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Proven Execution

812 San Antonio & Meridian Executive Plaza

Owners + Investors, Lease

Challenge

ECR was hired by Equity Commonwealth (EQC) in December of 2014 to help with leasing efforts and to increase the performance of a 120,000 SF Class B office portfolio in Downtown Austin: 812 San Antonio and Meridian Executive Plaza (located at 1601 Rio Grande). Asset management transitioned to EQC in mid-2014 and ECR was brought on with the goal of having a more hands-on approach and to bring new ideas/energy to the table to execute. At the time of being hired, both of the assets were substantially under-performing relative to the CBD leasing market, and there was a perception of the properties being limited to serving only groups associated with the Capitol and Courthouse.

Strategy

ECR developed an aggressive marketing and leasing strategy targeted towards re-introducing both properties as exciting downtown office offerings with unique benefits specific to each property. The strategy consisted of the following:

  1. Market research of the competitive set within the CBD submarket, and recognition of the opportunity to increase rates dramatically due to the performance of the CBD submarket.
  2. Utilized ECR’s in-house marketing resources to create attractive and creative marketing materials for the property.
  3. Created and practiced a professional property tour through the project boasting the offerings, and hosted the best tour experience possible.
  4. Strategized to not renew a challenging tenant who was harming property retention and the building’s professional environment at 812 San Antonio, and rather created a spec suite for immediate occupancy at a market rate.
  5. Strategically developed plans for eliminating small spaces and putting together larger blocks of lease-spaces that were more marketable.
  6. Strategically executed a direct email and internet marketing campaign targeted towards the brokerage community.
  7. Installed property signage on prominent corners of both properties for maximum visibility Downtown.
  8. Followed up with all leads and opportunities consistently, aggressively, and effectively.
  9. Proactively met with existing tenants to help expand and address renewals early-on and to aggressively get in front of new leasing for tenants that were unlikely to renew.

Results

ECR immediately executed new renewals and leases at the building and within months was able to secure a growing technology company for the largest vacancy at 812 San Antonio, which helped prove to the marketplace the positive transitioning of the tenant-base for the property. At Meridian, ECR helped negotiate the early termination of an older and larger tenant at the property with no plans to use the space any longer, and were able to immediately re-lease the spaces at a substantially higher rental rate. Within an 18-month period, ECR executed 11 transactions totaling 26,902 RSF at Meridian and 10 transactions totaling 16,841 RSF at 812 San Antonio. Actual lease rates increased by approximately 42% at both properties during this period of time, helping contribute to the successful disposition of both properties in May 2016.

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