The History

Main Street Hub (now, a rapidly growing tech client whom AQUILA represented in five previous transactions (from 3,800 square feet to over 80,000 square feet), had its employees split across three offices – two in Downtown Austin and one in New York City.

To learn more about Main Street Hub’s rapid growth in downtown Austin, read our case study: The Story of Main Street Hub’s Ever-Multiplying Real Estate Needs

Through continuous dialogue with the client, AQUILA was aware that the company’s long-term goal was to have a single headquarters, with all of the employees under one roof. Additionally, the dream was to be the sole occupant of the headquarters in order to establish a brand identity by creating a “Main Street Hub” building.

The Challenge

Previous leasing assignments for Main Street Hub had proved challenging due to the client’s unique office space requirements. Most existing buildings would require significant retrofitting in order to meet Main Street Hub’s corporate standards.

Additionally, as a creative-tech company, Main Street Hub’s collaborative space configurations result in high-density ratios. With downtown landlords beginning to limit tenants’ density by implementing density restrictions in their leases, they would likely have run into issues maintaining efficiency in Austin’s CBD.

These same requirements would remain true for the headquarters assignments, which meant locating a building that fit their specific needs would likely present a challenge.

The Solution

Separately, an AQUILA development team was working on a mid-rise office development project in East Austin called East6. The development team brought the project to the Main Street Hub brokerage team before it ever went to market.

The development met all of Main Street Hub’s criteria:

  • It could accommodate all of their current employees under one roof, while still allowing room to accommodate projected growth.
  • The eastside location was something that Main Street Hub had been interested in, as the East Austin submarket began to emerge as a trendy alternative for creative class tenants adjacent to the CBD.
  • The project had large floorplans and efficient building systems, which would accommodate Main Street Hub’s creative, open office needs.

The Results

Favorable Deal Terms

On behalf of Main Street Hub, AQUILA secured a lease at an aggressive rental rate that has already proven to be lower than other deals currently being inked on the east side that will be delivered the same year as East6. In addition, Main Street Hub was able to secure free rent, below-market parking rates as well as prominent signage on the building.

Room to Grow

As Main Street Hub did not initially need the full 115,000 square feet, our brokers were able to structure the lease to allow for phased growth through a structured takedown of the space, whereby they were not required to pay for all the space on day one.

Input on the Building Development

Because AQUILA brought Main Street Hub in so early in the development process, the client was able to take what was originally a spec development into somewhat of a build-to-suit project. This allowed them to modify a number of the building systems in order to customize them to their own unique needs.

Ability to Maintain Efficiency

Additionally, this new eastside headquarters avoided the potential density constraints that Main Street Hub may have encountered in a downtown building.

As a product of this high density comes a larger parking requirement, something that is sparse and expensive in Downtown Austin. By relocating to East Austin, the client was able to achieve more parking at lower parking rates.

Identity and Unity for Main Street Hub

Finally, this new headquarters will allow Main Street Hub to bring all 550 employees together under one roof in Austin, in its own building. The building will give them a distinct presence in Austin, and specifically on the booming, creative east side.

Eventually, the company plans to grow the office to 1,000 employees, bringing an additional 400 jobs to Austin.


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