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ROUND ROCK, TX-Kennedy-Wilson and Fortis Advisers Inc. are teaming for the first time on a class-A, 190,000-sf office project at Round Rock’s La Frontera, a 328-acre, mixed-use urban development.

The project, 301 Sundance Parkway at La Frontera, breaks ground in December and will come to market in fourth quarter 2001. The project had been mentioned in an Oct. 20 GlobeSt.com article, but details had been unavailable at the time.

The project’s cost is “north of $20 million,” Phil Capron, Kennedy-Wilson’s senior managing director in Austin, tells GlobeSt.com. He says this is the first of “hopefully many more projects”–in Texas and elsewhere–for the joint venture formed by Kennedy-Wilson, based in Beverly Hills, CA, and Fortis Advisers, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a Dutch insurance and banking company.

About a month ago, the joint venture had purchased the 12-acre La Frontera tract from the development’s official owner, 35/45 Investors LP of Austin. The office project is situated in the heart of a recently opened 800,000-sf retail component, east of nine free-standing restaurant pads and north of the development’s central green featuring a half-mile crushed granite jogging trail.

“We are talking to a number of large users,” says Capron, “but at this snapshot in time, it will be spec construction.” The setting, he emphasizes, is ideal for a single-user corporate campus, so much so that the building will contain men’s and ladies’ showers for employees who have gone jogging or exercised during the workday. “That is what seems to appeal to the high-tech tenants instead of the fancy high-rise, particularly in Austin,” Capron told GlobeSt.com.

The 190,000-sf, three-story garden project–with surface parking and a garage–will fully build out the acreage. Bank One Texas NA is providing construction financing for the building designed by STG Partners of Austin, architects for Dell’s Round Rock corporate campus. Zappalac-Reed Construction Co. of Austin is the general contractor and TBG of Austin is the landscape architect. The building’s exterior will be masonry and glass and an interior with large, flexible floor plates, also particularly appealing to the high-tech crowd.

La Frontera is the Austin region’s largest mixed-use development without an industrial component. When completed, it will provide more than five million sf of retail, office and residential space. Cleveland-based Developers Diversified REIT and David Berndt Interests of Irving, TX are developing the property for a group of investors that includes Ed Bass of the Sundance Square Development Co. in Ft. Worth.

Round Rock is situated 20 miles north of Austin and is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the region. Corporate operations include Dell Computer Corp., Cypress Semiconductor and DuPont Photomasks. To date, developers have completed the 800,000-sf retail component, a 411-unit The Enclave at la Frontera and several sit-down restaurants–all within close proximity to 301 Sundance Parkway. Construction is under way about a block away on a 300-room Marriott conference center and deals have been signed with TGI Friday’s, Don Pablo’s, Logan’s Roadhouse, Red Lobster and Olive Garden, also positioned close to the office project.

Among the amenities at 301 Sundance Parkway will be an elaborate fiber-optic infrastructure that is being laid throughout La Frontera. “Infrastructure and amenities are very important to today’s office users who often have a difficult time finding qualified employees,” explains Capron. “We feel that 301 Sundance Parkway, with its fantastic amenities, will make it easier for our tenants to hire and retain the best talent.”

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