Austin’s Job Market is Heating up, Leaving Businesses Competing for Office Space
The Austin job market is on the rise with no slowing in sight. According to a recent Forbes article, Austin leads a list of seven Texas metropolitan cities that rank among the 10 areas expected to have the fasted job growth through 2015. Employment is expected to rise 4% annually according to economic research firm, Moody’s Analytics.
Accenture, AT&T and Time Warner cable all announced expansions in their operations in Austin this year. National instruments announced it will add 1,000 jobs in Austin and Visa agreed last year to build a new software development center in Austin adding nearly 800 jobs with an average salary of $112,000. In August of this year, Forbes ranked Austin No. 14 on their list of Best Places for Business and Careers.
There is no denying that Austin is a popular place to live and to work and this popularity is carrying over into the business sector. With businesses expanding and new companies moving into Austin, commercial ‘white collar’ space is becoming harder to find. Office lease rates and occupancy rates are on the rise with downtown space availability decreasing, we could see major new office construction downtown starting soon. Companies that have traditionally located their business spaces in more suburban areas, are starting to see that having space downtown helps in hiring and retaining top talent.
The Austin American Statesman recently posted an article on the Austin business growth trend highlighting key development planned. Key development featured includes key office sites downtown, such as the former Green Water Treatment Plant, slated for a mixed-use project that would include 456,000 square feet of office space. Another major office project is planned by Schlosser Development, for a corporate expansion of Whole Foods Market Inc. Schlosser plans to construct two buildings, including a tower with 325,000 square feet of space.
With space demand comes higher rent rates. Currently rents for top-tier space downtown average $38.97 per square foot compared with $37.39 a year ago. With lease rates increasing, business owners are weighing options to lease or to embark on development for their business expansion.
Other top expansions planned for Austin and surrounding areas include: Emerson Process Management, purchasing two Frontera Vista office buildings in Round Rock and planning to invest another $25 million in improvements, HomeAway is growing and running out of space in their downtown headquarters currently employing 487 in Austin, Accruent, a software company that relocated from Santa Monica in 2010 now occupies about 26,000 square feet of space in Braker Pointe and looking to add another 5,000 square feet, Bass Pro Shop leases 104,000 square feet of retail space in Round Rock, Dropbox plans to open a downtown office, plus other top companies look to make Austin their home.
The future is looking different for Austin. More business growth, new businesses moving in means more jobs and more people. How will Austin’s skyline look in the future? Check out a few renderings on the forum, www.city-data.com.
Plus you can read more about business growth in Austin by visiting these posts: