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AUSTIN-Two leases put a central submarket office building close to 100% occupied. Cedra Clinical Research and Washington Mutual are taking a total of more than 32,000 sf in direct leases at 8501 N. MoPac Expressway, the largest of the Reunion Plaza buildings.

Cedra Clinical will occupy the 23,500-sf second floor of the 94,000-sf building and Washington Mutual will take 8,800 on the north side of the ground floor, David Sheldon of Endeavor Real Estate Group, tells GlobeSt.com. The transactions raise the occupancy of the three-building complex to 96% with 4,670 sf still open.

Cedra Clinical, a subsidiary of Austin-based Cedra Corp., is a contractor of clinical research services. Cedra’s lease is for eight years. Matt Mathias of Mathias & Co. represented Cedra and Sheldon represented the building owner, Reunion Ventures.

Washington Mutual, based in Seattle will open an employee training center in the building. Kelly Shaw of Austin’s SSC Development represented Washington Mutual. Other details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sheldon says the deals indicate that direct leases are doable in a sublease-sodden leasing market. Leases are “not at levels they were 18 months ago, but they’re nowhere near some of the low rates you hear for sublease space. The signal is that there deals out there and we’re doing them,” he says.

Reunion Plaza was owned by URS Radian, an environmental services company. It sold the property and now is located in the Amber Oaks development in the northwest submarket. The property has undergone a full renovation under its new owners. The complex’s occupants are @hand, an Austin technology company; Signature, which spun off from Radian; and LeTourneau University.

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