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AUSTIN-Soon after one tenant signed to take sublease space off Charles Schwab & Co.’s hands in Austin, the San Francisco-based discount broker announced it would close its Austin call center and put 114,000 sf back on the sublease market.

The closing is the major element of a cost-cutting drive by Schwab as it seeks to cope with continuing difficult market conditions. The company will cut 300 call center jobs in Austin and 75 support and administrative jobs at call centers in Denver, Indianapolis, Orlando and Phoenix.

In Austin, the move adds a chunk of space to a far northwest submarket that’s been saturated with sublease for more than a year. The submarket has about 1.5 million sf of vacant sublease space, accounting for about half of its 3.6 million sf of empty space. The vacancy rate is 34.2% in the far northwest.

The Schwab call center, occupies 114,000 sf in Research Park Plaza Building 1 at 12401 Research Blvd. The four-story 130,888-sf building has other tenants, according to a Schwab spokeswoman. Schwab also is the primary tenant of Research Park Plaza’s Building III, 173,530 sf, and Building IV, 184,159 sf.

Just last week, Lennar Homes took 14,500 sf in Building IV, becoming its only tenant. Building II is empty.

Schwab had leased the buildings in 2001 with plans to employ as many as 2,000 call center workers. With the stock market plunge, however, came a plunge in Schwab’s fortunes. In the quarter ending June 30, the company’s revenues were down 4% and profit was down 2%.

The spokeswoman told GlobeSt.com that Schwab intends to act as its own broker in subleasing the Austin space. She referred more questions to the company’s real estate office, which did not return GlobeSt.com’s calls.

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