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Austin Oaks office complex sold to California firm


12-building complex was subject of controversial zoning case

Michael Hsu architects will oversee a makeover for the project.

Austin Oaks, an office complex in Northwest Austin that was the focus of a controversial zoning case, is under new ownership.

Spire Realty Group listed the property for sale this year through commercial real estate firm HFF. Executives with HFF said Thursday the 12-building complex at Spicewood Springs Road and North Mopac Boulevard (Loop 1) has been sold to the Luzzatto Co., a Los Angeles firm, for an undisclosed price.

Marketing materials for Austin Oaks touted the project as a “one-of-a-kind opportunity” to acquire and redevelop Austin’s largest infill business park, consisting of 445,322 square feet of space.

Developed in the 1970s and 1980s, the buildings sit on 31.4 acres and are home to 140 different companies. The Travis Central Appraisal District valued the property at $87.4 million in 2017. A sales price was not disclosed.

HFF said in a news release that Austin-based Michael Hsu Office of Architecture will oversee a makeover for the project, which will include a café and fitness facilities.

“The existing buildings create a perfect backdrop to transform this development into a modern reflection of Austin, which will blend with the city’s physical and business landscape,” Hsu said in a written statement.

Jon Ruff, president of Spire Realty, told the Statesman in February that Spire decided to put the property on the market after receiving inquiries about the property.

After a zoning fight that went on for almost three years and faced neighborhood opposition, the Austin City Council voted 8-2 last year for new zoning that will allow the site to be redeveloped over time with 1.3 million square feet of office, retail and multifamily space, including up to 375 new housing units.

“It’s probably the last big redevelopment play of its size in the city of Austin,” Rhonda Toming, managing director in Austin for Fischer, a Dallas-based real estate services firm, told the Statesman in February.

Toming said the offering was expected by many in the local commercial real estate community, after Spire went through the effort and cost of the rezoning.

“The last four owners of Austin Oaks have worked towards positioning the property as a distinctive redevelopment opportunity for the last 15 years,” Toming said. “Given the recent rezoning approvals gained last year, the sale should attract significant interest from both equity players and local developers alike.”

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