NewsTalk Texas

Contractors ready to absorb laid-off energy workers 

(1/27/2015 9:00:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America would like to issue an urgent message to any energy workers in the area who might be laid off because of falling oil prices.

The message: We want you back.

Let us go back about five years ago. The country still was bogged down in a depressed housing construction market. The construction industry, moreover, also was suffering from a dip in all kinds of contracts because financing was difficult in the weak economy.

Meanwhile, the fracturing drilling technology was reviving oil production, especially in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale area. Construction workers found good-paying jobs by switching to oil-and-gas companies.

The table has turned.

The energy industry, beset by a dramatic drop in oil prices, is stomping on the brakes. Layoffs affecting thousands by Texas-based energy companies are announced seemingly every day, hitting some workers in the Eagle Ford.

Meanwhile, the construction industry is booming. The economy is healthy and growing.

Housing inventories are low. Numerous public school bond packages mean schools must be built.

Texas construction companies are hurting for workers, partially because of high volumes of retirements and a low number of new workers to replace them. 

“Not a day goes by when we don’t have a conversation about this,” said Doug McMurry, executive vice president of the San Antonio AGC chapter. “We would welcome these folks. We think there are good opportunities.”

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

Underway: 20-story $54M University House near UT Austin 

(1/27/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on the 185,000-sf University House just one block west of the University of Texas. The $54 million 20-story project is on the site of the former University Lutheran Student Center at 21st St. and San Antonio St.

The project, just one block west of the University of Texas at Austin campus, is expected to be completed by the start of fall semester 2016, and preleasing will begin summer 2015. The project includes 188 apartments with 504 beds.

A variety of fully furnished floor plans will be offered, including studio, one-, two-, three, and four-bedroom units. The building will also include a five-story covered parking facility.

University House will strictly cater to students and includes 6,000 sf of ground level retail that will be leased by the new University Lutheran Student Center. The religious-based organization first built on the site in 1971.

The total estimated cost is $53.5 million, according to Inland American Real Estate Trust. This represents 100 percent of the development’s estimated costs, including the acquisition cost of the land and building, if any, and excluding capitalized interest.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and Inland American Communities.

tags: Transwestern Apartment Market Watch 2014, multifamily market conditions 2014, Austin data, Texas student housing

DPF dips into Austin, ducks out of Dallas with buy and sale 

(1/27/2015 7:55:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DALLAS - Dividend Capital Diversified Property Fund (DPF) has bought one Texas office property and sold another.

In Austin, DPF acquired Rialto I and II from Lincoln Property Co. for $37.3 million or approximately $240 per sf.

The 155,000-sf, two-story office portfolio is located at 7500 Rialto Blvd. within Southwest Austin's Lantana Corporate Center.

It is 94 percent leased to 21 tenants and features a 205-space parking garage.

In Dallas, DPF sold Park Place on Turtle Creek to a third party for $46.6 million or approximately $263 per sf.

The 177,000-sf, 14-story office property was constructed in 1986 at 2911 Turtle Creek Blvd. in Uptown. Renovated in 2012, the Class A property is currently 87.5 percent leased to 27 tenants.

Including these transactions, DPF owns 25 office properties totaling approximately 5.1 million sf.

Read more at CoStar Group.

New year, new school for students in Pharr and San Juan 


PHARR, SAN JUAN - Over 1,300 Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) ISD students started 2015 in new state-of-the-art facilities. In Pharr, Palmer Elementary has opened on Hall Acres Rd. while San Juan opened Austin Middle School on Stewart Rd.

Pharr: The new Geraldine Palmer Elementary at 1200 W. Hall Acres Rd. in Pharr replaces a much older campus. The school houses a little over 600 students pre-k to fifth grade.

The 88,478-sf building cost almost $13 million and includes special features like a high-efficiency HVAC system, LED lighting, instructional gardens and state-of-the-art technology and system controls.

San Juan: The new Austin Middle School campus is a 150,350-sf building located directly behind the old home of the Bruins.

Close to $24 million went into building the school, which currently houses about 800 students, sixth through eighth grade.

PSJA ISD has been renovating or replacing older facilities for over five years now, ensuring the 31,000 plus student body is in quality classrooms and schools districtwide.

Read more at Your Valley Voice.

South Padre Island building permits: year-end 2014 


SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - Building permit totals for year-end 2014 have been released by the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation (SPIEDC).

South Padre Island Year-End 2014
Building Permit Valuations
Month Commercial Residential Total
Jan. $306,000 $128,335 $434,335
Feb. $101,490 $2,015,524 $2,117,014
March $41,000 $230,651 $271,651
April $169,500 $243,015 $412,515
May $100,500 $951,761 $1,052,261
June $118,780 $1,599,162 $1,717,942
July - $160,664 $160,664
Aug. $80,000 $420,475 $500,475
Sept. $5,000 $889,061 $894,061
Oct. $371,441 $1,951,240 $2,322,681
Nov. $162,852 $1,812,440 $1,975,292
Dec. $1,455,541 $439,308 $1,894,849
Total $2,912,104 $10,841,636 $13,753,740

Click here to see previous years' colorful charts published by SPIEDC.

Source: South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation.

Texarkana: 126,000-SF renewal by Cherokee Nation Red Wing 


TEXARKANA AREA - Cherokee Nation Red Wing, a defense contractor serving Red River Army Depot (RRAD), renewed its lease on the TexAmericas campus.

The lease brings occupancy at the campus to over 90 percent. TexAmericas Center (TAC) manages over 650,000 sf of industrial and office product on the Central campus.

The one-year lease renewal, which begins on Feb. 1, is for a 126,500-sf building on the TexAmericas central campus, which is the former RRAD administrative area.

Established in 2009 as a tribal-owned business, Cherokee Nation Red Wing has grown from its roots in manufacturing into a full-scale life cycle support organization.

TAC reports less than 63,000 sf of office and industrial space to be available on the Central Campus footprint.

TAC has about 12,000 acres and about 3 million sf of commercial and industrial product.

In 2005, TexAmericas Center began the process of absorbing the majority of the fully closed Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant, also in the Texarkana market. This property added nearly 8,900 acres to the TexAmericas Center inventory. This property offers:

  • 240,000 sf of rail to truck cross-dock warehousing space;
  • 170,000 sf of dry storage with nearby rail siding;
  • 500,000 sf of energetics production space;
  • 100,000 sf of high explosives storage

Read more at and the Texarkana Gazette.

Click here for more information on the TexAmericas Center.

tag: Texarkana NAI American Realty, Texarkana data

New Air Force center to employ 350 more personnel at JBSA 


SAN ANTONIO - The new Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center that will be coming to San Antonio this year will bring an estimated 350 new jobs to the area.

About half of the new jobs will be civilian and half will be military personnel stationed at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) — which oversees operations at Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, Lackland, and Randolph Air Force bases.

The move is part of an effort to consolidate multiple operations to one location to make them more efficient.

The new center will be occupying an existing building at Joint Base San Antonio.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Ector County home sales 2014 


ECTOR COUNTY - The number of home sales, days on the market and sales volume in Ector County from January 2014 through December 2014 have been posted by the Odessa Board of Realtors.

Ector County Home Sales 2014
Month # of
Sales Volume DOM*
Dec. 102 $20,194,467 48
Nov. 100 $23,105,610 36
Oct. 97 $18,483,233 40
Sept. 104 $20,753,162 45
Aug. 109 $20,220,361 36
July 122 $24,153,289 35
June 144 $28,868,505 44
May 118 $23,408,926 90
April 107 $19,271,967 48
Mar. 101 $18,750,631 62
Feb. 68 $11,694,948 57
Jan. 76 $11,845,438 54

*Days on Market

Source: Odessa Board of Realtors.

Sold! 338,000-SF Weatherford Ridge Shopping Center 


WEATHERFORD - The 388,000-sf Weatherford Ridge Shopping Center has been purchased by a Dallas-based investor.

Dunhill Partners, the new owner of the Dallas Design District, bought the center, which is located at I-20 and Main St.

The retail center, which include retailers such as JCPenney, Belk, Bed Bath & Beyond and TJ Maxx, was bought from The Retail Connection LP of Dallas and an affiliate of North American Development Group, which finished developing the center in 2006.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Carrollton furniture firm to build 70,000-SF complex 


CARROLLTON - Workplace Resource Group (WRG) is expanding with a 70,000-sf industrial project.

Developer Billingsley Co. will build a new showroom and distribution complex for the Carrollton-based firm on about six acres on Rosemeade Pkwy. between Marsh Lane and Midway Rd.

The building will be ready late in 2015.

WRG, which distributes office and commercial furniture and fixtures, currently operates out of a showroom in Carrollton at Stemmons Fwy. and Frankford Rd.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Walmart's easy-in, easy-out shops neighborhoods of Amarillo 


AMARILLO - The unveiling of one Walmart Neighborhood Market has debuted, with two encores slated this year.

Located at 2035 S.E. 34th Ave., the store will operate 24/7.

The 40,000-sf Neighborhood Market is Walmart’s smaller prototype when compared with the typical Walmart Supercenters of nearly 180,000 sf.

They’re designed, Store Manager George Wilthers said, to attract people who want an “easy-in, easy-out” shopping trip.

The store contains a pharmacy with drive-through access, and a fueling station is on premises.

Last month, a construction crew began building a Neighborhood Market at 7251 Arden Rd., where Arden meets South Coulter St.

“We are looking forward to a summer grand opening,” spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said. City of Amarillo building permit information estimates the construction value of the 46,500-sf project at slightly more than $5 million.

A Neighborhood Market for Southeast 58th Ave. and South Georgia St. also is on Walmart’s drawing board. Construction of that store could begin later this winter or in spring, Hatfield said.

Each store will employ nearly 100 in full- and part-time positions.

Walmart has also begun construction of a second Amarillo Sam’s location on I-40, west of Soncy Rd./Loop 335. It should open this fall, Hatfield said. The warehouse store will hire 175 associates.

City building permit data shows the construction value of the Sam’s project is roughly $14.7 million.

Read more at the Amarillo Globe-News.

tag: Walmart

Houston: 294-unit Oaks of Cypress Station sold 


HOUSTON - The Oaks of Cypress Station, a 294-unit community located on 11.24 acres at 1000 Cypress Station Dr., has been sold.

Renovated in 2002, the community features three swimming pools, a clubhouse, spa, fitness center and some units come equipped with a fireplace. The unit mix consists of one- and two-bedroom floor plans.

Just west of I-45, the community sits in close proximity to major area employers the Northwest Medical Center and Greenspoint Business District, and five miles north of the 389-acre ExxonMobil office campus.

Fort Worth-based Panther FW Investments teamed up with a local multifamily investment group to acquire the property. Panther plans to increase rental revenue with extensive interior and exterior upgrades.

Read more at CoStar Group.

152-Room Aloft Houston Galleria sold 


HOUSTON - The 152-room, five-story Aloft Houston Galleria has been sold. The boutique hotel at 5415 Westheimer Rd. was built in 2009.

The pet-friendly property targets younger, active guests and families. It has electronic check-in kiosks, a lounge with a pool table, a 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool and an activity program for children aged 2 to 12.

Norwalk, Ct.-based HEI Hotels & Resorts, which will continue to manage the hotel, sold the property to a Westpark I of Melville, New York.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston: Rockwell buys 187,000-SF Westchase office 


HOUSTON - A 186,964-sf office building at 9900 Richmond Ave. in Westchase has traded hands. The property is located on 5.7 acres at the northeast corner of Richmond and Briarpark.

The building is 92 percent leased with Seismic City, Costello, Norris Conference Centers, U.S. Navy Recruiting, DBR Engineering and Selene Finance among its tenants.

The recently renovated four-story building has an attached three-story parking garage. 

A joint venture between Houston-based Fuller Realty Partners and Harbert Management Corp. sold the property to Houston-based Rockwell Management Corp.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

City of Houston building permits set record in 2014 


HOUSTON - Construction permitting in the City of Houston set a record in 2014, according to a report by the Greater Houston Partnership.

The City of Houston issued $8.7 billion in construction permits in 2014, a 41 percent increase over 2013 when $6.1 billion in permits were issued.

Nonresidential permits made up the highest value, growing 47.2 percent to $5.6 billion, while residential permits were up 30.9 percent to $3 billion.

Permit activity in December, however, was down slightly from the same month a year earlier. Residential permits slowed down the most, falling 17.4 percent to $214.1 million. In contrast, permits for non-residential construction was up 11.1 percent to $413.3 million.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle. To see the 'Building Permits Update' from the Greater Houston Partnership, click here.

Pearland: 98,000-SF Boat & RV Storage sold 


PEARLAND - Pearland Boat & RV Storage, a 97,560-sf self-storage facility, has been sold. The facility is located at 3600 Old Chocolate Bayou.

The seller was a Houston-based private investor, and the buyer was a limited liability company.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

DFW foreclosures lowest point in years 


DALLAS-FORT WORTH - The number of DFW homes threatened with foreclosure in February has dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade.

Only 1,233 homes in the four-county area have been scheduled for forced sale at February’s county auctions by lenders, a drop of almost 29 percent from February 2013 and 78 percent lower than four years ago, according to data from Foreclosure Listing Service Inc.

DFW Area Feb. 2015
Foreclosure Postings
County Properties Chg. over
Feb. 2014
Dallas 552 -26%
Tarrant 446 -27%
Collin 116 -37%
Denton 119 -34%
DFW area 1,233 -29%

Home foreclosure filings are down by more than 25 percent so far in 2015 in North Texas.

Last year lenders scheduled foreclosures for than 18,500 DFW homes — 26 percent less than 2013 totals. Home foreclosure filings in North Texas were at the lowest level since 2001.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Two Texarkana area hotels receive high commendations 


TEXARKANA - TripAdvisor just released their annual Travelers Choice Awards for 2015 and two southwest Arkansas hotels are on the list.

Best Western Plus Texarkana Inn & Suites located at 5219 Cross Rd. Pkwy. ranked 16th on the top 25 bargain hotels in the United States list.

Hampton Inn and Suites Hope located at 2700 N Hervey St. in Hope ranked 13th on the top 25 hotels for service in the United States list.

The reviews are based on the millions of reviews left on in the previous year. Best Western Plus is also ranked the number one hotel in Texarkana on TripAdvisor.


Christie Lites shines on Dallas' Mercer Business Park 


DALLAS, FARMERS BRANCH - Christie Lites has leased 50,000 sf of warehouse space in Mercer Business Park, which is under construction at LBJ Fwy. and I-35E.

The Canadian company, which provides lighting for trade shows and music concerts, has 14 locations across North America.

Christie Lites lease will move into the space later in 2015.

“Christie Lites was looking for new, efficient space that offered great highway access to all venues in Dallas-Fort Worth,” said George Billingsley, Billingsley Co. partner. “They will occupy the southeast corner of our first building at Mercer Business Park.”

Mercer Business Park is a 225-acre project located in Dallas and Farmers Branch. Developer Billingsley Co. has completed one warehouse in the business park and is building a second.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

For more on Mercer Business Park, see previous stories from NewsTalk Texas.

USAA plants its flag in downtown San Antonio 


SAN ANTONIO - After the flight of AT&T headquarters to Dallas in 2008, downtown San Antonio commercial real estate remained stagnant. That makes it even more significant that insurance and financial giant USAA makes a strategic move into the urban core.

In 2013, USAA Real Estate Company acquired One Riverwalk Place, 700 N. St. Mary’s St. — located on the River Walk just a few blocks from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

Most of the building remains occupied by existing tenants, but room was made for the first wave of USAA employees to set up shop early in 2015.

Employees assigned to downtown come from an array of departments, including Enterprise Affairs, the General Counsel’s office, Member Experience, Information Technology and the Chief Administration Office.

Ultimately, about 150 employees will be working downtown by the end of March. In the near-term, USAA will occupy three floors of the 18-story building downtown.

The remaining floors are leased to law firms, investment companies, and other tenants. The 261,633-sf building is currently 100 percent leased and occupied.

Read more at the Rivard Report.

tag: San Antonio news, 4Q 2014 office CBRE

Topgolf swings dogleg left from downtown San Antonio 

(1/23/2015 1:00:00 PM)

SAN ANTONIO - Topgolf is set to open its first location in San Antonio on January 30 near the intersection of I-10 and Loop 1604.

The three-level, 65,000-sf facility includes dozens of hitting bays that come equipped with TV screens, seating — heated in cold weather — and a view of the lighted range.

The San Antonio facility also includes a restaurant and bar on the second floor, event space for parties and corporate events, and a rooftop bar overlooking Fiesta Texas.

The Dallas-based company has 15 locations in the U.S. and soon will open its 16th on the Alamo City's far Northwest Side.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Downtown Houston: $60M City View Terrace underway 

(1/23/2015 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - A $60 million development, City View Terrace, is underway in downtown. City View Terrace will comprise a full city block, with residential and full retail.

City View Terrace will also have 12 stories and 336 residential units. To date, this is the largest development ever in its category.

The anticipated date of completion is 2017. The project is anticipated to generate over 700 jobs for Houston.

The City View Terrace project is a joint venture between two partners, Abdul Dawood and Dan Nip at City View LLC.

It is being developed by Premier Regional Center, a real estate investment company in Sugar Land, Texas.

Read more at PRWeb.

tag: Houston apartments, Houston shopping list for data

NTREIS: Grayson County housing stats 4Q 2014 

(1/23/2015 8:00:00 AM)

GRAYSON COUNTY - North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS) has released its Economic & Market Watch Report for fourth quarter 2014.

Grayson County includes the cities of Sherman and Denison.

Grayson County Market Watch Report
Key Metrics 4Q
Median sales price $128,750 22.6%
Average sales price $146,523 6.5%
Homes for sale 671 -14.4%
Closed sales 361 21.1%
Months supply 5.2 -25.2%
Days on market 97 7.8%

Source: North Texas Real Estate Information Systems

See NTREIS Economic & Market Watch Report 4Q 2014 for more information. (Look at the bottom of the page for the report.)

tag: Sherman-Dension Market Data Sources

ALN San Antonio apartment report Dec. 2014 

(1/23/2015 7:30:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - ALN Apartment Data has released December 2014 apartment occupancy and effective rent data for apartments.

San Antonio Market Stabilized Market*
Occupancy rate 92.3 1.4%
Units added 3,745  
Units absorbed (annual) 2,473  
Average size (SF) 835 0.1%
Asking rent $849 3.0%
Asking rent per SF $1.02 3.0%
Effective rent $834 3.6%
Effective rent per SF $1.00 3.6%
Offering concessions 36% -16.8%
Avg. concession package 4.8% -3.3%

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

Floor Plan Breakdown - San Antonio
Market Avg.
Eff. 3.5% 465 $587 $575
1 BR 46.1% 673 $738 $725
1 DEN 1.8% 876 $866 $858
2 BR 38.7% 991 $950 $934
2 DEN 0.9% 1,183 $1,114 $1,099
3 BR 7.6% 1,253 $1,160 $1,145
>3 BR 1.4% 1,539 $1,741 $1,728

Read more at ALN Market News.

Houston: Grocery game of chain, chain, chain  

(1/23/2015 7:15:00 AM)

HOUSTON - New grocery stores will make up nearly half of the 3.7 million sf of new retail space that will be built and opened in Houston this year, according to an annual retail survey by Houston-based developer Wulfe & Co.

Grocery chains are slated to open 32 new locations across Houston. H-E-B Grocery Co. will have the greatest expansion with seven new stores. Additionally, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will build four, and Kroger Co. will build four and expand two.

Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. will open two, Whole Foods Market Inc. will open two, and Fiesta Mart and Trader Joe's will each open one. Aldi Inc. will add 11 smaller stores across Houston.

In addition to supermarkets, a 180,000-sf Walmart superstore and a 165,000-sf Gallery Furniture will contribute to the 3.7 million sf of new retail, which is the highest since 2008. The number represents a 56 percent increase over last year's 2.37 million sf.

The report attributes these numbers to low fuel prices and consumers' increased disposable income, which has benefited the retail sector.

"With this high activity of new retail growth, we project that higher retail occupancy rates will exceed a seldom-achieved rate of 92 percent this year," CEO Ed Wulfe said in the report.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

For the full press release from Wulfe & Co. click here.

Victoria Jan.–Dec. 2014 home sales: Swearingen 

(1/23/2015 7:00:00 AM)

VICTORIA - The Swearingen Report for residential homes has been released for Jan.–Dec. 2014 by Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company.

The average sales price for residential homes was $178,232, up 7.1 percent versus the same period ending December 2013 when it was $166,476.

The average Days on Market for residential homes for January thru December 2014 was 86, 10.4 percent shorter than the same period 2013.

The median price of residential homes for January thru December 2014 was $165,000, up 9.6 percent versus the same period 2013 when it was $150,500.

There were 903 residential homes sold in the Victoria MLS for January thru December 2014, 1.0 percent (9 homes) less than the same period in 2013.

Victoria MLS Residential Home Sales Jan.-Dec. 2014
All Categories* Jan.-Dec.
Residential property sales 912 903 -1.0%
Total dollar volume $151,826,093 $160,943,045 6.0%
Average sales price $166,476 $178,232 7.1%
Median sales price $150,500 $165,000 9.6%
Total active listings end of month 211 234 10.9%
Months inventory 2.8 3.5 25.0%

*This figure refers to the residential homes market.

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

Amarillo building permit report Dec. 2014, YTD 


AMARILLO - The City of Amarillo has released the December 2014 building report.

Amarillo Building Report 2014
Type Dec. 2014 YTD 2014
Permits Total
Permits Total
New single-family
21 $5,751,555 425 $115,402,600
Retail/restaurant 3 $7,127,952 14 $35,683,637
212 $2,778,907 7,564 $93,252,224
62 $5,269,489 1,372 $141,483,198
Total* 318 $22,172,496 9,610 $530,309,155

*Total represents all permit types.

Source: City of Amarillo

NTREIS: Smith County 4Q 2014 housing sales 


SMITH COUNTY - North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS) has released its Economic & Market Watch Report for fourth quarter 2014 of 53 counties it covers.

The chart below is Smith County located in East Texas. The county includes Tyler.

Smith County Housing Activity 4Q 2014
Key Metrics 4Q 2014 1-Yr.
Median sales price $174,464 9.0%
Average sales price $198,787 -11.4%
% of original price rec'd 92.9% -0.1%
Homes for sale 199 -12.3%
Closed sales 102 29.1%
Months supply 6.6 -14.3%
Days on Market 91 -8.7%

Source: North Texas Real Estate Information Systems

See NTREIS Economic & Market Watch Report 4Q 2014 for more information.

tag: Tyler Market Data Sources

Dallas start: 226-unit Alta Yorktown near Trinity Groves 


DALLAS - Wood Partners has begun work on a 226-unit apartment community near Trinity Groves.

Alta Yorktown will include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom wireless apartments averaging 827 sf. The developer said the monthly rents are expected to average at just more than $1,300.

The project is about a mile west of downtown Dallas next to the Trinity Groves restaurant and entertainment district.

Leasing is expected to begin in fourth quarter 2015, with construction completed in 2Q 2016.

The developer's property management division, Wood Residential Services, will manage the apartment community at 660 Yorktown St.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Rockport Jan.–Dec. 2014 home sales: Swearingen 


ROCKPORT - The Swearingen Report for residential homes has been released for Jan.–Dec. 2014 by Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company.

The average sales price for residential homes was $251,469, up 3.3 percent versus the same period 2013 when it was $243,333.

The average Days on Market for residential homes for the year 2014 was 177, 2.8 percent shorter than the same period last year.

The median price of residential homes for January thru December 2014 was $190,000, up 6.7 percent versus the same period 2013 when it was $178,000.

There were 533 residential homes sold in the Rockport MLS for January thru December 2014, up 3.1 percent (16 homes) versus January thru December 2013.

Rockport MLS Single-Family, Condo/Townhouse Residential Sales
All Categories* Jan.-Dec.
Residential property sales 517 533 3.1%
Total dollar volume $125,803,403 $134,033,084 6.5%
Average sales price $243,333 $251,469 3.3%
Median sales price $178,000 $190,000 6.7%
Total active listings end of month 331 345 4.2%
Months inventory 8.9 7.7 -13.5%

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

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

Downtown Houston: Hines' 32-story apartment tower underway 


HOUSTON - Hines has broken ground on a 32-story, 300,000-sf apartment building next to Market Square Park in the northern part of downtown.

One Market Square will consist of 274 units and an eight-story podium garage. The average unit size will be 1,200 sf.

The tower will be built on about one-half of a block bounded by Prairie, Preston, Travis and Main. The block is known as “Block 44.”

Houston-based Ziegler Cooper Architects designed the building. The project will be complete in 2016, said Hines spokesman Mark Clegg.

A number of projects are under construction in downtown Houston following a city-backed Downtown Living Initiative, which provides a $15,000 per unit tax credit for new multifamily development.

Read more at Realty News Report and the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: 320-unit Villas at Hermann Park sold 

(1/22/2015 7:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The 320-unit garden-style Villas at Hermann Park, located at 6301 Almeda Rd., has been purchased.

Built in 2000 with a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, Villas at Hermann Park has rents that range from $1,300 to $2,600 per month. Units average 1,020 sf, and the complex is 94 percent occupied.

The location is directly across from Hermann Park and near major employers such as the Texas Medical Center and close to Texas 288.

Chicago-based Waterton Associates purchased the property from Falcon Southwest. On the first-floor units, the firm plans to add fences at 55 units to create private outdoor areas.

Along with upgrades, the firm is projecting an increase in rents by about $150 over the next two years.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Walmart markets neighborhoods in Bowie County 

(1/22/2015 7:15:00 AM)

TEXARKANA, TEXAS - A 42,000-sf Walmart Neighborhood Market opened today at the corner of Summerhill Rd. and College Dr. The new store employs approximately 95 full- and part-time associates.

In addition to groceries and a pharmacy, the store features health and beauty aids, pet products and cleaning supplies.

There is also another Walmart Neighborhood Market store under construction in Texarkana at 3520 Richmond Rd. City permit records the cost of construation at $2 million.

Already in January, a Walmart is open in DeKalb and another in Redwater.

Walmart is also opening many smaller Neighborhood Market stores in Diana, Hughes Springs, Linden, Lone Star, Naples, Tatum, and Wake Village.


San Antonio's housing market posts strong 2014 

(1/22/2015 7:10:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Home sales rose 16 percent during December, compared with the same month in 2013, as local homebuyers balanced house hunting and gift shopping during the holiday season.

The San Antonio Board of Realtors' December multiple listing report showed that 2,083 homes were sold in San Antonio last month, up from 1,800 homes in December 2013.

The number of homes sold in December 2014 was also higher than in November, when agents sold 1,694 homes.

The average time a home spent on the market remained low at 70 days. Housing inventory also dropped from 3.9 months in November to 3.5 months in December.

A few key figures from 2014 include:

•  total 2014 sales from January to December: 24,735 homes

•  average price of a home sold in 2014: $218,762

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

tag: housing data, housing news

Bell County starts nearly 2,000 homes in 2014 


BELL COUNTY - For Central Texas housing, 2014 was a productive year. Bell County saw 1,960 new homes start construction over the calendar year and the total value of all construction permits issued throughout the area was over $325 million.

Killeen issued 834 new single-family home permits in 2014 at a total value of $122.1 million.

Temple issued 451 new home permits in 2014; the total value for all construction permits issued in Temple was over $80 million.

Harker Heights issued 203 new single-family home permits last year valued at $43.5 million.

Belton issued 87 new home permits and the total value of all construction permits issued by the city in 2014 was about $25 million.

Nolanville issued 61 new single-family home permits with a total value of $16 million.

Troy issued 50 new home permits; the total of all construction permits issued in Troy in 2014 was $3.1 million.

Morgan’s Point Resort issued eight new home permits; the total for all construction permits issued in Morgan’s Point in 2014 was $1.5 million.

Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald.

Texas Health opens $20 million Willow Park center 


WILLOW PARK, PARKER COUNTY - The $20 million Texas Health Outpatient Center Willow Park has officially opened its doors.

The 60,000-sf outpatient center is located at I-20 and Crown Pointe Blvd. on eight acres.

It will also offer cardiac rehab, hand, physical and sports therapy, laboratory services, outpatient behavioral health services, chronic disease management, a fitness center and a three-story medical office building for both primary care physicians and specialists.

The Center will offer a 24/7 emergency room and an advanced imaging center, with Xray, CT, Ultrasound, MRI, screening mammography and bone density assessment capabilities.

Services will include cardiac rehabilitation, behavioral health, physical therapy, laboratory services, advanced imaging and a chronic disease management program.

The outpatient center will be the first part of an integrated health campus that will grow, with plans for a surgery center and expansion of space for more physicians and medical services.

Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Simon says buy for Fort Worth's University Park Village 


FORT WORTH - The 173,220-sf University Park Village shopping center at 1612 S. University Dr. has been sold.

Completed in 1986, University Park Village is just south of I-30 in the West Fort Worth retail submarket.

Current tenants include Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Apple, Athleta, Banana Republic, Chico's, Free People, J. Crew, Lululemon Athletica, Madewell, Michael Kors, Pottery Barn, Talbots, Vera Bradley, White House | Black Market and Williams-Sonoma.

Simon Property Group acquired the shopping development, as well as a mall in New Jersey, for an aggregate purchase price of $1.09 billion.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Bloomington's 18,400-SF gym doubles during trouble 


BLOOMINGTON, VICTORIA COUNTY - Bloomington ISD has completed its 18,400-sf competitive gym, which doubles as a FEMA safe room.

With steel bars reinforcing concrete walls, the $2.9 million facility was constructed to be more than just a gym.

The athletic facility includes a gymnasium, telescoping bleachers, locker rooms and concessions, according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Its day-to-day function will be for hosting games and practices, but its main purpose is to be a safe structure in emergencies.

As the community's first hurricane dome, the structure can provide protection from hurricane winds up to 250 mph, earthquakes, fires and natural disasters.

Victoria County Emergency Management Coordinator Rick McBrayer said the intent is not to use the dome as a shelter.

In times of emergency, the dome will be used to accommodate search and rescue initiatives as a staging area for first responders. The facility provides a 24-hour safe room for first responders, officials, and the medically fragile citizens who cannot evacuate.

"We are a non-sheltering community," McBrayer said. "We do not want to encourage people to come here (to the dome)."

The dome has a generator, a kitchen and restrooms.

The safe dome was built for $159 per sf.

Read more at the Victoria Advocate.

Houston: Midtown eyesore to 300,000-SF beauty 


HOUSTON - Central Square Plaza, originally developed in 1957 by legendary Texas oilman Glenn McCarthy, is being redeveloped into 300,000 sf of office and retail space after laying vacant for more than ten years.

Located at 2100 Travis St., the property is owned by Houston-based Claremont Properties Co.

The property received a building permit for the core-and-shell work for $6 million. The building does not yet have any tenants signed on, but is going for $21 to $30 per sf, according to an online listing.

Claremont Properties also bought an adjoining space, and the renovated property will occupy the entire block bordered by Travis St., Milam St., Gray St. and Webster St.

Central Square Plaza originally consisted of a connected 12-floor and 14-floor office building as well as a parking garage and was formerly the Central Bank building. 

Keeley Megarity, owner of Claremont Properties, said they were able to use the original engineers of the building, Houston-based Walter P. Moore, for the remodel.

Megarity said he expects renovations to be finished early in the second quarter of this year, and could see restaurant and retail tenants open in July.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

San Antonio: Corporate relocations add thousands of new jobs 


SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio and Bexar County gained 4,750 new jobs in 2014 as a result of 28 companies relocating to or expanding in the region.

The new job count exceeded original projections for the year by some 750 positions, according to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.

Roughly 60 percent of the new jobs the San Antonio region gained were from the business services sector, which includes shared-services operations, manufacturing and distribution.

That figure can be attributed in part to IBEX Global, an international provider of customer contact services, which announced in November it was adding more than 1,000 positions in San Antonio.

San Antonio economic development officials are projecting 4,000 new jobs for the region in 2015.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

tag: San Antonio employment, employment data

129,000-SF Aspen Lake Two takes root in Austin 


AUSTIN - Construction on Aspen Lake Two, a 129,000-sf office building in far northwest Austin near Lakeline Mall, is underway. The address is 13785 Research Blvd., which is in the City of Austin but sits in Williamson County.

The Class A office building is already 54 percent leased to Q2 Holdings Inc., and Austin-based financial services company. Construction is expected to be complete in fall 2015.

About 59,000 sf remains available for lease — about 34,200 sf on the second floor and 26,000 sf on the first floor.

Crimson Real Estate Fund is partnering with San Antonio-based USAA Real Estate Co. as the owners of the project.

Crimson purchased the first phase of the platted development in a distressed financial state. Aspen Lake One, which although it was shiny and new, sat vacant for a long time during the recession. The original developer filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Crimson picked up the property in March 2011.

Crimson then leased it up to 100 percent as Austin's economy surged ahead — largely on the strength of technology growth. One of the first major tenants Crimson secured was Q2 Holdings, which provides cloud-based banking solutions.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Quorum of three office buildings sold in Addison 


ADDISON - 5000 Quorum Drive, Quorum Place and Quorum North have all been sold to New York-based DRA Advisors. The three office buildings total almost 500,000 sf.

All three buildings are located on the west side of the Dallas North Tollway in the Quorum business park.

They were constructed in the 1980s and are more than 77 percent leased, according to HFF who marketed the buildings for sale for Harbert Management Corp.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Bryson bringing 1,200 homes to Leander 


LEANDER - Construction has begun on Bryson, a 500-acre master-planned community near San Gabriel Pkwy. and Toll 183A.

Crescent Communities will build 1,200 single-family homes at Bryson, ranging in price from the high $200,000s to the low $400,000s.

The first homes in Bryson will be under construction by summer with move-in dates during the fall.

Home builders include David Weekley Homes, Drees Custom Homes, Grand Haven Homes and Scott Felder Homes. The site plan includes an amenity center and an additional 250 to 500 multifamily or high-density units.

Crescent purchased the property, formerly called the Villages of Messina, in early 2014.

Prior to the sale in December 2013, Leander City Council approved a set of agreements that require Crescent to contribute $1.5 million for improvements to the nearby intersection of Toll 183A and US 183.

The amenity center will open in spring 2016, and the neighborhood will be built out in about ten years.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

New Braunfels gained nearly 2,000 jobs last year 


NEW BRAUNFELS - New Braunfels is continuing to experience record growth. The Hill Country community gained 1,946 new jobs in 2014.

Three companies — IBEX Global, CBE Companies and Nexus Medical Consulting — were responsible for roughly 1,000 of the new jobs, according to Michael Meek, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce.

New Braunfels is part of the San Antonio metropolitan statistical area.

As such, it has benefited from some of the same economic advantages that have caused companies to relocate to or expand in the Alamo City — access to a growing population and aggressive incentive offers, as well as lower taxes.

Source: San Antonio Business Journal

tag: San Antonio area data

CBRE: DFW Office MarketView 4Q 2014 

(1/21/2015 7:00:00 AM)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - The North Texas office market experienced its 18th consecutive quarter of favorable leasing fundamentals in fourth quarter 2014 and appears poised for a strong first half of 2015, according to CBRE.

Fourth quarter 2014 had nearly double the deliveries of 3Q 2014. Preleasing among delivered construction is currently 40.4 percent, with the remaining speculative space contributing to overall market vacancy.

The 4Q saw an increase in new completions and a slightly slowed pace of new construction starts. The under construction pipeline remained above 7.1 million sf over the quarter, driven by activity in suburban markets.

Gross asking rents continued to experience growth, with the overall market average rising moderately to $20.68 per sf in 4Q 2014 from $20.41 per sf in 3Q 2014 on a gross basis.

Class A rates increased at an especially strong pace, rising from $26.44 per sf to $26.61 per sf for the same timeframe.

Below are six of the 17 submarkets in DFW with the lowest vacancy rates.

DFW Market Snapshot by Vacancy
Market Net
Rentable SF
4Q 2014
Total Net
Total Net
North Fort Worth 1,286,830 3.4 $18.58 3,728 -4,612
South Fort Worth 6,789,325 7.8 $19.88 33,342 13,589
Preston Center 3,860,276 9.4 $32.08 -46,254 -63,188
Southwest Dallas 1,665,033 10.0 $15.52 22,208 70,590
Uptown/Turtle Creek 10,371,340 12.4 $33.75 23,635 -16,069
East Dallas 3,817,856 14.0 $15.51 62,763 185,506
Dallas Total 183,499,602 18.9 $21.07 278,004 2,799,618
Fort Worth Total 35,091,998 16.1 $19.36 65,492 480,383
DFW Total 218,591,600 18.4 $20.68 343,496 3,280,001

Source: CBRE Research

See CBRE's Office Report. Registration is free.

McAllen: out with the old, in with the 87,700-SF H-E-B 


McALLEN - McAllen's newest H-E-B supermarket has opened at South Second St. and Expressway 83.

The value of construction is $9.8 million, according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

The 87,700-sf location replaces the H-E-B store on South 10th St., which opened in 1961.

The new location boasts a produce section 50 percent larger than the old location, more fresh food options, a larger pharmacy and a 12-pump fuel station.

Read more at The Monitor.

Hilton Garden Inn Dallas Market Center sold 


DALLAS - The 240-room, eight-story Hilton Garden Inn Dallas Market Center at 2325 N. Stemmons Fwy. has been sold.

The hotel is near the Market Center, Love Field and the medical district. The property received a lobby renovation in January 2014 and a full property renovation is slated for fall 2015.

The hotel was purchased by Pillar Hotels & Resorts and an affiliate of Dallas-based Highland Capital Management. Pillar Hotels & Resorts will manage the hotel.

The property was sold by an affiliate of Songy Highroads.

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

Bowman's bullseye buy with Rockwall Commons 


ROCKWALL - A Florida investor has purchased an office building at Rockwall Commons, a mixed-use project located at 1309 Ridge Rd.

Rockwall Commons was built in 2008 and is fully leased. It includes 31,200 sf of office space, 13,557 sf of retail and restaurant space and apartments.

Bowman Investment Group purchased the office portion of the project from Tabani Group.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Brazos Electric plugs into $28 million facility in Waco 


WACO - Brazos Electric Cooperative has completed its $27.85 million, 85,000-sf headquarters — including office and warehouse — in the Gateway Business Park.

The project was supported by incentives from the City of Waco and McLennan County. The project will retain more than 150 jobs in Waco.

The complex features a large office complex, along with a vehicle services building and warehouse.

Source: Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

Texas City prepares for 56,000-SF H-E-B 


TEXAS CITY - Demolition work is underway and construction will soon begin at the site of the new H-E-B grocery store located at the Palmer Shopping Center at the corner of Hwy. 146 and north of Palmer Hwy.

In place of what was an 87,237-sf Kmart building will be a new approximately 56,000-sf H-E-B, scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

Construction should begin as soon as the rumble is cleared away.

City commissioners approved a $1.4 million tax incentive package to bring a new H-E-B store to the city in November 2014. H-E-B operates a store at 918 20th St. N. that will close once the new location opens.

Read more at the Galveston Daily News.

HCC Stafford centers on $27M workforce training 


STAFFORD - It doesn't take a four-year degree to earn a salary above $50,000.

That's why Houston Community College (HCC) has broken ground on its $27 million, 57,000-sf workforce training facility at the HCC Southwest Stafford campus. 

It is designed to provide training for high-growth, advanced manufacturing trades, including welding, pipefitting and robotics.

"The manufacturing companies that we have in Stafford and the complimentary companies, those who supply and work with them, pay salaries of $50,000 to $80,000 a year," said Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella.

The new workforce training facility will include eight classrooms, seven labs and a large "maker space" where students and community members will be able to work with advanced equipment, including 3D printers and CNC routers (computer-controlled cutting machines).

Students will also be able to move through high-tech training quickly at the new workforce development center, with most working toward industry recognized certifications or two-year associate of applied science degrees.

HCC plans to work with local employers to help the community grow and provide the skilled workforce that businesses need.

Classes aren't just for recent high school graduates. "Workforce training is for people who want to explore a new career and/or retrain for jobs that have become obsolete," said Southwest College President Fena Garza.

"It's also for veterans coming out of the military who are looking for additional training," Garza said.

The groundbreaking in Stafford is the third of 14 under the $425 million HCC Groundbreaker Bond Program, a capital improvement program involving all six of the district's campuses.

For more information, see previous story Houston Community College's $24M and $18M projects.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Austin HQ to Dripping Springs; housing affordability cited 


DRIPPING SPRINGS - HHS LLC, a medical housekeeping company, will relocate its corporate headquarters from Austin to a new facility at 12495 Silver Creek Rd.

The company will move from its current location at 216 E. 4th St. in downtown Austin, bringing 86 jobs that pay an annual average salary of $60,000 along with it.

"We chose to move out of downtown Austin and settle in Dripping Springs … to help our team members access more affordable living opportunities close to their work place," said HHS Chief Executive Joe Terry.

The move was facilitated with an economic incentive agreement approved by the Hays County Commissioners in mid-December. The agreement will give a 75 percent property tax rebate over ten years to HHS in exchange for the company's $9 million capital investment.

HHS was founded in 1975. It now claims more than 350 hospitals as clients.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Austin's 64,000-SF Executive Plaza sells in off-market deal 


AUSTIN - The 64,158-sf Executive Plaza office building at 14205 Burnet Rd. has traded hands.

Travis County Appraisal District records show the multitenant office building is valued at about $5.9 million and includes almost 2.7 acres.

Located near MoPac Expy. and Wells Branch Pkwy., the six-story structure was built in 1985.

CAD-WAL Ltd. purchased Executive Plaza from Sage-Executive Ltd., who has owned the property since 2000.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

$25M Avondale affordable housing heads to Fort Worth 


FORT WORTH - A 160-unit affordable housing development called Avondale Apartments will begin construction in spring 2015.

The project will be located at Avondale Haslet Rd. and Route 287. It is valued at $25.2 million.

The development will have amenities such as a swimming pool, outdoor grill, play areas, landscaped walkways and seating areas.

Residents will also have the use of a clubhouse with kitchenette, lounge, activity rooms and a community services area offering free computer training, health nutrition programs and social activities.

One-, two- and three-bedrooms units will be available. Each unit comes with dishwashers and garbage disposals, plus connections for washers and dryers.

AMTEX is developing Avondale Apartments. The project received $15 million in 9 percent tax credits awarded by Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs.

The Fort Worth Housing Authority will provide rental assistance to 25 households, and additional funding is provided by Hudson Housing Capital LLC and Community Bank of Texas.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

Weitzman: 2015 DFW Retail Survey & Forecast 

(1/20/2015 9:20:00 AM)

DALLAS-FORT WORTH - Shopping center vacancies in North Texas have fallen below 10 percent for the first time in a decade.

The decline in vacant shop space is due to strong expansions by grocers and a lack of new construction, according to the Weitzman Group.

Shopping center and retail building additions in 2014 totaled 2 million sf, about half the long-term annual construction average for the area and up only slightly from 2013’s building total.

“Walmart accounted for almost half the new space built last year — 708,000 sf,” said Bob Young, Weitzman managing director. “Almost all those new properties are completely full.”

Weitzman Group is predicting that about 3 million sf of DFW retail space will open in 2015 — the boost thanks to the huge new Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony.

With an overall vacancy rate in North Texas of 9.5 percent, the amount of empty shopping center space has fallen significantly since the worst of the recession in 2010, when more than 14 percent of the retail building market was vacant.

Net retail leasing in DFW totaled about 2.3 million sf last year, mostly from retailers moving into new buildings as they opened. More than half of the additional retail leasing was in community shopping centers dominated by the grocery stores.

Big-box shopping centers that appeal to major national retail chains saw only about 605,000 sf of net leasing, and regional shopping malls suffered a net decline in stores.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

See the full report from The Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services for more.

tags: DFW retail, DFW retail data

Amarillo downtown: Xcel Energy to anchor new $42M building 

(1/20/2015 9:10:00 AM)

AMARILLO - Xcel Energy announced that it will be the major tenant in a new $42 million downtown office building.

The company will relocate its 300 downtown-based employees to the new building, located on South Buchanan St., in March 2017.

Outside firms will develop and finance the 114,000-sf building and lease it back to Xcel Energy. The new building will cover the entire block bounded by Buchanan and Pierce St. and Seventh and Eighth Ave.

The new four-story office space will sit on top of a three-story parking garage, which will also include retail space.

Minneapolis-based Opus Group is developing the project. The Amarillo firm of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini will complete the interior design work.

This is the first private large-scale office development in downtown Amarillo since the 1980s.


Corpus Christi apartment review 2014: Hendricks-Berkadia 

(1/20/2015 9:00:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - Developers completed 860 units last year, the highest year-end completions in more than a decade, according to Hendricks-Berkadia's 2014 review.

Building activity was focused in the corridor between Staples St. and Cimarron Blvd., just south of Saratoga Blvd.

Developers ramped up requests for permits in the previous 12 months as issuance soared to 2,000 units. Over the past ten years, requests averaged 630 units annually.

Vacancy improved in 2014, declining 10 basis points to 4.7 percent, following a rise in 2013. A moderation in rent appreciation in the previous 12 months helped reduced upward pressure on vacancy in the Corpus Christi metropolitan area.

Operators increased asking rents 3.2 percent last year to $917 per month.

Effective rents increased 1.8 percent to $901 per month as operators increased concessions to 1.8 percent of asking rents. In 2013, asking rents surged 8.2 percent.

Corpus Christi 2014 Apartment Review
Area Vacancy Average Rent Average Rent
2014 2013 2014 2013 2014 2013
Corpus Christi 4.7% 4.8% $917 $889 3.2% 8.2%

View the full report at Hendricks-Berkadia.

tag: Corpus Christi news

Texas first: High school golfers run the course in Palestine 

(1/20/2015 8:45:00 AM)

PALESTINE, ANDERSON COUNTY - Students will have a place to golf and sharpen their skills in business, hospitality, ag-science and other areas once plans to transform the former Meadowbrook Country Club into the state’s only school-sponsored golf course are complete.

Palestine ISD will expects to open Wild Cat Course, the state’s first school-sponsored golf course, in May or June.

The course is the former Meadowbrook Country Club, located north of downtown on N. Link St., which closed in 2009.

The school district is leasing the nine-hole golf course from Grace United Methodist Church for $1 a year.

The golf course had rapidly declined after Meadowbrook closed and needed work. Grass and underbrush grew, trees fell and wild hogs rooted up the greens and fairways.

High school career and technology students did much of the work to revitalize the golf course and will support the course when it opens this summer.

Ag-science students will contribute by maintaining the golf course turf and machinery. Business classes will be involved in running the club, and hospitality classes will staff it.

The golf course is being designed in a way that will prepare students to earn certification in golf course management from Texas State Technical College in Waco.

Such conversations among students have involved types of grasses, the lay of the land, helping with the irrigation system and piping and design and engineering.

Plans are to sell memberships, making the course self-sufficient and not a burden on taxpayers, according to Larissa Loveless, Palestine ISD’s director of public relations. She stressed that a large bulk of funding has come from donations.

Read more at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Breaking down Frisco's $5 billion mile 

(1/20/2015 8:00:00 AM)

FRISCO - Four projects under construction along the Dallas North Tollway have created what Frisco Mayor Maher Maso called the “$5 Billion Mile” from Warren Pkwy. to Lebanon Rd.

The Star, a 91-acre complex anchored by a training facility and headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys, instigated much of the development in the area, according to Maso. It has also helped the city attract investors from around the globe.

Here is a look at projects in Frisco’s “$5 Billion Mile:”

Frisco Station ($1.7 billion):

A 242-acre mixed-use project that is a collaboration between landowner The Rudman Partnership, VanTrust Real Estate, which will oversee office development, and Hillwood, which will serve as the master developer and develop all non-office space.

Plans call for 4 million sf of office space, 2,400 multifamily residences, restaurant and entertainment venues, medical and wellness facilities, and open spaces and parks.

Wade Park ($1.6 billion):

A 175-acre mixed-use project from Thomas Land Development that is slated to include 600,000 sf of retail space, up to 6 million sf of office space, more than 500 hotel rooms and 1,300 residential units.

Groundbreaking for the project took place in August, and Whole Foods, iPic Theatre, and Pinstripes have already signed on as tenants.

The Gate ($700 million):

Developed by Invest Group Overseas, the project could ultimately include 4 million sf of office space, 250 hotel rooms, 2,400 multifamily units, 73 single-family homes, nearly 200,000 sf of retail and restaurant space and 415,000 sf of medical office space.

The Star ($1 billion):

A 91-acre project anchored by the Dallas Cowboys world headquarters, 12,000-seat events center and training facility. The Star will include 1.7 million sf plus two hotels totaling 480 rooms and 4,500 potential jobs created.

Read more at Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Review.

Waco: ground clears for 260-unit Tuscany Ranch 


WACO - Down I-35 at New Rd., Tulsa-based Case & Associates is clearing ground for a $23 million apartment complex called Tuscany Ranch.

Its 22 buildings and 260 units will spread across 11 acres, and units will be priced at $899 to $1,399 a month.

Site plans feature 130 one-bedroom units and 130 two-bedroom units ranging in size from 789 to 1,176 sf.

Amenities include a clubhouse, a business center with Wi-Fi access, a fitness center, dog park, picnic areas with barbecue grills and an outdoor pool.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Austin: Iron Rock Ranch saddles up $35 million buy 


AUSTIN - Iron Rock Ranch, a 300-unit apartment community located at 1215 Slaughter Ln. W., has been acquired by Philadelphia-based Independence Realty Trust.

Acquired for $35.3 million, or approximately $118,000 per unit, Iron Rock Ranch is located immediately west of I-35 along the Slaughter Ln. thoroughfare in Austin's Outer South Multifamily submarket.

Completed in 2001, the 316,644-sf community on a 22.67-acre site offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans.

The community traded at roughly 96 percent occupancy and has an effective rent per occupied unit of $1,146 for the three months ending November 30, 2014.

Source: CoStar Group

tags: Austin apartment, Austin multifamily data

Aztec Theatre sells in San Antonio 


SAN ANTONIO - Aztec Project Development Ltd. recently sold the building at 201 E. Commerce St. in San Antonio's River Walk.

The 112,278-sf property is home to the 500-seat Aztec Theatre — a multipurpose entertainment and events facility originally constructed in 1926 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Restored in 1999, Aztec Theatre also houses several retail and office spaces. According to CoStar data, the property was 74 percent occupied at the time of sale.

CoStar Group

tag: San Antonio data

Austin area: Ryland opens five housing communities 


AUSTIN - Ryland Homes Austin has opened five communities across the region. Each community offers homeowners a quality new homes, prime locations and excellent community amenities.

Here are the new developments:

•  Saratoga Hills, Austin
•  Rancho Sienna, Georgetown
•  Santa Rita Ranch, Georgetown
•  ShadowGlen, Manor;
•  Rockwell at Wyoming Springs, Round Rock

Saratoga Hills, featuring large estate homes on acreage homesites, offers nine floor plans ranging from 2,947 sf to 4,598 sf. The community is less than 20 miles from downtown Austin.

Rancho Sienna boasts a prime location, allowing an easy commute across the greater Austin area. The floor plans range from 2,422 sf to 3,619 sf.

ShadowGlen is home to an 18-hole golf course, a retail center, a four-acre waterpark, a 4,300-sf amenity center, a fitness center and an on-site elementary school that will open this fall. It offers floor plans ranging from 2,422 sf to 3,317 sf.

Rockwell at Wyoming Springs offers a selection of four condominiums that range from 1,369 sf to 1,578 sf.

Santa Rita Ranch, set to open this month, exhibits 135 acres of natural landscape, which includes hiking, biking and nature trails and a four-mile San Gabriel River Trail.

Homebuyers can select from six floor plans, ranging from 1,788 to 3,081 sf. The community also features two welcome centers, swimming pools and splash parks.

Read more at BusinessWire and Ryland Homes.

tag: Austin housing

280-Unit Artessa at Quarry Village in San Antonio acquired 


SAN ANTONIO - Capital One Multifamily Finance has provided a $63.3 million fixed-rate Freddie Mac loan for the acquisition of Artessa at Quarry Village, a 280-unit luxury apartment community,

Intercontinental Real Estate purchased the property and granted Capital One the rights to represent Freddie Mac.

Completed in 2009, Artessa is located in Alamo Heights, located six miles from downtown San Antonio. Artessa offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, and was 95 percent occupied as of October 2014.

The property features ground floor retail space, which includes 27 retail suites.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

San Antonio: Gold's Gym weighs in at Alamo Quarry Market 


SAN ANTONIO - Gold’s Gym recently opened its new location at the Alamo Quarry Market.

The 26,000-sf gym, located at 255 E. Basse Rd., includes cardio and strength-training equipment, free group exercise classes, a cycle studio, personal training programs, locker rooms with dry saunas and more.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

Texas income mapped down to the neighborhood level 


TEXAS - The Austin Business Journal has released a Texas-wide map that examines median household.

The data come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The incomes are broken up by Census block groups, which are smaller than a Census tract.

Tracts typically contain two to four block groups. Each block group has between 250 and 550 households, providing information on a neighborhood-level scale.

The map, embedded below the article, colors each of Texas 15,811 Census block groups from light green to dark green based on median household income. Clicking within a block group will pop open a window showing its median household income statistics.

The average median annual household income for all census block groups across Texas is roughly $55,200.

Check out the map at the Austin Business Journal.

Tyler: The Crossing adds residential, commercial development 


TYLER - The Crossing, which sits at the very southern tip of Tyler’s city limits, is a 172-acre, mixed-use neighborhood center concept community under development.

Developer Mike Werner has developed 76 of the 172 acres and plans to develop at least 125 to 150 additional residential lots over the next three to five years. More than 30 acres are available for commercial development.

The residential and commercial development has three lakes totaling nearly nine acres. Werner also has added creeks, bridges, water features and stonework throughout the property.

When fully developed, The Crossing could have at least 250 residential lots and more than 40 acres of commercial land. Just west of Old Jacksonville Hwy., the north end of the community is bordered by Three Lakes Pkwy. and the south end borders County Rd. 164, or Mahar Rd.

The Crossing has seven subdivisions developed with 103 lots. It offers single-family homes ranging from town and garden homes to large wooded estate lots.

Werner has earmarked more than eight acres for a retirement or assisted-living facility that would neighbor Lake Pointe.

Next door is a 6.4-acre commercial lot where a doctor is planning to put a clinic, and another 5.6 acres are set aside for professional offices, east of the retirement facility.

Read more at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Galveston: 100-room Best Western Plus underway 


GALVESTON - Crews have begun foundation work on what will be a five-story 100-room Best Western Plus at 8502 Seawall Blvd. on a parcel previously occupied by Reef Resort Apartments.

The Reef Resort Apartments, dating back to the 1970s, had been badly damaged by Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008.

The Gandhi family, who is behind the hotel, initially considered renovating the 36-unit complex, but decided that would not be cost effective. The building was demolished nearly five years ago.

The Gandhi family already owns La Quinta Inn & Suites, 8710 Seawall; Holiday Inn Express, 8628 Seawall; and Econo Lodge 3924 Ave.

Read more at the Galveston Daily News.

Map: Where people are renting in San Antonio 

(1/16/2015 11:58:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - City leaders are pushing forward with urban development and the "Decade of Downtown."

Part of that push is additional housing in the downtown area and getting people to move back to the city center.

To help all of that, San Antonio is one of the most affordable housing markets in the country, according to a real estate analytics group, and the rental market is holding a similar trend coming out of 2014.

The median rent in San Antonio is currently at $830 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the December figures from Apartment List's Rental Price Monitor; that is nearly half of San Diego, California, where median rent is $1,700.

More good news for the local leasing market is that rent growth is continuing stay low at 1.3 percent, well under the national average of 2.8 percent.

Click through a slideshow to see how rent looks across San Antonio, including data on the percent of renter and median gross rent in each ZIP code.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent American Community Survey, we mapped the percent of renters in each Bexar County ZIP code and color coded them accordingly.

Red: areas with over 75% renters
Orange: areas with 50%-75%
Yellow: areas with 25%-50% renters
Green: areas with under 25% renters

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

HAR: Houston area cities' home sales Dec. 2014 

(1/16/2015 10:45:00 AM)

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

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $210,000 — up 5.8 percent from November 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales increased 21.7 percent from November 2014 for a December 2014 total of 6,168 units sold.
•  Condos decreased in price to $167,250 — down 3.0 percent from November 2014.
•  Existing condo sales increased 15.9 percent in December 2014 over November 2014 for a total of 612 units sold.

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

HAR Dec. 2014 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  Dec. 2014
Price Chg.
vs. Dec. 2013
Units Sold
  Dec. 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. Dec. 2013
$210,000 10.5% 6,168 7.3%
HAR (condo) $167,250 -5.2% 612 2.0%
Region Cities*        
Houston $195,000 4.8% 1,911 4.4%
Katy $239,750 8.8% 470 2.6%
Spring $205,000 10.8% 453 6.8%
Cypress $242,500 21.3% 255 4.1%
Richmond $248,500 14.0% 221 -1.8%
Humble $174,000 8.3% 204 5.7%
Pearland $223,655 15.0% 170 30.8%
Sugar Land $331,675 3.6% 168 -9.7%

*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.

ALN Corpus Christi apartment report Dec. 2014 

(1/16/2015 10:20:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - ALN Apartment Data has released December 2014 apartment occupancy and effective rent data for apartments.

Corpus Christi Market Review
Corpus Christi Market Stabilized Market*
Occupancy rate 92.5 -0.6%
Units added 47  
Units absorbed (annual) 33  
Average size (SF) 850 0.2%
Asking rent $880 5.6%
Asking Rent per SF $1.04 5.4%
Effective rent $873 5.2%
Effective rent per SF $1.03 5.0%
Offering concessions 16% 68.3%
Avg. concession package 3.9% 26.3%

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

Floor Plan Breakdown - Corpus Christi
Market Avg.
Eff. 2.9% 468 $671 $662
1 BR 39.5% 667 $753 $747
1 DEN 0.7% 767 $842 $836
2 BR 44.5% 943 $944 $938
2 DEN 0.5% 1,152 $955 $955
3 BR 9.9% 1,197 $1,084 $1,079
>3 BR 2.1% 1,374 $2,181 $2,181

Read more at ALN Market News.

AllenPlace office park's $26 million first phase going up 

(1/16/2015 10:00:00 AM)

ALLEN - Construction has begun on the first phase of AllenPlace, a master-planned 22.5-acre, 700,000-sf office park along the east side of North Central Expy. between Millennium Dr. and Butler Dr.

KONE, a leader in the elevator and escalator industry, announced last fall it would be the lead tenant with over 200 company employees for the $26 million first phase of AllenPlace.

The groundbreaking launches 250,000 sf of new construction, including a 102,000-sf office building in which 77,000 sf is available for lease by tenants other than KONE.

In addition to office space, KONE’s commitment includes light manufacturing and test facilities in the first phase of development, according to Site Selection Group Senior Vice President Jeff W. Patman, who represented KONE in their site selection.

“We are very pleased to see construction of Class A office space underway to help KONE expand and grow in Allen, and to fill a critical need for more high-end office space in our community,” said Dan Bowman, AEDC executive director/CEO. 

Sentinel Capital is developing AllenPlace in partnership with the Allen Economic Development Corporation.

Read more at BusinessWire.

How apartments fared in small Texas Metros: ALN Dec. 2014 

(1/16/2015 9:45:00 AM)

TEXAS, U.S. - Overall market occupancy of smaller cities and states nationally is available for Dec. 2014 from ALN Apartment Data.

Links in the chart lead to the full page showing U.S. Metro Aug. data, including previous months.

Texas Market Occupancy Dec. vs.
Oct. 2014*
Market Dec. 2014
Oct. 2014
Beaumont 91.9% 92.2%
College Station 96.2% 95.6%
El Paso 88.0% 88.3%
Harlingen 93.1% 92.6%
Killeen-Temple** 90.0% 89.6%
Laredo 92.7% 93.5%
Longview-Tyler 91.6% 91.5%
Lufkin*** 93.0% 93.7%
Midland-Odessa 93.0% 89.9%
San Angelo 94.9% 96.8%
Texarkana 94.9% 86.7%
Victoria 89.9% 90.7%
Wichita Falls 85.1% 87.3%

*excludes student, senior, income-restricted properties
**Central Texas
***See Longview Market Data Sources for Lufkin.

Source: ALN Apartment Data

Need more multifamily data? See Market Data Sources and pick your Metro.

Transwestern Houston Office Market Watch Dec. 2014 

(1/16/2015 9:42:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Transwestern has released the Market Watch for Houston Office December 2014. Here's the latest:

Office Market Indicators Dec. 2014*
Submarket Total
SF Available
SF Under
Asking Rental
Rate (FSG**)
Class A
Asking Rental
Rate (FSG)
Class B
Katy Fwy./Energy Corridor 196 1,902,633 7.0% 5,670,188 $35.40 $22.78
The Woodlands 79 501,252 5.7% 4,565,837 $37.14 $26.80
Westchase 85 1,272,259 8.6% 1,817,000 $37.31 $20.87
Downtown 117 3,861,025 8.0% 1,631,162 $42.10 $27.84
Northwest 96 1,374,354 12.2% 1,193,336 $26.47 $19.25
Total** 1,271 21,002,128 9.9% 17,116,898 $34.52 $20.80

*Top five submarkets ranked by SF under construction.
**FSG; Full Service Gross
***Total includes all 15 submarkets.

Click here for the full Market Watch report from Transwestern.

tag: Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Data Sources for more office reports.

RR 620 boom: Lakeway 

(1/16/2015 9:30:00 AM)

LAKEWAY, TRAVIS COUNTY - With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.

Below is a snippet of completed and upcoming projects in Lakeway.

Construction on the city’s largest project, the 175,000-sf Oaks at Lakeway, began in late 2014, said Jon Andrus of Stratus Properties, the project’s developer.

The 90-acre development is expected to be a “true neighborhood retail center” driven by anchor H-E-B that is anticipated to open Oct. 30.

The 65-acre Lakeway Medical Village is also under construction, with its Goddard School — a preschool and after-school care program — expected to be up and running in April, school owner Raul Alvarez said.

The Harbor at Lakeway, a 150-room, assisted-living and memory-care community in Lakeway Medical Village, is expected to open in 2015. 

Lakeway witnessed the opening of its first acute medical rehabilitation facility — Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital — on November 24.

This is one part of a four-part story on the boom occurring along the RR 620 corridor. See similar stories about Bee Cave, Four Points and Hudson Bend at Newstalk Texas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Sold: 282-unit Broadstone Colonnade in San Antonio 

(1/16/2015 9:15:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - An anonymous buyer has purchased the 282-unit, Class A multifamily project in northwest San Antonio known as Broadstone Colonnade.

Broadstone Colonnade, at 4330 Spectrum One, is made up of 282 one-, two- and three-bedroom units featuring eight floor plans.

Floor plans range from 568 to 1,311 sf and from $822 to $1,517.

In the last two years, significant capital improvements have been completed to the exterior, including new roofs, exterior paint, gutters and window screens.

Read more at Realty News Report.

RR 620 boom: Bee Cave 


BEE CAVE, TRAVIS COUNTY - With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.

Below is a snippet of completed and upcoming projects in Bee Cave.

During the past year the City of Bee Cave paved the way for additional development on RR 620.

In March, developer Adrian Overstreet led a groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s first major hotel — Sonesta Bee Cave in the Hill Country Galleria. The 195-room hotel is slated to open in June.

Sister projects Terrace at Bee Cave and The Backyard at Bee Cave were approved to add entertainment venues, movie and television production studios, office buildings, dining, parking garages, residences and hotels to the planned development districts located just off RR 620.

Hill Country Indoor, an 85,000-sf sports facility, will be going forward with construction in 2015.

City Council approved site plans Oct. 28 for the 16.8-acre Park at Bee Cave commercial project. It will offer office, retail, and commercial space beginning in early 2015, developer Bill Walters said.

Phase One of Gateway to Falconhead — an open-air commercial project including office, dining and retail space — was greenlighted in December by Bee Cave City Council.

The site development permit approved for Phase One includes 46,000 sf of retail with the remaining 80,000 sf of office space reserved for Phase 2. Groundbreaking on the development is expected in January.

Three apartment developments added residential space to the city in 2014, beginning with the July opening of the Estates at Bee Cave, a 316-unit apartment complex.

Construction on the 315-unit Cielo Apartment Living was finished in August, and the adjacent 228-unit Madrone Apartment Homes opened its first units in October, with completion slated for March.

This is one part of a four-part story on the boom occurring along the RR 620 corridor. See similar stories about Lakeway, Four Points and Hudson Bend at Newstalk Texas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

RR 620 boom: Four Points 


AUSTIN - With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.

Below is a snippet of completed and upcoming projects in the Four Points area.

Last fall, Taylor Morrison broke ground on its final Steiner Ranch neighborhood — the 84-home The Grove at Steiner Ranch, Vice President Adib Khoury said.

Shopping center High Pointe Village is being offered for lease and purchase, said owner Nancy Bui of the planned 70,000- to 80,000-sf commercial development.

Four Points received two major medical facilities along RR 620 in 2014 — the Austin Diagnostic Clinic and the Austin Regional Clinic.

Embrey constructed 344 apartment homes at Escape at Four Points in 2014. Standard Pacific is completing The Preserve at Four Points’ 146 single-family homes.

Phase two of Trails at 620 is slated to include new dining, entertainment and a 35,000-sf child care facility — Children’s Learning Adventure — in 2015, adding to a Holiday Inn Express hotel now under construction in Phase 1.

Three new residential projects on RR 620 are zoned to Leander ISD and Vandegrift High School:

•  Taylor Morrison’s Montebello, a 50-acre gated community slated to begin construction early this year, will offer single-family homes.
•  A 25-acre tract along RR 620 at Buckner Rd. is being developed into residential neighborhood and retail center, Stokes Ranch. The project will include 30 single-family homes and an 8,000- to 10,000-sf neighborhood retail center.
•  Land on RR 620 has been cleared for a 120-unit affordable housing complex, Windy Ridge Apartments, set to open this fall.

This is one part of a four-part story on the boom occurring along the RR 620 corridor. See similar stories about Bee Cave, Lakeway and Hudson Bend at Newstalk Texas.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Richardson sale: Yahoo!-anchored Cardinal Technology Park 


RICHARDSON - Adler Kawa Real Estate Advisors has purchased Cardinal Technology Center, a 545,000-sf office and industrial park in the 1700 block of N. Plano Parkway.

The nine-building campus is 88 percent occupied by tenants that include Yahoo!, CVS/Caremark and Inogen.

The Miami-based investor purchased the 30-acre property at below replacement value, according to President and CEO Matthew Adler.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal. (AKA Cardinal Park)

Irving's Stonehill Terrace rolling after sale 


IRVING - The 301-unit Stonehill Terrace at 3101 W. Northgate Dr. has been sold.

Urban Stonehill Apartments LP purchased the property, financed by an $11 million loan.

The community offers one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 777 sf to 1,148 sf. Some units are upgraded with vaulted ceilings and a fireplace.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Cypress: Towne Lake's mixed-use Boardwalk underway 


CYPRESS - Construction has begun on a mixed-use development, The Boardwalk, located in the master-planned community of Towne Lake off of Hwy. 290 and Barker Cypress Rd.

The development is centered around what will be the largest private lake in the region. When completed, The Boardwalk will feature waterfront dining, 61,000 sf of retail and 57,500 sf of office space accessible by both land and water.

In addition to office, shops and restaurants, The Boardwalk consists of five freestanding buildings, a central green area for concerts and events, a breezeway plaza and a boulder play area for kids.

The Boardwalk is set to open fourth quarter 2015. 

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Houston: final spec building to Sam Houston Business Park 


HOUSTON - Levey Group has started construction on the second phase of its Sam Houston Business Park development in northwest Houston. The 263,000-sf park is located along Beltway 8 between US 290 and SH 249.

Phase two, which will complete the project, is a 56,600-sf building on 3.9 acres set for completion in May. It can be used by a single tenant or divided into space as small as 27,720 sf.

Sam Houston Business Park is configured to provide tenants with the opportunity to combine office or showroom space with manufacturing, laboratory, warehouse and distribution areas.

Started in 2012, the business park was developed entirely on a speculative basis.

The first phase, consisting of three buildings, is 95 percent leased. Among the largest tenants is Flotek Industries, which signed a 50,000-sf, 15-year lease. Flotek will build-out a laboratory research facility in the park.

Other tenants inside the park include Ringers Gloves, Tyndale USA, NDLI Logistics, Westermann and Doorscapes.

The park is located at 8844, 8846, 8848 and 8850 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. West.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Brownsville: USS Constellation's final port 

(1/15/2015 2:00:00 PM)

BROWNSVILLE - The USS Constellation, a Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier, is expected to complete its 16,000-mile trip on January 16 from Bremerton, Wash., to Brownsville, provided the weather cooperates.

International Shipbreaking Ltd. is being paying $3 million by the Navy to tow the Vietnam-era ship away and dismantle it.

“Right now we’re looking at Friday morning first light,” said Chris Green of International Shipbreaking Ltd. “Friday’s going to be clear. It’s going to be great weather and it’ll be a beautiful day to bring that ship and tie it up to the facility.”

Winds are forecast to start tapering off late Thursday.

Green said the Constellation’s progress once it enters the pass will be very slow, giving spectators plenty of time to view the ship before it actually enters the Brownsville Ship Channel.

Once in the channel, the “Connie” — launched in 1960 and decommissioned in 2003 — will be clearly visible from SH 48 as it makes its way toward the ship-breaking facility,

Green said it has been flooded by veterans asking to attend. Green suggests visitors watch the ship pull in from tour boats.

The company will be making commemorative coins from Constellation metal and 3-by-4-inch plates of steel. These and other items from the ship will be available for purchase at a company eBay store.

The "Connie," which left Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in August, was too big to fit through the Panama Canal and had to be towed around South America.

Foss Maritime Company has kept a blog of the final journey of the Constellation and engaged online with veterans who served on the “Connie,” as she is affectionately called.

The USS Constellation served gallantly throughout four generations from Viet Nam to the Iraq War.

Sources: The Brownsville Herald, U.S.S. Constellation CVA/CV-64,, USS Constellation Tow Blog

Take a chair please! Nebraska Furniture Mart filling up 

(1/15/2015 7:00:00 AM)

THE COLONY - Workers will begin stocking the centerpiece of Nebraska Furniture Mart's $1.5 billion, 433-acre Grandscape development — the 560,000-sf retail showroom — with appliances, furniture and electronics.

This work marks the end of construction on the 1.9 million-sf furniture showroom and distribution center — the size of 13 football fields — which will anchor the much larger development at the southeast corner of the Sam Rayburn Tollway and Plano Pkwy. in The Colony.

The showroom is expected to open to customers by this spring, with Nebraska Furniture Mart organizing their development tenant mix for the rest of the massive project.

Thus far, the following tenants have been confirmed: Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Cheddar's Casual Cafe, Hard Eight BBQ, Mi Cocina and Rock & Brews.

Nebraska Furniture Mart expects its Texas showroom to be one of the largest grossing retail stores on the planet.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal. Preview the Mart at NBCDFW.

Colliers 4Q 2014: Houston office 2.2M SF net absorption 

(1/15/2015 6:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston’s office market recorded 2.2 million sf of positive net absorption fourth quarter 2014, bringing the year-end total to 6.8 million sf, according to a report released by Colliers International.

With over 2.1 million sf of new inventory delivered during 4Q, the year-end delivered inventory was over 6.6 million sf in 2014.

ExxonMobil is one of the key motivators. The company began moving into a portion of its new north campus headquarters, and Southwestern Energy moved into its new corporate headquarters just south of the ExxonMobil campus.

Houston's office construction pipeline still contains over 17 million sf, and 7.5 million sf of that is speculative development which is 28.8 percent preleased. The majority of the space is located in the suburban submarkets and is scheduled to deliver in 2015.

The citywide average rental rate decreased 1.6 percent from $27.08 to $26.78 per sf between quarters, but it is still 3.2 percent higher than it was a year ago.

Both CBD and suburban Class A average rental rates decreased over the quarter, however, both Class B average rental rates rose.

Houston Office Market Indicators
  3Q 2014 4Q 2014
Citywide net
absorption (SF)
674,000 2.2 million
Citywide avg.
11.9% 11.5%
Citywide avg.
rental rate
$27.08 $26.79
Citywide delivered
inventory (SF)
1.5 million 2.1 million
Class A Rental Rate    
CBD $42.36 $42.01
Suburban $32.13 $31.61
Class A Vacancy    
CBD 9.9% 8.6%
Suburban 9.6% 9.9%

Read more at GlobeSt.

To see Colliers' Houston Office Market Report 4Q 2014 with submarkets, click here.

tag: Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Data Sources

H-E-B debuts first two-story market in Texas 

(1/15/2015 6:30:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - After tearing down its oldest operating store and building a new store in its place, H-E-B's Nogalitos location will reopen this week as the company's first two-story grocery store in Texas.

The size of the old store was 26,000 sf and the new store's footprint is 62,000 sf.

The new H-E-B store at 1601 Nogalitos St. will carry five times more craft beer than previously offered, 300 different wine labels, expanded produce and deli sections and a “travelator.”

As H-E-B’s first multilevel market in Texas, the Nogalitos store connects parking on the ground floor with shopping on the second via a slightly inclined escalator that uses a magnetic strip to lock specialized shopping carts in place.

The two-story market replaces H-E-B’s oldest operating store, which the locally based grocery chain closed and demolished last year. Construction crews retained part of the iconic facade and used it to surround a small courtyard in front of the new store.

H-E-B already operates several multilevel locations in northern Mexico and chose the format for the Nogalitos store because of the dense residential area surrounding it.

Approximately 80 additional employees were hired to staff the store.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

North Texas home sales Dec. 2014 


DALLAS-FORT WORTH - North Texas Real Estate Information Systems has released home sales facts for December 2014. Below is a snippet of cities that you might want to see. There's more at the link below!

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $185,000, up 2.8 percent from November 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales increased 11.6 percent from November 2014, with 5,856 units sold.
•  Condos increased in price to $179,900, up 24.1 percent from November 2014.
•  Existing condo sales increased 18.4 percent from November 2014, for a total of 418 sold units.

Dallas-Fort Worth Region Sales and Price Activity by Units Sold
MLS Wide Median Price
  Dec. 2014
Price Chg.
Dec. 2013
Units Sold
Dec. 2014 
Sale Chg.
NTREIS* (single-family) $185,000 8.9% 5,856 2.8%
NTREIS(condo) $179,900 7.7% 418 2.2%
Region Cities**        
Fort Worth $165,000 10.7% 706 7.5%
Dallas $279,900 15.3% 653 8.1%
Arlington $149,900 9.8% 259 -9.1%
Plano $269,000 7.0% 209 -9.9%
Frisco $319,000 18.1% 167 7.7%
Garland $130,000 4.0% 144 2.9%
Carrollton $225,450 28.8% 104 1.0%

*North Texas Real Estate Information Systems
**Data include single-family only and represent select region cities that sold more than 100 units during December 2014.

See the full report from NTREIS.

tag: Dallas-Fort Worth data, housing, apartment

Houston-area housing market to cool off, not collapse 


HOUSTON - Houston's red-hot real estate market will most likely cool off a bit in 2015 but not crash with the price of oil as inventory remains extremely low, mortgage rates are favorable and major home builders report no letup in demand for new homes, according to real estate experts.

Dr. Mark Dotzour, chief economist and director of research for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, told a sold-out crowd that Houston-area builders will tap the brakes on new home construction in 2015 after several years of increases.

Dotzour expects builders to start construction on between 20,000 and 30,000 homes in 2015.

Home builders started 30,100 homes last year, according to an estimate from housing research firm Metrostudy. That was up 7 percent from 2013.

Dotzour, who dedicated much of his talk to global politics and the reason oil prices will rebound, stayed away from dire predictions about the local housing market. Despite a possible construction slowdown, home prices will continue to rise as inventory remains at extremely low levels, Dotzour said.

One threat to the market is a psychological one, as some would-be homebuyers may decide not to purchase a house this year after seeing headlines and hearing news about plunging oil prices and corporate cutbacks.

A drilling boom, which has increased the supply of oil and helped fuel economic growth in Texas, is beginning to slow, Dotzour said. That, combined with an eventual tapering off of production on wells already drilled, should help lift oil prices, he added.

Some of the positive aspects that could show up this year include an increase in sales of entry-level homes, as new lending programs make homebuying more accessible to a wider range of buyers, Dozer noted.

And a long-lasting labor shortage may also loosen up as construction workers leave oil-related jobs and move into the residential sector. Mortgage rates, too, are expected to remain low.

Even if home sales were to fall this year, overall prices should rise, based on the diminished housing supply, Dotzour said. "There's no chance you're going to see a generalized price decline with houses in Houston even if home sales fall off 50 percent," he said.

Still, Dotzour cautioned the crowd to be cautious this year. "There's a lot of risk, but it's not the end of the world," he said. "Try to avoid getting too heavy in debt."

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

tags: Houston housing, Houston data

Portacool heats up Wilmer with 200,000-SF lease 


WILMER, DALLAS COUNTY - Cooling system company Portacool has rented a 209,664-sf warehouse space at 201 S. I-45 for its new North American distribution center. The facility is in DalPort Trade Center.

The company plans to ship about 20,000 units of portable evaporative cooling equipment this year, with about 1,000 units arriving at the facility each week. The operations will begin this month, with the facility becoming fully operational in February.

When the 20-dock distribution hub is fully operational the company plans to employ ten full-time workers, with up to 14 employees needed during the busy season.

Portacool is based in Center, Texas.

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

tag: DFW industrial, DFW industrial data

Fortune 500 company to build $40M facility in Selma 


SELMA, BEXAR COUNTY - A national auto parts company is planning to build a $40 million distribution center, bringing 250 jobs, according to city officials.

City Administrator Ken Roberts told the Selma City Council that the company’s plans call for a 388,000-sf distribution center on a 25-acre site in the Titan Industrial Park at Lookout Rd., near the Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Officials are expected to break ground on the project in February.

Citing a nondisclosure agreement, Roberts declined to identify the company and would only say that it is a Fortune 500 company. The city administrator said he would reveal the company’s name at the Selma City Council meeting in February.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

Houston: DCT Phase I preleases 172,000 SF 


HOUSTON - DCT Industrial Trust executed three preleases totaling 172,000 sf in its Northwest Houston development, DCT Northwest Crossroads Logistics Centre located at 11747 Windfern Rd.

The execution of these leases brings the first phase of the development, a 362,000-sf multitenant building, to 100 percent preleased.

The company preleased 52 percent of Northwest Crossroads Logistics Centre I in June 2014 through the execution of a 190,000-sf lease with Lennox.

The development is expected to be completed first quarter 2015 with tenants also taking occupancy in 1Q 2015.

DCT Northwest Crossroads Logistics Centre is a 682,000-sf, two-building development. The company commenced construction on Phase II, a 320,000-sf building in 3Q 2014, which is slated for completion in 2Q 2015.

Read more at BusinessWire.

San Antonio's 2015 job growth projected to exceed state’s 


SAN ANTONIO - Despite the economy being thrust into uncertainty due to the ongoing plunge in oil prices, the San Antonio area’s job growth prospects for this year still look relatively good.

Keith Phillips, Fed senior economist and research officer, projected 3 percent job growth, or 28,000 net new jobs, for this year.

That is less than the 38,000 net new jobs, or 4.2 percent, San Antonio is projected to record for 2014 when the December report comes out later this month.

The reason San Antonio will not be hit as hard by a projected slowdown in energy drilling is that the city never received a significant boost in employment between 2010 and 2014 because of the Eagle Ford Shale activities, Phillips said.

San Antonio’s mining sector growth never exceeded state job growth in general for the 2010 to 2014 period, he explained.

Even now, it only accounts for about 4 percent of the area workforce. Logistics, such as truck and pipeline shipments, also is not a large employment sector in the San Antonio area.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

tag: San Antonio employment data

Bryan: Dec. 2014 building permits 


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

Bryan Building Permits
Permit Type Permits Total Value
New residential – single-family 18 10 233 180 $3,799,272 $2,738,575 $50,756,333 $36,118,073
New residential – 2-unit bldgs. 0 1 5 11 $0.00 $137,148 $1,651,712 $1,785,860
New residential – 3-4 unit bldgs. 0 0 2 6 $0.00 $0.00 $459,220 $890,916
New residential – 5+ unit bldgs. 0 0 0 186 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $25,868,910
New commercial 7 1 79 43 $1,100,002 $120,000 $41,593,790 $54,939,442
Totals* 90 74 1,403 1,588 $10,790,080 $5,385,091 $134,927,847 $145,486,226

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

Source: City of Bryan

Central Texas ranks No. 2 in U.S. for STEM jobs 


CENTRAL TEXAS - Central Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation for workers in jobs involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to the latest analysis by WalletHub.

The Austin area ranked No. 5 for the largest percentage of STEM workers and No. 7 for STEM-related employment growth. It also ranked No. 7 for the annual median wage of STEM workers factoring in the adjusted for cost of living, according to the report.

Central Texas ranked No. 13 in the number of job openings per capita for STEM graduates and No. 21 for the annual growth of median wages for such workers.

In the overall STEM job ranking, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 23 and the San Antonio area ranked No. 48.

In Central Texas, 47 percent of the area's job openings were found to require STEM skills — the ninth-highest percentage in the study that compared 100 U.S. metro areas. Overall, local job openings took an average of 35 days to fill — the 41st-longest time in the study.

WalletHub analyzed the 100 most-populated metropolitan areas across 11 metrics to produce the report.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Click here for the full report.

Longview LaQuinta sells for $2.4M 


LONGVIEW - The LaQuinta Inn and Suites at 3416 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard has been purchased for $2.4 million.

The Neda Group, a Dallas-Fort Worth company, purchased the property from Moga Hotels, which is based in Merced, California, said Jimmy Wellman, general manager of the hotel.

Wellman said the hotel would continue operating under the LaQuinta flag, with a half-million dollar investment planned in the hotel in the next six months. The project will see every room remodeled along with the lobby and breakfast room.

The hotel is a top 50 LaQuinta corporate property.

Read more at the Longview News-Journal.

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