NewsTalk Texas

$300M Berkshire's community in the works for N. Fort Worth 

(4/23/2014 10:00:00 AM)

NORTH FORT WORTH - Hanover Property Co. has bought an almost 360-acre tract with plans to build a $300 million development called Berkshire. Construction on the property, which is located near Blue Mound Rd. and Hwy. 287, will start almost immediately.

Berkshire is planned for about 750 single-family homes that will start in price at more than $200,000. The new community will include a resort-style community center, a trail system, five-acre pond and green space.

“A lot of young families are looking for high quality homes in the Northwest Independent School District and Berkshire will be a wonderful community for them to grow roots,” said Hanover Executive Vice President Ben Luedtke.

Building lots in the first phase will be ready in early 2015. Builders in the project will include Highland Homes, American Legend Homes, Ashton Homes and K. Hovnanian Homes.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Austin March(es) up to seven-year high home sales 


AUSTIN - The Austin-area home sales volume hit a seven-year high in March 2014, rising 7 percent year-over-year to 2,262 single-family homes sold, according to a report by the Austin Board of Realtors.

Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.4 months year-over-year to 2.2 months in March 2014. Austin-area homes also continued to sell at an accelerated rate, spending an average 51 days on the market and 13 days fewer than in March 2013.

The median price for single-family homes was $231,750 in March 2014, a 6 percent increase from the same month last year, whereas average price increased 5 percent to $296,640. The total dollar volume of single-family homes sold was $670,999,680, a 12 percent increase from March 2013.

In addition, the market featured 2 percent fewer new listings, 5 percent fewer active listings and 3 percent fewer pending sales in March 2014 compared to the prior year.

Read more at the Austin Board of Realtors and see Housing historical data at Austin Market Data Sources.

Clearfork kicks off 392 apartments in Fort Worth 


FORT WORTH - Cassco Development has broken ground on 392 apartments, the first multifamily phase in the 270-acre project fronting the Trinity River.

The first phase includes townhomes, “urban efficiencies,” lofts, and 35,000 sf of retail space in six to eight buildings. The buildings, located at 5000 Clearfork Main St., will be two, three and four stories high, with the ground-floor retail in the four-story building.

Cassco plans to open the first phase in second quarter 2015, according to Paxton Motheral, Cassco vice president.

The total buildout plan for Clearfork includes more than 2 million sf of upscale office space, 1.2 million sf of retail, and 2,500 multifamily residences.

In February, Cassco obtained up to $30 million in incentives over 15 years on 44 acres of the development.

Read more at the Fort Worth Business Press.

Central Texas College: Job fair April 23 looks for FBI etc. 

(4/22/2014 4:00:00 PM)

KILLEEN - Central Texas College will bring 45 employers to Killeen for its Community Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23 at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

Representatives from law enforcement agencies, banking and financial institutions, real estate companies, area school districts and colleges, the computer and technology industry, media outlets, medical and health care facilities, social services and many others will be present to recruit, according to a CTC news release.

Among those employers are the FBI, Austin Police Department, First Texas Bank, Metroplex Hospital and H-E-B.

The fair has attracted a wider scope of employers this year, as the registration for the fair took place online, according to Elaine Riley said. Promoting the fair on the college’s website drew the attention of some national companies such as Hilton World Wide.

Job seekers also should use the website to do some pre-fair research, Riley said.

Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald. For more information about the job fair, see Central Texas College.

TPCO plant in Gregory moves into second phase 


GREGORY - Tianjin Pipe Co. (TPCO) announced they are ready to kick off the second phase of construction on the 1.6 million-sf pipe mill. The second phase will include construction of a second enclosed laboratory and processing area.

The $1 billion plant is located near the intersection of SH 35 and SH 361. The company has trained and hired about 18 people for full-time positions and will eventually employ 600 to 800 people.

When complete, engineers and workers will meld scrap steel and hot metal into 500,000 metric tons of seamless pipe annually for the oil and gas industry on the former cotton field.

TPCO and San Patricio County officials estimate construction and operation of the plant will generate a $2.7 billion boost to the local economy in the first decade. The plant is slated to open in mid-2016.

Read more at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Order up sub(markets): in-depth look at Texas cities 


TEXAS - ALN's recent In Depth: Major Texas Markets show submarket data for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio occupancy and effective rent rates by submarket. The report covers data for November 2013 and February 2014 by Theron Patrick of ALN Apartment Data.

The chart shows a comparison of occupancy and effective rents at the end of February 2013 and February 2014 for each major Texas market.

Major Texas Market Comparison
Markets Occupancy Effective Rent
Feb. 2013 Feb. 2014 Change Feb. 2013 Feb. 2014 Change
Abilene 92.1% 88.7% -3.7% $639 $658 3.0%
Amarillo 90.1% 91.1% 1.1% $634 $650 2.5%
Austin 94.0% 92.0% -2.1% $951 $1,026 7.9%
Corpus Christi 95.2% 94.5% -0.7% $858 $901 9.0%
Dallas-Fort Worth 92.0% 92.1% 0.1% $824 $867 5.2%
Houston 90.7% 91.6% 1.0% $828 $889 7.4%
Lubbock 91.4% 91.0% -0.4% $667 $685 2.7%
San Antonio 91.1% 90.4% -0.8% $789 $816 3.4%
Texas average 91.7% 91.8% 0.1% $831 $882 6.1%

See Multifamily in numerous Market Data Sources' metros for ALN March 2014 In Depth Apartment Data: Major Texas Metros 2014,

Source: ALN Apartment Data

Come and buy it, Gonzales adds retail space 


GONZALES, GONZALES COUNTY - The 60,000-sf former Walmart located at 1620 East Sarah Dewitt Dr. has been purchased by Action Properties. The company plans to rename the facility Gonzales Marketplace. 

The center will be anchored by Bealls Department Store and the tenant roster will include Dollar Tree, Hibbett Sports, Factory Connection, AT&T, Aaron’s, and more to be announced.

The center is expected to be completed in August 2014.

Source: Action Properties

Tyler ISD, oh my! Three schools total 455,000 SF 


TYLER - TYLER ISD has broken ground on three new middle schools totaling 455,000 sf as part of a $160.5 million bond program. All three middle schools are expected to open in fall 2015. Each campus has an estimated cost of $26 million, according to state filings.

A 155,000-sf campus that has yet to be named is under construction at 2445 Three Lakes Pkwy. When completed, the campus will have a functional capacity of about 1,000 students.

The “H”-shaped building will include a two-story wing containing classrooms and a one-story wing housing a gym, cafeteria, fine arts area, and locker rooms. The two wings will be connected by a library.

At 2926 Garden Valley Road, a new 150,000-sf Boulter Middle School is under construction behind the current Boulter campus, which will be demolished after the new school is completed.

The new Boulter is also scheduled to open fall 2015. The three-story campus will have more than 40 classrooms and feature space for fine arts programs, a cafeteria, and a gym.

The new 150,000-sf Moore MST Magnet School is under construction at 2101 Devine St. The new school is being built on six acres on the north side of the current campus’ lot. The new entrance will face E. Devine St. instead of S. Tipton Ave. as it does now.

The classroom portion of the building will be three stories, the athletics area two stories and the fine arts area one story. The campus also will feature a courtyard, football field and track.

As a magnet school specializing in math, science and technology, Moore offers advanced level math courses, science enrichment courses such as astronomy, meteorology and environmental science and integrates technology into all the courses.

Read more about Three Lakes Middle School, Boulter Middle School and Moore MST Magnet School at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Oil, gas loosen grip on Victoria's housing with 750 units 


VICTORIA - The oil and gas industry's grip on Victoria housing will loosen as more multifamily housing enters the market.

Three apartment complexes are slated for construction in 2014 — each bringing more than 200 units to Victoria. Ascension Commercial Real Estate will begin construction on Victoria Apartments at 8311 Zac Lentz Pkwy. off Mallette Dr. This complex will include 240 units.

F.M. Forrest Inc. has started grooming the site for its 264-unit Oak Forest apartment complex, 5312 John Stockbauer Dr. Fred Morgan, managing partner of F.M. Forrest Inc. said the complex will add additional units after the initial construction to bring the total available units in Oak Forest to about 425 when both phases are complete.

The Duke Apartments, owned by the Giddings Group, is waiting for approval from the city to begin construction on a 252-unit complex behind Home Depot and Victoria Mall.

The three proposed projects are described by the builders as high-end apartments. Each is built to include several amenities, including pools, granite countertops as well as open-air and covered parking and detached garages. For Oak Forest, which will include one- and two-bedroom units, the prices are estimated to range from $900–$1,300.

More than 1,200 apartments are expected to be under construction or about to be under construction this year. The Reserve, The Colony and Latigo Crossing are still under construction and are nearing completion. 

Read more at the Victoria Advocate.

Jenkins Organization stores 258 new units in Rosenberg 


ROSENBERG - Reading Road Self Storage, located 35 miles southwest of Houston at 5208 Reading Rd., was purchased by the Jenkins Organization Inc.

The facility comprises 33,700 net rentable sf of storage space and 258 units on 4.78 acres. It also includes more than two acres for potential expansion.

The property opened in 2006. Amenities include video cameras, monthly pest-control services and moving and packing supplies.

Read more at Inside Self-Storage.

Active senior-living Bonterra underway near the Exxon Mobil 


NORTH HOUSTON - Nine model homes broke ground in a new 257-acre community, Bonterra, for active seniors 55 years and older. Taylor Morrison will build 700 homes total in Bonterra.

The model homes are set for completion in mid-July, when presales will begin. Homes will range in price from $200,000 to $400,000. Home sizes will range from 1,680 to 3,300 sf.

Bonterra is near the Exxon Mobil campus in north Houston, within the Johnson Development Corp.’s Woodforest. The development will share existing amenities in Woodforest as well as add new amenities such as a 10,000-sf clubhouse and pool.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Town Square shapes Amarillo's southwest face 

(4/21/2014 10:00:00 AM)

AMARILLO - Construction is underway on both The Residences at Town Square and Verdure. The construction is the latest in the Town Square development at Soncy and Hillside Rds.

Town Square will cover the 640 acres from Hillside north to Southwest 45th Ave. and from Soncy Rd. west to Helium Rd.

Building permits issued for five structures going up now put construction cost at nearly $44 million thus far, according to the City of Amarillo.

The Residences at Town Square will include 480 apartment units, four penthouses and 120,000 sf of retail space. Apartments will contain one to three bedrooms, with one-bedroom units renting at $750 to $1,250 a month. Each of the four buildings has enough ground floor retail space to accommodate a big-box retailer.

Verdure will contain 65,000 sf of office space and a 45,000-sf health club. Amenities will include four pools, tennis basketball courts, indoor batting cages, an indoor gun range, a rock-climbing wall and an indoor pole-vaulting practice area.

The Williams Group intends to open Ridgewood Apartments in May 2014 on the south side of Arden Rd., near Soncy, in what will be the Heritage Hills neighborhood.

The complex, the first construction at Heritage Hills, will contain 240 units. The first phase of construction of single-family homes is also set to begin in summer 2014. These homes will range from 8,000 to 12,000 sf or more, with prices from $300,000 to $1 million.

Home builders have added 5,719 houses to Amarillo in the ten years from 2004 through 2013, according to the City of Amarillo. The most came in 2005, when 758 homes were constructed; the least was in 2013, when a shortage of lots ready for building kept housing starts to 472.

Amarillo’s apartment occupancy rate stood at 91 percent in February 2014, relatively unchanged from February 2013. The Amarillo market absorbed 106 new units and average asking rents increased 1.2 percent to $658 from February 2013 to February 2014, according to ALN.

Read more at the Amarillo Globe-News and see Multifamily ALN under Amarillo Market Data Sources.

Dallas: Historic Ervay building $85M renovation, new ID 

(4/21/2014 8:00:00 AM)

DALLAS - The $85 million redevelopment of the 651,182-sf historic building at 500 S. Ervay St., a 103-year-old building adjacent to Dallas City Hall, is nearly ready to get underway. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in mid-May.

The redevelopment plans for the property include a 270-room Marriott-branded hotel, 238 residences managed by Dallas-based Pinnacle and about 20,000 sf of restaurant and retail space. Plano-based Aimbridge Hospitality is expected to manage the hotel.

Plans for the property's amenities include three Alterra-operated restaurants — a Greek restaurant, American bistro and European cafe — as well as a pool bar.

Over the years, the building has served as a warehouse, a merchandise showroom and office space. It also inspired other proposed developments.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Residential remodeling brings profits to El Paso  


EL PASO - Residential remodeling projects grew increasingly profitable and popular in El Paso during 2013, according to the 2014 Texas Remodel Valuation Report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

The report analyzed the project recoup costs and recoup cost growth in 2013 for remodeling projects in El Paso, Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Four of the five Texas markets showed significant gains in project recoup costs in 2013.

All five Texas markets demonstrated that smaller, functional remodeling projects showed greater increases in recoup costs than upscale, luxury projects.

Backup power generators ranked number one for recoup cost growth in El Paso, Austin and Houston including a 105.1 percent gain in recoup cost in El Paso in 2013.

Steel entry door replacements ranked number one for total recoup cost nationwide and in Houston, recouping up to 105.5 percent of the total project cost.

Basement remodels ranked in the top five for recoup cost in four of the five major cities in Texas, recouping up to 99.6 percent of the total project cost.

Kitchen remodeling projects also ranked in the top five for recoup cost growth in all five Texas metro areas, recouping up to 143.9 percent of the total project cost.

Natural materials, such as wood, cement and steel, led to a significantly higher recoup cost than synthetic, plastics-based materials, such as composites and vinyl.

Sunroom additions ranked in the bottom five for recoup cost in five Texas metro areas, recouping a maximum of 61.3 percent and as little as 38 percent of the total project cost.

Read more at Business Wire.

See the full Texas Remodel Valuation Report 2014 under Housing in El Paso Market Data Sources.

Austin office rents, occupancies rise in 1Q 2014 


AUSTIN - The Central Texas office market continued its upswing in first quarter 2014 rents and occupancy rates both higher than the same quarter last year, according to Oxford Commercial.

The occupancy rate for Class A office space in Austin averaged 90 percent at the end of March, up from the 87.3 percent average at the close of 1Q 2013. Rents for that space averaged $32.70 per sf per year, up from $31.14 per sf 1Q 2013.

In 1Q 2014, the market overall saw nearly 400,000 sf of net space leased, 82 percent more than in the year-ago quarter. Leasing activity was strong in the quarter causing the overall vacancy rate citywide to dip below the 10 percent mark, to 9.9 percent.

The office squeeze in the Austin area should ease some with nearly 1.6 million sf of new office product expected to come online this year. The rest of the 2.5 million sf of office space currently under construction is due to come to market in 2015.

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

Avanti Senior Living goes to Towne with $15M 


CYPRESS - Avanti Senior Living development in the Towne Lake master-planned community in Cypress is underway.

The $15 million facility will offer 90 residences for assisted-living and memory care clients, and employ 75 people.

The property will be 76,000 sf and will open within the next year.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Marriott and Hilton pump rooms to Energy Corridor Houston 


HOUSTON - Western International purchased 5.2 acres in the Energy Corridor of Houston at the corner of Barker-Cypress Rd. and Park Row. The company will build a Courtyard by Marriott and a Hampton Inn Suites by Hilton.

Each hotel will have 135 rooms. Construction is slated to break ground this summer.

The Dallas-based company purchased the property, which is part of a site known as Ten Oaks, from Houston-based Wolff Cos. for an undisclosed amount.

Read more at Houston Business Journal.

Tax breaks lure Downtown Houston living development  


HOUSTON - Houston will double the number of tax breaks it gives developers for apartments and condominiums they build downtown.

The City Council unanimously agreed to expand the Downtown Living Initiative, first launched a year and a half ago. Tax breaks will now be offered for 5,000 residential units, up from 2,500.

Under the initiative, the city offers developers up to $15,000 for each residence they build in a complex of at least 10 units, provided they meet design guidelines focused on building retail at the street level.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

El Paso $45M car rental facility accelerates 


EL PASO - Work will begin in June on El Paso International Airport’s new $45 million car rental facility, part of a $139 million airport facelift. The three-story, 18-acre facility will house the airport’s rental car operations in one location.

In any given year, about 16 percent of the passengers who arrive at El Paso International Airport will rent a car. About 1.3 million passengers arrived at the airport last year, meaning that more than 200,000 people rented a car.

The facility is expected to open in about two years.

Plans for the new facility call for 792 parking spaces. It will also have a fueling station, maintenance facility and car wash.

The airport’s five-year, $139 million capital improvement plan, launched last September, uses no city funds. Besides constructing the rental car facility, the improvement plan is reconstructing runways and taxiways and replacing passenger-loading bridges.

Read more at El Paso Inc. 

Austin industrial slow, but positive 1Q 2014: REOC 

(4/18/2014 7:30:00 AM)

AUSTIN - The local industrial market experienced a slow but positive first quarter, according to the 1Q 2014 survey of more than 37.4 million sf of industrial lease space conducted by REOC Austin.

New leases and expansions were largely offset by tenant move-outs resulting in a rather quiet 82,407 sf of positive net absorption for the first three months of the year.

As a result, the Austin industrial market closed 1Q 2014 with a citywide vacancy rate of 10.6 percent which is unchanged from last quarter but significantly improved compared to 13.2 percent recorded in the same quarter the previous year.

The city’s inventory of roughly 24.3 million sf of warehouse space dominated 1Q 2014 activity with a total of 284,088 sf of positive net absorption recorded.

Austin Industrial Market
  1Q 2014 1Q 2013
Inventory 37,683,831 37,195,507
Available 4,002,280 4,910,488
Vacant 10.6% 13.2%
1Q absorption 82,407 -141,372
YTD absorption 82,407 -141,372

Need every fact including the 2014 Forecast? See REOC Austin. For other commercial firms, see Industrial under Austin Market Data Sources.

Market Trend: San Antonio's office vacancy stays at 10.9% 

(4/18/2014 6:45:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Office market ended first quarter 2014 with a vacancy rate of 10.9 percent. The vacancy rate was unchanged over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 146,700 sf in 1Q. That compares to positive 193,256 sf in 4Q 2013.

Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 139,794 sf.

Rental rates ended the first quarter at $19.36, a decrease over the previous quarter.

A total of 12 buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 231,401 sf, with 629,446 sf still under construction at the end of the quarter.

This trend is compared to the U.S. National Office vacancy rate, which decreased to 11.5 percent from the previous quarter, with net absorption positive 21.68 million sf in 1Q. Average rental rates increased to $22.17, and 321 buildings delivered to the market totaling more than 16.1 million sf.

Source: CoStar Group

ALN: How smaller Texas markets fared Feb. 2014 


TEXAS, U.S. - ALN Apartment Data has released the February 2014 overall market occupancy by cities and states.

Links in the chart lead to Market Data Sources for each city under Multifamily. The full report also shows smaller cities from Alabama to Wisconsin.

Texas Market Occupancy*
Market Occ.
Feb. 2014
Beaumont 88.4%
College Station 93.8%
El Paso 91.5%
Harlingen 95.0%
Killeen-Temple** 89.8%
Laredo 92.8%
Longview-Tyler 90.0%
Lufkin*** 89.6%
Midland-Odessa 92.2%
San Angelo 95.5%
Texarkana 89.9%
Victoria 94.6%
Wichita Falls 86.1%

*excludes student, senior, income-restricted properties
**Central Texas
***See Longview

Source: ALN Apartment Data .

Williams-Sonoma place settings for 821,502 SF in Arlington 


ARLINGTON - San Francisco-based Williams-Sonoma Inc. has leased the newly developed Arlington Commerce Center, an 821,502-sf distribution center at 4900 Sherry St. near I-20 and State Hwy. 360.

"They decided to put a distribution center in Dallas-Fort Worth for a lot of the same reasons other companies are looking here," said Chris Teesdale, an executive vice president for Colliers International, who represented Williams-Sonoma in the deal. “This strategically fit their supply chain model. This is a consolidation and expansion for them."

Williams-Sonoma is expected to hire more than 100 workers to operate its North Texas distribution facility. The company is working with the City of Arlington on an economic incentive package for the deal.

Williams-Sonoma is a specialty home furnishings and gourmet cookware retailer with annual revenues exceeding $4 billion. The retailer will also have a call center in The Colony.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Texas-sized surprises at $350M Marriott Marquis Houston 


HOUSTON - The 1,000-room Marriott Marquis Houston broke ground April 11. The $350 million, 30-story building is located on 2.6 acres adjacent to Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Amenities will include a rooftop infinity pool and lazy river, 3,500-sf event pavilion, five restaurants, retail space, 40,000-sf ballroom, 22,000-sf junior ballroom and 166,000 sf of meeting, banquet and exhibition space.

The hotel is set to open September 1, 2016.

See previous story "2017 Houston Super Bowl fever at $335M to Marriott Marquis."

Read more at Houston Business Journal.

Buda, Kyle, San Marcos home sales: Mar. 2014 


BUDA, KYLE, SAN MARCOS - Real estate market data for the Buda, Kyle and San Marcos Multiple Listing Service area have been released.

Buda, Kyle, San Marcos Monthly Home Sales
Number of Homes Sold Median Price
Month Buda Kyle San
Buda Kyle San
Mar. 2014 46 64 30 $209,400 $157,000 $180,000
Mar. 2013 45 65 35 $179,500 $145,000 $146,000
Feb. 2014 40 52 15 $197,950 $152,500 $157,817
Jan. 2014 32 40 25 $184,950 $161,995 $149,900
Dec. 2013 29 51 11 $180,954 $150,000 $160,000
Nov. 2013 28 50 14 $199,000 $148,900 $172,450
Oct. 2013 40 53 11 $208,000 $159,000 $152,000
Sept. 2013 56 70 22 $186,820 $153,000 $168,000
Aug. 2013 58 88 28 $189,000 $149,950 $170,000
July 2013 43 68 34 $219,000 $146,000 $157,750

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper. Also see Austin NewsTalk Texas for housing, industrial, office, retail, employment data and more.

Macy's Hispanic mission for 163,166 SF in Arlington 


ARLINGTON - The 163,166-sf former Macy’s building at the Six Flags Mall has been sold to G.L. “Buck” Harris, who already owns 364,000 sf of the former mall. The mall is located at 2911 E Division St.

The Macy’s building, which sits on 14.1 acres and was also a Foley’s department store, has been vacant for years. It was sold by 2901 Division LLC.

Harris plans to turn the 25.57-acre property into a Hispanic-oriented mall called Plaza Central with about 100 primary tenants and 100 merchant booths.

Once Plaza Central is profitable, Harris plans to donate the entire project to a Christian volunteer group called Youth With A Mission (YWAM).

Harris does not own all the former mall property or the other parcels around the perimeter. The former Sears space is owned separately, Dillard’s owns its space and operates a clearance center on the first floor and Cinemark still operates a theater.

Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

SABOR: home sales by units sold Mar. 2014  

(4/17/2014 8:00:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) has released home sales data for March 2014.

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

Regional Sales and Price Activity
Area Median Price
  Mar. 2014
Price Chg.
vs. Mar. 2013
Units Sold
  Mar. 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. Mar. 2013
SABOR (single-family) $160,000 8.3% 1,519 -3.9%
SABOR (condo) $90,000 -11.5% 33 -17.5%
Region cities*        
San Antonio $155,000 9.2% 1,042 -5.4%
New Braunfels $160,000 4.5% 58 7.4%
Schertz $166,400 18.9% 38 137.5%
Boerne $245,000 -16.4% 36 -7.7%
Cibolo $184,000 6.4% 35 2.9%
Converse $113,550 3.2% 34 6.3%
Helotes $237,250 24.9% 30 -9.1%
Canyon Lake $228,750 43.0% 20 -16.7%
Seguin $147,500 -7.8% 20 -31.0%

*Data include single-family only and represent the nine cities with 20 or more units sold in March. 

Source: SABOR

See previous SABOR stories on NewsTalk Texas. More data are available under Housing in San Antonio Market Data Sources.

New home construction up 27 percent in North Texas 

(4/17/2014 7:15:00 AM)

NORTH TEXAS - Home-building activity has increased by 27 percent in first quarter 2014 due to bad weather in fourth quarter 2013, according to a Metrostudy report.

Builders started 5,562 homes in January, February and March, compared with 4,363 during the same period a year ago.

On an annual basis, 22,365 homes were started over the last four quarters, compared with 18,975 the previous year. The number of closings also rose. In 1Q 2014, sales were closed on 4,736 new homes, up 14 percent from 4,160 in 1Q 2013.

“We are only expecting a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in starts during 2014,” said David Brown of Metrostudy. “Part of the large first-quarter increase was caused by weather and lot delivery delays during the fourth quarter of last year, pushing some starts into this year."

Lots prepared for development are still in tight supply, and there is only a 1.7-month supply of finished new homes on the market. Only about 15,000 lots are under construction in the Metroplex — around 3,000 of those were expected to be completed by the end of March.

"Supply constraints have been the headline story in the home-building business over the last year and a half and will likely remain the story in 2014,” Brown said. “Homebuyers this spring are being greeted with fewer choices and much higher prices than a year ago.”

Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Body of experts' $650M Houston Memorial Hermann expansion 

(4/17/2014 7:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Memorial Hermann Health System will begin a $650 million expansion and renovation of its Texas Medical Center campus this summer.

The expansion includes an additional 1.34 million sf, 160 additional beds (plus 71 replacement beds), 24 new operating rooms and 16 additional emergency room bays.

The project also accounts for future growth with the construction of six shelled floors and six shelled operating rooms, with the potential to add 264 beds. Additionally, 750 new parking spaces and a 333-seat cafe will be included in construction.

The campus currently spans more than 2.5 million sf. Construction will conclude in 2018.

Read more at Houston Business Journal.

Leander's Travisso underway on thousands of homes 

(4/17/2014 6:56:00 AM)

LEANDER - Construction on the first of thousands of houses in the Travisso neighborhood is underway east of Nameless Rd. on FM 1431. Plans for Travisso include 2,100–3,173 single-family homesites, a 64-acre mixed-use district and about 16 acres allocated for commercial use.

House prices start in the high $200,000 range and increase to about $700,000.

Home builders include Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers, Drees Custom Homes, Highland Homes and Grand Haven Homes. Developers announced Travisso will be the first master-planned community in Austin to offer AT&T Gigapower, the company’s fiber Internet service.

The 2,118-acre site is slated for a master-planned community from the developers of Steiner Ranch. The land was annexed in May 2012.

Read more at the Community Impact Newspaper.

Belton hits homerun with fifth field at Heritage Park 


BELTON - The City of Belton will build a fifth, $135,000 tee ball field at Heritage Park, located at the intersection of 13th St. and Waco Rd.

Belton Youth Baseball Association donated $75,000 for the field. The City of Belton matched BYBA’s donation with another $75,000 in capital improvement funds. Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers pitched in another $5,000, and Belton residents gave money.

City employees are donating their time to build the field, which will include a fence, lighting, scoreboard and bleachers. The hiking trail running through the area under construction will be relocated between the fourth and fifth fields.

Read more at the Temple Daily Telegram.

Underway: 228-Unit Summit at Rivery Park in Georgetown 


GEORGETOWN - A 228-unit luxury, multifamily project within The Summit at Rivery Park has broken ground. The Class A apartment community is located just off I-35, adjacent to a city park.

The Summit at Rivery Park apartment homes will feature a clubhouse and resort swimming pool. The Summit at Rivery Park, is a mixed-use community consisting of a Sheraton Destination Resort Hotel, Brownstones, and over 300,000 sf of retail and restaurants.

Tony Austin (TAC Inc.), Novak Brothers Development, and Western Securities Ltd. have teamed up on the development of the project.

Source: The Summit at Rivery Park

Read more at PRNewswire.

$8.2M supportive housing project underway in Dallas 


DALLAS - Construction has begun on an $8.2 million project that aims to house and stabilize 50 of the most vulnerable chronically homeless in Dallas.

The 50 Cottages at Hickory Crossing will be 400 sf, just south of Deep Ellum on Malcom X Blvd. and I-30. The 2.7-acre wooded site is a former homeless camp.

When the cottages are completed, which is expected to be late 2014, residents will be selected by mental health professionals and screened using a risk tool. The goal is to select the men and women who have cost taxpayers the most.

“We found out that if we take the 200 most expensive people, the average person in the top 200 is costing taxpayers about $40,000 per year to keep them on the street,” said Larry James, president and chief executive of CitySquare, which will offer residents job training and other social services.

Housing each of the 50 residents at Hickory Crossing will cost about $15,000 per year.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Ector County home sales Mar. 2013-2014 

(4/16/2014 8:00:00 AM)

ECTOR COUNTY - The number of home sales, days on the market and sales volume in Ector County from March 2013 through March 2014 are posted.

Ector County Home Sales
Month # of
Sales Volume DOM*
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
Jul. 2013 113 $23,364,160 35
Jun. 2013 116 $21,850,259 48
May 2013 110 $20,169,007 44
Apr. 2013 124 $21,290,243 47
Mar. 2013 105 $18,319,444 38

*Days on Market

Read more at the Odessa Board of Realtors.

Mansfield 148,529-SF retail on Pointe with $29M 

(4/16/2014 7:00:00 AM)

MANSFIELD - The 148,529-sf Mansfield Pointe Shopping Center has been acquired for $28.4 million. The center is located at Hwy. 287 and Debbie Ln.

Inland Real Estate Income Trust Inc. purchased the retail hub along with a 63,829-sf shopping center in Florida.

The center was 96.7 percent occupied at closing to tenants that include Sports Authority, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Party City and Half Price Books.

The North Hills Square Shopping Center, located in Coral Springs, Fla., totals 63,829 sf and was acquired for $11.05 million.

Read more at BusinessWire.

Amarillo’s 98,000-SF Commerce Building to sell for $3.1M 


AMARILLO - The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) will acquire the 98,000-sf Commerce Building, located at Southwest Eighth Ave. and South Tyler St., from New Commerce Partners for $3.1 million.

The Potter-Randall Appraisal District values the Commerce Building itself at $1.3 million for taxation, but puts the replacement cost at $6.7 million. The building is about half-full of tenants.

The AEDC plans to raise funds with the Amarillo Area Foundation to redo the building, from removing asbestos to replacing the heating and cooling system, said AEDC President and CEO Buzz David.

Eventually, West Texas A&M University will move classes from the Chase Tower and potentially other activities to the building, said Neal Weaver, vice president of institutional advancement.

Read more at the Amarillo Globe-News.

Texas Tech named Purple Heart University 


LUBBOCK - The Military Order of the Purple Heart has designated Texas Tech as the first Purple Heart University in Texas for the university’s support and recognition of the military.

“As one of only three universities in the nation with this designation, Texas Tech has a long history of appreciation and support for active duty military, veterans and their families, and is grateful to serve these brave heroes who have made tremendous sacrifices for our country,” said Chancellor Kent Hance

Tech organized the largest gathering of Purple Heart recipients during the Lone Survivor-themed football game, participated in the National Day of Remembrance Roll Call and provided service to wounded warriors through Military and Veterans Programs, Student Disability Services and the Veterans Administration.

“At Texas Tech, we work diligently to ensure our veterans, current military personnel and their families are afforded the opportunity to extend their education,” said Tech President M. Duane Nellis.

Recipients of the Purple Heart have either been wounded by an instrument of war by an enemy or posthumously been awarded to those killed in action or died by wounds from an enemy force.

Read more at the Daily Toreador.

Park Cities' median home price $1M for first time 


UNIVERSITY PARK, HIGHLAND PARK - Median home sales prices in the Park Cities topped $1 million for the first time in first quarter 2014, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

The median price of $1.1 million set in 1Q 2014 marks a 30 percent increase from 1Q 2013. Average per sf sales prices are also up, rising 14 percent in 1Q 2014 to $352.

The rise in median price of Park Cities homes is due to an increase in million-dollar home sales across North Texas. In 1Q 2014, 194 houses priced at $1 million and up were sold by real estate agents, a third more than were sold in 1Q 2013.

The condo and townhome market in the Park Cities area is also growing. In 1Q 2014, the average price per sf was $214, a 12 percent increase from 1Q 2013. Sold to list price in the market was 97 percent, and units averaged 70 days on the market.

Across North Texas, the 1Q 2014 median price was $174,000 and average per sf cost was $100.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

For more stats, see Housing under DFW Market Data Sources.

CoStar 1Q: San Antonio industrial vacancy decreases to 5.6% 


SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Industrial market ended first quarter 2014 with a vacancy rate of 5.6 percent — down over the previous quarter. Net absorption totaled positive 1,444,267 sf in 1Q 2014, compared to positive 1,565,999 sf in 4Q 2013.

Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 128,088 sf. Rental rates ended 1Q 2014 at $5.75, an increase over the previous quarter.

A total of 14 buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 1,194,091 sf, with 571,506 sf still under construction at the end of the quarter.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Watercolor lux brushes for 240 units in Baytown 


BAYTOWN - The Leyendecker Group will break ground April 24 on the Watercolor Luxury Apartments. The eight-building, 240-unit complex will be located at 1700 Rollingbrook Dr. in Baytown.

The three-story buildings will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans, ranging from 632 sf to 1,304 sf. The complex will feature a pool, fitness center, clubhouse, dog park, and carports and garages.

Completion is expected in spring or summer 2015.

Source: Watercolor Luxury Apartment Homes

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Home sales March up in Wichita Falls 


WICHITA FALLS - Existing home sales in March were up from February, but lagged behind the same month last year, according to a report from the Wichita Falls Association of Realtors. Existing home sales for March totaled 102, an increase from February when the figure was 93.

The total was down, though, from 159 in March 2013. The total number of existing home sales so far for 2014 stands at 284, compared to 339 during the same period in 2013.

The sales volume in March was $13.92 million, compared to $11.26 million in February. The total in March 2013 was $16.71 million. For the year, the total is $34.81 million, compared to the 2013 figure of $38.30 million.

The average sales price in March was $136,521, an increase of $15,433 over February when it was $121,088. The average number of days on the market was 104 and there were 265 new listings. There were 838 total active residential listings in March along with 164 pending sales.

Read more at the Wichita Falls Times Record News.

Tyler Chamber adopts veteran, military growth initiative 


TYLER - The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce has adopted the Veteran and Military Growth Initiative — a strategic plan aimed to create economic and community development to the area using military focused strategies. 

There are 16,429 veterans in Smith County and 50,000 people who are affiliated with the military, which bring an economic impact of about $372 million, according to the Rose Capital Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

Jim Snow, president of the Rose Capital Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America and co-chairman of the veteran’s committee, said they looked at the area’s Industry Growth Initiative and decided there was an absence of veterans and military families within the community.

The initiative includes more than 40 strategies and tactics to enrich the community and grow the local economy by using the strengths veterans and military families bring home.

The core strategy of the initiative is to create a regional multisector veteran service delivery system and veteran-focused economic development projects that seize competitive advantage to create long-term, sustainable economic growth.

Read more at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Waxahachie $32M Life School underway 


WAXAHACHIE, ELLIS COUNTY - Work has begun on a 125,000-sf campus for Life School, a local charter school with over 4,500 students on six campuses. The $32 million school is scheduled to open in August 2015.

The new facility, located at 170 Butcher Rd., is the charter school district’s seventh campus, joining campuses in Cedar Hill, West Dallas, Lancaster, Oak Cliff, Waxahachie and Red Oak.

The new campus will house approximately 1,000 9th to 12th graders. It will include science labs, computer labs, an audiovisual lab, extracurricular activities and athletic practice fields.

In addition, Life School is positioning itself to be the first charter school in Texas to access the Permanent School Fund, which in the past was reserved for Independent School Districts.

Read more at Life School.

Grand Prairie's grand 603,000 SF kicks off warehouses 

(4/15/2014 8:00:00 AM)

GRAND PRAIRIE - Construction has started on the 603,000-sf RiverPoint Commerce Center. The two-building project is being developed on 42 acres in the 3000 block of Roy Orr Blvd.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Stream Realty Partners are developing the speculative project, which is scheduled for completion in late 2014.

“We are targeting tenants in the 75,000 to 200,000-sf range, which is in high demand and currently underserved by most development projects in the submarket,” said Cannon Green, managing director and partner of Stream Realty’s Dallas office.

More than 16.5 million sf of warehouse space is now under construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — more than was in the development pipeline at the peak of the market before the recession. About 12 million sf of current industrial construction is speculative.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Sheppard AFB $723M impact on Wichita Falls 

(4/15/2014 7:00:00 AM)

WICHITA FALLS - Hot off the press is the 2013 Sheppard Air Force Base (AFB) Economic Impact Statement on the Wichita Falls area. The total annual economic impact is $722,850,135.

The annual payroll of over $412 million includes:

•  military payroll — $328,562,107;

•  federal civilian — $69,427,834; and

•  other civilian — $14,735,943.

Total personnel at Sheppard is 13,001 including 5,706 active duty personnel and 3,934 military dependents. The number of military retirees is 3,802.

Sheppard has 418 buildings containing over 7.4 million sf. The Economic Impact Region includes a 50-mile radius around Sheppard AFB.

The total estimated indirect jobs created in 2013 was 2,498 yielding a value of over $87 million in indirectly created jobs.

The 82nd Training Wing is the largest technical training unit in the Air Force, delivering nearly 80,000 trained airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines and international students each year.

The 80th Flying Training Wing, operating from the Air Force’s second-busiest airfield, provides trained combat pilots for the NATO Alliance through the unique Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program.

Read the full Sheppard Air Force Base Economic Impact Statement 2013 under the Military category in Wichita Falls Market Data Sources.

San Antonio home prices March up 10 percent 

(4/15/2014 6:45:00 AM)

SAN ANTONIO - As of March 2014, the average price of a home in San Antonio stood at $211,247 — a 10 percent increase over the average price of $192,589 reported March 2013, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors.

The median price of a home in greater San Antonio now stands at $172,400 — an 8 percent increase from the median price of $158,900 posted a year ago.

The under-$200,000 market continues to be the strongest price range for the Alamo City. Over the 31 days ended March 31, 2014, 61 percent of the homes sold in greater San Antonio were priced below $200,000.

The mid-price market, however is gaining ground. Homes priced between $200,000 and $500,000 accounted for 35 percent of the sales recorded in March. A year ago, homes in this price range accounted for 29.2 percent of sales in the local housing market.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

See Housing under San Antonio Market Data Sources for more stats.

Abilene Christian $55M projects go Wild(cats) 


ABILENE - Abilene Christian University has received $55 million from three donors to begin a series of construction projects that will transform the campus.

The donations kick off “Vision in Action,” a $75 million initiative that will result in three new facilities — totaling 160,000 sf — for the university’s distinctive science programs and two new on-campus stadiums for its football, track and field, and soccer programs.

All facilities are projected to break ground during fall 2014, pending completion of fundraising.

The donations comprise

•  $10 million from Kay Onstead for the Robert R. Onstead Center for Science and Humanities, featuring state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms and offices;
•  $15 million from alumni Kathy and David D. Halbert for the Halbert-Walling Research Center; and
•  $30 million from alumni April and Mark Anthony for construction of an on-campus football stadium, ACU’s College of Business Administration, a science building and undesignated funds.

Wildcat Stadium on Ambler Ave., upon its opening, will see a full season of Wildcat football played on the ACU campus for the first time since World War II. A separate project features a new stadium on Campus Court to be shared by the university’s legendary track and field program and it’s newer, though already successful, women’s soccer team.

The facilities will replace two long-standing structures. The site of Elmer Gray Stadium, built in 1954, will become the site of the new football stadium, and Chambers Hall, one of the original buildings from the campus’ 1929 construction, will make way for the science facilities.

More than 900 students currently major in at least one of the sciences represented by these new facilities.

Read more at and Abilene Christian University.

Harlingen rings fifth time with 227 new jobs 


HARLINGEN - Qualfon will create 227 jobs with an overall payroll of $5.3 million at its new 2200 Haine Dr. facility in exchange for incentives from the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation and City of Harlingen Commission.

The former Valley Diagnostic building on Haine Dr. will be ready for employees by mid-May 2014 after renovations are complete, according to Kevin Kavanaugh, the company’s site director. Qualfon has a five and a half year-lease on the building.

The agreement calls for 200 agents and 27 management positions, but the number of employees could grow to 400 by the end of the second year. Agents’ pay will range from $9 to $13 per hour for full- and part-time jobs.

The incentive agreement provides for every full-time position — at least 35 hours per week for 40 weeks, paid at a minimum of $9 an hour — created by Qualfon, the company receives $1,000 against the $200,000 upfront loan. It is capped at the $200,000.

If the company has 400 full-time positions at the end of a two-year period, it receives an additional $250,000, plus $250,000 at the end of the third year, for a total of $700,000.

Qualfon’s local office will be the international company’s eighth service center and the second in the United States. Qualfon is the fifth call center in Harlingen.

Read more at the Valley Morning Star.

Residential remodeling: popular, profitable in Texas  


TEXAS - Residential remodeling projects in Texas’ major cities grew increasingly profitable and popular in 2013, according to the 2014 Texas Remodel Valuation Report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

The report analyzed the project recoup costs and recoup cost growth in 2013 for remodeling projects in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio. Four of the five Texas markets showed significant gains in project recoup costs in 2013.

All five Texas markets demonstrated that smaller, functional remodeling projects showed greater increases in recoup costs than upscale, luxury projects.

Steel entry door replacements ranked number one for total recoup cost nationwide and in Houston, recouping up to 105.5 percent of the total project cost.

Basement remodels ranked in the top five for recoup cost in four of the five major cities in Texas, recouping up to 99.6 percent of the total project cost.

Kitchen remodeling projects also ranked in the top five for recoup cost growth in all five Texas metro areas, recouping up to 143.9 percent of the total project cost.

Backup power generators ranked number one for recoup cost growth in Austin, El Paso and Houston including a 105.1 percent gain in recoup cost in El Paso in 2013.

Natural materials, such as wood, cement and steel, led to a significantly higher recoup cost than synthetic, plastics-based materials, such as composites and vinyl.

Sunroom additions ranked in the bottom five for recoup cost in five Texas metro areas, recouping a maximum of 61.3 percent and as little as 38 percent of the total project cost.

Read more at Business Wire.

For the full report, see the Texas Association of Realtors.

Super bowl? 2,350 rooms in Houston by 2017 


HOUSTON - Houston now has at least 2,350 hotel rooms coming by the time the city hosts the Superbowl in 2017.

The most buzzed about project is the 1,000-room Marriott Marquis. This $335 million hotel will be tied to the George R. Brown Convention Center, and is expected to help put Houston on the map for convention planners. Additionally, the project will include 100,000 sf of meeting space and 20,000 sf of ground floor retail.

Other new development projects include the 261-key Hyatt Place, a 225-room Hotel Alessandra, a 168-room Hampton Inn and a 132-key Homewood Suites.

Some properties are being completely redeveloped and rebranded, such as the 325-key JW Marriott, the 166-room SpringHill Suites, and the 215-key Holiday Inn.

While industry experts admit there is a severe shortage of hotel space in Houston, some worry the eight hotel projects in the works will bring too many rooms to the market place.


Corpus yodels with Austrian's Voestalpine $740M plant 


CORPUS CHRISTI - Voestalpine AG, an Austrian-based steel company, will break ground later this month on a natural gas-based direct reduction plant. The company plans to invest $740 million in the new plant which will employ 150 full-time staff and create approximately 800 construction jobs.

The plant that will produce hot briquetted iron, which is a primary material for raw steel making. This is the company’s largest foreign direct investment into the United States to date and a major step in achieving a low-carbon economy.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Texas A&M engineers step one to 600,000-SF complex 


COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M University announced a $6 million contribution by ConocoPhillips that will support the construction of the new Engineering Education Complex (EEC) for the Dwight Look College of Engineering. When completed, the two centers will feature 600,000 sf of learning space.

The complex will be the innovated learning environment for the 25,000 expected engineers by 2025.

The $62 million EEC will be dedicated solely to undergraduate engineering education and will be built adjacent to the existing Zachry Engineering Center. There are plans to renovate the Zachry Engineering Center during the new construction project.

The complex will feature flexible classrooms, design and fabrication shared-use laboratories, collaborative space, tutoring services and will be the hub of undergraduate engineering.

Read more at tamuTimes.

West Elm decor to open in El Paso at Fountains 


EL PASO - West Elm, a national home furnishings and decor chain, will open a 22,000-sf store this fall at the Fountains at Farah shopping center in East El Paso.

The West Elm store will be located in the Promenade lifestyle section of the Fountains, and may occupy one of the two-story spaces near the middle of the center.

The chain has over 50 stores in the U.S., including three in Texas. This will be the first in El Paso.

Read more at El Paso Development News.

Lebanon, Parkwood construction lead to 304 Villas in Frisco 


FRISCO - Construction has started on The Villas at Chapel Creek — a 304-unit apartment complex located at the northwest corner of Lebanon Rd. and Parkwood Blvd.

Construction on the project is expected to be completed in first quarter 2015, according to Jeff Lindsey of Westwood Residential.

The Villas at Chapel Creek will consist of mostly one-bedroom apartments, but will also have two- and three-bedroom units as well as townhomes with attached garages.

Westwood Residential is also building another complex in Frisco — The Emerson at Frisco Market Square on the northwest corner of Main St. and the Dallas North Tollway. The 410-units in phase one will be available in June.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Flower Mound MOBs on Stage 


FLOWER MOUND - Two medical office buildings (MOB) totaling 34,910 sf at 4921 and 4951 Long Prairie Rd. have been sold to Stage Equity Partners LLC. The facilities are fully leased to seven different medical practices, including Texas Health Resources, USMD, OrthoTexas and Flower Mound Vein Center.

The principals of OrthoTexas sold the assets to Stage Equity Partners and then leased back the space occupied by their practice.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Spring 384-unit Parkside Place underway near Exxon campus 


SPRING - Parkside Place, a 384-unit apartment complex near the new Exxon Mobil campus, has broken ground at the northwest corner of FM 2920 and Kuykendahl Rd. The complex will feature one- to three-bedroom units ranging from 525 to 1,400 sf.

Rents will range between $900 and $1,700. Amenities include a pool and sundeck, 24-hour fitness center, dog-walking park and movie theater room.

Austin-based Oden Hughes is the developer on the project. Parkside Place is set to open in 2015.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Texas tea flows: crude production up 22 percent 


TEXAS - Crude production in Texas reached an estimated 77.2 million barrels in February 2014 — up 22.4 percent from February 2013. The Texas Petro Index soared to the highest level since 1980, according to economist Karr Ingham.

The value of oil and gas produced in February 2014 totaled $10.63 billion, up rose by more than $2.85 billion from February 2013.

The oil and gas sector averaged about 285,000 people on its payroll in February 2014 — up nearly 5 percent from February 2013.

The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers created the Texas Petro Index in 1995. It combines various metrics to provide an indication of the health and trajectory of oil and gas production in the state.

Read more at Fuel Fix.

Verizon jobs ring in Odessa, Midland 


ODESSA, MIDLAND - Verizon Wireless will add 60 full-time retail positions in the Midland and Odessa areas by the end of 2014.

The new positions offer health care and participation in the company's 401(k) program. Verizon Wireless also offers tuition reimbursement, adoption assistance and bonuses.

Verizon has been named one of the best companies for working moms by Working Mother for thirteen straight years. Computer World lists Verizon Wireless as one of the "100 Best Places to Work in IT."

"Veterans return home every day and have to begin new lives as civilians. We believe those sometimes intangible skills add value to our company and help a veteran to thrive in a team environment like ours,” said Monica Comeaux, associate director of human resources for Verizon.

As the largest wireless company in the U.S., Verizon Wireless serves 102.8 million retail customers.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Historic Houston office building sold for $5M 


HOUSTON - The 38,720-sf former Commercial National Bank building at 917 Franklin St. has been sold.

LM & Associates purchased the building from New Hyde Park for $5 million, or about $129 per sf.

The office building, which was constructed in 1904, is located in Houston’s central business district near Market Square.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Kentucky races A&R Logistics to 145,000 SF in Fort Worth 

(4/14/2014 8:00:00 AM)

FORT WORTH - Louisville, Ky.-based A&R Logistics has signed a ten-year lease for 145,000 sf of warehouse space at Railhead Industrial Park near US 287 and I-35W.

The company plans to move into the building, which is owned by Week Robinson Properties, on August 1. The property includes access to a future rail spur.

The firm currently operates at 1381 Meacham Blvd. The deal expands the company's footprint by about 30 percent.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Houston ritzy hotel: Kickoff 2016, Super Bowl 2017 


HOUSTON - The development of a 225-room hotel has been announced in the GreenStreet mixed-use development in downtown. The Hotel Alessandra will be constructed on a block bounded by Main, Dallas, Polk and Fannin.

The Alessandra will be built on the site of a former Yao Restaurant & Bar. Demolition work will begin in June and the hotel plans to open third quarter 2016, in time for the expected crowds drawn by the Super Bowl in February 2017.

The hotel will feature a 25th-floor lobby, a rooftop pool and bar, and 7,000 sf of retail space.

Midway, the company that will own the Alessandra, hopes to position the hotel among “five-star” accommodations, such as the Four Seasons, St. Regis and Hotel Garnduca. Room rates will likely be on par with the Four Seasons, according to Jamie Bryant, executive vice president of Midway.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Grand Parkway sparks Stonebrook Estates in Cypress 


CYPRESS - Stonebrook Estates, a new 54-acre gated community, is under development along Spring Cypress Rd. about a mile east of SH 249. Construction will begin on two model homes in May, which are expected to be open by early August. Presales are expected to begin in the next 45 days.

Newmark Homes of Houston will be the exclusive builder for the gated community, which will include 135 lots.

Pricing will begin in the high $300,000 range for homes on 70-foot lots and from the $450,000s for homes on the larger home sites.

“Stonebrook Estates borders a stretch of Cypress that has seen no new-home construction for probably five years,” said Jeff Dye, vice president of Newmark Homes. “With the opening of a new section of the Grand Pkwy., the timing is right to introduce a new community to the area.”

The new community will feature lake and nature trails, and it will be a low-impact development, according to Dye.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Corpus Christi 4Q 2013 industrial report: Burbach 


CORPUS CHRISTI - The industrial market totaled 20.053 million sf in 2013, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. Of this number, 94.8 percent is considered warehouse space and 5.2 percent is considered flex space.

For fourth quarter 2013, the vacancy rate was 4.9 percent — up from 4.2 percent in 2012. The average quoted rental rate was $6.28 per sf, up 1.9 percent from $6.16 in 2012.

Corpus Christi Industrial
Market Summary 4Q 2013
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Warehouse Space 19,011 4.5% $5.97
Flex Space 1,043 11.4% $9.14
CBD 1,360 17.0% $4.42
West Side 8,169 5.7% $5.76
Northwest 3,814 1.7% $7.42
South Side 1,660 5.2% $8.45
Southwest 1,870 3.3% $8.46
Total 20,053 4.9% $6.28

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

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

Tyler permits highlight multifamily, office growth 


TYLER - The City of Tyler has issued new building permits, including several large projects.

Saige Meadows LLC filed 12 building permits for an apartment complex at 13488 N. US Hwy. 69. Plans for the development include a $240,000, 3,205-sf clubhouse and a $60,000, 995-sf fitness center. Permits for residential apartment buildings include:

Residential apartment units will include two buildings that are 6,835 sf (at $632,680 each); three buildings that are 12,996 sf for $1.2 million each; one 13,795-sf for $1.277 million; two buildings that are 9,724 sf for $900,100 each; and two are 9,294 sf for $860,293 each.

David J. Porter of Texarkana is constructing a 29,771-sf office building at 2521 W. Front St. for the Texas Department of State Services for $2.294 million

Read more at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

How do you spell up? Abilene eco Feb. 2014  


ABILENE - The Abilene Industrial Foundation has released economic indicators for February 2014.

Abilene Economic Indicators Feb. 2014
Unemployment rate 4.6 5.2 -12%
construction value
$10,501,000 $6,509,000 61%
construction value
$5,070,000 $2,205,000 130%
Commercial permits 39 33 18%
Airline boardings 6,440 5,319 21%
Hotel occupancy rate 60.2 53.4 13%

Source: Abilene Industrial Foundation

ALN Fort Worth apartments Mar. 2014 


FORT WORTH - ALN Apartment Data has released March 2014 apartment occupancy, effective rent data and more for apartments in the Fort Worth market.

Fort Worth Market Review
Fort Worth Stabilized Market*
Mar. 2014 Annual
Occupancy rate 92.8 0.4%
Units added 1,971 -
Units absorbed (annual) 154 -
Average size (SF) 844 0.1%
Asking rent $795 3.5%
Effective rent $782 4.0%
Effective rent per SF $0.93 3.9%
Offering concessions 41% -11.6%
Avg. concession package 4.2% -9.8%

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

Floor Plan Breakdown - Fort Worth
Plan Type % of
Efficiency 2.5% 492 $551 $546
1 BR 45.4% 686 $691 $681
1 DEN 2.7% 882 $860 $850
2 BR 39.5% 989 $876 $863
2 DEN 0.9% 1,229 $1,247 $1,237
3 BR 7.5% 1,228 $1,081 $1,068
>3 BR 1.6% 1,395 $1,733 $1,731

Read more at ALN Market News.

For more stats, see Multifamily under DFW Market Data Sources.

Emerson $8M expansion in Sherman 


SHERMAN - Emerson Process Management-Fisher Controls will expand its facility, investing more than $8 million and creating 22 new jobs.

Emerson-Fisher Controls is located at 4725 Hwy. 75 S. The firm currently employs 393 workers. Emerson-Fisher Controls manufacture control valves and services for worldwide industries, such as, oil & gas, chemical, pulp and paper, energy, water, wastewater, and food & beverage

Sherman Economic Development Corporation is providing an incentive grant of $402,350 to assist the company in the project.

Read more at the Sherman Economic Development Corporation.

Houston's 456-unit multifam Westchase Creek sold 


HOUSTON - Westchase Creek, a 456-unit apartment community in Houston’s Westchase District, has been purchased by an affiliate of Harbor Group International, LLC. Westchase Creek is located at 3000 Woodland Park Dr. between Westheimer Rd. and Richmond Ave. west of Beltway 8 in West Houston.

The complex has an average unit size of 639 sf and is 93.4 percent leased. The appraised value as of January 2014 is $19.9 million, according to the Harris County Appraisal District.

The property was renovated in 2012–2013.

Read more at Realty News Report.

ABIA plane passengers flock by droves Feb. 2014 


AUSTIN - Passenger traffic continued on its upward trend at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in February, with traffic rising 3.5 percent over the same month last year, according to the airport's data.

A total of 684,798 passengers passed through the airport in February, compared with 661,556 last February.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Passenger Statistics
  Feb. 2014
Feb. 2013
Domestic enplaned 331,014 319,118 3.73%
Domestic deplaned 334,484 323,639 3.35%
International enplaned 1,677 1,064 57.61%
International deplaned 1,702 1,025 66.05%
Passenger total 684,798 661,556 3.51%

Source: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.

TCEA buys 37,297 SF, moves in Austin  


AUSTIN - Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) has purchased a 37,297-sf building on the campus at 3100 Alvin Devane Blvd. for $2.9 million. The association, which promotes the use of technology in the classroom, plans to renovate the space and move from its current facilities at 8134 Exchange Dr.

The new site is on East Ben White Blvd. near Montopolis Dr. southeast of downtown. The company bought the building from Drawbridge Realty Trust LLC who subdivided the two-building campus because the education association wanted to own its own building.

The 81,116-sf building adjacent to TCEA's property is still on the market.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Houston housing market to churn through 2018 

(4/11/2014 8:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston had more new-home starts in 2013 than the entire state of California, says housing consultant John Burns, head of Calif.-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Burns' survey of the best-selling master-planned communities in the nation shows that ten of the top 25 are in Houston.

He projects that annual new-home starts in Houston will increase about 13 percent annually over the next three years, peaking at 50,000 starts in 2016. “With only a three months supply of houses on the market, prices have to go up,” Burns says.

Houston builders could be building and selling 50,000 new homes in 2014, but a shortage of labor and quality lots is suppressing the local construction industry somewhat.

These projections indicate home prices will continue to increase, probably about 5 percent this year, followed by 4 percent next year. Prices will continue to rise through 2017, but will soften slightly in 2018.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock apartments 

(4/11/2014 7:30:00 AM)

ABILENE, AMARILLO, CORPUS CHRISTI, LUBBOCK - ALN Apartment Data has released the March 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and other data for many Texas cities.

General Overview March 2014
 Markets Abilene Amarillo Corpus
Occupancy rate 89.7 90.9 92.6 90.8
Units added 0 0 564 371
Units absorbed (annual) -117 -5 -162 273
Average size (SF) 869 811 850 847
Asking rent $658 $700 $857 $699
Effective rent $644 $692 $854 $695
Effective rent per SF $0.74 $0.85 $1.00 $0.82
Offering concessions 37% 25% 12% 15%
Avg. concession package 5.3% 5.0% 2.5% 4.5%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

For more ALN stories from other cities, see NewsTalk Texas.

ALN provides data for Texas metros! It's easy to find under the category Multifamily under Market Data Sources.

Belk opens 180,000-SF flagship store in Dallas 

(4/11/2014 7:15:00 AM)

DALLAS - Belk Inc. has opened a three-story, 180,000-sf store at the Galleria, located at 13350 Dallas Pkwy. Charlotte-based Belk and the Galleria Dallas shopping center shared the $20 million cost of the project. The new store will employ roughly 200 workers.

Belk’s 14th Texas location is also the state’s first flagship store. Belk operates 18 flagship stores across the nation, which handle a higher volume of business and carry a full assortment of the company’s premium brands.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

See previous story Belk on-the-spot interviews for 200 at Galleria Dallas.

Corpus Christi home, rent prices continue climb 

(4/11/2014 7:00:00 AM)

CORPUS CHRISTI - A fertile job market and shortages of both building materials and workers have pushed home prices in Corpus Christi to record levels. The average home in Corpus Christi was $190,600 in February — up 14 percent over that of February 2013, when the average home cost $166,600.

The median price two months ago was $168,600, a 20 percent increase from the same time a year earlier. Home appreciation, new home construction and thriving real estate sales are perhaps the strongest evidence that the nation’s economy is recovering from the last housing boom.

Some may choose to rent, which is becoming a costly option in Corpus Christi. Apartment occupancy rates was 92.6 percent in March, making it one of the tightest rental markets in Texas, according to ALN Apartment Data. Average rent in the area is about $857 a month.

Economists are unsure how long the trend will continue, but they say prices will continue climbing as demand in the housing market surges.

The difference in South Texas, however, is the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas production activity and all the industrial construction it’s generating, said Jim Lee, the chief economist for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi..

Read more at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Hot in Houston for residential remodeling  

(4/11/2014 6:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Residential remodeling projects grew increasingly profitable and popular in Houston during 2013, according to the 2014 Texas Remodel Valuation Report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

The report analyzed the project recoup costs and recoup cost growth in 2013 for remodeling projects in Houston, Austin, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio. Four of the five Texas markets showed significant gains in project recoup costs in 2013.

All five Texas markets demonstrated that smaller, functional remodeling projects showed greater increases in recoup costs than upscale, luxury projects.

Steel entry door replacements ranked number one for total recoup cost nationwide and in Houston, recouping up to 105.5 percent of the total project cost.

Basement remodels ranked in the top five for recoup cost in four of the five major cities in Texas, recouping up to 99.6 percent of the total project cost.

Kitchen remodeling projects also ranked in the top five for recoup cost growth in all five Texas metro areas, recouping up to 143.9 percent of the total project cost.

Backup power generators ranked number one for recoup cost growth in Austin, El Paso and Houston including a 105.1 percent gain in recoup cost in El Paso in 2013.

Natural materials, such as wood, cement and steel, led to a significantly higher recoup cost than synthetic, plastics-based materials, such as composites and vinyl.

Sunroom additions ranked in the bottom five for recoup cost in five Texas metro areas, recouping a maximum of 61.3 percent and as little as 38 percent of the total project cost.

Read more at Business Wire.

See the full Texas Remodel Valuation Report 2014 under Housing in Houston Market Data Sources.

ALN Dallas apartments March 2014 


DALLAS - ALN Apartment Data has released the March 2014 apartment occupancy, effective rent data and more for apartments in the Dallas market.

Dallas Market Review
Dallas Market Stabilized Market*
March 2014 Annual
Occupancy rate 93.7 1.2%
Units added 5,887 -
Units absorbed (annual) 4,335 -
Average size (SF) 865 0%
Asking rent $904 3.4%
Effective rent $894 3.8%
Effective rent per SF $1.03 4.0%
Offering concessions 32% -22.6%
Avg. concession package 3.8% -15.4%

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

Floor Plan Breakdown - Dallas
Plan Type % of
Efficiency 2.5% 492 $551 $546
1 BR 45.4% 686 $691 $681
1 DEN 2.7% 882 $860 $850
2 BR 39.5% 989 $876 $863
2 DEN 0.9% 1,229 $1,247 $1,237
3 BR 7.5% 1,228 $1,081 $1,068
>3 BR 1.6% 1,395 $1,733 $1,731

Read more at ALN Market News.

For more stats, see Multifamily under DFW Market Data Sources.

Dallas, Houston office markets tops in 1Q 2014 


DALLAS - Dallas was one of the top U.S. office markets for both net leasing and higher rents in first quarter 2014, according to a new report by Cassidy Turley.

The city ranked fourth nationally for net office leasing with 1.1 million sf of absorption. Office rents rose 7.2 percent, placing it sixth among the market with the largest percentage annual increases in office rent.

Nationwide, 70 percent of the office markets had higher office leasing in 1Q 2014. Net leasing was up 63 percent from 1Q 2013. Average U.S. office vacancy was 15.4 percent at the end of 1Q 2014.

Top 1Q 2014 U.S.
Office Leasing Markets
Market Net Office
N. New Jersey 1,800,000 sf
Houston 1,700,000 sf
New York City 1,600,000 sf
Dallas 1,100,000 sf
Atlanta 890,000 sf
Central New Jersey 851,000 sf
San Francisco 695,000 sf
Phoenix 625,000 sf
Denver 575,000 sf
W. Palm Beach, FL 383,000 sf

Source: Cassidy Turley

Read more at the Dallas Morning News. For more stats, see Office under DFW Market Data Sources.

HAR: increased home sales for 34th consecutive month 


HOUSTON - Single-family home sales increased for the 34th consecutive month, reaching 5,971 single-family homes in March 2014, a 3.7 percent increase over the 5,756 sold in March 2013, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

Prices remain high while local inventory remains at a record low 2.6 months of supply for the fourth consecutive month. The inventory of single-family homes across the U.S. currently stands at 5.2 months, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Rentals of single-family homes rose 22.3 percent compared to March 2013 and townhouse/condominium rentals grew 12.4 percent. The average rent for a single-family home increased 5.2 percent year-over-year to $1,633 while the average rent for townhouses and condominiums rose 7.2 percent to $1,496.

Foreclosure property sales continued their freefall, dropping 45.3 percent compared to March 2013. Foreclosures now comprise 6.8 percent of all property sales, down from a 12.3 percent share a year earlier. The median price of foreclosures rose 8.7 percent to $93,500.

Housing Market Summary March 2013 vs. 2014
  Mar. 2013 Mar. 2014 Change
Total sales 6,975 7,277 4.3%
Total dollar volume $1,569,146,124 $1,809,673,861 15.3%
Total active listings 32,704 28,085 -14.1%
Total pending sales 4,433 4,596 3.7%
Single-family sales 5,756 5,971 3.7%
Average price $235,484 $261,329 11.0%
Median price $173,000 $189,900 9.8%
Single-family inventory* 3.5 2.6 -

* The number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months of sales activity.
   Source: Houston Association of Realtors

For the full MLS Report, see Houston Association of Realtors. For more housing stats, see Houston Market Data Sources.

CarrolltonTown Center sold: Asian 99 Ranch supermarket in 


CARROLLTON - New Quest Properties has bought the 154,000-sf Carrollton Town Center at the southeast corner of President George Bush Turnpike and Old Denton Rd.

Built in the 1980s, the shopping strip has suffered from high vacancies. A 50,000 sf tenant — 99 Ranch Market — will anchor redevelopment of the property.

“This is going to be big with 99 Ranch, the country’s largest Asian supermarket already signed on and others following,” said Eric Deuillet, president of Structure Commercial, who brokered the sale.

Houston-based New Quest Properties also plans to give the shopping center buildings new exteriors and will upgrade the parking lots and landscaping.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Record enrollment at Permian Basin universities 


ODESSA - Enrollment at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) hit a record high in spring 2014, with 5,043 students representing a 21.4 percent increase of students and a 20.4 percent increase in credit hours.

Graduate studies, engineering, nursing and dual credit were the highest contributors to the enrollment increase.

U.S. News and World Report lists UTPB as a top tier university and ranked UTPB as the top Texas public university in online instruction in 2013. UTPB was the first Texas school to offer a $10,000 bachelor’s degree, and is recognized as the second least expensive Texas public, four-year institution for all college expenses.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) also experienced a new enrollment record of 4,230 students during spring 2014 semester, an increase of more than 6 percent.

The School of Nursing had the highest enrollment of the TTUHSC schools with 1,618 students. The School of Allied Health Sciences had the second highest enrollment with 1,269 students.

“Over the last seven years, enrollment at TTUHSC has increased more than 70 percent,” said Kent Hance, Texas Tech University System Chancellor.

TTUHSC is a multicampus institution with campuses in Lubbock, El Paso, Amarillo, Abilene, Dallas and Odessa.

Read more at the Odessa American.

Trees Escape at Four Points completed in west Austin 


AUSTIN - Escape at Four Points, a 344-unit Class A, luxury garden apartment complex, has been completed by Embrey Partners. The complex is located at 11210 FM 2222 in west Austin.

The multifamily community contains one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 700 sf to 1,355 sf. Amenities include a pool, fitness center, resident lounge with coffee bar and game room.

As part of the construction process, San Antonio-based Embrey worked closely with the City of Austin in order to preserve as much of the natural environment as possible.

Embrey built the buildings to have walkout basement foundations that worked with the site’s grade, which allowed the company to preserve more trees.


LA Fitness jumps into Vineyard Shopping Center SA North Side 


SAN ANTONIO - LA Fitness has signed a lease for a 45,000-sf facility at the Vineyard Shopping Center located at Loop 1604 and Blanco Rd. on the city’s far North Side. Construction on the store is slated to begin immediately.

LA Fitness also has another gym already under construction on six acres in the Bulverde Marketplace center, located at the southwest corner of Loop 1604 and Bulverde Rd.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Waco index performs well in February 


WACO - The local economy continues to perform well thanks to robust retail sales, general improvement in the jobs picture and increased spending on automobiles and stays in lodging establishments, according to Amarillo-based economist Karr Ingham.

The Greater Waco Economic Index reached 112.8 in February, up from 112.7 in January and 107.9 in February a year earlier. In February of 2000, which is the base year of the index, it stood at 100.3.

Retail spending in February exceeded a quarter of a billion dollars, reaching $251 million, up 6.6 percent from February of 2013. In other areas, spending is up a hefty 7.7 percent compared to the first two months of 2013.

The number of people working in McLennan County grew by about 1,800 during the past year.

Permits for general construction projects were valued at $17.4 million in February, up from $15.6 million, while hotel/motel tax receipts climbed 19 percent to $170,760.

On the negative side, the number of existing homes sold in February slipped to 131 from 163 in February a year ago. The City of Waco issued only 22 permits to build single-family homes, a drop of nearly 60 percent.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Starlight sprinkles $41M on McKinney’s Soho Parkway  

(4/10/2014 9:00:00 AM)

McKINNEY - Soho Parkway Apartments (“Soho Parkway”), a 379-unit Class A apartment complex built in 2008 and located at 6653 McKinney Ranch Parkway in McKinney has sold. The price was $41.3 million dollars, or about $108,970 per unit.

Units range from over 700 sf to 1,500 sf with prices from $820 to $1,554. The development was 97 percent occupied at time of sale.

Starlight U.S. Multi-Family Core Fund and Starlight Investments Ltd of Canada was the buyer.

Source: SEDAR

LIsten to Podcast 212 for this story and more.

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

(4/10/2014 8:00:00 AM)

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

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

General Overview March 2014
Markets Austin DFW Houston San
Atlanta Tucson
Occupancy rate 91.8 92.3 91.8 90.2 91.9 89.9
Units added 7,013 10,003 11,438 3,769 4,168 375
Units absorbed (annual) 2,590 8,097 12,964 1,834 7,188 165
Average size (SF) 854 860 873 835 1,015 729
Asking rent $1,045 $883 $912 $838 $878 $643
Effective rent $1,038 $871 $899 $819 $869 $618
Effective rent per SF $1.21 $1.01 $1.03 $0.98 $0.85 $0.85
Offering concessions 13% 35% 32% 45% 31% 58%
Avg. concession package 3.9% 4.1% 4.6% 4.7% 4.1% 6.9%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

See NewsTalk Texas for this story. ALN provides data for Texas metros! It's easy to find under the category Multifamily under Market Data Sources.

North Texas office construction tripled in the last year 


DALLAS-FORT WORTH - Office construction jumped during first quarter 2014, reaching almost 6 million sf and representing a threefold increase from 1Q 2013, according to Cushman & Wakefield of Texas.

The 5.8 million sf of offices being constructed compares with 6.3 million sf in 1Q 2008, before the recession. “It’s still less than what we had under construction in 2008,” said Cushman & Wakefield's Executive Director Matt Heidelbaugh. “I don’t think we are getting overheated at all.”

More than half of what is now being developed is in Richardson’s Telecom Corridor — where State Farm Insurance is building its 1.5 million-sf campus — and in the West Plano and Frisco market where several speculative buildings are under construction.

Cushman & Wakefield said that 18 speculative office buildings are now underway across North Texas, a quarter of which are leased.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Austin: Midland's Parlsey inks Colorado Tower space 


AUSTIN - Two companies new to Austin have signed leases in the Colorado Tower currently under construction at 303 Colorado St. in downtown Austin’s warehouse district.

Parsley Energy is moving its headquarters from Midland and has secured 73,843 sf in the building. About 50 employees will move from Midland and dozens more will be recruited in Austin immediately, according to Parsley Energy.

Australia-based Atlassian Software Systems Pty Ltd. has also signed for 24,411 sf and could bring as many as 300 jobs to the area.

Hendricks said Colorado Tower now is about 51 percent preleased with about 180,000 sf still available. The first tenants will move into the 30-story building in December, while most of the currently signed tenants will move in by next summer.

Also see Australian Atlassian opening in Austin; hiring.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal.

Corpus Christi 4Q 2013 office report: Burbach 


CORPUS CHRISTI - The local office market contained 9.727 million sf as of fourth quarter 2013, according to Burbach & Associates and CoStar Group. The overall vacancy rate increased to 10.4 percent in 4Q 2013, up from 9.1 percent in 2012.

The average quoted full-service rental rate was $14.73 per sf, up 2.4 percent from $14.39 in 2012.

Corpus Christi Office
Market Summary 4Q 2013
Market SF (000) Vacancy Rate/SF
Class A 938 13.5% $19.59
Class B 6,579 9.3% $14.52
Class C 2,210 12.4% $12.25
CBD 4,497 8.9% $14.97
South Side 2,213 9.7% $18.08
Mid-City 1,486 17.1% $13.04
West Side 658 7.2% $11.02
Total 9,727 10.4% $14.73

Source: Burbach & Associates, CoStar Group

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

Bell Helicopter circles $40M Hurst campus 


HURST - Bell Helicopter has begun moving into its newly completed $40 million headquarters building as key part of a larger consolidation that will bring 5,000 Dallas-Fort Worth employees — and ultimately its iconic helicopters — to its Hurst corporate campus.

The redevelopment of the 1950s-era corporate campus is part of a multiyear, $1.2 billion investment into research and development, buildings and business systems to help modernize the company and attract top talent.

By the time Bell moves its helicopter maintenance and flight school to the Hurst campus from AllianceTexas by spring 2015, the company will reduce its North Texas footprint by 38 percent, which will save the company $20 million each year, said Robert Hastings Jr., Bell Helicopter's senior vice president of communications and government affairs.

The building includes a 6,300-sf conference center, as well as about 50 different types of conference and breakout rooms throughout the facility.

About 450 employees from Roanoke and AllianceTexas already have moved into the new headquarters building.

The remaining corporate employees will move from the old headquarters building into the new facility in small-group phases with the C-level suite making the last move into the building in May.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Listen to Podcast 212 for this story and more.

Ramen oodles of noodles swell $300M in Bexar County 


VON ORMY, BEXAR COUNTY - Maruchan Texas, maker of ramen noodles, has opened its $300 million, 510,000-sf factory on Fischer Rd. in Southwest Bexar County. Maruchan is dedicated to turning out tons of the high protein noodles.

"People love ramen in Texas,” said Maruchan Sales Coordination Manager Mark Horikawa. “We're happy to be here." Maruchan's biggest consumer in the United States is Texas.

Mexico is also a huge consumer of the product, making its location in San Antonio ideal.

The plant is employing about 200 people today and expects to employ some 600 in the coming 18 months.

The South Side plant will be the fourth U.S.-based factory for Maruchan. Eventually, the plant plans to crank out an estimated 1.8 million packages of food a day.

This is Maruchan’s first plant opening in 20 years.

Maruchan Texas is a unit of Maruchan Incorporated. Ramen noodles originated in China, but Maruchan is based in Japan. The company says the largest market for ramen noodles today is South Korea.

Read more at WOAI.

Listen to Podcast 212 for this story and see this link for Ramen recipes.

2014 High Plains producers in high cotton 


LUBBOCK - In 2014, there will be about an 8 percent increase in cotton production nationwide and a 12 percent increase in Texas, according to Stephen Amosson of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Officials expect more than 11 million acres of cotton nationwide and 4 million in the high plains alone.

Drought conditions over the past four years have drained the water supply in the high plains region. Farmers are expected to produce more cotton than corn in 2014 just to have enough water to make it through the production season.


Killeen University Village duplexes underway 


KILLEEN - Construction on the $3.1 million University Village neighborhood has begun. Jamie Herring Custom Homes is building 22 duplexes on Studyhall Loop that cost between $140,000 and $145,000. The project still leaves room for additional residences in the 53-lot, 14-acre neighborhood.

Townhomes will be constructed on 17 of the leftover lots, and the remaining 14 lots will be sold to other owners.

Construction on the duplexes should take about six months.

Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald.

Forecast: DFW housing prices trek up 


DALLAS-FORT WORTH - In 2013, median residential sales prices in DFW were up by about 12 percent.

“The long-term average rate of increase is only about 4.5 percent,” said Dr. James Gaines, economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “2014 is going to be another year of double digit price increases.”

Gaines said the tight housing supply in DFW insures that sales prices will continue to spike.

“Are we going to go into a price bubble? I don’t think we are right now,” Gaines said. “But in the long run these increases are not sustainable — you don’t want them to be.”

“We are building almost as many houses as we can build — we have almost hit our physical limit,” Gaines said. “The only thing holding back home sales volume right now is inventory.”

In 2013, DFW had the second highest volume of home sales ever, Gaines said.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Parc Royal industrial park underway near DFW Airport 


IRVING - Jackson-Shaw has begun construction on a 511,500-sf warehouse building near DFW International Airport. The 30-acre Parc Royal business park 
is on Royal Lane in Irving and will open in late 2014.

A second phase of development would increase the project to 641,500 sf.

“DFW Airport has been and will continue to be a significant economic driver for the area, and right now vacancies are at a 30-year low,” said Jason Nunley, vice president at Jackson-Shaw.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Midway ISD weighs in on dance floor with $15M additions 


WACO - Midway Independent School District broke ground on two large additions totaling $15 million. The additions include a student activity center and a fine arts wing.

The fine arts wing will add about 25,000 sf to the high school. A dance hall, practice rooms and ensemble rooms for music and a black box theater are some features being added.

The student activity center will be a metal building housing athletics offices and a weight room four times the size of the existing one. There will be a full-size football field inside to be used for football practice, band, JROTC and other sports.

Construction on the student activity center is projected to be completed by January 2015, and the fine arts wing will be completed by April 2015.

Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.

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