. cities with record home prices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Austin recorded the highest change in home prices from the 2006-2008 peak, with area home prices rising 18 percent since that time.

Houston was second, with 17 percent growth, while Dallas was fourth with 12 percent and San Antonio was sixth with 8 percent.

Texas, of course, didn’t have a big housing bubble when many other parts of the U.S. did between 2003 and 2007.

Nationally, prices are down 10.2 percent from their June 2006 peak, according to figures from Black Knight Financial Services.

Black Knight tracks home transactions in 18,500 U.S. ZIP Codes, and it publishes data on the top 40 metro areas every month.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

Need a nurse practitioner? Job center launches website 

(1/5/2015 6:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Employers will have an easier time finding nurse practitioners with the new AANP JobCenter.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners, based in Austin, has launched AANP JobCenter, an online career center to help link nurse practitioners with potential employers and others seeking their services.

The AANP JobCenter is located at jobcenter.aanp.org and is available for AANP members and nonmembers.

Nurse practitioners are becoming a highly sought-after component of the health care workforce as the pool of primary care physicians entering the workforce continues to shrink.

Both the University of Texas and Austin Community College have taken steps to enhance their programs for advanced degrees in nursing in recent months.

"AANP looks forward to bringing NPs and employers together with a one stop connection to the best career choices possible," David Hebert, CEO of American Association of Nurse Practitioners, said in a statement announcing the job center.

"With a rise in the number of people with health insurance and the need for more providers to take care of these patients, there has never been a better time to be an NP."

Source: Austin Business Journal

Sold! $30 million for Hilton Garden Inn Austin NW/Arboretum 

(12/23/2014 8:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 138-room Hilton Garden Inn Northwest/Arboretum at 11617 Research Blvd. has been sold.

Moody National REIT I purchased the hotel, which was built in 2002, for $29.3 million.

Located on 3.4 acres, hotel amenities include an indoor swimming pool, in-room hospitality centers with refrigerators and approximately 1,400 sf of flexible meeting space.

The five-story hotel is within a five-mile radius of over 21 million sf of office space, including Apple, Xerox Corporation and The Domain.

Moody intends to perform a Property Improvement Plan to bring the hotel in compliance with the latest Hilton Garden Inn brand standards.

Hilton Garden Inn is the second Hilton acquisition by Moody REIT I within the Austin market over the past year.

It also purchased the Hampton Inn South Austin Airport in fourth quarter 2013.

Read more at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and PRNewswire.

tag: Austin news

Austin employment drops to second-lowest rate of 2014 

(12/23/2014)

AUSTIN - Austin's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in November, its second-lowest level in 2014, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The rate is also down from the 4.7 unemployment rate recorded in the Austin area in November 2013. Austin's lowest unemployment rate in 2014 — 3.8 percent — arrived in April.

The decline in November mirrors a seasonal trend seen in previous years in the Austin area, where unadjusted unemployment levels typically drop to their annual low-water marks in the last months of the year before trending upward in January.

Texas as a whole added 34,800 seasonally adjusted total non-farm jobs in November. So far in 2014, 441,200 jobs have been added across Texas.

Statewide, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent, down from 6.1 percent unemployment in November 2013.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For more employment stats, check out the Texas Workforce Commission.

Forbes: Texas Longhorns king of college football financials 

(12/23/2014)

AUSTIN - The University of Texas Longhorns football team has been named the most valuable college football team by Forbes Magazine.

The team's valuation slipped 6 percent since the 2013 edition of the ranking, according to Forbes analysts, dropping to a net worth of $131 million on $113 million in revenue and profits of $74 million.

Despite the slip and the team's mediocre performance on the gridiron this year, the financial numbers the Longhorn's pulled in this year are impressive: $34 million in home ticket sales, another $31 million from "football-related contribution.”

The slip in valuation, according to Forbes, was mostly linked to a big jump in expenses for the team over the past year.

Those expenses, in all a $10.8 million jump in spending, were mostly tied to the retirement of longtime head coach Mack Brown and the search for his replacement, which eventually landed on current head coach Charlie Strong.

Notre Dame comes in as Forbes No. two most-valuable college football team, valued at $122 million.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's 164,000-SF Springdale retail sells to Florida buyer 

(12/22/2014 7:47:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 163,677-sf Springdale Shopping Center at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd. has been sold.

The shopping center was valued at $11.3 million, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District.

It is anchored by HEB, with other tenants including Fashion Outlet, Carousel Pediatrics, Family Dollar and O'Reilly Auto Parts.

Florida-based Forge Real Estate Partners III LP purchased the property from Velocis, a Dallas-based firm who had owned it since 2012.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

tag: Austin retail

Austin home sales, median price set Nov. records 

(12/22/2014)

AUSTIN - The holiday season has arrived but Central Texas isn’t seeing the typical slowing that occurs in many housing markets late in the year, according to local agents and the latest market figures.

November marked the third straight month that home sales volume and the median sales price hit record territory in the Austin area, according to the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR).

Home sales rose 5.6 percent in November compared with the same month in 2013, and the area’s median sales price was up just over 11 percent.

The median price set a November record, with half of the homes selling for more than $245,000 and half for less than that amount, according to ABoR.

The 1,934 sales in Austin also were the most on record for a November, up from 1,831 sales in November 2013.

The supply of available homes continued to lag demand, even though listings increased 9 percent year-over-year.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

For a snapshot of November’s housing sales in Austin, see previous story ABoR: Austin area home sales Nov. 2014.

The Ballpark at Austin adding turf, units for college demand 

(12/22/2014)

AUSTIN - Nimes Capital of Los Angeles has begun a $1.5 million renovation to The Ballpark at Austin student housing development on E. Riverside Dr. and hopes to convert an athletic field on the property into more housing units in the next three years.

Nimes purchased the property in October for $29 million, and has made improvements to two-thirds of the 282-unit, 78-bed property. It will complete the final renovations by summer 2015.

The company is also installing artificial grass on the property and taking other measures to make it more energy and water efficient, according to Nitin Chexal, Nimes' director of real estate.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

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.

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