I wrote last week (Austin Commercial Real Estate On The Way To Recovery) about several positive developments in the Austin commercial real estate market. I just added two new articles to www.AustinMarketInfo.com today:
Hanger Orthopedics confirms move to Austin
Westin and W hotels to hire 436 in Austin
Both of these corporate decisions are strong votes of confidence in the future strength of Austin.
In fairness, it’s not all good news: Hill Country Galleria set to get new owner. Austin’s newest mall opened in October 2007, just as the recession was becoming apparent. I don’t study retail occupancy the way I do residential real estate, but my impression is that the mall itself was popular and reasonably successful. The Galleria has been operating under bankruptcy supervision since May 2009, largely owing to difficulty in leasing 144,000 SF of office space above the retail operation. It will either be auctioned or foreclosed later this month.
Austin continues to grow, even as the recession drags on. I could be wrong, but I don’t expect to see shutters and chains on the mall. Somebody will buy it at a price that allows operational economics to work. As I said in an earlier post, when one investor falters another sees opportunity. This should become an excellent example.
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