Parkway Properties’ Plans to Make Austin CBD More like NYC
Despite a handful of new office towers opening in Austin’s CBD this year, demand is still up (along with rental rates). For Parkway Properties, that’s a win with about 150k SF in leases inked YTD. It’s one reason we’re thrilled to have Parkway managing director Mike Fransen speak at Bisnow’s Downtown Austin forecast event on Dec. 8 beginning at 7:30am at the Austin Music Hall (208 Nueces St).
Last year, Parkway (with a portfolio of 44 properties totaling 16.2M SF across the Sun Belt) sold its share in three buildings (Frost Bank Tower, 300 West 6th St and One American Center) to the California State Teachers' Retirement System and took full ownership of San Jacinto Center and One Congress Plaza (totaling 926k SF). Mike (with his family on the Southern Oregon coast, where he grew up) tells us having 100% ownership has allowed Parkway to make decisions quicker when it comes to capital allocation and moving on deals. Mike says Parkway has one floor of white box space left at 111 Congress, but that’s the biggest chunk of space available. There’s also a couple of floors at San Jacinto Center, but there’s activity on them that looks promising. There’s just not a lot of space currently available in the Austin CBD, despite new towers opening and more coming in late 2016, he tells us.
One of Parkway’s enhancements to One Congress Plaza is the addition of Fareground. It’s the reimagination of the plaza and lobby space; part park and part marketplace, Fareground will transform the currently underutilized space into a modern, inviting and active downtown hub, Mike tells us. Landscape architecture firm dwg will transform the outdoor plaza while Michael Hsu Office of Architecture will design the indoor lobby with a feel of a contemporary city marketplace with food and drink vendors, as well as creative meeting and co-working spaces. Mike says the space with be an inside-outside, work-play, early to rise, late to close hub. Construction is expected to begin this fall with anticipated completion in spring 2017.
Sources tell us Parkway inked a 47k SF lease for Main Street Hub, which offers marketing and social media services to small businesses, at One Congress Plaza earlier this month. Plans call for the firm to move into the 12th and 13th floors in the spring. Additionally, New York-based TechSpace Holding Co will expand its US footprint into Austin with a 28k SF co-working center at 98 San Jacinto Blvd. TechSpace will take the ground and fourth floors with 24 private office suites, 250 workstations and an events space, Mike tells us. The center should open in January adding to its existing co-working sites in New York City, LA, Orange County and San Francisco.
Don’t forget to save your place now for Bisnow’s Downtown Austin forecast event on Dec. 8 beginning at 7:30am at the Austin Music Hall (208 Nueces St). When you go, ask Mike about his recent trip to DisneyWorld with his wife and two daughters. He should be recovered by then. Register here.