KBS Extends Technology Focus; Achieves WiredScore Status for Four Class A Office Properties in Texas

City View and Fountainhead Tower are the first two properties in the San Antonio market to achieve WiredScore certification. City View, a 221,373 square-foot office building located at the corner of Interstate 10 and Huebner in northwest San Antonio, was awarded WiredScore Gold, and Fountainhead Tower, 179,932 square-foot office building located directly off IH-10 with quick access to Loop 410 and just minutes from Loop 1604 and the San Antonio International Airport, was awarded WiredScore Silver. The certifications are noteworthy accomplishments in today’s tech-driven office environment, according to Gio Cordoves, Western regional president for KBS. “KBS understands that connectivity is critical to driving business for today’s office tenants and enabling them to operate efficiently,” says Cordoves. “By offering the first two WiredScore certified properties in San Antonio, KBS continues to lead the market in providing its tenants with outstanding service and amenities.” Two additional Texas-based KBS office assets – 515 Congress, a 263,058-square-foot office tower located at 515 Congress Avenue in Downtown Austin, and 1800 Bering, a 171,510 square-foot office building located at 1800 Bering Drive in Houston – have each been certified WiredScore Silver. With these new designations, KBS now holds a majority of Wired Certified assets nationwide. Click to read more at www.businesswire.com.

Austin Draws Closer to Scoring $17 Billion Factory from Samsung

CULTUREMAP AUSTIN – Austin now appears to be the frontrunner for landing Samsung’s new $17 billion U.S. chipmaking plant. Citing unnamed sources, South Korea’s Electronic Times reports that Samsung has picked Austin over the Phoenix area and upstate New York for the massive project. Samsung reportedly will start construction on the factory in the third quarter of this year and open it in 2024. Electronic Times speculates that Samsung’s Austin expansion could be announced Friday, May 21, when President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C., with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The Phoenix Business Journal notes that the May 21 timing of an announcement may be premature, as no decisions have been made yet about tax incentives that Samsung is pursuing in Texas. In documents seeking $805.5 million in tax breaks for the Austin project, Samsung has said the new plant would create 1,800 jobs. So far, Samsung has been mum about whether it has chosen Austin for the factory. Last month, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce indicated Austin was “still in the running” for the Samsung plant. If Samsung does select Austin, a 7-million-square-foot chip factory would be built on a 640-acre site that the industrial conglomerate owns in Northeast Austin. Click to read more at www.kvue.com.

Station at St. Elmo Development in Austin Sells Out Before Construction

The 132 condos that comprise The Station at St. Elmo were completely sold out in a first-ever, record-breaking five hours during a same-day virtual sales launch event held this month by Legacy Communities and Legacy Performance Capital, investors in South Austin’s up-and-coming St. Elmo Neighborhood and Austin’s major real estate boom. Set to break ground in August 2021, the $40M-plus development will include a North 4 story and South 3 story building housing studio suites and one- to three-bedroom condos, priced from the mid $200,000 to the $600,000+ range, with easy access to several indoor, open-air and outdoor gathering areas and lounges. Special amenities will include a library, home delivery lockers in the lobby, a cozy third-floor night owl lounge with a fireplace, a fourth-floor sky lounge with a catering kitchen offering great views of downtown Austin, separate yoga, dance and fitness areas, an outdoor resort-style swimming pool (with comfortable in-water pool seats), a special dog “bark park,” direct access to live/workspace, first-floor cafes, offices and shops, as well as a secure, gated, underground private parking garage. When completed, the new property will capture the St. Elmo area’s industrial revitalization, blending thoughtful architecture designed for modern-day functioning, using reclaimed materials, weathered brick, metal accents, oversized windows and classic touches woven into both the interior and exterior, ultimately creating a mixed-use community resembling a modernized warehouse from the early 1900s. Legacy DCS President and CEO, Cass Brewer added: “Austin’s housing and condo supply hasn’t kept pace with the continued strong demand, especially in the formerly industrial St. Elmo district that has become an easily walkable, up-and-coming shopping, dining, entertainment district with some 1.4 million square feet of residential, commercial real estate either proposed or under construction. The new St. Elmo property will only build on the assets we’ve designed in Austin’s South, Northeast, East and Western corridors, including our recently sold out communities of Westside Landing, The Isabella, Cooper’s Square, The Addie at Westlake and Gravity ATX with several more properties to be announced later this year.” For the past three years, Legacy Performance Capital has sought new micro-market asset opportunities in Central Texas. The St. Elmo district made perfect sense to develop new, attractively priced homes for first-time buyers, empty nesters, those seeking professional home offices and others avoiding higher rents and mortgages found close by in Austin’s Central Business District. The formerly industrial St. Elmo District, south of Austin’s city center area, has started to pique the interest of developers, tenants and shoppers alike. Most of its commercial space delivered to this point is better known as The Yard, a renovation and conversion of existing warehouses into retail and “maker” spaces (local breweries, creative studios and music venues) marketed to community-minded companies and social entrepreneurs. One of The Yard’s largest developments is Tesla’s $2.5 million renovations at 500 E. St. Elmo Rd. into a 30,000-square-foot auto showroom and service center, slated for completion in September 2021. Another major landmark is the St. Elmo Public Market, a mixed-use project promising office, hotel, residential and retail space, including an indoor market with vendors and restaurants.

Carr Properties Expands Into Austin, Texas with Acquisition of 100 Congress

Carr Properties, a leading owner, operator, developer, and acquiror of high-quality commercial properties in the Washington, D.C. and Boston markets, is pleased to announce the purchase of 100 Congress Avenue (“100 Congress”), a 22-story, 419,785 square foot, Class A office tower, located in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas. This acquisition marks Carr Properties’ entry into the Austin market, reflecting the company’s continued focus on strategic growth and investment in innovation markets. 100 Congress is one of Austin’s best and most prominent downtown office towers. Situated on over an acre of land on the corner of Congress Avenue and Cesar Chavez, Austin’s two most sought-after throughfares, 100 Congress overlooks Lady Bird Lake and is within walking distance of local attractions, such as Austin City Hall and ACL Live. This central location immerses customer workplaces in the life, energy, and entrepreneurial vibrancy of downtown Austin. “We are very excited to expand into Austin, a vibrant innovative market poised for long-term growth with rapid demographic, economic, and market momentum,” said Oliver Carr, CEO of Carr Properties. “Austin’s economic drivers of tech, government, and education will be a strong strategic complement to our existing portfolio in Washington, D.C. and Boston.” Click to read more at www.carpropp.com.

Ryan Cos. Announces New SVP Lead for Multifamily in Austin

Ryan Companies US, Inc., a national developer, designer, builder and property manager offering full-service commercial real estate solutions, announced today the appointment of Jared Kuhn as senior vice president and sector leader of multifamily. This is a new position for the company. Based in Austin, Kuhn will manage the strategic and operational excellence for the company’s multifamily sector, determine the sector’s go-to-market strategy, develop the execution team and serve as the lead executive contact for Ryan’s multifamily customers and equity partners. Significant multifamily projects in Ryan’s portfolio include Aurélien, a 31-story, 368-unit apartment building in downtown Chicago; Harper Apartments, a 163-unit apartment complex in St. Paul, Minn.; The Avalyn, a 480-unit multifamily community in San Diego, Calif. currently under construction; and Daymark Uptown, a two-building, 318-unit apartment community in Minneapolis, Minn. Kuhn, a 20-year industry professional, previously served as group vice president of development at Soave Enterprises. Kuhn earned his Master of Science in Real Estate Development at Columbia University and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and National Multi-Housing Council.

Downtown Resiliency Plan Takes Aim at Central Austin Storefronts, Public Spaces, Homelessness Strategy

Following a year that saw sharp drops in consumer and resident activity throughout downtown Austin, the city’s central economic and cultural district is poised for recovery on several fronts heading into the latter half of 2021 and beyond, according to new analyses from the Downtown Austin Alliance. “The much-anticipated light at the end of the tunnel is burning brightly for Austin and downtown because of the adaptability we have witnessed from business owners, the hospitality industry and signs pointing to a record-setting 2021 for the development of Class A office space in downtown,” DAA President and CEO Dewitt Peart said during an April 21 videoconference. The DAA’s outlook for sustained growth projected in its 2021 annual report comes after a year that saw business and entertainment venue patronage, tourism, and in-person office work and occupancy plummet throughout the approximately 1,100-acre Austin downtown, according to DAA Director of Research and Analysis Jenell Moffett. “Not only is it the central business district, it’s where you hear live music; it’s where you attend your favorite concert or show; it’s where you eat at your favorite restaurant … and the list goes on and on,” she said. “Downtown is truly a place for everyone, and COVID-19 tried to change that.” One of the most visible examples of the pandemic’s effect on the downtown economy is the dozens of spaces that permanently closed their doors through 2020 and early 2021. Moffett said declining activity from residents, commuters and tourists alike contributed to the closures of 10 music and event venues and 88 storefronts tracked by the alliance downtown since last March. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.