From new developments in downtown and East Austin, to large campuses in northwest, we saw a number of prominent Austin buildings change hands in 2019. And there was also a new high-water mark set for the CBD.

Many of these buildings were purchased by notable investors and boast an impressive tenant list. 

In this article, we highlight the five most significant commercial real estate sales in Austin in 2019.

 

5. Upcycle

Size: 81,660 SF
Submarket: East
Price: $49.2 million ($602/SF)
Seller: EverWest Real Estate, George Oliver Companies & WHI Real Estate Partners
Buyer: Eagle River Investors

Upcycle | Austin Largest commercial sales

Photo courtesy of Connect Media.

Upcycle is an 81,660-square-foot creative office building in East Austin. The building is surrounded by a plethora of amenities and is located only a little over a mile from downtown Austin.

The developers partnered with Gensler architects to dream up this adaptive reuse project, transforming the former warehouse into an appealing modern office building. 

The development team EverWest Real Estate, George Oliver Companies & WHI Real Estate Partners sold Upcycle to Eagle River Investors in 2Q 2019.

In 2018, HEB/Favor leased 100% of the building in one of the largest transactions of the year.

 

4. The Campus at Arboretum

Size: 319,000 SF
Submarket: Northwest
Price: Undisclosed
Seller: True North Management Group
Buyer: Starwood Capital and Vanderbilt Partners

The Campus at Arboretum | largest sales in Austin in 2019

The Campus at Arboretum traded hands in 3Q 2019. 

The Campus at Arboretum is a five-building, Class A office park in Northwest Austin, just outside of the Arboretum and minutes from the Domain. 

True North Management sold this 319,000-square-foot office park to Starwood Capital and Vanderbilt Partners for an undisclosed amount in August 2019.

We believe Austin is one of the best office markets in the United States and, with a unique campus setting, this property enables superior tenant retention and very attractive cash yields.”

– Casey Wold, Senior Managing Director, Vanderbilt Partners

The property is 96% occupied with a rent roll featuring a number of large-credit companies like VAuto, Kimley-Horn and more. 

 

3. Research Park Campus (Flextronics Campus)

Size: 1,157,093 SF (188 Acres)
Submarket: Northwest
Price: $165.5 million ($143/SF)
Seller: Equity Commonwealth
Buyer: Karlin Real Estate

Research Park | Largest Commercial Sales Austin

Photo courtesy of CoStar.

Equity Commonwealth sold Research Park Campus to Karlin Real Estate this summer. 

Research Park Campus is located in Northwest Austin along US-183, in the middle of Austin’s technology hub, and has 1,157,093 sf of both two-story office space and single-story industrial space on 188 acres. 

Within the project, Flextronics occupies nearly 90 acres (all of the campus’ industrial space).

Karlin plans to add this property to its collection of Parmer Innovation Centers

 

2. Chase Tower

Size: 390,000
Submarket: CBD
Price: $239.5 million ($615/SF)
Seller: Goldman Sachs and Lincoln Property Co.
Buyer: CIM Group

Chase Tower | Largest Commercial Sales Austin

Photo courtesy of LPC Austin.

In October, CIM Group purchased Chase Tower from Goldman Sachs and Lincoln Property Co. This was one of many property purchases by CIM in Austin this year.

Chase Tower, located in downtown Austin, sold for nearly $240 million and contains approximately 390,000 sf. It has 21 floors and a seven-level garage. 

The building’s primary tenants include Procore, RGM Advisors and The Headliners Club. 

According to the Lincoln Property Co. website, the building is currently 99% leased.

In addition to Chase Tower and the Eastside portfolio purchased later in the year, CIM Group’s Austin portfolio also includes Hartland Plaza and Eastside Village

 

1. Third + Shoal

Size: 374,963
Submarket: CBD
Price: $307 million ($820.51/SF) – traded with ground lease still in place
Seller: TIER REIT and Cielo
Buyer: Credit Suisse Asset Management

Third + Shoal | significant commercial sales in austin

Third + Shoal (middle). Photo from CoStar.

Third + Shoal, one of Austin’s most notable new downtown towers, traded hands in 2Q 2019. 

Credit Suisse Asset Management purchased the building from TIER REIT and Cielo for $307,660,891. 

The price-per-square-foot was a record-breaking $820.51 per square foot, the highest price ever achieved in downtown Austin.

We believe the sale (of Third + Shoal) represents a new precedent of demand for top quality office properties in Austin. We are proud of the mark we have left on the Austin skyline and pleased with the strong value creation we delivered to our stockholders.”

– Scott Fordham, Chief Executive Officer, TIER REIT

The 29-story building has an impressive rent roll comprised of Facebook (the largest tenant), Bank of America and Dickinson Wright.

 

Conclusion

In 2019, we saw more sales activity in Austin’s CBD and East submarkets than we have seen in years. Both submarkets continue to see increasing rental rates, lower vacancies and a full pipeline of upcoming developments in the works, so it will be interesting to see if more properties in these submarkets continue to trade hands over the next year.

For a list of commercial property sales that took place in the last quarter, download your copy of our latest office market report.

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Chad Barrett | Commercial Real Estate Leasing Broker in Austin, Texas | AQUILA Commercial

Chad Barrett

Chad is an AQUILA founding principal and is known as a savvy negotiator, determined to ensure the best terms for his clients.


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