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AUSTIN-Roy Scruggs has joined Transwestern as senior vice president. He arrives at his new company with close to 30 years of experience and a 400,000-sf office portfolio, courtesy of former employer CarrAmerica Realty Corp.

Scruggs, who was vice president of leasing for CarrAmerica, oversaw its Austin portfolio, which fluctuated from 1.4 million sf to 3.3 million sf. The package included the just-sold, 1.1-million-sf Riata office portfolio. He says CarrAmerica, now owned by Blackstone Group of New York City, still owns the assets and he’ll act as a third-party leasing agent for its 136,075-sf 7000 West at Lantana at 7000 W. William Dr.; 137,763-sf City View Centre at 1122 Capital of Texas Hwy. South; and 146,463-sf Setting at 1120 Capital of Texas Hwy. South.

Scruggs and Martha Watkus, who also left CarrAmerica to join Transwestern Austin as property manager, are taking charge of the 600,000-sf River Place Corporate Park in the far northwest submarket. Last month, JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings bought out joint venture partner, Aspen Growth Properties Inc. of Austin, gaining full control of a 30-acre corporate park developed in 2001.

Scruggs says New York City-based JPMorgan is planning to invest more capital into the asset. He tells GlobeSt.com that one of his jobs, in fact, is to put together a capital budget to improve the 75%-occupied park, which has Financial Industries Corp. as the lead tenant.

Scruggs adds that River Place’s seven buildings will be re-branded and repositioned. Aspen Growth Properties has retained a development stake, planning to add a small amount of retail and possibly a hotel for the mix.

Scruggs says one reason he was eager to get the River Place assignment is because he and Watkus had built an outstanding relationship with JPMorgan while managing Riata. “We had great success with Riata and we’re looking forward to working with them on the next asset,” he says. “River Place is in a high-growth area. Rooftops are expanding. Even more importantly, people want to stay closer to home with gas prices and commute times going up.”

Although Scruggs was with CarrAmerica for 11 years, he decided to move to Transwestern for several reasons, including the similarity in corporate cultures.

“I’ve known most of the guys at Transwestern for more than 20 years,” Scruggs continues. “They’ve been fierce competitors and good people, solid people, who have survived the good and bad markets. Because my interests and their interests are pretty much aligned, it was a pretty easy decision to make the move.” Blackstone could not be reached by deadline for comment on the exit.

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