NewsTalk Texas

DFW major apartment sales prices 2014 

(3/31/2015 7:15:00 AM)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - Cushman & Wakefield has released its Year-End 2014 Multifamily Snapshot, which includes a highlight of significant apartment sales from the past year.

Significant Apartment Sales 2014
Property Name City #
Units
Total Price Price/Unit
Elan City Centre   Dallas 130 $46,035,891 $139,503
Glen Lakes   Dallas 424 $49,000,000 $115,566
Interurban Building Dallas 134 $22,176,076 $165,493
Lakewood Flats Dallas 435 $60,500,000 $139,080
Zang Triangle Dallas 240 $32,400,000 $135,000
Marquis at Willow Lake Fort Worth 138 $19,225,000 $139,312
Orion At Oak Hill Fort Worth 360 $47,000,000 $130,556
The Resort at 925 Main Grapevine 251 $54,600,000 $217,530
Mission at La Villita Irving 360 $48,770,210 $135,473
Arthouse Keller 187 $30,250,000 $161,765
CityParc At Keller Keller 312 $32,200,000 $103,205
The Heights at Lake Forest McKinney 334 $45,000,000 $134,731
Parkview Legends McKinney 208 $21,800,000 $104,808
Legends at Ridgeview Ranch Plano 480 $59,772,835 $124,527
Sweetwater Ranch Richardson 312 $32,600,000 $104,487


Sources: Real Capital Analytics, Cushman & Wakefield Research Services

See the full report or see more under Multifamily at DFW Market Research.

Multifamily set for Prosper's Windsong Ranch 

(3/31/2015 7:00:00 AM)

PROSPER - A new rental community is coming to the 2,000-acre Windsong Ranch community in Denton County.

Davis Development plans to build a 300-unit, townhouse-style rental community on the property, which is near the northeast corner of U.S. 380 and Gee Rd. The Atlanta-based developer has purchased 26 acres at the entrance to Windsong Ranch for the project.

The site is next door to where a new shopping center anchored by a Kroger supermarket is in the works. It will be the first rental project in the $1.2 billion community.

Windsong Ranch is planned to contain more than 3,000 houses and has already completed the first three phases of homes.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Orange shipyard project 'barge in' to tanker 

(3/31/2015)

ORANGE - Here's another payoff from the natural gas boom resounding throughout the United States: an Orange shipyard is building the first barge-to-tanker vessels to carry liquefied natural gas (LNG) in North America.

The builder is Conrad Orange Shipyard and work on the vessel, a "bunker barge," should begin almost immediately, said Robert Sampey, business development manager for the shipyard's parent company, Conrad Industries.

The barge's buyer is WesPac Midstream.

The project won't create any new jobs, but it will keep a third of Conrad's 300-worker roster busy and could attract more activity for other liquefied gas vessels, Sampey said.

The 212-foot barge capable of holding 2,200 cubic meters of LNG is scheduled for completion in early 2016.

The barge will be put to work in Tacoma, Washington, to help fuel ships before it is ultimately relocated to Jacksonville, Florida.

This project gives Southeast Texas stake in a growing market for providing and using LNG as a marine fuel.

Read more at the Beaumont Enterprise.

NEWT! Jet engine facility parts the water in Wichita Falls 

(3/31/2015)

WICHITA FALLS - Alcoa Power and Propulsion has started construction on an innovative water treatment system at its jet engine parts facility in Wichita Falls.

A first-of-its-kind in the state, the environmentally sustainable system will reduce water use by 68 percent annually at the plant, which is located in the drought-stricken region of North Central Texas.

Construction of the water treatment system — known as a Natural Engineered Wastewater Treatment (NEWT) system — is expected to be completed in third quarter this year.

The NEWT system collects water used in the facility and then purifies it using vegetation — without the use of traditional wastewater treatment associated with conventional tank-based systems.

The water is treated to a high quality, suitable for continued use in the manufacturing process.

Since February 2014, the City of Wichita Falls has required all industrial businesses to reduce water consumption by 10 to 35 percent.

The $2.4 million project will be funded jointly by Alcoa and the City of Wichita Falls, with the city funding 50 percent of the project cost.

Alcoa Power and Propulsion's Wichita Falls plant is a leading producer of equiax superalloy blades and vanes for commercial and military jet engines and industrial gas turbines.

The facility has been located in Wichita Falls since 1979. It consists of two manufacturing sites occupying 170,000 sf and 49,000 sf, both located on 66 acres.

Read more at KSWO-TV.

South Padre Island building permits: Jan.–Feb. 2015 

(3/31/2015)

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - Building permit totals for January and February 2015 have been released by the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation (SPIEDC).

South Padre Island Building Permit Valuations
Month Commercial Residential Total
Jan. $3,765,670 $725,147 $4,490,817
Feb. $95,488 $1,792,251 $1,887,739


See 'Building Permits' under South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation

Want previous years? You are in luck! Click here.

Texas Speedway's finish line; homes race to College Station 

(3/31/2015)

COLLEGE STATION - Texas World Speedway will shut down in mid-June to make way for a multimillion dollar housing development.

CEO Bill Mather is the housing developer who will convert the 400-acre speedway into what will be known as the Southern Point community.

The $55 million development will be constructed in five phases to include 1,400 homes, a commercial development, nature trails and space for a new elementary school.

The development will be the first municipal utility district, or MUD, in College Station.

Mather hopes to break ground shortly after the track closes in mid-June with the first homeowner possibly moving in by summer 2016.

Read more at KBTX.

Victoria development activity tops $150M in 2014 

(3/31/2015)

VICTORIA - Victoria clocked more than $150 million in development in 2014, thanks in part to a drilling boom that shot Texas' oil production to the highest it has been in decades.

It is not just oil and gas playing into the city's construction figures. Demand for housing in Victoria has rocketed during the past five years, bringing a flurry of developers who are attempting to fill the void.

Planning Services Director Jared Mayfield said Victoria has seen more development in the past fiscal year than it has in any recent history.

Victoria will soon be getting four more apartment complexes. One of those complexes is The Duke Apartments at 301 Augusta Dr. It represents a $19.2 million investment — the largest the city has seen in the past year.

In the past four years, the city permitted 1,750 new apartment units. The city still has a need for about 1,100 more housing units to meet the next five years of population growth, according to Jared Mayfield, Victoria's Planning Services Director.

Victoria's employment rate and labor force has steadily increased over the past five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With the city's population growing about 4 percent, according to U.S. Census figures, Victoria is expected to break the 70,000 mark in the next five years.

Among the developments is the University of Houston-Victoria's $20 million residence hall.

Read more at the Victoria Advocate.

Brighton-Best signs 90,000-SF lease in Houston 

(3/31/2015)

HOUSTON - Brighton-Best International, a major U.S. socket screw products supplier, has leased 90,528 sf within the Cole Creek Business Park located at 6911 Fairbanks N. Houston Rd.

The company will join current tenant Viking SupplyNet at Cole Creek #3, a 252,000-sf, single-story warehouse. Brighton-Best has scheduled a June move-in.

Brighton-Best International is a distribution company of fastener products. The company started in New York, NY, and has grown worldwide, with locations in the USA, UK, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Berkadia: San Antonio 2014 Multifamily Sales Summary 

(3/31/2015)

SAN ANTONIO - Significant activity persisted in the multifamily-investment market in 2014, according to Berkadia's 2014 Sales Summary.

In 2013, a majority of the deals consisted of 1960s to 1980s stock.

During 2014, however, investors targeted newer assets, with approximately 55 percent of transactions comprised of apartment communities built from 1980 to 2000. Consequently, dollar volume rose 9.6 percent year over year to $1 billion.

More than a third of transactions occurred in the Bexar County/Other and Far North Central submarkets. Prices in the Bexar County/Other submarket advanced 9.2 percent year over year to $118,922 per unit.

In the Far North Central submarket, the average price reached $72,314 per unit, a gain of 47.1 percent. Metrowide, prices increased 27.3 percent to $82,166 per unit.

Cap rates fell 30 basis points in the last 12 months, reaching 6.5 percent in December. Among the most-traded properties, those built from 1980 to 2000, first-year yields averaged 6.7 percent, the same as year-end 2013.

Year-over-Year Sales Summary 2014
  100+ Unit Sales < 100 Unit Sales
Avg. Price
Per Unit
Avg. Price
Per SF
# of
Sales
Total
Volume
Avg. Price
Per Unit
Avg. Price
Per SF
# of
Sales
Total
Volume
2013 $70,757 $76.99 48 $895,574,525 $41,534 $36.34 13 $33,220,220
2014 $85,151 $91.60 44 $990,928,479 $63,406 $47.30 7 $27,151,824
Change 20% 19% -8% 11% 53% 30% -46% -18%


Click here for Berkadia's entire sales summary and 2015 forecast.

Source: Berkadia

Odessa: rounding out the sale of 100-unit Village Place 

(3/31/2015)

ODESSA - Marcus & Millichap has arranged the sale of Village Place, a 100-unit multifamily property.

Village Place is located at 1100 Milburn Ave., within one mile of US Hwy. 385 and one mile from I-20. The property was built in 1971.

Joe James and Kent Myers of Marcus & Millichap’s Austin office marketed the property on behalf of the seller, a Texas-based development company.

Read more from Texas Real Estate Business.

Austin's Stonegate Apartments part of new Castle buy 

(3/31/2015)

AUSTIN - Stonegate Apartments, a 452-unit Class A property at 10505 S. I-35, has been sold.

Constructed in 2003 and located off I-35, Stonegate consists of 24 two- and three-story buildings with units in a variety of modern floor plans, many with vaulted 13-foot ceilings and balconies or patios.

Stonegate offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 556 sf to 1,434 sf. Rent varies from $810 to $1,545 per month, according to apartmentguide.com.

The community includes a clubhouse that includes the leasing office, business center, fitness center and recreation room.

Castle Lanterra Properties purchased Stonegate with more than $1 million earmarked for upgrades including new lighting and plumbing fixtures, appliances and flooring.

Read more at GlobeSt.com.

DFW foreclosures rise in April, but still relatively low 

(3/30/2015 11:00:00 AM)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - After months of declines, April saw a jump in the number of North Texas homes facing foreclosure.

Lenders have scheduled foreclosure sales for more 1,681 homes in DFW — a 14 percent increase from foreclosure filings in April 2014.

Next month’s foreclosure posting volume in the four-county area is at the highest level in a year, according to data from Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service.

The largest foreclosure posting increase is in Dallas County where they number of homes facing forced sale next month is up about 15 percent from a year ago.

Even with April’s increase, home foreclosure filings in North Texas are down about 15 percent from the first four months of 2014.

Foreclosure filings in North Texas in 2014 were at the lowest level in 13 years.

The number of home foreclosure postings in North Texas last year fell 26 percent from 2013 totals. Foreclosure filings this year were less than a third of what they were in 2010 during the worst of the housing sector shakeout.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Mission Cos. buys Ashford Place II and III in Houston 

(3/30/2015 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The Mission Cos. has acquired the 1970s-era Ashford Place II and III buildings near I-10 and Dairy Ashford from Insite Realty.

The company already owned the neighboring Ashford Atrium and Ashford IV buildings on St. Mary's Lane. All four of the buildings are between 96 and 100 percent leased.

Ashford Place II contains 58,730 sf at 950 Threadneedle, while Ashford Place III consists of 84,775 sf at 14800 St. Mary's Lane. The properties underwent $3.2 million in improvements in 2008.

The Mission Cos. owns about 1 million sf of office and medical buildings in Houston, including the St. Joseph Professional Building downtown and two buildings in Westchase. It recently sold a building at 1111 West Loop South that houses the Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

The Mission Cos. is seeing strong demand for its Class B buildings in the Energy Corridor and Westchase, two regions with a concentration of companies in that provide services to oil and gas firms.

The company is also developing a 165,000-sf office building at 1885 St. James. No leases have been announced yet in the building, which will have nine levels of office space and six levels of parking.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

San Antonio attracts record number of international visitors 

(3/30/2015 9:30:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio International Airport saw a 9.1 percent increase in international passenger traffic in January, with more than 40,900 travelers arriving from other countries.

That’s the largest international passenger count ever recorded for the month of January in San Antonio.

The latest numbers mean that San Antonio is off to a good start in its push to attract more visitors from outside the United States.

International travelers typically stay longer and spend more money when they visit. As a result, San Antonio officials have worked to attract this type of traveler in recent years.

Overall, 615,622 passengers flew into San Antonio International in January — 1.3 percent more than in January 2014.

San Antonio International Airport Statistics
  January
Passengers 2015 2014 Chg.
Domestic Enplanements 284,468 282,587 0.7%
Domestic Deplanements 290,248 287,551 0.9%
Total Domestic Passengers 574,716 570,138 0.8%
InternationaI Enplanements 20,476 19,268 6.3%
International Deplanements 20,430 18,220 12.1%
Total International Passengers 40,906 37,488 9.1%
Grand Total all Passengers 615,622 607,626 1.3%


Source: San Antonio International Airport

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

For a PDF of the January and December statistics, click  here.

Sold: 334-unit Sun Park Aparments in San Antonio 

(3/30/2015)

SAN ANTONIO - Berkadia has arranged the sale of Sun Park Apartments, a multifamily property located at 1830 Bandera Rd.

Sun Park Apartments was built in 1985. The fully occupied, 334-unit property features studio, one- and two-bedroom units.

A private investor from San Diego purchased the property. A private investor from Los Angeles was the seller.

Read more from Texas Real Estate Business.

Houston: Franklin Valve leases 133,000 SF in Prologis Park 

(3/30/2015)

HOUSTON - Franklin Valve has leased 132,600 sf at 500 Northpark Central Dr. The building is a single-story, 174,200-sf industrial complex constructed in 2013 along I-45 in the master-planned Prologis Park Northpark.

Certified LEED Gold in 2014, the property features 37 loading docks, four drive-in bays, 30' clear heights and an ESFR sprinkler system.

Franklin Valve is a manufacturing company that makes Dura Seal Double Block and Bleed Plug valve. The company is privately owned and was established in 2003.

Read more at CoStar Group.

The Woodlands: Sawdust Rd. grinds to Woodmill Creek 

(3/30/2015)

THE WOODLANDS - Woodmill Creek, a new 75-acre mixed-use development located at 1823 Sawdust Rd., is underway and will include multifamily and single-family homes, two office buildings and retail space.

The development, located just north of Exxon Mobil Corp.'s 385-acre campus, is part of the tremendous growth in Montgomery County as business and population in the region booms.

Of the 75 acres of land at Woodmill Creek, 49 acres is available for development. The remaining acreage is streets, detention or green space, said David B. Toone, Principal at PinPoint Commercial, LP, the developer.

PinPoint Commercial has partnered with Alliance Residential, which will build two high-density housing developments in the community — one is a four-story apartment community and the other is a townhome project.

In addition, Pelican Builders will close soon on 8.3 acres for a single-family, high-density development. Pelican Builders has developed other housing communities in The Woodlands.

The new community will be gated and offer multistory homes with garages. The housing community will also include a swimming pool.

PinPoint Commercial has designed a 192,000-sf office building. The developer will wait to begin construction until it has signed preleases with tenants. A second office building is expected to be 242,000 sf.

The commercial aspect will include 52,000 sf of retail.

One of the community amenities includes a private, fenced park for the residents and tenants to use exclusively. The development, which is expected to be complete in five to six years, also has a jogging trail.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

MYCON's industrial space in Irving, Flower Mound completed 

(3/30/2015)

IRVING, FLOWER MOUND - MYCON General Contractors has completed construction of two large industrial warehouse facilities: Parc Royal, Buildings 1–4 in Irving and Lakeside Ridge Distribution Center, Buildings 1 and 2 in Flower Mound.

Park Royal, located at 3700 W. Royal Lane, is a 511,600-sf master-planned facility on a 30-acre tract.

Lakeside Ridge Distribution Center, located at 1201 Lakeside Pkwy. (Building 1) and 501 Gerault Rd. (Building 2), comprises two tilt-wall buildings featuring office and warehouse space with a total of 453,300 sf.

Both projects were completed in less than nine months, according to John Riggins, MYCON’s vice president of office and industrial, which served as general contractor on the projects. Both projects were developed by Crow Holdings.

Read more at GlobeSt.com.

Lakeway Resort and Spa completes $7M renovation 

(3/30/2015)

LAKEWAY - The Lakeway Resort and Spa has reached the end of a complex $7 million renovation that was more than 18 months in the making.

The process was completed in phases to minimize disruption and to enhance revenue. “Virtually every aspect of the resort has been upgraded, from the roof to the flooring and everything in between,” said Murray Dow II, president of Dow Hotel Co., Lakeway’s owner and operator.

“This is the seventh major renovation we have completed in the past 24 months, all of which have been on time and budget,” Dow added.

Public spaces were refreshed to reflect a contemporary style that combines natural and traditional Texas themes; elements of guest rooms were thoroughly revitalized, from carpeting to furniture. Dow upgraded food and beverage venues and added a new restaurant, Masterson’s Steakhouse.

Meeting space has been redesigned to benefit from the lake and Hill Country views. The 17 meeting rooms, including four ballrooms that provide 24,000 sf for functions, can accommodate up to 350 guests.

The 4,000-sf Kid Zone play area has been highly colored and retooled. Two heated pools and one unheated pool can be used year round; the outdoor area has been enriched with new surfaces and water features, as well as a swim-up pool bar. Internet speed has been enhanced and rooms have been equipped with large high-definition TVs.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

New HAR.com goes live with listings from all over Texas 

(3/27/2015 11:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON and TEXAS - The popular consumer-facing real estate search portal operated by the Houston Association of Realtors, HAR.com, has officially relaunched with listings from throughout the state of Texas.

After nearly a year in beta testing, the association has flipped the switch on the new HAR.com, which has been rebranded as “Homes and Rentals” and includes more than 130,000 active, Realtor-represented for-sale and rental listings in 11 major markets and property tax information for more than 8.2 million homes throughout the state.

“As a prominent provider of real estate listings for the past 18 years, the accuracy and integrity of the content on HAR.com is of utmost importance, and we know that our content is completely broker-authorized and MLS-accurate,” said HAR President and CEO Bob Hale.

The new site’s features include:

•  “Drive Time” from INRIX, which allows users to enter any address, their desired drive time, and other search parameters such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms to produce a map of available property listings that fall within that drive time.

•  Push notifications on GPS-enabled smartphones for new home listings and the ability to search for nearby open houses.

•  “Texas School Finder” which lets potential buyers shop for a home based on schools and districts, school ratings, rankings and test score statistics.

•  “Neighborhood Finder” which lets consumers search for properties based on neighborhoods, subdivisions, cities, counties or ZIP code.

The site receives data from about 21 MLSs throughout Texas, including Dallas-based North Texas Real Estate Information Systems Inc. (NTREIS), as well as franchisors Realogy, Keller Williams and Re/Max of Texas.

The site is not receiving listings from the Austin Board of Realtors because that association no longer uses ListHub as its syndicator.

But the two associations are in discussions to figure out an alternative, Hale said. In the meantime, Hale estimates that more than half of Austin’s listings appear on HAR.com through franchisors.

Click here to check out the new HAR website.

Read more at Inman News.

Best places to retire? Three Texas cities make the cut 

(3/27/2015)

TEXAS - The Lone Star State came in 23rd on Bankrate.com’s list of best states to retire, just ahead of North Carolina and ahead the state of Washington.

Wyoming is the best state to retire to, according to the report, followed by Colorado.

If you're trying to identify a specific city, Forbes recently released a list of 25 cities that are prime spots to kick back and enjoy the golden years.

Three Texas cities are on the list:

•  Abilene — Cost of living 17 percent below national average, average home price of $142,000, and population 120,000.

•  San Angelo — Cost of living 17 percent below national average, median home price of $189,000, and population 97,000.

•  San Marcos — Cost of living 8 percent below national average, typical home price of $198,000, and population 54,000.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

For the rankings, see Bankrate.com and Forbes.

SHH! HEB quietly accumulating DFW area land 

(3/27/2015)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - HEB has quietly been gathering acreage in North Texas while building stores in Houston and San Antonio that redefine the traditional Texas supermarket.

The San Antonio-based grocer has bought at least a dozen locations in the region including:

  • Allen: Greenville Avenue and Exchange Parkway in Allen 75002 (northwest corner);
  • Corinth: FM 2181 and FM 2499 Corinth, 76210 (in the Teasley Crossing addition);
  • Dallas: 5204 S. Buckner Blvd., Dallas 75227 (11.26 acres);
  • DeSoto: 845 and 849 N. I 35E (Beckley Road), DeSoto 75115 (17.4 acres);
  • Fort Worth: 6301, 6325 and 6351 W. Bailey Boswell Road, Fort Worth 76179;
  • Frisco: Lebanon Road and FM 423 in Frisco (23.88 acres at the Village at Phillips Creek Ranch in Denton County);
  • Grand Prairie: 5325 and 5303 Lake Ridge Parkway, Grand Prairie 75052;
  • Lewisville:
  • McKinney: 5317 W. University Drive in McKinney 75071 (in Wilson Creek Crossing);
  • Murphy: FM 544 (Kirby Street) and the intersection of McCreary, Murphy 75094  (southeast corner); and
  • Plano: Southwest corner of Preston Road and Spring Creek Parkway in Plano (in Turner Heritage addition).

A full-blown expansion north seems like a natural step to everyone else in Texas, but the 110-year-old family-owned and -operated business didn’t make it to the top of its game by rushing into anything.

H-E-B, which operates five Central Market specialty food stores in the Dallas area, has land-banked 16 North Texas sites, according to Karla Smith, senior vice president and partner in the Dallas office of commercial real estate firm CBRE.

H-E-B has become one of the ten largest grocers in the U.S., according Supermarket News. With annual sales of $22.6 billion last year, it operates 373 stores, including 50 in Mexico. The company has been led by chairman and CEO Charles Butt, grandson of the founder, since the 1970s.

“If and when we do, it would be custom-built for DFW and not modeled after another market,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B vice president. “H-E-B values innovation, creativity and specific tailoring to the communities we serve.”

Read more at the Dallas Morning News. Be sure to see "THE MAP" of present H-E-B's and H-E-B land purchases.

Victoria home sales Feb. 2015: Swearingen 

(3/27/2015)

VICTORIA - The Swearingen Report for residential homes has been released for the 12 months ending February 2015 by Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company.

The average sales price for residential homes was $179,140, up 6.1 percent versus February 2014 when it was $168,906.

The median price of residential homes was $165,900, versus February 2014 when it was $153,000, an increase of 8.4 percent.

Total sales of residential homes in Victoria MLS for February 2015 was 903, 1.2 percent (11 homes) less than February 2014.

The average Days on Market for residential homes for February 2015 was 84, 11.6 percent shorter than the same period last year.

Total building permits for Victoria city limits for February 2015 was 164, up 32.3 percent compared to February 2014 when the number of permits was 111.

Victoria MLS Residential Home Sales Feb. 2015
All Categories* 12 Months Ending
Feb. 2014
12 Months Ending
Feb. 2015
Chg.
Residential property sales 914 903 -1.2%
Residential total dollar volume $154,379,802 $161,763,248 4.8%
Average residential sales price $168,906 $179,140 6.1%
Median residential sales price $153,000 $165,900 8.4%
Total active listings end of month 196 250 27.6%
Months inventory** 3.3 4.3 30.3%


*Figures refer to the residential homes market.
**Six (6) months of inventory is considered a balanced market.

See the full report at Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company.

San Antonio: 114 acres auctioned for $20M in 20 minutes 

(3/27/2015)

SAN ANTONIO - Not many people are willing to drop more than $20 million in less than 20 minutes, but that is exactly what Robert Schumacher did for the largest undeveloped property left in Northwest San Antonio.

The site, a 114-acre property on UTSA Blvd. along I-10, was sold in a bankruptcy auction for $20.3 million. Schumacher said he has been aggressive in value-add investments, but wanted a site big enough for a master-planned community.

The auctioned property, in particular, is in the middle of a significant growth spurt in terms of population, household income, employment and spending.

Nearby developments include La Cantera Resort, the Rim shopping center and company headquarters for Valero, USAA, South Texas Medical Center and Security Service Federal Credit Union.

In other words, there is a lot happening in the area, with more development on the way.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Houston bayou area to see more million-dollar condos 

(3/27/2015)

HOUSTON - Monroe at Bayou Park, a six-story building with nine condominium units, will be developed just south of the bayou at 1034 Rochow between West Dallas and West Clay.

Floors two through five will each have two 3,400-sf units with balconies.

The building will also offer a 7,000-sf penthouse unit that comes with a year's worth of housekeeping services. Prices are expected to be between $1.3 million to $1.5 million. The penthouse could be priced at $3.8 million.

The building will also have a 2,000-sf rooftop deck with an outdoor kitchen, dining terrace and fitness room.

Al Ross, who for the past couple of years has been developing multimillion-dollar mansions on spec, is the developer of the project. Ross hopes to break ground by fall.

On a nearby site along D'Amico St. near Allen Pkwy., construction will begin this summer on a 29-unit building called Riva at the Park. Units in the ten-story building are sold out, said Chris Sims, president of developer Sims Luxury Builders.

Future developments for this area include Regent Square, which has been designed as a multiblock mix of housing, offices, shops and entertainment venues.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Lubbock residential data Jan. 2015 

(3/27/2015)

LUBBOCK - The West Texas Home Builders Association's March 2015 Newsletter has been released and includes January 2015 residential home sales.

Lubbock MLS Residential Data Survey Jan. 2015*
Residential sales closed 202
Volume of closed sales $32,389,876
Average price $160,346
Active listings 978


*Sales figures include single-family, detached only, townhomes and condominiums.

Read more at the West Texas Home Builders Association.

Looking for more housing stats? Visit Lubbock Market Research.

Amarillo senior-living community part of $79M sale 

(3/27/2015)

AMARILLO - Evergreen Senior Living Properties LLC and management affiliate ESLP Management LLC announced the acquisition of four senior living communities in Texas from Sears Methodist Retirement System.

The $79 million purchase includes The Craig in Amarillo, Meadow Lake in Tyler, The Parks in Odessa, and Wesley Court in Abilene.

Evergreen plans to spend approximately $1 million on refurbishments at The Craig to include extensive refurbishing of the physical facility and adding new transportation vehicles for the community.

Abilene's gated community, Wesley Court, is a senior living community located on 70 acres offering apartment homes, executive homes, assisted-living and skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

Read more at MyHighPlains.com and the Abilene Reporter-News.

More San Antonians hired as unemployment rate dips in Feb. 

(3/27/2015)

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio’s unemployment rate stood at 3.8 percent for the month of February 2015 as more people in the city are finding work.

This compares to a local unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in January and 5.2 percent in February 2014.

Meanwhile, Texas’ unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent in February as employers added 7,100 nonagricultural jobs during the month and 357,000 positions added over the year.

The state’s unemployment rate is down from 4.4 percent in January. Five of the 11 major industries tracked by the Texas Workforce Commission added jobs in February.

The industry sector that experienced the largest monthly increase in seasonally adjusted job growth was the trade, transportation and utilities industry, which added 16,300 jobs.

The Leisure and Hospitality sector added 9,700 positions in February and 55,500 positions over the year. Construction, Other Services and Financial Activities added 2,800 jobs combined.

Read more from the San Antonio Business Journal.

For more employment stats, see the Texas Workforce Commission.

Candy plant avoids sticky situation in Grand Prairie 

(3/26/2015 8:00:00 AM)

GRAND PRAIRIE - Red Hots, Atomic Fireballs, Lemonhead, Now & Later and other candies will have cooler surroundings in the Ferrara Candy Co. distribution center at its Grand Lakes II facility at 3953 Gifford St.

Ferrara Candy agreed to renew full occupancy at its Class A, 1.06 million-sf Grand Lakes II within Grand Lakes Distribution Center.

Duke Realty Corporation built Grand Lakes II in 2008 on I-30 between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Grand Lakes is located in a State of Texas Enterprise Zone and has Triple Freeport inventory tax exempt status. Buildings on the site also can be served by Union Pacific Railroad.

Ferrara manufactures, repackages and sells a wide variety of candy.

“Grand Lakes II is a modern, Class A, well-maintained building with superior highway access, but did not have air-conditioning throughout,” said Randy Wood, Vice President of Leasing.

“A critical component of the lease renewal was adding HVAC so that the remaining 355,933-sf, ambient-air portion of the building also would be air-conditioned. Our ability to complete this upgrade in an expedient manner without disrupting Ferrara Candy’s operations, as well as a few other improvements, was important in Ferrara Candy’s decision.”

Read more at CoStar Group, Dallas Morning News and Dallas citybizlist.

Beat the heat! Tiki Island's fresh air blows to Midland 

(3/26/2015)

MIDLAND - Tiki Island — an inflatable water park by Mode Entertainment — will be opening on the west side of Midland.

The park is the first of its kind in Texas and the second one in the country.

Mode Entertainment is building Tiki Island at the Scharbauer Sports Complex parking lot closest to Loop 250 and Deauville Blvd.

It will operate Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Tiki Island will have 11 water-based attractions that tie into the park’s tropical theme.

Day tickets are $14.99; season passes will be available for $99.99.

Andrew Mellen, engineering representative for the development, said that, even though the park can handle more than 500 people, it will restrict the capacity to 500 to make the park a safe place.

According to Elizabeth McLellan, marketing director for Tiki Island, the park will use 60,000 gallons of water per week, as well as solar-powered mist machines, pump filtration devices and recycling receptacles.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram and Tiki Island.

Royse City's 155,000-SF Walmart rises for fall opening 

(3/26/2015)

ROYSE CITY, COLLIN COUNTY - The $7 million, 154,696-sf Walmart Supercenter at 782 E. St. is underway.

The Walmart will open in October 2015 and is expected to employ approximately 100 people. There will be eight pad sites on the 36-acre Walmart site on the northwest corner of I-30 and Erby Campbell Blvd.

MYCON General Contractors, which has built 20 Walmart stores in the past, is building the Supercenter. The general contractor has stores in Bryan, Dallas, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Garland, Plano, Rowlett, Sachse and Temple.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

GE Capital snags 148,000 SF in Las Colinas campus 

(3/26/2015)

LAS COLINAS - GE Capital has rented almost a third of the six-building Riverside Commons office campus on SH 114.

GE Capital is taking 148,000 sf of office space in the buildings, which were built in the 1980s and were acquired in 2014 by Canadian investor Brookfield Property Group. Brookfield is spending about $5.5 million to renovate the buildings.

GE Capital will start moving almost 700 people into the property in October. The financial services firm is consolidating operations currently housed in two Las Colinas buildings.

The buildings formerly housed the U.S. headquarters campus for BlackBerry, which bought the buildings in 2009 before selling them to Brookfield in 2014.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News and Dallas Business Journal.

AT&T reaches out to 500 across North Texas 

(3/26/2015)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - AT&T has announced plans to hire more than 500 employees in the Metroplex.

The jobs are for retail sales, network technician and call center positions, and they are part of what AT&T is calling Project Velocity IP, a multibillion-dollar investment to expand and enhance the company’s wireless and wired networks.

“AT&T continues to expand its customer base in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area and invest in our network to ensure we are providing the high level of service customers have come to expect,” said Hardmon Williams, vice president and general manager of AT&T North Texas.

The jobs are in Allen, Arlington, Burleson, Carrollton, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Granbury, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Irving, Lancaster, McKinney, Richardson, Rockwall and Sherman.

Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Planting time! Home Depot hiring 600 in Austin 

(3/26/2015)

AUSTIN - The Home Depot plans to hire more than 600 people in the Austin area this spring to meet demand during its busy selling season.

Available jobs include cashier positions as well as roles in parking lot maintenance and the garden center. The retailer has more than a dozen stores in the Austin area, including Round Rock and Hutto locations.

Applications are available online.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Lubbock: Covenant Health to undergo $450M expansion 

(3/26/2015)

LUBBOCK - Covenant Health System officials announced their plan for a $450 million renovation project.

Covenant’s capital improvement project called “Keeping the Covenant” includes:

• $28 million expansion and renovation to the Joe Arrington Cancer Center
• new five-story Women’s Center
• new clinics including a 24,000-sf urgent care center at Erksine St. and Frankford Ave.
• renovations to the children’s hospital
• $40 million Plainview Covenant Hospital

The renovation and expansion project is planned to be completed in five to seven years.

Along with the Joe Arrington Cancer Center 16,000-sf expansion, the facility will be renovated with the latest radiation therapy equipment and include remodeled patient care rooms. New medical oncology and specialty clinics will also be included.

Additional improvements include renovation to the existing heart center and radiology units, a new central plant and the demolition of the west tower and construction of a new tower to house women’s services and a new main hospital entrance.

The new women’s services floors will include labor and delivery and postpartum floors, relocated from Covenant Children’s and a neonatal intensive care unit.

Two new outpatient clinics will be constructed in the city, including one in Northwest Lubbock that is set to break ground in April. The northwest clinic will provide space for six family practice physicians and an attached urgent care area.

Renovations to Covenant Children’s will be the final phase of Keeping the Covenant. Two floors at Covenant Children’s will be renovated for new administrative and support services. Improved patient rooms and facilities will also be included.

Read more at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Austin: Spring sale of 360-unit Martha's Vineyard 

(3/26/2015)

AUSTIN - Martha’s Vineyard, a 360-unit apartment community at 7920 San Felipe Blvd., has been sold. Occupancy was 95 percent at the time of sale.

Constructed in 1986, Martha’s Vineyard comprises one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 432 sf to 1,125 sf. Rent ranges from $644 to $1,214.

An investment managed by Pinnacle sold the property to a pension fund advisor.

Read more at the GlobeSt.com and Austin Business Journal.

Far North Dallas Horizon(s) sale of 700 apartments 

(3/26/2015)

DALLAS - Emory at Horizon North and Ashmore at Horizon North, two apartment communities in Far North Dallas, have been sold.

CAF Capital Partners and Button Capital bought the communities, which make up more than 700 apartments.

The apartments were built in the late 1990s, and the new owners plan to make upgrades to the properties.

Emory at Horizon North is located at 4200 Horizon N. Pkwy. and Ashmore at Horizon North is located at 4300 Horizon N. Pkwy.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

South side of downtown Dallas: Ramada Plaza redo 

(3/26/2015)

DALLAS - Interior demolition has begun inside the former Ramada Plaza hotel just south of downtown. The Akard Street hotel — which has been empty for years — will have about 220 rooms when it opens next summer.

Developer Hamilton Properties is renovating the vacant, 12-story hotel tower which has a front row view on the downtown skyline and is at the entry to Dallas’ Cedars neighborhood, which is seeing widespread development.

In January the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said it would back an $11 million loan to pay for part of the deal.

The renovation will include a top floor restaurant to take advantage of the downtown view.

The former Ramada tower is just blocks from the historic Ambassador Hotel, which just sold to developers who also plan to remodel the landmark.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Census: Austin fastest-growing Texas metro 

(3/26/2015)

AUSTIN - The State Capital was the third-fastest growing metro area in the past year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Austin’s population expanded by 3 percent between July 2013 and July 2014, with a total population of 1,943,299, an increase of about 57,496 new residents.

In 2010, the Census pegged the region's population at 1,716,303, giving the area a 13.2 percent growth rate over the previous five years.

The Austin area ranked just behind year-to-year population growth in The Villages, Florida, metro area that grew by 5.4 percent in the past year, and Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, which grew by 3.2 percent.

The Census Bureau's announcement of the new estimates paid special attention to Texas' booming growth overall, with several Lone Star State metro areas and counties among the fastest-growing in their respective categories.

Hays County was the fifth-fastest growing county in the nation over the past year, with its population expanding by 4.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Harris County saw the largest numerical increase in residents in the entire country over the past year, with an estimated 89,000 new residents. Bexar County was the sixth-fastest growing county in the nation, with 34,000 new residents in the past year.

Odessa was the fourth-fastest growing metro area in the nation with its population expanding by 2.9 percent in the past year.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal or check out the data at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Menil to break ground on 30,000-SF Institute in Houston 

(3/26/2015)

HOUSTON - The Menil Collection will break ground on the 30,150-sf Menil Drawing Institute — its first new art building in almost 20 years.

The drawing institute will be part of a $40 million initial phase of construction on a 2009 master plan for the expansion of the campus.

Also included in the first phase will be a new energy house to power the main art buildings, new green space and the extension of West Main St. around the institute on a block that currently dead-ends.

The drawing institute will include a gallery and space for the study, preservation, research and storage of drawings, making it the first of its kind in the United States solely devoted to the medium.

This will be the first new art building in the Menil Collection since the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, which originally opened in 1997 and recently reopened as a space for site-specific installations after being closed since 2012, when the frescoes were returned to Cyprus.

West Main St. is expected to be complete this year. The Menil Drawing Institute is expected to open mid-2017.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

El Paso: $4.7M takes 245,745-SF industrial portfolio 

(3/25/2015 11:30:00 AM)

EL PASO - CBRE has arranged the sale of a four-building, 245,745-sf industrial portfolio in El Paso, on behalf of New York-based Sullivan Crosby Trust. Phoenix-based ViaWest Group purchased the portfolio for $4.7 million.

The property is located on I-10 which connects to Phoenix and Los Angeles.

The buildings are 50 percent occupied, with short-term tenants bringing it to 75 percent occupancy.

According to CBRE Research, the central El Paso submarket is approximately 94.7 percent occupied as of fourth quarter 2014.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business and the Phoenix Business Journal.

Are you being served Dallas? Butler Brothers ring redo bell 

(3/25/2015 11:00:00 AM)

DALLAS - Owners of a historic downtown Dallas building have begun demolition to prepare for renovation of the property.

The 104-year-old Butler Brothers Building at 500 S. Ervay is one of the last large vacant commercial buildings downtown.

Owner Alterra International has announced plans to spend more than $85 million turning the eight-story former warehouse building into a mixed-use project with retail, apartments and hotel rooms.

Work crews are now gutting the interior of the 510,000-sf building to prepare for the redevelopment.

The building was one of the largest structures in Dallas when it was built to house warehouse operations for Butler Brothers of Chicago — a wholesaler and an operator of variety stores.

The big warehouse had more than 11 acres of storage space. In the 1950s it was converted into the Dallas Merchandise Mart — a wholesale showroom center. The property — located across the street from Dallas City Hall — has been vacant for more than a decade.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News. See another "old story."

DHL speeds to 2,500 shipments per hour with expansion 

(3/25/2015)

HOUSTON - Increased demand for international shipping has led DHL to add a 28,000-sf facility to its Houston service center.

It will add 2,500 shipments an hour to the location's capacity, doubling its previous volume.

The new facility should also speed delivery times and allow for later drop-off times, the company said in a statement.

The new $2.5 million DHL Express Service Center is located at 3300 Claymore Park Dr.

The upgraded service center will handle a variety of shipments, including international small parcels as well as palletized and container freight.

Read more at Direct Marketing News.

CST Brands corners 365,000-SF facility in San Antonio 

(3/25/2015)

SAN ANTONIO - CST Brands, the parent company of Corner Store, has opened a 365,000-sf distribution center in far North San Antonio.

The warehouse, located at 19500 Bulverde Rd., serves as the main distribution hub for food and merchandise for about 600 Corner Store locations across Texas.

The warehouse sits on a 77-acre campus in San Antonio that also has about 146,000 sf of office space that will serve as the company's future headquarters in 2016.

CST Brands bought the $43 million property, in part, through a city and county incentive package and $2 million worth of cash grants.

The company's headquarters are currently located at Valero Energy's corporate offices.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

$15M Home2 Suites underway in Addison 

(3/25/2015)

ADDISON - Construction has begun on a Home2 Suites on Belt Line Rd. between Quorum Dr. and Addison Rd.

The five-story, 132-room hotel will by the city’s first in more than ten years.

The extended stay hotel will feature Spin2Cycle, a combination fitness center and guest laundry. It will be the second Home2 Suites to open in DFW since Hilton Worldwide introduced the brand in 2009.

Magnolia Lodging is building the hotel, which is slated to open in the first half of 2016.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Putting life into Dallas' historic Ambassador Hotel 

(3/25/2015)

DALLAS - Developers have purchased the 110-year-old Ambassador Hotel on S. Ervay St. with plans to restore the property.

The landmark hotel is just south of downtown and is one of the city’s oldest surviving residential hotels. The hotel is next door to Dallas Heritage Village Park and is in an area that is seeing redevelopment.

A partnership led by developer Jim Lake Jr. bought the six-story building, which opened in 1905 as the Majestic Hotel.

The new owners plan to restore the building with a combination of luxury hotel space and apartments.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Land plans for 11-acre site near Cowboys HQ in Frisco 

(3/25/2015)

FRISCO - Western international has purchased almost 11 acres on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway (DNT) at McCandless Way.

The vacant property is just east of where the Dallas Cowboys are building their new corporate headquarters.

Western International plans to develop a mixed-use project with office and hotel space on the property, which is just north of Warren Pkwy.

The just purchased development site is in the area along the DNT where Frisco economic development officials brag that almost $5 billion in real estate projects are in the works or already underway.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Brownsville mall sees another 'Sunrise' 

(3/25/2015)

BROWNSVILLE - Construction on a new Dick’s Sporting Goods at Sunrise Mall is already underway and a planned multi-million-dollar interior mall makeover is slated to begin next month.

Cesar Briseno, Sunrise Mall general manager, said the necessary permits have been issued and interior work is tentatively scheduled to begin April 6.

The makeover will include new paint, flooring and tile, upgraded lighting, improved restrooms with new amenities and new planters and benches throughout the common areas.

Construction on the 50,000-sf Dick’s began about a week and a half ago, Briseno said. The sporting goods retailer will be located between Bealls and Sears on the mall’s east side.

Sunrise Mall opened in 1979 and encompasses more than 740,000 sf.

Its anchor stores include Dillards, JCPenney and Sears. The property also features a 16-screen Cinemark movie theater and more than 100 specialty shops, restaurants and other businesses.

Read more at the Brownsville Herald.

Laredo: boosting patients at new rehabilitation hospital 

(3/25/2015)

LAREDO - The Laredo Rehabilitation Hospital has opened at 2005 Bustamante St.

The center will provide intensive physical rehabilitation services to patients recovering from orthopedic injuries, strokes, brain, spinal cord injuries and other impairments.

The facility is expected to create more than 80 new jobs for the Laredo area.

The hospital is estimated to treat 400 patients annually from Laredo and surrounding areas.

Read more at KGNS-TV.

Rockport home sales Feb. 2015: Swearingen 

(3/25/2015)

ROCKPORT - The Swearingen Report for residential homes has been released for the 12 months ending February 2015 by Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company.

The average sales price for residential homes was $254,201, up 2.0 percent versus February 2014 when it was $249,146.

The median price of residential homes was $189,294, versus February 2014 when it was $185,000, an increase of 2.3 percent.

Total sales of residential homes for Rockport MLS for February 2015 was 524, a decrease of 0.2 percent (one home) versus February 2014.

The average Days on Market for residential homes for February 2015 was 176, 5.9 percent shorter than the same period last year.

Rockport MLS Residential Home Sales Feb. 2015
All Categories* 12 Months Ending
Feb. 2014
12 Months Ending
Feb. 2015
Chg.
Residential property sales 525 524 -0.2%
Residential total dollar volume $130,801,779 $133,201,223 1.8%
Average residential sales price $249,146 $254,201 2.0%
Median residential sales price $185,000 $189,294 2.3%
Total active listings end of month 382 348 -8.9%
Months inventory** 11.2 10.3 -8.0%


*Figures refer to the single-family and condo/townhome market.
**Six (6) months of inventory is considered a balanced market.

See the full report at Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company.

Bell Helicopter cuts another 315 jobs, mostly in Fort Worth 

(3/25/2015)

FORT WORTH - Bell Helicopter is trimming 315 more jobs, most of them in Fort Worth, as it continues to adjust to reduced production of the V-22 Osprey.

The Fort Worth-based company said that the reduction in force would affect both management and non-management, including some union members.

The company has also suspended all external hiring.

Bell is producing about 50 percent less V-22 aircraft than a year ago as the military winds down its purchases of the tiltrotor, which is assembled in Amarillo with parts produced in Fort Worth. It is the company’s largest program.

V-22 deliveries are expected to decline to 21 this year from 37 last year. Through the end of 2014, the company had delivered 293 V-22s to the military, with production peaking in 2013 at 41.

Because the V-22’s biggest systems, such as the drive and rotor blades, are made in the Fort Worth area, the slowdown in production has affected employment more in Fort Worth than in Amarillo, Bell spokeswoman Susan Gordon said.

The company, which announced a series of layoffs last year, including 320 in October, said that after this reduction, it would have about 4,750 employees in the Fort Worth area.

Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Car-goes wild to Laredo International Airport 

(3/25/2015)

LAREDO - The cargo report for Laredo International Airport has been released for January and February 2015.

Cargo Report 2015*
Month 2014 2015 Change
Jan. 24,187,770 26,902,837 11.22%
Feb. 25,767,048 31,399,212 21.86%

*aircraft gross landing weight in pounds

Source: Laredo International Airport

Follow the $18M railroad from Laredo to Corpus 

(3/25/2015)

LAREDO - The Kansas City Southern Railway Company is investing approximately $18 million in construction and improvement projects from Laredo to Corpus Christi.

These projects will help grow capacity, as well as maintain and enhance safety on the cross-border network.

Work on the Laredo Subdivision will continue through mid-April with installation of approximately 80,000 cross ties; replacement of approximately six miles of rail; enhancements to approximately 177 road crossings; and structural steel improvements at the international bridge at Laredo.

In addition to Laredo and Corpus Christi, specific communities where this work will be performed include Realitos, San Diego, Alice, Agua Dulce, Banquete and Robstown.

In Texas, Kansas City Southern Railway Company owns and operates 927 miles of rail infrastructure, three intermodal facilities and an automotive facility.

Kansas City Southern Railway Company serves the ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur, Corpus Christi and Brownsville, as well as 42 transload facilities in the state.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City Southern is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama.

Its primary U.S. holding is Kansas City Southern Railway Company, serving the central and south central U.S.

Read more at Laredo Morning Times.

College Station housing permits break record in 2014 

(3/25/2015)

COLLEGE STATION - More single-family home construction permits, which include standalone homes as well as townhomes, were issued in College Station in 2014 than any year prior.

There was a 30 percent increase from the 575 permits issued in 2013 to the 753 permits issued last year, according to data from the City of College Station.

Home builders and experts in the area said the boom is a sign of a growing economy, thanks to Texas A&M and the return of many alumni to the area. Most homes being built are selling for more than $175,000, said Jim Gaines, a research economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M.

"A lot of the growth has not just been in menial or lower-wage occupations but in higher-wage occupations," he said. "So much of it is in the $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 category."

With home builders selling virtually every home they've built in the past several years, the supply is meeting demand, Gaines said.

In order to continue to develop homes, there needs to be available land with utility service, said John Magruder, president of the Bryan-College Station Home Builders Association. "There's only so much people can do," Magruder said. "There's not a high supply of lots right now."

But that will change at the end of this year and early 2016. In June, the Texas World Speedway will close to make room for 1,400 new homes. Another 600 to 800 homes are estimated for the Spanish Oaks neighborhood off Holleman Dr., Magruder said.

Read more at The Eagle.

Carbo Ceramics extends 27,000-SF lease in Houston 

(3/25/2015)

HOUSTON - Carbo Ceramics Inc. amended its lease with I-10 EC Corridor #2 LP for the company’s principal executive offices at 575 North Dairy Ashford, Suite 300. Carbo leases 27,259 sf in the building.

The amendment extends the lease term ten years to June 30, 2026, and provides for a revised base rent and improvement allowances for the space.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Austin area getting ready for 'Silver Tsunami' 

(3/25/2015)

AUSTIN - Austin has a reputation as a young city, but statistics about the city’s aging population have caught civic leaders’ attention.

Recent data show the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos MSA hosts the fastest-growing population in the country of residents ages 55–64. Residents age 65 and older made up 8 percent of the MSA’s population in 2010 but are predicted to make up 20 percent of the population by 2040.

Local forecasters have dubbed this demographic shift the “silver tsunami,” and the area’s public and private sectors have been preparing to address issues related to an aging population, such as health, housing and transportation.

Meanwhile, as resources spring up to serve them, some of today’s older residents are concerned about affordability and transportation.

Senior housing construction has grown to meet demand, with properties such as Elan Southpark Meadows and Ledgestone Senior Living.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Houston: Swift Energy relocates HQ to 461,000 SF 

(3/25/2015)

HOUSTON - Swift Energy Co. has signed a lease with its current landlord, Hines, for 120,000 sf at 17001 Northchase Dr. in Five Greenspoint Place, a 461,000-sf, 19-story office high-rise. Swift Energy's lease includes the top six floors.

The LEED Gold-certified Five Greenspoint Place building was constructed in 1992 within Greenspoint Place, a 13.5-acre, mixed-use office and retail development located near the I-45 and Sam Houston Pkwy. interchange.

An oil-and-gas exploration, development and acquisition company, Swift Energy is shifting its corporate offices down the street from Two Greenspoint Place to Five Greenspoint Place to better accommodate future expansion.

Swift Energy will be the first major tenant to occupy Five Greenspoint since ExxonMobil relocated its headquarters in October 2014, according to CoStar information.

Other tenants within Greenspoint include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), ExxonMobil and HealthHelp, a provider of technology for educative and collaborative healthcare administration that signed a lease last month to relocate its headquarters from 654 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. to 40,000 sf at Four Greenspoint Place.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Texas: 7,400 construction market boomed in 2014 

(3/25/2015)

TEXAS - Major metropolitan markets in Texas showed there were more than 7,400 construction projects released for bid during 2014, with a total contract value of more than $35 billion, according to a new report from BidClerk.

This compares to more than $20 billion in total contract value reported in 2013.

In the San Antonio metropolitan region, there were 876 new construction projects released for bid in 2014, with a combined contract value of $5.13 billion. The prior year, there were 923 new construction projects released for bid in 2013, with a combined contract value of $3.01 billion.

In the Austin metropolitan region, there were 939 new construction projects released for bid in 2014, with a combined contract value of $3.39 billion.

In the Houston metropolitan region, there were more than 2,400 new construction projects released for bid, with a combined contract value of $5.6 billion.

In the Dallas metropolitan region, there were more than 2,700 new construction projects released for bid, with a combined contract value of $7.3 billion.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Outskirts of San Antonio to reap rewards of rental boom 

(3/24/2015 11:00:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Renter spending throughout San Antonio contributed nearly $3.5 million to the city's economy in 2013, according to a study released by the National Apartment Association and the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Apartment construction is heaviest in Far West San Antonio, Far Northwest San Antonio and Far North Central San Antonio, according to Mike Ruse, President of the San Antonio Apartment Association.

Those areas are where the majority of offices are located and, therefore, where demand for apartments is highest.

The rental boom — both locally and nationally — has been fueled by demographic changes like the growing millennial population and a rediscovery of metropolitan urban cores.

The main issue with San Antonio, however, is that it is still in the process of establishing an urban core. Most of the development in recent years has been cities within cities.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Houston: 500,000-SF industrial park headed to south side 

(3/24/2015 10:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The Houston arm of Boston-based Cresa Partners LLC, a tenant representation firm, has plans underway for a 500,000-sf industrial Class A park on 32 acres off SH 288.

The industrial park, dubbed Lower Kirby District, includes potential plans for an office building as well as a rear-load building, although the company said it is pursuing build-to-suit projects as well.

The project would combine industrial and office spaces using tilt-wall construction and curtain-wall glass for a look that will be a departure from older concrete industrial buildings on the market.

The initial phase of the project will be a 181,000-sf building fronting Kirby Dr. and Airport Blvd. that is 60 percent preleased, although no tenants have yet been named. Phase one is expected to break ground third quarter this year.

"We think there's a real hunger and demand for the tenants that might even be a 60 to 90 percent office user with a little bit of warehouse or a lab. Those guys are frustrated because there's not a lot of that," said Andre Granello, managing principal at Cresa Houston.

In terms of potential tenants, Granello said he has seen interest from the architecture and design community, as well as lighting, flooring and furniture companies.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal and the Houston Chronicle.

City of Austin multifamily report 4Q 2014 

(3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Multifamily market watchers in Austin looking for a top to the current kaboom of incoming product will have to wait yet another quarter as almost 3,000 units were submitted in 22 new multifamily projects to the City’s Department of Planning and Development Review.

According to City Demographer Ryan Robinson fourth quarter 2014 also saw the approval of 13 projects that include a total of over 1,600 units — these developments are now entitled to begin construction.

Construction was initiated at ten sites totaling almost 1,800 units while another four projects reached completion delivering nearly 600 units to what is widely considered to be a landlord’s market.

City of Austin Multifamily Report 4Q 2014*
Project Address Zip Code Units Site
Acres
Presidio Multifamily 13435 Lyndhurst St. 78717 421 14.10
Marbella Multifamily 8001 S I-35 78744 372 29.3
Altis at Lakeline 12700 Ridgeline Blvd. 78613 354 21.99
Marbella Multifamily
Phase II
8001 S I-35 78744 326 37.51
University House
2100 San Antonio
2108 San Antonio St. 78705 188 0.6
Escondera
(Section Four)
8200 Southwest Pkwy. 78735 35 8.76
Enclave 4525 Guadalupe St. 78751 19 0.6
2822 Rio Grande 2822 Rio Grande St. 78705 9 0.30
Glen Allen Apartments 2002 Glen Allen 78704 8 0.45
South 5th Condos 2300 S 5th St. 78704 6 0.4
Total     1,738  

*Sorted by number of units

Source: City of Austin

More details can be found in the City of Austin's spreadsheet.

Energy Corridor no brainer for new Arrabella's 232 townhomes 

(3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Arrabella, a luxury 232-unit rental townhome community located off of I-10 and Beltway 8, has opened. The community is only a couple of minutes drive to CityCentre in the Energy Corridor.

Asset Plus Cos. developed the project, which features six different one- to three-bedroom floor plans, ranging in size from 1,094 sf to 1,749 sf. Rents are between $1,800 and $3,275 per month.

Each of the three-story townhomes offer one- or two-car private garages and a gated backyard on the first floor.

Michael McGrath, chairman and CEO of Asset Plus Cos., described Arrabella as a one-of-a-kind apartment. "It feels like a home, not like living in a small apartment," McGrath said. "There's nothing new like this in Houston."

Move-ins began earlier this year, and currently, there are 20 residents living in Arrabella, McGrath said. Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2015 and lease-up is anticipated by the end of the year, McGrath said.

Arrabella is currently 15 percent preleased.

Although multifamily developers have flocked to the Energy Corridor, many have been hesitant to enter the submarket north of I-10, which is characterized by vacant lots and more commercial sites.

However, the cheaper price of land and "tremendous location" near two major transportation corridors made the redevelopment project a no-brainer, McGrath said.

"Someone's got to start," McGrath said.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

McAllen crown jewel: 104,000-SF River Valley Center sells 

(3/24/2015 7:45:00 AM)

McALLEN - River Valley Center, a Class A regional power center has sold to a private real estate firm specializing in the development of Target Centers and development properties.

The 103,949-sf McAllen property is located at 1316 E. Expressway 83, and was 95 percent occupied at the time of the sale.

Tenants include national retailers such as Best Buy, Sketchers, David's Bridal, Lakeshore Learning Store, Sherwin Williams, Sally Beauty, among others.

The center is considered a "crown jewel" of South Texas and Northern Mexico given its location in a top trade area.

Cushman & Wakefield Texas Retail Advisors represented the seller, South Carolina-based Edens Investment Trust, in the transaction.

Source: San Antonio Business Journal

Amarillo: Town Village Square = 2,600 acres 

(3/24/2015)

AMARILLO - Coldwell Banker has become the first bona fide tenant in the new Town Square Village development being erected at the corner of Hillside and Soncy roads.

The project, which sits on about 2,600 acres, will comprise nearly 500 apartment units, 120,000 sf of retail space and plenty of special amenities.

Randy Jeffers, co-owner of the Coldwell Banker Realtors firm in Amarillo, and his partners — Tom Roller and Bob Garrett — are still working side-by-side with construction crews that are finishing up the work at the firm's ground-floor office. “We're about 80 to 90 percent done,” Jeffers said.

The Town Square project is being developed by the Williams Group, headed by Amarillo developer Perry Williams.

It will comprise four major buildings, each of which will include ground-floor retail space, apartments and condominiums throughout the rest of the upper floors and plenty of green space.

Jeffers also talked about a gigantic athletic complex planned for the site that will include a batting cage, a golf simulator, a firearms shooting range to be built in the basement, an indoor track and a pole-vaulting pit.

Jeffers said retail space will include food service, restaurants, boutiques, clothing stores, coffee shops and what he called “an upscale bar.”

He said the first residential complex is scheduled to start welcoming tenants by this summer.

Club Verdure — the huge athletic complex — is set to open by the end of 2015, Jeffers said.

Jeffers predicted that development “will slow in south Amarillo and will shift from a southwesterly direction to a more western/southwesterly direction.”

Read more at KFDA NewsChannel 10

Victoria: Jags scratch up new digs 

(3/24/2015)

VICTORIA - A new $20 million on-campus housing project is headed to the University of Houston-Victoria.

The 380-bed housing facility will include two- and four-bedroom suites designed to incorporate living/learning communities within the residence hall.

Kitchens/lounges will be on each floor to serve the sophomore and upper division student population.

The project is expected to get underway in June for scheduled delivery in August 2016.

Upon completion, the housing will be operated by the University.

Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions is the developer.

Read more at BusinessWire.

Lubbock: Grace Health set to add 350,000-SF facility 

(3/24/2015)

LUBBOCK - Grace Health System will build a new medical center in Lubbock — expanding with a 350,000-sf facility.

A new hospital and a four-story parking garage will be added to the Grace Clinic’s property in the 4500 block of Marsha Sharp Fwy., said Dr. Randy Hickle, Grace Clinic president and CEO.

Hickle said design plans are in the works and should be completed by the end of 2015.

Once construction gets started, he expects the medical center to be completed in 12-18 months.

Hickle said a final cost for the project has not been set and declined to give an estimate.

According to Hickle, Grace Medical Center located at 2412 50th St. will remain open and used by doctors who are already running clinics in the facility and will be used for other services.

Grace’s foundation started with eight doctors on staff eight years ago, but has grown to 52 medical doctors and other providers and currently employs about 537 people.

Read more at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Bears only animal in town but Turbos, Highlanders too 

(3/24/2015)

WACO - Fall 2014 certified enrollment numbers have been released for universities (public and private), junior colleges and technical colleges by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

Waco Higher Education Enrollment
  Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Change
Baylor University 15,616 16,263 4.14%
McLennan Community College 8,552 8,291 -3.05%
Texas State Technical College 3,984 4,112 3.21%


Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Explore Texas Universities, Colleges and Technical Colleges in Education under Waco Market Research.

Visiting colleges? Check out Houston's Lone Star System 

(3/24/2015)

HOUSTON - The Fall 2014 certified enrollment numbers have been released by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

Lone Star College System District
  Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Change
Cy-Fair College 18,165 18,488 1.78%
Kingwood College 11,231 11,820 5.24%
Montgomery College 11,362 11,904 4.77%
North Harris College 15,651 15,644 -0.04%
Tomball College 7,547 7,612 0.86%
University Park 6,709 8,091 20.60%


Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

See Texas' higher education list of universities, colleges and private universities under Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Research.

Check out! 83,000-SF H-E-B underway in Deer Park 

(3/24/2015)

DEER PARK - An 83,000-sf H-E-B is under construction on the northeast corner of East Blvd. and Spencer Hwy.

For comparison sake, the current H-E-B on Center St. is only 20,000 sf and the Fairmont Pkwy. store is 70,000 sf.

Construction is expected to be completed by November 2015. It is not known what will happen to the current store on Center St.

Read more at Your Houston News.

123,000-SF former Bombay HQ purchased in Fort Worth 

(3/24/2015)

FORT WORTH - 550 Bailey, the seven-story, 122,828-sf building that is the former location of The Bombay Co.’s headquarters, has been sold.

The property includes an adjacent multi-level parking garage and surface parking, which has an overall parking ratio of 3.5 per 1,000 net rentable sf.

550 Bailey has undergone numerous capital improvements. Since 2008, ownership invested about $6 million to transform the former single-tenant corporate headquarters building into the property of today. An additional $5 million went into leasehold improvements over the same period.

Renovations include lobby and common area remodels, elevator modernization for all five elevators, exterior landscaping enhancements and construction of a covered walkway from the parking garage to the office building.

Transwestern Investment Group, on behalf of Diversified International Partners, purchased 550 Bailey.

Read more at the Fort Worth Business Press.

Axiometrics: DFW multifamily Feb. 2015 

(3/24/2015)

DALAS-FORT WORTH - North Texas apartment vacancy rates continued to inch down in February, according to Axiometrics Inc.

In February, there was a 5.1 percent vacancy rate in North Texas apartments — down about one tenth of 1 percent from January, according to a new report by Axiometrics Inc.

Average rents were up 5.4 percent annually in the Dallas area and 6.3 percent in the Fort Worth area. In Dallas renters on average pay more than $1,000 a month.

The increase in North Texas apartment rents and occupancy came even though more than 3,800 apartments were added to the market in first quarter 2015.

“The fact that so much new supply is being delivered, and both metros are considered close to ‘full’ by Axiometrics’ standards, speaks to the economic strength of this region,” Stephanie McCleskey, vice president of research for the apartment consulting firm.

Almost 30,000 apartments are being built in North Texas — more than in any U.S. metropolitan area.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Coastal Welding hot with 7th Texas location in Freeport 

(3/24/2015)

FREEPORT, BRAZORIA COUNTY - Coastal Welding Supply has recently opened its seventh location in the state of Texas, and eighth location overall.

Coastal opened the 23,000-sf filling plant and retail location on March 20. The company is headquartered in Beaumont, Tex,, with other state locations in Groves, Baytown, Silsbee, Liberty, Orange, and Freeport, as well as Sulphur, La.

Coastal Welding Supply serves the petrochemical and metal fabrication industries, as well as residents of greater Brazoria County.

The Coastal Freeport location will also supply local industry with the high purity gases, calibration standards, and specialty gas related products.

Read more at Industrial Distribution.

Sold: Carrollton's 34,000-SF Northridge Court  

(3/24/2015)

CARROLLTON - Northridge Court, a 33,979-sf retail center at 2741 E. Belt Line Rd., has been sold.

Northridge Court is situated on nearly 2.3 acres and was 56 percent leased at the time of sale.

The property is near the Marsh Lane intersection, close to the Dallas North Tollway and President George Bush Turnpike.

Northridge Court was built in 1979 and had been owned by the seller since 1990.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Salvation Army McLane Center of Hope underway in Temple 

(3/24/2015)

TEMPLE - Dirt is being moved where the Salvation Army McLane Center of Hope will be built on West Ave. G. Construction on the center should be complete in 330 days — roughly 11 months.

The 20,835-sf structure will have space for 40 beds for women and children. The new structure will cost approximately $2.3 million to construct.

The men’s shelter, with its 40 beds, will be in the building across the street that had been a women’s shelter for Martha’s Kitchen. It will cost $250,000 to renovate.

Salvation Army McLane Center of Hope will be a transitional facility that will offer money management, job and life skills education to those who want to change their lives.

Read more at the Temple Daily Telegram.

Redevelopment near Lady Bird Lake advances 

(3/24/2015)

AUSTIN - The redevelopment of a senior living facility in East Austin will move forward after receiving rezoning approval.

The 16-story Rebekah Baines Johnson Center (RBJC), also known as the Austin Geriatric Center, gained approval March 12 for mixed-use zoning, a necessary step before the facility can complete an anticipated redevelopment plan.

The site currently includes 250 units for senior housing along the Lady Bird Lake shore in East Austin. The facility opened in 1972 with the help of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Redevelopment plans call for constructing two smaller buildings adjacent to the existing RBJC that would house 250 new affordable senior living units and 340 units of mixed-income apartments and condominiums as well as 25,000 sf of commercial space and indoor and outdoor gathering spaces.

Southwest Strategies Group, Momark Development and DMA Development Company LLC have teamed up to redevelop the area, which was zoned for multifamily use until Austin City Council approved new mixed-use zoning during its March 12 meeting.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Apple falls for Austin 

(3/23/2015 11:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Apple Inc. has purchased Riata Crossing North, a four-building office complex in Northwest Austin near the site of its ongoing Austin expansion.

The seller of the 350,000-sf complex on Riata Vista Circle was an entity of San Francisco-based Spear Street Capital.

Apple already occupies the entire complex, which it had been leasing. Riata Crossing is across the street from where Apple is building its new Americas Operations Center, a 1 million-sf project at West Parmer Lane and Delcour Dr. that the company has valued at more than $348 million.

Located on 28.8 acres, Riata Crossing North has an appraised value of $62.5 million, according to Travis Central Appraisal District records.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is in line for incentives totaling more than $34 million from the state, city and county for locating its America Operations Center in Austin.

The company is to receive $8.6 million in tax breaks from the City of Austin, $5 million to $6 million from Travis County and $21 million from the state. Apple has not yet received any incentives money from the city or from Travis County, but did get a $5.25 million incentives payment from the Texas Enterprise Fund, according to state records.

The incentives were approved in 2012, contingent on the technology giant creating more than 3,600 new full-time jobs in Austin, retaining 3,100 existing jobs it had at that time, and spending at least $282 million on new buildings and equipment in Austin over a ten-year period.

As of the end of 2013, Apple had 4,091 full-time employees in Austin, excluding contract workers, according to documents filed with the City of Austin.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman and the Austin Business Journal.

How did they stack up? Abilene colleges and universities 

(3/23/2015 10:00:00 AM)

ABILENE - Fall 2014 certified enrollment numbers have been released for universities (public and private) and junior colleges by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

Abilene Higher Education Enrollment
  Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Change
Abilene Christian University 4,461 4,259 -4.53%
Cisco College 3,577 3,564 -0.36%
Hardin-Simmons University 2,224 2,084 -6.29%
Howard Payne University 1,172 1,140 -2.73%
McMurry University 1,216 1,007 -17.19%


Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Visit more at Texas Higher Education under Abilene Market Research.

Detering Co. sells 70,000-SF Washington Ave. site 

(3/23/2015 8:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - After 100 years on Washington Ave., the Detering Co. has sold all of its 5.4 acres of land and some 70,000 sf of headquarters space at 3028 Washington just east of Studemont.

The Houston-based building materials supply company recently moved to its new facility — 107,000 sf on a 19-acre site — at 6800 Helmers near Irvington and the North Loop in north Houston.

The acreage on Washington Ave. was divided into three properties and sold to three buyers, according to J. Michael Boyd, principal of Boyd Commercial/CORFAC International, who represented the Detering Co. in the sales.

Luxury home builder Sullivan Brothers Builders purchased a small parcel at 2900 Hicks. Dallas-based apartment developer JLB Partners bought almost three acres at 3028 Center. And the remaining site fronting Washington Ave. site is scheduled to close at the end of the month.

The redevelopment of the Washington Ave. site is indicative of the land use changes underway in this part of Houston, where many properties have gone from industrial to retail or residential.

The property had been held by the Detering family since the early 1900s, when Herman Detering ran a grocery store there. His son, Carl, opened the building supply company on the land in 1926.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Visa to hire 500 engineers in Austin by year end 

(3/23/2015 7:50:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Visa Inc. plans to hire 500 engineers in Austin by the end of 2015, according to Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio.

Visa's plans were disclosed in an Ad Age article this week that focused on the company's push to develop a mobile payment system and rebrand itself as a destination for talented tech workers.

According to the report, San Francisco-based Visa's newly launched Checkout digital payment service is one reason the company is in need of engineering talent.

The massive credit card company disclosed in the report that it plans to spend half of its advertising budget on digital channels, up from 46 percent previously.

Visa's current Austin operations are based out of 12301 Research Blvd. in Northwest Austin, near Apple Inc., which is also moving aggressively into the mobile payments world.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Los Fresnos first Walmart opens 

(3/23/2015 7:45:00 AM)

LOS FRESNOS, CAMERON COUNTY - Shoppers and spectators alike were lined up recently for the grand opening of Los Fresnos' first Walmart.

The 24-hour, 123,000-sf store is located at 1004 W. Ocean Blvd.

The store features a Subway sandwich shop, eight-pump fuel station, full-service pharmacy and garden center in addition to groceries and produce, electronics and other core retail items.

Read more at the Valley Morning Star.

Brownsville-Harlingen 4Q 2014 retail report: Burbach 

(3/23/2015)

BROWNSVILLE-HARLINGEN - In fourth quarter 2014, the total retail market contained nearly 13.3 million sf with a vacancy rate of 7.6 percent, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group.

The average rental rate per sf was $13.35, with Greater Harlingen coming in at $13.22 per sf.

Brownsville-Harlingen Retail Market Summary
4Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
General retail 7,626 5.6% $12.71
Mall 1,412 6.7% $19.00
Power center 916 2.7% $18.71
Shopping center 3,342 13.7% $12.50
CBD Brownsville 1,110 10.9% $9.89
CBD Harlingen 202 14.8% N/A
Greater Brownsville 7,523 6.8% $14.00
Greater Harlingen 4,460 7.7% $13.22
Total 13,295 7.6% $13.35


Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here to see the report.

For more stats, see Office, Retail and Industrial under Brownsville-Harlingen Market Research.

Fort Worth: Jetta HQ strolls downtown to $100M office 

(3/23/2015)

FORT WORTH - Construction is expected to begin this summer on a $100 million, 26-story office tower downtown that will be the new headquarters for Jetta Operating and other tenants.

The building covers three-quarters of a block bounded by Taylor and Lamar St. on the east and west, and Fifth and Sixth St. on the north and south.

It will have about 230,000 sf of office space on the 14th through 24th floors, with the top two floors offering six to eight for-sale condos. The office floors will offer about 21,000 sf of space.

The building will also have approximately 7,000 sf of retail space on the ground floor and 920 parking spaces, to be used by the building tenants, MorningStar Capital and the Fort Worth Club.

The 12th and 13th floors of the building will have a restaurant and bar, conference rooms and amenities areas for locker rooms and fitness facilities for the building tenants.

Construction on the modern glass and metal building will take about two years to complete, said Michael Bennett, principal of Bennett Benner Partners, the architecture firm that designed the building.

Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

PirWig purchases 40,000-SF office property in Frisco 

(3/23/2015)

FRISCO - PirWig Properties, an Austin-based investment group, has purchased Stewart Creek Office Center II, a 40,612-sf office building near Toyota Stadium.

The Class A building is located at 5750 Genesis Court along the Dallas North Tollway. It was developed in 2006 and is 100 percent leased to ten tenants.

"Due to the timing of the sale, we were able to secure a higher than expected sales price for this particular submarket," said Creighton Stark, an executive vice president at Colliers International.

The building is located in close proximity to a mile Frisco leaders have nicknamed the $5 billion mile.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Bottle Rocket lands 50,000-SF Addison office 

(3/23/2015)

ADDISON - Bottle Rocket Studios has moved into a 49,570-sf office at 14841 Dallas Pkwy.

The new space not only provided the mobile development company almost double the space as its former Addison office, but also a chance to build a customized, modern office that can complement its rebranding.

Bottle Rocket currently occupies about 32,000 sf on the eighth floor of the building that formerly housed Pizza Hut. It still has about 17,000 sf on the ninth floor that it can use for expansion.

The office, which was gutted and completely redesigned for Bottle Rocket, boasts open working spaces for teams separated by dividing walls.

The new office has 6,000 sf of event space that can be broken down into individual rooms or used for a larger event. The majority of its walls are dry erase capable, and covered in ideas from the company’s employees, which are called Rocketeers.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Former K-Mart sells in Northeast San Antonio 

(3/23/2015)

SAN ANTONIO - Arizona-based Accelerated Development Services has purchased the former K-Mart site off Pat Booker Rd. in a joint venture with Fortune International Properties.

Mega Furniture will occupy 34,000 sf of the former K-Mart location. It will be the third location for the Arizona-based furniture company. The rest of the space will be redeveloped for more tenants.

The property is located at 3150 Pat Booker Rd., near the southeast corner of the I-35 and Loop 1604 interchange.

Accelerated and Fortune will redevelop the existing building, which includes building 28,000 sf of new space on the eastern end of the site.

Once construction is completed, the project will include over 120,000 sf.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Grand Prairie's 288-unit Arioso sold 

(3/23/2015)

GRAND PRAIRIE - Arioso, a 288-unit apartment community at 3030 Claremont Dr., has been sold.

The property is located at the intersection of I-20 and SH 360. Built in 2007 on 13.5 acres, Arioso has nine floor plans and 52 townhomes. The average unit is 976 sf.

Community amenities include a clubhouse, two swimming pools, a fitness center and an outdoor fireplace area with barbecue grills.

Read more at Texas Real Business Online.

Under Armour stretches to new Austin location 

(3/22/2015)

AUSTIN - Under Armour has opened its Connected Fitness digital headquarters in downtown Austin.

The new facility is located within a new commercial development near the restored City of Austin Power Plant.

The office currently employs more than 100 engineers, data scientists, designers and product designers in digital health, fitness and sports.

The building spans more than 35,000 sf and occupies the second floor of the adjacent building to the City of Austin Power Plant.

The five acres surrounding the office are being transformed into a mixed-use urban oasis featuring:

• one and a half acres of public open space and a plaza;
• 30-story residential tower; and
• 33,000 sf of retail space.

This is the first Under Armour office in Texas, and the only office in the brand’s history solely dedicated to digital innovation.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

El Paso: 43,000-SF Westside cancer center building sold 

(3/22/2015)

EL PASO - A multi-million dollar cancer treatment center at 4532 N. Mesa in West El Paso, which went bankrupt four years ago and has been shut tight since, has new owners.

GMD Medical Properties, managed by El Paso businessman George M. Dipp, purchased the 42,750-sf, three-story building less than two months ago, according to the deed of trust. The deal was brokered by global real estate firm CBRE

The facility had been owned by PlainsCapital Bank, following the bankruptcy. The purchase price was not disclosed, but the property is valued for tax purposes at $6.3 million, according to public records.

The area is attractive to doctors because of its proximity to hospitals, including Las Palmas and Providence hospitals, according to CBRE.

The property comes furnished with fixtures and equipment and was designed to accommodate high patient volumes.

The asset was built in 2009 on three acres, and includes a covered patient drop-off area, a retail-style pylon sign and available building signage.

Read more at El Paso Inc. and Texas Real Estate Business.

Jacksboro: wind farm energy to 45,000 homes 

(3/22/2015)

JACKSBORO, JACK COUNTY - A newly constructed wind farm in Jack County is generating enough energy to supply electricity for about 45,000 homes in Texas.

The Keechi Wind Farm, roughly five miles south of Jacksboro on Farm-to-Market Rd. 4, officially began commercial operation January 27 when construction of all 55 turbines was completed, said Mitch Kerley, the site supervisor for energy company Enbridge.

The 311-foot tall towers were built by contractor RES Americas, and have a 327-foot rotor diameter.

Total investment cost for the project was $200 million.

Construction of the wind farm’s infrastructure began in December 2013 on 15,000 acres in Jack County.

Tower construction was started in September.

Read more at Wichita Falls Times Record News.

Killeen issues 36 single-family home permits 

(3/20/2015)

KILLEEN - Within the last week, 36 new single-family homes have been approved for a value of $5,062,353, according to a permit list obtained from city officials.

Overall, Killeen approved 223 total permits for a value of $5,926,556 last week. This brings the total permits for the year to 2,220 for a value of about $37.7 million.

In 2014, Killeen issued 14,250 permits for a value of about $237.6 million.

Killeen Permit Summary
  Single-family Duplex Commercial
Month # Issued Value # Issued Value # Issued Value
Dec. 2014 71 $10,763,650 N/A N/A 1 $785,000
Jan. 2015 48 $7,159,947 15 $1,780,681 N/A N/A
Feb. 2015 50 $7,221,276 10 $1,547,800 1 $378,000


Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald. For more permit data, see the City of Killeen.

STEM museum opens 30,000-SF location in Cedar Park 

(3/19/2015)

CEDAR PARK - Nonprofit Texas Museum of Science & Technology (TXMOST) has opened its doors at a 30,000-sf temporary location at 1220 Toro Grande Dr.

TXMOST, formally known as Austin Planetarium, was recently rebranded, and TXMOST Executive Director Torvald Hessel said the new name and the interim Cedar Park location fit with the group’s mission to introduce more Texas residents to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

The museum will debut with the traveling exhibit “Body Worlds,” which displays donors’ human bodies that have been preserved through a process called plastination.

By the end of 2015, TXMOST will add a planetarium to the facility, according to Hessel.

TXMOST still plans to build a permanent museum somewhere in Central Texas. Hessel said Cedar Park as well as Austin are among the cities being considered for the permanent facility.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Morgan Stanley leases 30,000 SF in Houston 

(3/18/2015)

HOUSTON - Morgan Stanley has leased 29,990 sf within the Four Oaks Place business park at 1330 Post Oak Blvd.

The financial firm will occupy the ninth and tenth floors in the 30-story, 647,324-sf, LEED Gold office building constructed in 1983 in the Galleria/Uptown submarket.

Four Oaks Place is comprised of four office buildings totaling 1.75 million sf. Current tenants at 1330 Post Oak include Cushman & Wakefield, Fleming & Associates LLP and CAMAC International Corp. Morgan Stanley's occupancy is scheduled for July 2015.

Read more at CoStar Group.

JLL's COW: Dallas office projects to change rental rates 

(3/16/2015 8:00:00 AM)

DALLAS - New office project will change the rental rate landscape of the downtown core, according to JLL’s Chart of the Week (COW) from March 2, 2015.

Tighter Class A vacancy in the Arts District and Uptown's office core has pushed full-service rents to $33.60 per sf — an increase of 18 percent in the last two years.

While the average illustrates the basic trend, it masks an important underlying dynamic. In fact, several buildings pull the real "average" down notably given very high rents in many properties.

Of space that is now under construction, rents average more than $44 per sf, suggesting that as new product is delivered, there will be upward pressure on Class A rates and the requirement for existing buildings to modernize to remain competitive.

Source: JLL Research

See JLL's Chart of the Week.

GEPAR: El Paso area home sales Feb. 2015 

(3/16/2015)

EL PASO - The Greater El Paso Association of Realtors (GEPAR) has released home sales data for February 2015.

Quick facts include:

• The median price of existing single-family homes decreased to $117,250, down 5.4 percent from January 2015.
• Existing single-family home sales decreased 7.2 percent from January 2015 for a February 2015 total of 256 sold units.
• Condos increased in price to $95,000, up 0.5 percent from January 2015.
• Existing condo sales decreased 50.0 percent in February 2015 from January 2015, for a total of 6 sold units.

Select zip codes are represented below along with statistics from the GEPAR MLS area as a whole.

El Paso Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
Feb. 2015
Price Chg.
Feb. 
2014
Units Sold
Feb. 2015
Sales Chg.
Feb. 
2014
GEPAR
(single-family)
$117,250 2.0% 256 2.8%
GEPAR
(condo)
$95,000 18.8% 6 -57.1%
Zip Codes*        
79936 $114,500 3.6% 47 17.5%
79912 $187,000 17.4% 32 -20.0%
79938 $118,000 -0.8% 31 19.2%
79928 $103,001 -23.6% 19 46.2%
79934 $115,000 0.0% 17 30.8%
79924 $99,000 26.2% 16 -46.7%
79925 $105,000 -6.7% 12 0.0%


*Region ZIP Code data include single-family only and represent seven select ZIP codes sorted by highest number of units sold.

Source: Greater El Paso Association of Realtors (GEPAR)

tags: El Paso housing, El Paso NewsTalk

ABoR: Austin area home sales Feb. 2015 

(3/16/2015)

AUSTIN - The Austin Board of Realtors has released home sales facts for February 2015. Below is a sample of the entire report released March 10, 2015.

• The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $246,250, up 3.5 percent from January 2015.
• Existing single-family home sales increased 10.7 percent from January 2015 with 1,460 sold units.
• Condos decreased in price to $191,500, down 7.9 percent from January 2015.
• Existing condo sales increased 40.2 percent in February 2015 over January 2015 with 185 sold units.

Austin Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
  Feb. 2015
Price Chg.
Feb. 2014
Units Sold
Feb. 2015 
Sale Chg.
Feb. 2014
ACTRIS* (single-family) $246,250 7.1% 1,460 -1.6%
ACTRIS (condo) $191,500 -4.3% 185 1.6%
Region Cities**        
Austin $300,000 3.6% 603 -8.8%
Round Rock $220,000 17.6% 143 10.9%
Georgetown $267,000 16.1% 109 10.1%
Pflugerville $201,660 7.3% 90 26.8%
Leander $188,500 -5.7% 67 -9.5%
Cedar Park $256,000 4.5% 60 -17.8%
Kyle $175,000 15.1% 35 -28.6%
Buda $229,000 14.8% 35 25.0%
Hutto $173,000 15.3% 33 -17.5%


*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold 30 or more units during February 2014.

See the full report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

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