NewsTalk Texas

Austin-Round Rock

By the numbers: Austin unemployment lowest since 2001 

(7/2/2015 10:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Over the past 12 months, Austin employers have added roughly 32,200 jobs, growing its workforce by 3.5 percent and pushing the area's unemployment rate to its lowest level since 2001, according to Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce's latest Economic Indicators report.

Concurrently, the Austin area's number of unemployed workers has declined by slightly more than 10,000 between May 2014 and May 2015, cutting the overall number of unemployed workers in the region by more than 23 percent during that period.

Austin's 3.5 percent workforce growth rate between May 2014 and May 2015 makes it the eighth-fastest growing metro area in the nation for jobs.

The report also confirms that Austin is entering a new era of record-low unemployment. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rates is currently hovering around 3.2 percent, according to the report, the lowest it has been since February 2001.

Fastest Growing Among Top 40 U.S. Metro Areas
  Nonfarm payroll
jobs May 2015
May 2014-2015 Rank
Difference % Chg.
San Jose MSA 1,057,400 57,100 5.7 1
San Francisco MDiv 1,046,800 42,500 4.2 2
Riverside MSA 1,332,200 51,800 4.0 3
Orlando MSA 1,153,200 44,000 4.0 4
Salt Lake City MSA 678,200 25,400 3.9 5
Dallas MDiv 2,372,600 86,000 3.8 6
Seattle MDiv 1,599,000 56,000 3.6 7
Austin MSA 947,400 32,200 3.5 8
Fort Lauderdale MDiv 802,100 26,700 3.4 9
Anaheim MDiv 1,548,800 50,700 3.4 10


Read more at the Austin Business Journal and the Chamber’s Economic Indicators report.

TAR: Austin condo and townhome sales first half 2015 

(7/2/2015 7:08:00 AM)

AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK - Condominium and townhome sales slowed in Texas’s major metro areas in first half 2015, according to the 2015 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report.

In Austin, 1,178 condos were sold between January and May 2015, a 12 percent decrease from the same period in 2014.

Median price increased to $222,000, a 4 percent gain from the year prior. New listings rose 2 percent to 1,904 listings, whereas active listings jumped 14 percent to 623 listings, and pending sales dropped 4 percent to 1,496 sales from January to May.

Finally, average days on the market fell to 43 days, an 8 percent decrease from the year prior.

Austin Condo & Townhome Overview 2015
  Sales Median Price
February 205 $196,580
March 260 $226,250
April 274 $230,000
May 299 $231,000


For the full report, see 2015 Texas Condo Mid-Year Sales Report.

Be sure to link Austin NewsTalk and Austin Market Research to your own website or blog.

Invenio Solutions to hire 100 employees in Austin 

(7/2/2015)

AUSTIN - Invenio Solutions — an Austin-based company that handles business-to-business lead generation and sales activities for major brands such as Dell, American Express and AT&T — has announced plans to add more than 100 employees to its Austin headquarters by the end of August.

The hires will bring the company’s headcount to more than 600, with new positions mostly being in Invenio’s sales department.

Invenio Solutions — expected to generate $50 million in revenue this year — is located in North Austin near Braker Lane and Metric Blvd. in a building that houses about 300 of its employees.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

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The Backyard, Terraces buzzing to Bee Cave 

(7/2/2015)

BEE CAVE - The Terrace and The Backyard projects on Bee Cave Parkway in Bee Cave are currently being developed by International Development Management.

When they open in 2017, the condominiums will be “high-end” units that include pedestrian access to the Hill Country Galleria and will be sold in the high $300-per-sf range.

The 120-unit Terraces project will also include 250,000 sf of office space and a 6,500-sf restaurant.

The Backyard, a 35-acre project, will include a 125-room hotel similar to the vintage prototype built at The Domain in Northwest Austin, along with 335,000 sf of office space, 16,000 sf of meeting space with a restaurant, four sound stages, a 3,410-person capacity amphitheater and a 500-person capacity private party venue.

The developers are planning to add amenities to the city including four lighted tennis courts, a splash pad at Central Park and a double right-turn lane from Bee Cave Parkway onto RR 620.

Groundbreaking on the projects is set for the end of this year or early 2016.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

Austin's 101-Unit Terrain “lands” sale 

(7/1/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Terrain, a 101-unit apartment community in the South Austin submarket, has been sold at 5112 South 1st St.

The property has one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 504 to 850 sf. Rents range from $975 to $1,295.

Terrain is situated along Williamson Creek, near the intersection of West Stassney Lane, approximately four miles southwest of downtown Austin.

Renovated in 2013, the 95 percent-leased asset also provides nearby access to St. Edward’s University and South Austin’s recreational/entertainment amenities, as well as major thoroughfares such as I-35, Hwy. 71 and Mopac Expressway (Loop 1).

HFF marketed the asset on behalf of FBZ Williamson Creek.

Read more at Globe St.

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Recruitment begins: Austin’s UT Dell Medical School  

(7/1/2015 6:59:00 AM)

AUSTIN - With 1,000 applications and more coming in daily for just 50 seats at the University of Texas’ Dell Medical School, a preliminary stamp of approval came just in time.

In a celebration overlooking the skeletons of four new buildings, UT officials announced that the medical school has received preliminary accreditation, a milestone that will allow the school to start recruiting students.

The school’s first four-year class of medical students is scheduled to enter in summer 2016, and just before the students graduate in 2020, officials anticipate the school receiving full accreditation.

“We may get 3,000 applications” before the cut-off later this year, Dean Clay Johnston said in an interview.

Halfway to that goal, the school must pass another hurdle to earn provisional accreditation.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

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Two 60,000-SF Austin offices snatched up 

(7/1/2015)

AUSTIN - Valor Capital Partners has purchased two Austin office buildings the Wells Fargo Building at 2028 E. Ben White Blvd. and Centre Creek Plaza at 1812 Centre Creek Dr.

Though the Class B properties are located in different submarkets — southeast and northeast — they are similar in size and value.

The Wells Fargo Building, built in 1985 and located near the high volume intersection of I-35 and US 71, encompasses about 60,720 sf of office space on about 3.5 acres.

Centre Creek Plaza, also built in 1985, contains about 60,295 sf, and is located north of US 183 and east of I-35. The building sits on about 3.8 acres.

The Wells Fargo building is currently valued at $6,561,721 by the Travis Central Appraisal District. Centre Creek Plaza is valued at $6,059,612.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

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Upscale Traditions and Heritage housing to NE Round Rock 

(7/1/2015)

ROUND ROCK - A new residential community coming to Round Rock is the next step in the development of the city’s northeast corridor and reflects some of the regional real estate trends in high-end and senior housing.

Traditions at Vizcaya, an upscale housing development, and Heritage at Vizcaya, an adjacent retirement community, will include about 1,200 units at build-out.

Traditions at Vizcaya homes have an average-listing price of about $315,000 and amenities include a pool, pavilion, “gourmet kitchens,” and master bedroom suites.

Floor plans range from 1,830–4,063 sf.

Both Traditions and Heritage at Vizcaya are open for sales, although the homes are still under construction.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk housing

Land under 12-acre Top Golf in Austin sold 

(6/30/2015)

AUSTIN - Top Golf, the upscale driving range and entertainment venue in North Austin, has a new landlord — Houston-based OrangeStone Capital.

The 12-acre property includes a 65,000-sf clubhouse and 102 hitting bays. Top Golf — headquartered in Dallas — has a 15-year lease with three five-year extensions.

The Travis Central Appraisal District tabbed the value in 2015 at a little more than $14 million.

OrangeStone Principal Hussain Nathoo said the value is in redevelopment potential of about 2.7 million sf that could eventually be built there.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

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Austin: 112-unit Lantana Trace sold 

(6/30/2015)

AUSTIN - The 112-unit Lantana Trace, located at 1830 Rundberg Lane West and 9315 Northgate Blvd., has been sold.

The north Austin property was 97 percent occupied at the time of the sale. The buyer was ACA Lantana Trace LLC of Austin.

Built in 1972 on two separate parcels of land totaling 2.98 acres, the property features 19 studio units, 87 one-bedroom units, and six two-bedroom units.

Director Forrest Bass of the Berkadia Austin office negotiated the transaction.

"The North submarket in Austin continues to see a lot of transaction activity and strong economic fundamental,” Bass said. “We have closed four other recent multifamily transactions in the area, and just went to market with another large multifamily asset.”

Vacancy in the Austin metro lowered 20 basis points to 4.8 percent in first quarter 2015. At $1,101 per month in March, average asking rent was up 1.3 percent since December.

Read more at Globe St.

Be sure to link Austin Market Research and Austin NewsTalk to your own website or blog.

Austin 32-story 'Proper' introduction 

(6/29/2015)

AUSTIN - Downtown Austin’s newest condo project — located on part of the former Green Water Treatment Plant site — is looking to make a Proper introduction.

Austin Proper, a 32-story tower that will feature 100 luxury residences atop a 243-room high-end hotel, has started a “priority interest list” for prospective condo owners.

Austin Proper will feature 100 condos and a 243-room hotel.

One-, two- and three-bedroom condos will be available, ranging in size from 850 to 2,800 sf, as well as one- and two-story penthouses as large as 6,000 sf. Prices will range from the mid-$500,000s to several million dollars.

The hotel will be part of the fledgling Proper Hospitality brand, which launched in January.

The high-rise is due to come online by 2017.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

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Austin: 301-unit Elements at Mueller sold 

(6/26/2015 9:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Elements at Mueller, a 301-unit apartment community located at 4646 Mueller Blvd., has been acquired by Houston-based Sun Holdings Group.

Elements at Mueller was constructed in 2014 within the Mueller Redevelopment, a 711-acre mixed-use development comprised of 4 million sf of office and retail space and more than 5,700 homes.

The mid-rise wrap-style community is 95 percent occupied.

The site is home to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, The Thinkery Children’s Museum, a recently developed 83,000-sf H-E-B grocery store and a 400,000-sf shopping center.

A proposed 1.2 million-sf mixed-use project dubbed Aldrich Street is also planned for the site.

Source: CoStar Group

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Hitting the surf in Austin's 113-acre Nland Surf Park 

(6/26/2015 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The first inland surf park in North America is set to debut in Austin next spring. Nland Surf Park state-of-the-art 113-acre facility will be a “surfer’s playground.”

The revolutionary park will feature a lagoon approximately the size of nine football fields with 11 surfing areas and proprietary Wavegarden technology that will create one-foot, four-foot and six-foot waves.

The project scope includes building the main lagoon, building its proprietary equipment foundation and constructing a pier and boardwalks.

Read more at Globe St.

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Or just keep checking back.

Belterra expansion by 90 acres near Nutty Brown in Austin  

(6/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Endeavor Real Estate Group along with Crescent Communities, the developer of Belterra, announced plans to develop 90 acres of commercial and residential property off Hwy. 290.  

Slated within the development — near the Nutty Brown Rd. and Belterra Dr. intersections — is more than 275,000 sf of shops, restaurants, office space, a hotel, senior housing and high-density single-family homes.

Construction of the mixed-use development will be built in phases — beginning early 2016 — and may take five to seven years.

Belterra, when complete, will have 2,000 homes.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Feel free to link Austin-Round Rock Market Research and Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk to your own website or blog.

Austin: 58-story The Independent sky high in reservations 

(6/25/2015 1:00:00 PM)

AUSTIN - Interest is high for The Independent, the 58-story, 370-unit tower under construction in downtown Austin.

Constructive Ventures and Aspen Heights announced that more than 90 percent of the units have been reserved, setting a new record for most number of units reserved in a one-week period in downtown Austin.

Located at the northeast corner of West 3rd St. and West Ave. in downtown Austin, the building will continue to take reservations for its waitlist.

The Independent condo tower planned at the 1.7-acre site and set to rise 685 feet will be the tallest structure in Austin and the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi River.

Read more at Globe St.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk multifamily

UT Dell Seton Medical School debut 2016 in Austin  

(6/25/2015 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction on the 515,000-sf Dell Medical School campus — the first and only medical school in Austin — will be completed in May 2016.

The teaching hospital — inside what is known as the Medical District — will open in 2017 and will be called Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas.

The facility will provide resources for those in need of care, including a trauma center, and will provide a resource for students who have advanced far enough in their training to gain hands-on patient experience.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

Texas State Bobcats will roar in new facilities next year 

(6/25/2015)

SAN MARCOS - Texas State University will begin major construction projects in 2016 to address increasing enrollment in two fast-growing programs.

The Texas Legislature’s passage of a tuition revenue bond bill will provide the university with $67 million to go toward construction of a new $93 million engineering building at the San Marcos campus.

In Round Rock $48.6 million will go toward construction of a new $67 million health professions building.

The new health professions building will include 107,000 sf and will provide space for a 35 percent enrollment increase in health professions programs.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Feel free to link Austin-Round Rock Market Research and Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk to your own website or blog.

Medical Towers at Sawyers Ranch underway in Dripping Springs 

(6/25/2015)

DRIPPING SPRINGS - Medical Towers at Sawyer Ranch, a medical office building that will be located at the intersection of Hwy. 290 and Sawyer Ranch Rd., is underway.

The new three-story building will feature approximately 36,000 sf of office space on about four acres when it is completed summer 2016.

Medical Towers at Sawyer Ranch will be home to medical practices with varying specialties.

Tenants will include Austin Dermatology Associates, Dripping Springs Eye + Laser Center, Kethley Physical Therapy and Solutions Pharmacy.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Be sure to link Austin NewsTalk and Austin Market Research to your own website or blog.

Waterleaf drips to completion on 120,000-SF facility 

(6/25/2015)

AUSTIN - Waterleaf a four-building health care and medical campus is nearing completion. The property is being developed by b3 Commercial Management LLC and Hughes Capital Management.

The community of health services will feature 120,000 sf of space located at the intersection of Davis Lane and MoPac.

Construction began in October 2013 and the first building was completed in 2014.

Austin Root Canal Specialists, Brunson Dental, Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology and Texas Fertility Center/Austin IVF are open.

Flint Rock Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics of Texas and Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery are slated to open in August.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Feel free to link Austin-Round Rock Market Research and Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk to your own website or blog.

Austin: Timber up as Forest Park Medical Center to open 

(6/24/2015)

AUSTIN - Forest Park Medical Center — located southeast of the MoPac and SH 45 N interchange — is a new physician-owned hospital scheduled for opening for September 2015.

FPMC-Austin will have 46 beds, ten operating rooms, an emergency room, a lab, pharmacy and cafeteria.

The medical center was designed by the Neal Richards Group, which purchased roughly 55 acres surrounding the hospital to develop a mixed-use center similar to The Domain.

The hospital and adjoining 80,000-sf medical office building are the first piece.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Feel free to link Austin-Round Rock Market Research and Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk to your own website or blog.

What's up? Four acres sold near Austin International Airport 

(6/24/2015)

AUSTIN - Nearly four acres (3.858) has been sold at 3102 E. Hwy. 71. The property is just east of Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

The buyer, SIZ Hotel Management Group Inc., plans to immediately build a hotel and restaurant on the site.

Source: REOC Austin

Austin home prices slide, but still up in May 

(6/24/2015)

AUSTIN - Home sales were down in May, though the prices paid for those homes were still higher than they were a year ago, according to the latest monthly report by the Austin Board of Realtors.

ABOR said 2,767 homes sold in May. That's a 2 percent decrease from May 2014.

At the same time, the median price for single-family homes rose 9 percent compared to May 2014 to $271,000, while the average price of single-family homes jumped 7 percent compared to May 2014 to $348,201.

The number of new single-family home listings on the market declined by 3 percent to 3,865 compared to May 2014.

But the number of active listings was up 6 percent to 6,323. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home increased two days to 42 days compared to May 2014.

Housing inventory made a minuscule gain, increasing to 2.7 months of inventory from 2.6 months. That is still more than three months short of what could be considered a healthy market supply.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

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Austin hotel market overview 1Q 2015 

(6/24/2015)

AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK - Austin area occupancy, revenue and room data for first quarter 2015 has been released by Source Strategies Inc.

Austin-Round Rock Hotel / Motel Performance 1Q 2015*
  Number of
Rooms
$ Room Revenues
(000's)
Occupancy
  2014 2015 %
Chg.
2014 2015 %
Chg.
2014 2015 Point
Chg.
Austin 23,086 22,723 -1.6 220,517 237,593 7.7 77.6 79.4 1.8
Round Rock 2,637 2,637 0.0 15,491 15,699 1.3 74.6 74.6 0.0
San Marcos 1,645 1,815 10.3 7,581 8,955 18.1 60.8 64.3 3.5
Georgetown 520 520 0.0 2,329 2,460 5.6 70.5 72.6 2.1
Cedar Park 395 443 12.2 2,119 2,419 14.2 70.3 70.2 -.1
Lockhart 127 127 0.0 343 467 36.2 61.2 78.7 17.5
Total** 30,916 30,912 0.0 264,755 286,947 8.4 74.8 76.5 1.7


*Ranked by 1Q 2015 number of rooms.
**Total includes all submarkets of the Austin-Round Rock area.

Source: Source Strategies Inc.

See more hotel data under Austin-Round Rock Market Research.

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NAR Austin housing market 1Q 2015 

(6/23/2015 9:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - First quarter 2015 housing data have been released for the Austin market by the National Association of Realtors.

Included in the report are housing affordability, drivers of local demand and new housing construction.

NAR Austin Housing Market 1Q 2015
Price Activity Austin U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (1Q 2015) $249,100 $203,867 Prices are up from a year ago,
but price growth is slowing.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (1Q 2015) 10.2% 6.7%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (1Q 2015) 28.8% 28.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $55,700 $45,533 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $64,600 $5,333
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $81,900 -$13,067


*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors

See Austin's full report by NAR Regional Real Estate Market 1Q 2015 (PDF). Scroll down for previous quarterly reports.

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Randalls to anchor retail in Leander!  

(6/23/2015)

LEANDER - Cypress Equities, based in Dallas, has acquired a 12.7-acre site in Leander for a grocery-store anchored retail center to be known as Crystal Falls Town Center.

Randalls signed a lease for 63,182 sf as the anchor tenant in the project, which has a total of 93,642 sf of retail and restaurant space.

Construction on the project — at the southwest corner of Lakeline Blvd. and Crystal Falls Pkwy. — is estimated to begin in late summer, with a completion date slated for September 2016.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Feel free to link Austin-Round Rock Market Research and Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk to your own website or blog.

Accesso's boffo entry into Austin Riata Corporate Park  

(6/21/2015 10:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Class A, 690,000-sf Riata Corporate Park in Northwest Austin has been purchased by a Florida-based company. Riata Corporate Park is near US 183 and Oak Knoll Dr.

Accesso Partners LLC purchased the 51-acre, eight-building campus from Spear Street Capital of San Francisco. It's occupied by big-name tenants such as Accenture PLC, Pervasive Software Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., Xerox Corp., The Advisory Board Co. and NetSuite Inc.

The Riata acquisition also includes a stand-alone, 94,000-sf building that had been occupied by Apple Inc., which has been expanding and moving into its campus nearby.

Apple’s new Americas Operations Center, valued at more than $348 million and located at West Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive, is adjacent to Riata Corporate Park.

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

tag: Austin NewsTalk office

IRR 2015 forecast: Austin multifamily in the U.S. mix 

(6/19/2015 8:00:00 AM)

TEXAS, U.S. - The multifamily market sector continues to lead the commercial real estate industry in many respects according to the 2015 IRR U.S. Cities Forecast/Conditions viewpoint.

In terms of underlying operating performance, Class B continued to outpace Class A performance with respect to occupancy in 2014.

While the multifamily sector continued to show many signs of strength, including continued expansionary market behavior, strong occupancy rates, and historically low capitalization rates, the early warning signs of a shift in market dynamics may have reared their heads in 2014.

Multifamily Market Conditions and Forecasts
Market Area Class A
Inventory
(units)
Class A
Vacancy
Rate
Class B
Inventory
(units)
Class B
Vacancy
Rate
Forecast
Avg. Annual
Net Absorp.
2015-2018
(units)
Houston 286,830 5.72% 322,450 6.71% 7,596
Dallas 222,928 5.31% 211,637 4.30% 3,814
Atlanta, Ga. 196,150 4.34% 171,000 7.18% 3,600
Phoenix, Ariz. 127,427 4.50% 137,622 4.74% -
Austin 99,938 6.66% 73,681 3.32% 2,965
Fort Worth 82,704 5.30% 80,751 4.10% 1,217
San Antonio 79,710 8.09% 81,000 6.96% 4,500
Las Vegas, Nev. 66,253 5.68% 71,289 5.50% 4,770


*Ranked by Class A Inventory

Read the full Multifamily Forecast/Conditions U.S. Cities 2015 (PDF) report.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk multifamily

JLL: Austin office stats 1Q 2015 

(6/18/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - JLL has released first quarter 2015 Austin Office Insight report.

More than 600,000 sf of new construction delivered downtown in first quarter, representing a 7.6 percent increase in downtown inventory. Class A downtown deliveries during first quarter were over 90.0 percent leased.

Demand for larger blocks of space has increased, coupled with a limited supply of 50,000-sf blocks of contiguous space, has caused rental rates to rise.

While operating expenses have risen substantially due to increased appraisal values, the largest contribution to rent growth over the last five years is attributed to increases in base rent.

Approximately 68.0 percent of total sales transactions traded in the northwest submarket in first quarter 2015.

Class A and B Totals Austin Office Statistics 1Q 2015
  Inventory
(SF)
Total Net
Absorp.
(SF)
Total
vacancy
Average
Direct
Asking Rent
($/SF)
Under
Construction
(SF)
CBD 9,670,906 375,100 11.1% $45.51 755,388
Suburbs 37,826,419 192,218 13.1% $29.00 2,717,695
Austin Total 47,497,325 567,318 12.7% $32.19 3,473,083


For the full report see JLL Austin Office Stats and Insight 1Q 2015 plus historical (PDF).

tag: Austin Market Research, Austin NewsTalk office

JPI jumps into Austin with its 906 units 

(6/18/2015)

AUSTIN - With three Austin-area multifamily projects, Irving-based JPI has expanded its presence in the area with a new local office and team leader.

JPI’s Austin developments total 906 units, and include:

  • Cielo: 326 units completed April 2014, located on 38 acres in Bee Cave/Lake Travis area
  • Madrone: 228 units completed April 2015, located on 40 acres in Bee Cave/Lake Travis area
  • Sur512: 352 units expected to be complete April 2016, located on nine acres on South Congress.


“JPI is excited to re-establish roots in the Austin market,” says Ben Montgomery, managing regional partner for JPI’s southern region. “With the positive investment catalysts driving the Austin economy, the opportunity for growth is apparent and long-term.”

Read more at Globe St.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk multifamily

Walnut and Sage mix in 900-unit Austin sale 

(6/17/2015 7:13:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 450­-unit Villages of Sage Creek and the 460-unit Park at Walnut Creek — value-­added properties located in North Austin — have been sold.

The assets were jointly marketed as the North Austin 2000’s Portfolio.

Constructed in the early 2000’s, Villages of Sage Creek and Park at Walnut Creek are Class A communities located in the Far North submarket.

The Villages of Sage Creek has 11 floor plans that range from 636-sf one-bedrooms to a 1,441-sf three-bedroom design, while the Park at Walnut Creek has 14 floor plans that range from a 696-sf one-bedroom to a 1,630-sf three-bedroom design.

Both communities are located in the Silicon Hills employment area, and the communities are minutes from retail and entertainment destinations Tech Ridge Center, The Domain and La Frontera.

ARA Newmark represented the seller, Dallas-­based Whole Life Management Co. The buyer in both transactions was Montgomery, AL-based B&M Management Co.

Read more at Globe St.

tag: Austin Market Research, Austin NewsTalk multifamily

Houghton Mifflin opens new page in Round Rock 

(6/16/2015)

ROUND ROCK - Houghton Mifflin Harcort Publishing Company plans to relocate its Texas regional office to Round Rock after City Council approved an incentive package June 11.

According to city documents, the company will bring with it 270 jobs with an average salary of more than $70,000.

As part of the deal, the company agrees to lease a majority of a 100,000-sf Class A office building developed by Live Oak-Gottesman in the La Frontera office development.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will also invest $3 million in facility improvements and personal property. In exchange, the city will pay the company $350,000 in Economic Incentive Payments over four years.

For leasing space to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Love Oak Gottesman will receive a tax abatement tiered over ten years.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

ABIA private jet terminal backed by Red McCombs 

(6/16/2015)

AUSTIN - A new general aviation complex promising upscale services and design aimed at private aircraft customers is underway at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The $25 million facility is a partnership of San Antonio-based McCombs Enterprises and Million Air Interlink, a Houston-based chain of fixed base operations or FBOs.

The privately owned and operated terminal will include a 17,000-sf general aviation terminal, 42,000 sf of service facilities and short-term aircraft lease space, 82,000 sf of private long-term aircraft lease space and seven acres of available ramp space capable of serving any aircraft.

The terminal — expected to be completed in September 2016 — will include a contemporary passenger lounge, pilot club, state-of-the-art flight planning room and multimedia conference rooms.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

tag: Austin Market Research, Austin NewsTalk

Transwestern: Austin retail market watch May 2015 

(6/16/2015)

AUSTIN - Transwestern has released its May Market Watch report for the Austin area's retail sector.

The report contains submarket statistics on retail sales and retail leases.

Austin Retail Lease Statistics by Submarket
Submarket #
Bldgs.
Inventory YTD
Net
Absorption
Total
Occ.
Avg.
Net
Rent
CBD 16 989,895 56,315 96.7% $25.68
Central &
West Central
88 6,832,213 20,678 95.7% $17.55
North 74 5,100,260 34,960 95.6% $14.08
Northeast & East 73 4,484,686 31,229 97.7% $14.87
Northwest & Far
Northwest
96 6,812,399 3,014 91.4% $15.67
Round Rock &
Cedar Park
142 11,698,111 222,370 95.3% $16.11
South 100 7,699,756 -11,483 98.1% $18.78
Southeast 23 1,470,398 0 99.6% $10.74
Southwest 64 5,750,670 14,970 98.2% $19.78
Austin total 676 50,838,388 372,053 96.0% $16.35


Source: Transwestern

See Austin Retail Market Watch May 2015 (PDF) for the full report.

Be sure to link Austin Market Research and Austin NewsTalk to your own website or blog.

Georgetown GoldStar closing facility, 69 workers laid off 

(6/16/2015)

GEORGETOWN - GoldStar Transit, a Georgetown-based school bus transportation company, will shutter a facility in Manor and lay off 69 workers.

The layoffs are the result of Manor Independent School District's decision to take its bus operations in-house. The company's former contract with the school district netted $2 million per year.

Manor ISD reportedly plans to hire its own bus transportation workers to staff its new bus operations.

GoldStar will close its facility at 10332 Old Hwy. 20 in Manor. The layoffs are expected to be permanent and are scheduled to occur on July 31.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin: Self-storage report first half 2015 with some sales 

(6/16/2015)

AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK - Marcus & Millichap has released the Self-Storage Research Semi-Annual Report for the Austin Area.

In 2015, Austin employment will expand for the sixth consecutive year as local employers create 33,500 jobs, an annual increase of 3.7 percent. Last year, 25,100 positions were added to the metro, a rise of 2.8 percent.

The metro’s population expanded at an annual rate of 3.3 percent since 2009 with the addition of 296,000 individuals in the Austin area. Annual growth will accelerate in the coming five years to 3.0 percent as the metro gains 301,000 residents.

Steady demand and greater supply for self-storage facilities in the metro pushed up vacancy 90 basis points to 12.1 percent in 2014.

Vacancy will decrease this year, slipping back down 90 basis points annually to 11.0 percent. Strong space demand this year will place Austin vacancy below the national average of 11.5 percent.

Nationwide, self-storage supply is approximately 8.3 sf per capita. Texas posted a higher rate at 12.8 sf per person, while stock levels in the metro are between that of the state and nation’s rates at 9.7 sf per capita.

Southwest Region Sales Highlights
Property Name City Net Rentable
SF
Sales Price Price/SF
Your Storage Solution Austin 78,225 $11,200,000 $143
Spare Space Storage Austin 86,180 $10,800,000 $125
All Star Self Storage Crowley 57,625 $4,600,000 $80
Iron Gate Self Storage San Antonio 44,100 $1,190,000 $27
A-Mini Storage Del Valle 45,775 $1,110,000 $24


For the full report, see Self-Storage Research Report First Half 2015 (PDF).

Medical multiplying in Cedar Park, Leander 

(6/16/2015)

AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK - A surge of medical services have opened in Cedar Park and Leander, with at least 21 new health care practices and facilities opening in the area and additional developments planned to open in late 2015 and early 2016.

Two upcoming facilities will provide pediatrics care to area residents.

Seton Health care Family is partnering with CPRMC to occupy a freestanding pediatrics medical office building under construction near CPRMC.

CPRMC will occupy most of the first floor of the three-story, 75,000-sf building and will provide pediatric specialty and urgent care services as well as family diagnostic imaging services. The building is 95 percent leased.

Although the building will not have capabilities for surgery, plans for Phase two of the facility could involve constructing a pediatric surgery center.

Urgent Care for Kids, opening July 1, will offer pediatric after-hours care at 905 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. B, Cedar Park.

Read more and see a map at Community Impact Newspaper.

TAR June 2015: Central Texas small land prices 

(6/15/2015)

REGION SEVEN - Small land sales throughout Texas posted double-digit growth and average price per acre showed strong increases statewide last year, according to the 2015 Texas Small Land Sales Report.

Region Seven forms the central core of Texas, encompassing the Metropolitan Statistical Areas for Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood and Waco in addition to the Texas Hill Country and the Highland Lakes system.

In this region, small land sales consist of land parcels 49 acres or smaller.

Central Texas’ growing urban population has shown little signs of slowing down, making small land sales popular in 2014. Once again, Region Seven had the highest small land sales volume in Texas.

The small land sales market in Region Seven is competitive and price per acre for small land tracts has shown strong gains for the last several years. Heavy land sales activity has spread beyond the Austin area to surrounding counties.

• Region Seven had 1,722 small land sales in 2014, a 19.16 percent increase compared to last year.

• The volume of small land sales for Region Seven in 2014 comprised 32.6 percent of all small land sales statewide.

• The median tract size in Region Seven was 20 acres in 2014, a 4.76 percent decrease from 2013.

• Average price per acre for Region Seven was $7,764 per acre in 2014. This is a 12.51 percent increase compared to 2013. Adjusted for inflation, this equates to $1,379* per acre.

• Region Seven had the second-highest price per acre in the state in 2014.

• Region Seven comprised 32.6 percent of all small land sales in Texas in 2014.

*Adjusted figures are in 1966 dollars.

See Texas Association of Realtors full report at 2015 Texas Small Land Sales Report with counties (PDF) pages 17 and 18.

Transwestern: Austin apartment Market Watch May 2015  

(6/12/2015 9:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Transwestern's Apartment Market Watch was released in May 2015. Below are some statistics from first quarter 2015 that were included in the report.

Austin Apartment Statistics 1Q 2015
Submarket Units Occ. Avg.
Rent/SF
Bastrop 734 97.7% $0.98
Central 9,922 89.3% $1.79
CBD 3,133 89.1% $2.52
Cedar Park/Leander 4,951 95.9% $1.13
Far North 20,300 94.8% $1.21
Far Northwest 5,198 91.1% $1.06
North 10,770 96.6% $1.15
Northeast 9,831 94.6% $1.24
Northwest 17,381 94.3% $1.15
Northwest Hills 13,561 93.7% $1.27
Round Rock 10,752 94.4% $1.09
South 14,380 94.8% $1.33
Southeast 14,832 94.4% $1.26
San Marcos 6,369 95.6% $1.16
Southwest 13,820 90.5% $1.36
Williamson Co. 2,888 91.8% $1.13
Travis Co. only 122,608 93.5% $1.33
Austin MSA total 158,822 93.8% $1.28


See Transwestern for the current data and previous Market Watch reports.

tag: Multifamily under Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin NewsTalk multifamily

Austin's 323-unit Talavera sold to Griffis 

(6/12/2015)

AUSTIN - The 323-unit Talavera Apartments located in the northwest area of Austin has been acquired by Denver-based Griffis Residential.

Talavera Apartments has been renamed Griffis Lakeline Station, underscoring Griffis Residential’s commitment to bringing the community up to the company’s high resident experience standards.

Built in 2001, Griffis Lakeline Station is a Class A apartment community located on a highly visible 12-acre site in the SH-45 employment corridor of Northwest Austin.

The property has direct access from the SH-45 frontage Rd. and is located near the Lakeline MetroRail station and the 1.1 million-sf Lakeline Mall.

The garden-style property offers eight floor plans, from one to three bedrooms, ranging in size from 692 to 1,436 sf.

Read more at PR Web, Griffis Lakeline Station.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

ABoR: Austin area home sales May 2015 

(6/11/2015 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors has released home sales facts for May. Below is a sample of the entire report released June 10, 2015.

  • The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $269,900, up 0.0 percent from April 2015.
  • Existing single-family home sales increased 4.5 percent, from April 2015 with 2,317 units sold.
  • Condos decreased in price to $220,000, down -2.2 percent from April 2015.
  • Existing condo sales increased 6.7 percent in May 2015 over April 2015 with 270 units sold.

Austin Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Units Sold
  May 15
Median Price
May 15
Price Chg.
Apr. 15
Sale Chg.
Apr. 15
ACTRIS* (single-
family)
2,317 $269,900 0.00% 4.50%
ACTRIS (condo) 270 $220,000 -2.20% 6.70%
Region Cities**        
Austin 963 $355,000 3.30% 1.30%
Round Rock 229 $239,900 1.10% -6.90%
Georgetown 134 $279,512 5.50% -2.20%
Pflugerville 131 $217,000 -3.60% 15.90%
Cedar Park 115 $270,000 -2.00% 0.90%
Leander 103 $218,000 2.50% 3.00%
Kyle 64 $178,500 6.70% -5.90%
Hutto 53 $180,000 2.90% 17.80%


*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold 50 or more units during May 2015.

See the full report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

Startup Umbel grabs 20,000 SF in Seaholm 

(6/11/2015)

AUSTIN - A rapidly growing Austin-based software development company has subleased 20,000 sf in the iconic Seaholm Power Plant from anchor tenant Athenahealth.

Umbel Corp. is moving into the lower level of the redeveloped Art Deco industrial building in southwest downtown Austin, which Athenahealth completed as part of its 103,000-sf build-out.

Umbel’s 60 employees will move later this month from 4,000 sf the company currently occupies at 901 W. Ninth St.

The Seaholm LLC mixed-use development includes retail, such as Trader Joe’s specialty grocery store, and high-rise residences that will deliver soon.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

A DoubleTree grows in NW Austin, with 194 'treehouses' 

(6/11/2015)

AUSTIN - The 194-room DoubleTree by Hilton Austin Northwest-Arboretum is open.

Located less than one mile from the Arboretum shopping mall and one block from the MoPac Expressway and I-183 intersection, the hotel was formerly branded a Holiday Inn.

A multimillion dollar transformation includes a redesigned lobby, updated guest rooms, new furniture throughout the hotel, a new restaurant and bar and expanded meeting and event space.

“With its beautiful redesign and convenience to the area’s key business and leisure destinations, DoubleTree by Hilton Austin Northwest-Arboretum is a wonderful addition to our expanding portfolio, which now includes four hotels in the thriving Austin area," said John Greenleaf, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton.

Read more at GlobeSt.com and DoubleTree Hilton Austin Northwest Arboretum.

tag: Hotel stats at Austin-Round Rock Market Research; Hotel news at Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

Austin: 59-unit SoCo sold 

(6/11/2015)

AUSTIN - SoCo I and II, a 59-unit boutique apartment complex, has been sold. SoCo I & II is located at 3504 and 3508 Alpine Circle between South Congress and South 1st St. in the South Austin submarket.

 The property is in in close proximity to downtown Austin and St. Edwards University.

Most recently renovated in 2014, the community consists of a pair of two-story buildings situated on 1.4 acres and was 98 percent occupied at closing.

Read more at RE Business Online and HFF.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

Austin: Hopper hops to site for single-family community 

(6/11/2015)

AUSTIN - CBRE announced the sale of 42.1 acres in Northeast Austin to Charlotte, N.C.-based Hopper Communities.

The regional residential developer purchased the tract from Sealy & Company.

John Swanson, Hopper Communities Texas Partner, saw an opportunity for single-family residential at the site and rezoned the property from industrial use.

Heatherwilde Blvd. and Wells Branch Pkwy. border the site, connecting travelers to several major Austin arterials, including Parmer Lane, Farm to Market 1825, I-35 and SH 130.

Read more at Realty News Report.

tag: Austin-Round Rock Market Research, Austin-Round Rock NewsTalk

Austin: 1Q 2015 M&M multifamily market report 

(6/11/2015)

AUSTIN - According to data provided by Marcus & Millichap, employers created 7,000 job openings in 1Q 2015, while more than 29,000 people were hired in the past 12 months — a 3.3 percent increase from the previous year.

By the end of 2015, 30,500 new jobs are estimated to be created in the metro.

Nearly 4,400 apartments were delivered in 1Q 2015, and most units were located in the submarkets to the north and northwest, including Round Rock/Georgetown and Arboretum area.

High demand in rental housing has impacted vacancy, bringing it down to 5 percent, even though absorption reached nearly 12,800 units.

With vacancy clocking in at historical low and favorable demographics, average rents grew 5.9 percent in the last four quarters, reaching $1,088 per month.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

See Marcus & Millichap Austin Apartment Market Report 1Q 2015 (PDF) for the full report.

See Austin Market Research for more Employment, Housing and Multifamily news.

The Domain in Austin…what's lined up? 

(6/10/2015 7:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Domain continues to draw new development — as 1 million sf of office, multifamily and retail projects are lined up.

Here’s a look at what’s in play:

  • Restoration Hardware is building a 48,000-sf store at 11720 Domain Blvd. The project is valued at $11.2 million. The RH Gallery stores include art collections, cafe and wine bars — which likely will be in queue at The Domain location.
     
  • Endeavor Real Estate Group — the master developer of 300-acre mixed use project — announced the creation of Rock Rose, about 100,000 sf of retail development along Rock Rose Ave., which will include a variety of restaurants and local retailers.

    East Side King, Salvation Pizza, Birds Barbershop, Viva Day Spa, Lavaca St. Bar-Turf N’ Surf Kitchen, Kung Fu Saloon and Acres Brew Coffee House are among the stores under contract.
     
  • In partnership with San Francisco-based Shorenstein Partners, Endeavor has long planned to build Domain 8, a 265,000-sf office building on about four acres at 11601 Alterra Parkway.
     
  • Another local company — HPI Real Estate also plans an 11-story office building along with a seven-story parking garage at 10725 Domain Dr.
     
  • Austin-based Stonelake Capital also appears to have a large multifamily project in the works named the Flatiron District. The project is valued at nearly $45.6 million, records show, and will include 371 units in three buildings at 11400 Burnet Rd.
     
  • The Residence Inn at The Domain — a Marriott brand — is slated for an 88,712-sf, 119-room hotel on a 2.3-acre tract at 11305 Burnet Rd.


Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

'No-ad' or interruptions at Austin NewsTalk. Look up retail.

Austin: REIT buys 129,000-SF Davenport Village 

(6/5/2015 9:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Houston-based Whitestone REIT purchased the 129,000-sf Davenport Village retail center in an affluent area of West Austin near Pennybacker Bridge.

The center is 87 percent leased with 34 tenants, including restaurants Opal Divine’s, Maudie’s and 360 Uno Trattorio.Based on information from the Travis Central Appraisal District, the property includes two parcels — collectively about 15 acres.

Buildings and land were most recently appraised at approximately $30 million.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin: Aspen Lake Two full; no worry, Three on the way 

(6/5/2015)

AUSTIN - Aspen Lake Two, a Class A office building located at 13785 Research Blvd., is 100 percent preleased, Crimson Real Estate Fund LP and USAA Real Estate Co. have announced.

Q2 Holdings Inc., a virtual-banking solutions company, will occupy the full 129,000-sf building, which broke ground in December and is scheduled for completion this fall.

GlobeSt.com

Colliers: Austin industrial report 1Q 2015 

(6/5/2015)

AUSTIN - Colliers International has released its first quarter 2015 Austin Industrial Market Research Report.

Austin’s industrial market rental rates have risen after nearly a decade of stagnant rates.

Though vacancy increased slightly over the quarter from 8.4 percent to 8.8 percent, likely due to the high amount of industrial product delivered last year, Austin’s citywide vacancy rate has been steadily decreasing since 1Q 2010.

Austin’s average industrial vacancy rate rose by 40 basis points over the quarter from 8.4 percent to 8.8 percent. However, since 1Q 2014, vacancy has decreased from 9.6 percent.

Austin’s industrial market posted 19,898 sf of negative net absorption in first quarter. Austin’s industrial leasing activity, which includes renewals, reached 228,000 sf in first quarter.

Austin Industrial Market Summary
Market Rentable
Area
Total
Vacant SF
Total
Vacancy
Rate
1Q 2015
Net
Absorption
4Q 2014
Net
Absorption
North 15,242,940 1,244,821  8.2% 39,268 228,652
Southeast 12,801,662 1,255,720 9.8% -387,327 -29,678
Northeast 12,603,385 1,364,576 10.8% 38,253 248,520
East 4,788,283 200,917 4.2% -20,458 25,193
Northwest 4,750,169 216,201 4.6% -23,978 -13,453
Southwest 3,007,078 50,044 1.7% -12,310 36,696
Austin total 67,272,810 5,910,120 8.8% -19,898 598,933


*ranked by rentable area

See the full Collier's International Austin Industrial 1Q 2015 report. Don't miss out! Austin NewsTalk, Austin Market Research

Moody acquiring Homewood Suites Austin for $14M 

(6/4/2015 9:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Moody National REIT I is under contract to purchase the Homewood Suites Austin for $14.25 million excluding acquisition costs.

The Homewood Suites Austin is a 96-room select-service hotel located approximately six miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and is just minutes from downtown Austin.

"The Austin economy is experiencing vigorous growth, and we think that the diversified economic demand base - including high-tech, medical, state government and education - favor continued robust growth in the long-term," said Brett Moody, CEO and Chairman of the REIT.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Austin: Presidium buys 160-unit Hunterwood Apartments 

(6/4/2015 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Presidium Group LLC in partnership with St. Croix Capital Advisory Service Group purchased the 160-unit Hunterwood Apartments, 4901 E. William Cannon Dr.

The property was built in 1983 and will be upgraded. Dallas-based Presidium owns six properties in Austin and is in the process of developing several land parcels.

Read more about this story at the Austin Business Journal.

What's not slowing down? Austin hospitality market 

(6/3/2015 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - New hotels and upgrades to existing ones are keeping Austin’s hospitality market in high gear.

Homes2 Suites, a Hilton Hotel brand, is the latest to open a 135-room hotel near the Domain at 2800 Esperanza Crossing. Added demand in the extended-stay sector prompted the development of Homes2 Suites.

Highland Group reported that the extended stay lodging market is posting occupancy levels at the highest level in 13 years.

The Hyatt Regency in downtown Austin has announced it has started a $12 million renovation to its 448 rooms. The hotel, located at 208 Barton Springs Rd., recently completed a $20 million meeting and event space renovation and expansion.

The owners of the Hyatt Regency are preparing for the added competition in the downtown market in the wake of the opening of the JW Marriott earlier this year and the pending openings of the Westin Austin Downtown and Hotel Van Zandt.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin Market Research (see the Hotel category), Austin Hotel NewsTalk

Austin construction? UT projects rank in Top 20 by ENR 

(6/3/2015)

AUSTIN - The just released ENR Texas & Louisiana publication ranked the “Top Starts in Texas and Louisiana in 2014” based on total construction cost, and three of them are in Austin.

Austin projects are University of Texas projects.

• The Dell Medical School's teaching hospital ranked No. 12, valued at $355 million.

• The Engineering Education & Research Center logged in at No. 14, valued at $311 million.

• Robert B. Rowling Hall is ranked No. 19, valued at $176 million.

By far, most construction capital is being expended on energy-related projects in Texas and Louisiana.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

See all 25 "Top Starts in Texas and Louisiana."

Austin Market Research, Austin NewsTalk

Frontier changes for 456-bed Outpost San Marcos near TSU 

(6/2/2015)

SAN MARCOS - The Preiss Company has expanded its footprint in Texas with the acquisition of the 486-bed Outpost San Marcos student housing complex serving Texas State University.

The Outpost in San Marcos is located at 1647 Post Rd. within walking distance to the football stadium and approximately seven minutes from the Texas State campus.

Situated on 11.2 acres, the complex consists of six-, three-story buildings and a stand-alone clubhouse.

Read more about this story at the MultifamilyBiz.com.

REOC: Austin office market 1Q 2015 

(6/2/2015)

AUSTIN - New construction delivered three major projects totaling more than 560,000 sf of office space in first quarter 2015, yet the citywide vacancy rate remained stable.

Preleasing achieved in newly completed buildings actually exceeded the total amount of positive net absorption recorded in 1Q 2015 for the market as a whole.

Local office properties are on track for another very strong year and will likely top a million sf of absorption again this year.

There are currently 13 major office building projects rolling through the development pipeline totaling nearly 2.4 million sf. More than 1.7 million sf of that total is expected to come online before the end of 2015.

Additional strength is demonstrated by the notable increase in rental rates.

Austin’s thriving tech sector and overall healthy job market will continue to drive demand for office space.

Austin 1Q 2015 Office Report
Submarket Total
Inventory
Vacancy YTD SF
Absorp.
Avg. Quoted
Rent Rate
CBD 9,058,508 8.0% 563,087 $38.98
Central 2,285,947 14.2% -3,837 $25.00
North 1,621,681 13.3% 16,701 $21.07
Northwest 13,251,685 11.8% -21,418 $28.64
Far Northwest 3,532,896 14.8% -218,995 $24.72
Northeast 1,855,269 12.2% 6,238 $18.28
South 1,688,035 3.4% 14,520 $27.92
Southeast 915,462 10.3% 22,695 $20.01
Southwest 8,463,667 6.4% 92,220 $29.92
Round Rock 884,716 11.4% 5,586 $23.22
Totals 43,557,866 10.0% 476,797 $28.20


Source: REOC Austin

Or see REOC's full report here, including previous quarters.

For other commercial reports, see Austin Market Research.

See Austin NewsTalk Texas for everyday scoops of all sizes.

Leander Legacy at Crystal Falls shimmers in spotlight 

(6/1/2015)

LEANDER - Legacy at Crystal Falls, a senior-living development of 82-unit for assisted-living and memory care, has been completed.

Occupying a 5.1-acre site on the northwest corner of Lakeline Blvd. and Crystal Falls Pkwy, the development offers residential units serving 140 individuals with assisted-living and memory-care requirements.

Legacy at Crystal Falls was designed and constructed around a “main street and neighborhood” concept.

The complex centers around a centralized community amenity area that features a restaurant, convenience store, movie theater, spa, fitness center and sports bar.

Read more GlobeSt.com.

Austin’s Four Seasons hotel sells for $197M 

(5/31/2015)

AUSTIN - Strategic Hotels and Resorts paid $197 million for the Four Seasons at 98 San Jacinto Blvd.

The sale of the 291-room luxury hotel — which will continue to remain affiliated with the Four Seasons brand — is expected to close this month.

“With spectacular views of Lady Bird Lake and easy access to Austin’s central business district, convention center and popular annual events, the Four Seasons Austin is well-positioned under our ownership to deliver the city’s most distinctive luxury hotel experience” said Strategic Hotels and Resorts chairman and CEO Raymond Gellein.

Strategic Hotels and Resorts owns about 20 hotels worldwide, specializing in “desirable and high-barrier-to-entry urban and resort markets.”

The Four Seasons Austin Hotel will be the company’s first hotel in Texas. Lodging Capital Partners and Prudential are the sellers.

Read more at the SEC filings and the previous article from the Austin American Statesman.

Austin: 279-unit The Kenzie picks up $42M 

(5/29/2015 10:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The Kenzie at The Domain, a 279-unit, six-story multifamily asset located in North Austin has sold for $42.3 million, according to Yardi Matrix data.

Austin’s average per unit price in 2015 ($107,409) is still climbing over the $104,801 average achieved in 2014. You can also expect rents to rise about 6 percent this calendar according to Yardi Matrix.

The asset is located at 3201 Esperanza Crossing in The Domain, a master-planned community with more than 1 million sf of retail, dining and entertainment, and more than 2.5 million sf of office space.

Heitman acquired the property from Street Lights Residential. 

So it is no wonder Heitman was interested in this trophy property, which IPA said is surrounded by more than 90,000 jobs within a three-mile radius.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

Austin Market Research, Austin NewsTalk multifamily

REOC: Austin industrial market 1Q 2015 

(5/29/2015 9:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Following the solid performance in fourth quarter 2014, Austin-area industrial lease properties recorded another positive quarter to start the year.

Strong investment activity speaks to investor confidence in Austin’s economic strength and long-term positive outlook.

According to the survey of more than 38 million sf of industrial lease space, new leases and expansions inked in the first three months of the year translated into 270,783 sf of positive net absorption.

Aware of the opportunity to provide new warehouse inventory to accommodate tenant expansion and attract new business to the area, developers are in the process of delivering new space to the market.

Looking ahead, there are roughly 1 million sf of projects in various stages moving through the development pipeline.

Austin Industrial Market 1Q 2015
  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 11.9% 240,000 663,446 3.5% 55,000
North 10,205,343 9.3% 0 5,001,854 5.3% 0
Northeast 4,115,363 6.8% 153,000 3,016,576 32.8% 0
East 1,283,071 4.1% 0 0 0.0% 0
Southeast 4,896,894 5.2% 404,805 4,259,656 14.0% 232,000
South 1,945,884 1.0% 0 131,848 0.0% 0
Total 24,945,487 7.4% 797,805 13,073,380 14.3% 287,000


*Expected to deliver within six months

Source: REOC Austin

See REOC Austin's full Industrial Market Report 1Q 2015, including previous quarters.

More data? See Austin Market Research

Amazon leases 75,000 SF of Austin’s Domain 7  

(5/28/2015)

AUSTIN - Amazon.com has leased two contiguous floors totaling close to 75,000 sf of office space in the newly developed Domain 7, located at 11501 Alterra Pky. off Mopac Blvd.

The E-commerce giant is expected to occupy the six-story mid-rise 221,973-sf space in June 2015.

Amazon will be providing job opportunities for an estimated 250 employees ranging from office administrative staff to software developers and hardware engineers with this new office.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Austin Market Research, Austin NewsTalk office

Austin: sales up, price up; time to build? 

(5/27/2015)

AUSTIN - Good news for home builders in Austin and maybe for the economy as a whole as sales of new homes increased nearly 7 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

While it is still a below-average rate historically, it is up 26 percent compared with April 2014. The median sales price for a new home rose to $297,300 in April, up from $285,500 in March 2015.

This supply shortage, plus higher home prices, could spur demand for more home construction.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

The List: Austin top 25 residential developments 

(5/26/2015 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The List of the top 25 residential developments tracks neighborhoods by number of housing starts during 2014 in Austin's five-county area.

The Austin Business Journal partners with Metrostudy Inc., which has a team of surveyors that physically count lots on a regular basis.

Here's a sample of the top five.

Austin Top Five Residential Developments by
Home Starts*
Rank Neighborhood City New Home
Starts
1 Sun City Texas
by Del Webb
Georgetown 294
2 Crystal Falls Leander 261
3 Teravista Round Rock 246
4 Paloma Lake Round Rock 199
5 Harris Branch Manor 189


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

See Austin's List of Top 25 Developments with price range and starts. 

Also see Austin Market Data Sources.

Source: The Austin Business Journal Book of Lists (published March 2015).

Round Rock reaches top of affordability hill 

(5/26/2015 5:45:00 AM)

ROUND ROCK - Round Rock has been dubbed the third most-affordable place in America when comparing median household income to the average cost of living, in a study from personal finance website NerdWallet.

Several Texas cities, including several in Central Texas, made the list of The 100 Most Affordable Places in America. Plano, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, took the top spot.

•  No. 17: Austin

•  No. 20: Temple

•  No. 49: San Antonio

•  No. 100: Houston

Here’s a look at the top five cities and how they rank:

Top 5 Affordable Places U.S.

Rank
Location Median
household
income
Income
index
Cost of
living
index
Housing
index
1 Plano, Tex. $81,800 157 99 90
2 Edmond, Okla $71,607 137 96 94
3 Round Rock, Tex. $68,959 132 94 89
4 Juneau, Ala. $84,415 162 132 158
5 Midland, Tex. $63,819 122 97 97


Read more at the Austin Business Journal or see NerdWallet for the full report.

Austin unemployment rate at low point since 2001 

(5/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Austin’s metro jobless rate dropped to 3.0 percent in April, down from 3.3 percent in March, the area’s lowest rate since January 2001, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Texas held steady at 4.2 percent in April, the national rate dropped to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in April 2015.

All told, local employers added about 9,500 jobs during April, roughly double the average job-creation rate for the month since 2000, according to commission data.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

See more data on Employment under Austin Market Research.

Only Time will tell concerning $55B deal with Charter 

(5/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Charter Communications Inc. has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. — one of Austin's largest telecommunications providers — in a $55 billion deal that will bring together two of the nation’s largest cable companies.

Charter also said it will buy Bright House Networks for about $10.4 billion, rolling that smaller operation into the merged company.

The combined entity would have 23 million subscribers, second only to Comcast’s 27.2 million customers, according to CNBC.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Chaparral Ice Center skates to college in Austin 

(5/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Virginia College has moved its Austin campus into the former Chaparral Ice Center on I-35 in North Austin.

Birmingham, Alabama-based Education Corporation of America (ECA) owns Virginia College and finished renovating the ice rink in 2012.

ECA chose to use the space for the Austin campus of Virginia College when its lease ended at 6301 E. Hwy. 290, campus President Harvey Giblin said.

The campus moved in April to the new site, which uses mostly solar panels and wind turbines to power the 43,375-sf campus.

The campus will host a grand opening celebration June 4.

For more information visit www.vc.edu.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin sun now sets with Total Wine & More in Sunset Valley  

(5/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Wine enthusiasts in Southwest Austin can now explore a 26,000-plus-sf Total Wine & More location, which opened at 5601 Brodie Lane in Sunset Valley.

The wine superstore carries “thousands of labels” of wine, said Karrie Shehan, a wine supervisor at Total Wine in Sunset Valley. The wine selection accommodates almost any price point, as bottles can go as low as $5 and as high as $80.

The Sunset Valley store is Total Wine's first foray into the Austin market. The chain plans to open a second location in the summer in Lakeline Mall Plaza at 11066 Pecan Park Blvd., Ste. 117.

More background information? See Total Wine & More swinging in on vines in Austin.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Georgetown: second-fastest growing city in U.S. 

(5/26/2015)

GEORGETOWN - Georgetown is the second-fastest growing city in the nation with a population of 50,000 or more, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The census estimates the city added 4,168 residents between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, which is a 7.6 percent increase for that year.

More than 1,200 single-family homes have been platted and more than 1,100 multifamily units have been completed or are near completion, according to the city’s Planning Department.

Another 7,855 single-family homes are planned in the city and are expected to be built out in five to 20 years.

Based on an average household size of 2.46 according to the census, the city expects to add 25,055 residents in the next ten to 20 years, according to the news release.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper or check out the data at the U.S. Census Bureau.

South Austin sale: 160-unit Hunterwood 

(5/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Dallas-based Presidium Group teamed up with St. Croix Capital Advisory Services Group to acquire the 160-unit Hunterwood Apts. from Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management.

Hunterwood Apts. was constructed in 1984 on a 7.4-acre site at 409 William Cannon Dr. E in South Austin's outer south multifamily submarket.

Renovated in 2005, the community consists of one- and two-bedroom floorplans with on-site amenities that include a pool, laundry facilities and leasing center.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Austin home prices skyrocket! 

(5/24/2015)

AUSTIN - The median home price in Austin has jumped $20,000 in 30 days.

“(It’s) one of the largest jumps in median home price that we’ve seen in years,” said Barb Cooper, president of the Austin Board of Realtors which has released monthly data.

The median price for a single-family home now stands at $274,000, compared to 2014 when the median price was $239,900. The average price is $341,054, up from $308,752 a year ago.

Homes continue to sell rapidly, even though April is not considered as strong as the summer season.

The $875.8 million in total volume represents a record for the month of April.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

San Marcos' population boom! 

(5/22/2015)

SAN MARCOS - The fastest-growing city, for the third consecutive year, was San Marcos with U.S. Census numbers showing the city’s population swelled by 7.9 percent between 2013 and 2014 to 55,892.

As the city keeps growing, so does the interest to invest in property. The presence of Texas State University, the San Marcos River and affordability — compared to Austin — also make the city marketable.

City of San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero said the city has been planning for the population growth over the years, putting into place different infrastructure projects to make sure they keep up with the boom.

Including San Marcos, Texas was home to six of the top 13 fastest growing cities by percentage. Others on the list included Georgetown, Frisco, Conroe, McKinney and New Braunfels.

Read more at KXAN.

Austin: Dell Inc. computes need for 200 jobs 

(5/21/2015 3:00:00 PM)

AUSTIN - Dell Inc. is hiring for more than 200 sales positions in Central Texas as a part of a larger hiring spree.

Company spokesman David Frink said that Dell has accelerated its hiring “to increase our ability to serve customers around the world."

Dell is also continuing to hire globally for strategic development areas “particularly in hardware and software development, and engineering,” he said.

Those interested can learn more at http://www.dell.com/career.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin: prices and home sales set record for April 

(5/21/2015)

AUSTIN - Central Texas home prices hit an all-time high last month, while sales set a record for the month of April, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

April marked the eighth straight month of annual home sale increases, board officials said, noting that housing affordability continues to be a challenge.

The median price jumped 14.4 percent year over year in April, with half of the homes selling for more than $274,000 and half selling below that amount. Less than 30 percent of single-family homes sold in the region were priced below $200,000.

The board said 2,568 homes were sold last month — a record for the month of April and an increase of nearly 8 percent over April 2014.

Read more at the Austin-American-Statesman.

Don't miss out on free Austin Market Research.

IRR: Austin multifamily 2015 viewpoint 

(5/20/2015)

AUSTIN - Strong population growth, the attraction of new business, and low unemployment continue to drive the expansion of the Austin multifamily market.

Overall vacancy has held steady at just under 5 percent in the past two years but is expected to increase slightly in 2015, as more than 13,000 new units are expected to be completed.

Rental rates for both A and B/C property classes continue to increase, with units in central and west Austin seeing the highest rates, as demand remains strong.

Cap rates are steady across the metro area and will likely decrease only slightly throughout 2015.

Discount rates decreased slightly in 2014 and will likely remain flat over the coming year.

Downtown Austin continues to be a hotspot for new development, with nearly 2,000 new multifamily units under construction.

Given continued population growth to drive the demand for the increased number of new multifamily units becoming available, the market should continue to remain balanced and strong into 2015.

Austin Multifamily Snapshot
  Urban
Multifamily
Class A
Urban
Multifamily
Class B
Suburban
Multifamily
Class A
Suburban
Multifamily
Class B
Going In
cap rates
5.5% 6.3% 5.8% 6.3%
Discount
rates
7.5% 8.5% 8.0% 8.5%
Market rent
($/unit)
$1,556 $792 $1,104 $816
Vacancy rate 13.4% 1.7% 6.1% 3.5%


See Integra Multifamily Annual Viewpoint 2015.

For more Multifamily news, check out Austin Market Research and Austin Multifamily NewsTalk.

Cushman & Wakefield: Austin Industrial Snapshot 1Q 2015 

(5/19/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Austin experienced 199,547 sf of direct absorption across all industrial property types during first quarter 2015. Q1 2015 marked the eighth consecutive quarter of positive direct absorption for the total market, dating back to Q2 2013.

The Round Rock (RR) submarket posted the highest levels of absorption for Q1 2015, recording 85,241 sf of absorption.

The Q1 2015 overall vacancy rate was recorded at 9.6 percent, 0.9 percentage point higher than the Q4 2014 rate of 8.7 percent.

The average direct rental rate recorded for all industrial property types was $9.36 per sf for 1Q 2015, 4.0 percent higher than the average rental rate of $9.00 per sf in Q1 2014.

Austin Industrial Report 1Q 2015
Submarket Comparison
Submarket Inventory
SF
Overall
Vacancy
Rate
YTD Overall
Net Absorption
Central 18,900 0.0% 0
Far Northwest 4,480,259 4.5% 47,499
North Central 9,725,621 5.9% 69,509
Northeast 12,006,106 16.3% -35,818
Northwest 4,139,606 5.6% 59,053
South Central 1,434,649 3.6% -1,724
Southeast 9,223,111 8.8% 44,987
Southwest 272,660 17.6% -12,500
Round Rock 3,578,300 13.4% 85,241
Totals 45,050,853 9.6% 256,247


See Austin Industrial Snapshot 1Q 2015 (PDF) for the full report.

Don't miss out on Texas cities' industrial NewsTalk.

Easy find data at Austin Market Research.

Austin's Trifecta Square brings $3.3M 

(5/18/2015)

AUSTIN - The 52-unit Trifecta Square Apartments at 8033 Gessner Dr. have been sold for $3.3 million, or $62,500 per unit.

The community was built in 1976 and is located in the N. Lamar multifamily submarket.

Amenities include laundry facilities, public grills, a playground and pool.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Colliers: Austin office report 1Q 2015 

(5/15/2015 6:59:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Office vacancy remains low and rental rates continue to steadily rise across the Austin market in first quarter 2015, according to Colliers International's 1Q 2015 report.

Six buildings totaling 696,000 sf were delivered in 1Q 2015, and almost 3 million sf of office space is currently under construction.

The citywide average rental rate increased by 1.9 percent from $28.72 per sf to $29.26 per sf over the quarter.

Austin was the third fastest growing metro area in the nation during the past year with the population expanding by 3 percent between July 2013 and July 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Austin Office Market Indicators
  4Q 2014 1Q 2015
Citywide net
absorption (SF)
390,000 392,000
Citywide avg.
vacancy
9.1% 9.2%
Citywide avg.
rental rate
$28.72 $29.26
Citywide delivered
inventory (SF)
131,500 696,300
Class A Rental Rate    
CBD $42.26 $43.03
Suburban $31.15 $31.46
Class A Vacancy    
CBD 9.7% 9.7%
Suburban 10.2% 10.6%


Source: Colliers International

See the full 1Q 2015 report, including previous quarters.

Do you need other sources for Austin office? Save time! Go to Austin-Round Rock Market Research and look under the Office category.

200,000-SF Georgetown Sheraton Texas Hotel goes up! 

(5/14/2015)

GEORGETOWN - Construction on the new $65 million Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center is underway and expected to deliver by summer 2016.

The Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center — located on Rivery Blvd., just west of I-35 — will stand seven stories tall, stretch nearly 200,000 sf and have more than 220 rooms.

A three-level parking garage and a 30,000-sf conference center are accompanying the hotel as part of The Summit at Rivery Park project.

Hundreds of new jobs in Central Texas will soon be available thanks to this new high-rise hotel.

Read more at KXAN.

Austin 61,000-SF SunGard Inc. sold with others 

(5/14/2015)

AUSTIN - A Florida company has acquired eight former SunGard Inc. data centers in several cities, including a 61,000-sf facility at 8025 N. I-35.

As part of the deal with SunGard, Vxchnge Inc. agreed to retain the workers at each acquired location.

Vxchnge, which was founded in 2013, now operates data centers in 15 metropolitan markets.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Bastrop homes underway in River's Bend at Pecan Park 

(5/13/2015 8:59:00 AM)

BASTROP - Developers have broken ground at the Headwaters residential portion of the 311-acre River’s Bend at Pecan Park project along SH 71, with plans to have homes available as early as fall 2015.

“The Headwaters section is the initial section of our residential community and will include a number of carefully planned features that will set the tone for River’s Bend, including a neighborhood park, large lots and design features that will enhance the desired close community feel,” said Duke McDowell, the developer for the mixed-use project.

McDowell announced David Weekley Homes and Scott Felder Homes will be the builders for Headwaters’ 90 home sites.

The single-family residences will include a minimum of 75 percent masonry, all rear yards will be fenced and front yard will include irrigation systems.

The residential portion of the Pecan Park project is comprised of over 200 acres that have been conceptually designed into seven sections with approximately 530 lots. Headwaters is the first of the residential sections to break ground.

The Scott Felder homes at Headwaters will include one- and two-story plans designs ranging from 1,500 sf to 2,800 sf.

David Weekley Homes will include 65-foot home sites with several one-story floor plans with prices expected to range from the low $200,000 and upwards.

The commercial portion of the development, which includes 80 acres, fronts the south side of Texas 71, and is in the northeast corner of the development.

Headwaters’ current design includes a large greenbelt located along a three-quarter mile stretch on the Colorado River, four acres designated for a future community center, and hike and bike trails throughout the neighborhood that will connect to community parks and link to roadways leading to the city’s historic downtown.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman or see Pecan Park for more information about the development.

ABoR: Austin area home sales April 2015 

(5/13/2015)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors has released home sales facts for April. Below is a sample of the entire report released May 10, 2015.

  • The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $270,565, up 6.1 percent from March 2015.
  • Existing single-family home sales increased 3.5 percent from March 2015 with 2,142 sold units.
  • Condos increased in price to $225,000, up 2.3 percent from March 2015.
  • Existing condo sales increased 2.1 percent in April 2015 over March 2015 with 245 sold units.
     
Austin Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
Apr. 15
Price Chg.
Apr. 14
Units Sold
Apr. 15
Sale Chg.
Apr. 14
ACTRIS* (single-
family)
$270,565 13.7% 2,142 1.6%
ACTRIS (Condo) $225,000 5.5% 245 -14.9%
Region Cities**        
Austin $345,000 9.5% 919 7.4%
Round Rock $237,000 -0.4% 234 6.4%
Georgetown $254,000 7.4% 128 -5.2%
Cedar Park $273,750 9.6% 112 12.0%
Pflugerville $224,250 18.7% 112 -13.8%
Leander $212,750 19.4% 98 -3.9%
Kyle $167,600 1.0% 67 15.5%
Hutto $175,000 4.8% 43 -29.5%


*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold 40 or more units during April 2015.

See the full report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

Click here for Austin Market Research that's free and no ads. Ditto here Austin NewsTalk.

Mega Furniture finds a comfy spot in Austin 

(5/13/2015)

AUSTIN - Phoenix-based Mega Furniture opened a 31,736-sf store near Lakeline Mall at 13945 Research Blvd.

Mega Furniture also signed three deals in San Antonio for two stores and a 46,200-sf distribution center.

Founded in 2002 by two immigrants from India, Mega Furniture currently has 11 Phoenix locations with more than 170 employees.

According to the company website, “Mega Furniture will expand their stores throughout San Antonio and Austin during 2015 and 2016 and will bring their strong brand name and customer service platform to the Lone Star State.”

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Granite sells Austin-area senior housing properties for $23M 

(5/12/2015)

GEORGETOWN, PFLUGERVILLE - Granite Investment Group has sold two senior housing properties for $23.4 million. The sale included Georgetown’s Park Place Care Center and Assisted Living (PPCCAL) and the Pflugerville Care Center (PCC).

PPCCAL was built in 1997 on nearly seven acres and includes a 116-bed nursing facility as well as a 48-bed assisted-living facility.

It offers 24-hour skilled nursing care, short- and long-term rehabilitation, common areas, private and semi-private rooms, activity directors, spiritual care and an order-by-menu dining program.

An affiliate of Granite Investment Group originally purchased the property in 2007 for $9.2 million.

PCC is a 111-bed skilled nursing facility built in 1991 on 3.2 acres. The facility provides residents with short- and long-term rehabilitation care.

An affiliate of Granite Investment Group originally purchased PCC property in 2005 for $9.1 million.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

TAR's most, lease profitable home remodels for Austin 

(5/11/2015)

AUSTIN - The Texas Association of Realtors has released its 2015 edition of the Texas Remodel Valuation Report, which is based on data from the 2015 Cost vs. Value Report by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine.

Home remodeling projects in Austin had the greatest overall recoup costs among Texas’s five major cities. Stone veneer accents were the most profitable project, recouping 123.7 percent of the total project cost. Sunroom additions were the least profitable, recouping only 51.8 percent of the cost.

Here are the top and bottom projects, ranked by recoup cost:

Top to Bottom Projects by Recoup Cost
Top five projects Bottom five projects
Project Cost
Recouped
Project Cost
Recouped
Stone veneer accent 123.7% Sunroom addition 51.8%
Deck addition (wood) 116.0% Upscale garage addition 61.7%
Entry door replacement 113.2% Home office remodel 62.2%
Window replacement (wood) 108.1% Upscale master suite addition 67.9%
Garage door replacement 107.6% Upscale deck addition (composite) 69.4%


Source: Texas Association of Realtors

Read more at the Texas Association of Realtors.

Bulletproof: despite oil crash, Texas home sales surge 1Q 

(5/8/2015 9:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - The Texas residential markets remained immune to the drastic fall in oil prices, as the Lone Star State posted exceptionally strong home sales in first quarter 2015, according to the Texas Association of Realtors.

With oil falling from $107 a barrel last summer to less than $60 a barrel currently, many have been predicting awesome woes for Texas housing markets.

Indeed, the rig count is down substantially and thousands of layoffs have been announced.

But the Houston Association of Realtors recently reported 1Q 2015 sales were ahead of 2014 sales — and that is significant since last year was the strongest year ever for home sales in Houston.

Houston’s bright story is true around the state — 1Q was hot for Texas housing markets and inventory of homes for sale fell to an all-time low.

“The impact of falling oil prices has not yet hit Texas real estate, especially in its metro areas,” says economist Dr. Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M. But he added that softening could happen in Texas realty in the last part of 2015.

The TAR reported 57,818 homes were sold in Texas in 1Q 2015, a 4 percent increase from 1Q 2014. Prices were strong. The Texas 1Q median was $186,500, up about 8 percent over last year.

“The first quarter of the year is typically a slow period for homebuying and selling, so we were thrilled to see strong home sales gains statewide in the first part of 2015,” says Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Realtors.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Apple 215,000-SF office lease in SW Austin 

(5/8/2015)

AUSTIN - In another sign of its expanding Austin presence, technology giant Apple Inc. has signed a lease for an entire 215,000-sf Capital Ridge office building under construction in Southwest Austin.

The seven-story building is being developed by Austin-based Riverside Resources and is rising on a bluff near Capital of Texas Hwy. and Bee Cave Rd. Opening is set for second quarter 2015.

Apple has been growing its presence in Austin, and the company is in line for millions of dollars in tax breaks to do so.

In the latest employee figures verified by the City of Austin and Travis County, Apple had 4,515 total employees in Austin as of the end of 2014, including 794 contract workers.

The Capital Ridge lease comes just weeks after Apple finalized the purchase of Riata Crossing North, a 350,000-sf office complex in Northwest Austin where its lease was due to expire this year. Apple paid about $84 million for the complex, or roughly $240 per sf.

Riata Crossing is near the new Americas Operations Center that Apple is building. Apple is scheduled to receive about $35 million in incentives for eventually adding 3,600 employees in Austin and making a major capital investment.

Apple has valued its new campus, located at W. Parmer Lane and Delcour Dr., at more than $348 million, according to documents filed with the city.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Westin looking for 300 employees in Austin 

(5/7/2015 9:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The soon-to-debut Westin Austin Downtown is looking to hire 300 employees. The 366-room hotel at 310 E. Fifth St., will open in July according to White Lodging, its Indiana-based developer.

Positions are available in a variety of departments including administrative, banquets, culinary, engineering, front office and housekeeping.

White Lodging has set up a hiring center at 522 E. Sixth St. and is open eight a.m. to five p.m. weekdays.

Applications can also be submitted online at whitelodging.com/yourcareer.

Read more at the Austin American Statesman.

Austin's 302-unit Estate on Quarry Lake sold 

(5/7/2015)

AUSTIN - The Estate on Quarry Lake, a 302-unit apartment complex at 4600 Seton Center Pkwy., has been sold.

Built in 1995, The Estate on Quarry Lake offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 621 sf to 1,177 sf.

Amenities at The Estate on Quarry Lake includes a business center, running trail, gated pet park, two swimming pools and a fitness center.

The acquisition was part of a 12-property portfolio encompassing 4,600 units that was purchased from Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII. Other properties in the deal are located in Denver, Atlanta and Houston.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Drawbridge moves Younicos to seven-year lease in Austin 

(5/7/2015)

AUSTIN - San Francisco-based Drawbridge Realty has signed a new seven-year lease with Germany-based Younicos AG for approximately 32,500 sf at 3100 Alvin Devane.

The company will use the space as its U.S. headquarters and product-demonstration location.

Drawbridge Realty started a multimillion-dollar redevelopment — converting a former industrial flex building into a modern office space — of the 71,375-sf building in December, with completion originally scheduled for this month.

"This lease demonstrates the need for a well-designed functional office/R&D space that is five minutes from Bergstrom International Airport and downtown Austin," says Chris Elmendorf, vice president of investments for Drawbridge.

The renovated building also includes two large lobbies, each featuring staircases; open architecture and new glazing on existing internal wall panes, giving the interior an intentionally unpolished aesthetic; a new roof; 30 energy-efficient windows; and new mechanical systems throughout.

Read more at Globe St.

Total Wine & More swinging in on vines in Austin 

(5/6/2015)

AUSTIN - Total Wine & More plans to open two Austin stores at 5601 Brodie Lane and 11066 Pecan Park Blvd., Ste. 117.

Total Wine & More will open the 28,600-sf store in Sunset Valley on May 21 and a 31,000-sf store in Lakeline Mall Plaza later this summer.

The Lakeline store will include wide shopping aisles and an emphasis on customer education.

The Sunset Valley store will include a large showroom with beverage cabinets, walk-in wine and beer coolers, demonstration areas and tasting stations. The store will also include classrooms for wine and other beverage education for customers.

Both Austin stores will also offer locally made beverages as well as gifts such as cigars.

The Total Wine & More retail chain is based in Potomac, Md., and has eight locations in the Dallas and San Antonio metro areas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Cushman & Wakefield's 1Q 2015 Austin Office Report 

(5/5/2015)

AUSTIN - As of February 2015 the Austin MSA’s unemployment rate of 3.4 percent is amongst the lowest in the top 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, according to Cushman & Wakefield's first quarter 2015 report.

A total of 753,514 sf of direct absorption was reported for the entire Austin market during 1Q 2015.

Such strong absorption can be attributed to the large amount of preleasing activity and subsequent deliveries of both the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment and Colorado Tower.

Large tenants occupying these projects include: Parsley Energy (135,700 sf), Atlassian (48,303 sf) and Scott Douglas & McConnico (40,011 sf) in Colorado Tower and athenahealth (103,000 sf) and UnderArmour (35,300 sf) at the Seaholm Power Redevelopment.

Low vacancy rates, high absorption figures and an extremely active office market continue to push asking rates in the upward direction. The average full service overall rental rate was recorded at $32.78 per sf for 1Q 2015, 11.8 percent higher than that of the 4Q 2014 rate of $29.31 per sf.

New construction activity still continues to be a dominant force in the Austin office market. The CBD alone had almost 1 million sf completed during 1Q 2015.

It is expected that record low vacancy rates will be observed and that new historically high rental rates will be posted throughout the Austin market in the remainder of 2015.

Austin Office 1Q 2015
Submarket Inventory Overall
Vacancy
Rate
Under
Construction
 YTD
Construction
Completions
YTD Direct
Net
Absorption
YTD Overall
Net
Absorption
Overall Wtd.
Avg. All
Class Gross
Rental Rate*
CBD 9,339,913 6.0% 739,404 691,799 364,441 347,593 $43.84
Suburbs 35,620,641 9.4% 2,796,056 256,973 389,703 465,593 $30.92
Austin total 44,960,554 8.7% 3,535,460 948,772 753,514 822,336 $32.78


*Rental rates reflect asking $PSF/year

Click to view the full Austin Cushman & Wakefield 1Q 2015 Office report.

KFG's 271,000-SF investment doubles Austin holdings 

(5/5/2015)

AUSTIN - KFG Investment Co. has increased its industrial portfolio with the acquisition of six properties totaling 271,060 sf — nearly doubling its imprint in the Central Texas market.

The California-based company’s new assets include:

•  Techni Center 6 and 7 at 3714 Ed Bluestein Dr. — 124,390 sf;
•  Cameron Center, 8200 Cameron Rd. — 94,770 sf; and
•  Amorron 6 at 800 Paloma Dr. in Round Rock — 51,900 sf.

Major tenants in the newly acquired properties include Chip Semiconductor, Action Box Co., GTECH Corp. and Busch Semiconductor Vacuum Group. The properties were collectively 95.9 percent leased at the time of sale.

The sellers were TA Associates of Boston and Clarion Partners of New York.

KFG owns an additional 327,000 sf in the Austin region, primarily in Tech Ridge in North Austin near I-35 and in Round Rock.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

WinCo reaches milestone with 100th store in Lewisville  

(5/4/2015)

LEWISVILLE - WinCo Foods announces opening of its 100th store at 1288 W. Main St., the fifth to open in Texas.

The 83,000-sf store will initially employ approximately 150 individuals, about 140 of whom have been hired locally.

WinCo Foods is an employee owned discount grocery chain known primarily for being the "Supermarket Low Price Leader" in each market it serves.

Founded as a single warehouse format store in 1967, in Boise, Idaho, the chain grew steadily and in recent years more dramatically toward this 100 store milestone.

Read more at PR Newswire.

San Marcos: Vesper buys Wildwood student housing 

(5/1/2015 7:00:00 AM)

SAN MARCOS - Vesper Holdings announced it two latest acquisitions in Texas — Wildwood San Marcos and University Fountains in Lubbock.

Wildwood San Marcos is a 132-unit, 528-bed student housing community located in close proximity to Texas State University at 1655 Mill St.

Wildwood is comprised of 11 three-story residential buildings and a clubhouse.

The 216,000-sf property consists of 132 four-bedroom/four-bathroom flats and townhomes.

The units are among the largest in the market at 1,634 sf and all have a desirable one-bed/one-bath ratio.

Completed in 2013, Wildwood is one of the newest and most sought after properties in the off-campus market.

The property currently maintains a 99 percent occupancy rate, and all apartments are fully furnished.

Vesper purchased Wildwood at a discounted price in an off-market transaction.

Vesper is allocating $250,000 toward property improvements. These funds will be used to improve curb appeal, renovate the clubhouse and pool and upgrade the amenities.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Nerdwallet: Austin No. 9 in U.S. for tech jobs 

(4/30/2015)

AUSTIN - Austin has been named the ninth best place in the U.S. for tech jobs, one of only two Texas cities mentioned in the top 25.

The report comes from NerdWallet, which examined the nation’s largest 370 MSAs by the size of the tech industry, the income for tech jobs and the cost of living.

In the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos region, about 58 of every 1,000 jobs are in tech, and the average salary is more than $84,000. Median rent totaled $1,000.

Dallas-Plano-Irving ranked 11th on the list.

Here’s a look a the top 11 cities and how they rank:

Tech Rankings by MSA
Rank MSA Tech jobs
per 1,000
Avg. tech
salary
Median
rent
Score
1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 126.3 $130,179.80 $1,640 75
2 Huntsville, AL 68.0 $92,296.22 $725 61.5
3 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA 77.6 $108,472.21 $1,135 60.7
4 Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 66.2 $94,535.35 $870 58.2
5 Boulder, CO 70.8 $97,756.91 $1,168 54.4
6 San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA 72.5 $113,093.16 $1,435 53.4
7 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria,DC-VA-MD-WV 79.1 $104,148.45 $1,481 52.7
8 Raleigh-Cary, NC 56.6 $87,311.41 $908 51.6
9 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX 58.8 $84,366.35 $1,000 49.7
10 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA 57.0 $102,939.98 $1,207 49.5
11 Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX 50.3 $86,579.70 $908 48.9


Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bereau

Read more at the Austin Business Journal or see NerdWallet for the full report.

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