Everything is bigger in Texas: Austin is open for business

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

HFF Director Robert Wooten will be a featured speaker at RealShare Austin on June 2 at the W Austin hotel. HFF is an executive sponsor of the conference, which will delve into topics that include downtown’s “18-hour-city” and its vertical growth, how the suburbs are evolving, outside and foreign investors and what’s next for Austin’s tech sector.     

As an expert in Texas capital markets, Mr. Wooten is one of four industry leaders who will discuss the complex issues facing Austin’s capital structure and what to expect in the future. The panel, “Capital Markets in the Capital of Texas,” will explore redevelopment, outside investors and alternative property types.

“I have been very fortunate to have spent the last several years of my career in Austin,” Wooten said. “Nation-leading employment growth and a high quality of life is a powerful combination. It is an exciting market to watch and always changing.”

Austin, Texas, is known as the “live music capital of the world” and is the second largest state capital in the United States after Phoenix, Arizona. Home to several tech giants, including Dell, Intel and IBM, Austin has emerged as a major player in the tech world over the last few decades. The city hosts the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, an annual festival celebrating film, interactive media and music that has not only grown into a hub for tech entrepreneurs and start-ups but become a pop culture phenomenon since it was launched in 1987. Now more than 70,000 people flock to “Silicon Hills” for the 10-day festival, which is the highest-producing event for Austin’s economy.

Austin’s popularity goes beyond music and festivals. Austin has benefited from a nation-leading 42.3 percent job growth, with, according to Forbes, an additional four percent growth anticipated for 2016. In addition to job creation and 243 corporation relocations to Austin in the last five years, the city is experiencing a booming housing market coupled with low cost of living, all contributing to Austin’s population explosion. Since 2010, the population has risen by 100,000 residents.

The results of the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016 survey, undertaken jointly by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, calls Austin a “market to watch,” along with Nashville, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Louisville, Portland, Raleigh and Durham. The survey reported that Austin is “above average” for all property types, but that the most favorable were toward single-family and retail properties. As the No. 2 top-20 market, behind only Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin’s dynamic retail scene is only going to grow with the addition of retail like north Austin’s The Domain and redevelopment in downtown Austin’s northeast quadrant.

According to the Austin Statesman, Oracle Corp, which is the world’s second largest software company, plans to build a new 27-acre corporate campus in downtown while Apple is building a 38-acre campus in the northwest part of the city, both contributing to the positive outlook for office property types in 2016.

“I look forward to the opportunity to discuss what we at HFF have been seeing in the market,” Wooten added. “Austin continues to be one of strongest real estate markets in the country and we have a lot to feel good about, but we have witnessed some notable trends in the broader capital markets that could impact us.”


The RealShare Conference Series stands alone as the industry choice for exposure to the most relevant topics - delivered and discussed by the top minds in real estate. RealShare conference attendees have invaluable access to the critical thinking of noted speakers and industry leaders, as well as the ability to forge new business partnerships with hundreds of leading owners, lenders, investors, developers, brokers, and service providers from across the nation. For more information, visit globest.com/events.

Director Robert Wooten

Robert Wooten is a Director in HFF’s Austin office with more than nine years of experience in real estate finance. Mr. Wooten has successfully completed capitalizations on a broad range of commercial property types including multi-housing, office, industrial and retail properties. He is primarily responsible for originating debt and equity placement transactions throughout Texas and the southern United States. During the course of his career with HFF, Mr. Wooten has completed in excess of $2 billion of real estate transactions.

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