Accesso’s Office Frenzy in Austin

After eyeing Austin for some time, Accesso Partners has made its entrée into the thriving Texas metropolis with a major acquisition.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing EditorRiata Corporate Park

After eyeing Austin for some time, Accesso Partners L.L.C. has made its entrée into the thriving Texas metropolis with a major acquisition. The commercial real estate investment manager and owner just acquired Riata Corporate Park, a 688,400-square-foot office complex, from Spear Street Capital.

The 51-acre property on Riata Trace Pkwy., sited adjacent to the $300 million campus currently being built by Apple, garnered more than a little attention among the investment community.

“We had many competitors on this deal, and we were able to distinguish ourselves because we did our due diligence very quickly and closed very quickly,” Brian Rosen, managing director, acquisitions for Accesso, told Commercial Property Executive.  Commercial real estate services provider HFF marketed the property and arranged financing on Accesso’s behalf as well.

Developed by CarrAmerica between 1998 and 2000, Riata features eight Class A buildings, including a 94,000-square-foot structure that Apple recently vacated for completed space in its new digs across the street. Still, the property remains home to a bevy of big names, including The Advisory Board Co., Texas Instruments, Xerox, Quality Systems, NetSuite and Accenture, which is the lead tenant with over 170,600 square feet.

Riata’s 20 percent vacancy offers the opportunity for lease-up at higher rates; the average in-place rent is roughly 15 percent below market rate. Additionally, there’s further upside potential with the property’s 5.6-acre vacant parcel, which is fully permitted and entitled for the addition of a 64,550-square-foot office tower.

Riata was the perfect fit for Accesso’s debut in Austin. “We’ve been looking for a long time, and the Northwest submarket where this property is located has been growing very fast,” Rosen added. “Particularly appealing to us was the number of tech tenants that are gravitating towards the area. And beyond that, the Austin economy has really taken off, so we just wanted to make sure we weren’t getting in too late with our first acquisition there.”

Austin is just one of the markets that Accesso has been targeting for acquisitions. The company is also keen on Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas and Denver, and it has the money to act quickly when the right opportunity comes along; Accesso Fund V is nearing a close with $105 million of equity. “And we’re looking to raise our next fund as soon as when can,” Rosen concluded.