CIM, a prominent landlord in the Austin commercial real estate market, is a community-focused real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender and developer.
AQUILA was actively working with CIM on multiple assignments, when CIM engaged us to lease Penn Field, a property they have owned and managed since 2007.
Penn Field is an award-winning adaptive reuse of a 1918-era WWI military airfield. The property consists of 11 buildings and is located along Austin’s iconic South Congress Avenue in the coveted 78704 zip code.
Current tenants include some of Austin’s most recognized brands such as Deep Eddy Vodka, High Brew Coffee, Vital Farms and Lemi Shine, and national brands including Gibson Guitars and Pandora.
A brand new, 44,000-sf building had just delivered as part of the Penn Field campus, and it wasn’t getting much interest due to decreased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AQUILA had successfully represented other properties in CIM’s Austin portfolio in the past and was ready to meet this challenge head-on.
CIM hired us in June 2020 to bring in more interest and qualified leads for the space.
We were brought on because of our ability to quickly improve marketing efforts and our extensive market intelligence, which they’d seen successfully implemented in previous leasing assignments.
Because of the travel and in-person meeting limitations caused by COVID-19, our main goal was to improve the property’s digital presence so that prospective tenants could easily experience the property without stepping foot on site.
We immediately ramped up the marketing efforts with a virtual tour, website updates, new photography and more.
In addition to these digital touchpoints, we also wanted to add emotional appeal to the property. We accomplished this by filming tenant testimonials and emphasizing the story of the property across all marketing materials and visual assets.
We also leveraged the building’s location on the desirable South Congress Avenue as a key differentiator.
Shortly after being hired, AQUILA identified a requirement in the market for a headquarters relocation. We learned that the company, F45 Training, was based out of Australia with a U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles.
By the time AQUILA took over the leasing of Penn Field, the group had already narrowed in on another property and wasn’t actively looking at other alternatives.
Through our market intel, we knew that F45 wanted a new building that would be exclusive to them, and they were primarily looking in areas just outside of the CBD.
Penn Field fit the bill perfectly.
So we got aggressive (and creative) and sent them an unsolicited proposal with attractive terms.
This got their attention.
Engaging the Prospect
Relocating from Los Angeles to Austin was no simple task, and all of this was happening during the COVID-19 pandemic with decreased travel and in-person meetings.
Enter the value of the digital marketing presence.
AQUILA’s marketing allowed F45’s leadership to virtually tour the space without leaving their homes. This left such an impactful impression on the F45 decision-makers that they were already in the beginning stages of presenting an LOI when they sent someone out to see the building in person.
Within two months of being hired by CIM, we were already preparing paperwork for a lease.
CIM was a great partner in this deal. They pushed the lease forward and completely streamlined the lease negotiation. Even though it was a complicated deal, we were able to do it within an extremely small timeframe.
The lease was officially signed and executed in December 2020, and F45 successfully relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles to Austin with 44,000 square feet at Penn Field. Shortly after signing a lease at Penn Field, F45 filed for an initial public offering, adding their name to the growing list of Austin-based public companies.
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