NewsTalk Texas

Breadwinners burgeon as 1,000 new jobs come to the Valley 

(8/29/2014)

RIO GRANDE VALLEY - Four businesses bringing over 1,000 new jobs, all expected to pay above minimum wage, will come to the Rio Grande Valley over the next year, according to the McAllen Economic Development Corporation.

California-based Southwest Steel Coil, a subsidiary of Calstrip Industries, will open a 60,000-sf manufacturing plant in either McAllen or Mission and hire 50 employees. A skilled machine operator position can earn up to $21 per hour with full benefits, and a semi-skilled crane worker can make up to $14 per hour.

Colorado-based Teletech, which contracts for customer service phone operations, plans to invest $3.7 million for a 36,000-sf building in McAllen and will create 650 jobs. The average hourly wage for a customer service representative at Teletech can range from $9.60 to $14, according to Glassdoor.com.

The Woodlands-based Conn’s Home Plus, a home goods and electronics store, will take over a 325,000-sf distribution warehouse in Sharyland Plantation in Mission and will add 80 jobs. The average salary for a warehouse worker is $10 per hour, according to Glassdoor.com.

Monterrey, Mexico-based SFT Food Tech, which supplies prepared and frozen food to retailers, will build a 90,000-sf building on South Bentsen Rd. in McAllen, an investment worth up to $12 million that will create 300 jobs.

In 2013, McAllen spent $1.2 million on infrastructure along South Bentsen Rd. that included a $600,000 matching grant from the United States Department of Commerce.

Read more at The Monitor.

San Antonio: $33M takes The Lodge at Sonterra 

(8/21/2014 7:00:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - The Lodge at Sonterra Ltd. has sold the 326-unit Lodge at Sonterra multifamily property in San Antonio to Sonterra Acquisition LLC for $33 million.

Units at the Lodge at Sonterra range from 648 sf to 1,506 sf and range in price from $730 to $1,737. One-, two- and three-bedroom units are available.

The complex was built in 2001 and is currently 87 percent leased.

Read more from the CCIM Institute.

Corpus Christi retail 2Q 2014: Burbach 

(8/21/2014 6:59:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - In second quarter 2014, the retail market contained 22.6 million sf with a vacancy rate of 5.8 percent, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group.

The rate was up from 5.6 percent in 4Q 2013. The average net rental rate was $11.74 per sf, down from $12.24 in 4Q 2013.

Corpus Christi Retail Market Summary 2Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
General Retail 12,926 5.9% $10.08
Mall 2,531 3.0% -
Power Center 346 0.0% -
Shopping Center 6,598 7.1% $13.85
CBD 1,679 5.0% $9.22
Mid-City 6,034 4.2% $13.13
South Side 6,237 3.9% $17.17
West Side 1,665 12.0% $7.96
Northwest 1,677 12.7% $5.94
Flour Bluff / Padre Island 1,622 4.4% $13.81
Portland / Ingleside 1,872 7.8% $13.32
Total 22,625 5.8% $11.74


Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here to see the report.

For more stats, see Office, Retail and Industrial under Corpus Christi Market Data Sources.

Plano: 263,000-SF Granite Park Hilton debut set 

(8/21/2014 6:53:00 AM)

PLANO - Granite Properties will officially debut its 300-room Hilton on August 29.

The 262,500-sf Granite Park Hilton is located near the southeast corner of SH 121 and the Dallas North Tollway.

It includes 35,000 sf of conference space, a full-service restaurant, retail shop, a fitness center and outdoor pool and lounge.

A pedestrian boardwalk along the waterfront connects the hotel to its conference center and surrounding office buildings.

Next week's ceremony marks the completion of Granite Properties last expansion, which included Granite Park IV, a 12-story, 300,000-sf office tower that's 60 percent leased.

Granite Park IV and Granite Park Hilton make up the development firm's $150 million expansion to the business park.

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

Stealing the show: $165M Music Factory rocking in Irving 

(8/21/2014 6:50:00 AM)

IRVING - Developer Ark Group plans to begin its $165 million Music Factory Entertainment Center by the end of August.

Plans for the project include 300,000 sf of retail and restaurants, 100,000 sf of concert hall and amphitheater space with 8,000 seats, an outdoor event plaza and 100,000 sf of office space.

Ark Group is planning to host a groundbreaking ceremony in the 300 block of W. Las Colinas Blvd. near the Irving Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

In true entertainment style, Ark Group is putting together a party.

The firm is bringing food trucks, a performance from members from Dashboard Confessional and The Apples in Stereo, as well as a free outdoor movie screening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" following the groundbreaking ceremony.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

REOC: San Antonio 2Q 2014 industrial 

(8/21/2014 6:45:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Tenant demand for industrial space continued to tighten the local market in second quarter, according to REOC San Antonio. The survey of 461 industrial properties totaled nearly 33.7 million sf of space.

The San Antonio industrial market experienced 199,748 sf of positive net absorption which marks a 13th consecutive quarter of absorption growth.

The citywide vacancy rate remained stable from 1Q 2014 at 5.9 percent but narrowed significantly compared to 8.1 percent recorded in 2Q 2013.

With available space being squeezed, rental rates are rising quickly. The citywide average quoted triple net rental rate for industrial space increased to $7.83 per sf per year — up 4.5 percent from 2Q 2013.

No new speculative projects were delivered to the market in the first half of the year but roughly 537,000 sf of space is expected to come online in the second half.

REOC San Antonio: 2Q 2014 Industrial*
All Types Citywide CBD Non-CBD
2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013
Inventory 33,685,029 32,268,547 233,395 233,395 33,451,634 32,035,152
Direct vacant 1,977,334 2,599,345 0 28,548 1,977,334 2,570,797
Vacant 5.9% 8.1% 0.0% 12.2% 5.9% 8.0%
Average rent $7.83 $7.49 $3.60 $3.60 $7.87 $7.53
2Q Absorption 199,748 564,220 28,548 26,186 171,200 538,034
YTD Absorption 448,008 850,003 28,548 11,912 419,460 838,091

*Statistics based on all multi-tenant industrial facilities 20,000 sf and larger excluding single-tenant, owner-occupied and government buildings.

For the full report see REOC San Antonio.

For more stats, see Industrial under San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Houston: July 2014 construction permits break record again 

(8/21/2014 6:40:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Construction permitting in the City of Houston hit another record in July 2014. The running 12-month total reached nearly $7.6 billion, the fifth consecutive record-setting month.

The $7.6 billion represents a 30.5 percent increase from $5.8 billion in permits issued over the 12 months ending July 2013.

Houston Building Permits July 2014
  Monthly Data Year-to-Date Total
  July
2014
July
2013
%
Chg.
July
2014
July
2013
%
Chg.
Building Permits
($, City of Houston)
733,370,015 715,175,322 2.5 4,938,898,722 3,510,743,282 40.7
Nonresidential total 493,204,753 486,441,733 1.4 3,321,435,602 2,276,769,851 45.9*
New nonresidential 201,438,031 316,886,234 -36.4 1,956,363,284 1,152,047,586 69.8
Nonresidential additions/
alterations/conversions
291,766,722 169,555,499 72.1 1,365,072,318 1,124,722,265 21.4
Residential total 240,165,262 228,733,589 5.0 1,617,463,120 1,233,973,431 31.1
New residential 213,973,631 210,105,547 1.8 1,437,967,559 1,107,170,131 29.9
Residential additions/
alterations/conversions
26,191,631 18,628,042 40.6 179,495,561 126,803,300 41.6

*Readers are cautioned that year-to-year comparisons of nonresidential data have become near meaningless because of the billion dollar contracts for chemical plant construction that have recently been awarded.

Read more at the Greater Houston Partnership. For more economic indicators, check out the full report.

Downtown Fort Worth commercial stats 2Q 2014 

(8/21/2014)

FORT WORTH - Office and retail occupancy rates for Downtown Fort Worth for second quarter 2014 are available.

Data presented in the report are derived from the following sources: Sales and sales tax data are from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, and office and retail occupancy rates from the Costar Group.

Downtown Fort Worth Office / Retail Occupancy Rates
 Type 2Q 2012 2Q 2013 2Q 2014
Office 91.3% 90.7% 85.7%
Retail 94.7% 92.4% 93.7%

Office Rental Rates
Downtown Fort Worth*
Type 2Q 2012 2Q 2013 2Q 2014
Class A $28.16 $28.35 $28.89
Class B $18.62 $20.62 $20.69
Class C $14.67 $18.10 $16.77

*Full service rent ($/SF/YR)

Read more at Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

For more stats on office, retail and more, see Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Market Data Sources.

Forecast 2022: West Texas Energy Consortium booms 

(8/21/2014)

WEST TEXAS - The Center for Community and Business Research at The University of Texas of San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development has determined the economic impact of oil and gas activities in the West Texas Energy Consortium (WTXEC).

WTXEC is organized by workforce solutions boards in the Concho Valley, West Central Texas, and the Permian Basin.

The ten-county core study area includes Fisher, Glasscock, Howard, Irion, Martin, Mitchell, Nolan, Reagan, Scurry, and Sterling counties. In 2012, the oil and gas industry in the ten core counties is estimated to have had a total impact of $14.5 billion, supported 21,450 full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs, generated revenues of $446 million for the local governments and $472 million for the state government.

The total impact of oil and gas industry activity in the ten core counties in 2022 is forecast to be more than $20 billion in the moderate scenario, with 30,540 jobs anticipated, and revenues of $664 million for the local governments and $701 million for the state government.

Additionally, a secondary study was conducted on Brown, Coke, Coleman, Runnels, Taylor, and Tom Green counties, which neighbor the core study area.

The economic output of the six neighboring counties are forecast to grow significantly over the period between 2012 and 2022. Forecasts show that Tom Green ($148.5 million), Taylor ($80.8 million), and Runnels County ($12.9 million) will continue to have the largest economic output in 2022.

See the Center for Community and Business Research’s full report.

Austin's million-dollar-plus homes take longer to sell 

(8/21/2014)

AUSTIN - Luxury homes in Austin priced above $1 million are staying on the market longer but more are selling at higher prices than a year ago, according to Jonathan Boatwright, co-founder of Realty Austin.

Realty Austin data indicates that total volume of million-dollar homes sold in June was $116.2 million — up slightly from May, which had $115.1 million. But that’s way more than earlier in 2014. In March, total volume was $52.8 million and it was just $38.2 million in February.

In June, the median value for luxury homes sold was nearly $1.4 million — $35,000 higher than in June 2013. The average value was more than $1.6 million, or $14,528 than in June 2013.

The number of active listings — 654 — has remained fairly constant for months. In June, 71 properties sold — up from 67 in May and 18 more than June 2013. The average price per sf was $347, $36 more per sf than in 2013.

Be sure to check out the Aug. 22 print edition of the Austin Business Journal for a cover story about the wealthiest ZIP codes in Austin and see some of the priciest homes on the market by ZIP code.

Million-dollar-plus properties spend an average of 98 days on the market, 11 more days than in June 2013, but there is less inventory than a year ago.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Montgomery: Woodforest on pace to top 2013 sales 

(8/21/2014)

MONTGOMERY - Woodforest, a project of the Johnson Development Corp. spanning 3,000 acres, is on target to release 600 lots to builders this year, putting it on pace to top last year’s sales while adding two new types of housing.

Builders have started more than 300 homes in Woodforest so far this year, about 3 percent above last year’s pace.

Woodforest will offer the first townhomes in early October. Chesmar Homes will build 56 homes priced from $180,000 in the Cheswood neighborhood.

Taylor Morrison recently introduced housing for buyers age 55 and up in Bonterra at Woodforest, a community planned for 700 homes with 110 properties in its first phase.

“More than 30 homes have already sold in Bonterra, less than two weeks after the community’s grand opening,” Virgil Yoakum, general manager of Woodforest, said.

Builders sold a record 457 homes in Woodforest in 2013, a 40 percent increase over 2012. Since opening in 2009, 3,500 people have moved to Woodforest.

The community’s first onsite school, Stewart Elementary in the Conroe Independent School District, is set to open August 25.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Maverick ramping up rigs, jobs in Kilgore 

(8/21/2014)

KILGORE - The Kilgore Economic Development Corporation has approved an incentive deal to help Maverick Well Services double in size over the next five years.

Maverick has committed to adding $9.5 million in personal property improvements and 30 new full-time employees. In return, KEDC will grant rebates up to $189,088 payable over the same time period.

The company also plans to double the number of rigs it operates, adding nine more over the next five years.

With a payroll of $300,000 a month, Maverick has turned its workhorse appearance into a thoroughbred presence in Kilgore. In addition to employees who spend their paychecks at home, the company’s yard falls in the city’s recent annexation along US 42, thus growing the city’s tax base.

Read more at the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation.

Rockport home sales July 2014: Swearingen 

(8/21/2014)

ROCKPORT - The Swearingen Report for residential homes has been released for the 12 months ending July 2014 by Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company.

The average sales price for residential homes was $248,396 for the 12 months ending July 2014 — up 4.1 percent versus the same period last year when it was $238,587.

Total sales of residential homes for the Rockport for the 12 months ending July 2014 was 491, an increase of 1.9 percent (nine homes) versus the same period last year.

Rockport MLS Single-Family, Condo/Townhome Residential Sales
All Categories* 12 Months Ending
July 2013
12 Months Ending
July 2014
Chg.
Residential property sales 482 491 1.9%
Residential total dollar volume $114,998,931 $121,962,294 6.1%
Average residential sales price $238,587 $248,396 4.1%
Median residential sales price $175,000 $180,000 2.9%
Total active listings end of month 425 419 -1.4%
Months inventory 8.7 10.4 19.5%

*Figures refer to the single-family and condo/townhome market.

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

Marriott hotel giddy-ups to Fort Worth Stockyards 

(8/21/2014)

FORT WORTH - The historic Fort Worth Stockyards — a well-known tourist attraction and national historic district — has landed a 124-room Marriott Courtyard hotel.

The hotel chain, which has already put its development team together, plans to begin construction immediately.

The hotel chain picked up about 2.2 acres for development of the hotel at 2533 N. Main St., adjacent to the infamous Billy Bob's Texas concert and dance hall.

The new Marriott Courtyard hotel will also be next to Cowtown tourist destinations, such as the Cowtown Coliseum, Fort Worth Livestock Exchange Building and near the historic district's cattle drives.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

REIT grabs 78,000-sf Your Storage Solution in Austin 

(8/21/2014)

AUSTIN - Extra Space Storage Inc., a self-storage REIT, purchased Your Storage Solution, a 78,225-sf facility at 12506 N. Lamar Blvd.

The three-story building has 772 climate-controlled units on 2.27 acres.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Extra Space owns or operates 1,071 self-storage properties in 35 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. The company’s properties comprise approximately 715,000 units and 79 million sf of rentable space.

Read more at Inside Self Storage.

REOC: San Antonio 2Q 2014 retail 

(8/21/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - What fuels the local retail market? According to the second quarter 2014 REOC retail report, employment growth continues to drive demand for housing which, in turn, drives retail.

For the 12 months ending June 2014, the greater San Antonio metro area added 22,500 jobs which equates to annual growth rate of 2.5 percent.

Looking ahead, available space will continue to dwindle, especially while development remains dominated by Walmart and other user-driven activity. However, development in high-growth and well-established niche markets is heating up.

REOC San Antonio: 2Q 2014 Retail
All Types Citywide CBD / South Non-CBD / North
2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013
Inventory 47,164,952 46,489,788 6,375,326 6,365,096 40,789,626 40,124,692
Direct vacant 4,679,243 4,925,390 757,115 702,425 3,922,128 4,222,965
Vacant 9.9% 10.6% 11.9% 11.0% 9.6% 10.5%
Average rent $16.58 $15.95 $15.50 $17.23 $16.67 $15.84
2Q absorption 108,746 118,705 -13,799 -3,033 122,545 121,738
YTD absorption 371,043 94,487 41,853 2,878 329,190 91,609

*Statistics based on all multi-tenant industrial facilities 20,000 sf and larger excluding single-tenant, owner-occupied and government buildings.

For the full report see REOC San Antonio.

For more stats, see Retail under San Antonio Market Data Sources.

REOC: San Antonio 2Q 2014 office 

(8/20/2014 8:30:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - According to REOC San Antonio's survey of more than 28.4 million sf of office lease space, new leases and expansions inked in the second quarter generated 297,378 sf of positive net absorption which raised the year-to-date total gain to 612,054 sf.

Current absorption levels are nearly double that achieved in all of 2013 and almost four times that experienced in 2012.

In all, there is roughly 600,000 sf of new office space under construction not counting build-to-suit projects. The market hasn’t seen this much activity since 2008 when the market peaked with nearly 1.4 million sf of new speculative office space delivered.

San Antonio 2Q 2014 Office Report*
All Classes Citywide CBD Non-CBD
2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 2Q 2014 2Q 2013
Inventory 28,421,603 28,017,141 5,728,263 5,658,503 22,693,340 22,358,638
Direct vacant 4,982,630 5,217,851 1,533,790 1,618,403 3,448,840 3,599,448
Vacant 17.5% 18.6% 26.8% 28.6% 15.2% 16.1%
Average rent $19.95 $19.45 $19.98 $19.30 $19.94 $19.47
2Q absorption 297,378 239,397 49,964 62,996 247,414 176,401
YTD absorption 612,054 376,051 182,545 121,285 429,509 254,766

*Statistical information is calculated for multitenant office bldgs. 20,000 sf and larger (excluding single-tenant, owner-occupied, gov't and medical buildings).

For the full report see REOC San Antonio.

For more stats, see Office under San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Saskaway acts on McKinney's 888,000-SF ex-Blockbuster HQ 

(8/20/2014 7:30:00 AM)

McKINNEY - A Canada-based investment group has purchased the 888,096-sf Blockbuster Inc. facility.

Saskaway Management plans to parcel the building located at 3000 Redbud Blvd. into a multi-tenant distribution hub.

The facility, which sits on more than 47 acres, has been vacant for the past two years.

In 2012, the former video rental giant moved its corporate offices to the McKinney distribution center from downtown Dallas after Dish Network Corp. acquired the company from bankruptcy for $320 million.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Fort Worth, Dallas condo sales comparison 2Q 2014 

(8/20/2014 6:45:00 AM)

FORT WORTH - Metro sales comparisons for condominiums and townhomes for second quarter 2014 are available courtesy of Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

Data presented in this report are derived from the North Texas Real Estate Information System’s MLS.

Condo and Townhouse Sales Comparison 2Q 2014
  Downtown
Fort Worth
Fort Worth
w/o Downtown
Fort Worth
Near Southside
Fort Worth
Cultural District
Downtown
Dallas
Units sold 32 83 0 15 28
Avg. sales price $280,522 $163,500 N/A $312,626 $293,810
Avg. list price $291,881 $170,020 N/A $323,900 $302,360
Avg. $/SF $215 $110 N/A $194 $180
Avg. DOM* 96 101 N/A 196 72
Avg. SP/LP** 96.6% 96.2% N/A 96.5% 97.2%
Avg. SF 1,304 1,483 N/A 1,604 1,628

*days on market
**sales price to list price

All information is deemed reliable but should be independently verified.

Read more at Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

Check out more multifamily and other sectors at Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Market Data Sources.

Sugar Land: Dalfen buys 330,000-SF industrial building 

(8/20/2014 6:43:00 AM)

SUGAR LAND - Dalfen America Corp. has acquired the 330,674-sf Gillingham Distribution Center at 1601 Gillingham Lane. The company also acquired an adjacent five-acre parcel to house a new industrial development.

The property, which was built in 2005 and expanded in 2007, is 85 percent occupied. Candle-making company Pink Zebra recently signed a seven-year lease for 52,500 sf in the building.

Dalfen plans to build a 75,000- to 100,000-sf, freestanding industrial facility on the adjacent parcel in the coming months.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

New 275-unit apartments coming to Frisco Square 

(8/20/2014)

FRISCO - The Ablon at Frisco Square apartments, a 275-unit urban-style apartment project will be constructed by Behringer and PegasusAblon just south of Main St. and just across from Frisco’s City Hall.

The four-story development, which stalled during the recession, is the second major addition announced for Frisco’s 14-year-old town center on the Dallas North Tollway.

The Frisco rental complex will be of the same quality that developers are building in Uptown and other central Dallas neighborhoods.

Ablon apartments is expected to be ready for first occupancy by fourth quarter 2015.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News and PRNewswire.

Houston lux 34-unit condos on the way for Montrose 

(8/20/2014)

HOUSTON - Houston-based Riverway Properties is developing a boutique, midrise condominium project at the northeast corner of Montrose Blvd. and Marshall St.

The seven-story luxury project — 3615 Montrose — will include 34 units, with residential square footage totaling just under 100,000 sf. The top floor will be composed of four penthouse units.

The project is expected to break ground in spring 2015. Presales are slated to begin this October.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

​QVC hiring 700 seasonal workers in San Antonio 

(8/20/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - QVC, a leading video and ecommerce retailer, is in the process of hiring over 700 seasonal employees at its far West Side campus.

The employees will be located at QVC’s newly renovated 72,000-sf site at 9855 Westover Hills Blvd.

Both full and part-time positions will be available.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Houston: 272-unit Woods of Inverness changes hands 

(8/20/2014)

HOUSTON - Woods of Inverness, a garden-style community, has been sold. It is located at the intersection of the Hardy Toll Roll and FM 1960 at 21717 Inverness Blvd.

It features 272 one- and two-bedroom units averaging 980 sf and is currently 93.4 percent occupied. The community was constructed in 1981.

The property was purchased from ComCapp LLC. Over the past two years, ComCapp invested in exterior and common-area improvements.

Additional community amenities include an Internet cafe with Wi-Fi, a children’s recreation area with a new pergola and a business center.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Perot starts 200,000-SF Dallas HQ on Turtle Creek 

(8/20/2014)

DALLAS - Perot Group has broken ground on its new headquarters, a 200,000-sf office project north of downtown on six acres at Bowen St. and Turtle Creek Blvd.

The office building will house operations for the Perot Group, Perot’s development company Hillwood Communities and other family businesses.

Hillwood bought the building site — one of the last development properties along Turtle Creek — in 2011.

The development is intended to take only about two-thirds of the Turtle Creek tract, leaving the rest of the property for nature area and open space.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Execupay moves to new 28,000-SF HQ in San Antonio 

(8/20/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - Locally-based payroll service provider Execupay is moving its corporate offices to 10500 Heritage Blvd., Suite 110, At 28,000 sf, the new digs are nearly twice the size of the former location.

Execupay currently employs nearly 85 full-time employees, mostly in Texas, and has been recognized multiple times on the Inc. 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies list. Execupay plans to hire another 40 employees in the next 15 months.

The company is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Katy: 84,000-SF Grandway West first building underway  

(8/20/2014)

KATY - Construction is underway on the first of five Class A planned buildings at Grandway West, an office development that will total 780,000 sf along Grand Pkwy. near Franz Rd.

The property sits on 56 acres at 1904 W. Grand Parkway North.

Set for completion in December, the first building totals 83,912 sf and is nearly 40 percent preleased.

A joint venture of InSite Realty and Urban Construction Southwest is developing the project.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Georgetown home sales: July 2014 

(8/20/2014)

GEORGETOWN - Real estate market data for the Georgetown Multiple Listing Service area by zip code have been released.

Georgetown Monthly Home Sales
Month Number of Sales Median Price
78626 78628 78633 78626 78628 78633
July 2014 43 78 72 $175,000 $294,950 $291,250
July 2013 44 56 96 $167,203 $277,350 $237,500
June 2014 52 69 72 $186,389 $310,000 $300,505
May 2014 54 58 46 $182,225 $304,070 $289,950
Apr. 2014 52 50 41 $178,000 $298,000 $258,000
Mar. 2014 41 41 56 $190,000 $309,309 $324,500
Feb. 2014 33 42 36 $159,900 $252,750 $257,200
Jan. 2014 20 30 37 $155,750 $214,500 $292,000
Dec. 2013 20 42 50 $156,500 $241,150 $279,750


Zip Code Guide:

• 78626 East Georgetown
• 78628 West Georgetown
• 78633 Northwest/Lake Georgetown area

For more information, see Texas Association of Realtors.

Find more info on housing and other sectors at Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources.

Dallas apartment rents up by more than 4 percent in July 

(8/20/2014)

DALLAS - In July, average apartment rents in the Dallas-area were 4.3 percent higher than a year ago, according to a new report by Axiometrics Inc.

That’s ahead of the 3.8 percent nationwide apartment rent growth rate.

“Effective rent growth has increased for five straight months, but is still a long way from the summer of 2011, when the rate was in the 5 percent range,” Axiometrics Vice President Stephenie McCleskey.

“On the other hand, it’s becoming more and more likely that 2014 will be the strongest overall year for the apartment market since the recession ended. This is the year of the apartment.”

Overall apartment vacancies in the Dallas area were just over 5 percent in July, about the same as the nationwide rate.

Almost 30,000 apartments are under construction in North Texas, making it one of the top apartment building markets in the country.

Read more at Dallas Morning News.

Houston: Yes Prep Public Schools buys 153,000-SF warehouse 

(8/20/2014)

HOUSTON - A 153,000-sf warehouse located at 5515 South Loop East has been sold to Yes Prep Public Schools Inc. The facility is situated on 5.8 acres.

The 43-year-old building was fully occupied at the time of sale. The tenants at the facility include Designer Arts, B Line Motor Sports, Texas Cellular and more.

Joseph Dow, an entity of Dow Fence and Supply Co., was the previous owner.

Read more at O'Connor and Associates.

Good vibes: $12M Palms hospital brings 200 jobs to Harlingen 

(8/20/2014)

HARLINGEN - Palms Behavioral Health, a $12 million, 52,000-sf acute behavioral health hospital, will start construction in August 28, 2014. The 72-bed facility is expected to open in late 2015.

The hospital is expected to bring about 200 new jobs to the area by employing psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and nurses.

Strategic Behavioral Health, which already operates a behavioral health hospital in College Station and in other locations around the country, will construct the facility.

Read more at REBusiness Online.

Frisco Aquatics adding $3M pool, sponsors as club grows 

(8/20/2014)

FRISCO - Frisco Aquatics is currently building a 29,540-sf swim center at 8353 Legacy Dr. The facility, which sits on a 3.5-acre tract, has an estimated cost of construction of $3 million, according to state filings.

The new facility, which includes an Olympic-size pool, warm water lesson pool, viewing lobby and offices, is expected to be complete sometime in September and a grand opening is expected to be held sometime this fall.

Frisco Aquatics is one of few youth sports teams in the country to build its own facility and seek corporate sponsorships. Since 2009, the Frisco club has seen unprecedented growth with its membership increasing from about 140 swimmers that year to more than 600 today.

The new center is expected to offer therapeutic swimming, Special Olympics, water safety clinics and education. It will also have SwimAmerica learn-to-swim and United States Masters Swimming programs.

The North Texas Ford Dealers Group has purchased the naming rights to the facility, and the facility will be called Texas Ford Aquatics Center beginning September 1.

Read more at Community Impact Newspapers and the Dallas Morning News.

Dallas: Preston Hollow Village's next step to 500 apartments 

(8/19/2014 9:30:00 AM)

DALLAS - Within the next 60 days, developer Provident Realty Advisors will break ground on 511 apartments at its 42-acre Preston Hollow Village project.

The apartments will span three large buildings at Preston Hollow Village, which is located at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill Lane and N. Central Expy.

The rental units will be just north of where Provident is building a shopping center that is anchored by a Trader Joe’s grocery.

The apartment development was always planned as part of Preston Hollow Village, one of the largest projects underway in North Dallas. The mixed-use development is being constructed on the site of a former rental housing community that was torn down in 2008.

Along with the 14,000-sf Trader Joe’s, there’s 61,000 sf of restaurant and shopping space, plus a parking garage. The office and retail complex at Preston Hollow Village will be open in early 2015, according to Provident CEO Leon Backes.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

The Woodlands' neighbors: 600 acres taken by Toll 

(8/19/2014 6:45:00 AM)

THE WOODLANDS - Toll Brothers has closed on 600 acres along FM 2978 where it plans to build a new master-planned community a quarter of a mile from the western boundary of The Woodlands.

The community will consist of mainly residential lots and about 15 acres of commercial property. Home building is expected to commence in second quarter 2015.

Jim Jenkins, Toll Brothers’ new vice president of master-planned communities, said that about 40 percent of the homes in this new community will be built by Toll Brothers. The developer will work with other home builders to develop the remaining lots in the community.

“This will not be part of The Woodlands. It will have its own distinct name,” Jenkins said. “This 600-acre community will be able to build on the wonderful reputation of The Woodlands.”

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

258,000-SF Plano Tech Center sells to Cobalt Capital 

(8/19/2014 6:40:00 AM)

PLANO - Cobalt Capital Partners has purchased the 257,864-sf Plano Tech Center.

The three-building industrial project is located on East Plano Rd. and Klein Rd.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

O'Connor: Round Rock apartments Aug. 2014 

(8/19/2014)

ROUND ROCK -  Apartment data for August 2014 have been provided by O'Connor and Associates. Below is a snippet of what's available.

Round Rock Apartment Overview August 2014
Property / Unit Class A Class B Class C Overall
Total number units 7,579 3,034 306 10,919
Avg. physical occupancy 95.80% 96.41% 95.88% 95.97%
Avg. preleased occupancy 97.77% 97.43% 96.86% 97.65%
Avg. market rent/unit $979.64 $843.18 $739.26 $932.02


Source: O'Connor and Associates

Click here for the August 2014 report.

McGregor call center hiring 400 by year's end 

(8/19/2014)

McGREGOR - The C3/CustomerContactChannels facility located at 1101 S. Johnson Dr. is expanding its services and will hire 400 people by year’s end — giving it a total of 1,000 employees.

Those hired are full-time employees who will make a minimum of $10 an hour, plus benefits, but can see their wages climb by another $3 an hour with bonuses.

This latest round of hiring could include the addition of full-time leadership and quality-assurance positions, and those who fill them can make more.

The company provides agents with in-depth training before an assignment and allows agents to grow within the company.

Many agents who began their careers fielding calls from customers have moved on to supervisory positions, and that trend likely will continue, according to site manager Suzette Mansfield.

With business growing, the C3 facility will open seven days a week as early as 6:45 a.m.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Lubbock: TTU students ride to $54.8M West Village 

(8/19/2014)

LUBBOCK - Texas Tech University's $54.8 million student housing complex, West Village, is complete. The 234,501-sf complex is located east of Knoxville Ave. in the triangle bounded by 19th St. and Texas Tech Pkwy.

The two-building community offers a choice of 61 one-bedroom units, 47 two-bedroom units and 75 four-bedroom units. It will officially open its doors for residents August 16, with all 455 beds occupied for the fall semester.

There are nine community lounges, two conference rooms, designated study rooms and office space. Building B features a washer and dryer in each unit, and all units in the complex include full kitchens.

The community features courtyards, outdoor green zones, and Raider Exchange, a 3,126-sf retail and food service facility.

Read more at KCBD TV.

Affordable housing draws middle class to inland cities 

(8/19/2014)

TEXAS - Rising rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage on the coasts have proved a boon to inland cities that offer the middle class a firmer footing and an easier life.

The country’s fastest-growing cities are now those where housing is more affordable than average, a decisive reversal from the early years of the millennium, when easy credit allowed cities to grow without regard to housing cost.

Among people who have moved long distances, the number of those who cite housing as their primary motivation for doing so has more than doubled since 2007.

Since the start of the recession, of those who moved more than 500 miles, the share who said they were chiefly motivated by housing has risen from 8 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2014.

During the housing bubble, when even people with modest salaries could get loans to buy staggeringly expensive homes, the cost of housing was less of a concern.

Now that getting a mortgage has become harder, the wage stagnation that has hobbled the middle class for years has deeper consequences.

“People have no choice,” said Glenn Kelman, the chief executive of real estate services firm Redfin. “They can’t move across the street; they have to move across the country.”

Here are the U.S. cities ranked in the highest "most affordable" category by Redfin:

•  San Antonio, TX
•  McAllen, TX
•  El Paso, TX
•  Fort Worth, TX
•  Dallas, TX
•  Houston, TX
•  Oklahoma City, OK
•  Wichita, KS
•  Syracuse, NY
•  Gary, IN

Read the full article at the New York TimesFor a summary, see Beyond the Headlines.

It's Providence; 110,000-SF hospital to rise in El Paso 

(8/19/2014)

EL PASO - Sierra Providence and Texas Tech shovels moved for the new $120 million, 140-bed teaching hospital and medical complex in Northwest El Paso.

The 110,000-sf hospital will be part of Tenet’s Sierra Providence Health Network. The new facility will serve as a teaching hospital with the medical, nursing and residency education programs for students from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

Located on Resler Dr. and Trans Mountain Rd., the facility is expected to be completed by fall 2016.

The hospital is a collaboration between Sierra Providence Health Network and the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. The hospital is being built by the Medstar Corp.

Read more at the El Paso Times, KVIA and El Paso Inc.

Click here to see more El Paso news.

Texas adds 46,600 jobs in July 

(8/19/2014)

TEXAS - Texas added 46,600 seasonally adjusted jobs in July, according to data the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reported August 15.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 5.1 percent for the month, more than a percentage point lower than the nation’s at 6.2 percent. The number is a reflection of the 396,200 jobs the state has added over the past year.

Leading the job growth charge was the Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which boasted the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 2.9 percent.

Taking second was the Odessa MSA at 3.6 percent, and taking third was the Amarillo MSA at 4.1 percent.

However, all metropolitan rates reported by the TWC are not adjusted for seasonal employment trends, such as students looking for summer jobs. For comparison, Texas recorded a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, not adjusted, up from 5.5 percent in June and down from 6.7 percent a year ago.

Source: Texas Workforce Commission

For the full August 2014 report, see Texas Labor Market Review (TLMR). Go to page 10 of the report to see unemployment rates and rankings for all MSAs.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

ABoR: Austin region home sales July 2014 

(8/19/2014)

AUSTIN - Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) has released home sales data for July 2014.

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

Austin Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
  July 2014
Price Chg.
July 2013
Units Sold
July 2014 
Sale Chg.
July 2013
ACTRIS* (single-family) $250,000 9.9% 2,537 -7.8%
ACTRIS (condo) $190,450 12.0% 298 -8.3%
Region Cities**        
Austin $316,500 4.8% 1,051 -9.9%
Round Rock $235,950 13.7% 264 -13.2%
Georgetown $267,000 17.8% 167 0.6%
Cedar Park $249,900 5.1% 163 -20.9%
Pflugerville $200,000 11.1% 129 -16.8%
Leander $196,450 14.3% 120 -7.7%

*Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold at least 100 units during July 2014.

Read more at the Austin Board of Realtors.

Current Austin housing, retail, office and community statistics are also available at Austin Market Data Sources.

Adams Golf to shutter Plano HQ; lay off 138 employees 

(8/19/2014)

PLANO - Two years after Plano-based golf manufacturer Adams Golf sold to The Adidas Group, which lumped the golf club design and assembly plant in its TaylorMade-Adidas Golf business segment, the company will shutter its doors later this year.

Adams Golf will close its manufacturing operations in Plano, which will lead to the layoff of 138 employees.

Adams Golf has a lease for 65,135 sf at 2801 Plano Pkwy., as well as another space at 2800 Technology Dr.

The company plans to lay off its first group of employees at both locations on Oct. 15, followed by the majority of Adams Golf employees by or on Nov. 30, according to Texas Workforce Commission documents.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Palais Royal leases 23,000 SF in Texas City 

(8/19/2014)

TEXAS CITY - Palais Royal is leasing 23,000 sf in the building that formerly housed Macy’s in the Mall of the Mainland, located at 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expy. Palais Royal is moving from its current site in the mall where the department store has operated since 1991.

A November 6 grand opening is planned for the new store. It will join a 42,000-sf World Gym franchise — the largest World Gym in the state — at the Macy’s building.

Developer Jerome Karam earlier this year acquired the 150,000-sf building from Macy’s, which departed the mall in 2012 but still owned the building.

Earlier this year, Coastline Retail Center Inc., which gained control of Mall of the Mainland as a result of foreclosure action and related litigation, closed the interior common areas of the shopping center.

Read more at the Galveston Daily News.

Gulf Winds blow into 543,000 SF in Seabrook, La Porte 

(8/18/2014 11:01:00 AM)

SEABROOK, LA PORTE - Third-party logistics firm Gulf Winds International is expanding its facilities near the Port of Houston to handle more cargo for customers through the development and expansion of two industrial facilities totaling 543,000 sf.

Gulf Winds signed a ten-year lease in a 243,000-sf build-to-suit on 12 acres in Seabrook. The new cross-dock building will be next to Gulf Winds’ existing facility and will give it 460,000 sf adjacent to the Bayport Terminal. Completion is planned at the end of 2014.

In La Porte, Gulf Winds expanded its lease of 300,000 sf at 359 Old Underwood Rd.

Houston-based Gulf Winds International provides container transportation, transloading, warehousing, local and long haul transportation and customs exam services.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston retail adding 1.6M SF in 2014 

(8/18/2014 11:00:00 AM)

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 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.

The Mid-Year 2014 Shopping Center Survey from The Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services will be released soon. Click here to view their 2014 Shopping Center Survey & Forecast for Austin, DFW, Houston and San Antonio.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Arlington Disaster Warehouse(s) 174,000 SF; largest in U.S. 

(8/18/2014 9:58:00 AM)

ARLINGTON - The American Red Cross assistance group's largest U.S. disaster supplies warehouse will open Aug. 20, 2014. The 174,000-sf facility is located on New York Ave.

Red Cross officials announced the Disaster Field Supply Center in Arlington will have enough items to support up to 100,000 victims.

The warehouse will have thousands of cots, blankets, personal hygiene items, cleanup kits, coolers and cooking supplies.

The Arlington location will also host blood drives and first aid courses and will become home to a new Disaster Action Team that will respond to local emergencies in Arlington, Mansfield, Kennedale and Grand Prairie.

Source: NBC DFW

Schneider expanding by 125,000 SF; hiring 200 in El Paso 

(8/18/2014 9:55:00 AM)

EL PASO - Schneider Electric recently announced plans to hire 196 people to expand its operations, investing about $7 million for a new plant adjacent to its existing West Side location.

Schneider Electric will build a $2 million, 125,000-sf facility at 1601 Northwestern Dr. It will spend another $5 million for machinery and equipment.

Schneider Electric has been awarded an investment of $750,000 from the Texas Enterprise Fund that will fund the expansion. Those incentives are expected to include a ten-year abatement of 50 percent of propery tax.

The expansion will allow for the creation of 193 full-time permanent jobs in general manufacturing such as wiring and some skilled trades such as engineering.

Schneider officials said the average salary for the new jobs will be more than $35,600 a year, generating about $8.9 million in annual salaries. The company also said 90 percent of the new jobs will pay at least $11.03 per hour.

Read more at the El Paso Times and KVIA.

Conti books 270,000-SF Fort Worth Star-Telegram facility 

(8/18/2014 9:53:00 AM)

EDGECLIFF VILLAGE - Conti Warehouses in Fort Worth has signed a contract to buy the 270,000-sf Fort Worth Star-Telegram printing facility.

Star-Telegram employees working at the facility will move to the newspaper's downtown offices at 808 Throckmorton St.

Conti Warehouses is known for repositioning large warehouse buildings.

The deal, which includes the facility and 38 acres of land, will be closed in early fall.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

GTAR: Tyler region home sales July 2014 

(8/18/2014)

TYLER - Greater Tyler Association of Realtors (GTAR) has released home sales data for July 2014. There were 349 homes sold in July 2014, compared to 369 in July 2013. Last month’s sales were 12.3 percent decline from the 423 units sold in June.

The home inventory was 9.4 months in July 2014, up from 9.3 months in June and 9.2 months in May. The home inventory in July 2013 was 10.7 months.

The median price of existing single-family homes decreased to $150,000, down 3.2 percent from June 2014.

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

Tyler Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold July 2014
MLS Wide Median Price
  July 2014
Price Chg.
July 2013
Units Sold
July 2014
Sales Chg.
July 2013
TYLER (single-family) $150,000 0.0% 349 -5.7%
TYLER (condo) $130,000 -6.4% 5 -58.3%
Region Cities**        
Tyler $166,000 3.8% 93 -23.8%
Whitehouse $153,375 -0.7% 24 50.0%
Flint $197,200 17.0% 22 10.0%
Lindale $122,500 -28.1% 16 -46.7%
Mt. Pleasant $138,250 -1.1% 16 -23.8%
Mineola $118,500 61.9% 14 55.6%

*Data include single-family only and represents six select region cities sorted by number of units sold. Date released August 10, 2014.

Read more at the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors and at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

South Texas 55,000-acre oil portfolio sold for $135M  

(8/18/2014)

DIMMIT, FRIO, LA SALLE, ZAVALA COUNTIES - Texas American Resources (TAR) has sold its South Texas oil property portfolio to an undisclosed buyer for $135 million.

The sale includes the TAR's existing production, proved reserves and Eagle Ford and Austin Chalk oil development opportunities on its approximate 55,000 net acres of leasehold in Dimmit, Frio, La Salle and Zavala Counties.

Following the sale, TAR owns and operates over 100 producing wells in the Texas Panhandle with net production of approximately 2,400 BOEPD that is 85 percent oil and NGLs.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Manor Expy. exceeds great expections  

(8/18/2014)

MANOR - Open for just three months, the new Manor Expy. is already exceeding estimates for both traffic and revenue, according to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA).

The CTRMA reports that within weeks of the May 17 grand opening, average weekly transactions reached nearly 47,000. The toll road originally was not expected to reach 41,000 transactions until 2015.

The Manor Expy. links east Travis County and southern Williamson County and the SH 130 Corridor to downtown Austin. The highway features six new tolled lanes, allowing for more capacity. It also improves capacity with six non-tolled frontage lanes.

CTRMA officials note that the success of the Manor Expy. has helped increase the overall average weekday transactions throughout the system to 170,000, more than twice the amount from this time two years ago.

Read more at Texas Government Insider.

166,000-SF Tower of Frisco Square groundbreaking 

(8/18/2014)

FRISCO - Encore Enterprises is breaking ground this week on the 165,821-sf Tower of Frisco Square. The five-story office tower will be constructed on Frisco’s Main St., right across from the Toyota Stadium.

The office tower will house offices for Plano-based Gearbox Software and other business tenants.

The project is right next door to where developer PegasusAblon and investor Behringer plan to construct a 275-unit luxury apartment project in the Frisco Square development.

Encore’s project, which is in partnership with Wolverine Interests, will be ready in 2015.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Houston: 56,000-SF Greens Road Business Center underway 

(8/18/2014)

HOUSTON - Greens Road Business Center, a 56,000-sf office/warehouse project, is underway. The development will be comprised of four buildings on approximately six acres near the southwest corner of Hwy. 59 and Greens Rd.

The buildings, which will be offered for sale or lease, will be 10,000 sf, 13,500 sf, 15,000 sf and 17,500 sf. The facility will provide a combination of grade level and dock high loading.

The buildings will allow for expansion and some outside storage and will also have ample parking.

Nelson Commercial Properties is developing the project. The Greens Road Business Center is projected to be completed in late 2014.

To see more information about this project, click here.

Charles Schwab to bring 445 jobs to El Paso 

(8/18/2014)

EL PASO - The Charles Schwab Corp. is going to create about 445 data entry and processing jobs with an average income of $35,000 a year at a new operations center.

Charles Schwab, a Fortune 500 company, will receive about $1.45 million in state money from the Texas Enterprise Fund for the El Paso center and about $21.5 million in capital investment over a ten-year span, according to a news release from Rick Perry's office.

The operations center is expected to be completed by early 2015.

Other companies brought to El Paso this year have been Schneider Electric, a new West Side hospital and Prudential Financial Inc.

The four major announcements will create more than 1,200 jobs over the next few years. Schneider Electric will have 193 jobs at an average of $35,632 a year, the hospital will create 300 jobs at an average of $45,000 and Prudential will create 300 jobs with an average annual salary of $55,200.

Read more at the El Paso Times.

Walmart Neighborhood Market headed to San Angelo 

(8/18/2014)

SAN ANGELO - Walmart Neighborhood Market, a significantly scaled-down version of the Walmart Supercenter, has plans to open at a former Albertsons’ site — 1810 Sherwood Way.

Walmart is spending $1.7 million to remodel the building.

Neighborhood Markets are about one-third the size of a supercenter and add approximately 95 jobs to the communities they enter.

Read more at the San Angelo Standard-Times.

Tyler's Cumberland Park adding four retailers 

(8/18/2014)

TYLER - Four businesses have filed building permits for spaces at The Village at Cumberland Park:

•  A Massage Envy will occupy 4,000 sf at 8950 S. Broadway Ave., Suite 104. Construction cost estimation is $350,000.
•  Kirkland’s, a Nashville-based home goods retailer, will open an 8,000-sf store at 8970 S. Broadway Ave., Suite 116. 
   Construction cost is estimated at $205,000.
•  Accessories retailer Versona will open a 6,600 sf store at 8942 S. Broadway Ave., No. 168. Cost of construction is estimated at $200,000.
•  Maurices Inc., a women’s clothing retailer, will occupy 4,883 sf at 8946 S. Broadway Ave., Suite 128. Construction cost is $150,000.

Read more at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Grapevine's 202,000-SF DFW warehouse sold to Minn. firm 

(8/18/2014)

GRAPEVINE - A Minneapolis investor has purchased a 202,140-sf warehouse complex at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The two-building industrial campus is located at 2400 Esters Blvd. and is fully leased to DB Schenker.

The buyer is an affiliate of Minneapolis-based Olympic Ventures. The complex was constructed in 2008.

DB Schenker has five years remaining on its lease at the two properties.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Dallas Orange DART(s) to DFW airport station 

(8/18/2014)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - The newest stop on the Orange Line at Terminal A is open, according to officials from Dallas Area Rapid Transit and DFW International Airport.

The five-mile addition to the route makes DFW Airport the world’s third-busiest airport with direct rail access.

The Orange Line extends through Dallas and continues to Plano with stops in downtown Plano and at Parker Rd. The DFW Airport station provides an alternative to parking for people wishing to take long-term trips.

A trip to the airport on DART Rail can be covered by a two-hour pass for $2.50, but longer-range travel options are available.

Read more at impactnews.com

Affordable housing project in the works near Austin airport 

(8/18/2014)

AUSTIN - An affordable apartment housing project with 250 units valued at $37.6 million is in the works for 7000 E. Ben White Blvd.

The Point at Ben White, located northwest of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, is being developed by LDG Multifamily LLC.

The community, which should be complete by December 2015, includes 12 three-story buildings for a total of 250 units. Qualified residents must be make 60 percent or less of the median area income or $51,000 annually.

Rents will range from $704 per month for a one-bedroom apartment to $844 per month for a two-bedroom unit to $944 per month for a three-bedroom unit.

Market value rents in the area by comparison are $900 a month for a one-bedroom unit, $1,100 for a two-bedroom and $1,350 a month for a three-bedroom.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Houston's Uptown Astoria 29-story condo underway 

(8/18/2014)

HOUSTON - Astoria, a 29-story high-rise condominium in the Uptown area, is under construction. The tower will have a total of 75 residences at 1405 Post Oak Blvd. It will be completed in December 2016.

Randall Davis is the developer of the tower. The project’s architect of record is Page Southerland Page and the general contractor is G.T. Leach Constructors LLC.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Mill Creek adding 179 apartments to Dallas N. Central Expy. 

(8/18/2014)

DALLAS - Developer Mill Creek Residential Trust has started work on a 179-unit apartment community on N. Central Expy. and Elizabeth St. The seven-story development is being built on the site of a two-story office building that Mill Creek is currently demolishing.

The project is scheduled for completion at the start of 2016.

Mill Creek was formed in 2010 by former top officers of Trammell Crow Residential. The Dallas-based builder expects to finish more than 4,000 apartments this year.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Jump start planned for The Enclave near Lake Waco 

(8/17/2014)

WACO - Clifford Allen, local real estate agent bought 24 lots in The Enclave, a gated community tucked away near Lake Waco at 4005 Lake Shore Dr. The lots are available to any builders and individuals.

Allen said he first brokered the sale of the eight-acre site in 2006, but home construction was spotty thereafter as the national economy tanked.

Now, Allen has priced the lots at $95,000 to $295,000, with those affording the best view of Lake Waco among the most expensive. With those prices, Allen said, houses that go up likely will run between $400,000 and $1.2 million.

Allen listed such amenities as walking trails, a gated entry and stunning views of the lake that he is working to improve by having crews clear away brush and other obstructions at strategic locations around the property.

The Enclave sits on solid rock, Allen said, meaning soil erosion typical of other areas near the lake does not threaten structures at that location.

Four homes now stand in the community, while construction has begun on a fifth and a sixth lot is under contract. “I have received interest in at least two other lots, and I probably will build a speculative home very soon,” Allen said.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Houston: 312-unit Yorktown Crossing for $35M 

(8/15/2014 7:10:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Starlight U.S. Multi-Family (No. 3) Core Fund (The Fund) will acquire Yorktown Crossing, a 312-unit, garden style, Class A apartment complex, completed in 2010 and located at 15903 Yorktown Crossing Pkwy.

The Fund agreed to purchase Yorktown Crossing for approximately $35.2 million. Purchase of Yorktown Crossing is scheduled to close on or about August 28, 2014.

Yorktown Crossing consists of 13, three story walk-up buildings on a 12.2-acre site comprised of one- and two-bedroom units. As of August 4, Yorktown Crossing's occupancy was 96.8 percent.

Amenities include a central clubhouse with a 24-hour fitness center, a media room with large screen TV and an executive business center. Outdoor amenities include a pool, fireplace, barbeque grilling area and putting green.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

The 334-unit Allure acquired for $36.5M in Austin 

(8/15/2014 7:08:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Starlight U.S. Multi-Family (No. 3) Core Fund (The Fund) indirectly acquired a 100 percent interest in The Allure, a property located northwest of downtown at 701 North Vista Ridge Blvd.

In connection with the acquisition, the Fund assumed existing financing on the property in the amount of $36.5 million. maturing in July 2017, with two, one-year extension options at an interest rate of 3.51 percent and subsequently repaid approximately $3 million.

The property is comprised of 334 units in 22 three-story apartment buildings and townhouses on a 20-acre site. The complex offers one- to three-bedroom floor plans.

The property also offers a dual-level pool including an upper deck infinity pool with outdoor fireplace and barbeque/kitchen area, as well as a lower deck pool featuring an in-pool tanning shelf.

Read more at Newswire.

HAR: Houston area cities' home sales July 2014 

(8/15/2014 7:01:00 AM)

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

• The median price of existing single-family homes decreased to $204,000; down 5.1 percent from June 2014.
• Existing single-family home sales decreased 2.1 percent from June 2014 for a July 2014 total of 7,397 units sold.
• Condos decreased in price to $166,000; down 2.4 percent from June 2014.
• Existing condo sales decreased 4.2 percent in July 2014 over June 2014 for a total of 735 units sold.

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

HAR July 2014 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  July 2014
Price Chg.
vs. July 2013
Units Sold
  July 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. July 2013
HAR
(single-family)
$204,000 7.40% 7,397 -3.50%
HAR (condo) $166,000 3.80% 735 -6.50%
Region Cities*        
Houston $195,000 8.50% 2,172 3.40%
Spring $205,000 17.80% 604 -0.50%
Katy $239,000 10.60% 560 -9.50%
Cypress $226,400 11.50% 351 -0.30%
Humble $168,000 5.00% 269 4.30%
Richmond $220,000 8.90% 248 -2.70%
Pearland $215,000 10.30% 238 -12.50%
The Woodlands $388,000 -6.50% 193 -6.80%

*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.

Houston: 218,000-SF Frost Bank(s) $46M in Westchase 

(8/15/2014 6:43:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The 218,680-sf Frost Bank office building at 10333 Richmond Ave. has been purchased for $46.3 million. The 11-story building is 91 percent occupied.

The building delivered in 1983 on 3.33 acres in the Westchase area. The property underwent renovations in 2012 and is currently home to offices for MetLife Financial Services, TEKsystems, Brown, Fowler & Alsup and The Guardian Life Insurance Co. among others.

Beacon Investment Properties purchased the building. This is the 15th building for Beacon's Houston portfolio, bringing the total sf to 2.89 million.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle and CoStar Group.

Baylor's McLane Stadium driven by technology for fans 

(8/15/2014 6:30:00 AM)

WACO - Though McLane Stadium’s sleek exterior and upscale amenities are sure to impress, it’s the innovative technology fueling game-day operations that will give Baylor Bears the ultimate fan experience.

The massive 5,018-sf scoreboard and videoboard, five times the size of its predecessor at Floyd Casey Stadium, will give the crowd grand high-definition views of all the action on the field.

Instant replays can be accessed through a new football app Baylor will launch later this month. The free Baylor In-Game app will allow fans at the stadium to replay any of the game action captured by BaylorVision.

Users will be able to pick from multiple camera angles to scrutinize and celebrate every down, every play. Baylor has created a guide to the app’s features at www.baylorbears.com/stadiumapp.

McLane Stadium offers free Wi-Fi to the public for both game days and other events at the venue.

The stadium also is equipped with 486 antennas for an AT&T-powered distributed antenna system, or DAS, to give fans optimal cell phone service and reception from any point in the stadium.

Read more at the WacoTrib.com.

Stephenville: Tarleton State housing $38M in phase two 

(8/15/2014)

STEPHENVILLE, ERATH COUNTY - Tarleton State University will soon break ground on a $38 million second phase of student housing development. The project includes the construction of a new 502-bed facility and the renovation of an existing 80-bed facility.

The new dorm will consist of a four-story structure with four- and two-bedroom units that will include private bedroom accommodations, semi-private baths, a living room and kitchenette.

University Village, an off-campus student housing facility located at 805 N. Lillian St., will receive minor upgrades to allow for ADA compliance. Upon completion, Tarleton will maintain and operate both facilities.

In August, the university will complete construction on a $25 million residence hall at the corner of Jones St. and Lillian St. Work on the four-story hall began summer 2013. The 514-bed facility will help the university provide accomodations for an increasing student enrollment.

Read more at Student Housing Business.

For more on the soon-to-be-completed residence hall, see Tarleton State University and previous story Tarleton State readies for $25M housing.

Houston's 525,000-SF Southwest Corporate sold 

(8/15/2014)

HOUSTON - Omninet Capital has purchased the 525,580-sf Southwest Corporate Center, a two-story office complex. The property sits on 40 acres at 9700 Bissonnet, close to US 59 and Beltway 8.

Southwest Corporate Center formerly housed Westwood Mall in southwest Houston before being converted to office space in 2000. It was expanded in 2007 with a second phase that added a 175,000-sf building.

The property is 61.9 percent leased to tenants including Stewart Lending Services, Texas Children’s Health Plan and Corinthian College.

“Due to the current opportunities in the Texas markets, Omninet has decided to allocate an additional $250 million in Texas in the next 12 months,” Michael Daniel, a partner with Omninet, said.

The Los Angeles-based private real estate investment firm purchased the property in a cash deal that closed in less than 20 days.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Winter Texans retiring from Rio Grande Valley? 

(8/15/2014)

RIO GRANDE VALLEY - For decades, the Rio Grande Valley has been a winter refuge, but the heydays for retired short-term residents, dubbed Winter Texans, are gone, according to a recent report from the University of Texas-Pan American’s Business and Tourism Research Center.

Last year, the Valley lost 33,000 Winter Texans, leaving 100,000 behind, many of whom have migrated south for several years, said the bi-annual report that surveyed 88 parks and nearly 1,400 people.

Winter Texans spent $710 million last season during the winter months as recreational vehicle parks swelled and bluegrass festivals rolled through the area. That accounts for a more than 11 percent drop since 2009-2010, when they spent more than $800 million.

As Winter Texans grow older, 62 percent of respondents in the report noted that health was a factor in them not returning while concerned family members were the second reason.

Perceptions of drug violence ranked third — a departure from the last survey taken in 2012, when it ranked atop the list.

Mobile home park manager Gail McDaniel said reservations are strong and most Winter Texans are not worried about border violence.

Read more at The Monitor.

W Austin Hotel & Residences: 2Q overview  

(8/15/2014)

AUSTIN - W Austin Hotel & Residences included delivery of condominium units beginning in January 2011. As of June 30, 2014, sales of 153 of the 159 condominium units had closed for $178.7 million.

Revenue per available room at the W Austin Hotel was $284 during second quarter 2014 and $296 for the first six months of 2014, compared with $250 during second quarter 2013 and $264 for the first six months of 2013.

The 251-room hotel, which owner Stratus Properties Inc. believes sets the standard for contemporary luxury in downtown Austin, is managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Source: Online news

Google to lease former children's museum in downtown Austin 

(8/15/2014)

AUSTIN - Google Inc. has leased 22,000 sf at the former site of the Austin’s Children’s Museum at 201 Colorado St.

The property, built in 1922, has been vacant since late 2013 when the museum moved its operations to the Mueller master-planned community and changed its name to The Thinkery.

The land on which the former children’s museum is located is owned by Austin-based World Class Capital Group, but the building and ground lease is held by Austin-based Cypress Real Estate Advisors.

The Internet search giant also recently leased 49,953 sf across two floors of the University Park office tower at 3300 N. I-35. The internet giant has declined to provide information about the purpose of either office space.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin unemployment stays low in July 2014 

(8/15/2014)

AUSTIN - Unemployment in Austin dropped in July compared to July 2013, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, but ticked slightly higher than what was seen in June.

The Austin area's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in July 2014 stood at 4.6 percent. It was 5.6 percent in July 2013. But it's up slightly compared to June, when unemployment was only 4.4 percent.

Statewide, the Texas economy added 46,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in July. Texas' unemployment rate during the month was 5.1 percent, below the national unemployment rate of 6.2 percent.

The professional and business services industry contributed the most to the state's July job growth, adding 10,600 jobs.

So far in 2014, Texas has added more than 396,200 jobs.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For more employment stats, see the Texas Workforce Commission and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos Market Data Sources.

700,000-SF JJ Lemmon Distribution starts by Crow on I-20 

(8/14/2014 11:00:00 AM)

DALLAS COUNTY - Trammell Crow, Clarion Partners and Rosewood Property Co. have purchased almost 100 acres in Far South Dallas to build a more than 700,000-sf, Class A industrial warehouse project.

The project, located at the northwest corner of I-20 and I-45, is called the JJ Lemmon Distribution Center.

“Class A industrial space in the Southern Dallas market is scarce and demand remains strong due to the efficient network of highways including I-20, I-45 and I-35 as well as the UP Intermodal,” Scott Krikorian, Crow senior managing director, said.

Work has begun on the two-building development, which is expected to be open by mid-2015.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Houston MLS housing market's hot July 

(8/14/2014 9:03:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Single-family home sales totaled 7,769 units, up 1.0 percent compared to July 2013, according to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR).

July sales of all property types increased by 0.7 percent compared to July 2013. Total dollar volume for properties sold rose 7.0 percent to $2.4 billion versus $2.3 billion in July 2013.

Prices climbed to a record high for a July but were lower than June’s all-time record highs. The average price of a single-family home jumped 6.4 percent year-over-year to $277,023. The median price increased 6.8 percent year-over-year to $202,000.

Days on Market — the number of days a home takes to sell — fell to a record low of 45.

Housing inventory has edged up each of the last three months reaching a 3.0-months supply in July. It is down from the 3.4 months supply of June 2013 and below the current 5.6-months supply of inventory across the U.S. reported by the National Association of Realtors.

Housing Market Summary: July 2014 vs. July 2013
  July 2013 July 2014 Chg.
Total sales 9,189 9,250 0.7%
Total dollar volume $2,286,767,930 $2,447,214,048 7.0%
Total active listings 32,966 29,808 -9.4%
Total pending sales 4,419 4,743 7.3%
Single-family sales 7,690 7,769 1.0%
Avg. price single-family home $260,293 $277,023 6.4%
Median price single-family home $189,180 $202,000 6.8%
Single-family inventory* 3.4 3.0 -10.7%

* 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.

NTREIS: DFW area home sales sold July 2014 

(8/14/2014 8:45:00 AM)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS) released home sales facts for July 2014.
Some quick facts include:

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $189,900, the same as June 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales decreased 5.4 percent from June 2014 for a July 2014 total of 8,059 units sold.
•  Condos increased in price to $164,990 up 3.8 percent from June 2014.
•  Existing condo sales decreased 14.2 percent in July 2014 over June 2014 for a total of 501 units sold.

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

NTREIS June 2014 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  July 2014
Price Chg.
vs. July 2013
Units Sold
  July 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. July 2013
NTREIS
(single-family)
$189,900 5.6% 8,059 -7.6%
NTREIS (condo) $164,990 10.0% 501 -3.8%
Region Cities*        
Fort Worth $159,400 7.1% 894 -7.9%
Dallas $289,000 9.6% 718 -15.7%
Frisco $315,000 14.1% 315 -1.3%
Plano $275,000 10.0% 315 -19.4%
Arlington $150,000 7.1% 314 -8.7%
Garland $138,250 2.0% 192 -11.1%
Allen $249,900 4.8% 154 -6.1%
Denton $169,150 -0.4% 142 -8.4%
Flower Mound $324,950 8.5% 140 -9.1%
Carrollton $199,000 2.1% 139 -19.2%
Grand Prairie $169,900 4.2% 139 -22.3%

*Region Cities' data include single-family only and represent 11 select cities sorted by units sold.

See Housing under Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Market Data Sources or see the full report from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

SABOR: area home sales July 2014 

(8/14/2014 8:43:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) released home sales data for July 2014. Some quick facts include:

• The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $179,000 up 0 percent versus June 2014.
• Existing single-family home sales decreased 0.6 percent from June 2014 for a July 2014 total of 2,112 units sold.
• Condos decreased in price to $93,028; down 4.1 percent versus June 2014.
• Existing condo sales increased 1.5 percent in July 2014 over June 2014 for a total of 68 sold units.

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

SABOR July 2014 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
July 2014
Price Chg.
vs. July 2013
Units Sold
July 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. July 2013
SABOR
(single-family)
$179,000 5.0% 2,112 -1.9%
SABOR (condo) $93,028 -5.3% 68 21.4%
Region Cities*  
San Antonio $170,000 6.3% 1,485 -1.4%
New Braunfels $191,500 -4.5% 85 21.4%
Boerne $303,000 5.4% 59 -6.3%
Converse $120,000 -6.3% 55 22.2%
Helotes $280,000 3.1% 51 6.3%
Cibolo $189,500 5.3% 37 -37.3%
Schertz $173,500 -7.5% 35 -5.4%
Spring Branch $310,000 -8.8% 27 0.0%

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

See previous SABOR stories on NewsTalk Texas.

See Housing under San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Source: San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR).

Katy checks out 124,000-SF Kroger, Fiesta Mart, Trader Joe's 

(8/14/2014 8:30:00 AM)

KATY - A new 124,000-sf Kroger Marketplace has broken ground at the corner of Spring Green Blvd. and FM 1463. It is slated to open in spring 2015.

Construction has also begun on a 63,000-sf Fiesta Mart at FM 529 and Fry Rd. The store is set for a November opening. It will be the anchor tenant on a 23-acre site that will include 32,900 sf of small-shop retail.

Trader Joe's will open its fourth Houston-area store in the third phase of LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. That phase is expected to be complete this fall.

Supermarkets will dominate aggressive retail development in Houston over the next year, representing half of 2014’s retail growth with 28 new grocery stores planned, according to Houston-based Wulfe & Co.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

San Antonio opens two Walmarts totaling 203,000 SF 

(8/14/2014 7:01:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Walmart has opened the new Walmart Supercenter at 12639 Blanco Rd. on San Antonio's far North Central Side and the new Neighborhood Market at 9526 Military Dr. West on the city’s far West Side.

Combined, the two stores will create approximately 400 new jobs in the city — a mix of part-time and full-time positions.

Both stores will sell a full line of groceries and feature a pharmacy. However, at roughly 165,000 sf, the Blanco Rd. Supercenter will also boast a wide selection of value-priced general merchandise.

The Neighborhood Market stores average 38,000 sf and are designed to serve as a community supermarket.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

REIT pays $28M for Lewisville's 163,000-SF Lake Vista Pointe 

(8/14/2014 7:00:00 AM)

LEWISVILLE - City Office REIT has purchased Lake Vista Pointe, a 163,336-sf office building located at 2911 Lake Vista Dr. The contract purchase price for the property was $28.4 million, exclusive of closing costs.

Built in 2007, Lake Vista Pointe is 100 percent leased to Ally Financial Inc. The property is part of Vista Ridge Business Park, which is home to a variety of large institutional companies such as JPMorgan Chase and TIAA-CREF.

Lake Vista Pointe is leased to Ally Financial on a triple-net basis through April 30, 2021. Ally has one five-year renewal option of the lease. The property consists of a two-story office building with 1,070 parking spaces on 13.8 acres.

Read more at Equities.com and at City Office REIT.

Cornerstone buys Austin's 811 Barton Springs 

(8/14/2014)

AUSTIN - The 811 Barton Springs office building located at 811 Barton Springs Rd. has been sold.

The nine-story, 143,183-sf property, which was 99 percent occupied at the time of sale, was purchased by a fund managed by Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers.

The Class A property is located between Austin’s Central Business District and Southwest submarkets.

811 Barton Springs is one of the most recognizable office properties in the Austin office market, prominently located on Barton Springs Rd. between S. Lamar Blvd. and S. Congress Ave.

The property benefited from institutional ownership with over $1 million in renovations in the past several years and has been consistently awarded an Energy Star rating since 2009.

Gordmans at home in 50,000-SF Tyler store 

(8/14/2014)

TYLER - Gordmans, a Nebraska-based apparel and home décor retailer, will open its first store in Texas with the September 25 opening of a new 50,000-sf store at The Village at Cumberland Park.

In preparation for the opening, Gordmans is hiring 100 associates for the Tyler store. Interested candidates may apply online at www.Gordmans.com/careers or in person at Gordmans in The Village at Cumberland Park, 8950 S. Broadway Ave.

Gordmans sells name brand apparel for all ages, footwear, handbags, fragrances, accessories, wall art, accent furniture, tabletop décor, floral and garden, candles, toys and more.

The company added nine stores in 2012 and ten stores in 2013, increasing its store base by almost 40 percent since 2010. This year, including the Tyler store, Gordmans will open seven stores throughout the country.

Read more at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Waco: Graybar's 26,000-SF distribution center opens 

(8/14/2014)

WACO - St. Louis-based Graybar now occupies a 26,250-sf facility at 6805-B Imperial Dr. The company has placed a distribution center there to serve primarily industrial and commercial contractors. The facility will also accommodate customers wanting to buy items.

The company was founded in 1869 and is one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, spokeswoman Kara Bowin said in a phone interview.

Graybar distributes high-quality electrical, communications and data-networking products and can assist clients in putting the items to use.

“These include lights, switches, fuses, cable and much more,” said Bowin of the Fortune 500 company that enjoyed $5.7 billion in sales last year.

She said the company can provide items for new construction “as well as helping to retrofit existing facilities to be more energy-efficient.”

The firm hopes to serve customers in McLennan, Hill, Limestone, Falls, Bosque, Coryell and Hamilton counties.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Hoya Optical: 102,000-SF Grapevine relocation in sight 

(8/14/2014)

GRAPEVINE - Hoya Optical will be moving in October to a 203,024-sf, Class A industrial building in Grapevine.

The leading supplier of advanced optical materials will occupy 101,817 sf at the building located at 755 Regent Blvd.

Built in 2013, the building sits right by the International Pkwy. in the International Commerce Park and in the Las Colinas industrial area.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Tesco leasing 26,000 SF in Houston's Westway Plaza 

(8/14/2014)

HOUSTON - Tesco Corp., a world leader in oil field services, signed a lease for 26,510 sf in the Westway Plaza Development located at 11330 Clay Rd.

The five-story, 312,000-sf, Class A office building is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in March 2015.

Tesco is the second tenant to sign on at the development, following GE Oil & Gas' 150,000-sf lease signed earlier this year.

Read more at CoStar Group.

M.D. Anderson opens 35,000-SF west Houston imaging center 

(8/14/2014)

HOUSTON - The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is opening a 35,000-sf full-service diagnostic imaging center in west Houston in September. M.D. Anderson Diagnostic Imaging is located at 15021 Katy Fwy. near I-10 and US 6.

The clinic, with a separate women’s imaging center, will be for patients with confirmed cancer diagnoses or those with doctors’ referrals. The center will be for all cancer patients, regardless where they receive treatment or prefer to have treatment if cancer is detected.

The center’s services will include magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, positron emission tomography, general and Doppler ultrasound for diagnostics and biopsies and digital X-ray.

The women’s imaging center has technologies that will allow for same-day diagnosis. Digital mammography for screening and diagnostics also will be available.

The center will include lab and cytopathology services to detect and determine the stage of cancers. Dr. Monica Huang, the center’s medical director, and a team of radiologists, imaging nurses, technologists and administrative employees will staff the center.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Phillips 66's $1B terminal underway in Freeport 

(8/14/2014)

FREEPORT - Phillips 66 has broken ground on its $1 billion liquefied petroleum gas export terminal — its first ever — to sell propane, butane and more to international markets. The terminal will export 4.4 million barrels of fuel a month to countries in Europe and Asia.

The project, which is expected to be completed mid-2016, is part of a $3 billion Phillips 66 capital investment in the Houston region, which also includes a new fractionator at its Sweeny Refinery location.

The new LPG export terminal is at Phillips 66's existing marine terminal in Freeport. The company will get the fuel from its Sweeny complex in Old Ocean and its Gulf Coast Fractionators facility in Mont Belvieu.

Phillips 66 spun off in 2012 as a midstream and refining company from ConocoPhillips, which is focusing on energy exploration and production. Low natural gas prices from the nation's shale boom have helped fuel Phillips 66's infrastructure growth.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: 630-acre The Vintage nears completion 

(8/14/2014)

HOUSTON - The Vintage, a 630-acre master-planned community, is nearing completion with less than 50 acres left for new development. The Vintage has a hospital, hotel, thousands of multifamily and single-family residences and more than 500,000 sf of retail and office space.

The remaining retail space available for lease has shrunk exponentially over the last two years with the rapid development of Vintage Park and Vintage Marketplace.

Since Vintage Park was sold from original developer Interfin to Dunhill Partners in March 2012, the 342,000-sf shopping center jumped from 35 percent occupancy to nearly 90 percent.

Vintage Marketplace houses a 40,000-sf Whole Foods grocery store as part of Phase I of the nine-acre center, which also includes 30,000 sf of retail and restaurants.

Vintage Lakes, developed by Kickerillo and Toll Brothers, has only about a dozen homes remaining in the 150-home subdivision.

The Mischer Investments executive vice president said there are five existing multifamily developments within The Vintage housing as many as 1,500-2,000 apartments that are completed or nearing completion.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Pasadena's El Capitan Theater sold for $4.6M 

(8/14/2014)

PASADENA - The Pasadena City Council approved the sale of the historic El Capitan Theater and the adjoining Corrigan Center property for $4.6 million to Camin Cargo Control Inc., a chemical testing and inspection company based in New Jersey. The company currently has a Pasadena location on Dabney St.

The 11,529-sf theater and the 70,789-sf Corrigan Center sit on a 9.1-acre parcel located at 1001 Shaw Ave.

City officials agreed to a two-year, lease-back agreement to include 31,982 sf for monthly payments of $31,982.

The El Capitan Theater was built in 1949 and was a popular city attraction until it closed in 1965. The City of Pasadena purchased the property in 1995 in hopes of attracting an investor to help share remodeling costs to reopen the theater.

In 2009, city officials awarded an $85,000 contract to Civil Concepts for engineering services and a $105,000 contract to M. Arthur Gensler Jr. for architecture services. Shortly after, the front façade of the property was restored.

However, in the years that followed the long hoped-for investor never materialized and the theater fell into disrepair.

Read more at Your Houston News.

North Austin sale: Northland at Stonehollow apartments 

(8/13/2014 10:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Northland at Stonehollow, a 606-unit apartment community 11915 Stonehollow Dr., has been sold to a Chicago investment firm. The property is near the site where Charles Schwab Co. will build its new Austin facility.

The price was not disclosed, though the Travis Central Appraisal District pegs the value of the community — which covers about 19 acres — at a little more than $26.3 million.

Northland at Stonehollow was built in 1996 and includes several resort features including a theater and two pools. The property was 95 percent occupied at the time of sale.

The community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 602 sf to 1,352 sf.

Northland Investment Corp., which owns numerous other properties in the Austin area, sold the property to an entity formed by Heitman LLC.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For more on the Charles Schwab expansion, see previous story Charles Schwab to bring 823 jobs to Austin.

Nine office buildings break ground guess where 

(8/13/2014 7:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Nine office buildings broke ground in the Houston area during second quarter 2014, according to CBRE research:

• Hilcorp Energy Tower, Downtown
• Enclave Place, Energy Corridor
• Mason Creek Office Center II, Katy
• Katy Ranch Phase I, Katy
• Generation Park, Northeast
• Hughes Landing Exxon I, The Woodlands
• Hughes Landing Exxon II, The Woodlands
• Kiewit Energy Group, The Woodlands
• Westway Plaza, West Belt

The Woodlands saw the most new groundbreakings and the most dramatic changes in vacancy and rental rates. The vacancy increased to 9.4 percent in 2Q 2014 from 4.5 percent in 1Q 2014. Rental rates increased by $8.48 per sf to $37.14.

Overall asking rental rates throughout Houston increased from $25.03 per sf in 2Q 2013 to $25.91 per sf in 2Q 2014.

In addition to The Woodlands, the Katy Freeway and Westchase areas saw the largest rate increases throughout the city.

Year-over-year for 2Q, Katy Freeway Class A rates increased $2.23 per sf to $37.95 per sf, while Westchase Class A rates increased $2.40 per sf to $41.20 per sf.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

For the full CBRE report, see Houston Office MarketView 2Q 2014 (PDF) under Office at Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Data Sources.

Houston: 468 layoffs for Xerox call center 

(8/13/2014 6:56:00 AM)

HOUSTON - A Xerox Corp. subsidiary will cut 468 jobs when it closes a call center it operates at 3100 Hayes Rd. on September 30. Xerox submitted a Workforce Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act letter to the Texas Workforce Commission in early August.

Xerox bought the owners of the call center, Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services LLC, in 2010 and changed its name to Xerox Business Services LLC. The company provides outsourcing and IT services.

In a statement, Kevin Lightfoot, vice president of corporate communications for Xerox, said that the cuts did not mean the company had put off hiring plans for Houston. "We will continue to hire in Houston to meet the needs of other clients."

Lightfoot confirmed separation packages will be provided to those who qualify and employees will be able to apply for other open positions in the company.

Xerox has about 850 employees in the Houston area. The number of Houston employees is down from about 1,000 in 2013 and down from the nearly 2,220 it employed in 2012.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal and Your Houston News.

GEPAR: El Paso region home sales July by ZIP 

(8/13/2014 6:45:00 AM)

EL PASO - Greater El Paso Association of Realtors (GEPAR) has released home sales data for July 2014. Some quick facts include:

• The median price of existing single-family homes decreased to $130,000 down 1.7 percent versus June 2014.
• Existing single-family home sales decreased 14.2 percent from June 2014 for a July 2014 total of 386 units sold.
• Condos increased in price to $122,500 up 13.4 percent vs June 2014.

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

El Paso Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
July 2014
Price Chg.
from 
July
2013
Units Sold
July 2014
Sales Chg.
from 
July
2013
GEPAR
(single-family)
$130,000 -1.7% 386 -6.8%
GEPAR
(condo)
$122,500 27.6% 19 11.8%
Zip Codes*        
79912 $210,000 -5.2% 75 -12.8%
79936 $115,950 5.4% 56 -8.2%
79938 $122,125 -1.5% 44 22.2%
79924 $95,000 -6.9% 25 -34.2%
79934 $135,500 12.0% 24 26.3%
79928 $116,900 11.3% 23 9.5%
79932 $205,500 -13.1% 22 0.0%
79925 $127,250 -12.2% 20 81.8%

*Region Zip Code data include single-family only and represent eight select zip codes sorted by number of units sold.

See previous GEPAR stories on NewsTalk Texas.

See the Housing category under El Paso Market Data Sources.

Source: Greater El Paso Association of Realtors (GEPAR).

Lubbock: 70,000-SF Northpark Village sold for $8.2M 

(8/13/2014 6:43:00 AM)

LUBBOCK - The 70,000-sf Northpark Village, a grocery anchored center at the intersection 4th St. and Slide Rd., has been sold for $8.2 million.

Lubbock-based United Supermarkets anchors the Northpark Village. Texas Tech University is approximately two miles from the center on 4th St.

The asset is 95.2 percent occupied. National tenants, including Starbucks and GNC, promote cross shopping and provide a steady customer draw. Cincinnati, Ohio-based Phillips Edison & Co. purchased the asset.

Read more at Globe St. and Securities and Exchange Commission.

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