CIM Group’s Austin Buying Spree

The firm adds to its substantial holdings in the Texas capital, with the purchase of a 270,000-square-foot office and industrial portfolio.
618 Tillery. Image courtesy of CIM Group

CIM Group has expanded its footprint in Austin, Texas, with the acquisition of a 270,000-square-foot commercial portfolio in the city’s rapidly growing Eastside submarket.

The owner, operator and lender has picked up the three-property portfolio from Austin-based real estate developer Peter Barlin. A sale price was not disclosed. The purchase comes after CIM Group acquired the 390,000-square-foot Chase Tower office property in downtown Austin two months ago.

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The area east of Interstate 35 near downtown Austin has exploded with real estate activity over the past several years. Numerous restaurants, bars, multifamily and retail offerings have opened, as the East Side has blossomed into the hippest part of the city.

Included in the deal is 618 Tillery St., a Class A creative office building currently under construction that will feature large floor plates, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, an expansive atrium, landscaped courtyard and ample parking. The office building is close to downtown Austin and the South Congress corridor and is situated close to public transit options, as well as the city’s bike-share system.

Located just off bustling East 7th Street, 507 Calles St. is also a creative office building that was converted from an industrial warehouse originally built in 1940. The building is leased to creative office tenants, while a portion of the property is currently occupied by a brewery and tasting room. The third building in the portfolio is 1300 E. 5th St., a warehouse property that has served as a cultural arts venue.

Full steam ahead

Austin’s office market has been steadily growing over the last 10 years, buoyed by continued population and job growth. According to a recent Yardi Matrix report, the city’s development pipeline is firing on all cylinders, with 6.3 million square feet of office space underway as of July—three-quarters of which is slated to come online over the next three years.

CIM Group has been building a substantial presence in Austin in recent years across the commercial and multifamily sectors. The firm, which co-owns a 363-unit condo tower that is currently the tallest building in the city, is expanding the creative office space at Penn Field campus, a mixed-use development on South Congress Avenue, and is also part of a joint venture developing a mixed-use tower in the downtown area.