Texas Pension Fund buys sleek new offices in Austin

Rendering of Chairman of the Board of 1900 Aldrich Street and the Texas Teachers Retirement System, Jarvis V. Hollingsworth (LinkedIn, Shorenstein)

The Texas Teachers’ Pension Fund is moving from its longtime downtown Austin headquarters to a shiny new apple of a building in the nearby community of Mueller.

The Teachers’ Retirement System purchased the newly constructed six-story Alpha Building in San Francisco-based Shorenstein. Designed by Page Sutherland Page, the building has approximately 210,000 square feet of office space with floors ranging from 35,000 to 50,000 square feet, 14-foot ceilings and outdoor spaces on each floor. There is also a landscaped courtyard on the ground floor.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Texas is one of 12 US states where home sale prices are not made public.

The purchase and move will place TRS in the Mueller business district, approximately four miles from downtown Austin. Mueller is a 750-acre, master-planned, mixed-use community built on the site of the city’s former airport.

Shorenstein plans four more buildings totaling 800,000 square feet in the Mueller business district. Next up is the Bravo Building, with 250,000 square feet of office space that TRS has already committed to. The agency’s divisions will move into the Alpha Building in the spring of 2023. The rest of its staff will move into the Bravo Building upon its completion, expected in 2024.

TRS has operated out of its original Austin building – a low-rise concrete affair that has been called both Brutalist and “new formalism” in style, at 1300 Red River Street – since 1973. A second building was added to the 3.2 acre site in 1990. The agency will likely sell the site, which is in a prime corner of downtown and is expected to command a premium price.

The TRS Mueller purchases will allow the agency to consolidate its staff into a single building and enrich the pension fund‘s portfolio. According to its website, TRS held 13% of its assets, or $22 billion, in real estate as of August 2020.

Dolores W. Simon