April 26, 2022 8:00 AM
Newmark announces the sale of 823 Congress, a recently renovated, 190,254-square-foot office and retail property located at the southeast corner of Congress Avenue and 9th Street in downtown Austin, Texas. The property also includes a six-story parking garage at 900 Brazos Street.
Newmark Vice Chairmen Chris Murphy, Robert Hill and Gary Carr and Director Chase Tagen represented the seller. Newmark Vice Chairman David Milestone, Senior Managing Director Brett Green and Director Josh Francis facilitated the financing for the buyer.
The property was acquired by a fund controlled by New York-based DRA Advisors LLC (DRA) and Dallas-based Pillar Commercial. This acquisition represents the first investment in Austin for Pillar through its Pillar Real Estate Fund I (PREF I) discretionary vehicle. DRA has been an active owner in Austin for years and currently owns several other assets in the market. The new ownership plans to strategically invest capital as part of a broader repositioning strategy.
“It’s a real privilege to partner with DRA Advisors on this high-profile asset in downtown Austin,” said Manny Ybarra, Founder & CEO of Pillar Commercial. “Texas continues to be a top site selection destination for companies representing a wide range of industries, with Austin being a top-tier market within the state.”
Recent property renovations—of more than $15 million—include updates to the building entrance, lobby, common areas, fitness center, conference facility and tenant lounge. 823 Congress is currently 71% leased to a diverse base of tenants. The property’s floorplates average approximately 11,000 square feet.
“823 Congress’ appeal is driven by its boutique size floorplates—catering to users seeking the prestige of full-floor occupancy—and its walkability to the Fortune 1000 companies that continue to gravitate to Downtown Austin,” said Murphy. “The average floorplate being developed in the Domain, East Austin and South Austin is a minimum of 20,000 square feet, due to height restrictions and higher land prices. This makes 823 Congress’ physical attributes very appealing, truly a building that will never be built again.”
Located three blocks south of the Texas State Capitol and less than a mile from the University of Texas main campus, 823 Congress is walkable to the 6th Street Entertainment District and Austin’s Innovation and Medical Districts. The Texas State Capitol View Corridors serve as a barrier to competitive office supply, and the University of Texas supplies a steady source of intellectual capital that attracts some of the world’s most recognized companies, including a significant tech concentration.
Downtown Austin is one of the nation’s most desirable live-work-play urban districts and Congress Avenue designated by the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) as the “Main Street of Texas”—Austin’s most highly valued thoroughfare. The Congress Avenue corridor features Austin’s most prestigious office towers and popular retail and entertainment destinations, which have attracted a blue-chip corporate presence, a top-tier workforce and a surging residential population.
About DRA Advisors
DRA Advisors LLC is a New York-based registered investment advisor with approximately 90 employees specializing in real estate investment management services for institutional and private investors, including pension funds, university endowments, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, and insurance companies. Since DRA was founded in 1986, the firm has opened additional offices in Miami and San Francisco while acquiring over $36 billion of real estate. The acquisitions include 82 million square feet of industrial, 63 million square feet of office, 83 million square feet of retail and 76,000 multifamily units. As of December 31, 2021, DRA has $12.0 billion in gross assets under management. http://draadvisors.com
About Pillar Commercial
Pillar Commercial is a vertically integrated commercial real estate investment and operating platform based in Dallas, Texas. The company specializes in office and industrial investments. In 2018, Pillar launched its first fully discretionary fund, Pillar Real Estate Fund I (PREF I), a CRE investment vehicle focused on the Texas market. For more information on Pillar Commercial, please visit www.pillarcommercial.com.
Newmark Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMRK), together with its subsidiaries (“Newmark”), is a world leader in commercial real estate, seamlessly powering every phase of the property life cycle. Newmark’s comprehensive suite of services and products is uniquely tailored to each client, from owners to occupiers, investors to founders, and startups to blue-chip companies. Combining the platform’s global reach with market intelligence in both established and emerging property markets, Newmark provides superior service to clients across the industry spectrum. Newmark generated revenues in excess of $2.9 billion for the year ending December 31, 2021. Newmark’s company-owned offices, together with its business partners, operate from approximately 160 offices with over 6,200 professionals around the world. To learn more, visit nmrk.com or follow @newmark.
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