The huge deal everyone missed: Nate Paul and World Class Capital for the win again

South Congress and Riverside Drive
World Class Capital Group has scored another prime location. Look back over your shoulder to the left.

Shortly before Christmas 2017, World Class Capital Group — founded by Austin real estate wunderkind Nate Paul —  closed on a huge real estate deal that has escaped detection until now.

Parcels at 500 S. Congress Ave., 510 S. Congress Ave. and 105 W. Riverside Drive were acquired from the Moton Crockett family, which had owned the property for about a century.

500 S Congress hidden community
500 S. Congress includes this cozy apartment complex almost completely hidden from the street. Bouldin Creek runs across the south of the property.

 

510 south congress northside
510 S. Congress includes this four-story office building just to the south of the Chevron gas station. Bring your best singing voice to Ego’s Bar.
105 W Riverside Drive
105 W. Riverside Drive, for now, is a pretty unremarkable — though convenient — office building.

Paul confirmed with me Monday that the deal closed in December and that World Class Capital is considering redevelopment options for nearly six acres that surround the Chevron station at South Congress Avenue and Riverside Drive.

Chevron Riverside
Who knew that six acres of prime redevelopment property surround this busy gas station?

Several dated 1970s properties occupy the site: low-rise apartments configured in a horseshoe shape, which back up to Bouldin Creek; a four-story office building with subterranean parking and Ego’s (karaoke) Bar; and a mundane-looking office strip along Riverside Drive.

As is customary with Texas non-disclosure laws, no purchase price is available for public perusal. The Travis Central Appraisal District values them collectively at around $37 million for tax purposes — but considering the prime location, the land is the diamond in the rough.

One detail I could ascertain from the Travis County Clerk’s office is that the World Class Capital entity — WC South Congress Square LLC — obtained a loan for $33.6 million toward the purchase from Loancore Credit Capital REIT, a company with an address in Greenwich, Connecticut.

World Class Capital has been on a buying streak lately — it closed earlier this year on the big corporate campus originally built by 3M Co. in far Northeast Austin. That deal includes about 1.3 million square feet of offices on 156 acres.

Documents filed at the Travis County Clerk’s office show that a World Class Capital entity obtained a loan for $64 million from Ladder Capital Financial in New York toward that acquisition. TCAD values the property at more than $80 million.

More recently World Class Capital purchased several buildings at MetCenter — a large business park near Texas Highway 71 and East Riverside Drive close to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. TCAD values those properties at a collective $56 million. Loancore Credit Capital REIT also provided financing on that deal — $48.2 million, according to TCC records.

As long as I’m running a tally, I’ll finish this post with a mind boggling compilation. From what I can ascertain with minimal resources, World Class Capital owns at least $500 million in real estate properties in Travis County alone. Remember, I’m limited to tax appraisals, which typically are lower than market value.

That’s a pretty remarkable feat in 10 years — when Paul founded his audaciously-named company as a college student.

Paul is clearly nearing his stated goal of becoming a billionaire. Is he even 30 yet?

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