$100 million office campus planned at La Frontera site

Amid Central Texas’ booming real estate market, a developer is set to build the last piece of the La Frontera mixed-use project — a $100 million office campus that will add 400,000 square feet of office space in Round Rock.

W2 Real Estate Partners, the spin-off company of Simmons Vedder Partners, said it will build Frontera Ridge near Texas 45 and Mopac Boulevard (Loop 1), on the last major tract within the 328-acre La Frontera development.

Frontera Ridge will have two five-story buildings with 200,000 square feet each, with the ability to expand to 800,000 square feet based on market conditions, said Steve Freche, executive vice president with W2 Real Estate Partners. The project is expected to receive site development permits from the City of Round Rock and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by year’s end, he said.

Work on the site could begin as soon as January, pending site development permits that are expected to be issued by year’s end from the City of Round Rock and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. W2 plans to break ground once it has tenant commitments for a significant portion of the space, Freche said.

STG Design is the project’s architect, while TBG Partners is handling the land planning.

Central Texas’ job growth continues to fuel demand for office space and for new office construction throughout the region. As of mid-year, the Austin area’s overall office occupancy rate averaged 90.3 percent, up from 89.8 percent on average a year-ago June, according to Cushman & Wakefield | Oxford Commercial, which tracks office rents and occupancies.

As office rents in downtown Austin and other central areas have reached historical highs, and traffic concerns mount, tenants are continuing to expand northwest, Freche said. Large firms that have recently relocated or announced moves to Round Rock include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Monolith Semi, ThermaSol and Emerson Process Management.

Freche said Frontera Vista will have amenities and features that Fortune 500 and other companies have come to expect.

“This project will appeal to large corporate tenants who want a signature facility at a great value, which will help them attract and retain the best employees,” Freche said. In addition, the project’s location within La Frontera — “one of only a few of central Texas’s regional lifestyle centers — certainly adds to the project’s appeal and has attracted multiple corporate headquarters to the La Frontera area,” Freche said.

The project will include a central outdoor area, modeled after major campuses in Silicon Valley, with special-events space; a food truck plaza; lounge areas, rain gardens; and shaded terraces for outdoor work and entertainment. A grove of 100-year-old oak trees will be preserved, the developer said.

Mark Greiner and Brett Arabie with Cushman & Wakefield | Oxford Commercial, who are marketing Frontera Ridge to prospective tenants, said initial interest in the project has been strong.

“Also, we’re focusing our efforts on large tenants, as this project fills a void for companies needing a big, visible block of space,” Arabie said.

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