AUSTIN-Chick Packaging of Austin has its 55,379-sf spot ready for business after moving in early to a 290,758-sf TechRidge building in North Austin. For Austin, the lease is one of the larger ones to cross the 2002 closing table.

The firm is the first tenant for the 290,758-sf structure, completed in August 2001, in the Business Center @ TechRidge. Admittedly the pipeline’s thin for that building, but that’s not the case for a 90,000-sf one in the Gottesman Co. business park. Gottesman’s Scott Flack tells that August will bring more closings for the smaller building, which has 16,200 sf standing empty.

“Things are starting to pick up,” Flack says. “We’re seeing a little bit of activity.” He and Steve Mattingly, also of Gottesman, were the only brokers working out the fine details for the new tenant’s long-term lease.

Chick Packaging vacated about 73,000 sf at 5501 Airport Blvd., a former HQ Home Improvement store. Granted there is less space, says Flack, but it’s not a downsizing. The TechRidge building has a design that’s better tailored for the business than the converted retail property it just left. The TechRidge structure has 28-foot clear heights, 50-foot square bays, a large truck court and cross-docks. Equally as important, the park is one of the few in Austin to carry a Triple Freeport designation, which provides tax-free zones for up to 170 days for parking imported inventory.

Flack says it’s not quite time to bring any more buildings out of the ground in TechRidge although they are on the drawing board. There is one million sf up and another million sf waiting to rise.

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