Austin’s biggest office leases buck bad news

Despite low leasing and record availability, some big office leases were inked this year

TRD Data: Austin’s Biggest Office Leases of 2023
(back) Rendering of 11901 N. MoPac Expressway in Austin; (front) Hines' Jeff Hines, Jeff Bezos and Cousins Properties' Colin Connolly (Getty, Cousins Properties, Hines)

This year in Austin office real estate will be remembered not for its big leases, but for the space tenants put back on the market. As Austin’s sublease availability and office vacancy rates drove toward record highs in 2023, the big gains were often drowned out by the jaw-dropping losses. 

Still, a handful of brokers pushed high-profile deals across the finish line, particularly in the Domain and downtown.

The largest lease of the year — by far — was IBM’s decision to take 320,000 square feet at an as-yet-unbuilt office at the Domain. The planned project at 11901 North MoPac Expressway will be developed by Hines. It features a glassy, undulating facade and all the Class-A trappings typical of the high-end office product still finding tenants in this market. 

Once IBM moves in, by 2027, it will leave its offices at 11400 Burnet Road and 11501 Burnet Road. 

Here’s the full list, compiled by TRD Data based on information from Newmark:

Another tech giant claimed second place, even though its lease was for less than a third of the space IBM claimed. Amazon signed a 102,000-square-foot lease at Domain 8, a modern office tower owned by Cousins Properties. The 291,000-square-foot building covers 12 floors and is one of several high-end offices popular with tech tenants north of downtown. 

From there, the leases slipped below six figures. The third largest came at 5300 Riata Park Court, Building A. The 44,000 space went to an unknown lessee. The building’s ownership LLC traces back to Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, a Boston-based investor. 

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From left: Hines CEOs Jeffrey Hines and Laura Hines-Pierce, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, and 11901 North MoPac Expressway
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