Strategic Facilities Plan

The City typically purchases existing office buildings when the opportunity or need arises. Many of the buildings we own are reaching the end of their usefulness or do not meet the functions for which they were intended. To meet our current and future Administrative Office needs and reduce the reliance on leased space, we have developed a public-private partnership approach to facilities acquisition which harnesses the commercial real estate market to provide a service which the City has not had much experience.

This approach uses a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit competitive bids from the commercial real estate market for Class A office space. It allows the City to shift the financial risk to the selected developer using a fixed price and delivery date. Should costs exceed the agreed upon price or delivery date, the developer is held responsible. This process significantly reduces the cost and delivery timeline for public projects while also meeting the City’s policy objectives for Prevailing & Living Wage, Minority and Women Owned Business participation, Better Builder/Worker’s safety, Apprentice program and Sustainability/Wellness. At the completion of the project, the City purchases the building.

Projects


Planning and Development Center – Highland Mall

Developer Team: RedLeaf/Ryan

Architect: Gensler

Council Approval: August 2017

Purchase and Sale Agreement completed: April 2018

Construction Commencement: November 2018

Projected Completion/Acquisition Date: May 2020

Status: On Schedule

Sqft: 250,000 (office), 10,000 (retail in garage)

Occupancy: 960

Move-in Occupancy: 750 (June 2020)

Parking Garage: 6 level, structured, 970 spaces

Green Building goal:  AEGB 3-Star,

WELL Building goal: Silver

Webcam: https://api.ibeamsystems.com/?session=Q09BOkF1c3RpblRY

 

Austin Energy Headquarters – Mueller

Developer Team: Catellus/Harvey Cleary

Architech: ELS/Page

Council Approval: December 2018

Purchase and Sale Agreement completed: May 2019

Construction Commencement: August 2019

Projected Completion/Acquisition: April 2021

Status: On Schedule

Sqft: 277,000 (office)

Occupancy: 1250

Move-in Occupancy: 900 (April 2021)

Parking Garage: 6 level, structured, 1060 spaces

Green Building goal:  AEGB 5-Star, LEED - Platinum,

WELL Building goal: Silver

Webcam: https://public.earthcam.net/Mueller_Office_Building/mueller_office_building/camera_1/view_1

Both projects align with the City’s comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin by locating within Regional and Town Centers respectively. They are within large redevelopment projects that provide a mix of uses, are pedestrian oriented with good transit (and road) access and provide a mix of amenities and help retain existing and attract new employees.

 

Strategic Administrative Office Occupancy Plan

To determine how the City of Austin should reduce its reliance on leased office space it contracted with CBRE to develop a Strategic Administrative Office Occupancy Plan. CBRE analyzed the current office leases and developed recommendations based on four principals:

  • Improve work environments for City employees and enhance productivity and efficiency in workflow for individuals and departments.
  • Decrease overall long-term occupancy costs and exercise improved stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
  • Improve the public facing experience in City facilities and advance customer service
  • Improve City facilities and amenities to attract and retain talent throughout the City’s workforce.

Financial Services Department and Office of Real Estate Services staff is using the Plan recommendations as guidance in procuring additional administrative office space. This report was presented to the City Council Audit & Finance Committee October 23, 2019 (https://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=330010). 

Report highlights:

  • This process also allows the City to determine city‐wide needs and space standards.
  • Strategic look at corporate leasing needs and lease terms.
  • Assists Building Services deferred maintenance program / financial policy.
  • Transitioning to owned space allows City to move facility need expenses from operating budgets to debt service.
  • Over a 30 year period, by owning our office space, the City can realize a savings of over $300 million.