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First multi-story commercial building to be built in Victoria since 1980s


June 24, 2013 at 1:24 a.m.
Updated June 25, 2013 at 1:25 a.m.

CivilCorp, LLC, an engineering and surveying company, plans to build a new corporate office, complete with commercial rental space, in Victoria. The three-story building, to be located adjacent to The Club at Colony Creek, should break ground in September.

One Victoria company plans to offer up offices with a view.

Plans are underway to house engineering and surveying company CivilCorp's new corporate office - complete with commercial rental space - in Victoria, said Ben Galvan, the company's president.

The build is the city's first multi-story commercial building of its kind since the 1980s, he said, citing a worker with the project's contractor, Krueger Construction.

Located off Airline Road and adjacent to The Club at Colony Creek, the project will offer three floors and 23,000 square feet. Tierra Linda, Galvan's second company, is the development firm behind the project.

"We're hoping that we can attract different businesses that would have an interest in the golf course," he said, noting the location might help companies with marketing, client base and so on. "All the offices have a view of the golf course."

Plans call for CivilCorp to occupy the building's top floor but for the first floor to house two rentable areas, both at nearly 3,000 square feet. The second level will offer more than 6,000 square feet of available space.

The company plans to break ground in September and complete the project by summer 2014.

Larry Clark, who manages 120 Main Place and Victoria Tower, said most of the city's upper-end office complexes are full. Although he leases out space for a living, he said the addition of CivilCorp's building will be a welcome sight.

"There's always room for more," he said. "Unless things slow down, we'll need it."

Office rental space doesn't appear to be a particular problem in Victoria, but there isn't an abundance of vacancies, said Lee Swearingen, owner and broker of Coldwell Banker the Ron Brown Co.

"We don't seem to have people knocking down our door looking for space," he said. "But when we do, it's hard to find any."

Office occupancy in Victoria sits at 87 percent, said Quinn Gleinser, a real estate agent with Swearingen's company who tracks such data. That's up 1 percent from about 18 months ago.

Swearingen said most tenants in town typically look for spaces ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet. Larger builds - 20,000-square-foot spaces and up - have not seen much demand, he said, although indicators show those bigger tenants could be in Victoria's future.

Most companies appear to be trying to build their own office space, Swearingen added.

Such is the case for Galvan, who said that, after years of renting, it was time for the company to have a place of its own.

CivilCorp has offices in Victoria and Houston but is based in Victoria. Its current office is inside the Wells Fargo building at 1501 E. Mockingbird Lane.

Now seems the right time, the Victoria native said, noting the city's ongoing growth bodes well for the future.

"We're just excited about our community and all the growth that's happening," Galvan said. "This is home. Our family's here, it's where we raise our kids, and it's where we want to stay."



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