The Diamond Building at Mueller aims to sparkle in 2017

New downtown Austin office towers have dominated the commercial real estate scene, but a very unique project that will deliver in the popular Mueller neighborhood is getting some buzz.

Mueller is the master-planned community built on the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. That’s where hundreds of new homes and apartments have been built along with substantial retail, the Dell children’s hospital and The Thinkery, the Austin children’s museum.

Though some offices have been built at Mueller — Seton Healthcare Family, for example — it hasn’t been at the forefront of development. Still, there are nearly 5,500 jobs at Mueller across all industry sectors.

Earlier this year, I reported that Texas Mutual will build a 270,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in the area, which should get underway early next year and deliver about 600 jobs in 2018.

Soon, however, The Diamond Building at Mueller will deliver at 1905 Aldrich St. Named for the diamond-shaped land parcel it sits on, the unconventional design and close-in location are premium drawing cards. The Mueller redevelopment is less than five miles from downtown Austin and is a stone’s throw off I-35. The community includes 140 acres of open space with an array of amenities such as greenbelts, trails and food trucks.

Internationally acclaimed Lake/Flato Architects, based in San Antonio but with a strong Austin presence, is the architect of record for The Diamond Building with Studio8 Architects of Austin handling the interiors.

The site is immediately adjacent to The Thinkery and overlooks Mueller Lake Park. A parking garage is across the street.

Retail plays a prominent role in the sales pitch.

The first floor of The Diamond Building is already leased to Halcyon coffee bar and lounge, Lick Honest Ice Creams, B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub, Stella Public House, and J.T. Youngblood’s — a rotisserie chicken restaurant from Chef Todd Duplechan of Lenoir and Jeffrey’s co-founder Jeffrey Weinberger.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will deliver a 30,000-square-foot movie theater early next year as part of the larger Aldrich Street District.

“People are getting fired up about this now that Aldrich Street is delivering,” said Brett Arabie, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, which is listing the office space. Arabie is teaming with Senior Managing Director Bob Wynn. They’ve been touring the building with several potential tenants in recent weeks.

“This is one of the highest points in Travis County, so the views from here are spectacular,” Arabie said.

He believes The Diamond Building would be a gem for a creative services firm, but he’s not limiting the possibilities. A professional services firm might want the entire building, but then it might be a fit for an array of enterprising firms. The Austin Film Society has its studios at Mueller and might present some interesting synergies.

Due to the edgy footprint of the building, the two office floors have different floorplates. The second floor is 20,445 square feet and the third floor is 16,743 square feet. Both have panoramic views and intriguing zigs and zags. One office space has an cozy outdoor patio for entertaining clients or simply pleasing employees.

“Tenants could start their build-out in January and be in the space by next May,” Arabie said.

The building could accommodate offices as small as 1,500 square feet. Though tenants have plenty of options for interiors, the glulam — a strong and pliable laminated timber incorporated into the wood ceilings — and the exposed industrial touches add intriguing possibilities.

Zapalac Reed Construction Co. is the general contractor.

Source: Austin Business Journal
Jan Buchholz, Senior Staff Writer

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