$135M State Office Project Reaches Milestone in Austin

Scheduled for occupancy in June, the facility is projected to save $8M annually in leasing costs.
Image by KBaucherel via Pixabay.com

Vaughn Construction has completed the first phase of Texas Facilities Commission’s North Austin Complex. Roughly 1,500 employees from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission are set to occupy the building in June.

The $135 million project includes a nine-story office building and 1,850 parking spaces. According to the Facilities Commission, the first phase is projected to save the state $8 million a year in lease costs. The project was funded by the 84th Texas Legislature.

The 406,000-square-foot office asset features a training center and dining area on the first floor. The developers plan to build a central utility plant inside the parking garage. This is set to provide service for the offices, as well as logistic space and capacity to support further developments.

As soon as funding is completed, the Commission is set to start construction on the second segment of the complex. Phase Two is planned to include 302,000-square feet of office space and approximately 2,000 parking spaces.
 

The North Austin Complex is located directly across from the John H. Winters  Building, at 51st Street and North Lamar Blvd. The first phase parking garage is at the intersection of W. Guadalupe Street and 46th Street. Downtown Austin is within 3 miles of the development. The project is also 4 miles from The Foundry, a 240,000-square-foot asset, which was acquired by Tishman Speyer in February.

New challenges

Austin’s office market outperformed other metros last year, despite the disruptions brought by the pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Texas capital’s office employment saw a 5.8 percent uptick year-over-year through December, in contrast to the national average, which decreased by 3.5 percent.

However, the metro is facing new challenges as the state is still recovering from last month’s snowstorm. According to Kastle Systems data, physical occupancy in Austin office assets dropped below 1 percent during February’s weather crisis.