Chase Tower gets new owners

Austin company, partner buy downtown high-rise

Chase Tower, the 21-story downtown office building with the exclusive Headliners Club on its top floor, has new owners.

Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group, now a tenant in the building, and California based Triple Net Properties LLC have purchased the 32-year-old building, formerly the Bank One Tower, at 221 W. Sixth St. The price
for the sale, which closed Tuesday, was not disclosed. The sellers are Connecticut-based GE Pension Fund and Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities Co.

It is the first downtown office acquisition for Endeavor, whose other Austin projects include the Southpark Meadows retail center at Interstate 35 and Slaughter Lane and an interest in the Domain shopping complex near the Arboretum.

Triple Net has a $4 billion portfolio of office, retail and other properties nationwide, including the Las Cimas office complex in Southwest Austin, which is for sale.

The Chase Tower has “an A-plus location with better access, parking and overall tenant amenities than many of the other competitive buildings downtown,” said Bryce Miller, a principal at Endeavor, which has been a tenant there since last year.

“We love it,” Miller said. The building “will only get better as downtown Austin continues to evolve.”

The building, which was built in 1974 and renovated in 1994 and 1995, is 72 percent occupied. The new owners are planning to update the lobby and do other renovations.

The building is best known for its Headliners Club, a private club that is frequented by powerbrokers, including politicians, business leaders and others.

The Houston office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP arranged financing for the purchase of the 391,554-square-foot
building.

The sale comes amid increased investment in the commercial real estate market, both locally and nationally.

Office values in Austin, including downtown, are soaring, an indication of investor bullishness. Local office brokers predict that rents will continue to rise amid increased demand.

“There’s a tremendous amount of value” in the Chase Tower, as Endeavor capitalizes on rising rents while it finds new tenants, Miller said. He added that Endeavor is in no rush to find more tenants.

Miller said the building’s previous owners solicited proposals from as many as 100 companies and then narrowed
the finalists to three or four groups, including Hill Partners, an Austin-based commercial real estate company.

Endeavor originally teamed with Granite Properties, a Dallas-based investment company, to bid on the tower, but their offer was rejected.

After Triple Net was selected, the broker representing the seller brought Triple Net and Endeavor together.

Triple Net is the primary financial partner, and Endeavor will handle the marketing and leasing.

Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc. recently put the Frost Bank Tower in downtown Austin on the market, citing “a very strong market for buildings of this type.”

Endeavor, meanwhile, plans to start two new office projects, one in Rollingwood and the other in Northwest Austin.

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