Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Waco Real Estate "Class A Office Space Expanding"
In the next year, there will be the unprecedented addition of more than 150,000 sf of Class A office space in downtown Waco with more to come, according to Chris McGowan, director of urban development for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. A majority of the space being developed is speculative Class A lease space. Another major trend is the development of close to 400 acres of professional and medical parks in the southwest corridor of Waco. Within a two-mile radius, construction of Class A lease space for ancillary medical and professional services is growing. The completion of the $48.5 million Providence Health Center expansion, the construction of Hillcrest Health System's $184 million campus and the announcement of a $48 million expansion by the Central Texas VA Health System are driving development. Significant business park additions in the Southwest area include Central Professional Park, Legends Crossing, Point West and Ridgewood Professional Park. At full capacity, these developments forecast the addition of 650,000 sf of professional and medical office buildings, McGowan said. In addition to this new development, several leases recently have closed in the Southwest corridor. Waco Center for Women's Health and Heart of Texas Pediatrics leased 18,000 sf and 12,000 sf, respectively, in the Central Texas Medical Center. Jackson Health Care completed a 10,000-sf lease in the Texas Central Park. There is considerable interest in downtown office development, partly due to the nationwide trend toward downtown revitalization and partly due to a strong commitment from local leaders in both the public and private sectors to ensure a healthy sustainable future for our urban areas. The renovation of the historic Roosevelt Hotel into Class A office space in downtown Waco; the construction of the new mixed-use Waco Town Square; the new Chamber of Commerce headquarters; and a new Wells Fargo Bank building all within a block of each other are leading the way in the office market as a part of the resurgence of downtown Waco. The range for Class A rental rates downtown currently is $1.25 to $1.55 NNN. The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has recently announced its goal of realizing a Billion Dollar Decade. By bringing together key investors, and working under a common vision, the chamber predicts $1 billion of new development in downtown Waco and along the Brazos River corridor. More than $120 million of new private investment has been announced in downtown Waco over the past year. Coupling that with a large public commitment totaling more than $200 million of new public improvements in the same area begins to paint a picture of a very bright future for downtown Waco.