PlaceMKR sees a significant expansion in their Austin portfolio after acquiring sought-after land that boasts long-term redevelopment appeal.
This is one of the most exciting and innovative places to live in America and the commercial property acquisition represents a very exciting opportunity to own a significant land assemblage in southeast Austin. PlaceMKR believes that this area of Austin is the best-positioned submarket coming out of the pandemic.
“We identified this real estate portfolio because of its high concentration of local businesses that support the Austin economy. While the fabric of southeast Austin has been historically used for industrial purposes, we believe there are several factors that will shape a mixed-use narrative going forward including Tesla’s announcement of their plans to build the Cybertruck Gigafactory and the advent of the Austin Transit Partnership which can profoundly impact the accessibility of the submarket.” Christopher Cortese, Principal of PlaceMKR.
PlaceMKR’s investment process centers on the path of progress, where growth and the desire to expand away from city centers are driving business and residential relocations. This particular acquisition is a 14.7 acre, 145,000 SF flex industrial real estate portfolio located along State Highway 71 in southeast Austin. The property was originally set to close at the end of March but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The challenges faced included a lack of liquidity in the debt and bond markets, a restaurant tenant that closed permanently due to the city-wide shutdown and global economic uncertainty. As the Mortgage Bankers Association recently reported, commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations fell by 48% in the second quarter compared to a year ago.
The property is currently 100% occupied with tenants including:
-Kyrish Truck Center – commercial truck leasing and sales
-Ace Contracting Supply – hardware and lumber supplier
-Austin Speed Shop – builds world class Hot Rods and custom cars
-Stainless Steels – equipment supplier for the food service industry
-Austin Community College – service center for their 12 campuses
-Café Moreno – local restaurateur who will commence operations later this year
The site is located adjacent to the Opportunity Zone and in close proximity to several developments planned and underway that PlaceMKR thinks will support the future maturation of this area. TXDOT is building its 400,000 SF Headquarters within ½ mile of this property. Tesla is building their multi-million square foot Cybertruck Gigafactory nearby. It is also important to note that this site is within 5 miles of Downtown Austin, which emphasizes its peak location.
The City of Austin and Capital Metro created the Austin Transit Partnership to push forward Project Connect, a $7.1 billion dollar initiative that plans to increase rail and bus access across the metro. The Project Connect plan provides for three new light rail lines with modern technology and dedicated transit lanes to support North to South transportation. The Blue Line light rail plans to connect downtown to the Austin-Bergstrom Airport across southeast Austin, allowing for cutting-edge accessibility for this submarket.
In addition, the properties that PlaceMKR purchased lie along CAMPO 2045’s Bergstrom Spur which is the planned repurposing of an abandoned rail line into an interconnected east-west multimodal corridor. “There is a prevailing Austin traffic problem going North and South, and we think being located along the City’s major East to West thoroughfare, Highway 71, along with robust public transit plans will lead to a significant placemaking opportunity,” Cortese said.
PlaceMKR is a real estate investment and development company that seeks out path of progress investments that marry social impact with investor returns in Austin TX. PlaceMKR’s goal is to make places and build communities at the forefront of burgeoning neighborhoods. They will be delivering the City’s first ground-up Opportunity Zone office building in late 2020, which features 65,000 square feet of creative office space, Live/Work units and the adaptive reuse of a historical residence into a neighborhood amenity.