Amid swift growth, Kendra Scott Design moving Austin headquarters

Kendra Scott Design, a locally based jewelry retailer with customers worldwide, has signed on to be the anchor tenant in a new mixed-use project under construction in Central Austin.

Headquarters for the company, which got off to a humble start in founder Kendra Scott’s home in 2002, will move into 43,500 square feet of space – the entire fourth floor – at Lamar Central, 3800 N. Lamar Blvd.

The lease runs for 10 years, with Kendra Scott Design expected to relocate from its current headquarters at 1400 S. Congress Ave. by the end of 2015, according to Houston-based Highland Resources Inc., Lamar Central’s developer.

A company spokesman said Kendra Scott Design currently has about 85 employees in its corporate offices and expects to grow to about 160 workers within the next year.

“We set out to deliver a product of the highest quality and sophistication,” Highland Resources vice president David Bodenman said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see that effort and attention to detail recognized by someone like Kendra Scott.”

As part of the deal, Kendra Scott Design will also open a 1,500-square-foot flagship retail store – the chain’s 37th U.S. location – on the building’s ground floor. The new store will create between 15 and 25 additional jobs, the company spokesman said.

“We’re so excited for the opportunity to build a new creative and collaborative working space in our home city,” Scott said. “This has been a dream of mine since I was creating my first jewelry collections in my spare bedroom. It was critical that we found a location that truly represents our brand, our creativity and our teamwork, and Lamar Central is the perfect fit.”

The Kendra Scott Design lease, Lamar Central’s first, accounts for about a quarter of the space in the four-story, 165,000-square-foot building, which is on the site of the former Lamar Plaza shopping center at West 38th Street and North Lamar Boulevard.

“This is a great move for Kendra Scott Design and will provide the project with an iconic, homegrown success story as its anchor tenant,” said Bob Wynn, a co-founder and partner at Oxford Commercial, which represented Highland Resources in office lease negotiations.

Office space on Lamar Central’s second and third floors still needs to be filled. There’s been plenty of interest, Highland Resources said, but the company wanted to find the right anchor tenant before it signed any other deals.

“Having Kendra Scott Design on board will have a tremendous impact on our leasing in the rest of the building,” said Welden Johnston, investment officer for Highland Resources.

The building’s amenities include an attached parking garage, floor-to-ceiling windows, bike storage, a car-charging station, showers and changing rooms.

On the first floor, Bodenman said he expects to see retailers that, like Kendra Scott Design, appeal to a primarily female clientele. There’s restaurant space to fill, as well, including some opportunities for outside dining.

“We’re very excited to have a rising star like Kendra Scott anchor the retail portion of Lamar Central,” said Eric DeJernett, senior vice president at CBRE, which is handling retail leasing for Highland Resources. “She will bring a lot of excitement and energy to the tenant mix. We’re fortunate in Austin to have such high-quality concepts like Kendra Scott Design, which now operate on an international level, to call our own.”

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