2 more large downtown Austin office projects move forward

Nov 11, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Two veteran developers appear to be moving quickly on the construction of two new office towers in downtown Austin now that two other towers are being delivered

The Block 23 Green Water Treatment Plant redevelopment project is headed up by Trammell Crow Co. in tandem with several partners. Though the apartment tower portion of the mixed-use project has been under construction for several months, neither the city — which has been selling Trammell Crow parcels on an as-needed basis — nor Trammell Crow has been willing to discuss the office component

Documents on file at the city indicate, however, that the Austin Utility Location & Coordination Committee will take up the matter Nov. 13 of issuing a permit for two tower cranes on the proposed office site near West Second and Nueces streets

The committee's agenda indicates that the general contractor on the project — The Beck Group — expects to erect the cranes in April 2015

That area — along Cesar Chavez Street between San Antonio and Lamar Streets — is one of the most intensive development sites in the country with numerous tower cranes dotting the landscape and facilitating projects at Seaholm LLC, the adjacent Austin Central Library site and the Green Water Treatment parcel

CBRE Group Inc. is marketing the $100 million, 32-story, high-rise office building online. Rumors have been circulating within the real estate community that Google Inc. may be a major tenant and that the purported commitment from Google prompted Trammell Crow to move ahead with the office component

It also appears that Schlosser Development Corp. is moving ahead with its proposed office building at 835 W. Sixth St. just to the east of the Whole Foods Market Inc. flagship store on the western edge of downtown

Representatives for Schlosser did not respond to requests for comment about the building dubbed "Shoal Creek Walk," but the 2.7-acre site, which had been used as a parking lot for years, has been closed for the past couple of weeks

The two-building development is valued at $52 million, according to city documents. The Schlosser website indicates the project will include 17 floors of office — one building of 12 stories and one building of five stories — and ground level retail. Sources in the real estate community who did not want to be identified indicated that the building is being built on spec, meaning no preleases have been signed

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

Although Colorado Tower isn't finished — its shell and some offices will be ready by the end of the year — it's more than 95 percent preleased. IBC Bank Plaza is largely completed — the bank has moved in — and tenants are now having their spaces built out. It also is more than 95 percent leased

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