World Class Properties, founded by its principal Nate Paul, owns World Class South Congress Square, LLC. This entity possesses 6 acres in the SCWF.
Nate Paul, a real estate wunderkind, founded World Class Capital Group in 2007. Buying heavily after the 2008 real estate crisis, World Class controlled $1.2 billion in mostly commercial properties by 2017. A few local properties included the Teakwood Plaza, Galleria Oaks and Arboretum Crossing shopping centers, the 3M campus, and the Cypress Semiconductor property.
Nate Paul ‘s quickly-amassed real estate empire toppled even faster because of scandals. Agents with the FBI, U.S. Treasury and Texas State Securities Board raided Paul’s offices in Austin in August 2019, carrying away boxes of records. Although no criminal charges have been filed to date, lenders sought to sell off the troubled company’s assets, triggering World Class to file mass bankruptcies.
Nate Paul and his companies also have been accused of endangering Austin’s live music scene. Ethics Music Lounge and Kingdom were locked out of their clubs after World Class bought their buildings in 2018, the Austin Chronicle reported. Previously World Class squeezed out Metal and Lace (formerly Headhunters), Momo’s, and La Zona Rosa. Austin’s Rio bar employees sued Nate Paul and other owners in 2014, alleging that Paul shorted them $500,000 in tips (the litigation settled out of court).