NewsTalk Texas

Austin's hot apartment market lures investors 

(3/5/2015 9:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - As Austin’s apartment sector continues to reach new heights in rent, occupancy and overall growth, property investors are taking an ever-stronger interest in the market.

Last year, 88 metro area apartment complexes with a total 22,074 units changed hands, at an average price of $109,529 per unit, according to Austin Investor Interests, which tracks the Central Texas apartment market.

That’s a 26 percent increase over 2013, when 70 properties traded. Last year’s average price per unit was also 24 percent higher than the $88,429 per unit price in 2013.

While 2013 was dominated by sales of older properties, 2014 saw sales of more Class A properties entering the mix. The average sales price for the Class A buildings, which included 11 buildings constructed within the past 24 months, averaged $156,960 per unit.

That’s almost 50 percent higher than the sale price for the Class A properties that sold in 2013, which averaged $105,000 per unit, but which included only four sales of complexes built within the prior 24 months.

The highest sale recorded in 2014 was for the Whitley apartment tower downtown. That property sold for about $104.3 million, or $393,479 per unit. Tree, a new apartment complex on South First St., traded for $72 million, or almost $215,000 per door.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

tags: ARA Austin Multifamily Stats 4Q 2014 (PDF), Transwestern Austin Apartment MarketWatch Feb. 2015 (PDF); Austin Market Research

Dallas: shelling out $46M for Park Place on Turtle Creek 

(3/5/2015 6:45:00 AM)

DALLAS - Park Place on Turtle Creek, an approximately 177,000 sf, 14-story Class A office building has been acquired for $46.6 million.

Piedmont acquired Park Place on Turtle Creek, a Class A property located at 2911 Turtle Creek Blvd. in the Uptown/Turtle Creek submarket. The property is currently 88 percent occupied.

Read more at SEC.

Cedar Park Town Center brings $39 million 

(3/5/2015 6:43:00 AM)

CEDAR PARK - The 182,000-sf Cedar Park Town Center has been sold for $39.1 million, or approximately $432 per sf.

Located at 4601 US 183A, the shopping center is shadow-anchored by Costco and contains several well-established tenants such as Chipotle, In-N-Out Burger, At Home and BJ's Brewhouse.

The property is situated at the intersection of two major freeways, with visibility and access to more than 73,000 vehicles per day.

The complex is 94.5 percent leased. Retail Properties of America Inc. acquired the property from Houston-based The Ainbinder Co.

Read more at CoStar Group and SEC.

Irving: Curt Manufacturing towing products to 143,000 SF 

(3/5/2015 6:35:00 AM)

IRVING - Curt Manufacturing has signed a 142,500-sf lease within the International Commerce Park.

The Wisconsin-based manufacturer and marketer of towing products will anchor 2611 Regent Blvd., a single-story, 256,500-sf industrial facility that currently houses operations for Mountain Plumbing Products, Pilot Freight Services and Ricochet.

The facility is part of the two-building DFW Corporate Center acquired by Prologis in 2013.

It is located in the foreign trade zone adjacent to the DFW Airport in Dallas' East DFW Airport/Las Colinas Industrial submarket.

Read more at CoStar Group.

SW Austin: another gem with Pearl Lantana apartments 

(3/5/2015 6:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on the 444-unit Pearl Lantana, an apartment project along Southwest Pkwy. at 4602 Rialto Blvd. in southwest Austin.

Pearl Lantana will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts ranging from 660 sf to 1,676 sf. Completion of Pearl Lantana is expected in fourth quarter 2016.

Morgan is developing Pearl Lantana.

Pearl Lantana residents will have access to resort-style pools, outdoor areas, a kitchen, poolside cabanas and grilling stations.

Read more at BusinessWire.

Edinburg dribbles to $68M sports facility 

(3/5/2015 6:28:00 AM)

EDINBURG - The Bert Ogden Arena is underway along Expressway 281 at Alberta Rd. With 8,500 seats, the facility will be the largest in the Rio Grande Valley.

The arena will become the new home of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

The $68 million sports and entertainment venue is set to open by October 2016 — almost a year earlier than previous announcements.

Edinburg’s city council in January agreed to use two tax increment reinvestment zones to pay $30 million in bonds to fund the public’s share of the arena’s cost.

Alonzo Cantu, majority owner of the Vipers and the arena’s main developer, will cover the remaining $33 million of the project, Mayor Richard Garcia said Thursday.

Cantu donated the land for the arena to a local government corporation.

The city is partially funding the project with a $30 million bond that will be repaid using two tax increment reinvestment zones that include the new arena, an HEB store and a Walmart.

The arena is expected to create about 150 new jobs, Garcia said.

It will also be available for public use such as school graduations, forums and concerts. Land surrounding the arena will include pad sites for hotels and restaurants.

Read more at The Monitor.

San Antonio MOB plus senior-living planned for Huebner Rd. 


SAN ANTONIO - A medical office building is planned for a site on Huebner Rd. near the South Texas Medical Center. Initial plans call for a roughly $11 million, two-story building encompassing 36,000 sf.

Developers of the Christopher Medical Office Building at Grace Point already anticipate that demand for space in the area will necessitate adding a third floor, which would expand the facility's footprint to 54,000 sf.

It will take about eight months to build the medical office building. The campus will also include a senior-living development — the Celeste at Grace Point.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Colo. investor goes 'Platinum' with Austin apartment buy 


AUSTIN - Platinum Southside, a 195-unit apartment complex in South Austin, has been sold to private equity firm FrontRange Capital Partners LLC.

Built in 2009, Platinum Southside is located off E. Stassney Lane, just east of I-35.

Platinum Southside offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 934 sf. Rent varies from $917 to $1,822, and the property was 95 percent occupied at the time of sale.

The property was bought from New York-based Clarion Partners. FrontRange Capital is based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Consumer spending again drives higher Waco economy rating 


WACO - Increases in spending in January led to a slight increase in the Greater Waco Economic Index (GWEI) as overall economic development activity in the area remained stable.

Inflation-adjusted spending for the Greater Waco region totaled $183.5 million in January, a 3.4 percent increase over January 2014 totals, according to a report by Amarillo-based economist Karr Ingham.

The GWEI rose to 117.4 in January, up from 117.2 in December 2014 and a 4.1 percent jump from 112.7 in January 2014.

“What I’m looking for month in and month out is ongoing improvement in two categories for the most part — that general spending number and payroll employment,” Ingham said. “If we’ve got growth in both of those things, then almost by definition you have an improving economy.”

The report lists January unemployment rate at 4.1, down from 5.3 in January 2014. But that figure is expected to change when official payroll and unemployment statistics are released by the Texas Workforce Commission in March.

Automobile sales increased slightly by 1.5 percent over January 2014, totaling $40.8 million this year.

The total value of building permits dropped 42 percent year-over-year to $15.6 million in January, down from $27.1 million in January 2014.

Projects like the construction of a Home2 Suites by Hilton at I-35 and Valley Mills Dr., a new Heitmiller Steakhouse in Legends Crossing, and an expansion at the Allergan vision pharmaceuticals plant are underway.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Griffin grips Houston's Westgate 2 and 3 for $135M 


HOUSTON - The Westgate 2 and 3 buildings is being sold for $135 million to Griffin Capital. The Westgate 2 and 3 cumulatively are 412,000 sf.

Westgate is a three-building development built on 21 acres on the north side of I-10, east of Barker Cypress Rd. at 17320 Katy Fwy. and 17325 Park Row Rd.

Griffin Capital, a private REIT based in El Segundo, Calif., is purchasing the properties, which currently are the headquarters for Houston-based engineering firm Wood Group Mustang.

Building one of the Westgate development, located north of I-10 and East of Barker Cypress Rd. is not included in the deal.

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

Katy: 41,000-SF Neighborhood Market opens in Cinco Ranch 


KATY - A 41,000-sf Walmart Neighborhood Market has opened at 24919 Westheimer Pkwy. in Cinco Ranch.

Walmart, which employs 35,000 people in the Houston area, will bring 95 jobs with the new location.

With a footprint that is about one-fifth the size of a supercenter, the store is set up for quick trips for produce, meals, frozen foods and groceries to medicine, toys and fuel.

The store is the fourth to open so far in 2015 for the retailer, which now has 12 small-format stores in the Houston market.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Pioneer Frozen Foods dough rises to $10M Dallas facility 

(3/4/2015 9:00:00 AM)

DALLAS - Pioneer Frozen Foods Inc. plans to build a new $10 million food production facility at 4616 Langdon Rd. in southern Dallas.

The 50-acre, 132,000-sf building is the former home of the Dallas Morning News. It will help Duncanville-based Pioneer expand its operations for its Pioneer Brand line of frozen food products.

The city's economic development committee agreed to an economic incentive agreement to help Pioneer redevelop the property, which includes a 75 percent business personal property tax abatement for eight years on the added value of equipment and other business personal property in the facility.

Pioneer plans to invest a minimum of $100,000 in real property improvements and other related costs tied to design, engineering and architects. The company plans to invest a minimum of $10 million in business personal property.

The project will need to be substantially completed and employ a minimum of 25 full-time equivalent employees on site by Dec. 31, 2016.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Stream's cool acquisition cues hot industrial market in S.A. 

(3/4/2015 8:00:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Stream Realty Partners has bought 400,000 sf of industrial space, nearly 170,000 sf of which is refrigerated and freezer space.

The commercial real estate firm bought property at 5711 FM 78 — a Class A food-grade distribution facility that was a former warehouse for Houston-based Sysco before it moved to New Braunfels.

The deal also includes warehouse and truck maintenance facilities at 5235 and 5246 Tacco Dr., respectively.

The firm will be putting in $2 million in renovations for all three sites, including paint, concrete repair and landscaping upgrades.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Up, up, up! Edinburg construction hits $120M 


EDINBURG - According to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, total construction in Edinburg in 2014 was $120.5 million.

This number does not include the ongoing and approved building of new facilities at UT-Pan American, which is valued at nearly $140 million.

Total construction in 2013 was $123 million, putting both years at the highest in the city’s history.

The figures are based on the value of work listed in the required building permits issued by the city’s Code Enforcement Department.

Mayor Richard García, who also serves as President of the Edinburg EDC, said additional construction projects are set to begin in 2015.

One project is the $55 million, 115,799-sf, 8,500-seat special events arena at the corner of I-69 Central and Alberta Rd. This will serve as the home for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

“An economic study conducted by The University of Texas-Pan American predicts a $45 million economic increase annually within the arena area, and $1.3 billion in economic benefits over the next 30 years in that region of our community,” said Garcia.

Read more at the Valley Business Report.

El Paso's View at Montecillo for tenants 55-plus opens 


EL PASO - The View at Montecillo, a four-story, 149-unit luxury apartment complex for adults 55-years and older, is the latest addition to the Montecillo Smart Growth community in West El Paso.

The complex, located at 140 W. Castellano Dr., has several one- and two-bedroom floor plans with either a patio or balcony.

Floor plans for one-bedroom units range from 596 sf to 809 sf. Prices range from $769 to $1,016.

Two-bedroom, two-bath floor plans range from 978 sf to 1,200 sf. Prices for those units range from $1,125 to $1,400.

Find more information at the El Paso Times and The View at Montecillo.

Houston: Cousins signs two lease extensions for 213,000 SF 


HOUSTON - Cousins Properties Inc. has signed two large lease extensions in Houston totaling approximately 216,000 sf. The tenants are Direct Energy and Cox Radio.

Direct Energy, the sixth-largest customer in Cousins' Houston portfolio, currently occupies a total of 228,159 sf at Greenway Plaza. With 173,760 sf set to expire May 2017 and 54,399 sf set to expire January 2019, the extension reduces the company’s total lease to 191,893 sf and extends its maturity to May 2023.

Cox Radio Inc., a customer at Post Oak Central since 2000, currently occupies 23,864 sf of space. The extension maintains the same square footage and extends the maturity from September 2015 to March 2021.

Read more at GlobeSt.

It's a first! TAMU-Corpus Christi drone-based plant study 


CORPUS CHRISTI - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M AgriLife Research have received the state’s first permit to use drones to conduct agricultural research at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center.

Research will begin soon in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles — UAVs, sometimes called drones — that are expected to help growers improve crop quality and yields while reducing production costs, savings that could be passed on to consumers.

The first test flight of the UAV, a fixed-wing lightweight platform called a Sensefly eBee, will take flight within days, according to Dr. Michael Starek, assistant professor of geospatial surveying engineering at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Such systems can be equipped with specialized cameras to precisely map where crops are stressed, assess moisture conditions, image 3-D plant structure, detect pest infiltration, and potentially determine early on where crops are diseased.

Compared to traditional aircraft or satellites, UAVs provide the capability to scout crops at a fraction of the cost and at spatial and temporal scales previously unattainable.

Current FAA regulations prohibit flying unmanned aircraft systems for commercial purposes. While a few companies have received waivers or permits, the permit that A&M-Corpus Christi and AgriLife Research received is specific to their role as state agencies and does not pertain to commercial uses.

Read more at Nursery Management Pro Magazine.

San Antonio: Line forming for RadioShack vacancies 


SAN ANTONIO - For all of those retailers looking at RadioShack's departure as an opportunity to expand in the San Antonio area: Get in line.

The closures of 16 RadioShack locations is expected to bring about 40,000 sf of retail space to the market, and there will be plenty of competition for it.

Retailers such as Dallas-based MOOYAH, Hand & Stone, PRO Martial Arts and Pita Pit — which all have existing locations in Dallas, Houston, and Austin — have expressed interest in building a presence in the San Antonio area through the vacancies.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Texas homebuyer income rises, first-time buyers stifled 


TEXAS - Incomes for those buying homes are increasing at a quick clip in Texas, but some local real estate markets in the Lone Star State are seeing first-time homebuyers stifled by rising home prices, according to a new annual report from the Texas Association of Realtors.

Median household income for Texas homebuyers increased by 5.9 percent to $97,500 between June 2013 and June 2014 — more than four times the national rate, which rose 1.4 percent to $84,500 during that time.

Those homebuyers in Texas are still more likely to buy a new home, as well.

About 28 percent of Texas homes purchased between June 2013 and June 2014 were new homes. While that's a 1 percent drop for Texas, the 28 percent new-home share of the sale mix is almost double the new-home share seen nationally.

Rising prices in places such as Austin are making it harder for people to buy their first home.

First-time homebuyers in Texas dropped by 4 percent to 29 percent of all Texas homebuyers.

Meanwhile, the national first-time homebuyer share of the market rose by 5 percent to 33 percent of homebuyers nationwide.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and the Texas Association of Realtors.

Investor picks Cotton Crossing in New Braunfels 


NEW BRAUNFELS - A California-based private investor has purchased the 118-unit Cotton Crossing apartment complex, signaling a trend that will continue to pick up speed as existing apartment complexes are renovated in exchange for higher rents.

The investor owns other properties along the I-35 corridor, but the Cotton Crossing property is the first that has been this far south.

The transaction follows a series of deals in which existing apartment complexes in desirable areas have been scooped up by investors or developers to renovate and turn over for higher rents.

Railfield Realty Partners' purchased Signature Ridge, a 612-unit complex in the medical center area, for $44.6 million last month. The firm will be putting in about $4 million for property renovations and, as a result, rents will increase by about 10 percent to 15 percent.

Along the same lines, Presidium Group purchased a 426-unit apartment complex in the medical center neighborhood that it will be spending $4 million to renovate. Following the interior and exterior upgrades, rents are also expected to climb.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Report: Texas tops U.S. in 2014 corporate expansions 


TEXAS - Texas again nabbed the top spot in Site Selection magazine's annual list of the best places for corporate expansions.

Texas and Kentucky have been crowned the winners of the magazine's 2014 Governor's Cup for having the most new and expanded corporate facilities over the past year. This is the second year in a row that Texas has won the Governor's Cup.

Texas saw 689 corporate facility projects finish in 2014, slightly more than the 657 facilities finished in 2013. Ohio came in a distant second place with 582 corporate facilities finished in 2014.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal and Site Selection.

Dallas No. 1 for small business employment growth Feb. 2015 


DALLAS - Dallas logged its fifth straight month in February as the highest-performing metropolitan area for small business employment growth, according to the Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index.

The index for Dallas in February 2015 was 103.5. Houston rebounded from January to rank No. 2 among metro areas, despite low oil prices. Paychex/IHS analyzed data for the largest 20 metro areas.

Texas ranked No. 2 among the 20 most populated states, with an index reading of 103.2. Indiana was No. 1.

Nationwide, small business employment gained steam in February, rebounding from lower levels in the fall and early winter and growing near late summer’s pace.

The Paychex/IHS index grew in February for the second straight month, up 0.19 percent. For the last 12 months, however, the national index declined 0.31 percent.

“Small business job gains have accelerated in the New Year as the U.S. economy continues to improve,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS.

Payroll processor Paychex Inc. analyzes employment trends based on real small business payroll data from about 350,000 of its small business clients.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

39,000-SF MOB headed to Sugar Land's Telfair 


SUGAR LAND - Construction will begin in March on a 38,600-sf building in the Telfair community.

Construction on the building at 7619 Branford Place near US 59 is expected to be completed in fourth quarter 2015.

Developer Horizon Development has hired Transwestern to find tenants for the two-story medical office building. Potential tenants include surgery centers, imaging centers, medical clinics and physicians.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Shenandoah: art, ballet bar to $15M Avanti Senior Living 


SHENANDOAH - Avanti Senior Living plans to open Avanti at Vision Park in late 2015. The $15 million community will provide 50 assisted-living suites and 40 memory care suites.

The 77,000-sf community will have amenities such as a wellness center with ballet bar and fitness equipment, keyless room entry, a full-service salon and spa, and an art studio with display areas for residents’ artwork.

The medical suite will be equipped with telehealth technology, along with a private exam room where medical personnel can meet with the residents.

“Moving away from the design of traditional senior care communities, we aim to provide a stylish and signature look with plush carpets, wood flooring, walk-in-closets, oversized showers, stone countertops, upgraded finishing and other signature features just like someone would find in a luxury home,” Lori Alford, COO of Avanti Senior Living, said in an announcement.

“Upon entering the community, residents and visitors will have direct access to one of many resident destinations like our Savor Lounge, a hip coffee and wine bar/lounge.”

Based in The Woodlands, Avanti Senior Living was founded by industry veterans Tim Hekker and Lori Alford. Its first community is preparing to open in the Towne Lake master-planned community northwest of Houston.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

MPF Research: Austin multifamily 4Q 2014 

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

AUSTIN - Broad-based economic gains combined with the metro’s already favorable demographics have fueled demand for housing,

The gains have generated strong revenue growth for the apartment sector and led to elevated levels of apartment development, according to MPF Research.

Occupancy has hovered around the 95 percent mark for over three years.

With tight occupancy, apartment operators have pushed rents, but rent growth levels dipped a bit in 2014 in response to a growing amount of completions and notable construction pipeline.

Effective rents increased 3.6 percent in 2014 — a solid rate, but meaningfully lower than the 4.8 percent hike in 2013. Driving the recent slowdown was softness in the top-end of the market.

Properties Sampled 745 Units Sampled 167,388 Submarkets 15

Quarterly apartment demand in Austin showed seasonal weakness during fourth quarter 2014, as 802 units were absorbed. Meanwhile, new supply easily outpaced net demand, which led to a 1.1-point decline in the overall occupancy rate. In response, operators cut effective rents 0.4 percent quarter-over-quarter, the first quarterly decline since 4Q 2012.

4Q 2014 Austin Apartment Trends
Effective Rent Occupancy Annual Job Change Annual Permits Annual Demand Annual Completions
$1,087 94.6% 28,600 jobs 9,484 units 8,868 units 12,115 units

Read more at MPF Research.

tags: 2015 IRR Multifamily Annual Viewpoints,  Transwestern Multifamily MarketWatch Feb. 2015, ARA Multifamily Stats 2014, Multifamily under Austin Market Research.

Corpus Christi 4Q 2014 industrial: Burbach 

(3/3/2015 8:55:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - The industrial market totaled over 20.3 million sf in fourth quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. Of this number, 94.6 percent is considered warehouse space and 5.4 percent is considered flex space.

For 4Q 2014, the vacancy rate was 3.7 percent — down from 4.0 percent in 2Q 2014. The average quoted rental rate was $6.27 per sf, down from $6.36 in 2Q 2014.

Corpus Christi Industrial
Market Summary 4Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Warehouse space 19,212 3.4% $5.98
Flex space 1,099 9.7% $9.16
CBD 1,372 15.2% $4.07
West Side 8,212 4.5% $6.10
Northwest 3,914 1.9% $7.95
South Side 1,722 3.0% $7.60
Southwest 1,864 0.7% $8.48
Total 20,301 3.7% $6.27

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here for the full report.

Watch out! The Center's first tab is now Research! Under that tab you will find Market Research where you can find Corpus Christi or just click here for Corpus Christi Market Research.

Midland edging towards a balanced housing market 

(3/3/2015 8:17:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Median home prices made their sharpest drop in almost two years in January, and housing inventory is at a four-year high, according to new numbers from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M.

Midland ended January with median prices down 6.1 percent year-over-year and at least five months of housing inventory.

"Right now, we're getting to be to where it's no longer a seller's market," said Warren Ivey, a Midland Realtor with the Texas Association of Realtors.

The change can be attributed to eight straight months of falling oil prices, which have yet to "hit bottom,” as U.S. production continues to rise and stockpiles grow.

"The market is at least hesitant, nervous, and…the market will hunker down a little bit and wait and see," said Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M. "A decline from 125 to 91 is a big percentage, but roughly you're talking about 100 sales a month."

Gaines is referring to the number of homes sold in January 2014 compared to the number sold in January 2015.

Gaines emphasized that uncertainty is the main factor in the current economy.

Ivey believes that the market is moving quickly and that if the price drop is reflected in February figures he will be more concerned about the market.

Midland Housing Market Inventory
Year Avg.
Avg. Months
(11 months)
692 5.5
2011 621 4.6
2012 477 3.1
2013 435 2.8
2014 550 3.4
Jan. 2015 840 5.0

* 6.5 months of inventory is considered a balanced market

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

ARA: San Antonio multifamily 4Q 2014 

(3/3/2015 8:15:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - ARA Real Estate Investment Services released its fourth quarter 2014 multifamily data. The ARA report includes "Historic Fundaments" from 2002–2014 — total units, new supply, absorption, occupancy, average rental rate and more.

A sample of other information is below.

Occupancy and Rental Rates
Class Occ. Average
Class A 94.0% $1,115 $1.22
Class B 93.5% $1,014 $1.09
Class C 92.2% $689 $0.89


Cap Rates
Class Q4 2014
Urban Class "A"  5.00%–5.50%
Suburban Class "A"  5.25%–5.75%
Class "B" 5.75%–6.75%

Source: ARA Real Estate Investment Services

See ARA's 4Q 2014 full report here.

Home prices dip, but not slip for Corpus Christi? 

(3/3/2015 7:53:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - Homes in Corpus Christi sold in January for prices nearly 10 percent less than they did a month earlier.

One of the region’s top economists says the dip is an early sign the housing boom is cooling off, a forecast real estate experts reject.

The price of the average home sold in Corpus Christi was $187,900 in January, a 9.5 percent drop from December’s record-high $207,700, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Jim Lee, the chief economist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, conceded the one-month dip does not establish a trend. However, market conditions are reminiscent of 2007, when the nationwide housing bubble burst, he said.

“The widely anticipated downtrend is right at the corner,” Lee said. “We are seeing a shift from the seller’s market to the buyer’s market.”

The Real Estate Center reported 241 homes were sold in January, down from 375 in December and 255 in January 2014.

Local real estate experts acknowledged the drop in sales, but said December and January typically are slow months. They cautioned homeowners or potential buyers against overthinking and panicking.

Average home prices in January were higher than those of past Januaries. Home averages were $178,100, $163,800 and $141,700 in January 2014, 2013 and 2012 respectively.

Read more at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Lufkin: 110,000-SF South Loop Crossing sells for $18M 

(3/3/2015 7:52:00 AM)

LUFKIN - The 110,455-sf South Loop Crossing retail center recently sold for $18.3 million, or $166 per sf, according to Cushman & Wakefield's fourth quarter 2014 review.

South Loop Crossing is located at the southeast corner of US Hwy. 559 and Loop 287. The center is anchored by retailers such as Ross Dress for Less and Best Buy.

Other tenants include Applebee's, Chic-Fil-A, Schlotzsky's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Shoe Carnival, and Old Navy.

The retail, restaurant and service tenants serve the City of Lufkin and its nearby neighbors.

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Marketbeat Retail Snapshot 4Q 2014.

San Angelo homes under $200,000 hot part of market 


SAN ANGELO - Just as the hype of the oil boom wasn’t as lucrative as some thought it would be, the drop probably won’t be as steep either, said Scott Allison, a San Angelo Realtor and broker.

“We’re a balanced and stable economy,” said Allison. Because rents were so high in 2014, sales of houses less than $200,000 were going strong.

Max Puello, president of the San Angelo Association of Realtors, noted that such high rental prices drove many to buy instead of rent.

“It might be cheaper to buy,” Puello said. “So we had a lot of first time homebuyers (looking for houses) in the under-$200,000 range.” At the same time, he said, many investors saw the demand for housing and decided to buy properties to rent out.

If a home for $200,000 or less goes on the market, particularly if it’s in good condition and move-in ready, Puello said, “it’s gone relatively quickly.”

This is in part because the average San Angeloan has an income that can afford a $150,000 home but most would not choose to spend the money for a $400,000 home, Allison said.

Puello noted that it also has been a good time for homeowners looking to trade up for a larger or more valuable home because interest rates still are so low.

San Angelo Single-Family Home Sales 2014
All Categories Jan.-Dec.
Units sold 1,687 1,515 -10.2%
Total sales $265,262,443 $261,169,624 -1.5%
Average price $156,775 $171,667 9.5%
Median price $139,300 $152,475 9.5%

Check these housing numbers here for 2009–2014 sales.

Read more at the San Angelo Standard-Times.

Shipping containers to apartments in Huntsville 


HUNSTVILLE, WALKER COUNTY - A 24-unit apartment complex, Cube Square, is under construction about 75 miles north of Houston. The 540-sf efficiency units will be part of a complex that will be four stories high in three buildings.

The apartments are just a few blocks away from Sam Houston State University, and they are being built with shipping containers, the steel boxes filled with consumer goods that sail daily into U.S. ports but rarely make a return trip with made-in-the-USA merchandise inside.

"The original thought was — having looked at tiny house projects — wouldn't it be cool if you could build apartments?" said Jack Wagamon, general contractor and part owner of Cube Square, expected to be ready for rental in August.

The complex will use 36 shipping containers in total.

Read more at USA Today.

Irving's 282-unit Burn Brae sold to Conn. investor 


IRVING - The 282-unit Burn Brae apartment community at 4200 W. Northgate Dr. has been sold.

Built in 1983, Burn Brae features one- and two-bedroom floor plans and includes amenities such as fireplaces and balconies. Community amenities include a swimming pool, spa, fitness center and extra storage space.

The property is in close proximity to SH 161 and SH 183.

Connecticut-based Northgate Investors LLC purchased the asset from Chancellor LLC of Las Vegas.


Dinner and a movie in Tyler? Studio Movie Grill opening 


TYLER - Studio Move Grill (SMG) is set to open five new locations, including a theater at the Village at Cumberland Park, located at 8954 S. Broadway Ave. The Tyler location will open in April.

The 44,500-sf location will contain 12 screens and over 1,500 seats.

"Studio Movie Grill is excited to continue its expansion and to be on the forefront of enormous growth in our segment of the movie exhibition industry," said Brian Schultz, SMG's founder and CEO.

"We take great pride in continually modernizing our concept with a focus on a relaxing, no-rush guest experience. By creating an appealing, comfortable environment enhanced by the best technology, 100 percent reserved seating, dedicated service and a continually evolving, eclectic menu, SMG makes movie going easy and enjoyable."

Studio Movie Grill was founded in 2000 and offers in-theater dining while customers watch movies.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal and Studio Movie Grill.

German cloud showers 200 jobs to downtown Dallas 


DALLAS - Comparex USA Inc. plans to open a new North American headquarters at Plaza of the Americas in downtown.

The German-based global cloud solutions and software company will sit on the 19th floor of the tower at 600 N. Pearl St., and will help support its aggressive, high-growth business model.

The company plans to bring more than 200 jobs to downtown Dallas. Comparex was looking at a number of other sites for this new headquarters, including Iselin, New Jersey; Cupertino, California and Seattle, Washington.

Construction is already underway on tenant improvements to the space, which total more than $500,000. By the end of 2016, the company plans to employ 200 workers with an average compensation of $85,000 per year.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Austin: 258,000-SF Southpark Meadows III sold 


AUSTIN - Southpark Meadows III, a 257,988-sf Class A commercial area that is part of the 425-acre Southpark Meadows mixed-use development, has been sold.

Southpark Meadows III sits on 25 acres at 9900 S. I-35.

The property includes a Conn’s, Cinemark Theatre, Spec’s, Sheplers Western Wear and Half Price Books. The center has room for another junior anchor taking up about 40,000 sf as well as a few smaller tenants.

Southpark Meadows III was purchased by Rainier Companies and Harbert Mangement Corporation.

Real estate firm CBRE’s National Retail Investment Group marketed the property.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Dallas' 600-unit Mandalay Palms sway to sale 


DALLAS - The 600-unit Mandalay Palms at 7501 Chesterfield Drive has been sold.

The 489,912-sf Mandalay Palms was built in 1985 on more than 25 acres with access to I-20 and US 67. It offers one-and two-bedroom units ranging from 504 sf to 1,056 sf. Rent varies from $395 to $855.

Apartments feature vaulted ceilings, walk-in closets, patios or balconies and fully equipped kitchens with pantries. Most units also have washer and dryer connections.

Cap rate was 7.50 percent.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

McAllen redo, rename: Embassy Suites to DoubleTree 


McALLEN - About $10 million worth of renovations are underway as the Embassy Suites is overhauled and reinvented to a DoubleTree. Opening is slated by mid-May.

The 262 two-room suite hotel, 1800 S 2nd St., was built in the mid-1980s.

Ed McClure, CEO of San Antonio-based Phoenix Hospitality Group, said because of the location and history of the old Embassy Suites it made sense to preserve it — as the cost to build a new hotel of the same size would be up to $40 million

There will be more than 13,000 sf of event space, a Starbucks coffee shop and a renovated indoor pool.

McClure said one distinction is the full-service aspect with catering and room service made to order. The local management will stay the same.

Read more at The Monitor.

Welcome to Houston: America's Economic Miracle 

(3/2/2015 11:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The numbers don’t lie: Since 2000, Texas has created 2.1 million jobs, more than double any other state — that’s 30 percent of all the jobs created in the U.S.

Apple is hiring nearly 4,000 more workers for its Austin facility, brokerage Charles Schwab is leaving California for Austin and El Paso, and Toyota is moving to the Dallas metroplex.

The Houston of 2015 will drive Texas’ economic engine through many more industries than oil and gas. Houston today embraces more than 150 companies involved in aircraft or space vehicle manufacturing, space research and technology and their total output ranks as one of modern Houston’s largest internationally traded commodities.

Breakthrough research and development is taking place in every key biotech cluster: agricultural, biomedical, oncology, environmental, genomics, medical, devices and nanotechnology.

Houston needed only 22 months to recover all the jobs lost once the Great Recession ended, the fastest recovery in the nation among the top 25 major markets. Houston’s job growth has outpaced that of the nation’s major metros for most of the past four and a half years.

The City of Houston permitting activity in September 2014 totaled $1.2 billion, the highest monthly total on record and a 161.9 percent increase from the $469.7 million in permits issued in September 2013.

Houston-area realtors sold 90,124 homes in the 12 months ending September 2014, a 4.4 percent increase over the 86,324 homes sold in the comparable period in 2013, according to data released by the Houston Association of Realtors.

That’s one home sold every 7.2 minutes since January of 2010.

Between 2000 and 2013, metro Houston’s population expanded 35 percent and Dallas-Fort Worth’s by nearly 30 percent. In contrast, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago grew only in the range of 4 and 7 percent.

ACCRA Cost of Living Index from 2012 shows that Houston’s overall after-taxes living costs are 7.8 percent below the nationwide average, largely due to housing costs that are 14.6 percent below the average, not to mention low development regulations.

Personal household income has risen 20 percent since 2005 in Houston compared to 14 percent for New York, 11 percent for Los Angeles and less than 9 percent for Chicago.

"Now that the city knows it can’t rely just on oil, it has put into place strategies for success in a new kind of economy. What Houston has is that can-do spirit. People who live in Houston, believe in Houston," said Rice University Professor Dr. Klineberg.

Read more at Forbes.

Report: Austin leads U.S. in downtown job growth 

(3/2/2015 10:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Although most newcomers choose to live a suburban life, job growth in Central Austin is now outpacing job growth in the suburbs, according to a new report from City Observatory, an Oregon-based think tank.

In fact, Austin now leads all other U.S. cities in terms of the percentage of its overall workforce working downtown and in downtown job growth.

According to the report titled "Surging City Center Job Growth," the downtown-oriented job growth in Austin mirrors trends seen in metro areas across the nation, reversing suburban-oriented job growth trends that stretch back more than 50 years.

As recently as the five years from 2002 to 2007, job growth was still suburban-oriented around U.S. cities. Then, job growth in suburban areas was growing at about 1.2 percent annually, compared to 0.1 percent in urban cores.

Between 2007 and 2011, a switch happened, with job growth in urban cores rising to 0.5 percent annually, while suburban jobs shrank by 0.1 percent.

In Austin, the urban core job growth flip has been more dramatic.

Between 2002 and 2007, city-center job growth in Austin was about 0.6 percent annually and suburban job growth was about 3.1 percent annually.

Between 2007 and 2011, though, city center job growth in Austin surged to 3.4 percent annually while suburban job growth slowed to 2.3 percent annually. That's the fastest-growing urban core job growth in the nation in that time.

Austin, with 28.8 percent of its jobs located in the urban core, now has the highest level of core employment in the nation, ahead of even New York City, which only has about 23 percent of its employment in its urban core.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Waco: L-3 lays off 115 airplane modification workers 

(3/2/2015 9:00:00 AM)

WACO - L-3 Communications, Waco’s largest industrial employer, has announced that it is laying off 115 workers in its Platform Integration division. The layoffs are the result of a slowdown in military contracts.

The payroll cut of more than 6 percent, effective immediately, leaves the airplane modification plant with 1,600 workers.

The laid-off workers will get severance pay and help finding new jobs. The cuts include a broad spectrum of jobs, including manufacturing technicians, aircraft mechanics, electricians and administrative support personnel.

The company laid off 200 people in 2014, citing the lingering effects of congressional budget sequestration in 2013 among the factors.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Corpus Christi 4Q 2014 retail: Burbach 

(3/2/2015 8:55:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - In fourth quarter 2014, the retail market contained 22.9 million sf with a vacancy rate of 5.7 percent, down from 5.8 percent in 2Q 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group.

The average rental rate was $12.13 per sf, up from $12.24 in 2Q 2014.

Corpus Christi Retail Market Summary 4Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
General retail 13,236 5.9% $11.03
Mall 2,531 2.9% N/Av
Power center 346 0.0% N/Av
Shopping center 6,583 6.8% $13.89
CBD 1,689 5.5% $9.91
Mid-City 5,994 4.6% $12.71
South Side 6,372 3.7% $18.19
West Side 1,714 11.2% $8.40
Northwest 1,739 11.1% $5.92
Flour Bluff / Padre Island 1,637 4.9% $13.11
Portland / Ingleside 1,914 7.7% $13.29
Total 22,924 5.7% $12.13

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

One click, picks this! Corpus Christi industrial, office and retail

tag: Corpus Christi Market Research includes many categories.

Mondara flats to new heights in Highland Park (DFW) 

(3/2/2015 8:45:00 AM)

HIGHLAND PARK - Construction has begun on a luxury residential development on Abbott Ave. near the Katy Trail and the Knox-Henderson shopping district.

The Mondara will feature 35 three-story apartment flats ranging from 1,500 sf to 4,500 sf. Prices will start at $800,000.

Each home includes one- to three-bedroom homes with expansive master suites, a study, walk-in closets and large open rooms for entertaining indoors and outdoors on private terraces.

The Mondara is located within the Highland Park Independent School District and protected by the community's police and emergency response departments.

Construction is slated to be complete by spring 2016.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr industrial 4Q 2014: Burbach 

(3/2/2015 8:00:00 AM)

McALLEN, EDINBURG, PHARR - The local industrial market contained nearly 16.7 million sf as of fourth quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. The overall vacancy rate was 15.0 percent in 4Q 2014.

The average total market rental rate was $4.58 per sf, with Greater McAllen featuring $4.38 per sf.

McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr Industrial Market Summary 4Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Warehouse space 16,323 14.9% $4.41
Flex space 362 16.1% $9.47
CBD McAllen 27 0.0% N/A
Greater McAllen 11,643 16.6% $4.38
Edinburg 1,892 16.4% $4.02
Pharr 3,122 8.0% $6.76
Total 16,685 15.0% $4.58

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here to see the report.

For more stats, see Office, Retail and Industrial under McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Market Research.

Brownsville-Harlingen 4Q 2014 office report: Burbach 

(3/2/2015 7:55:00 AM)

BROWNSVILLE-HARLINGEN - The local office market contained nearly 3.2 million sf as of fourth quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. The overall vacancy rate was 9.7 percent in 4Q 2014.

The average total market rental rate was $14.07 per sf, with Greater Harlingen featuring $12.17 per sf.

Brownsville-Harlingen Office Market Summary
4Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Class A 125 39.6% $18.63
Class B 2,245 8.1% $14.54
Class C 872 9.4% $9.86
CBD Brownsville 364 1.4% $8.67
CBD Harlingen 270 3.9% $11.70
Greater Brownsville 1,448 11.5% $16.67
Greater Harlingen 1,160 11.3% $12.17
Total 3,242 9.7% $14.07

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here for the full report.

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

McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr office 4Q 2014: Burbach 


McALLEN, EDINBURG, PHARR - The local office market contained nearly 6.9 million sf as of fourth quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. The overall vacancy rate was 9.2 percent in 4Q 2014.

The average total market rental rate was $14.59 per sf, with Greater McAllen featuring $14.31 per sf.

McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr Office Market Summary 4Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Class A 211 7.4% $22.78
Class B 5,467 8.8% $14.45
Class C 1,249 11.6% $12.24
CBD McAllen 538 15.0% $10.58
Greater McAllen 4,371 7.2% $14.31
Edinburg 1,495 13.7% $15.37
Pharr 523 8.1% $12.36
Total 6,927 9.2% $14.59

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here to see the report.

For more stats, see Office, Retail and Industrial under McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Market Research.

Houston: 500 homes to Hines' European-style village  


HOUSTON - Somerset Green, a walled development that will have some 500 homes when completed, is being built on 46 acres inside the northwestern corner of the 610 Loop.

The community will house luxury homes rising three and four stories that will line new streets and small parks. Homes will range from 2,600 to about 4,000 sf and will be priced from $500,000 to $800,000.

The most expensive homes will sit alongside a canal running through a portion of the former industrial property that's being redeveloped into a European-style residential community.

A main building for the residents will have a kitchen for catered events, and there will be a swimming pool next to a reflection pond. The streets will be lined with mature trees, and driveways will be accessible through alleys.

Community fees are estimated to be around $200 per month and cover such amenities as a 24-hour guard stationed at the front gate.

Houston-based Hines is developing the project located just north of I-10 off Old Katy Rd.

Coventry Homes, Pelican Builders and Toll Brothers will build the homes. They are expected to move sales trailers onto the property within the next couple of weeks.

In addition to Somerset Green, an upscale apartment complex is being constructed on Old Katy Rd.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston Galleria's $250M renovation details, new stores 


HOUSTON - Simon, a leading global retail real estate company, announced a $30 million renovation of Houston Galleria's luxury wing to complement the previously announced construction of a new flagship Saks store, the addition of 110,000 sf of new retail space and the creation of a 14,000-sf free standing building.

In total, Simon is investing $250 million to further elevate the shopping experience and ensure that The Galleria remains the destination of choice for shoppers and retailers alike.

The Galleria recently broke ground on a free standing space spanning 14,000 sf along Westheimer Rd. The building will welcome the first of two tenants this November, The Webster, who will open their first store outside of Florida.

Other new luxury tenants to join a list of more than 80 retailers that can only be found at The Galleria include La Perla and Tod's, both opening 2015, and Celine, opening 2016.

Redevelopment at The Galleria is well underway with the construction of the new Saks Fifth Avenue. In spring 2016, Saks Fifth Avenue will relocate to a new, 200,000-sf flagship store adjacent to their current location.

Once the new Saks store is open, Simon will convert the existing Saks store into a multilevel mall extension anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue on one end and Neiman Marcus at the other and featuring approximately 110,000 sf of space to house 35 new and unique retailers and restaurants.

Read more at PRNewswire.

60,000-SF Tribute Senior Living headed to Prosper 


PROSPER - Construction is scheduled to begin this spring on the 60,000-sf community at Preston Rd. and Broadway St., and will become a home for 100 seniors.

Dallas-based Tribute Senior Living will develop the project. Partner Charles Hodges said he wanted to build a community for seniors with Alzheimer's disease after witnessing his father living in and out of nursing homes for years.

"Nobody is designing for dementia," said Hodges, founder and president of Dallas-based Hodges & Associates Architecture. "They will take a wing of a nursing facility and keep the doors locked. That is their memory center."

The Tribute's other partners also share similar stories of treating a parent with Alzheimer's disease, or other memory issues.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

McAllen: hotel $2.3M upgrade for Residence Inn 


McALLEN - Encore Hospitality LLC, a subsidiary of Encore Enterprises Inc., has purchased a Residence Inn hotel in McAllen.

"We plan on investing over $2.3 million in the renovation of the hotel and our goal is to complete the renovation by January 2016," Glenn Pedersen, president of Encore Hospitality LLC.

The McAllen Residence Inn features 78 rooms, an outdoor pool and 350 sf of meeting space.

Encore will budget approximately $30,000 per room to upgrade the property in the next 12 months.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Amarillo: 33,000-SF Roman Catholic Diocese HQ underway 


AMARILLO - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo has broken ground for its new pastoral center at 4502 N.E. 24th Ave.

The new 33,000-sf center will replace the current diocese headquarters at 1800 N. Spring St. — which was built in 1954.

Completion of the facility is expected between March and May 2016, said Deacon Phillip Whitson. “In addition to the offices that we currently have, there will also be space for a new museum, and also meeting space for up to 150 people,” Whitson said.

After the new chancery is built, the old building on N. Spring will be demolished with plans to grass in that area and make it available for neighborhood use.

Read more at the Amarillo Globe-News.

New homes in Killeen keep existing home values low 


KILLEEN - A closer look at the inventory of homes and apartments up for sale or rent should be troubling to those who own home or want to sell their current home.

According to the most conservative estimates, the number of homes on the market from month to month hovers around 500, with about nine months of home inventory. This high inventory is likely caused by the constant building of new homes in the area.

According to permit lists from Killeen, the city has continuously approved new homes at a rate of about 50 per month over the past year.

That is causing other existing homes to stay on the market longer and keeping their value down.

Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald.

Millennium Six Pines open 314 units in The Woodlands 


THE WOODLANDS - Millennium Six Pines, a five-story, 314-unit luxury apartment complex at the intersection of Woodlands Pkwy. and Six Pines Dr., is open. The community features one- to three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 671 sf to 1,426 sf and in monthly rent from $1,352 to $3,042.

Residents have smart home technology options, including a built-in Apple TV and a smartphone application that allows them to control lighting, thermostat settings and an optional surround sound system.

Common-area amenities include a pool, courtyard with grills, clubhouse, dog park with dog washing stations, a fitness center, demonstration kitchen, rental bicycles and Internet lounge.

The Dinerstein Cos., a Houston-based multifamily and student housing developer, is the developer of the project. Millennium Six Pines is the second apartment project the company has completed in The Woodlands.

The Dinerstein Cos. is one of the largest apartment developers nationally, with more than 52,000 units in 28 states. The company's student housing division — Sterling University Housing — is the largest developer of off-campus student housing in the country, having built over 35,000 beds across 63 properties.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Hispanic meat market cuts into former Longview bowling alley 


LONGVIEW - Work should begin soon to transform the former Longview Lanes bowling alley into La Carretta Meat Market.

Construction firm Aedifex has applied to the City of Longview for a permit to remodel the building at 326 N. Spur 63. The project has a construction value of $588,507, according to city records.

Samuel Ruvalcaba said Longview can sustain a third Hispanic grocery store, with the store’s central location being an advantage.

The store will cater to “Anglo” shoppers as well, featuring a meat market with marinated beef and chicken available, a tortilleria, bakery and taqueria — a restaurant inside the store. It will employ about 20 full- and part-time workers at first.

Alaniz said construction should be finished in six to eight months, noting interior demolition has been finished. There have been some challenges, he explained, because the building formerly housed a bowling alley. It had a sloped floor, for instance, where the bowling lanes were.

About 18,000 sf of the 33,000-sf building will be used for the grocery store, and the reminder will be available for lease for office and retail uses.

Read more at the Longview News-Journal.

Frisco RoughRiders bring upgrades, new look to stadium 


FRISCO - The Frisco RoughRiders is making $6 million in improvements to Dr Pepper Ballpark that will be ready by opening day, April 9, according to Chuck Greenberg, the team's CEO and chairman.

The ballpark improvements themselves are meant to improve the fan experience while also creating new advertising opportunities. Dr Pepper Ballpark was built in 2003.

Several new video boards will be in place, including a 2,700-sf high-definition video board by Daktronics that will feature instant replays, sponsor messages and player statistics. It's five times bigger than the old video board.

Several other LED boards will be placed in the outfield, too. Dr Pepper Ballpark will have the most LED boards of any stadium in Minor League Baseball.

Dr Pepper Ballpark will get a much bigger team store behind home plate where fans can purchase jerseys and other merchandise with the team's new look.

The old RoughRiders team store on the third-base side will be converted into an open-air sports bar with flatscreen televisions and artwork featuring Roosevelt as a Rough Rider.

The ballpark will also feature new and improved food offerings and a new InTouch Grille. Home and visiting clubhouses will also be renovated.

In addition to improving the fan experience with new video boards, a bigger team store and a carnival-like food and play area, the RoughRiders' uniforms will get a complete makeover.

The new look focuses on President Theodore Roosevelt, who led the ragtag group of Rough Riders in the battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish American War in 1898. It features a "swinging Teddy" with his rugged uniform, glasses and trademark hat. He was the man, after all, who said "Speak softly, and carry a big stick."

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Higginbotham moves into 35,000-SF space in Houston 


HOUSTON - The local offices of partners Chapman Schewe Benefits Consulting, Madison Benefits Group, and Swantner & Gordon have consolidated into a new space in Energy Tower I at 11700 Katy Fwy. near Kirkwood. The partners are adopting the Higginbotham corporate name.

The new office, totaling 35,082 sf on one-and-a-half floors, contains more conference areas, common areas for training, and rooms for proposals and presentations.

The move brings 85 employees from two offices in Westchase and one near the Galleria under one roof. Higginbotham aims to be a single source for insurance and employee benefits services.

Energy Tower I is undergoing a renovation of its lobbies, restrooms, restaurant, health club facility and locker rooms. Outdoor dining is being added, along with a conference facility that will seat up to 200.

Companies have been filling in a chunk of space vacated by Technip USA, which now occupies Energy Tower III. Pacific Drilling moved into more than 77,000 sf in Energy Tower I last year. Three additional leases have been signed recently totaling 16,448 sf.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Corpus Christi 4Q 2014 office report: Burbach 

(2/27/2015 8:00:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - The local office market contained nearly 9.8 million sf as of fourth quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group.

The overall vacancy rate increased to 9.9 percent in 4Q 2014 from 9.6 percent in 2Q 2014. The rental rate was $14.39 per sf, down from $14.48 at the end of 2Q 2014.

Corpus Christi Office
Market Summary 4Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Class A 938 14.9% $19.88
Class B 6,557 8.8% $13.93
Class C 2,291 11.2% $11.39
CBD 4,544 9.6% $15.27
South Side 2,202 8.9% $15.51
Mid-City 1,492 14.0% $12.34
West Side 657 5.7% $9.87
Total 9,786 9.9% $14.39

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here for the full report.

For more stats, see Corpus Christi Market Research.

Niagara Bottling labels 207,000 SF in Houston 

(2/27/2015 7:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Thackeray Partners has secured a lead tenant for its 310,010-sf warehouse facility being constructed within the Bayou Bend Business Park at 8520-B South Sam Houston Pkwy. W.

Ontario, Calif.-based water bottling company, Niagara Bottling, will occupy 207,230 sf, which is slated to deliver March 2015 along with a second 68,370-sf building delivering in the same month.

Up to 102,780 sf remains available for lease.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Embassy Suites trio selling for $62M; two in San Antonio 

(2/27/2015 7:44:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - Two hotels in San Antonio owned by FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. — and another in Orlando — will be sold for a total of $62 million, according to the company's fourth quarter financial reports.

Irving-based FelCor will sell the 261-room Embassy Suites-San Antonio Airport hotel and the 216-room Embassy Suites-San Antonio Northwest hotel. The transaction should close in March 2015.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Webster: 237,000-SF Baybrook Gateway sold 

(2/27/2015 7:42:00 AM)

WEBSTER - Baybrook Gateway, a 236,854-sf regional retail center, has been sold.

Baybrook Gateway is located at the southeast corner of Bay Area Blvd. and I-45.

The property was built in 1995 and is 65 percent occupied. Tenants include Ashley Furniture, Michaels, World Market, Aaron Brothers and Barnes & Noble.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Irving: 193,000-SF Greenway Tower goes to New Yorker 

(2/27/2015 7:40:00 AM)

IRVING - The ten-story Greenway Tower at 1231 Greenway Dr. has been sold to New York-based investor HighBrook Investment.

The 193,000-sf office tower is located near SH 114 and was built in 1981. Tenants include Optimal Solutions Integration LLC, America Cash Express and Foru International.

HighBrook owns the 122 W. John Carpenter Fwy. building in Las Colinas and TriWest Plaza on LBJ Fwy. in Dallas.

California-based Libitzky Property Companies and Sunwest Real Estate Group of Dallas just acquired the ten-story Canal Centre office building in the Las Colinas Urban Center.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

'Made in Houston' by Stewart Tubular adds 129,000 SF 

(2/27/2015 7:38:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston-based Stewart Tubular Products has added a second building located at 5951 N Houston Rosslyn Rd., allowing the company to double its manufacturing capacity.

The building adds 105,000 sf of production and warehouse space and 24,000 sf of office space. It sits on 15 acres with an additional 15 acres available for future needs.

"We have seen significant growth over recent years," said Steve Samuel, founder and president of Stewart Tubular Products. "The addition of our new location shows our strong long-term commitment to the industry and the customers we serve."

Stewart Tubular Products employs 203 people, all in Houston. Its high-precision products, which are used in applications such as connecting drilling pipe on wells in the deep sea as well as on land, are made in Houston. About 70 percent of its products are shipped overseas.

The company also has a 75,000-sf facility at 1810 Afton St. It will keep its Afton St. location, which contains 45,000 sf of manufacturing space, 20,000 sf of warehouse space and 10,000 sf of office space on seven acres.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Long stay or quick trip? Explore Laredo's TownePlace Suites 

(2/27/2015 7:20:00 AM)

LAREDO - The 124-suite TownePlace Suites by Marriott has opened at 6519 Arena Blvd. It is located within walking distance to Laredo Energy Arena and just minutes from Laredo International Airport.

Ideal for travelers who need accommodations for longer stays, the property offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, as well as separate living/working and sleeping areas.

Rates vary depending on length of stay.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott is an all-suite, extended-stay hotel brand in the moderate price range.

Read more at the Laredo Morning Times.

Meadows Point's 444 units sold in College Station 

(2/27/2015 7:15:00 AM)

COLLEGE STATION - Meadows Point, a 444-unit property built in 1985, has been sold. The community is located at 800 Marion Pugh Dr.

Meadows Point features one- and two-bedroom floor plans. The property is situated near Texas A&M University’s campus.

The buyer was CCSHP College Station LP of Philadelphia, and the seller was SW Meadows Point LP of Richardson.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Corpus Christi building permit totals 2011-2014 


CORPUS CHRISTI - Commercial and residential permits for year-end 2014 are available at the City of Corpus Christi. Below is a small part of how 2014 stacked up to the three years prior.

City of Corpus Christi Building Permits
New Residential New Commercial
Year Permits Valuation Permits Valuation
2014 1,134 $206,769,726 294 $225,859,000
2013 1,255 $240,582,240 255 $141,869,121
2012 951 $178,097,897 198 $155,968,117
2011 659 $118,003,701 214 $172,797,903

Source: City of Corpus Christi

HEB plans 70,000-SF store for Bellaire 


BELLAIRE - HEB is planning a new 70,000-sf store to replace the current 20,000-sf store at 5100 Cedar St., more than tripling the space that is currently available.

The new store will bring a pharmacy, floral shop and wider selections to Bellaire shoppers. The new store also will bring more than 300 new jobs to the City of Bellaire.

Lisa Helfman, the Houston area real estate director for HEB, said that the current store location is just one of several options under consideration for development of the new store.

“One of the options is building on the site we are currently on,” Helfman said.

Read more at Instant News Bellaire.

Condominium tower to bring 90 units to The Woodlands 


THE WOODLANDS - The Woodlands Development Co. — a wholly owned subsidiary of Dallas-based The Howard Hughes Corp. — plans to build a 22- to 26-story luxury condominium tower near The Woodlands Waterway.

Earlier this year, The Woodlands Development Co. placed marketing signs at the tower's construction site, which is located next door to The Westin The Woodlands hotel under construction in Waterway Square.

Jim Carman, Howard Hughes' director of building development, said the condo tower height will depend on unit sales. Floor plans have not been finalized, but each floor is expected to have up to four units with possible penthouses having fewer units.

The tower will have approximately 90 units in total, and will have an upscale and contemporary design, Carman said.

The Woodlands Development Co. hopes to break ground on the project later this year, Carman said. The site is planned and permitted, and a groundbreaking date will be set pending unit sales.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Lubbock: AAA-Tech Self Storage rolls over to new owner 


LUBBOCK - AAA-Tech Self Storage, a self-storage facility with 56,806 rentable sf has been sold.

AAA-Tech Self Storage is located at 222 N. Ave. U, at the southeast corner of Baylor St.

Built in 1968 and renovated in 2002, the facility is situated on nearly five acres and includes 499 units.

The property includes a sales office, manager’s apartment, roll-up doors and indoor and outdoor units.

Marcus & Millichap arranged the sale to a private investor.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.


Stream flows to Northlake with 945,000-SF project 

(2/26/2015 8:01:00 AM)

NORTHLAKE, DENTON COUNTY - Stream Realty Partners has broken ground on Northport 35 Business Center, a three building, 945,035-sf industrial project.

Northport 35 Business Center is located near the intersection of I-35W and SH 114. The campus is located near the Union Pacific and BNSF rail lines, Alliance Airport and the BNSF intermodal facility.

The development will be ready late this year. The Denton County project is being built in partnership with Clarion Partners.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Calif. MIG loves Austin; buys 562-unit Midtown Commons 

(2/26/2015 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Midtown Commons at Crestview Station, a mixed-use property consisting of 562 multifamily units and 58,883 sf of commercial space has sold. The buyer was Newport Beach, Calif.-based MIG Real Estate.

Midtown Commons at Crestview Station is MIG Real Estate's fourth investment in Austin, following the 2014 acquisition of Adagio Swenson Farms Community, the 2013 acquisition of Barton Oaks Plaza and the 2012 acquisition of The Cottages.

"Austin is consistently on the Milken Institute's list of Best Performing Cities where America's jobs are created and sustained, reaching No. 2 in 2014," said Greg Merage, CEO of MIG Real Estate.

The property is located in Central Austin at 810 W. St. John's Ave., adjacent to the Crestview MetroRail Station.

Midtown Commons at Crestview Station consists of five two-, three- and four-story buildings and three parking structures. The commercial portion features two, two-story buildings with ground level retail space and top level creative office space.

The retail portion features tenants such as Midtown Grocery & Cafe, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, Fuzzy's Tacos, Subway, Modo Yoga and Fat Cat's Desserts.

The multifamily component offers studio, one- and two-bedroom floorplans. Common area amenities include two resort-style swimming pools, pool courtyards with fire pits and outdoor kitchens, two fitness centers and more.

Read more at Marketwired.

Corpus Christi: oil falls while buildings rise 

(2/26/2015 7:30:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - Falling oil prices are not stopping a major Corpus Christi refinery from investing $28 million in a new office building.

Flint Hills Resources submitted plans to the city’s Development Services Department this month for a new 140,000-sf office building with the capacity to house 500 employees and contractors.

The four-story building will consolidate several other office buildings on the property.

Eight more project plans were also submitted to the city during the second week in February totaling nearly $600,000 in costs.

Read more at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

REOC Austin industrial market 4Q 2014 

(2/26/2015 7:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Demand for industrial space led to increased leasing velocity in the final three months of the year resulting in a solid fourth quarter performance for the Austin industrial market.

New leases and expansions generated a robust 548,474 sf of positive net absorption for the period — which measured more than the first three quarters combined.

The local industrial market closed the year with a citywide vacancy rate of 10.9 percent, which is improved compared to 11.9 percent last quarter and relatively stable compared to 10.6 percent recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.

Looking ahead, steady demand for space is expected to continue to tighten vacancy although the delivery of new supply may cause some fluctuations.

Austin Industrial Market 4Q 2014
Sector Existing
Round Rock 2,498,932 17.8% 240,000 663,446 3.5% 22,000
North 10,177,069 10.3% 0 5,002,017 6.4% 0
Northeast 4,115,363 5.2% 153,000 3,016,576 32.5% 0
East 1,283,071 3.8% 0 0 0.0% 0
Southeast 4,882,511 5.0% 351,805 4,259,656 13.8% 0
South 1,945,884 11.7% 0 131,848 0.0% 0
Total 24,902,830 9.0% 744,805 13,073,543 14.6% 22,000

*Expected to deliver within six months

See REOC Austin's full report. See more categories under Austin Market Research.

tag: CBRE Austin Industrial MarketView 4Q 2014 (PDF); Transwestern 2014 Austin Industrial MarketWatch (PDF)

Odessa: making room for HEB shelf space 


ODESSA - Construction on the new H-E-B store on West University near Loop 338 is well underway.

The 98,984-sf store is located on approximately 9.75 acres. The project is estimated to be $15.8 million.

The construction represents the first sign of what should be a broad expansion of grocery offerings in Odessa in the latter half of the year.

H-E-B continues to negotiate for land in the Parks Legado area where representatives say the company might build another standard grocery store.

An H-E-B representative said there was not a firm timeline of when the west-side grocery will open, referring to previous estimates of “as early as late 2015.”

Construction is also scheduled to begin later this year in Midland, at Loop 250 and Hwy. 191, where the company bought a former call center.

Read more at the Odessa American.

Save your toys! Big Toy Self-Storage Waxahachie brings $2.5M 


WAXAHACHIE - A Big Toy Self-Storage, a 40,725-sf self-storage facility located at 1832 FM 66, has been sold for $2.5 million.

The property consists of six buildings constructed in 2003 on approximately 5.78 acres of land. The facility is comprised of 60 climate-controlled units, 106 covered boat/RV parking spaces, 218 drive-up units and one vacant retail/office space that is connected to the storage leasing office.

The facility features amenities including wide concrete driveways, video surveillance, personalized key pad entry/exit gates, garage-style roll-up doors and a dumping station for boats and RV's.

Source: Marcus & Millichap

DFW homeownership rate among lowest in U.S. 


DALLAS-FORT WORTH - North Texas is among the major U.S. cities with the lowest percentage of homeowners, according to a new report by the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau.

Only 56.3 percent of DFW residents were homeowners in fourth quarter 2014, compared to a nationwide homeownership rate of 64 percent.

DFW’s homeownership rate has fallen sharply since a peak of 65.2 percent in mid-2010, according to the Census Bureau.

DFW ranked as the eighth lowest homeownership market among the 75 major metro areas included in the census survey. Los Angeles had the lowest homeownership at 47.6 percent, and Richmond had the highest ratio of homeowners — 75.5 percent.

DFW also had the lowest homeownership of the Texas cities included in the census report.

The highest homeownership rate was in San Antonio with 71.3 percent.

North Texas has the fastest growing apartment market in the country with about 30,000 rental units under construction.

The DFW area also has one of the fastest growing populations, fueled by thousands of people moving to the area each year. Many of those new residents chose to be renters.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

See the U.S. Census Bureau for the full report.

Sam Houston centers $22M on engineering 


HUNTSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY - Sam Houston State will build a $22 million engineering technology center and add $9.5 million worth of renovations to the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

The 53,000-sf engineering technology center will house labs for agriculture science and engineering technology.

The building will be named for the late Sam Houston State alum and Therm-Omega-Tech Inc. founder Fred Pirkle, who donated money for the project. The center will also have an interdisciplinary multipurpose room and administrative offices.

In renovations and updates, the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum's original mechanical equipment — including the heating and air conditioning system — will be replaced, 1,000 seats will be added, and another 4,000 sf will be built out. The facility was built in 1976.

A timeline for the project is still to be determined.

Read more at KBTX.

Colliers: Houston's strong 2014 medical office market 


HOUSTON - Houston’s medical office market demonstrated strength in 2014, according to a medical office report by Colliers International. The citywide average vacancy rate was 11 percent at year-end 2014, down from 12 percent at the end of 2013.

Sublease space has not had a significant impact on Houston’s current vacancy rates. Of the 3.2 million sf of vacant medical space on the market, only 52,500 sf is sublease space.

Nine new buildings — 353,315 sf — were added to the market during second half 2014. Currently, there are six medical office buildings totaling 371,797 sf under construction.

Colliers reports the largest medical office building currently under construction is the 150,000-sf Class A Springwoods Village Medical Office Building located in The Woodlands. The six-story building is 33.3 percent preleased and is expected to deliver September 2015.

In terms of sales activity, Colliers reported 13 Houston-area medical properties sold since July 1, 2014. The majority of the sales that occurred were patient medical centers and the average sales price was $340 per sf.

Read more at Realty News Report.

See the full Houston Medical Office Year-End 2014 report from Colliers International.

Jobs, construction show Apple's continuing growth in Austin 


AUSTIN - Apple Inc. is continuing its expansion in Austin, according to city and county documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman.

The technology giant has already created more than 900 full-time jobs in its Austin operation as of the end of 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, according to a report the company filed with Travis County.

That’s on top of 3,100 local positions the company agreed to retain. As of the end of 2013, Apple reported 4,091 full-time employees in Austin.

What’s more, in a report last month to the City of Austin, Apple said it is about 67 percent completed with its Americas Operations Center, which it has valued at more than $348 million.

Taken in total, the documents suggest that Apple is outpacing its agreed-upon performance metrics, for which it is scheduled to receive millions in incentive payments from the city, county and state.

In 2012, the Austin City Council approved $8.6 million in tax breaks for Apple in exchange for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company establishing its Americas Operations Center here. Apple also is in line for $21 million in state incentives for the project, along with between $5 million and $6 million from Travis County.

Apple, in turn, agreed to create more than 3,600 new full-time jobs in Austin while retaining at least 3,100 existing full-time jobs. The company also agreed to spend $282 million on new buildings and equipment in Austin over the next decade.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Texas State adding $10M wet lab in San Marcos 


SAN MARCOS - Texas State University plans to spend $10 million to pay for an addition to the STAR Park research facility that will provide facilities for life sciences companies in Central Texas.

The addition to the STAR One building will feature wet lab space that will be used by companies requiring chemistry work and other research conducted for the development of pharmaceuticals and biotech-related products.

Another component of the addition will be office space that will be made available for outside leasing.

The university has also committed to building out the 6,000 sf of shell space in the building with the hope of attracting research work from businesses involved in geospatial tools, computer engineering, water and environmental science, advanced education and advanced infrastructure materials, among others.

Local need for wet lab space is expected to heat up as the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas nears completion and more life sciences startups go into business in Austin.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Need for Speedsportz races to New Caney 


NEW CANEY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Construction is set to break ground at the end of March on Speedsportz Racing Park, the motorsports complex at the future Grand Texas Sports & Entertainment District. It is set to open in late 2015.

The facility will be built on nearly 30 acres and will include a European-style rental kart facility and rental track, a performance track and a performance pad, according to a press release.

Plans for the complex have evolved since the preliminary concept was released last summer.

"The residual acreage will be developed for commercial pads along Hwy. 242 and a new unnamed road starting construction in March," said co-owner Alan Rudolph.

Rudolph, a renowned karting driver and racing trainer, most recently was vice president, general manager and chief instructor at Bondurant SuperKart School in Phoenix.

In November 2013, developer Monty Galland and the Grand Texas team unveiled the Grand Texas Sports and Entertainment District master plan.

The entire project is being developed on more than 600 acres along I-69 and SH 242 about 30 miles northeast of downtown Houston.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: Sprouts heads to 28,000 SF in Yale Market 


HOUSTON - Sprouts Farmers Market will open in the new Yale Market at 195 Yale at I-10 in the Heights. Sprouts will join LA Fitness, World Market, Mattress Firm and the Guitar Center as tenants in the new 125,000-sf Yale Market, which is fully leased, according to The Weitzman Group.

It will be the sixth local store for the chain since entering the Houston market in 2013, and the first inside Loop 610.

Sprouts most recently opened a new 28,000-sf store at 20708 Kuykendahl Rd. in Spring in August.

Other locations are at 11940 Westheimer in west Houston, 22506 Tomball Pkwy. in Spring Cypress Village, 7055 Texas 6 North in Copperfield, and 23105 Cinco Ranch Blvd. in Katy.

Phoenix-based Sprouts boasts an array of natural and organic products with affordable pricing.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Flower Mound opens 400,000-SF door to MI Windows 

(2/25/2015 8:15:00 AM)

FLOWER MOUND - MI Windows & Doors has signed a long-term deal for 401,600 sf of distribution space at a soon-to-be finished facility at 1900 Lakeside Parkway.

As part of the economic incentive deal, the company plans to bring in 300 employees for the first five years and to hire a minimum of 500 workers in the next decade.

The move from Carrollton to an expanded facility in Flower Mound is a natural move for the business and gives MI Windows and Doors the ability to offer expanded services, CEO Matt DeSoto said.

MI Windows & Doors, a subsidiary of MIWD Holding Co. LLC, is one of the nation's largest supplies of vinyl, aluminum and composite windows and doors. The company also has manufacturing offices in Prescott Valley, Ariz. and Pennsylvania, as well as a facility in Carrollton.

The deal gives MI Windows & Doors, which Flower Mound expects to bring in $5 million in business personal property, a $50,000 relocation reimbursement grant and a 75 percent tax abatement for ten years.

The company plans to transition its Texas operations to the new facility this summer.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Pick a lot! Homebuyers sleep over for Reserve at Clear Lake 

(2/25/2015 8:00:00 AM)

CLEAR LAKE - It looked like a scene straight out of a new iPhone unveiling. More than 100 prospective homebuyers lined up — some overnight — to purchase a new home at The Reserve at Clear Lake City.

The Reserve at Clear Lake City, a new 372-acre luxury community — located southeast of Sam Houston Pkwy. and I-45 near Ellington Field — is the first new home development in the southeast Houston suburb in nearly two decades.

Trendmaker Homes and Village Builders are planning to build 740 homes ranging in price from $300,000 to $1 million. Both Houston home builders launched presale events this month, attracting more than one 100 people.

"We had people wait in line overnight to be able to pick their lot," Will Holder, Trendmaker's president, said in an email to the Houston Business Journal. "I've been building in Houston for 35 years and never seen such strong interest."

The Trendmaker community will feature single-family homes on 55-, 70- and 80-foot lots, a gated patio home neighborhood and a shopping center anchored by an H-E-B Grocery store, shops and restaurants.

Neighborhood amenities include miles of hiking and biking trails as well as a recreation center with a swimming pool, splash pad, tennis courts and playgrounds. Residents will be zoned to Clear Lake Independent School District.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: 165,000-SF Copperfield Village Shopping sold  


HOUSTON - Copperfield Village Shopping Center, a 165,293-sf, dual-anchored retail center in northwest Houston, has been sold. It is situated on 16.43 acres at 7081 SH 6 N. Kimco Realty Corp. purchased the asset from Copperfield Village Investors LP.

The property’s location in the 2,000-plus-acre Copperfield master-planned community places it in a densely-populated area with an estimated 350,000 residences within a five-mile radius.

The center is 92 percent leased to anchors Sprouts Farmers Market and Ross Dress for Less in addition to Goody Goody Liquor, Dollar Tree, Five Below, Panera Bread and Leslie’s Pool.

Kimco Realty, a REIT based in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Kimco owns interests in 754 shopping centers comprising 110 million sf of leasable space across 39 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Chile.

Read more at Realty News Report.

tag: Transwestern's Houston Retail MarketWatch Feb. 2015, Collier's Houston Retail Research and Forecast Report 4Q 2014, retail under Houston Market Research.

Wheatley Courts Eastside San Antonio with $27M Phase Two 


SAN ANTONIO - Eastside revitalization will take a step closer to fruition when phase two of the Wheatley Courts redevelopment breaks ground next month.

The $27 million project is a fraction of the Eastside Promise Zone, a community-wide push to spur economic, education, housing, employment and health care investment for the East Side.

The property was demolished September 2014 to make way for the new 417-unit, mixed-income community built with funds the San Antonio Housing Authority, or SAHA, received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in December 2012.

By December 2017, Wheatley Courts will be transformed into the mixed-income community that will build off the neighboring Sutton Oaks property's 286 mixed-income units.

As part of its master-planned neighborhood, SAHA will also focus on crime prevention, increasing park space, and establishing a community garden and co-op.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Colliers: Austin Office Market Research and Forecast 4Q 2014 


AUSTIN - Office vacancy rates decreased by 13.1 percent between third quarter 2014 and 4Q 2014, according to Colliers International.

However, citywide absorption slowed to 206,565 sf in 4Q 2014 compared to 728,703 sf in 3Q 2014.

The citywide average rental rate decreased 1.5 percent from $28.20 per sf to $27.79 per sf when compared to 3Q 2014, but increased from $27.19 per sf to $27.79 per sf since 4Q 2013.

Demand for office space remains strong spurring new development. Of the 26 buildings currently under construction citywide, 41.5 percent of that office inventory is already preleased.

The report shows CBD and suburban data with rental rates and vacancy

Austin Office Market Indicators 4Q 2014
Indicator 3Q 2014 4Q 2014
Net absorption (SF) 728,000 207,000
Avg. vacancy 9.7% 9.6%
Avg. rental rate
(per SF)
$28.20 $27.79
inventory (SF)
0 131,500

Find CBD, suburban and citywide data in Colliers International Research and Forecast Report.

tag: Austin Market Research, Austin office NewsTalk

TACC adding sweet 'Pickle' with 38,000-SF center in Austin 


AUSTIN - Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has announced its third expansion in 13 years to accommodate the center's growth and demand for computing systems.

TACC has broken ground on a new three-story, 38,000-sf building adjacent to its existing facility, which is expected to be completed in January 2016.

TACC sits on The University of Texas’s J.J. Pickle Research Campus at 10100 Burnet Rd.

TACC is able to keep growing because users can tackle more challenging problems in science and engineering and access more types of systems, such as data storage and cloud computing, according to TACC Executive Director Dan Stanzione.

Users are more diversified because more industries, such as biomedical, realize the usefulness of computing in their fields. Stanzione said in the biomedical field, genomics — the study of genetics and molecular biology — is now a digital science instead of just a lab-based science.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Mixed-use Summit at Rivery underway in Georgetown 


GEORGETOWN - Construction is underway on one of Georgetown's first luxury mixed-use developments, which will include a seven-story, four-star Sheraton hotel and conference center.

The Summit at Rivery Park project has been in the works for some time, and finally the tax increment financing and development team has moved it first shovel of dirt on a 32-acre site west of I-35 and north of SH 29.

Hines, based in Houston, is teaming up with Georgetown-based Novak Brothers.

The 222-room hotel, which will include a 30,000-sf conference center, is scheduled to deliver in summer 2016.

A three-level parking garage, along with various Rd. and utility infrastructure, also will be built in part with public monies — about $13.25 million.

Novak Brothers has already built 31 brownstone homes at the site. About 114 brownstones ultimately will be built along with 223 apartment units.

The project also will include restaurants and retail shops.

The City of Georgetown, the Georgetown Economic Development Corp. and the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp. are jointly involved in the complex financing package. Property and sales tax receipts generated by the development will be collected into a fund that will reimburse the parties over the long run.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Transwestern: Houston retail MarketWatch Feb. 2015 


HOUSTON - Transwesten released the February 2015 MarketWatch for Houston retail. The report also contains recent leases, recent sales, retail lease statistics, and retail market indicators.

One sale of note was the 350,444-sf Copperwood Village in the Far Katy North submarket. Sale price: $46.2 million allocated (39 property portfolio). The buyer was Kimco, the seller was Blackstone.

Houston Retail Sales Statistics Feb. 2015
  1Q 2015 4Q 2014 Trailing 12
Volume ($ Mil.) $75.6 $260.3 $1,277.1
No. of properties 8 31 147
Total SF 663,874 1,516,253 8,822,849
Average price/SF N/A $233 $183
Average cap rate
N/A 7.0% 7.4%

Source: Transwestern

For more Retail statistics, see Houston Market Research.

tag: Houston NewsTalk retail

Victoria home sales Jan. 2015: Swearingen 


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

The average sales price for residential homes was $178,654, up 6.0 percent versus the same period ending January 2014 when it was $168,576.

The average Days on Market for residential homes for the 12 months ending January 2015 was 85, 10.5 percent shorter than the same period in 2014.

The median price of residential homes for November 2014 was $165,000, up 9.3 percent versus January 2014 when it was $151,000.

There were 897 residential homes sold in the Victoria MLS for the 12 months ending January 2014, 2.6 percent (24 homes) less than the same period in 2014.

Total building permits for Victoria city limits for the 12 months ending January 2015 were 167, up 40.3 percent compared to the same period 2014 when the number of permits was 119.

Victoria MLS Residential Home Sales Jan. 2015
All Categories* 12 Months Ending
Jan. 2014
12 Months Ending
Jan. 2015
Residential property sales 921 897 -2.6%
Residential total dollar volume $155,258,799 $160,252,584 3.2%
Average residential sales price $168,576 $178,654 6.0%
Median residential sales price $151,000 $165,000 9.3%
Total active listings end of month 223 248 11.2%
Months inventory 3.1 4.2 35.5%

*These figures refer to the residential homes market.

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

Las Colinas: 238,000-SF Canal Centre office sells 


LAS COLINAS - The ten-story Canal Centre office building at 400 E. Las Colinas Blvd. has been purchased by California-based Libitzky Property Companies and Sunwest Real Estate Group of Dallas.

The 238,051-sf building in the Las Colinas Urban center was purchased from LaSalle Investment Management.

Canal Centre was built in the 1980s and recently remodeled.

“Canal Centre offered investors a favorable balance of long-term, in-place leases and multiple compelling opportunities for future income growth,” according to CBRE’s Eric Mackey. “Its location within a steadily improving submarket is also advantageous.”

Libitzky Property and Sunwest now have nine properties with 1.1 million sf of office space in the Dallas area.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Rockport home sales Jan. 2015: Swearingen 


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

The average sales price for residential homes was $320,936, up 23.5 percent versus January 2014 when it was $259,865.

The median price of residential homes was $232,500, versus January 2014 when it was $204,500, an increase of 13.7 percent.

Total sales of residential homes for Rockport MLS for January 2015 was 24, a decrease of 11.1 percent (three homes) versus January 2014.

The average Days on Market for residential homes for January 2015 was 175, 19.0 percent shorter than the same period last year.

Rockport MLS Residential Home Sales Jan. 2015
All Categories* 12 Months Ending
Jan. 2014
12 Months Ending
Jan. 2015
Residential property sales 27 24 -11.1%
Residential total dollar volume $7,016,350 $7,702,475 9.8%
Average residential sales price $259,865 $320,936 23.5%
Median residential sales price $204,500 $232,500 13.7%
Total active listings end of month 362 352 -2.8%
Months inventory 11.6 9.3 -19.8%

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

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

Fort Worth Eyeworks Group's vision of new 60,000-SF office 


FORT WORTH - Construction has begun on a 60,000-sf building at the southeast corner of W. Seventh St. and University Dr.

Eyeworks Group and Regions Bank will operate new locations when the five-story office building opens in summer 2016.

“This new building and the expansion of Eyeworks Group is a reflection of the growth we’ve seen in Fort Worth,” said Dr. Robert Chu Jr., managing director of Eyeworks Group.

The new location will be Eyeworks’ third Fort Worth-area facility and will offer specialty optical retail, patient care and Lasik vision correction. The new location will mean new job openings, Chu said.

Eyeworks Group will occupy 15,000 sf, with Regions Bank filling 13,000 sf. The remaining space has not been leased. The building also will offer 129 parking spaces in a five-level parking garage.

The building will stand at one of the city’s busiest intersections. The tract is part of the historic Van Zandt addition, which housed a residential neighborhood before it was flooded in 1922 and 1949.

Read more at the Fort Worth Business Press.

San Antonio Children's Hospital adds top-level trauma center 


SAN ANTONIO - Grocery giant H-E-B is giving $5 million to Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to help transform the downtown pediatric hospital’s emergency department into a sophisticated, top-level trauma center.

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio unveiled the first phase of its new emergency room. The first phase will span 15,000 sf and feature 28 private patient rooms.

The department also will contain two trauma rooms capable of caring for up to eight children at a time — four patients in each room, hospital officials said.

The improvements are part of the ongoing renovations to transform Children’s Hospital, part of the Christus Santa Rosa Health System, into a top-tier, stand-alone pediatric hospital featuring a residency program.

The emergency room will grow even larger in the next year to 18 months, expanding to 30,000 sf and accommodating 48 beds in private rooms.

That will be more than four times larger than the previous emergency room, which was 7,000 sf.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

A dozen Ross Dress for Less stores now in San Antonio 


SAN ANTONIO - Ross Dress for Less will open its 12th location in San Antonio on the Northeast Side.

The discount apparel and home furnishings store will officially open in March. It will be located in the Nacogdoches Village shopping center at the intersection of Nacogdoches and O’Connor.

Ross will hire about 50 full- and part-time employees to staff the nearly 25,000-sf location.

The Nacogdoches store will be Ross’s 171st in Texas. Ross currently operates 11 stores in San Antonio.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

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