The Parmer Austin business park continues to grow. ERIN EDGEMON / ABJ

Austin Business Journal writes, "IBM Corp. is making some big changes to its Austin operations.

Big Blue, one of Austin’s original tech titans, settled on the location for its future regional hub at the northern tip of The Domain in the first half of 2023, and now it is adding 50,000 square feet of lab space in Northeast Austin to its real estate inventory, according to a Jan. 9 announcement. IBM (NYSE: IBM) plans to outfit a state-of-the-art development lab at Karlin Real Estate LLC’s Parmer Impact Labs, located along East Parmer Lane not far from Samsung's Austin factory.

IBM's lease at the facility is the latest example of an entity with a research-and-development focus making a move to the Parmer campus, following the University of Texas at Austin’s announcement last year that it would set up its first off-campus wet lab there.

“We are pleased to be a part of the Parmer innovation hub as we invest in new modern spaces for employees in Austin, which is an extraordinary, growing center for talent innovation,” said Dexter Henderson, IBM’s senior executive in Austin. “This new technical space will allow IBM to upgrade our Austin lab facilities to meet the needs of future development, continuing what our company has done since its founding, working with creators, partners and clients to put technology to work in the real world.”

IBM’s Austin team is involved in all aspects of the company's business, including hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence software development, infrastructure, services, design and marketing, according to the announcement.

The deal was signed in December, with CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield serving as brokers, according to a Karlin spokesperson. Lease terms were not disclosed.

IBM in Austin

IBM has spent the last couple of years making big real estate moves in Austin.

The company currently leases 800,000 square feet at two locations in The Domain area owned by Brandywine Realty Trust and Stonelake Capital Partners, but it plans to move into a new office building developed by Houston-based Hines at the northern tip of The Domain, which is considered the budding second downtown of Austin.

IBM will lease about 320,000 square feet out of the new building's 500,000 total square feet, less than half of what the company occupies today. Plans call for the project to consist of two connected 14-story towers.

A rendering of IBM's new building at The Domain. HINES

Work on the project is expected to be completed in 2027.

IBM is one of the region's top employers, ranking ninth on the Austin Business Journal's 2023 list of the largest in the Austin area, with 6,000 local workers. Only four tech companies are larger: Tesla, Dell, Amazon and Apple.

Karlin’s focus on innovation

Meanwhile, Karlin is establishing itself as one of Austin’s major landlords for tenants focused on innovation.

“This announcement builds on the momentum that started in September when the University of Texas at Austin announced it would locate its first off-campus wet lab site at Parmer Impact Labs,” Karlin co-founder Matt Schwab stated. “The addition of IBM is proving out our vision for Parmer as an innovation hub for groundbreaking research and development that will attract start up and blue-chip companies alike.”

The university’s lease at the campus is for a 10,000-square-foot wet lab, which the Discovery to Impact program will use to accelerate new products, services, solutions and cures for startups and existing businesses, according to previous reporting.

But even without IBM and UT soaking up space at Parmer Impact Labs, Karlin has previous proofs of concept for what it is trying to accomplish in Austin. The developer is well known for its Parmer RTP project in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Karlin transformed that 1980s-era single-user campus into a property anchored by Duke University’s Human Vaccine Institute and other life science companies."


Source: Austin Business Journal

Written by: Cody Baird

Published: January 9, 2024

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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