Clarion Buys Austin Office Asset

The fully leased property encompasses three historic buildings completed more than a century ago.

Congress Commons. Image courtesy of JLL

Clarion Partners has acquired Congress Commons, a 50,244-square-foot creative office property in Austin, Texas. JLL worked on behalf of the seller, Asana Partners. The buyer purchased the fully leased property through Clarion Partners Real Estate Income Fund. 

The three buildings, previously known as the McKean-Eilers, Day and Swift buildings, were constructed between 1888 and 1905. The adaptive reuse development was once home to the Swift Meat Packing Co. along with Davis Hardware, before being converted to a mixed-use creative office property in 2013.

Situated within Austin’s Central Business District, Congress Commons is less than a mile from the Texas Capitol and within walking distance of many retail and dining options. The three-story building at 323 Congress Ave. also includes 27,183 square feet of retail.

Notable tenants include Accenture, One Medical, Sushi Junai, Swift’s Attic along with the Elephant Room, a live local jazz club, named after the mastodon bones unearthed during the 1985 renovation of the neighboring 301 Congress Ave. building.

Austin’s office market

As many Austin office tenants rethink their plans for returning to the office and timelines are pushed to 2022 for some, the metro’s office market continues to follow nationwide trends. According to CommercialEdge data, the Austin vacancy rate shrunk 20 basis point month-over-month as of August, reaching 15.9 percent, slightly higher than the 15.4 percent U.S. average.

Nationally, nearly $45 billion in office assets traded during the first eight months of 2021, according to the same source. In metro Austin, the figure surpassed $1.2 billion during the period. In September, KKR agreed to sell Riata Corporate Park, a nearly 700,000-square-foot office park in a $300 million deal, one of the city’s top transactions this year.

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