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Why PlaceMKR believes southeast Austin is well positioned Post-COVID

(© Adnan Ahmad Ali –

PlaceMKR recently announced an acquisition of a new portfolio of flex industrial buildings in southeast Austin, TX. They believe that this area is the best-positioned submarket coming out of the pandemic.

PlaceMKR has gained an outstanding reputation since forming just a few short years ago. What truly differentiates this visionary property company in Texas is that they strive to be at the forefront of burgeoning neighborhoods, both inside and outside of Opportunity Zones, to create places that make lives better. Their acquisition of more commercial property in southeast Austin represents a great opportunity to own a major assemblage along the metro’s major east-west highway.

Christopher Cortese, Principal of PlaceMKR recently said this when talking about this exciting acquisition. “We identified this real estate portfolio because of its high concentration of local businesses that support the Austin economy. While the fabric of southeast Austin has historically been used for industrial purposes, we believe there are several factors that will shape a mixed-use narrative going forward including Tesla’s announcement of their plans to build the Cybertruck Gigafactory and the advent of the Austin Transit Partnership which can profoundly impact the accessibility of the submarket.”

What is PlaceMKR?

PlaceMKR is a private real estate investment and development firm that seeks out path of progress investments that marry social impact with investor returns in Austin TX. Their investment strategy focuses on properties in rapidly expanding locales including southeast and east Austin. They will be delivering Austin’s first ground-up office development in the Opportunity Zone later this year and are actively developing several other commercial and residential projects.

The Initial Impact COVID-19 Had on the Project

PlaceMKR closed on a 14.7 acre, 145,000 SF flex industrial real estate portfolio in southeast Austin during the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. The property was originally set to close at the end of March but was delayed due to several pandemic-induced challenges. The hurdles included a lack of mortgage originators, a restaurant tenant closing permanently due to the citywide shutdown and overarching economic uncertainty.

PlaceMKR Properties Are Currently 100% Occupied

After the effects of the pandemic, the portfolio currently stands at 100% occupancy. The tenants, all of whom are headquartered in Austin, include

  • Kyrish Truck Center – commercial truck leasing and sales
  • Ace Contracting Supply – hardware and lumber supplier
  • Austin Speed Shop – builds world class Hot Rods and custom cars
  • Stainless Steels – equipment supplier for the food service industry
  • Austin Community College – service center for their 12 campuses
  • Café Moreno – restaurant operator who will open later this year

Why This Represents Such a Special Opportunity

The site is located adjacent to an Opportunity Zone and in close proximity to several developments planned and underway that PlaceMKR believes will support the future mixed-use maturation of this area. In particular, TXDOT is building its new Headquarters nearby that will support over 2,000 employees. Also within a few miles of the acquisition, Tesla is building their multi-million square foot Cybertruck Gigafactory and Zoho is making a corporate relocation from California to a new facility on 375 acres.

The City of Austin and Capital Metro created the Austin Transit Partnership to push forward Project Connect, a $7.1 billion dollar initiative that plans to bring rail and bus access across the city. This plan intends to place a high priority on connectivity between downtown and the airport across the southeast submarket. In addition, the properties that PlaceMKR purchased lie along CAMPO 2045’s Bergstrom Spur which is the planned repurposing of an abandoned rail line into an interconnected east-west multimodal corridor.

The acquisition is within five miles of downtown Austin. Given the convenience that southeast Austin provides companies and residents alike, PlaceMKR really needs to be applauded for this move to meet future market demands. This is one of the most significant acquisitions that has occurred post-Covid. “There is a prevailing Austin traffic problem going North and South, and we think being located along the City’s major East to West thoroughfare, Highway 71, along with robust public transit plans will lead to a significant placemaking opportunity,” Cortese said.

Known for having a fine eye for prime opportunities backed by intimate local area research, PlaceMKR is bound to see long-term success with this smart investment opportunity.

Final take: There is no doubt that Austin is experiencing rapid growth in the form of people and companies moving to the capital of Texas. High-yielding rental prices in downtown Austin are leading people out of the city center and in search of areas that provide a lower cost of living. This is why understanding local submarkets and all the latest trends should be paramount. PlaceMKR is one of those property developers that has a street level pulse and thinks about the needs that will provide social impact to each neighborhood.