Work Underway on East Austin Office Project

Co-developed by AQUILA Commercial, the property has an expected 2023 delivery.

Work is underway at Alto, a 110,000-square-foot office project in the East Austin submarket, developed by a partnership between AQUILA Commercial and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The Class A creative office, formerly known as 7th and San Marcos, is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“Austin continues to enjoy exceptional job growth in sectors that favor the sustainability proposition and modern functionality of first-generation office space. We believe this is still a very healthy segment of our market,” Ben Tolson, managing principal at AQUILA, told Commercial Property Executive.

Austin’s office pipeline continues to stay far ahead of all U.S. markets concerning relative stock. As of March, the Texas capital had 10.1 million square feet of office projects under construction, representing 11.5 percent of the total inventory, more than five times the national average of 2.2 percent, CommercialEdge data shows. The metro had an additional 25.3 percent of the total stock in various stages of permitting and planning.

Catering to a booming office market

The developers broke ground on the project in the first quarter of the year. In February, the joint venture secured a five-year, $42.7 million construction mortgage originated by First United Bank & Trust Co., Travis County records show.

Upon completion, Alto will occupy less than an acre at 924 E. Seventh St., the highest point in the East Austin submarket. The five-story office building will take shape atop four levels of underground parking offering a ratio of 2.7 spaces per 1,000 square feet. AQUILA Commercial will handle leasing in-house with a team including Tolson as well as Associate Cody McCrary.

Designed and constructed by The Beck Group to target LEED Silver certification, the property will feature a corner patio, which will house a restaurant, two private balconies on the second and fifth floors, as well as indoor bike storage. Alto will also include a studio and gallery dubbed Make.Believe, a platform for local artists that will also serve as a collaborative work area.

Alto will have easy access to Interstate 35, while downtown Austin will be roughly a mile away. In April, a partnership including Lincoln Property Co., Phoenix Property Co. and DivcoWest moved forward with the development plans for The Republic, an office tower totaling 833,000 square feet, which will rise less than 2 miles away.

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