NewsTalk Texas

Victoria apartment market influx of 1,000+ units 

(9/2/2014)

VICTORIA - Victoria's housing market has seen a growing shortage in single-family and multifamily housing for the past few years. Apartment offices had wait lists for openings, and tenants had few options for rentals. All of that is about to change.

Since last year, six apartment complexes have announced projects in Victoria, with one complex welcoming new tenants this month.

Here's a breakdown of what to expect according to the Advocate and the City of Victoria .

Victoria Apartment Update
Complex Units Available Address Valuation
Oak Forest 264 Dec. 2014 5312 N John Stockbauer $14 million
The Duke 252 fall 2014 301 Parkstone $19.2 million
Ascension 242 early 2015 8311 NE Zac Lentz Pkwy. $16.1 million
The Colony 180 Aug. 2014 4109 N John Stockbauer $11 million
Latigo Crossing 180 fall 2015 1601 N John Stockbauer $11.3 million
The Reserve 96 leasing 8602 NE Zac Lentz Pkwy. $6 million
Vista Alta 48 unknown North Cross Dr. $2.4 million


*Special thanks to the City of Victoria Permitting Dept.

Read more at the Victoria Advocate.

Veterans' affordable housing deployed to San Antonio 

(9/2/2014)

SELMA, BEXAR COUNTY - The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs approved a housing tax credit for the $18.7 million Liberty Pass project — a 104-unit housing complex that will be constructed on an eight-acre site near the intersection of Lookout Rd. and Jordan Rd.

The project will provide affordable housing and job training facilities for veterans and wounded veterans looking to transition into the workforce.

The Liberty Pass development will have apartment style homes with one to four bedrooms.

Developer Anthem Builders plans to start construction on the complex in spring 2015, with completion scheduled for January 2016.

Read more at the San Antonio Express-News.

Brownsville-Harlingen retail 2Q 2014: Burbach 

(9/2/2014)

BROWNSVILLE-HARLINGEN - In second quarter 2014, the total retail market contained nearly 13.1 million sf with a vacancy rate of 7.4 percent, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group.

The average rental rate per sf was $12.63, with Greater Harlingen coming in at $11.30 per sf.

Brownsville-Harlingen Retail Market Summary
2Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
General retail 7,485 5.7% $12.29
Mall 1,412 2.7% $19.00
Power center 916 3.6% $18.54
Shopping center 3,256 14.4% $12.30
CBD Brownsville 1,050 11.4% $9.99
CBD Harlingen 202 18.2% N/A
Greater Brownsville 7,393 7.0% $14.16
Greater Harlingen 4,424 6.5% $11.30
Total 13,069 7.4% $12.63

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here to see the report.

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

Majestic finishing 1M-SF spec project in Lewisville 

(9/2/2014)

LEWISVILLE - Majestic Realty Co. will complete a 1.1 million-sf speculative logistics center in October or November.

The project is the fifth building at Majestic Airport Center, which is located off SH 121 near DFW International Airport.

The Lewisville Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) has a 50-50 partnership with Majestic for the development, building utilities and road infrastructure that serves the multi-building center.

So far, Majestic has kept any news about a possible tenant quiet. “Our goal is to occupy it with one user if we can,” said Nika Reinecke, LEDC director.

Reinecke said Lewisville takes an active role in such large projects, and would offer tax incentives for a large tenant.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

325,000-SF Mission factory draws incentive 

(9/2/2014)

MISSION - Royal Technologies has opened its $45 million, 325,000-sf factory on Trinity Rd. in the Mission Expressway Business Park. The Mission Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) has agreed to invest $2.7 million in the company.

Of the $2.7 million provided by the MEDC, $1.3 million will come from city coffers as a direct economic incentive, and $1.4 million is the value of tax abatements for the property, said MEDC CEO Alex Meade. The payments are to be spread over the course of eight years.

In 2013, Royal Technologies purchased Hi-Tech Plastics, an injection molding company that supplied parts to maquiladoras in Reynosa.

The new factory opened officially in July 2014, but has been operating in stages since April 2014, said plant manager Trung Nguyen. “In general, we make plastic cases for professional power tools, chair components for office furniture and interior pieces for automobiles,” said Nguyen.

About 50 machine operators and production supervisors were hired as part of the expansion so far, although up to 400 jobs are expected over the next few years.

Manufacturing in the Valley makes up only 5 percent of the industry, but it accounted for $3.7 million in exports for McAllen, according to the International Trade Commission in 2012.

Read more at The Monitor.

Houston: Lakes on Post Oak sales total $400M 

(9/2/2014)

HOUSTON - MetLife Real Estate Investors has purchased 3040 Post Oak Blvd., a 22-story, 427,000-sf Galleria-area office building. According to Real Estate Alert, MetLife was under contract to pay nearly $130 million for the building.

The building is part of the three-building, 1.2 million-sf Lakes on Post Oak office complex. The sale of 3040 Post Oak Blvd. follows two other major transactions in the complex.

The Class A, 337,000-sf 3050 Post Oak Blvd. sold to Chinese oil and gas company Sinopec in May. The Class A, 441,000-sf 3000 Post Oak Blvd. is pending sale to Korean-based FG Asset Management.

Once closed, the three transactions will total about $400 million, according to Real Estate Alert. Five Mile Capital Partners LLC and Florida-based Crocker Partners originally owned all three properties.

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

Waco: 150,700 SF to Central Texas Marketplace 

(9/2/2014)

WACO - DSW Inc., formerly Designer Shoe Warehouse, will place a store in Central Texas Marketplace as part of an addition between Cabela’s and Office Depot that includes seven retailers.

The seven new stores cover 150,700 sf in the sprawling retail center at I-35, West Loop 340 and Bagby Ave. They will sit side-by-side between the Cabela’s Outpost store and Office Depot.

Central Texas
Marketplace Development
Store SF
Haverty's 35,000
Jo-Ann Fabric 25,000
Bed Bath & Beyond 25,000
Cavender's 20,500
Cost Plus World
Market
18,000
DSW 12,000
Five Below 8,000


The stores reportedly will open no later than spring 2015, and Cavender’s would like to begin welcoming customers in December or January.

Robert W. Wright, spokesman for Collett & Associates, released the site plan.

Click here for the schematic of the additions to Central Texas Marketplace.

Read more at the Waco Tribune.

Corpus Christi and Coastal Bend Economic Pulse 2014 

(9/2/2014)

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Coastal Bend is undergoing an industrial renaissance. A construction boom led by a record number of industrial capital projects is generating a surge in demand for construction labor and craft skills.

Most popular studies about the economic impacts of the Eagle Ford to date have largely underestimated one major development in Corpus Christi, namely the rise of the manufacturing sector.

Access to Eagle Ford shale oil and gas through trucks and pipelines, and the logistical advantage of a deep-water port have made Corpus Christi an attractive location for developing heavy manufacturing plants and petrochemical facilities.

The large number of capital projects within the Corpus Christi Port District will require a total of about 1,300 construction and craft workers per year on average through the end of 2017.

By 2018, when most of those facilities will have become operational, there will be an estimated increase of 1,480 full-time-equivalent permanent job positions.

Between 2013 and 2018, the manufacturing sector is expected to add nearly 2,700 jobs. Employment growth of 32 percent in this sector will be more than twice the projected average of 13 percent growth across all industries during that period.

Click here for the full report.

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

Parsely pays $252M for Reagan County parcel  

(9/2/2014)

REAGAN COUNTY - Parsely Energy Inc. has purchased more than 5,472 acres, including 157 horizontal drilling locations, adjacent to the company’s existing operating areas for $252 million.

“We are thrilled to bolt on premiere acreage that allows for longer laterals in our primary horizontal development area, where we and others are seeing very promising drilling results,” said Bryan Sheffield, CEO of Parsley Energy.

“With facilities in place, a number of permits already secured, and our existing operations in Reagan County, we expect to realize substantial value from these assets right away.”

Since Parsely's initial public offering in May 2014, it has added more than 16,000 net acres and 456 horizontal drilling locations. In all, the company owns more than 97,371 surface acres in the Midland basin and 121,211 surface acres in the Permian basin.

Read more at Business Wire.

Academy beats a path to Huntsville with 125 jobs 

(9/2/2014)

HUNTSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY - Academy Sports & Outdoors has opened its doors at 281 I-45 South by Target in the rapidly expanding Ravenwood Village shopping area. The store will employ 125 to 150 full- and part-time associates.

The company’s Katy headquarters is currently undergoing an expansion, which will create a new 200,000-sf building and six-story parking garage on North Mason Rd., adjacent to Academy’s corporate headquarters.

Academy Sports & Outdoors has more than 22,000 employees at its 175 stores in 13 states, primarily in the South and Midwest. Sales in 2014 are projected to reach the $4 billion level for the company.

Read more at the Huntsville Item.

Houston: details on city's really tall apartment tower 

(9/1/2014 2:00:00 PM)

HOUSTON - PM Realty Group is developing 2929 Weslayan at the northeast corner of Weslayan and West Alabama. The 40-story tower will have 254 units averaging 1,500 sf. Many will have three bedrooms. The average unit will rent for close to $4,000 a month.

The project will also have about 12,000 sf of retail space on the ground floor. It will be completed this spring with the first residents moving in this fall.

The developer has already been quietly accepting leases. Thirteen units already are spoken for, including three 4,000-sf penthouses that will lease in the $12,000 to $13,000 range.

Each unit will have one of 14 design and color schemes with walk-in closets, granite counters and wood floors. All will have built-in speakers and a smart entertainment system allowing residents to control temperature, lights and other features from a mobile phone.

The eighth floor will house tenant amenities, each with a unique view. The gym will overlook the Galleria area and Greenway Plaza, while a sky lounge and fire pit will have downtown views.

A saltwater swimming pool, however, will be shielded from the city by extensive landscaping and cabanas.

This is PM’s third high-rise multifamily project. The other two are in Dallas. Baltimore-based RTKL designed the structure.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

RGVP Brownsville-Harlingen permits: July 2014 

(9/1/2014 10:00:00 AM)

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

Residential/Commercial Building Permits July 2014
Residential Building Permits   Commercial Building Permits
July YTD 2014 YTD 2013 City July YTD 2014 YTD 2013
$4,397,864 $32,403,979 $34,219,628 Brownsville $890,000 $37,014,000 $37,948,051
$1,172,887  $8,958,991 $11,234,916 Harlingen $123,500 $12,750,348 $71,538,491
$270,915 $3,527,821 $3,338,817 Los Fresnos $0 $8,993,000 $805,000
$820,412 $4,175,508 $1,863,596 San Benito $16,822 $1,875,794 $1,725,445
$132,964 $4,022,458 $826,138 South Padre $0 $476,190 $2,190,427
$560,000 $3,734,074 $554,883 Raymondville $0 $100,000 $85,000
$670,810 $1,654,965 $4,036,753 Rancho Viejo $250 $58,250 $2,450
$8,025,852 $58,477,797 $56,074,731 Total $1,030,572 $61,267,582 $114,294,864


Source: Rio Grande Valley Partnership

Tex-Mex lunch San Antonio; New Orleans beignets at breakfast 

(9/1/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonians who want to get away to the Big Easy for beignets from Café du Monde and a hurricane from Pat O’Brien’s will now be able to take advantage of a new nonstop flight on Southwest Airlines.

And certainly the same is true for New Orleanians who want to travel to the Alamo City for Tex-Mex and tequila.

Southwest Airlines will expand nonstop service from San Antonio to New Orleans on November 25, 26, 30 and December 1, 2014.

The service will be expanded weekly, beginning March 6, 2015, then daily on April 7, 2015.

“We are pleased with Southwest’s decision to expand the limited service to New Orleans permanently,” said San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. “Southwest Airlines has been a great partner for our city and their continued growth shows great confidence in the San Antonio market.”

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines flies from San Antonio International Airport to 16 destinations: Atlanta, Nashville, Baltimore, Dallas Love Field, Denver, El Paso, Houston Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago Midway, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis and Tampa.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Houston: American Hose leases 56,000 SF  

(9/1/2014)

HOUSTON - American Hose Solution Corp. (AHS), a distributor of firefighting and lay flat hoses, signed a two-year lease for 56,800 sf at 750 Almeda Genoa Rd.

The single-story industrial building totals 232,010 sf on the southwest corner of Almeda Genoa Rd. and Del Papa St. The building delivered in 1983.

Textile Properties acquired and renovated the facility in 2011, according to CoStar information. American Hose Solution joins Fortitude Manufacturing at the location.

AHS is headquartered in China and its products are manufactured by parent company, ZYfire.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston: 154-unit Pearl Midtown out of its shell 

(9/1/2014)

HOUSTON - Pearl Midtown, a new 154-unit apartment community, is complete. Located on 1.15 acres at 3101 Smith St., the property offers a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 499 sf to 1,439 sf.

The property’s units are arranged in four stories over two podium levels of garage parking featuring eVgo car charging stations. Some of the apartment homes have Bluetooth sound systems, wrap-around balconies and unobstructed downtown views.

Pearl Midtown is the first residential development to incorporate the city’s B-cycle bike sharing program, which has relocated one of its stations to the development.

The property was developed by the Morgan Group.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

$6M Toyota dealership rev up in Brownsville  

(9/1/2014)

BROWNSVILLE - A $6 million, 50,000-sf Toyota dealership has broken ground at 6750 N. Expressway 77/83 in Brownsville Sports Park. Completion is scheduled for summer 2015.

Zamora Automotive Group is building the dealership, which will be the second LEED-certified building in Brownsville when it is completed.

The company currently owns 15 dealerships in Northern California and Arizona and employs 1,300.

Read more at the Brownsville Herald.

Kemah's former owner buys 436-unit Marina del Sol again 

(9/1/2014)

KEMAH - Marina del Sol, on the southern shore of Clear Lake, has a new owner after a quick transaction as part of a national portfolio sale. The boat storage property contains 253 wet slips and 183 dry storage racks and was the only Texas asset in the portfolio.

The marina spans 19 acres of land and water at 1203 Twin Oaks Blvd. The marina's occupancy rate was 63 percent at the time of sale.

Madison Realty Capital had owned and operated the 436-unit marina since the previous owner defaulted on its loan after Hurricane Ike.

Miland Services, which owned the marina in the early 2000s before the most recent owners, submitted the winning bid and closed 30 days after the online auction.

"It was a value-add opportunity," said Maury Bronstein of the newly formed 1912 Ventures real estate firm. "In the past, it had over 90 percent occupancy. Hurricane Ike eliminated about 20 percent of the wet slip capacity that was never replaced."

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston Galleria maps 392-unit Avenue R sale 

(9/1/2014)

HOUSTON - Avenue R, a 392-unit, Class A community located at 5455 Richmond Ave. in the Galleria, has been sold.

The one-year-old property is 94.9 percent occupied with average rents at $1.89 per sf. The community features one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging in size from 593 sf to 1,293 sf.

Property amenities include attached garages and reserved parking.

An entity of Mesirow Financial purchased the community from an entity of Greystar.

Read more at O'Connor and Associates.

Orange: STI building $2.7M shop on 38-acre site 

(9/1/2014)

ORANGE - Southeast Texas Industries Group (STI) is building a new site on Forman Rd. The initial investment for the new project is $2.7 million.

Orange County Commissioners authorized a Chapter 381 agreement with the firm. “The agreement allows for tax abatement,” Orange County Economic Development Corporation Director Bobby Fillyaw said.

“As part of the contract, the company is to maintain the employees at the Vidor and Bridge City locations.”

Fillyaw said the tax abatement is for six years at approximately 80 percent ad valorem tax base with the company also required to pay the administration fees for the abatement.

Brent Strange, with STI Group, told the court the shop will be built on a 38-acre lot and the company hopes to close on the property this week.

“We are expecting 75-100 new employees,” Strange said. “It will depend on the work load, so it could be more.” The facility will house six overhead cranes.

The new shop will be the 11th location for the business, which also has Texas locations in Beaumont, Buna and Port Arthur.

STI Group has served the chemical refining, petrochemical, oil and gas production, drilling, energy, power generation, pulp and paper, and related industries since 1978 according to the official website.

Read more at the Orange Leader.

Chisolm Trail Pkwy. opens Crowley business horizons 

(8/31/2014)

CROWLEY - The intersection of W. 1187 and W. Business FM 1187/McCart Avenue is about to become a lot busier as a Walmart Neighborhood Market is slated to be built on the northeast corner of the intersection, east of Nicky D's Grill.

The Crowley City Council approved site plans for a Walmart Neighborhood Market on 6.6 acres on the northeast corner of the intersection.

The grocery store, which will include a pharmacy with drive-thru, will be 41,921 sf with parking for 168 vehicles.

Timing is right for the retailer, as LGI Homes broke ground in May on its 700-home Bridges of Creekside residential development adjacent to the planned grocery store.

The Walton Group has, in two separate transactions, purchased 2,023 acres along the recently-opened Chisolm Trail Parkway.

That the area is ripe for growth is an understatement. In addition to the Bridges of Creekside, Crowley will be home to two other residential developments hoping to capitalize on the city's new fast track to downtown Fort Worth.

Read more at the Crowley Star.

Austin: Seaholm condos under contract reach 80% 

(8/29/2014 7:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The 30-story Seaholm Residences tower, under construction on W. Cesar Chavez St. at the site of the former Seaholm Power Plant, has begun converting reservations for condos into contracts.

Developer Seaholm Power LLC and Austin-based Urbanspace set a record in fall 2013 when all 280 units in the tower were reserved within a week.

In early August, contracts started going out to convert those reservations to contracts. Within two weeks, more than 80 percent of the building is now officially under contract. Sales will become final once the building is completed in fall 2015.

Condo prices at Seaholm Residences range from about $300,000 to upwards of $1 million.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Houston housing market not so hot for first-time homebuyers 

(8/29/2014 7:40:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston’s housing market is ranked among the least affordable for first-time homebuyers, according to a new report by WalletHub.

WalletHub analyzed housing markets in the 300 largest cities nationally, looking at 17 metrics such as median household income adjusted for cost of living and median home prices.

The website then ranked the cities based on the affordability of homes, the strength of the local real estate market and residents’ quality of life.

Houston's strong real estate market was ranked No. 1 in the country. This was calculated based on factors such as median home value, average home square footage and median home price appreciation.

However, Houston ranked No. 273 for affordability of homes for first-time homebuyers. Here are two major reasons contributing to Houston’s lack of affordable housing, according to a recent Metrostudy report.

  • Cost of land, construction materials and labor are skyrocketing, causing home builders to construct more expensive homes to maintain their profit margins.
     
  • Houston’s historically low inventory of homes, coupled with its job growth and subsequent population boom, is driving up home prices.

In Houston, just 9.8 percent of new home starts were priced below $150,000 during first quarter 2014. That is down from 19.1 percent over the same time period in 2012. Meanwhile, a little more than a third of home starts in 1Q 2014 were priced above $300,000.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Invesco buys Austin's 238,000-SF Barton Oaks Plaza II, III 

(8/29/2014 6:59:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Barton Oaks Plaza II and III, two office buildings located east of MoPac Expy. at Bee Cave Rd., have been sold.

Atlanta-based Invesco Real Estate purchased the office buildings which total 237,835 sf.

The two five-story buildings are located on 6.8 acres and are 90 percent leased. Tenants include Fiserve Solutions, GSC Architects, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

A joint venture between Austin-based HPI Real Estate Services & Investments and Dallas-based Sarofim Realty Advisors sold the properties to Invesco.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Lubbock: 103-room Marriott kicks-off in Raider Red 

(8/29/2014 6:48:00 AM)

LUBBOCK - The 103-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel near Texas Tech’s campus opened its doors just in time for football travelers.

The four-story hotel is located at 308 Ave. V on the north side of the Marsha Sharp Fwy. The hotel rates begin at $179 per night.

The hotel offers a 4,000-sf meeting space that can accommodate up to 150 people, including equipment for sound and visuals.

Outside, with a clear view of the Texas Tech football stadium, is a fenced-off pool, a fire pit, a small putting green and plenty of seating.

TThe fire pit is the shape of Texas Tech’s Double T and is lined with seating. There are plans to set up a television in the patio and open an outside bar during football games.

The hotel was constructed by Lubbock-based GreenSt. Inc. and designed by Dallas-based architecture firm Mayse & Associates Inc.

Read more at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Sugar Land: 214-room Hyatt Place acquired by Noble 

(8/29/2014 6:46:00 AM)

SUGAR LAND - The 214-room Hyatt Place Houston-Sugar Land located on 3.7 acres at 16730 Creek Bend Dr. has been sold.

The hotel, which opened in 2010, has 6,000 sf of meeting space, round-the-clock food and beverage options, an outdoor pool, complimentary shuttle service and a 24-hour fitness room and business center.

Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group purchased the property near US 59 and SH 6. It is the only local property in Noble’s portfolio, which consists of Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood and Marriott branded properties across the country.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle and Realty News Report.

Austin Onion Creek homes in buyout 

(8/29/2014 6:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that it will sign separate agreements with the City of Austin and Travis County to buy out homes in the 25-year floodplain of Onion Creek.

The Corps of Engineers will also restore 206 acres of riparian areas along the creek and provide 140 acres of recreational features.

The U.S. Congress appropriated up to $11.8 million for the Onion Creek project in March 2014. Of this, up to $1 million will go toward Travis County’s share of the project and $8 million to $10 million will be dedicated for the City of Austin’s share.

The Corps of Engineers will use the remainder of this year’s funds to begin the design work on the recreational features. More federal funding is expected in future years.

The total project cost is estimated at $85,455,000.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin getting to The Point at Ben White with 250 units 

(8/29/2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Antonio: Main Event bell rings in Monterrey Village 

(8/29/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - Main Event Entertainment has opened a 58,000-sf facility is located in the Monterrey Village development at 8514 State Hwy. 151 and Cable Ranch Rd. on the city’s far West Side.

The space includes a gravity ropes course, laser tag, billiards, arcade games, food and bowling.

The Dallas-based chain made its San Antonio debut in early 2012 — taking a 48,000-sf lease at 1911 N. Loop 1604 East in The Legacy Shopping Center.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

San Antonio construction employment flat; project pace up 

(8/29/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - According to the latest employment report by The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), San Antonio is still adding employees to the construction market — but not by much.

It’s the Catch 22 of the construction industry. The number of projects in the pipeline is filling up once again. That means more and more construction firms are looking to add employees.

Now if they could just find them.

The labor pool is presently shallow at best in many markets, according to industry officials.

Over the 12 months ended July 31, 2014, local contractors added 100 jobs — going from a total of 44,300 employees in July 2013 to 44,400 a year later.

San Antonio contractors have seen an increase in the pace of projects and are working to bring on qualified, skilled employees. However, there is still a lot of ground to be made up to even get near the industry’s peak of 52,100 employees as of December 2007.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Austin CC debuts 200,000-SF Highland Campus in former mall 

(8/29/2014)

AUSTIN - Austin Community College (ACC) has opened its new Highland Campus. The 200,000-sf facility is located in what used to be a JCPenney’s in the former Highland Mall.

The ACC Highland Campus includes classrooms, a library, study areas and the ACCelerator, a high-tech math learning lab with more than 600 computer stations.

ACC and Austin-area officials welcomed more than 800 visitors to the new campus, which opened classes Aug. 25 with 3,900 enrollees, well above the college's projected 3,000 students, ACC President Richard Rhodes said.

ACC is in the midst of finalizing a master plan for the rest of the former Highland Mall, which first opened in 1971 and will close retail operations this year following the holiday shopping season.

In July, ACC board trustees approved a public-private partnership that potentially brings cloud management technology company Rackspace to the former Dillard's space on the south side of the mall. Rackspace intends to relocate 570 employees to the new Highland Campus by late 2015.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

For more on Rackspace’s move to the mall, see previous story Rackspace clouds Austin CC Highland campus.

Clear Lake: 160,000-SF Aerospace Plaza sold! 

(8/29/2014)

CLEAR LAKE - Aerospace Plaza, a 160,080-sf two-building office property, has been sold. The buildings at 2400 and 2450 NASA Pkwy. are connected by a skybridge.

The property is directly across from NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

Boxer Property purchased the property.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston: 30,000 SF adds two floors to 1885 St. James Place 

(8/29/2014)

HOUSTON - Nelson Murphree Legacy Partners LLC has added 30,000 sf to the company’s 1885 St. James Place project. The building was originally slated to have 13 floors, but now will have 15 floors.

“We redid all of the drawings and made the foundation stronger because we have had so much interest in this building,” said Dennis Murphree, a principal at Nelson Murphree.

The project is now slated to begin construction September 8, with an official groundbreaking of September 15. While no tenants have officially signed on to the spec project, Murphree said he is negotiating with at least four companies.

Current occupancy rates for Class A buildings in the Galleria average 92.4 percent, and current rental rates average $34.97 per sf, according to JLL.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Midland's 212,000-SF Occidental Petroleum 'in the pipeline' 

(8/28/2014 7:00:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Occidental Petroleum officials and employees have broken ground for the company’s Midland office. The 212,000-sf complex is planned for 6001 Deauville Blvd., just west of the Scharbauer Sports Complex.

The four-story building will house 600 employees and will feature state-of-the-art technology, tools and automated systems.

A control room will allow Occidental’s Permian Basin assets to be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A conference center will provide room for town hall and other large-scale meetings with seating for more than 250 and ten work-top tables.

The complex, which allows for opportunities to expand, will incorporate the company’s three main work groups which include the Enhanced Oil Recovery team, the Permian Resources group and the Midstream group.

In 2015, the company will break ground on a 20,000-sf Permian training center in north Midland on the company’s South Curtis Ranch holdings.

Occidental’s new complex is the first in the company’s planned Energy Plaza at Westridge Park, which will feature up to five four-story 100,000-sf office buildings.

Westridge Park is a master-planned development on more than 100 acres located just east of Chevron’s new campus.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Houston: 114,000-SF Offices at Sam Houston 60% leased and... 

(8/28/2014 6:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The Offices at Sam Houston, a four-story 113,363-sf building, is underway. The project has secured tenants for 60 percent of the building and is set for completion next June.

The northwest Houston property is within the 42-acre Sam Houston Crossing Business Park along Beltway 8 between US 290 and SH 249.

Caterpillar and Solar Turbines have preleased space in the building and the remaining 46,000 sf is still available.

D’Agostino Cos. is developing the project. Metzger Construction Co. is the general contractor and Browne McGregor Architects is the architect for the tilt-wall building.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Frisco fields The Pit with 55,000-SF indoor soccer 

(8/28/2014 6:42:00 AM)

FRISCO - Construction has begun on a 55,000-sf indoor soccer facility, dubbed The Pit, outside of Toyota Park. The $5 million project will sit on a seven-acre tract at the southwest corner of North County Rd. and Meadow Hill Dr.

Plans for the soccer complex include five indoor soccer fields, event rooms and a concession area.

The two Frisco soccer dads behind the project — Brian Duncan and James Meese — hope the new project might host regional games and tournaments for soccer, lacrosse and football. The project has no official affiliation with MLS soccer team FC Dallas.

The City of Frisco will contribute $200,000 in infrastructure costs to the project through an economic incentive deal with Indoor Plex of Frisco LLC, who is working with Duncan and Meese to develop The Pit.

The Pit is scheduled for completion on or before April 30, 2015.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Office Furniture Connection to 125,000 SF in Houston 

(8/28/2014 6:29:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Office Furniture Connection, a full-service office furniture company, signed a lease to fully occupy 13101 Almeda Rd. The single-story, 125,278-sf industrial building was constructed in 1970.

Finial Group represented the landlord and Raintree Commercial represented the tenant.

Read more at CoStar Group.

iPic Frisco: Wade Park scores Pinstripes Bowling, Bocce 

(8/28/2014)

FRISCO - Thomas Land and Development has announced two new venues that will be coming to its Wade Part mixed-use development: Pinstripes Inc. and iPic Theaters.

This will be the first Pinstripes Bowling, Bocce, Bistro location in Texas offering food and fun. The iPic, meanwhile, will offer luxury seating (including full leg recliners), gourmet food and handcrafted farm-to-glass cocktails.

Pinstripes will occupy 32,000 sf of first and second floor indoor and outdoor space. The venue will feature 16 bowling lanes, ten indoor and outdoor bocce courts, patios, fire pits and event space accommodating 20 to 600 people.

iPic is known for its “premium plus” seating that includes full-leg-reclining seats, pillows and blankets and individual service-call buttons that summon servers. Guests are also able to purchase food from iPic’s restaurant concept — Tanzy Express.

Wade Park, which broke ground earlier this month, is a 175-acre mixed use development along the Dallas North Tollway and Lebanon Rd. It will also be home to Whole Foods Market and include upscale retail, fine dining, entertainment, hotels, commercial office space and residential housing.

The first phase of Wade Park, which will include Whole Foods, Pinstripes and iPic, is set to open spring 2016.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Nice talk: Interactions Corp. to hire 1,000 in Austin 

(8/28/2014)

AUSTIN - Interactions Corp. plans to add 1,000 new workers in Austin by the end of 2015 to support its growing customer base.

The Franklin, Massachusetts-based company provides services intended to ease frustration with automated voice and text customer service systems. Interactions Corp. claims clients that include Hyatt Hotels Corp., Humana Inc. and TXU Energy.

In Austin, the company works out of an office building near E. Rundberg Lane and I-35 that Rackspace Inc. plans to vacate when it shifts operations to the redeveloping Highland Mall.

The new Austin employees would be hired as entry-level "intent analysts," according to Interactions Corp.'s Executive Vice President Jim Dreher.

The company is keen to hire employees to fill the intent analysts' positions who can speak and understand more than one language, especially Spanish.

Interactions Corp. has had an Austin presence since 2007, when it opened its "iCenter.” It currently employs 300.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

ABIA monthly traffic hits 1M for first time 

(8/28/2014)

AUSTIN - July was the first month ever to see more than 1 million passengers travel through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The record total of 1,006,417 travelers was up 9 percent from Jul 2013, and topped the previous single month record of 968,545 — which had just been set in June 2014.

The Austin airport has seen robust growth in recent years, thanks in part to the addition of four new carriers in the past year and steady population increases.

Only one out of the past 55 months — since January 2010 — has not seen passenger growth at the airport.

ABIA is the nation’s third fastest-growing airport behind New ­Orleans and Houston, according to industry trade publication Airline Weekly.

In July, the airport also reported cargo traffic figures, which were down slightly, less than 1 percent, at 11.9 million pounds.

However, international air cargo, with the addition of British Airways in the last year, continued to see a meteoric rise in shipments, which were up 74 percent to 1.3 million pounds.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman and the City of Austin.

DFW, Houston lead U.S. in job growth over past year 

(8/28/2014)

TEXAS - The DFW and Houston areas rank among the nation’s top three metropolitan areas for job growth over the last 12 months, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The New York area was No. 1 with 155,400 new jobs from July 2013 to July 2014. The DFW area was No. 2 (120,800 jobs), and the Houston area was No. 3 (112,200 jobs).

Overall, year-over-year employment rose in 327 U.S. metros, fell in 41 areas and was unchanged in four areas. The nation has 372 major metro areas.

Here are the top ten Texas metropolitan statistical areas ranked by number of jobs added during the past year:

Top Ten Texas MSAs by Jobs Added, July 2013 – July 2014
National
Rank
MSA Jobs
added
Change
2 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 120,800 7.4%
3 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown 112,200 7.0%
19 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos 32,600 4.4%
31 San Antonio-New Braunfels 20,800 3.7%
60 College Station-Bryan 6,700 3.0%
70 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 6,000 2.8%
79 Midland 5,300 2.8%
81 Corpus Christi 5,200 2.8%
84 El Paso 4,900 2.7%
97 Lubbock 4,200 2.5%


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

For more stats on employment and more, check out any MSA's Market Data Sources.

50,000-SF stand-alone San Antonio Aquarium goes swimmingly 

(8/28/2014)

LEON VALLEY, BEXAR COUNTY - Construction for the enclosures at the 50,000-sf San Antonio Aquarium is underway. The aquarium will be located at 6320 Bandera Rd., just outside of Loop 410 at the former home of the Fiesta Dodge dealership.

The aquarium is scheduled to open in December and will feature sharks, hundreds of species of exotic fish, sting rays and interactive exhibits.

The largest exhibit will be a 125,000-gallon tunnel tank with various sharks and tropical fish, which may not be completed until March 2015.

The San Antonio Aquarium will also feature an exhibit where guests can touch stingrays and a Jump Jungle, where kids can enjoy multiple bounce houses and trampolines.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Cedar Park $22M intersection project transformation 

(8/28/2014)

CEDAR PARK - The City of Cedar Park has broken ground on a $22 million project to transform FM 1431, also known as Whitestone Blvd.

The 16-month project will expand FM 1431 from four to six lanes between Parmer Lane and Sam Bass Rd., add turn lanes for side streets and rebuild the intersection of Whitestone Blvd. and Parmer Lane/Ronald Reagan Blvd.

The intersection will be converted into a partial continuous-flow intersection. When complete, drivers on Parmer and Reagan will be able to make traditional turns onto Whitestone, but drivers on Whitestone will wait at separate signals to bring them across to the road's left side before permitting them to turn onto Parmer or Reagan.

Cedar Park residents have become accustomed to traffic around the intersection, with more than 70,000 cars traveling FM 1431 each day.

"Not only is it an expansion of FM 1431 for commuting but also for economic development. Our hospital, shopping, entertainment are right on this road,” said Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell.

TxDOT and Williamson County are also chipping in for the project.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Austin: 34-story JW Marriott moves opening date to Feb. 

(8/28/2014)

AUSTIN - The 1,012-room JW Marriott hotel has pushed forward its opening date, thanks to construction continuing to run ahead of schedule.

The 34-story hotel at E. 2nd St. and Congress Ave. is now set to welcome its first guests February 13, 2015. When completed, the facility will be the city’s largest hotel.

Already, event organizers have booked gatherings at the hotel that will account for more than 375,000 room nights through 2020, said developer White Lodging.

Work on the lobby, swimming pool, bars and restaurants, meeting rooms and other public areas inside the JW Marriott is 80 percent complete, said General Manager Scott Blalock.

The JW Marriott is one of several new hotels set to come online in the downtown area in the next few years, including another convention-sized hotel, the 1,054-room Fairmont Austin at E. Cesar Chavez St. and Red River St. It is scheduled to open in either 2016 or 2017.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Alamo Drafthouse to open third DFW location in Las Colinas 

(8/28/2014)

IRVING - Alamo Drafthouse has announced that it will open its third Dallas-Fort Worth location at the $165 million Music Factory Entertainment Center that is currently under construction near the Irving Convention Center.

The mixed-use development in Las Colinas will add an Alamo Drafthouse at SH 114 and Fuller Dr. in spring 2016.

The announcement of the Music Factory location comes just one month after the company released plans to open a location in Downtown Dallas on S. Lamar St. and Cadiz St.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

For more on the Music Factory, see previous story Stealing the show: $165M Music Factory rocking in Irving.

Houston tourists spending on the rise 

(8/28/2014)

HOUSTON - When visitors come to Houston, they spend big money, according to the latest figures from the Texas Office of Economic Development and Tourism.

Visitors to the Houston metro area spent $16.2 billion in 2013, up from $15.5 billion in 2012, beating traveler money flows for all other covered metro areas in Texas including Dallas and Austin.

The Texas Office of Economic Development and Tourism reports that the travel and tourism industry housed more than 128,000 jobs in 2013, a 4.5 percent increase over 2012.

Travelers spent $2.4 billion on accommodations last year, up 14 percent from 2012. Visitors spent $2.6 billion in restaurant and food services, and $3.5 billion on local transportation and gasoline.

Houston was the 12th top travel destination, according to Canada-based tourism strategy development Resonance Consultancy Ltd.

The Houston Airport System showed an increase in international traffic of 2.5 percent to nearly 9 million passengers, a record for the city.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that Houston saw a 22 percent increase in international visitors last year, the largest increase in the United States.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Rents increase fastest pace on record: Houston multifamily 

(8/27/2014 7:15:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Recent data show that apartment rents are increasing at the fastest pace on record, at the same time households are shifting from owning to renting, according to the second quarter report from CBRE.

According to the firm, Houston’s multifamily market is seeing positive absorption, fast rent growth, plenty of new construction, and strong investor interest.

Rents are growing at the fastest pace on record, 4.9 percent overall year-over-year. More than 18,000 new units are expected in the market by the end of 2014.

According to Real Capital Analytics, Houston posted $1.2 billion in multifamily sales in 2Q 2014, a gain of 48 percent from 1Q 2014.

“Although new supply is robust, new units continue to trail demand, which has been driven by significant net migration and job growth. Houston added 370,000 new jobs since the recovery began and expanded by more new residents than any other U.S. metro in 2013,” Sara Rutledge, director of research and analysis at CBRE, said in a statement.

For the full report, see Houston Multifamily MarketView 2Q 2014 (PDF).

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Sweet dreams in Texas: hotel occupancy 2Q 2014 

(8/27/2014 7:10:00 AM)

TEXAS - In second quarter 2014, ten areas exceeded the state hotel occupancy average. Meanwhile, 19 of 27 Texas areas showed increased occupancy compared to 2013, according to Source Strategies Inc.

The table below is sorted by 2Q 2014 occupancy, and clearly shows the continuing, positive affect of oil and gas exploration and production activity.

In all oil and gas counties statewide, 2Q 2014 occupancy averaged 68.9 percent, up 1.7 points from 67.2 percent in 2013.

Top Ten Metros Ranked by Occupancy 2Q 2014
  2013 Total 2Q 2014
Metro Area

Occ.%

$ Rev.
Chg.
Occ. % Chg. % $ Rev.
Chg.
Midland 81.9 1.7% 84.7 0.9 31.4%
Odessa 77.0 -0.9% 79.6 -1.4 8.8%
San Angelo 82.9 36.7% 78.4 -3.8 -3.6%
College Station-Bryan 66.7 18.3% 77.7 6.2 26.9%
Austin-Round Rock 72.5 13.9% 75.9 0.3 8.3%
Lubbock 66.8 9.4% 72.7 1.1 7.3%
Houston-Sugar Land-
Baytown
66.4 12.8% 71.9 3.2 11.6%
Dallas-Plano-Irving 65.4 10.2% 71.7 4.0 11.2%
Waco 61.7 10.4% 68.8 1.6 5.6%
Victoria 64.1 -6.0% 68.1 -0.5 8.6%
State average 63.6 8.6% 67.8 1.8 9.1%


See the full report at Source Strategies Inc. or the Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism.

For more stats on all counties and MSAs, see Hotel under Market Data Sources.

Houston: 21Eleven rises on former Adobe Cafe site 

(8/27/2014 7:09:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The 21Eleven building now stands with four stories but will ultimately boast five levels of residential space with 215 units sitting atop two levels of parking with space for 300 vehicles.

Rents will range from $1,400 for one-bedroom units to $2,500 for two-bedroom units.

The complex is on the former Cafe Adobe site at the corner of Shepherd and Westheimer.

The development will offer apartment homes with custom touches such as stainless steel appliances, gas stoves and fitness center.

Mark Clegg, director of media relations and communications for Hines, the company developing 21Eleven, said that although it won't be complete until April or May 2015, the complex will be open to residents beginning December 2014.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Hillwood to start 230,000-SF AllianceTexas spec project 

(8/27/2014 7:08:00 AM)

FORT WORTH - Developer Hillwood Properties is readying to start a speculative project that will bring Alliance Gateway 24 and 25 to its 18,000-acre AllianceTexas master-planned community.

Hillwood plans to develop Alliance Gateway 24 and 25 at the southeast corner of Park Vista Blvd. and Liberty Way in Fort Worth with vacancies ranging from 25,000 sf up to more than 230,000 sf. The developer plans to complete the project by first quarter 2015.

The two projects make good on a promise Hillwood President Mike Berry made to the Dallas-Fort Worth real estate community earlier this year. The North Texas region has more than 18 million sf of industrial space under construction as the market's vacancy rates reach historic lows.

The new facilities will offer suppliers and partners of the ability to locate in proximity to the more than 370 companies already at AllianceTexas, said Tony Creme, vice president of Hillwood.

"Hillwood continues to see strong demand for industrial space at AllianceTexas," Creme said. "With the increased density we're experiencing in and around AllianceTexas, there is a great opportunity to offer space that supports the overall growth in the region."

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Seton breaks ground on $295M hospital at UT Austin 

(8/27/2014 7:07:00 AM)

AUSTIN - Construction has begun on Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas — a $295 million teaching hospital that is a component of the University of Texas’ new Dell Medical School.

The new hospital being built at 601 E. 15th St. is across from University Medical Center Brackenridge — which it will replace.

Slated for completion in 2017, the hospital will be owned and operated by Seton. Seton will invest $245 million for construction and has set up The Seton Fund to raise the remaining $50 million via philanthropy.

The facility will be built on land owned by the University of Texas at Austin and leased to Central Health, Travis County's health care district, which will sublease the land to Seton at fair market value.

According to previous press releases by Seton, the combination of a new teaching hospital and medical school on the campus of a major research university is expected to create 15,000 new jobs, not including construction jobs. About 60 percent of those jobs will require two years of college or a training certificate.

The medical school, which is under construction, is scheduled for completion in 2016. Both buildings will be located on the new medical campus around the corner of 15th St. and Red River St.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and at Seton.

Game changer for UH's new $120M TDECU Stadium 

(8/27/2014 7:06:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The University of Houston (UH) will debut the $120 million football stadium August 29. UH and Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU) agreed this summer to a ten-year naming rights partnership that will pay $15 million total.

The 40,000-seat TDECU Stadium was built on the former site of Robertson Stadium. Seating includes 5,000 permanent student seats in the east end and 26 suites spanning from end zone to end zone on the south side.

There are four open-air end-zone party decks, each with 24 armchairs. There are also two open-air party suites located on the east and west end of the suite level featuring 60 padded armchairs each.

A 12,400-sf multipurpose club area will overlook the field of play (25 feet above the playing surface) from the south side concourse.

The 39,089-sf Bert F. Winston Band Complex, home to UH's Spirit of Houston Band, is located on the stadium's east end.

A total of 160 concessions areas are located throughout the stadium, including portable kiosks on the upper level. There are more than 50 restrooms located throughout the stadium.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

LA firm buys more: San Antonio 138,000-SF Gateway Plaza 

(8/27/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - Los Angeles-based Tryperion Partners has closed on the purchase of the 138,510-sf Gateway Plaza located at the I-35 and Loop 1604 interchange on the city’s far Northeast Side.

Anchored by Burlington Coat Factory, Gateway Plaza is currently 97 percent occupied. The acquisition also includes vacant land for future development of the center.

Gateway Plaza marks Tryperion’s latest buy in the Alamo City. Last September, the private real estate investment firm purchased the Oakwell Springs apartment complex — a 252-unit multifamily community located at 1946 NE Loop 410 in North Central San Antonio.

Read more at the San Antonio Business-Journal.

Pasadena: 514-unit Alta Vista sold 

(8/27/2014)

PASADENA - Alta Vista, a 514-unit, Class C community located at 621 South Richey St., has been sold. The garden-style community is situated on 45.9 acres.

The 42-year-old property is 95 percent occupied with average rents at $0.72 per sf. The community features one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans ranging in size from 440 sf to 1,200 sf.

Property amenities include 24-hour emergency maintenance, playground, volleyball court, tennis court, clubhouse, swimming pool and sports court.

Alta Villas Nominee LLC, an entity of Global Securitization Services LLC, purchased the community from Focus Columns LLC, an entity of Focus Hospitality Group.

Read more at O'Connor and Associates.

CoStar: Houston Office Mid-Year 2014 Report 

(8/26/2014 7:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The office market ended second quarter 2014 with a vacancy rate of 11.0 percent, according to CoStar Group's Houston Office Mid-Year 2014 Report.

Net absorption for the overall office market was positive 2,042,698 sf in 2Q 2014. That compares to positive 2,672,285 sf in 1Q 2014.

The largest lease signings occurring in 2014 included:

•  American Bureau of Shipping at One Greenspoint Place leased 224,833 sf;

•  Sasol North America at Woodbranch Plaza IV took 171,475 sf deal signed; and

•  the 127,684-sf lease signed by Energy XXI Services at One City Centre.

The average quoted asking rental rate for available office space, all classes, was $27.03 per sf per year at the end of 2Q 2014. This represented a 1.5 percent increase in quoted rental rates from the end of 1Q 2014, when rents were reported at $26.64 per sf.

During 2Q 2014, 23 buildings totaling 1,971,823 sf were completed. This compares to 39 buildings totaling 2,487,107 sf that were completed in 1Q 2014. There were 17,760,993 sf of office space under construction at the end of 2Q 2014.

Click here for The CoStar Office Report Mid-Year 2014: Houston

Source: downtownHouston.org

Music to McAllen’s ears: $45M arts center underway 

(8/26/2014 6:45:00 AM)

McALLEN - The $45 million, 93,000-sf McAllen Performing Arts Center has broken ground on the southeast side of the McAllen Convention Center grounds. Scheduled to open in fall 2016, the 1,800-seat center is projected to draw over 200 shows annually.

The auditorium will feature adjustable acoustics, a robust acoustical shell with a celestial ceiling, and four levels of seating, with 1,093 seats in the main auditorium level, 422 seats in the first balcony level and 301 seats in the upper balcony.

Furthermore, the facility will be across the street from the new six-story, $20 million Embassy Suites hotel and next to the Veterans War Memorial of Texas.

“The citizens of McAllen will soon have one of the best venues in the country to enjoy musicals, the symphony and recitals. It will be a fun gathering place for McAllen and Valley families,” said Mayor Jim Darling.

Read more at Your Valley Voice.

Lubbock Apartment Association releases June 2014 survey 

(8/26/2014 6:29:00 AM)

LUBBOCK - The Lubbock Apartment Association conducted their semi-annual Occupancy Survey for June 2014

•  The total unit surveys returned was 10,171.
•  The total units occupied was 9,215.
•  The figures yeilded an overall occupancy rate of 90.6 percent.

Units surveyed were divided into five areas of the city. By comparison, the overall occupancy factor of 90.6 percent is higher than the 90.5 percent factor determined by the Occupancy Survey of June 2013.

Occupancy Rate by Unit Size
  Units
Surveyed
Units
Occupied
Occupancy
Efficiency 246 232 94.31%
1 Bedroom 4,267 3,958 92.76%
2 Bedroom 4,279 4,246 89.79%
3 Bedroom 798 682 85.46%
4 Bedroom 131 97 74.05%
Totals 10,171 9,215 90.60%


Source: Lubbock Apartment Association

Click here for the full report.

For previous years' data, see Lubbock Apartment Association.

Corpus Christi 2Q 2014 retail: Burbach 

(8/26/2014)

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

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

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


Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here to see the report.

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

Don't miss out! See Corpus Christi NewsTalk Texas.

San Angelo housing 2Q 2014: Coldwell Banker Patterson 

(8/26/2014)

SAN ANGELO - Closings during second quarter 2014 increased substantially — over 30 percent — from 1Q 2014, while listed inventory has also increased dramatically, according to Coldwell Banker Patterson's newest quarterly report.

The market is hovering around four months of supply, compared to two months of supply during 2Q 2013. Market observers consider six months to be a healthy supply level.

After a strong March, single-family permit activity declined in April 2014 and May 2014, however, these figures are expected to rebound in the coming months.

The average daily room rate has increased from $95.69 to $111.30 so revenue per available room (revpar) has changed very little. There is interest in the hospitality sector with Value Place and Pure Strike Development planning to develop a hotel in San Angelo.

A study by the University of Texas at San Antonio estimated the impact of oil and gas operations in ten counties in the eastern portion of the Permian Basin. “The counties to the east are the ones that have the large population centers like San Angelo and Abilene ... and that's where we expect the workforce to be drawn from," said Research Director Thomas Tunstall.

2Q 2014 San Angelo Home Statistics
  2Q
2014
2Q
2013
Y-O-Y
Chg.
Avg. sales price $164,083 $157,355 4.3%
Avg. $/SF $90 $84 6.7%
Median sales price $150,950 $145,200 4.0%
DOM 104 94 10.7%
Sale % of list 96.5% 98.2% -1.7%
# of sales 408 452 -9.7%
Listed inventory 538 325 65.5%


Prepared by Coldwell Banker Premier Realty, Market IQ & Coldwell Banker Patterson.

Source: Coldwell Banker Patterson

See the full 2Q 2014 report from Coldwell Banker Patterson.

Check out San Angelo NewsTalk Texas and San Angelo Market Data Sources. Got news? Send to ecraig@tamu.edu.

Amarillo 2014 retail outlook: Coldwell Banker Commercial 

(8/26/2014)

AMARILLO - The local retail market remains tight from an occupancy rate perspective, challenging both tenants and their brokers, according to the new 2014 Retail Market Survey by Coldwell Banker Commercial First Equity, Realtors.

Rental rates have held steady for the past eighteen months with only a few owners increasing rates, most of which were in Class B centers.

Of 49 total retail shopping centers surveyed, nine reported rate increases ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent, two reported slight decreases, and 38 reported no change in rental rates.

Based on the current activity level and limited amount of new space coming to the market in 2014, retail owners should expect even tighter occupancies throughout 2014-2015 and continued opportunities to increase rental rates as existing tenants renew leases and new players enter the market.

Amarillo Retail Market Summary
July 2014
Market Area Total
SF
Occupied
SF
Occupied Vacant
SF
Southwest 3,677,463 3,454,061 94% 223,402
     Open Air Centers 2,790,924 2,576,387 92% 214,537
Mall Properties 886,539 877,674 99% 8,865
Southeast 196,819 192,819 98%  4,000
Northwest 491,400 463,500 94% 27,900
Open Air Centers 26,400  26,400 100% 0
Mall Properties 465,000 437,100 94% 27,900
Northeast 144,844 122,844 85% 22,000
Total 4,510,526 4,233,224 94% 277,302
Open Air Centers 3,138,987 2,918,450 92% 240,537
Mall Properties 1,351,539 1,314,774 97% 36,765


Read more at Coldwell Banker Commercial First Equity, Realtors.

Brownsville-Harlingen industrial 2Q 2014: Burbach 

(8/26/2014)

BROWNSVILLE-HARLINGEN - The industrial market totaled over 10 million sf in second quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. Of this number, 98.5 percent is considered warehouse space and 1.5 percent is considered flex space.

For 2Q 2014, the total market vacancy rate was 16.0 percent, and the average quoted rental rate was $3.46 per sf.

Brownsville-Harlingen Industrial Market Summary 2Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Warehouse space 10,022 16.1% $3.46
Flex space 150 7.4% N/A
CBD Brownsville 368 17.1% $4.20
CBD Harlingen 12 0.0% N/A
Greater Brownsville 8,161 15.2% $3.50
Greater Harlingen 1,631 19.8% $3.16
Total 10,172 16.0% $3.46


Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here for the full report.

See the full report of Office, Retail and Industrial under Brownsville-Harlingen Market Data Sources.

Hereford opens 35,000-SF Amigos store, 150 jobs 

(8/26/2014)

HEREFORD, DEAF SMITH COUNTY - United Supermarkets opened a 35,000-sf Amigos store and a 2,400-sf convenience store on a 5.2-acre site at 520 N. 25-Mile Ave., according to Juan Enchinton, United business director of Hispanic initiatives.

The project had a construction value of $5 million according to City of Hereford building permit information, said Assistant City Manager Steve Bartels.

As a result of the new facilities, 150 jobs were created, according to Michael Kitten, Executive Director of the Hereford Economic Development Corporation (HEDC). HEDC offered The United Family an incentive of $200,000 for completing construction and reaching a store gross payroll of $2.5 million by August 2017.

United previously converted existing supermarkets in Amarillo, Plainview and Lubbock into Amigos stores.

Amarillo’s store is at East I-40 and South Grand St. The Hereford store, the first one built from the ground up, relies on a mix of Hispanic-focused features and qualities of a regular United Supermarket.

The United Family is an independent subsidiary of Albertson’s LLC, which closed its $385 million purchase of Lubbock-based United in 2013.

Read more at the Amarillo Globe-News.

25 Years, 34M SF later: AllianceTexas continues to grow 

(8/26/2014)

FORT WORTH - Twenty-five years after breaking ground, the AllianceTexas development north of Fort Worth continues to grow.

“There’s 3.5 million sf under construction in just three buildings — 1 million sf of it is preleased,” said Mike Berry, president of developer Hillwood Properties.

About 37,000 people work in the development, which houses more than 370 companies.

There’s now almost 34 million sf of warehouse space at Alliance housing everything from FedEx packages to Amazon.com merchandise and Nestlé chocolate.

Along with warehouse space, new development includes almost 1 million sf of shopping, an office building that just opened and hundreds of apartments. The apartments are in a mixed-use district that includes a $71 million HCA Hospital that is under construction.

Berry estimates that the project is only about half built.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Former Elk's Lodge donated to Longview Shade Tree Fellowship 

(8/26/2014)

LONGVIEW - The 17,000-sf former Elk’s Lodge building and the ten acres it sits on has been donated to a local ministry.

Owner Bobby Smallwood has donated the property to On Missions, which sponsors the Shade Tree Fellowship, a weekly gathering that ministers to and feeds the disadvantaged, many of whom are homeless or live in area motels.

The immediate goal for the property will be the opening of a free gym, according to Alan Johnson, one of the ministry’s leaders.

Tina Anders, a real estate agent with Century 21 The Elite Group, received the listing several months ago from developer Bobby Smallwood to sell the site of the old Elk’s Lodge building on Marshall Ave.

Anders walked through the door and said she felt another way to use the building. She began working immediately to accomplish the goal of helping others.

Read more at the Longview News-Journal.

Yes, you can now buy a washer and dryer in Dallas' NorthPark 

(8/26/2014)

DALLAS - Pirch, a California-based appliance and plumbing store, has opened a 32,000-sf store at NorthPark Center.

The store offers a luxury showroom environment to sell a wide range of home appliances. The store is Pirch's sixth, and it also has a distribution center in Farmer's branch.

Pirch replaces Barneys New York, which left the mall in 2013. Northpark leased the empty space to Pirch and Austin-based furniture retailer Arhaus, which opens in November.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Express Energy casing and rathole drilling heads to Bryan 

(8/26/2014)

BRYAN - Express Energy Services is opening a new 20,000-sf facility off SH 21 to help it better serve the oil and gas industry. The facility will support two of the company's services: casing and rathole drilling.

Express, which has more than 85 local employees with plans for more by the end of the year, broke ground on the new location in February.

Express also has major operations in El Campo, Pleasanton and Laredo. The company has operated in the Bryan-College Station area for more than eight years.

Read more at The Eagle.

 

Victoria home sales July 2014: Swearingen 

(8/26/2014)

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

The average sales price for residential homes was $175,828 for the 12 months ending July 2014, up 4.8 percent versus July 2013 when it was $167,726.

The median price of residential homes for July 2014 was $159,900, up 6.6 percent from July 2013 when it was $150,000.

There were 947 residential homes sold in Victoria MLS for the 12 months ending July 2014, 8.5 percent (74 homes) more than the same period in 2013.

Victoria MLS Residential Home Sales June 2014
All Categories* 12 Months Ending
July 2013
12 Months Ending
July 2014
Change
Residential property sales 873 947 8.5%
Residential total dollar volume $146,424,599 $166,508,782 13.7%
Average residential sales price $167,726 $175,828 4.8%
Median residential sales price $150,000 $159,900 6.6%
Total active listings end of month 238 232  -2.5%
Months inventory 2.9 2.7 -6.9%

*These figures refer to the residential homes market.

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

Payrolls proliferate in Lubbock with business expansions  

(8/26/2014)

LUBBOCK - National Pump Co. and The Decor Group plan to create at least 55 new jobs as the result of expanded business operations, according to the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA).

LEDA incentivized The Decor Group $71,000 for the creation of 18 jobs, and incentivized National Pump Co. $113,000 for the creation of 32 new jobs. The financial incentives will be paid during the next five years as the jobs are created.

National Pump Co. is a business that specializes in pump technology, and its expansion is projected to equal $4.3 million in new capital investment. The newly created jobs will have total annual salaries of about $1.1 million.

The Decor Group, a company that furnishes Christmas lighting and outdoor lighting for houses, decided to expand by making a capital investment of close to $600,000, which is expected to add 23 new jobs with an annual salary of $835,000.

Additionally, X-FAB, a manufacturer of silicon wafers for mixed-signal integrated circuits, plans to invest $15 million in new capital equipment at its Lubbock location for the first phase of the project. The investment is geared toward modernizing its plant, and could create up to 75 jobs.

In total, these companies will invest more than $19.9 million in new capital improvements and the jobs created from their projects will provide more than $1.9 million in new, annual salaries. Once fully operational, the total change in Lubbock County’s gross regional product will be $5.8 million annually.

It is important to note the quality of jobs these companies will create, according to Kenny McKay, director of business retention at LEDA. Starting positions at X-FAB, for example, average more than $50,000 annually.

Read more at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Dallas: SMU sorority opens $6.5M, 25,000-SF house 

(8/26/2014)

DALLAS - The Iota Alpha chapter of the Chi Omega sorority at Southern Methodist University has moved into its new $6.5 million sorority house.

The 25,000-sf residence replaces the former SMU Faculty Club at the site at 3034 Daniel Ave. Construction began in June 2013 after the group completed fundraising for the three-story building.

The interior of the Chi Omega house includes seating for 160 members, a safe room, an art studio and in-suite study areas.

The sorority will use the house to host events as well as provide housing for about 40 members each year.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Cordyne Inc. expands to 45,000-SF facility in Houston 

(8/26/2014)

HOUSTON - Cordyne Inc., a Houston-based electrical supply firm, acquired a new 45,000-sf manufacturing facility in Northwoods Industrial Park in early August.

Cordyne has already begun operations in the facility, only four miles from the company's primary facility at 9820 Drysdale Lane.

The facility more than doubles the company's manufacturing space and will be used primarily for heavy manufacturing projects that would not fit in its primary facility.

"The ultimate goal is to run the two facilities for a few years and ultimately build one large mega facility solely customized for our operations. We're thinking in the next two to three years, counting about a year and a half for construction," President Ben Devine said.

Cordyne specializes in industrial process controls and electrical supply manufacturing. It focuses primarily on oil and gas clients, which comprise about 70 percent of its business.

The company is also involved in renewables, mining and marine industries. It has grown from 52 employees last year to over 100 this year, including 28 employees hired in the last month and reported revenues of $65 million for 2013.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Seasons changing: Austin's Summer grove apartments sold 

(8/26/2014)

AUSTIN - The 124-unit Summer Grove Apartments at 7905 San Felipe Blvd. has been sold.

Summer Grove, which consists of 68 one-bedroom units and 56 two-bedroom units, is located on 5.4 acres. There are 11 buildings on-site with amenities including a pool and clubhouse.

A private investment group from Chicago purchased the property from California-based CREVI II Summer Grove LLC.

Read more at Muskin Commercial.

Spring: 44 homes dock at The Lakes of Shadow Creek 

(8/26/2014)

SPRING - Frankel Building Group has embarked on an upscale community called The Lakes of Shadow Creek. The home builder will build 44 custom homes on 23.6 acres of undeveloped land.

The Lakes of Shadow Creek will feature homes ranging in size from 3,500 sf to 5,500 sf, sitting on lots from 12,000 sf to 25,000 sf. The homes will have access to three lakes. Home prices start at $895,000.

The gated community, situated three miles from the new Exxon Mobil campus, is zoned to Klein Independent School District.

The first phase of construction consists of five model homes and is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Killeen: Gander Mountain to indoors with 46,000-SF store 

(8/26/2014)

KILLEEN - Gander Mountain has announced that it will open a 45,600-sf facility in spring 2015. The store will be located on East Central Texas Expy., between West Trimmier Rd. and Athens St.

The store will join others already in Texas cities including Amarillo, Beaumont, College Station, Houston, Lewisville, Lubbock, Mesquite, Round Rock, San Antonio, Sherman, Spring, Sugar Land, Texarkana, Tyler and Arlington.

Other new locations are coming to west Houston, Waco and Lake Worth in the fall and a new store will come to El Paso in the spring, according to a company news release.

Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald.

Tomball: Back to school upgrades, $51.3M for new campuses 

(8/26/2014)

TOMBALL - The Tomball Independent School District (TISD) is in the early stages of construction on three schools that will open August 2015. TISD broke ground on the three schools in May.

Construction costs are about $51.3 million for all three schools. Finance Director Jim Ross said TISD will pay an estimated $3.6 million in operating costs when it opens the three new campuses next year.

The district is building Wildwood Elementary and Oakcrest Intermediate on the south side of the district, and Creekview Elementary in The Woodlands.

Wildwood and Oakcrest are being constructed next to one another, on the west end of the Wildwood subdivision where Northpointe Blvd. intersects Shaw Rd.

Creekview, the first kindergarten through fifth-grade campus in the district, will be the third elementary campus built in The Woodlands' Creekside Park neighborhood since 2009 when TISD opened Creekside Forest Elementary.

There also were upgrades completed throughout TISD. New security vestibules were added to Tomball High School, Tomball Elementary, Tomball Junior High, Northpointe Intermediate, Willow Wood Junior High, Rosehill Elementary and Willow Creek Elementary at a cost of $600,000.

New drives were added outside Northpointe Intermediate and Willow Creek Elementary, which will alleviate traffic congestion on North Eldridge Pkwy. and Northpointe Blvd.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Pearland: 115 homes headed to 22-acre Shadow Ridge 

(8/26/2014)

PEARLAND - Newmark Homes will build 115 homes in Shadow Ridge, a new 22-acre enclave adjacent to Shadow Creek Ranch along FM 518.

The Houston-based builder will offer homes starting from $250,000 on three different lots sizes — 50 feet, 55 feet and 60 feet wide. Newmark will be the only builder in the neighborhood.

Michael Doyle with DCI is developing the neighborhood, which will be marketed as part of Shadow Creek Ranch. Residents will pay dues to Shadow Creek’s homeowners association and will have access more than 150 acres of amenities in the master-planned community.

“This is one of the few remaining opportunities for a new home in Shadow Creek Ranch that is zoned to Alvin ISD,” Jeff Dye, Newmark vice president, said in an announcement.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Corpus Christi 2Q 2014 office report: Burbach 

(8/25/2014)

CORPUS CHRISTI - The local office market contained nearly 9.8 million sf as of second quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. The overall vacancy rate decreased to 9.6 percent in 2Q 2014.

The average quoted full-service rental rate was $14.48 per sf, down from $14.73 at the end of 2013.

Corpus Christi Office
Market Summary 2Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Class A 938 13.2% $19.31
Class B 6,553 8.9% $14.26
Class C 2,270 10.0% $10.99
CBD 4,546 8.9% $15.37
South Side 2,202 9.3% $15.56
Mid-City 1,489 13.4% $11.90
West Side 664 5.6% $9.87
Total 9,761 9.6% $14.48


Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here for the full report.

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

Don't forget Corpus Christi NewsTalk Texas.

Brownsville-Harlingen 2Q 2014 office report: Burbach 

(8/25/2014)

BROWNSVILLE-HARLINGEN - The local office market contained nearly 3.2 million sf as of second quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. The overall vacancy rate was 11.5 percent in 2Q 2014.

The average total market rental rate was $14.13 per sf, with Harlingen featuring $12.61 per sf.

Brownsville-Harlingen Office Market Summary
2Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Class A 125 42.8% $18.66
Class B 2,219 10.3% $14.32
Class C 838 9.9% $9.77
CBD Brownsville 361 1.3% $10.10
CBD Harlingen 270 3.9% $12.89
Greater Brownsville 1,426 12.4% $16.75
Greater Harlingen 1,125 15.3% $12.61
Total 3,182 11.5% $14.13


Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here for the full report.

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

DFW: UPS grabs two distribution centers, adding 500 jobs 

(8/25/2014)

ALLIANCE, McKINNEY - UPS has announced the lease of two new package distribution facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The new facilities, one located in the Alliance development in far north Fort Worth and the other in McKinney, are expected to bring 500 new jobs to the local economy.

The Alliance building, nicknamed “Independence,” will create more than 300 package handler jobs and more than 50 tractor trailer driver positions.

The 495,000-sf building at 13700 Independence Pkwy. will serve UPS customers in the North Tarrant and South Denton counties.

The second building in McKinney will bring 120 new full-time jobs to the area. UPS will occupy 215,000 sf of an 888,000-sf facility at 3000 Redbud Blvd. and will serve Collin County through the location.

The company plans to occupy the new facility in November 2014.

With the addition of these sites, UPS now has eight buildings serving Dallas-Fort Worth with more than 7,500 employees. Applicants can learn more about UPS jobs at upsjobs.com.

Read more at the Fort Worth Business Press.

Ector County home sales July 2014 

(8/25/2014)

ECTOR COUNTY - The number of home sales, days on the market and sales volume in Ector County from July 2013 through July 2014 have been posted by the Odessa Board of Realtors.

 
Ector County Home Sales
  Month     # of
Sales
    Sales Volume     DOM*  
July 2014 122 $24,153,289 35
June 2014 144 $28,868,505 44
May 2014 118 $23,408,926 90
Apr. 2014 107 $19,271,967 48
Mar. 2014 101 $18,750,631 62
Feb. 2014 68 $11,694,948 57
Jan. 2014 76 $11,845,438 54
Dec. 2013 101 $17,951,420 58
Nov. 2013 69 $12,466,181 57
Oct. 2013 102 $20,018,201 55
Sept. 2013 87 $16,191,809 44
Aug. 2013 127 $23,643,112 49
July 2013 113 $23,364,160 35

*Days on Market

Read more at the Odessa Board of Realtors.

$15.8M, 116,000-SF school sure to build Legacy in Lubbock 

(8/25/2014)

LUBBOCK - The $15.8 million, 116,000-sf Legacy Elementary School campus has officially opened at 6424 Kemper Ave. The facility features more than 30 classrooms, a computer lab and a shell for a future life skills wing.

Legacy, Frenship Independent School District’s seventh elementary school, will employ 28 staff members and house about 250 students between prekindergarten and second grade.

Each year the school is open, another grade level will be added until the school has grades pre-K through fifth grade. “We’re growing about 400 students a year,” said Superintendent David Vroonland of enrollment in FISD.

Read more at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Frenship Independent School District.

Pharr parties at 58,000-SF “Eat, Bowl, Play” 

(8/25/2014)

PHARR - Main Event Entertainment has opened its 58,000-sf "Eat, Bowl, Play" facility at 500 N. Jackson Rd. The estimated construction cost totaled $2.5 million, according to state filings.

Like other Main Event locations, the Pharr installation features state-of-the-art bowling lanes, a multi-level laser tag arena and a gravity rope course, along with 100+ deluxe videogames. The facility also boasts regulation-size billiard tables, full-service bars and dining, and free Wi-Fi access.

A subsidiary of Australia-based Ardent Leisure Group, Dallas-based Main Event Entertainment specializes in high-volume state-of-the-art family entertainment centers. The company currently has 20 locations throughout Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Illinois.

Read more at the Vending Times.

Sitel signs up to hire 250 in San Angelo 

(8/25/2014)

SAN ANGELO - Sitel will hire 250 additional employees to provide inbound customer service and sales support at its facility, located at 2702 Loop 306. The positions will begin as soon as September 2014.

“The recent expansion within the San Angelo customer experience center is a direct result of our strong client partnerships and our commitment to remain a stable employer in the San Angelo market,” said Susan Spencer, site leader for Sitel’s San Angelo facility.

Canada-based Sitel employs 56,000 in 23 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Read more at The Herald Online.

Abilene building permits: August 2014 

(8/25/2014)

ABILENE - The City of Abilene's building permit data through August 25, 2014 are available.

Abilene Building Permits 2014
Month New Single-Family
Residence
New
Business*
Total**
  Permits Total
Value
Permits Total
Value
Permits Value
May 33  $7,686,131 7 $3,196,266 121 $16,529,775
June 18 $3,934,200 10 $15,555,289 121 $20,842,152
July 13 $2,675,140 6 $9,619,028 111 $21,151,888
Aug.
1 - 25
20 $4,540,062 4 $595,000 113 $6,293,625
Total
YTD
187 $40,354,643 65 $58,694,966 876 $125,141,348

*New business does not include industrial or multifamily.
**Total represents all permit types.

Source: City of Abilene

Cavender's among slew of retail activity in Waco 

(8/25/2014)

WACO - The Cavender’s Western Wear chain will place one of its 22,000-sf superstores in Central Texas Marketplace.

Cavender’s has leased 12,000 sf in Westview Village for two decades, at Valley Mills and Waco Dr. — that location will close.

Land clearing for the new store already has begun near the Cabela’s Outpost at the marketplace, located at the intersection of Hwy. 6 and I-35.

Cavender’s will be open for Christmas shopping or shortly thereafter, according to the company.

Construction of a new Cavender’s superstore is only part of the activity proceeding at Central Texas Marketplace. Signs have gone up indicating that new JoAnn Fabric & Craft, Bed Bath & Beyond and Cost Plus/World Market stores will begin taking shape within the next few weeks, as land clearing proceeds.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

San Antonio housing market cools in July 

(8/25/2014)

SAN ANTONIO - After six consecutive months of increasing home prices, the greater San Antonio housing market took a pause in July, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR).

As of July 2014, the average and median home price in the San Antonio MSA stood at $229,253 and $187,500, respectively. Both numbers represent a slight decrease in pricing — after six months of increases.

Home prices are still up on a yearly basis, however. The average price of $229,253 represents a 6 percent increase from the average price of $216,317 posted last July.

As for the median home price, at the end of July last year, that number stood at $179,500. A year later, the median home price in the San Antonio MSA stood at $187,500 — an increase of 4 percent.

Additionally, 2,557 homes were sold over the 31 days ended July 31, 2014 — a 5 percent increase from the 2,431 homes sold over the same month last year, SABOR reports.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Missouri City: 479-unit Bankers Mini Storage sold 

(8/25/2014)

MISSOURI CITY - Bankers Mini Storage located on FM 1092 about 18 miles southwest of Houston has been sold. The 479-unit facility includes 92,733 sf of rentable space.

The property has climate-controlled, non-climate-controlled, boat and RV storage units.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Friendswood: 40,000-SF Dave & Buster's to Baybrook Mall 

(8/25/2014)

FRIENDSWOOD - Dave & Buster’s will open a 40,000-sf location next year in the expansion wing of Baybrook Mall. The restaurant and entertainment center offers food, drinks, interactive games and video games.

Construction on the new 1.7 million-sf mall space, to be called the Baybrook Lifestyle Expansion, began in May and is expected to be completed by Christmas 2015, according to the mall’s owner General Growth Properties.

This will be Dave & Buster's third Houston area location.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle and Texas Real Estate Business.

Wells ISD's $4.6M gym a slam dunk 

(8/25/2014)

WELLS, CHEROKEE COUNTY - Wells ISD has completed the construction of a $4.6 million gymnasium at 160 Rusk Ave.

The project created 45,000 sf “at a total cost of just under $100 per sf,” according to WISD Superintendent Dale Morton.

The 603-seat gym is part of a multiphase project that also called for additional space at the high school campus featuring six new academic classrooms plus two for future growth; a new agricultural sciences building; a new gym and renovation of the old agricultural sciences building into art classrooms.

Classified as a 1A school district, Wells has an enrollment of approximately 300 student in a pre-K through 12th grade program.

Read more at the Jacksonville Daily Progress.

New $67M Crosby High School underway 

(8/25/2014)

CROSBY, HARRIS COUNTY - The new $67 million Crosby High School has broken ground. The school is being built by Houston-based DuroTech and will be 416,411 sf, according to the company’s website.

The school is being built with funds from Phase 1 of the district’s bond package.

Upon completion of the high school, the current Crosby High School will be renovated — also by DuroTech — to be repurposed as a junior high facility. The existing Crosby Middle School will become an elementary campus.

Read more at Your Houston News.

Where the wealthy live: Austin area richest ZIP codes 

(8/25/2014)

AUSTIN - Mapping company ESRI has created a ranking of the wealthiest areas in Austin.

To rank the area's wealthiest ZIP codes, ESRI researchers delved deep into geographic, census and demographic data to build a profile of the typical resident in these ZIP codes and how they live.

Statistics about income, home prices, net worth and more are considered when figuring wealth. Wealth isn't always reflected through real estate. ZIP 78704 ranked 63 out of 69 ZIP codes tracked, even though it is the ZIP with the most prestige.

Here are the ten wealthiest zip codes in the Austin area and their median home values:

ZIP Codes with Highest Median Home Values
Rank ZIP Code Area Median Home
Value
1. 78746 Rollingwood, West Lake $712,704
2. 78703 Tarrytown $643,800
3. 78730 West of Capital of Texas Hwy. north of the river $627,543
4. 78731 Great Hills $548,832
5. 78738 Hill Country Galleria/Bee Cave $491,939
6. 7873 South of the river, west of Capital of Texas Hwy. $479,787
7. 78732 Steiner Ranch $445,913
8. 78735 Oak Hill north of Hwy. 71 $443,599
9. 78726 Far northwest Austin along RR 620 $411,025
10. 78739 Circle C Ranch $391,351


Source: ESRI

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

For an interactive map of the 25 wealthiest ZIP codes in Austin, see ESRI.

Rice University new building ‘reshapes’ underdeveloped side 

(8/25/2014)

HOUSTON - Rice University's Anderson-Clarke Center for Continuing Studies recently opened. The three-story, 54,800-sf building, designed by San Antonio-based Overland Partners, is situated at a busy entrance to the campus.

The building houses the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, which expects to attract nearly 20,000 enrollments a year in coming years. Before the new building opened, the school’s classrooms and offices were spread across campus.

The center was entirely funded by more than 400 private donations. It features a 240-seat auditorium with high-end digital video display and surround sound, a 200-person interior gathering space with a nine-screen video display wall and view of The Texas Medical Center.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Corpus Christi 2Q 2014 industrial report: Burbach 

(8/24/2014)

CORPUS CHRISTI - The industrial market totaled over 20 million sf in second quarter 2014, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. Of this number, 94.7 percent is considered warehouse space and 5.3 percent is considered flex space.

For 2Q 2014, the vacancy rate was 4.0 percent — down from 4.9 percent in 4Q 2013. The average quoted rental rate was $6.28 per sf, the same as 4Q 2013.

Corpus Christi Industrial
Market Summary 2Q 2014
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Warehouse space 19,125 3.7% $6.11
Flex space 1,071 9.9% $9.22
CBD 1,360 16.4% $4.43
West Side 8,165 4.7% $5.89
Northwest 3,877 1.9% $7.24
South Side 1,720 3.9% $8.63
Southwest 1,871 1.1% $8.51
Total 20,196 4.0% $6.36


Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

Click here for the full report.

See the full report of Office, Retail and Industrial under Corpus Christi Market Data Sources.

San Angelo building permits July 2014 

(8/24/2014)

SAN ANGELO - The City of San Angelo has released building permit data for July 2014.

San Angelo Building Permits July 2014
Type July 2014 July 2013
Permits Total Value Permits Total Value
New single-family residence 22 $3,964,606 20 $3,717,586
New commercial 17 $7,348,150 18 $5,446,195
Other 680 $680,238 702 $5,010,989
July totals 719 $11,992,994 740 $14,174,770
YTD totals 5,192 $203,613,059 4,964 $82,821,352


See the City of San Angelo Building and Permits for current and archive data.

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

(8/22/2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at The Monitor.

Total Wine & More to 33,000 SF in Arlington 

(8/22/2014)

ARLINGTON - Total Wine & More (TW&M) has leased 33,207 sf at the Arlington Highlands shopping center at 137 Merchants Row.

The store will have 50 full- and part-time employees, according to Ed Cooper, TW&M’s vice president of public affairs and community relations.

TW&M will occupy a space formerly leased by Ultimate Electronics, which vacated the property in 2005 after filing for bankruptcy.

Source: San Antonio Business Journal

San Antonio: $33M takes The Lodge at Sonterra 

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

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

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

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

Read more from the CCIM Institute.

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