CCIM Institute Selects Austin, Texas, for its Annual Commercial Real Estate Meeting


Headquartered in Chicago, CCIM Institute finds Austin a mecca for its commercial real estate investment and development and an ideal location for its commercial real estate professional audience.

WASHINGTON D.C. – December 11, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — On the radar of every commercial real estate broker, investor, and developer, Austin, Texas, is the golden U.S. city with the magic combination of low unemployment, accelerated job growth, and innovative urban living. It is the envy of other U.S. cities for breezing through the Great Recession, for attracting record population growth that includes 35 percent millennials, and for swiftly becoming a secondary commercial real estate market.

These great economic indicators led CCIM Institute, the largest national association dedicated to commercial real estate professionals and headquartered in Chicago, to select Austin for its CCIM Institute annual meeting CCIM Thrive, Oct. 27-28, at the Hyatt Regency Austin. Traditionally, CCIM Institute has selected primary market cities such as Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago for its annual meetings.

“Austin punches above its weight and is an ideal location for CCIM Thrive conference,” says Travis Waldrop, CCIM, vice president of the Central Texas CCIM Chapter and vice president of Carr Development in Austin. “We are competing with bigger markets for commercial real estate investments and developments. Global companies such as Apple, Google, and IBM Corp. have substantial offices in Austin, and major REITs have big holdings here. There’s an entrepreneurial mindset in Austin. Venture capital in Austin was $265 million in the first quarter compared to $161 million for the rest of Texas combined.”

Austin has done a good job of attracting the burgeoning tech industry from neighboring California, according to recent reports. Technology jobs in Austin have grown 17.8 percent since 2011, and it recently unseated Silicon Valley as the home to the most U.S. start-ups, with 180 new companies headquartered in Austin, according to the Kaufman Report.

“CCIM Thrive gives us a platform to see the advances in the commercial real estate market of Austin,” says Lise Wineland, CCIM, director of the Central Texas CCIM Chapter and senior director at Kennedy Wilson in Austin. “In the past few years, Austin has moved from a tertiary to secondary market and is a great marketplace for investments and development.”

Austin tops all metropolitan areas of at least one million residents for the lowest unemployment rate at 3 percent, according to JLL. Austin’s low unemployment plus the fastest growing labor force in the U.S. has attracted office investment buyers. As of Aug. 31, investors have spent $1.4 billion for office properties, surpassing 2014’s total of $1.1 billion, according to the Austin Business Journal. And the ride is not over: Austin had 2.2 million square feet of new office development under construction at midyear, according to Colliers. Of 15 new projects delivered in 2Q15, six were 100 percent pre-leased.

“Commercial and residential real estate is more affordable in Austin than in bigger cities, or about 6 percent below the national average, although the demand is increasing and supply is not quite keeping up,” says Rhonda West, CCIM, director of the Central Texas CCIM Chapter and owner and partner at West Commercial Real Estate Services in Austin. “There’s more nightlife, outside activities, and greater variety of restaurants within walking distance in Austin than in Los Angeles. Compared to New York City, Austin is more casual, compact, and easy to navigate. Our residents can constantly hear live music playing in different venues.”

For multiple reasons, Austin is a mecca for commercial real estate investment and development, which makes it perfect for CCIM Institute annual meeting. Register now for CCIM Thrive, Oct. 27-28, and related events, such as an Oct. 27 conference reception hosted by Opportunity Austin, featuring Texas BBQ and local music.

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