On Hold Since 1982, Shovels Finally Ready
If patience is a virtue, then there's a special place in heaven for Highland Resources' mixed-use project, delivering September 2015. Highland has been holding this land in Austin for redevelopment since 1982. (That year, Annie with Carol Burnett came out. Now, Annie with Cameron Diaz is coming, so everyone realized it was time to start building.)
HR investment officer Welden Johnston and prez/CEO Charles Wolcott tell us the 3800 N Lamar Blvd site has been a successful shopping center for many years. About 10 years ago, the team started looking at alternative uses. With the downturn, the plans were put on hold until around 2012, Welden says. The last tenant moved out in May, demolition starts this month, and construction starts in July. (Is it safe to assume it's too late to use our mall gift card?)
Charles says HR worked with the City to privatize the alley, which helped the property have almost three acres of developable land for the next-gen development. Plans call for a four-story, 166k SF mixed-use project with office on the top three floors (132k SF) and retail and restaurants (34k SF) on the first.
The building is being designed to appeal to tech firms and the firms relocating from California, Welden says. It will be LEED certified and feature showers and changing rooms, bike racks, and car charging stations. Many office tenants want to be in Austin, but not in an office tower, he says. Oxford Commercial will handle the office leasing and CBRE will lease the first-floor retail. Other project team members include STG Design, Rogers-O’Brien Construction, Consort, Studio dwg, Chioco Design, and American Realty Project Management. When they’re not working, the guys like to be outdoors. Welden enjoys hiking and fishing, and Charles works with many conservation projects, including one in West Texas with bighorn sheep.