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To lure recruits, Austin firms look for higher-end digs

In the Austin metro area’s office market, real estate experts say they are noticing a “flight to quality” trend — tenants looking for better office pace in an effort to attract and retain talent.

“Demand is greatest for newer space in well located areas,” said Diana Holford, senior vice president in Austin with commercial real estate firm JLL.

“Walkable amenities, such as places for lunch, hotels and recreation, are paramount.”

Demand is particularly strong for space downtown and at the Domain in North Austin, Holford said, where “new projects continue to lease quickly at ever-higher rental rates.”

A recent example, Holford said, is Austin-based NSS Labs. The cybersecurity company, which has about 100 employees, is moving from 17,000 square feet on Wild Basin Road off Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) into 23,000 square feet in The Park at Barton Creek at MoPac Boulevard and Loop 360.

“Our industry, cybersecurity, is the fastest growing technology market and has the lowest rate of unemployment,” said CEO Vikram Phatak. “As a rapidly growing company, we were looking to create the best possible environment to attract the right talent.”

Key attributes for the new office space were ample parking, a fitness center with showers and a location with a “reasonable commute,” Phatak said. NSS Labs also wanted to be along the Loop 360 corridor and near the airport and major roads.

“We needed our new space to incorporate the right environment for collaboration with inviting meeting rooms, break rooms and a kitchen,” Phatak said. “We look forward to moving to our new location to further our continued growth and foster our culture and mission to make the world a better and secure place.”

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