Texas teachers and taxpayers are no longer on the hook for the extravagant rent at an upscale property on Austin’s Sixth Street, thanks to the sale of the building. A state agency originally leased the pricey office space to teachers’ public-pension management employees at an initial rate of nearly $4 million per year.

On July 2, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas announced: 

TRS has no further lease obligations as a result of the recent sale of the new Indeed Tower located in downtown Austin. Kilroy Realty Corporation of California purchased the property from an investment group that included Principal Real Estate Investors. The sale closed June 23.

In January 2020, Texas Scorecard reported on the lease rate of $326,000 a month, which TRS had agreed to pay to office some of the bureaucracy’s employees.

TRS had planned to move its investment management division to Indeed Tower when the building was completed in 2021. It was under construction when the lease was signed and considered a very desirable address.  

Due to public outcry, the TRS board announced in February 2020 the agency would remain at its current location in downtown Austin and sublease the Indeed Tower property.  

According to their statement, TRS “is one of the largest retirement systems in the nation. The system’s core mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of Texas educators by prudently investing and managing trust assets and delivering member benefits. As of 12/31/2020, the TRS pension fund had a market value of $176.9 billion.”

The agency’s board plans to discuss long-term space options at their July 15-16 meeting.

Tera Collum

Tera Collum has 13 years experience as a government and economics teacher in Texas public schools. She recently was the director of The Travis Institute of Educational Policy and Teachers for Texas.