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Dallas investor makes downtown Austin tower buy

Updated: May 16

A longtime Dallas property investor is headed to Austin for its first major buy.

Dallas’ Pillar Commercial and a fund controlled by New York-based DRA Advisors LLC have acquired 823 Congress, a recently renovated office and retail tower in downtown Austin.


The 15-story, almost 200,000-square-foot high-rise is about three blocks south of the Texas State Capitol.

The previous owner, New York-based Brickman, spent more than $15 million in upgrades for the tower.


“The building has been updated except for a couple of floors that we are going to do,” said Pillar Commercial’s Manny Ybarra. “We are also looking to activate the street level.”

The tower was originally constructed in 1974.


Downtown Austin is one of the country’s top commercial property investment markets, with some of the highest office rents. More than $300 million in office purchases were recorded in the Austin area in the first quarter.

“Texas continues to be a top site-selection destination for companies representing a wide range of industries, with Austin being a top-tier market within the state,” Ybarra said.

The 823 Congress tower sale was handled by Chris Murphy, Robert Hill, Gary Carr and Chase Tagen of Newmark. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

New owner Pillar Commercial owns multiple Dallas-area office properties.


Early this year, the investor acquired the two-building Bluffview Towers offices near Dallas’ Love Field.

Also this year, a Pillar Commercial partnership purchased the One Preston Centre office building at 8222 Douglas Ave. in Dallas’ Preston Center district.

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