NewsTalk Texas

ALN: Austin, Atlanta, DFW, Houston, Tucson, San Antonio 

(9/15/2014 7:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DFW, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO - ALN Apartment Data released the August 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and more for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston and San Antonio.

For reference, Atlanta, Ga., and Tucson, Ariz., are shown. The general overview includes properties in initial lease-up.

General Overview Aug. 2014
Markets Austin DFW Houston San
Atlanta Tucson
Occupancy rate 93.4 93.5 92.7 91.3 92.9 90.1
Units added 6,721 9,479 12,702 3,225 4,852 331
Units absorbed (annual) 4,704 12,814 14,385 2,104 7,193 -67
Average size (SF) 851 860 873 838 1,014 731
Asking rent $1,083 $919 $950 $861 $923 $641
Effective rent $1,077 $909 $939 $846 $917 $616
Effective rent per SF $1.26 $1.06 $1.07 $1.01 $0.90 $0.84
Offering concessions 12% 28% 24% 40% 22% 61%
Avg. concession package 4.2% 4.1% 4.9% 4.3% 3.9% 6.5%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

$100M Dallas’ Cityplace living, shopping, eating 

(9/15/2014 7:00:00 AM)

DALLAS - The first tenants have moved into the newest tower in Dallas’ Cityplace development — a 21-story apartment and retail tower named 3700M for its location at 3700 McKinney Ave.

The $100 million project includes 37,000 sf of retail and restaurant space and 380 apartments.

3700M offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 562 sf to 1,475 sf and in price from $1,433 to $3,298.

Though the project won’t be completed for another month, the first 50 tenants have moved in, making the project 22 percent leased.

3700M has a lounge on the seventh floor with views of the downtown skyline and tenants can reserve a large private reception room and dining/boardroom on the same floor.

“There’s an amenity race going on with all these buildings,” Truitt acknowledged. “But we are also going to compete by offering our tenants service.”

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Is Houston experiencing a moving deficit? 

(9/15/2014 7:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - United Van Lines just wrapped up its busiest time of the year for long-distance moves, and according to its data, Texas — particularly Houston and Dallas — is among the states that experienced the biggest moving deficit this year.

The 2014 study revealed that Houston is now No. 11 on the list of places people move to, but No. 4 on the list of places people are moving from to another location.

The results are in stark contrast to last year when the same survey revealed that Houston ranked No. 3 of the top places where people were moving to and ranked No. 13 of the cities people were leaving.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

ALN Lubbock apartments data Aug. 2014 

(9/15/2014 6:45:00 AM)

LUBBOCK - ALN Apartment Data released August 2014 apartment occupancy, effective rent and more data for apartments.

Lubbock Market Review
Lubbock Market Stabilized Market*
Occupancy rate 90.4 -1.6%
Units added 328 -
Units absorbed (annual) -278 -
Average size (SF) 844 0.3%
Asking rent $700 2.6%
Effective rent $693 2.2%
Effective rent per SF $0.82 2.0%
Offering concessions 19% 45.5%
Avg. concession package 5.0% -21.7%

*Stabilized market is everything in a market except for apartments in initial lease-up. 

Floor Plan Breakdown - Lubbock
Plan Type % of
Efficiency 2.9% 391 $476 $476
1 BR 39.7% 667 $641 $635
1 DEN 0.0% 755 $600 $600
2 BR 38.0% 960 $792 $785
3 BR 12.5% 1,249 $1,065 $1,058
>3 BR 6.8% 1,526 $1,721 $1,720

Read more at ALN Market News and be sure to check out Lubbock Market Data Sources.

San Antonio 328-unit Bella Madera sold by Harbor 


SAN ANTONIO - Harbor Group International (HGI), a global real estate investment firm, sold the 328-unit Bella Madera Apartments at 2914 Olmos Creek Dr. to Falkin Platnick Realty Group.

The 246,520-sf apartment complex was built in 2006 on 16.8 acres in the Castle Wood Forest Multifamily submarket.

The community consists of 13 three-story buildings offering one- and two-bedroom units. At the time of purchase, the community was 96 percent occupied.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Bryan: Aug. 2014 building permits 


BRYAN - The City of Bryan's building permit data for August 2014 are available.

Bryan Building Permits
Permit Type Permits Total Value
New residential - single-family 14 12 159 121 $2,950,040 $2,374,968 $34,145,501 $25,929,412
New residential - 2-unit bldgs. 0 0 4 1 $0.00 $0.00 $1,319,534 $50,000
New residential - 3-4 unit bldgs. 0 0 2 0 $0.00 $0.00 $459,220 $0.00
New residential - 5+ unit bldgs. 0 0 0 2 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $2,740,800
New commercial 8 3 54 20 $327,225 $327,225 $31,529,978 $27,367,805
Totals* 109 108 988 953 $11,717,890 $4,107,282 $94,368,794 $73,068,012

*Totals include all permit types including additions, renovations and manufactured homes.

Source: City of Bryan

Florida investor grabs 58,000 SF at Austin's Walden Park 


AUSTIN - Florida-based PEBB Enterprises has purchased 57,964 sf of the Walden Park shopping center at 10900 Lakeline Mall Dr.

PEBB is partnering with The Retail Connection to aggressively market the space, which was 75 percent empty when they acquired it.

HomeGoods has leased 24,201 sf and will move into PEBB’s portion of the center in first quarter 2015.

Ulta is taking 10,000 sf next door and should open in about a month. Sally Beauty, Good Feet, Subway, Lakeline Dental and a nail salon are also under lease.

Walden Park is owned by three entities — Target Corp., which owns the 171,000-sf SuperTarget; the PEBB property on the east side and then a third investor — Inland American Austin Walden Park LLC represented by The Weitzman Group, which owns about 34,000 sf on the west side.

Family-owned PEBB has been in the shopping center business for more than 40 years and is expanding to the East Coast and some Southern states. Currently, the company owns 1.5 million sf of retail space.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Grand Prairie: Schilli earthmover stays in place 


GRAND PRAIRIE - Schilli Distribution Services signed a three-year lease extension for 72,450 sf at 1213 W. North Carrier Pkwy.

The single-story, 243,365-sf industrial building was built in 1980 on more than 15 acres in the Oakridge Business Center.

Schilli Distribution Services provides worldwide distribution and logistics service for the world leader in earthmoving machinery and diesel engine manufacturing.

Other tenants in the building include N.A.W.F. Co., Inc., International Paper Co. and Overhead Door Corp.

Source: CoStar Group

Shipping out: Midland exports up 57 percent in 2013 


MIDLAND - The Midland MSA had merchandise exports totaling a record $164 million in 2013, up $60 million or 57 percent from 2012, according to the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Key merchandise export categories for Midland in 2013 included machinery, computer and electronic products, primary metal manufactures, fabricated metal products, and oil and gas.

“I believe it’s so imperative for Permian Basin manufacturers to keep a significant portion of their revenues focused on exports. It’s just good business — lending diversification to your business and a nice insurance policy for swings in the domestic market,” said Larry Richards, president and CEO of Hy-Bon Engineering.

Overall, Texas exported $60 billion in petroleum-related merchandise, followed by computers and other electronics, and then chemicals, said Dan Swart, director of the U.S. Commercial Service in North Texas.

The state’s top trading partner was Mexico, followed by Canada and then Brazil. China fell to fourth place.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

San Antonio: Santikos Casablanca 'to play it, Sam' 


SAN ANTONIO - Santikos Theaters has broken ground on a new movie theater in far west San Antonio at SH-151 and Alamo Pkwy.

The Santikos Casablanca Theater will have a Spanish-themed edifice and feature the latest digital projection technology including an 85-foot 'AVX MAX' screen. Select auditoriums will have plush recliners and allow for food and beverage items to be delivered directly to patron’s seats.

The theater complex will also include a 16-lane bowling alley, a full-service sports bar and a restaurant.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Houston: Buckingham senior community to add $56M tower 


HOUSTON - The Buckingham, a full-service 323-unit community for seniors in the Memorial area, has announced plans to build a $56 million, ten-story residential tower just west of its 17-acre campus at 8580 Woodway.

The expansion will add 104 independent living apartments, 33 assisted-living suites, 18 memory care residences and 32 private skilled-nursing rooms.

The independent living units will include one-, two- and three-bedroom plans.

The community is acquiring a portion of the Creekside Apartments on six acres from CRVI Westpoint in early October. The apartments will be torn down to make way for the expansion, planned to open in 2017.

The Buckingham currently consists of a four-story property along Buffalo Bayou. The independent living portion of The Buckingham has been operating at capacity since 2007, and the health care center has been full since 2008.

The Buckingham will break ground once 60 percent of the independent living units have been presold, likely in third quarter 2015.

A monthly fee averaging $4,300 for a two-bedroom independent living apartment covers meals, transportation, housekeeping, utilities, lifestyle programs and wellness activities.

Around Houston, developers are adding communities to meet the needs of an aging population. In 15 years, one in five people will be at least age 65, according to a recent study by Harvard University and AARP.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

NAR Amarillo housing market 2Q 2014 

(9/12/2014 7:00:00 AM)

AMARILLO - Second quarter 2014 housing data have been released for the Amarillo market by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR Amarillo housing market 2Q 2014
Price Activity Amarillo U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (1Q 2014) $141,900 $212,267 Prices are up from a year ago,
but price growth is slowing.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (1Q 2014) 1.1% 4.6%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (1Q 2014) 8.9% 25.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $11,600 $43,600 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $25,700 -$11,500
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $34,500 -$8,000

*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

Click to see the full report.

Also see more Housing data under Amarillo Market Data Sources.

NAR San Antonio housing market 2Q 2014 

(9/12/2014 7:00:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Second quarter 2014 housing data have been released for the San Antonio market by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR San Antonio Housing Market 2Q 2014
Price Activity San Antonio U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (2Q 2014) $184,200 $212,267 Prices are up from a year ago,
but price growth is slowing.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 5.0% 4.6%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 20.2% 25.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $31,000 $43,600 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $29,900 -11,500
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $50,200 -$8,000

*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

Click to see the full report.

Also see more Housing data under San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Colliers: Austin office market 2Q 2014 

(9/12/2014 6:59:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Austin has more than 2.4 million sf of office space under construction and seven new buildings were completed in second quarter 2014, according to the Colliers International.

Over 188,000 sf of new office inventory was delivered during 2Q 2014, bringing year-to-date delivered inventory to 587,657 sf.

Citywide vacancy stood at 10.7 percent in 2Q 2014, down from 11.6 percent in 2Q 2013.

Of the seven buildings totaling delivered in 2Q 2014, the most notable delivery was the Seaholm Power Plant Building, which is 117,000 sf and is now 97 percent leased to Athena Health care.

Austin’s office market posted 85,623 sf of positive net absorption in 2Q 2014, pushing year-to-date 2014 net absorption to positive 375,246 sf.

The citywide average rental rate increased from $28.33 per sf to $28.59 per sf over the quarter and from $26.53 per sf to $27.77 per sf over the year.

According to local economists, 2014 job growth will remain strong with 68,000 to 72,000 new jobs forecasted for the year. Austin’s unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent from 4.6 percent in 2Q 2013.

Click here for the full PDF.

Read more at Realty News Report.

KDC underway on second $1.6B Richardson project 

(9/12/2014 6:58:00 AM)

RICHARDSON - Developer KDC has started construction on the next phase of its $1.6 billion CityLine project in Richardson.

Work has started on the east side of Plano Rd. where KDC is building a fourth, 500,000-sf office tower for State Farm Insurance.

The office tower is scheduled to be completed in mid-2016.

Additional retail space and apartments are also planned in the same area at the southeast corner of Plano Rd. and Bush Turnpike.

Construction is getting closer to completion on the first three 21-story, 15-story and 13-story State Farm office buildings on the south side of Bush Turnpike next to DART’s commuter rail station.

State Farm will take possession of one of the buildings at the end 2014, and thousands of workers will start relocating to the buildings in early 2015.

When completed, the $1.5 billion, 186-acre CityLine project is planned to contain about 6 million sf of office space, two hotels, 3,925 multi-family residential units, 300,000 sf of grocery, restaurant, entertainment and retail space and three parks.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Hilton Garden Inn sold for $36M in Houston Energy Corridor 

(9/12/2014 6:47:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Summit Hotel Properties bought the 190-room Hilton Garden Inn located in the Energy Corridor at 12245 Katy Fwy. The purchase price was $36 million.

The property was built in 2008 and Summit anticipates spending $3.2 million in capital improvements over the next twelve months. Summit expects the hotel to generate $1.1 million of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2014.

The acquisition marks the second Hilton Garden Inn owned by Summit in the Houston area.

The Houston Energy Corridor has nearly 19 million sf of existing office space and an estimated 10.7 million additional sf to be added by 2030.

Read more at Realty News Report.

NAR Corpus Christi housing market 2Q 2014 


CORPUS CHRISTI - Second quarter 2014 housing data have been released for the Corpus Christi market by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR Corpus Christi Housing Market 2Q 2014
Price Activity Corpus Christi U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (2Q 2014) $168,700 $212,267 Prices are up from a year ago,
but price growth is slowing.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 10.0% 4.6%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 27.7% 25.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $36,600 $43,600 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $32,700 -11,500
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $45,700 -$8,000

*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

Click to see the full report.

Also see more Housing data under Corpus Christi Market Data Sources.

Odessa construction permit report: Aug. 2014, YTD 


Odessa - The City of Odessa has released its construction permit report for August 2014.

Odessa Construction Permit Report: Aug. 2014
  Aug. 2014 YTD 2014 Aug. 2013 YTD 2013
# of
# of
# of
# of
New commercial 30 $47,520,850 147 $170,518,023 16 $9,229,905 136 $97,780,774
New single-family 33 $7,521,250 286 $65,330,940 59 $11,733,640 435 $86,041,975
New multifamily 0 $0 0 $0 0 $0 3 $44,982,685
Total 665 $68,094,855 5,359 $328,489,344 710 $24,804,516 5,881 $293,690,691

Source: City of Odessa

West Austin: the most educated place in Texas 


TRAVIS COUNTY - The Lost Creek neighborhood in West Austin is the most educated place in Texas and ranks seventh in the United States, according to a report by Business Insider (BI).

With about 5,000 residents, Lost Creek has its own census tract, and BI relied on U.S. Census Bureau data and tracts to compile its map and list of the most educated towns in every state.

Like Lost Creek, most of the identified areas are places just outside big cities. BI reports that 86 percent of residents there have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Riches often follow a stout education, so it's probably not surprising that the Lost Creek area recently made the Austin Business Journal's list of the wealthiest areas of Central Texas.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For the full report, see Business Insider.

For more on the wealthiest areas of Central Texas, see previous story Where the wealthy live: Austin area richest ZIP codes.

306,000-SF Granite Park Five underway in Plano 


PLANO - Granite Properties has broken ground on Granite Park Five, a 306,000-sf office tower in its Granite Park development on the Dallas North Tollway.

The 12-story office building will be finished in late 2015.

The tower will be about the same size as the Granite Park IV tower, which opened June 2014 on the east side of the tollway, just south of SH 121.

“There is unprecedented growth in the north Plano market,” said Granite Properties chief operating officer Greg Fuller. “We’re already negotiating with several prospects for space at Granite Park Five.”

Granite also recently opened a 300-room Hilton hotel in the development.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

For more on the Granite Park Hilton, see previous story Plano: 263,000-SF Granite Park Hilton debut set.

Lawyers lock down 145,000 SF in Dallas' Chase Tower 


DALLAS - Local law firm Locke Lord has signed a lease that will move the firm to new offices within downtown’s Chase Tower at 2200 Ross Ave.

For 26 years, Locke Lord has occupied the same space, but will now move to 145,000 sf of new space on higher floors in the 55-story tower.

The 15-year lease will move the law firm’s main offices to floors 24-28, and the back-office operations will move to the fourth floor.

Locke Lord was convinced to stay in part because Chase Tower owner Hines is about to begin renovations on the lobby and is currently constructing a fitness center in the rotunda building.

The significance of the Locke Lord deal is even larger since the firm announced it will merge operations with Boston-based Edwards Wildman Palmer. The combined companies by early next year will become Locke Lord Edwards, the largest law firm based in Dallas.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

In DFW, demand and rent are rising together 


DALLAS-FORT WORTH - A number of real estate developers throughout DFW are focused on getting apartments out of the ground as rents continue to climb.

Apartments are now prime investment opportunities.

Part of the reason for the demand is the number of jobs being added to North Texas.

DFW is one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, with 120,800 jobs added from July 2013 to this July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not everyone can buy a single-family home, causing rising apartment demand along with rising rents. In the last year, DFW property owners have upped their rents 3.9 percent, according to MPF Research.

New apartments command a monthly rent of $1,300, with the latest additions in Dallas’ urban core running in excess of $1,800.

Historically, Dallas renters paid 20.7 percent of their income toward renting a home, according to Zillow research. Now, Dallas renters are spending 27.4 percent of their income on rent.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Dallas: SMU $25M gift drives 40,000-SF Simmons building 


DALLAS - Southern Methodist University has broken ground on the new Harold Clark Simmons Hall, the second building for the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The 40,000-sf facility on Airline Dr. is named for Simmons after the university received a $25 million gift from Annette Caldwell Simmons and the late Harold C. Simmons.

The three-story building will include classrooms, labs, offices and conferences rooms. Construction is scheduled for completion by late 2015.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Houston home sales rise in August (HAR) 


HOUSTON - The housing market saw growth in all categories in August, with total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing all up when compared to August of 2013, according to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR).

Months of inventory remained significantly below the current national supply of 5.5 months of inventory.

Home prices reached record high levels for an August, and the number of days a home took to sell was 46. In July, it reached a record low of 45 days.

Rentals of single-family homes rose 8.8 percent year-over-year and the cost of renting those homes increased 4.8 percent to $1,830. Townhouse/condominium rentals edged up 1.7 percent, with rents rising 5.2 percent to $1,584.

Housing Market Summary: Aug. 2014 vs. Aug. 2013
  Aug. 2013 Aug. 2014 Chg.
Total sales 8,806 8,953 1.7%
Total dollar volume $2,183,032,391 $2,332,065,189 6.8%
Total active listings 32,834 29,574 -9.9%
Total pending sales 4,363 4,360 -0.1%
Single-family sales 7,422 7,505 1.1%
Avg. price single-family home $258,733 $275,369 6.4%
Median price single-family home $186,510 $206,000 10.4%
Single-family inventory* 3.3 3.0 -9.4%

* The number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months of sales activity. The market is considered evenly balanced between supply and demand when it has a six-month inventory.

Source: Houston Association of Realtors

Also see 'Housing' under Houston Market Data Sources.

Horizon Montessori moves into 33,000-SF digs 


HARLINGEN - Horizon Montessori School now occupies the 33,000-sf building, located at 2801 S. 77 Sunshine Strip, which once housed the Lack’s furniture store.

The school relocated in August 2014 from 801 N. 13th St., where it had less than half the space it now has to educate children in pre-kindergarten through seventh grade, according to Principal Richard Atkinson.

“We have a brand-new computer lab that we didn’t have at our previous site. We have a brand-new science lab and an art room” said Atkinson. The school’s enrollment grew from 170 students in 2013 to 238 in 2014, with the addition of an eighth grade.

The Montessori Method emphasizes more hands-on activities than in public schools, an approach that appeals to both parents and teachers.

Horizon Montessori belongs to South Texas Education Technologies Inc., which owns two other Montessori schools in McAllen and Weslaco, with Alim Ansari as the superintendent.

Read more at the Valley Morning Star.

Allen: 30,000-SF Allentown Office Building sold 


ALLEN - The 29,979-sf Allentown Office Building at 100 Allen Pkwy. has been sold.

The two-story property was built in 1985 on 3.6 acres and was 80 percent occupied at the time of sale.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Cleburne's Northridge Court sold 


CLEBURNE - The 86-unit Northridge Court apartment complex at 101 W. Henderson St. has been sold.

Northridge Court consists of 14 buildings spread across two parcels of land. The property has sustained a mid-90 percent occupancy range due in part to its location near many of Cleburne’s economic drivers.

Constructed in 1967, the property’s average unit size is 874 sf and is made up of nearly 70 percent two-bedroom floor plans.

Source: Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services

Honorable discharge: 300 Army homes go public in El Paso 

(9/11/2014 8:00:00 AM)

EL PASO - Hunt Companies has started renting 300 homes to the public in the North Hills Housing community in Northeast El Paso that previously served as Army family housing.

The community, located at Martin Luther King and Marcus Uribe, has homes with three or four bedrooms and one-car garages that rent for between $1,149 and $1,249 per month. Hunt will maintain the homes much like is done with an apartment complex.

Hunt's contract with the Army Corps of Engineers to operate the community for the Army expired in July 2014, and homes will be turned over to Hunt for leasing to the public over the next several months, according to Brenda Longoria, North Hills Housing director. About five homes are now available, and more will be available in coming weeks.

Read more at the El Paso Times.

Listen to Podcast 227 for this story and more!

Click to see El Paso NewsTalk Texas.

NAR DFW housing market 2Q 2014 

(9/11/2014 7:59:00 AM)

DALLAS - Second quarter 2014 housing data have been released for the DFW market by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR DFW Housing Market 2Q 2014
Price Activity DFW U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (2Q 2014) $191,300 $212,267 Prices are up from a year ago,
but price growth is slowing.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 5.2% 4.6%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 26.3% 25.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $39,800 $43,600 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $34,800 -11,500
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $42,200 -$8,000

*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

Click to see the full report.

Also see more Housing data under DFW Market Data Sources.

Houston 'boom is not over': 112,000 jobs created 

(9/11/2014 6:59:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston leads the nation in job growth with 112,200 new jobs created for the 12 months ending in July, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

"I am no economist. But take my word for it: The Boom Is Not Over," says Ralph Bivins, editor of Realty News Report.

That represented a 4 percent gain for Houston’s job market to top the nation’s major metropolitan areas, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth at 3.9 percent and Miami at 3.3 percent.

The energy industry has been supercharging the Houston economy for several years. Many experts, especially the local ones, predicted the economic surge would peter out in 2014.

However, researchers at Marcus & Millichap predicted Houston would gain 111,700 new jobs in 2014. That forecast has turned out exceptionally accurate right now — only 500 jobs off.

Two Houston-based economists did not fare as well with their forecasts. Bill Gilmer, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston, predicted 65,000 new jobs would be created.

Patrick Jankowski, the Greater Houston Partnership’s vice president of research, predicted 69,800 new jobs would be created.

Read more at Realty News Report.

For the full report, see Texas Workforce Commission.

Click on Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Data Sources for office, multifamily, housing, industrial data.

Metrostudy: Texas' home lot production leads U.S. 

(9/11/2014 6:58:00 AM)

TEXAS - Metrostudy has released second quarter 2014 data on housing lot starts and deliveries.

Here are the Top Ten states for lot production in 2Q 2014:

Top Ten States, Home Lot Production
State 2Q 2014
2Q 2014
Texas 19,714 18,931
Florida 12,416 10,974
California 10,050 10,219
North Carolina 4,866 3,168
Georgia 4,489 1,270
Colorado 3,985 3,276
Arizona 3,519 4,596
Maryland 2,436 2,122
Utah 2,328 2,498
Virginia 2,198 1,850

Read more at Metrostudy.

Austin: 104,000-SF Mesa Oaks office kicks off Phase 1 

(9/11/2014 6:57:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on the first phase of Mesa Oaks, a 104,000-sf office project off William Cannon Dr. and SH 290.

Mesa Oaks will consist of seven buildings ranging from 9,300 sf to 20,150 sf.

Phase 1 will include the construction of a 20,150-sf building.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

For more information about Mesa Oaks, see Equitable Commercial Realty.

HAR: Houston area cities' home sales Aug. 2014 

(9/11/2014 6:56:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) released home sales data for August 2014. Some quick facts include:

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $207,500 up 1.3 percent from July 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales decreased 4.4 percent from July 2014 for an August 2014 total of 7,227 units sold.
•  Condos decreased in price to $155,000 down 7.4 percent from July 2014.
•  Existing condo sales decreased 5.6 percent in August 2014 over July 2014 for a total of 713 units sold.

Select region cities are represented below along with statistics from the HAR MLS area as a whole.

HAR Aug. 2014 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  Aug. 2014
Price Chg.
vs. Aug. 2013
Units Sold
  Aug. 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. Aug. 2013
$207,500 10.6% 7,227 -2.2%
HAR (condo) $155,000 -4.6% 713 -3.3%
Region Cities*        
Houston $191,000 9.2% 2,035 -4.2%
Katy $246,000 11.7% 592 -4.1%
Spring $209,000 13.0% 545 -0.5%
Cypress $248,000 18.9% 333 -3.5%
Humble $171,159 6.1% 266 4.7%
Richmond $235,000 14.6% 233 3.6%
Pearland $218,000 11.8% 225 -3.8%
Sugar Land $313,000 11.4% 215 -11.5%

*Region Cities' data include single-family only and represent eight cities sorted by number of units sold.

See Housing under Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Data Sources or see the full report from Houston Association of Realtors.

For more housing data, check out NAR Houston Regional Real Estate Market 2Q 2014 PDF.

Weitzman mid-year 2014: Houston retail adding 1.6M SF 


HOUSTON - Across the area, some 1.6 million sf of new space will open this year, up from about 679,000 sf in new and expanded projects in 2013, according to the Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services.

The Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services annually review a Houston-area retail market inventory of 148,280,000 sf in multi-tenant retail centers with 25,000 sf or more.

The new projects scheduled are dominated by grocers, including Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Walmart Supercenter, H-E-B, Fiesta and Sprouts Farmers Market.

At mid-year, retail space across the Houston area was 96 percent occupied, the highest it has been in more than a decade.

Rental rates are up sharply for the best space. For small shop space in a well-located center anchored by a prominent tenant, rents are as high as $40 per sf per year.

The Weitzman and Cencor report lists the projects for 2014 and later. Projects listed with over 100,000 sf include:

•  Costco opened a 152,000-sf store at I-10 and Grand Pkwy. in the Katy area. In late 2014, Costco is also scheduled to open a 153,000-sf store at SH 242 and I-45 in The Woodlands.
•  A 150,000-sf center under construction at the intersection of I-10 and Yale near the Heights will include Sprouts Farmers Market, LA Fitness and Guitar Center.
•  Walmart Supercenter will open a 185,000-sf store near the intersection of I-45 and Wayside in the second half of 2014.
•  Nordstrom will open a two-level, 138,000-sf store at The Woodlands Mall.

Click here to view TEXAS SNAPSHOT: A Real Estate Review from Weitzman/Cencor.

Read more at Realty News Report and the Houston Chronicle.

Little Elm's $600M Union Park kicks off 


LITTLE ELM, DENTON COUNTY - After eight months of planning, Dallas-based Hillwood Communities has kicked off its massive $600 million master-planned community along the US 380 corridor that will bring 2,400 homes to North Texas.

The 787-acre community — named Union Park — will include a 30-acre park with ponds, trails and woods.

"Our first phase will include 400 home lots, which is a big phase," Fred Balda, president of Hillwood Communities. "I think the bar has been raised for master-planned communities in this area. There's an incredible amount of options for buyers right now and there's a lot of tours hitting this corridor."

Plans for the project include an amenity center and an amphitheater, which will serve as a central gathering place for the community's residents.

And a food truck area, ball fields, camping areas, hike-and-bike trails and other programming to give this project a neighborhood environment.

Hillwood also wanted more than twice the required green space at Union Park to give residents a small-town community feel and to encourage socializing.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal. Listen to Podcast 227 for this story and more.

See DFW NewsTalk Texas. Everyone's talking about it!

La Joya ISD starts $14M sports complex: soccer, swim, golf 


MISSION - La Joya ISD has broken ground on a sports complex at 7400 W Expy. 83 which will include a $9.5 million natatorium, $2.5 million soccer fields and tennis courts and a $2 million planetarium.

The land for the complex, newly named Howling Trails Golf Course, was purchased for $5 million in March 2014.

Construction is expected to take 12 to 14 months, and the complex will eventually include seven summer water attractions.

The indoor natatorium will include a climate controlled water system and a ten-lane competition pool, according to School Board President Esperanza “Espie” Ochoa. The facility will also have a competition diving well and a spectator area with a capacity of 500.

Read more at the Mission Progress-Times.

Alamo Academies launching heavy equipment course 


SAN ANTONIO - The pending launch of a new course focused on heavy equipment as part of the Alamo Academies program already has a number of local industry groups eager to participate.

Next year, the program will expand to include courses in the operation and maintenance of heavy equipment and machinery.

The new curriculum has piqued the interest of major equipment dealers in the area such as Holt Cat, Zachry Construction and Martin Marietta Materials.

Howard Hicks, a vice president with Holt Cat, says he is excited about the start-up of the new academy and has already lined up skilled technicians to train students who enter the two-year program.

Alamo Academies is a nonprofit partnership between Alamo Colleges, local high schools, local industry groups and the City of San Antonio.

Since its inception in 2001, it has helped to prepare more than 1,000 high school students for potential careers in manufacturing, information technology and health care.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Horseshoe Bay: Fluor completes $500M power plant 


HORSESHOE BAY, LLANO COUNTY AND BURNET COUNTY - The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has achieved substantial completion for the Ferguson Replacement Project, a high-efficiency combined-cycle power plant at 2001 Ferguson Rd.

The 540 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant replaces the now-closed and less efficient 420 megawatt Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant, which was built in 1974.

The new plant, which is less than 100 yards from the original plant, had an estimated cost of $500 million, according to the LCRA.

The Ferguson Replacement Project is a combined-cycle type of power plant, which combines a gas turbine system and a steam-cycle system to generate electricity.

The combination of the cycles creates a highly efficient power plant that uses about 35 percent less fuel and produces fewer emissions per unit of power produced than traditional gas-fired power plants like the existing Ferguson power plant.

Fluor was awarded a lump-sum turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract for the project on November 11, 2011.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal and at the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Listen to Podcast 227 for this story and more.

Tex-Chem Corp. grabs 89,000 SF in Dallas 


DALLAS - American Tex-Chem Corp. has purchased a 88,950-sf industrial building at 5201 Catron Dr.

The Class A building was built in 2007. Some key features of the building include a 24-foot clear height and front, rear, and side loading.

The building is in the East Dallas/Mesquite Industrial submarket.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston: 320,000-SF facility underway for DCT Phase II 


HOUSTON - DCT Industrial Trust has broken ground on the second phase of its DCT Northwest Crossroads industrial park. The single-story, 320,430-sf facility is located at 11747 Windfern Rd.

The facility will have a 30-foot clearing height, skylights and 50-foot x 52-foot column spacing. The property is scheduled to deliver March 2015.

Phase 1 of the development, a single-story, 362,180-sf facility, is currently under construction and scheduled to deliver in November. To read more on Phase 1, see previous story Lennox preleases 190,000 SF in Houston's DCT Northwest.

Read more at CoStar Group.

New Caney completes $20M stadium with 1,400-SF video board 


NEW CANEY - New Caney Independent School District’s (NCISD) new 8,500-seat, $20 million Texan Drive Stadium is complete.

The new stadium features two identical double-decked bleacher flights on the east and west sides of the turf field. A multi-story press box with luxury suites rises above the west set of bleachers.

The crown jewel of the stadium is Texas’ largest video board in high school football, located behind the south end zone: a 1,400-sf freestanding video board that will be operated by the D.R.E.A.M. team — a group of specially trained NCISD students.

The stadium also features a community room overlooking the field with capacity for 500 in lecture style seating and 350 banquet style, identical locker rooms and a fully functional commercial kitchen.

The stadium was built with funds approved in the 2012 bond election that also built facilities like the Agricultural Sciences building, Woodridge Forest Middle School, the New Caney JROTC and dance hall building and the soon-to-be-completed Tavola Elementary.

The stadium’s official grand opening celebration is September 12 at 7 p.m.

Read more at Your Houston News.

The Plantation at The Woodlands 432 units sold 


THE WOODLANDS - The Plantation at The Woodlands, a 432-unit Class A garden-style apartment community, has been sold. It is located at 3720 College Park Dr. about 25 miles north of the Central Business District.

Completed in 2009, the property consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans averaging slightly more than 1,000 sf.

A CBRE Global Investors-sponsored fund acquired the community, which is nearby numerous entertainment and retail amenities, key employers and a major transportation corridor.

“The Woodlands is a high-barrier-to-entry submarket with some of the most favorable demographics in greater Houston and is expected to outperform the MSA in terms of both rent growth and vacancy,” said Steve Gullo, managing director of CBRE Global Investors Multi-Housing Group.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Austin's Colorado Tower 95% leased 

(9/10/2014 11:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Cousins Properties Inc. has signed five new leases totaling 157,279 sf at Colorado Tower, which is under construction at 303 Colorado St.

Leasing at the 373,000-sf, Class A office development is now 95 percent complete, up from 51 percent at the end of June.

Listed below are the five leases signed:

•  Parsley Energy, Inc. expanded by 61,264 sf and now leases a total of 135,107 sf.
•  Atlassian, Inc. expanded by 48,346 sf and now leases a total of 72,530 sf.
•  IPSoft, Inc. leased 24,184 sf.
•  Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP leased 14,180 sf
•  Invesco Management Group Inc. leased 9,305 sf.

Projected to be delivered in December 2014, Colorado Tower will be the first high-rise office tower developed in downtown Austin since Cousins developed Frost Bank Tower in 2003.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

Corpus Christi $14M in permits: double domes, sports complex 

(9/10/2014 9:00:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - Disaster domes are among six new projects and seven construction permits totaling nearly $14.4 million issued last week.

Federal dollars for disaster emergency domes have bolstered the city's development action by more than $8.5 million.

Permits were issued for construction to start on Calallen ISD's $4.6 million sports complex, which doubles as a Federal Emergency Management Agency dome.

Tuloso-Midway ISD's dome and adjunct mechanical room projects also hit the books for a combined $3.9 million.

The two school districts teamed with Del Mar College, Corpus Christi International Airport and City officials two years ago to seek federal grants for area multipurpose disaster shelters.

The grant program, Taxes Safe Shelter Initiative, was created in 2010 after Hurricane Ike to fund safe spaces for first responders to use during a natural disaster.

The other big money project is South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind's $2.9 million, more than 69,000-sf steel warehouse and manufacturing building. It will offer space for the nonprofit to add about 20 additional employees.

Hooten Industrial and TNT Pipe Services got the go-ahead on their individual plans for new six-figure steel buildings to pump services into the fuel industry.

CRT Flooring Concepts was approved to spend $130,000 for construction of a 10,000-sf showroom space in the 5600 block of Holly Rd.

Read more at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

NAR Austin housing market 2Q 2014 

(9/10/2014 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Second quarter 2014 housing data have been released for the Austin market by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR Austin Housing Market 2Q 2014
Price Activity Austin U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (2Q 2014) $247,500 $212,267 Prices are up from a year ago,
but price growth is slowing.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 7.1% 4.6%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 24.2% 25.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $48,200 $43,600 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $60,900 -11,500
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $80,700 -$8,000

*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

Click to see the full report.

Also see more Housing data under Austin Market Data Sources.

TAMU Health Science Center to build $7.2M Gross Anatomy Lab 

(9/10/2014 7:30:00 AM)

BRYAN - Texas A&M University will build a 30,000-sf Gross Anatomy Lab on its Health Science Center campus. The $7.2 million facility will be adjacent to the Medical Research & Education Building, which was built in 2011 along with the Health Professions Education Building.

The lab will include offices, teaching labs, specimen rooms, prep areas and tank wash rooms, chemical and specimen storage rooms and locker rooms.

The new building will allow the university to bring all first-year medical students from different campuses to a central location. Completion is anticipated before classes begin in July 2015.

The building is designed with the ability to be expanded in the future. Satterfield & Pontikes Construction is the general contractor for the project.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Dallas: Patients to UT Southwestern $800M hospital Nov. 15 

(9/10/2014 7:15:00 AM)

DALLAS - The $800 million University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center hospital under construction at 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. will open to patients on November 15. The complex is officially named the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.

Groups of 150 to 180 employees and physicians per day are starting to train on how to use the building.

The hospital will have about 30,000 patient encounters per year, with about 500 workers employed at the facility.

The hospital’s 24 operating rooms are “the biggest in the state,” said John Warner, CEO of UT Southwestern University Hospitals. That allows for teams of surgeons and nurses operating on the patient and for other teams to observe, since UT Southwestern is an academic medical center.

The hospital replaces the outdated St. Paul University Hospital.

Some of the hospital’s other vital stats:

•  1.3 million sf
•  460 single-patient rooms
•  40 emergency treatment rooms
•  24 surgical suites
•  12 procedure rooms
•  72 adult intensive-care rooms
•  16 labor and delivery rooms
•  30 neonatal ICU rooms
•  6 endoscopy suites
•  2 nuclear medicine rooms

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Humble: The Groves starts 189 homes; treehouse later 

(9/10/2014 6:59:00 AM)

HUMBLE - Builders are starting construction on the first homes in The Groves, a new master-planned community on 993 acres off West Lake Houston Pkwy. south of Kingwood.

Crescent Communities LLC is developing the project and has partnered with six home builders to develop the first phase of the project — 189 of an estimated 2,200 homes. The home builders and home/lot sizes are:

•  2,000-sf to 3,300-sf homes on 55-by-130-foot lots, built by David Weekley and Village Builders;
•  2,400-sf to 3,700-sf homes on 60-by-130-foot lots, built by Darling and Highland; and
•  3,000-plus-sf homes on 70-by-130-foot lots, built by Taylor Morrison and Trendmaker.

Each builder will offer several floor plans. The first models are expected to be finished in October. Presales have already begun, and Highland has sold its first two homes.

There will be a welcome center with a multipurpose room, lounger, outdoor plaza, fire pit, splash pad and play area.

Around the community, Crescent is constructing landscaping, an entry wall and the first section of about five miles of wooded trails during phase one of construction. A grand opening is planned for February or March.

Phase two of construction will consist of 187 lots, probably with the same six builders. Crescent plans to deliver a stocked fishing pond with a cabin and dock by next September.

For phase three, Crescent will offer four or five different lot sizes and deliver up to 300 homes a year. Also included are plans to construct The Groves’ primary amenity center, which will have a lifestyle coordinator and pools, and build out its trail system, which will have a treehouse and suspension bridge.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Dallas third in U.S. for multifamily construction 


DALLAS - Dallas is ranked third in the United States for multifamily construction, according to Axiometrics.

The Dallas-based apartment market research firm compared building permits for apartments and condominiums for the 12-month period ending July 2014.

Dallas had 16,735 building permits during the period, putting it behind New York and Houston, which were first and second, respectively.

Along with Houston and Dallas, Austin also made the top ten construction list.

North Texas has been one of the top apartment building markets in the country for the last few years thanks to the area’s high employment and population growth.

Almost 30,000 apartments are currently being built in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Odessa hotel building booms; oil show nears 


ODESSA - In 2013, Odessa added six hotels with more than 1,200 rooms, and in so far 2014 eight more have been announced or are under construction, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.

Three of the eight hotels underway are expected to come online by October 2014 when the annual oil show begins.

Openings include the

•  Baymont Inn and Suites Hotel, with 71 rooms;

•  Courtyard by Mariott, with 100 rooms; and

•  Homewood Suites by Hilton, with 121 rooms.

All three are in the Parks Legado development area of east Odessa.

The new hotels will bring the total hotel rooms in Odessa to about 3,650.

Rates that range during normal times of the year from $189 to $200 are projected to spike to $300 or $400 the week of the oil show.

Hotel developers can usually pay off a new hotel within two years, according to the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, but developers desiring a head-start from oil show premiums still faced the prevalent construction delays brought by a tight labor market.

Read more at the Odessa American.

KMG Conversion buys 39,000-SF Spur 122 Storage in SA 


SAN ANTONIO - KMG Conversion LLC has purchased Spur 122 Storage on the city’s South Side with plans to rename the six-building complex 37/410 Self Storage.

The property is located just north of US Hwy. 181 on Spur 122.

The property has 38,870-sf of rentable climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled storage space. It has on-site management, gated access and surveillance cameras.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Longview: Walmart opens 41,000-SF Neighborhood Market 


LONGVIEW - Walmart Stores Inc. continues its march across East Texas with the opening of its Walmart Neighborhood Market at 3812 Gilmer Rd.

Walmart Neighborhood Markets are typically about 41,000 sf — about one-fifth the size of a Supercenter — and much like a traditional grocery store.

The Longview store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be staffed by up to 95 full- and part-time employees.

In addition to groceries — with fresh produce, a bakery, full-service deli and prepared meal options — the store will offer health and beauty aids, pet products and cleaning supplies. It also includes a pharmacy.

Read more at the Longview News-Journal.

Lake Jackson growth to Class A Plantation Park 


LAKE JACKSON, BRAZORIA COUNTY - BHW will break ground by the end of the year on a 28-acre property it closed on in August.

Plans include a 238-unit, Class A apartment complex, Plantation Park, leaving about 12.4 acres for retail, office or more residential development.

In the next ten years, there is expected to be $21 billion of industrial investment in Brazoria County, Robert Worley, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County, told the Houston Business Journal in March.

More than 24 housing developments are under consideration in Brazoria County, according to the Economic Alliance. One of the largest under construction is a $700 million Hillwood Communities development.

For more information, see previous story Manvel marvel: $700M Pomona starts first of 2,100 homesites.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

LIsten to Podcast 227 for this story.

Houston: Vision brings 112-room Courtyard by Marriott 


HOUSTON - The 112-room Courtyard by Marriott Houston NW/290 Corridor has opened. The four-story hotel boasts over 2,000 sf of meeting space, an indoor swimming pool, fitness and business centers, and an outdoor patio with water feature and fire pit.

Guests will also enjoy the hotel's other amenities, including The Bistro – Eat. Drink Connect, media pods, complimentary Wi-Fi, a variety of seating zones and redefined space for pop-up meetings or social gatherings.

The property is located near Houston's major sporting venues and offers guests convenient access to the Energy Corridor, CityCentre, The Galleria, and the Houston Zoo and Race Park.

This marks Vision Hospitality Group Inc.'s entry into the Houston market and the state of Texas.

Read more at Hospitality Net.

Midland hotels continue record gains in 2Q 


MIDLAND - Midland was ranked first in Texas for both hotel revenue and occupancy in second quarter 2014.

Hotel revenues in 2Q 2014 increased by 31.4 percent over 2Q 2013, growing from $25 million to $33 million, according to Source Strategies.

Midland’s hotel revenue growth was over 20 percent better than average revenue growth statewide, and taxable receipts were up from $21 million in 2013 to $28 million in 2014, an increase of 28.5 percent.

Both Midland and Odessa ranked in the top two for hotel performance with an 84.7 percent and 79.6 percent hotel occupancy, respectively.

Year-over-year, Midland’s occupancy rate grew by 0.9 percent from 83.9 percent to 84.7 percent. Both cities were far above the statewide occupancy average, which sat at 67.8 percent.

Room rates have continued to remain high, with the estimated average at $108 per night. Odessa has a $119-per-night average rate, while Austin took the top slot with a $126-per-night average rate.

Midland posted a $13.26 gain in its revenue per available room over 2Q 2013 numbers, compared to the statewide average increase of $4.58 year-over-year.

Revenues have increased from $36 million in 2009 to more than $101 million in 2013. Hotel revenue for 2014 is already more than $60 million, putting 2014 on track for another record year.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Laredo opens $3.9M Aircraft Rescue and Fire Station 


LAREDO - The Laredo International Airport and the City of Laredo have opened a new $3.9 million, 15,400-sf state-of-the-art Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station situated on two acres.

The building is located immediately east of Taxiway J at the intersection with Taxiway D at the airport, and encompasses three tandem drive-through apparatus bays and one maintenance bay, supported by a room.

The private staff area has six shared sleeping rooms, a laundry room and exercise room. Operations spaces include two staff offices, watch/alarm and conference room, kitchen/dining room, with rooms for I.T., mechanical and electrical equipment.

A grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar secured a $4.1 million grant for the project, which required a 10 percent match by the City of Laredo.

“The new ARFF will help to elevate our airport to the leading facility in South Texas, able to provide not only the services for passenger and cargo travel, but also, be able to respond quickly and with the necessary equipment and support, should it be necessary,” said Carlos Villarreal, City Manager of Laredo.

Read more at the Laredo Sun.

46-Acre sale to drive retail at Prosper's Windsong Ranch 


PROSPER - The $1.2 billion Windsong Ranch community will get a 300,000-sf retail project at the northwest corner of Gee Rd. and US Hwy. 380.

United Commercial Development has purchased 46 acres at the entrance of the Windsong development for the project.

A 125,000-sf grocer is expected to anchor the shopping center. The project is the first commercial development in Windsong Ranch, which is planned to have more than 3,000 homes.

The Kroenke Group is also a partner in the retail project.

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

Acxiom opening Austin office, to hire 150 


AUSTIN - Acxiom, an Arkansas-based marketing technology firm, has announced that it will open an Austin office to tap into the region’s technical workforce.

The company plans to fill up to 150 positions in areas including network engineering, security engineering and systems engineering; network architecture and project management.

The company will host a recruiting event on September 25 at 5 p.m. at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse, where applicants can meet executives and learn more about the company. Applications are being accepted through the careers section of the company’s website.

Founded in 1969, Acxiom provides marketing and information management services. The company, which has 4,500 employees worldwide, collects and analyzes consumer and business information for customers.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Shopping center to rise at Round Rock Garden Ridge site 


ROUND ROCK - A new 100,000-sf shopping center will be underway this fall at the current site of the Round Rock Garden Ridge store at 2800 S. I-35.

The store is set to close Oct. 15.

Shortly thereafter, Austin developers Manny Farahani, Jimmy Nassour and Steve Portnoy, the site’s new owners, plan to begin tearing down the 40-year-old structure, which was originally constructed as an outlet mall.

The new center will feature about 100,000 sf for up to four anchor stores, 15,000 sf for smaller shops and to pad sites for freestanding buildings.

The project marks one of the first speculative shopping centers to be built in Central Texas in at least five years, according to Retail Connection’s Lance Morris. With retail occupancies in the area well above 90 percent, the owners believe the time is right to add new space to the market.

Despite the closure of the Round Rock store, Garden Ridge, which is in the process of changing its name to At Home, is still bullish on Central Texas, a spokeswoman said.

Two new stores will open this fall, at the Stone Hill Town Center in Pflugerville and in the Cedar Park Town Center.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Panda Energy climbs to top of Farmers Branch office building 


FARMERS BRANCH - Panda Energy has leased 39,000 sf for its headquarters in the Providence Towers office complex at the Dallas North Tollway and Spring Valley Rd.

Panda will occupy the top two floors of the office building, which was recently vacated by Henry S. Miller Co.

The energy company is moving from a building at the intersection of Spring Valley Rd. and Midway Rd. where it has had its offices for three decades.

“The vacancy at Providence Towers was only on the market for six weeks and presented a unique opportunity which will fit their needs perfectly for the long term future,” said Robbie Baty, of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Richardson Mercantile leases 50,000-SF in Dal-Rich (Village) 


RICHARDSON - Richardson Mercantile has leased 50,032 sf at Dal-Rich Village. The gifts, furniture, jewelry, antiques, home décor and apparel retailer will anchor the property at the southeast corner of Coit Rd. and Beltline Rd.

After landing the new anchor tenant, the 40-year-old retail center has been renamed Dal-Rich Towne Square.

This is the second mercantile shop to open in Dallas-Fort Worth, following the success of the Frisco Mercantile on Preston Rd.

Richardson Mercantile is scheduled to open on October 1.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Red Tail swings 16-building purchase in DFW 


RICHARDSON, CARROLLTON - Red Tail Acquisitions has purchased a six-property, 16-building industrial portfolio totaling 462,618 sf in the Richardson/Carrollton corridor.

The assets are:

•  1360-1420 Presidential Dr. and 850-890 N. Dorothy Dr. in Richardson; and
•  1420 Halsey Way, 1406 Halsey Way, 2122 Country Club Dr. and 2855 Trinity Square Dr. in Carrollton.

The properties are 87 percent leased to 41 tenants, including NOW Specialties Inc., Optex Systems Inc., Laboratory Corporations of America, SKH Beauty Inc., All Sorts Mailing Services, Circuitco Electronics LLC, Advanced Environmental Concepts, Select Cabinet Co., Milestone Construction, TraStar Inc. and Gym Ratz Basketball Club LLC.

The properties were sold by AEW Capital Management.

Read more at and Commercial Property Executive.

TAMU-CC opens $8M Islander Dining Hall 


CORPUS CHRISTI - Texas A&M Corpus Christi has officially opened the $8 million, 18,700-sf Islander Dining Hall. It is the first time since 1948 the campus has offered a meal plan with a dining hall.

There are six culinary stations and 600 food options available weekly.

The nearly 1,800 students living on campus are required to purchase a meal plan. Additionally, the facility is available to the rest of the student body, which has grown to over 11,000.

Read more at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Rosenberg: 232-unit Victoria Garden apartments sold 


ROSENBERG - The 232-unit Victoria Garden, a 182,322-sf apartment community, has been sold. The community, located at 911 Lane Dr., was built in 1978.

Ham Investment & Development sold the community to a private investor.

Read more at CoStar Group.

The Woodlands: 80,000-SF Creekside Village Green Park update 


THE WOODLANDS - Creekside Village Green Park, situated off Kuykendahl Rd. in the Village of Creekside Park, is well underway. It will be flanked by more than 80,000 sf of retail and office space, as well as a new H-E-B Grocery and Walgreen's drug store.

The Woodlands Township and The Woodlands Development Co. broke ground on the tree-lined park earlier this summer. Exteriors for most of the retail spaces are being completed, and tenants will begin building out the interiors soon.

Other signed tenants include Creekside Village Dry Cleaners, Crust Pizzeria, Dentistry of Creekside Park, Realty Executives, Studio A Pilates, Subway, Primrose School and Woodlands Family Dental.

A 4,500-sf restaurant will stand at the west end of the park and two 40,000-sf buildings will provide office and retail space on the north and south sides of the lawn.

The Village Green project is expected to open in November, with the splash pad opening spring 2015.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston: Wallis State Bank plans 120,000-SF office 

(9/9/2014 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Wallis State Bank is filling up surplus space in its 2929 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. headquarters and plans to add a six-story 120,000-sf Class A building on the adjacent land.

Atmos Energy Holdings has leased 19,168 sf in the recently opened 58,960-sf building. Two spaces are still available on the first floor.

“Wallis State Bank built this building to house its headquarters and made the decision to lease out a portion of it to third party tenants,” Michael Sieger of PM Realty Group said in an announcement. “Due to the demand, they are finalizing their plans to build a building on the adjacent land.”

The bank relocated its Town & Country location to the new headquarters earlier this year. The building is at the southwest corner of Kempwood and Beltway 8.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

El Paso River Oaks starts $200M retail building binge 

(9/9/2014 9:30:00 AM)

EL PASO - River Oaks Properties will spend nearly $200 million to develop about 2 million sf of primarily retail space in strip shopping centers over the next four to five years.

River Oaks' largest current project is the $45 million, 250,000-sf North Hills Crossing center at US Hwy. 54 and Martin Luther King in store-hungry Northeast El Paso.

The official groundbreaking will occur in September 2014, but dirt work has already begun on the center, which will be anchored by a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

In 2014 and 2015 River Oaks plans to spend about $100 million to add nearly 700,000 sf of retail space at eight shopping centers in East and Northeast El Paso, and build two 10,000-sf emergency medical-service buildings for a national chain in East and West El Paso.

The 500,000-sf Montana Commons, River Oaks' largest shopping center ever, is scheduled to begin construction in 2016 at Montana and Joe Battle. The center will be on 50 to 60 acres of the 212 acres River Oaks purchased in 2013.

The company plans to sell the rest of the acreage to apartment and home developers.

Gander Mountain, a national outdoor sports specialty chain, is scheduled to open a store in a portion of the 120,000 sf River Oaks is adding next to Home Depot at Montwood and Joe Battle.

River Oaks also expects to begin construction in 2016 on a 120,000-sf center on 15 acres at I-10 and Redd Rd. In addition, the company will add another 600,000 sf by 2019 at several other shopping centers that are still in the planning stages.

In 2013, Texas shopping centers employed 1.4 people per 1,000 sf of retail space, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. Therefore, River Oaks' projects could add at least 2,800 retail jobs in El Paso in the next four to five years, including about 960 jobs in 2014 and 2015.

Mimco Inc., El Paso's other large shopping center developer, is adding about 200,000 sf of retail space in 2014 with two new shopping centers in West and East El Paso. The company is also beginning construction on a new center at McCombs and US Hwy. 54 in Northeast El Paso that could eventually grow to 200,000 sf, according to Bob Ayoub, president of Mimco Inc.

Read more at the El Paso Times.

REOC: San Antonio 2Q 2014 medical office market 

(9/9/2014 9:00:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - The citywide medical office market experienced 146,170 sf of positive net absorption in second quarter, according to REOC San Antonio.

The vacancy rate ticked up slightly to 17.5 percent compared to 17.2 percent last quarter, but it stands improved from 18.6 percent recorded in 2Q 2013.

REOC San Antonio: 2Q 2014 MOB
All Classes Citywide CBD Non-CBD
2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013
Inventory 6,662,911 6,559,753 1,012,037 1,012,037 5,650,874 5,547,716
Available 1,167,178 1,219,816 82,960 86,750 1,084,218 1,132,046
Vacant 17.5% 18.6% 8.2% 8.6% 19.2% 20.4%
Average rent $23.81 $23.77 $20.78 $20.71 $24.35 $24.36
2Q absorption 72,376 59,867 -900 14,596 73,276 45,271
YTD absorption 146,170 201,399 -900 35,591 147,070 165,808

Source: REOC San Antonio

Click here for the full report.

Houston: No. 2 for Skanska 381,000-SF West Memorial Place II 

(9/9/2014 7:59:00 AM)

HOUSTON - West Memorial Place II, the newest addition to the Skanska USA Commercial Development site in the Energy Corridor on Memorial Dr., will include 381,000 sf in 14 stories. It will be the company’s second office building at the 12-acre site next to Terry Hershey Park.

The first building is now 50 percent leased and scheduled for occupancy in first quarter 2015. See previous story, Going up, 50% leased: 330,000-SF West Memorial Place, for more information.

HOK designed the new structure, which is expected to be complete at the end of 2015. It will include an eight-story parking garage.

Both West Memorial Place I and II projects are targeting LEED Platinum certification and will be the first speculative office buildings in the Houston Energy Corridor to achieve this rating.

Plans include a fitness center equipped with lockers and showers and on-site café with outdoor seating and a host of healthy dining options. West Memorial Place I and II will share a driveway and expansive courtyard that is accessible and convenient for tenants occupying each building.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

California REIT nabs two Austin apartments in $45M deal 

(9/9/2014 7:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN - A newly formed real estate investment trust has purchased two Austin apartment complexes in separate transactions for a total of $45 million.

Steadfast Apartment REIT, based in Orange County, California, purchased the Club at Summer Valley for $21.5 million and Terrace Cove for $23.5 million.

The Club at Summer Valley is located at 744 West William Cannon Dr. The 260-unit apartment community sits on nine acres and was built in 1983. At the time of closing it was 98 percent occupied.

The Club at Summer Valley offers one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 563 sf to 1,229 sf. Rent varies from $729 to $1,251.

Terrace Cove, located at 6201 Sneed Cove, includes 304 units on 13 acres and was built in 1986. The complex, which was also 98 percent occupied at the time of sale, offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 500 sf to 1,000 sf. Rent varies from $685 to $1,020.

The seller was not disclosed, but records at the Travis Central Appraisal District indicate both properties were owned by Stonemark S/SV LP in Atlanta. Stonemark purchased the properties in 2007.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Highlands of Northlake 220 homes coming, but not in Scotland 

(9/9/2014 7:00:00 AM)

NORTHLAKE, DENTON COUNTY - The Highlands in Northlake, a residential community north of Fort Worth, will begin the first of three construction phases by October 1.

Located on 363 acres off FM 407 along I-35W, the 220 one-acre-plus-lot community is approximately ten miles north of AllianceTexas.

Twelve lots have been pre-sold to custom home builders. There are 66 lots in the first phase of construction, which is expected to be delivered by summer 2015.

The community is being developed by Las Colinas-based Realty Capital Management with investment from Dallas-based RCP Properties LLC.

In addition to the equity funding from RCP, the project has also secured $4.385 million in infrastructure reimbursements from the Highlands Public Improvement District.

“The Highlands offers families a great place to call home with convenient access to major employment centers for the parents and open spaces, miles of hike-and-bike trails and access to Northwest ISD schools for the kids,” said Blake Lugash, president of RCP.


597,000-SF Montgomery Summit Business Park heads near Conroe 

(9/9/2014 6:45:00 AM)

MONTGOMERY - The Montgomery Summit Business Park, a 96-acre business park located on FM 1097, will include 597,200 sf of retail, office and office/warehouse flex space. Phase I of the project is estimated to cost $11 million.

The development will be anchored by an 87,000-sf Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, which is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

The project will break ground this month and building construction will begin in October. The developer is Summit Universal.

Overall, industrial vacancy in Houston is 6.3 percent, the lowest vacancy on record in recent years, and down from the 7 percent recorded during the same quarter last year, reports Commercial Gateway, the commercial division of the Houston Association of Realtors.

There are currently 45 spec and build-to-suit industrial buildings totaling 5.2 million sf under construction in Houston.

The average rental rate for Houston’s industrial market is $5.44 per sf. That’s a 5 percent jump over last year, reports JLL.

Houston’s industrial market continues to be hot, with warehouse/distribution properties recording the largest share of absorption last quarter.

Continuing a six-year trend of positive absorption in the industrial market, warehouse/distribution properties had the lion’s share of 85 percent of the total absorption in second quarter 2014, which equates to 1.6 million square feet, reports Commercial Gateway.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Aqua Book II: Coastal Bend trends in occupations 


CORPUS CHRISTI - The Coastal Bend economy is supported by approximately 50,000 firms and a total of 13,000 business establishments, according to Dr. Jim Lee’s second edition of Aqua Book.

Some, like the oil refineries and industrial plants in the Corpus Christi Port District, are remarkably large, each hiring thousands of employees. Yet the majority of businesses, the backbone of the local economy, are fairly small.

Most local family-owned restaurants and auto repair shops, for instance, operate with no more than ten full-time employees. On average, a business in the region hires 18.6 employees.

The growth trend of businesses in the Coastal Bend has lagged behind the rest of the nation. The region gained only 4 percent in business establishments between 2001 and 2014, less than one-third of the national growth rate at 15 percent.

Over this same period, the region’s employment grew 16 percent. The faster growth rate in the employment level than the growth rate in number of businesses means that the typical business has expanded in terms of the number of employees.

Judging by the number of business establishments across industries, the Coastal Bend economy is well diversified. The largest sector is retail trade, which accounts for no more than 15 percent of all businesses in the region.

Other major sectors are health care which comprises 12 percent of total businesses, and accommodation and food services which account for 11 percent.

Click here for the complete PDF of Aqua Book II.

Source: South Texas Economic Development Center | Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

See previous story. No Beige, no Green! Aqua Book colors the Coastal Bend.

Bella Vista adds 128 units to Brownsville market 


BROWNSVILLE - Bella Vista Apartments, located on a 28 acres at 4305 E. Ruben Torres Blvd., has opened its clubhouse and first three residential buildings, totaling 128 units. Five more residential buildings are slated for completion in the next two months.

The units rent from $750 to $1,085 per month and range in size from 575 sf to 1,240 sf. One bedroom/one bath, two bedroom/two bath and three bedroom/two bath options are available.

Phase two is still in the design stage and will add another 150 to 170 units.

Bella Vista is the first new Class A, market-rate apartment complex to hit the Brownsville market since the early 2000s, according to developer Ryan Harden.

The Bella Vista project was a response to high demand in Brownsville for Class A, market-rate multifamily housing — largely the result of foreclosures and the difficulty of securing mortgage lending following the housing crisis.

High traffic counts along East Ruben Torres Blvd. will only grow, especially after the new Walmart under construction just to the west opens its doors. “We’ve got a Walmart on each end of FM 802 from us,” said Harden. “There’s also one right at (SH) 48.”

Read more at the Brownsville Herald.

Houston IAH: nonstop flights to Monterrey, Mexico and Norway 


HOUSTON - Mexican airline Interjet will begin nonstop flights on October 23 between George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Monterrey, Mexico. Houston is a new destination for Interjet.

Travelers will have two flight options Monday through Friday, and one flight per day Saturdays and Sundays.

Houston's increasing demand for international travel, especially with Mexico, prompted the addition. According to the Houston Airport System's statement, in the past ten years, the international passenger totals have increased more than 60 percent, rising to a record total of 9 million in 2013.

In August, IAH added another international destination. Scandinavian Airlines began nonstop flights from Houston to Stavanger, Norway.

In May, HAS announced plans to demolish and rebuild IAH's Terminal D, an international terminal. The $1.5 billion makeover will span five years and will cater to travelers increasingly heading to far-flung destinations, such as Asia.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

NAR Beaumont housing market 2Q 2014 


BEAUMONT - Second quarter 2014 housing data have been released for the Beaumont market by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR Beaumont housing market 2Q 2014
Price Activity Beaumont U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (2Q 2014) $138,600 $212,267 Prices continue to grow relative to
last year.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 1.7% 4.6%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 9.4% 25.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $11,900 $43,600 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $10,900 -11,500
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $42,100 -$8,000

*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

Click to see the full report.

Also see more Housing data under Beaumont Market Data Sources.

NAR Houston housing market 2Q 2014 


HOUSTON - Second quarter 2014 housing data have been released for the Houston market by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR Houston Housing Market 2Q 2014
Price Activity Houston U.S. Local Trend
Current Median Home Price (2Q 2014) $204,000 $212,267 Prices are up from a year ago,
but price growth is slowing.
1-year (4-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 7.9% 4.6%
3-year (12-quarter) Appreciation (2Q 2014) 30.4% 25.8%
3-year (12-quarter) Housing Equity Gain* $47,500 $43,600 Gains in the last 3 years have
extended the trend of positive
price growth after the recession.
7-year (28 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $49,100 -$11,500
9-year (36 quarters) Housing Equity Gain* $61,500 -$8,000

*Equity gain reflects price appreciation only.

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

Click to see the full report.

Also see more Housing data under Houston Market Data Sources.

Courtyard Victoria opens by Pride 


VICTORIA - The Courtyard Victoria, 8002 N. Navarro St., is now open. The 109-key property is owned and managed by Pride Management of Beaumont.

The four-story hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, a large outdoor patio with fire pit, fitness center and guest laundry and offers 1,280 sf of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 110 people.

The property also features a business lobby and a restaurant.

Read more at Hotel Business.

New Texas Emergency Operations Center opens in Houston 


HARRIS COUNTY — one of the fastest growing counties in the nation — has a new state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to help local governments and emergency responders serve and protect residents during disasters and emergencies.

Harris County is the third largest county in the United States and the largest in Texas, with 34 cities and more than 4.4 million residents.

The new EOC, located at the Houston TranStar center, has added 26,000 sf of new floor space, renovated 11,000 sf of existing space, and now has 98 workstations.

The building is structurally designed to withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour; it has three backup generators and a 30,000-gallon water filtration system.

The facility has gained 3,360 sf of conference space that can be converted to support disaster responders when needed. This space is also available for training, exercises and drills. Other amenities include additional elevators, bathrooms, showers and sleeping quarters.

“The expansion was conceived from lessons learned during Hurricane Rita, but it was Hurricane Ike that proved we did not have enough space to house the hundreds of people that it takes for response and recovery operations during a major disaster,” said TranStar Director Jack Whaley.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, the EOC was activated for nine days, with more than 100 people working there and only 24 available workstations. Hurricane Ike brought more than 500 responders, representing over 100 agencies, to TranStar.

TranStar — a partnership of four government agencies — the Texas Department of Transportation, METRO, Harris County and the City of Houston — provides travel time updates, incident warnings and up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information for the greater Houston/Harris County area.

Read more at Homeland Security Today.

San Antonio TopGolf on pace to open $15M, 65,000-SF complex 

(9/8/2014 7:06:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Construction on TopGolf, a multimillion dollar sports and golf entertainment complex, is on pace to have the Northwest Side venue open by early 2015.

The 65,000-sf, three-level driving range, which will include bars, 230 high-definition televisions, and other entertainment, is expected to open by late January.

The estimated $15 million complex will be modeled after a Houston location and will hire about 450 personnel, including about 100 full-time positions.

The company said they expect to serve 400,000 visitors in its first year and to generate $264.5 million in economic output over ten years.

The $15 million venue, across from Six Flags Fiesta Texas and The Shops at La Cantera, was finalized in January and will be the first in San Antonio and the seventh Texas location.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

Elevator firm KONE going up with Allen office park project 

(9/8/2014 7:05:00 AM)

ALLEN - Global elevator and escalator company KONE Inc. plans to make a major expansion in North Texas as it relocates a light manufacturing division from Mexico to Allen, bringing 80 new jobs to the city.

As part of the international relocation, KONE will help start a soon-to-be developed Class A office park in Allen, called AllenPlace, on the east side of North Central Expy. between Bethany Dr. and McDermott Dr.

AllenPlace is expected to cost upwards of $90 million after it’s fully developed.

The $26 million initial phase of the five-building, 700,000-sf office park will keep KONE growing, said Ron Bagwill, vice president and director of supply operations for KONE Americas.

KONE will occupy more than 169,000 sf at AllenPlace, where the company committed to be the lead tenant in May. This increases the company's original lease by more than 110,000 sf from its original commitment.

The Allen Economic Development Corp. (AEDC) sold the tract to the developer as part of a public-private partnership. As part of the new deal, AEDC gave KONE a $200,000 economic development grant as part of developing the light manufacturing facility.

Construction is scheduled to get underway this year on the initial phase of the project. KONE is expected to move into its new offices by summer 2015.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

For more on KONE's initial commitment to AllenPlace in May 2014, see previous story New $70 million office park coming to Allen.

240,000-SF Toll Hill Office sold on Dallas North Tollway 

(9/8/2014 7:03:00 AM)

DALLAS - Cawley Partners has acquired Toll Hill Office Park, a two-story, 240,000-sf office property at the southeast corner of the Dallas North Tollway and Harvest Hill Rd.

As part of the acquisition, Cawley Partners plans to spend $3 million in upgrades to the property, including the lobby, restrooms, landscaping and parking.

Cawley Partners has been busy on the Dallas North Tollway, with plans to break ground on Legacy Center, a 175,000-sf planned office building at the northwest corner of Legacy Dr. and Hedgcoxe Rd. in Plano.

The developer is also working on Knoll Trail Plaza and Tollway Center, a proposed 200,000-sf project at the south side of Belt Line Rd. and the Dallas North Tollway that is expected to start January 2015.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

For more on Legacy Center, see previous story Plano Legacy tract for new 169,000-SF office.

For more on Knoll Trail Plaza, see previous story Knoll Trail Plaza office starts on Dallas North Tollway.

Houston: 21-story apartment headed to Texas Med Center 

(9/8/2014 7:02:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Betting on the continued strong health of the Texas Medical Center, the Dinerstein Cos. is planning a 21-story, 375-unit high-rise apartment building at the corner of Cambridge and Holcombe.

The site was one of the few available tracts in the area not already owned by a medical center institution.

Rents will start at $1,600 per month for a one-bedroom and go up to around $3,500. The average unit size will be just under 950 sf. The building will have mostly one- and two-bedroom units.

"We love its proximity to the 100,000 jobs," Brian Dinerstein, president of Dinerstein Cos. said of the two-acre site. "We love the unobstructed views of the zoo and the park and the access to the freeway. It checks every box of what we look for in a site."

The building's angled design was created to take advantage of views of downtown and Hermann Park.

This is the second recent residential project in the area for Dinerstein Cos. Both projects will be named with the company's "Millennium" multifamily brand.

The second project is a five-story apartment complex at Kirby near South Main. The 378-unit project is under construction and expected to open in early 2016.

Demand for housing in the Medical Center/Bellaire submarket has pushed up occupancy 5.6 percent and rents 12.5 percent over a three-month period, according to an August report from Apartment Data Services.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

USAA buys Dalports' 760,000-SF warehouse in Wilmer 

(9/8/2014 7:00:00 AM)

WILMER, DALLAS COUNTY - Dalport Trade Center, a 758,922-sf warehouse on I-45 in Wilmer, has been purchased by USAA Real Estate Co. 

The property is located at 201 S. I-45 in the Inland Port District south of Dallas on 37 acres. The huge distribution building is located just south of Union Pacific Railway’s intermodal freight center.

The warehouse is roughly 2.5 miles from the Union Pacific Intermodal and 6.5 miles from the FedEx Ground Hub.

The industrial building was developed in 2008 by First Industrial and is vacant.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News and CoStar Group.

170 Homes drop into Dripping Springs near Nutty Brown Rd. 

(9/8/2014 6:53:00 AM)

DRIPPING SPRINGS - Crescent Communities has announced plans to open two new sections of homes in Belterra, adding 170 homes to the subdivision off US 290 between Nutty Brown Rd. and Sawyer Ranch Rd.

One section, Seneca Trails, will have 70 homes to be built by Sitterle Homes and Drees Custom Homes. The first houses are expected to be ready for residents by spring 2015. Prices will range from the mid-$400,000s to the low $700,000s, said Tommy Tucker, a vice president with Crescent.

The other section, Mesa Verde Hills, will have 99 homes built by Wilshire Homes and Highland Homes. Prices will be from the low $300,000s to the mid-$400,000s. The first homes should be ready in late 2014 or early 2015.

Belterra, which was acquired by Crescent Communities nine months ago, is planned for 2,000 homes. About 1,350 of those have been built to date.

Of Belterra’s 1,600 acres, 25 percent — 400 acres — will remain open space, including about six to ten miles of trails, Tucker said.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Allen: Waters Creek 109-unit apartments started 

(9/8/2014 6:52:00 AM)

ALLEN - Developer Trademark Property Co. has started work on a 109-unit residential building in its mixed-use Watters Creek Project.

The apartments will range in size from 650 to 1,740 sf.

The 750,000-sf retail, office and apartment development is on North Central Expy. at Bethany Rd.

The 52-acre Watters Creek development opened in 2008. The first phase of the project has 350,000 sf of retail space, 250 apartments and 90,000 sf of office space.

The project is a development of Trademark, Pacific Coast Capital Partners, Coventry Real Estate Advisors and Southern Land.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

16 Acres with 280,000-SF Houston Design Center sold 

(9/8/2014 6:51:00 AM)

HOUSTON - MLB Capital Partners has purchased a 16-acre property at 7026 Old Katy Rd. that includes the Houston Design Center, a sprawling 280,690-sf space with more than 40 showrooms and design offices catering to the luxury residential and commercial market.

The building was developed in the 1980s and is about 95 percent leased. The new owner is building a list of potential tenants that would want to be in the property, but the facility has generally stayed full.

"We've got one space that's coming up that would be 10,000 sf and we have a tenant already identified," Fred Baca of MLB Capital Partners said.

Just north of I-10 inside the 610 Loop, Old Katy Rd. is increasingly becoming home to more upscale developments. Baca notes a high-end single-family housing community slated for the east side of the center and a luxury apartment project that is planned on the west side.

MLB Capital Partners purchased an additional three acres of undeveloped land on the south side of the design center property. MLB will either work with a developer to build something there or sell it.

The center was purchased from RC Partners.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Chisholm Trail Ranch sells 268 acres for Fort Worth housing 

(9/8/2014 6:49:00 AM)

FORT WORTH - Chisholm Trail Parkway provides more than quick passage from Fort Worth to Cleburne; the $1.4 billion toll road also promises new housing, retail and office options.

All those elements are taking shape at Chisholm Trail Ranch at McPherson Boulevard and Chisholm Trail Parkway in southwest Fort Worth, according to Steve Saxon, co-founder of Legacy Capital Co.

Legacy, along with Stratford Land Co., sold 268 acres of the 625-acre, mixed-use development to project developer Walton Group of Companies.

Those 268 acres represent the property’s single-family housing component. The remaining retail and office acreage is still owned by Legacy Capital.

The first 50 of 1,100 planned single-family homes are expected to be constructed by late 2015, according to Steve Saxon, co-founder of Legacy Capital Co.

Homes will be priced from the mid $200,000 to high $300,000 range. Two residential phases have been confirmed, one on the east and one on the west side of Chisholm Trail Pkwy.

The first phase will span 50 acres, with the second covering 225 acres and including a planned elementary school in the Crowley school district.

Chisholm Trail Ranch marks the first major real estate project announced for the Chisholm Trail Pkwy. corridor. Since the 27.6-mile toll road opened this summer, motorists have enjoyed swift passage between I-30 near downtown Fort Worth and US 67 in Cleburne.

Read more at the Fort Worth Business Press.

Walmart adding two Neighborhood Markets in Texarkana 


TEXARKANA, TEX. - Walmart is currently building two Neighborhood Market stores, which are about 38,000 sf each, in Texarkana.

One store, costing an estimated $1.7 million, will be located 3520 Richmond Rd. The other will be at 1918 College Dr. and will cost an estimated $1.5 million to build, according to state filings. Both stores are slated for completion in early 2015.

While Walmart is well-known for its giant Walmart Supercenters, the world's largest retailer is now accelerating plans for smaller stores across the country.

The company plans to open up to 300 smaller retail stores, called Walmart Express and Neighborhood Markets in 2014, including five in the Texarkana region.

Walmart Express stores, which are typically about 12,000 sf, will also be built in Redwater, Dekalb, and Naples.

Read more at KTBS.

RGVP McAllen-Edinburg-Mission permits: July 2014 


McALLEN, EDINBURG, MISSION - The Rio Grande Valley Partnership has released its July 2014 residential and commercial building permit data. Below is a sample of the entire report.

Residential/Commercial Building Permits July 2014
Residential Building Permits   Commercial Building Permits
July YTD 2014 YTD 2013 City July YTD 2014 YTD 2013
$9,197,596 $49,517,500 $35,933,255 McAllen $51,756,073 $86,118,354 $56,546,966
$3,971,760 $25,460,187 $18,521,763 Mission $36,072,200 $49,455,315 $61,139,200
$9,865,561 $34,344,359 $35,891,321 Edinburg $7,180,129 $39,486,226 $30,993,145
$1,761,239 $16,803,188 $15,242,329 Pharr $703,775 $32,439,141 $52,645,221
$170,000 $1,658,500 $868,575 Donna $774,000 $13,297,000 $92,208
$546,280 $2,929,057 $2,127,894 Alamo $37,660 $206,849 $17,537,484
$25,512,436 $130,712,791 $108,585,136 Total $96,523,837 $221,002,885 $218,954,224

Source: Rio Grande Valley Partnership

Metrostudy: Houston dominates mid-year housing starts 


HOUSTON - Houston, the most active market for home building in the country, earned seven spots on Metrostudy’s list of the nation’s top 20 master-planned communities.

Housing consulting firm Metrostudy compiled the ranking based on annualized housing starts through the middle of 2014. Ranked No. 11 was Alamo Ranch in San Antonio with 557 starts

Johnson Development Corp, which developed Riverstone, Cross Creek Ranch and Woodforest among other communities, registered three of the top 20 communities, more than any other developer.

The Houston communities and their respective rankings are as follows:

Houston Master-Planned Communities
Community National
Riverstone 4 818
Cinco Ranch 6 602
The Woodlands 8 592
Cross Creek Ranch 13 480
Woodforest 14 476
Aliana 18 451
Canyon Gate West 20 427

*Represents annualized starts through the middle of 2014

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Click here to see the full report from Metrostudy.

Flower Mound condo tower is half presold 


FLOWER MOUND - Developers have begun selling condominiums in The Lakeside Tower and Bungalows, a 14-story residential building planned for the 150-acre mixed-use Lakeside DFW development.

Irving-based Realty Capital Management, who is developing the property, has already sold about half of the 44 condos planned for the Mediterranean-style high-rise.

The residential units range in price from $595,000 to $2.95 million for 1,300 sf to over 5,700 sf.

Construction is planned to begin spring 2015 with completion in the second half of September 2016. Realty Capital is developing Lakeside DFW, located at FM 2499 and Lakeside Pkwy.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

St. Joseph's $21M expansion in Bryan 


BRYAN - St. Joseph hospital has broken ground on a 24,500-sf, $21 million emergency and trauma center expansion. The center will have frontage along Memorial Dr. and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016.

The facility is the health care system's biggest project in the past decade, doubling the size of the current emergency department, adding a second helipad and making room for a rapid increase in patients since its designation as a Level II trauma center.

"Our emergency and trauma department was built in the 1970s, so this is an expansion of that center that's going to enable us to offer better amenities for our patients," said Melissa Shay, the vice president of marketing and communications for the hospital.

The new center will hold larger, more private rooms, and specially designed trauma rooms for procedures normally done in surgical suites, which the hospital says will save time and lives.

The hospital receives more than 90,000 visits to its six emergency departments each year, nearly 60,000 of them at the regional trauma center in Bryan alone — far more than it was originally designed to accommodate.

Shay said the area could see close to 24,000 new residents in the next five years, and said the hospital has seen an increase in emergency room volume over the years that mirrors steady growth.

"When you factor in the oil and gas industry and the biocorridor, the community growth is creating increasing demand for health care services," she said.

Read more at The Eagle.

HOLT CAT to hire 60, boost Edinburg economy by $20M 


EDINBURG - The newly opened HOLT CAT facility, located south of FM 490 near the South Texas International Airport, will add 60 new jobs, some of them paying nearly $30 an hour.

Hourly wages of up to $29 an hour for a certified technician with experience working on heavy machinery and diesel engines will be offered. Other projected jobs range from salaried management to warehouse workers, and sales coordinators and representatives, which will be comparable to area wages.

“This industry adds more opportunities for higher-paying jobs for the residents of Edinburg,” said Nelda Ramirez, assistant executive director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corp (EEDC).

The project will be an economic multiplier of around $20 million for local governments through employment, state and local property taxes, according to the EEDC.

HOLT CAT has invested $10 million in the project, including a 47,000-sf facility situated on 35 acres, which is seen as a spark for the new I-69 Corridor. The EEDC approved more than $350,000 for infrastructure improvements on the land as an economic incentive.

The company will continue its operations in Weslaco, which has been around for 80 years, but will move a few employees to the new site, according to Edward Craner, HOLT CAT senior vice president of strategy and marketing.

Read more at The Monitor.

$115M approved for TAMU Corps dorm renovations 


COLLEGE STATION - The home of more than 2,400 cadets at Texas A&M University's Corps District in the southside quadrangle will see $115 million in improvements from 2015 through 2017.

Lacy and Harrell Halls recently completed renovations as part of the 2012 Corps District Plan, while Leonard Hall is under construction for renovations. The approved funding will continue the 2012 plan by similarly renovating the remaining nine buildings.

Two new Leadership Learning Centers will replace old lounges between Kiest/Fountain halls and Spence/Briggs halls, with each featuring a print and copy center, commons area, community learning center and a meeting space. The center between Kiest and Fountain halls will feature an office suite and coffee shop.

The historic Quad will also receive improvements after construction including replaced sidewalks, improved landscaping and lighting and a paved internal quad area.

Fountain, Kiest, Briggs, Spence and Gainer halls, the two Leadership Learning Centers and the north half quad improvements are expected to be completed by August 2016.

Whitely, White, Harrington and Utay halls as well as the south quad improvements should be completed by August 2017.

Read more at The Eagle.

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