Office project planned for Southwest Austin

Dec 10, 2013
Austin American Statesman

Construction is poised to start in Southwest Austin on the first significant office project to break ground in that part of the region since the recession


Officials with HPI Real Estate Services & Investments said work is scheduled to start Jan. 1 on a 250,000-square foot office building in its San Clemente development at Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) and Westlake Drive


The project already has a lead tenant on board, HPI said. Austin-based Spiceworks has signed a long-term lease for 96,000 square feet — nearly 40 percent of the 5-story building


The development will be built at a cost of more than $70 million, with May 2015 the targeted opening, said Sam Houston, office division partner for HPI, formerly Hill Partners


The lease is a continuation of HPI’s long-term relationship with Spiceworks, an online social networking firm akin to a LinkedIn or Facebook for the $3.5 trillion IT industry that is on an aggressive growth trajectory


In the early days of the 7-year-old startup, Spiceworks CEO Scott Abel said the company “crammed our first seven employees into a 300-square-foot loft at Hill Partners’ office” at San Clemente


Spiceworks has 235 employees, more than 200 of whom are based in Austin, Abel said. Next year, it expects to grow its headcount by almost 30 percent, to about 300 employees, he said


The building Spiceworks will occupy will join six others in the San Clemente office-and-retail development, which is slated for eight buildings totaling 825,000 square feet once completed. Tenants include local tech firms VM Ware and Bazaar Voice, and the foundations for the Michael Dell and Mort Topfer families


The new building comes at a time when Central Texas is experiencing a healthy office market, with occupancies and rents rising due to the region’s ongoing job creation and population growth. A number of new office buildings are under construction, both downtown and suburban areas


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