Welcome, Parkway Properties
Parkway Properties has entered Austin in a big way: its merger with Thomas Properties Group has turned it into the largest Class-A office owner Downtown. (A marriage to establish power, just like Game of Thrones or the Kardashians.) Here’s what you can expect from your new neighbor.
First of all, the TPG team you know and love isn’t going anywhere. Yesterday, we caught up with Parkway managing director Mike Fransen with directors of leasing Mark Miller and Andy Smith on the 17th floor of the Frost Bank Building. Mike says the TPG team in place is great, and Parkway is just equipping it better. Andy says there’s new energy among the firm’s 35 Austin employees; they’re excited to see the culture become more collaborative and dynamic. Mark’s particularly enthused that Parkway is focusing on being more proactive in the market.
Quick stats: Parkway now owns five CBD buildings (including the Frost Bank Tower, pictured) totaling 2.4M SF. They’re 84% occupied and rapidly filling up. Although it’s the new kid on this block, Parkway isn’t new to Texas (so don't try to pull any fast ones on them)—Mike says the firm has a solid portfolio in Houston (and just doubled its portfolio there to 4.7M SF), and it’s been one of the best-performing REITs out there recently. He says the timing is great; Parkway’s aggressive new ownership is fortuitously coinciding with an exceptionally hot market in Downtown Austin. To appeal to new tenants, it’s gearing up ready-to-lease offices, Mike tells us.
Mike says one of the first things on Parkway’s agenda is syncing the buildings to act as one 2.4M SF opportunity rather than five separate ones. (Like The Avengers.) The firm’s sizable portfolio gives it the ability to serve growing tenants better than most landlords. Parkway is also looking to tie its ground-floor retail offerings in with each building’s office-user profile, and is quickly solidifying its relationship with the community. (It plans to partner with local favorites like SXSW, and it hosted ULI last night.) Also on the short list: Rightsizing and updating its own management offices, including the one at Frost Bank Tower to reflect current office user trends like stained concrete floors and open ceilings.