Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN) has been active in the Austin market for the past decade, but in the past two years it has become one of Austin's largest landlords.
Today the real estate investment trust owns about 2.7 million square feet of office space in the Austin market with joint venture partners DRA Advisors.
Though the company is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, executives wanted to up the Austin profile — even to the extent of deciding to rent space in someone else's building downtown. Currently, Brandywine's portfolio is scattered throughout suburban areas, where their local staff has been based.
But there's more potential brewing in the Austin market. In fact, Brandywine recently acquired a premium site downtown for development. After President and CEO Gerard Sweeney came for a visit, the Austin executive team was encouraged to seek out something prominent — a place that could be leveraged to market the Brandywine brand to big time investors.
"When we realized we could get the top floor with these grand views, we just knew," said Bill Redd, executive vice president and senior managing director of Brandywine Realty Trust.
The 5,000-square-foot space at the peak of the pyramid at One Congress Plaza, 111 Congress Ave. had been occupied for some time by Austin attorney and real estate investor Jimmy Nassour. His law office relocated to Bee Cave Road, and Brandywine negotiated a deal with Parkway Properties (NYSE: PKY), another national real estate company which owns the downtown property.
All was very cordial, and Brandywine hired Austin's Sixthriver Architects to create the open planned design. Trimbuilt Construction Inc. handled the build-out.
The size is modest but the views are stunning.
"This makes a statement for us," said Ralph Bistline, senior vice president of Brandywine based in Austin.