The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) announced this week that it has officially closed on the sale of the agency’s headquarters in downtown Austin. TRS sold the 3.8-acre property, which had been the home of TRS since 1973, for $108 million.
As a part of the sale, TRS will continue to occupy the building for two more years until its new Austin headquarters in the Mueller district is ready for move-in. The total cost of the new facility, including any necessary renovations, is expected to be around $300 million.
The sale of the downtown office and move to the new facility will save TRS $15 million over the next 20 years, according to the agency’s internal accounting. If TRS were to remain at its original headquarters, the agency would have been required to spend over $75 million on renovations to keep it habitable. Even then, TRS still would not have enough room to house its employees and would have been forced to open an auxiliary headquarters elsewhere in Austin, costing the system millions more.
The Mueller facility offers enough space so that all Austin-based TRS employees can occupy one space. When TRS first moved into the downtown facility in 1973, the system had roughly 200 employees. Now, almost 50 years later, TRS has over five times that number of employees.
TRS is also scheduled to open its first regional office in El Paso later this year with funding appropriated to the system by the Texas Legislature last year. The El Paso office was created to more easily serve retirees in that area, saving them the long trip from El Paso to Austin. Depending on how the implementation of this office goes, TRS has said it will consider opening other regional offices around the state.