Huge Spicewood Springs redevelopment in play: Spire plans office towers, retail, multifamily

Aug 26, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Spire Realty Group LLP has big redevelopment plans for the Austin Oaks office park it owns at the southwest corner of Spicewood Springs Road and North MoPac Expressway


Entitlement and development representatives have formally submitted a zoning change that would allow the construction of 610 residential units, 850,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail


Currently the 31.4-acre site includes 12 buildings encompassing 445,322 square feet. Most were built in the 1970s and ostensibly would be torn down to make way for the new development


The proposal from Dallas-based Spire may reflect a growing interest in developing and redeveloping property along MoPac, which is undergoing a massive reconstruction project that is adding toll lanes


The Austin American-Statesman recently reported that state officials are planning to sell a 95-acre tract to the southeast of W. 45th Street and North MoPac Expressway


Thus far, Austin-based Stratus Properties (Nasdaq: STRS) in partnership with HEB Grocery Co. has submitted a proposal for that tract. The Statesman says Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group also may be interested, though state officials are offering to sell the undeveloped land to other government entities or the school district for fair market value. It could be later this fall before the fate of that site is determined


As for the Austin Oaks site, Spire purchased the property in October 2013 from Austin-based Riverside Resources Inc. Spire also owns Chase Tower in downtown Austin


At the time of the sale, no purchase price was disclosed. But as part of the development submission papers, Spire filed a copy of a special warranty deed with a vendor’s lien indicating it had signed a promissory note payable to Wells Fargo Bank for $51 million


The Travis Central Appraisal District values the 12 buildings at about $62 million


Riverside Resources acquired the property in May 2011 for $35 million, according to a previous Austin Business Journal report


Spire’s proposed zoning change to planned unit development would allow building height to more than triple to a maximum of 225 feet from a current maximum of 60 feet, but not all areas of the mixed-use project would be that tall


Based on drawings submitted to the city Planning and Development Review Department, the tallest buildings — all office and retail related — would be closest to MoPac with lower profile buildings to the west of Wood Hollow Drive, which bisects the property from north to south


Other information culled from city documents indicates that entitlement work is being handled by the Drenner Group, engineering by Bury and architecture by WDG. Drenner and Bury are based in Austin and WDG is a Dallas-based company



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