Pandemic be damned—investors are bullish on the Austin office market.
Regent Properties, based in Dallas and Los Angeles, bought the high-rise at 816 Congress Avenue in the Texas capital city, the Austin Business Journal reported. The company paid $174 million for the 20-story office building. The deal closed in late December, and Regent announced it today.
Regent didn’t disclose the seller, but ABJ reports that Atlanta-based Cousins Properties was the previous owner. Cousins paid Lehman Brothers $102.4 million for the building in 2013, according to ABJ.
The company plans to spend $30 million renovating the building, which is on a major street in the downtown business district. The 435,000-square-foot high-rise was built in 1983. Regent plans to change the ground-floor lobby and courtyard and create 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
The Congress Avenue building has 434,801 square feet of leasable space, currently rented to businesses including Slalom Consulting, Mackinac Partners and FactSet Research Systems. Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle oversees leasing.
The acquisition is part of Regent’s strategy to buy office assets throughout the Sun Belt in the next two years. The company manages 2.1 million square feet of assets in Texas.
There have been a number of big sales and substantial leases of Austin office properties recently. Meta (formerly Facebook) leased 33 floors in what will be the city’s tallest building, downtown’s Sixth and Guadalupe. The Texas teachers’ pension fund bought a new 200,000-square-foot office building in Mueller, a central-city mixed-use development. Amazon picked up 330,000 square feet of leased office space in the Domain, a similar development on the other side of town.
Additional recent high-profile office deals include California-based Kilroy Realty’s purchase of the glassy 36-story Indeed tower downtown and MetLife and Invesco’s sale of a 22-story, 419,785-square-foot office high-rise at 100 Congress Avenue to Washington, D.C.-based Carr Properties. Carr plans to upgrade that building and add meeting and events spaces. That deal was the first major Austin office building sale during the pandemic.
[ABJ] — Cindy Widner