NewsTalk Texas


Midland No. 2 in Texas for home values 2Q 2015 

(8/11/2015 5:43:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Midland ranked No. 2 in the Lone Star State for median home prices in second quarter, according to Texas Realtors Quarterly Housing Report, an indication that home values have held steady despite the yearlong downturn in oil prices.

The report estimated that the median cost of a home in the Tall City was $245,000, down 2 percent year-over-year and second only to Austin-Round Rock’s median price of $269,900, which increased by 10.2 percent.

Median home prices for the state overall are listed at $200,000, up 8.1 percent year-over-year.

Figures provided by the Permian Basin Board of Realtors show that the average median home price for second quarter was $242,690, a 2 percent decrease from the previous year’s second quarter median home value average of $247,666.

Median “sold” prices in Midland contracted by 2 percent in the first half 2015.

Average homes on the market for first half 2015 are at 488 per month, a 65 percent increase over first half 2014, when there was an average of 296 homes on the market each month.

The report also stated that the number of days a Midland home is on the market is 82, which is 11 more compared to 2Q 2014. However, months of inventory in Midland sat at 3.2 compared to a year ago, when months of inventory was 3.6.

More than 60 percent of Midland homes are being sold in the $200,000 to $500,000 range, with less than 7 percent priced above $500,000 according to the Texas Realtor’s report.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

For the full report with all markets, see the Texas Quarterly Housing Report 2Q 2015 (PDF). For Midland go to page 18 on the PDF.

52,000-SF Medical Campus to Midland 


MIDLAND - United Surgical Partners International (USPI) selected Adolfson & Peterson Construction (A&P) as General Contractor to build a medical campus in Midland.

A&P will manage the construction of the 52,000-sf medical office building, as well as a 4,424-sf expansion to USPI's adjacent Texas Surgery Center (TSC).

The project is located near the intersection of Westridge Blvd. and Deauville Blvd., adjacent to the Scharbauer Sports Complex in west Midland.

Construction is currently scheduled to commence in August 2015 with substantial completion slated for Q2 2016.


Midland: June breaking records with 228 homes sold 


MIDLAND - Midland’s housing market produced a record number of houses sold during the month of June.

Figures from the Permian Basin Board of Realtors indicated 228 homes were sold during June in Midland — the highest number according to their records, which date back to January 2008.

For those homes sold in June, the median sold price was $250,000, a 12 percent decrease compared to June 2014.

The average sold price dropped 17 percent year-over-year.

June 2014 experienced the highest home prices on record, with average and median sold prices reaching $340,000 and $280,000, respectively.

The average and median prices for June 2015 are still between 5 and 6 percent higher than the average for the first five months of 2015.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland 41,000-SF Warfield Truck Stop redo 


MIDLAND - A major redevelopment is underway at the former Warfield Truck Stop at I-20 and FM 1788.

Owner Petroleum Wholesale LP demolished the Warfield Truck Stop and Warfield Restaurant and is building a 41,000-sf 24-hour Travel Center expected to open in early August.

The new Warfield will contain a 24-hour Ace Hardware, 24-hour Carquest Auto Parts, a full-service convenience store and a discount grocery. The food court will include a Steak-n-Shake, a Subway and a Texas barbecue restaurant.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland real estate prices rebound during May  

(6/25/2015 6:00:00 AM)

MIDLAND - According to the data from the Permian Basin Board of Realtors (PBBOR), real estate prices grew and home sales reached record levels after four months of falling home sales and fluctuating prices.

The PBBOR figures show that for May average sold prices grew by 6.7 percentage point's year-over-year while median sold prices rose by 4.7 points.

Home sales jumped month-to-month and year-over year to 196 in May, hitting their highest level since last July when 213 homes were sold and climbing nearly 50 percent from April.

Housing inventories remained higher in May, with 424 homes on the market, 44 percent higher than the same time in 2014 when 294 homes were listed for sale.

However, the number of homes on the market in May was the lowest for 2015 and below the average of 498.

Data from the Permian Basin Board of Realtors (PBBOR)

Sold (percent change year-over-year)

• January: 96 (-26.1 percent)

• February: 86 (-34.8 percent)

• March: 140 (-11.9 percent)

• April: 138 (-15.3 percent)

• May: 196 (14.6 percent)

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland's apartment rents down due to oilfield layoffs  


MIDLAND - Apartment prices have fallen over the last few months by hundreds of dollars, according to local apartment managers and data, as local apartment complexes have dealt with an outflow of oilfield workers.

Local managers estimated they had decreased prices at their properties from between $50 to $400 a month to cope with the adjustment in the market.

Many managers blamed layoffs and reduced hours in the oilfield for their falling prices.

Rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments began falling in January and have dropped by nearly $200 a month.

Data obtained from ALN Apartment Data shows that Midland’s apartment occupancy rate peaked in April/May 2014 at 97.6 percent. A year later occupancy sits at 86 percent.

The sister city of Odessa hit its peak of 96.3 percent occupancy in July/August 2014 and has since fallen to 88.4 percent. ALN estimated that overall occupancy rates are somewhere around 87.3 percent.

Read more about this story at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Center of gravity tips to Midland XCOR space business 


MIDLAND - A mock-up of XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx spacecraft built by Orbital Outfitters now sits in the lobby of the Midland International Air & Space Port — another reminder of the progress being made at the other end of the runway.

“The center of gravity will be and is Midland, Texas,” XCOR’s director of media, Brian Campen, said. “From the conversations that we’re having it is most definitely the focus of a lot of our attention in terms of where folks are now moving and where our corporate
headquarters and R&D operations are going to be.”

On the backside of XCOR’s hangar, rises the skeleton of Orbital Outfitter’s building. The facility will house what CEO Jeff Feige describes as “the most modern and the most capable altitude chamber facility in the country.”

The building is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 or early 2016. When the company moves to Midland, it will bring 15 to 20 employees with it.

However, the success of Orbital Outfitters, which is a space equipment company, hinges on being within proximity of other space companies.

Approximately $8 million in infrastructure is set to be installed in what is being called the Spaceport Business Park in the southwest corner of the Air & Space Port, according to literature obtained by the Reporter-Telegram at the Midland Development Corp.

The MDC estimates that overall completion of the improvements for the Spaceport Business Park to be completed by January. At least seven lots will be dedicated as aerospace business development lots.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland-Odessa economy showing only modest decline 


MIDLAND-ODESSA - The Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index posted a third consecutive monthly decline in the aftermath of the sharp drop in crude oil prices and contraction in oil field activity.

What was unexpected was the very modest decline in the index, prepared by Amarillo Economist Karr Ingham for Security Bank and Midland Development Corp.

"So far there’s been a softer change in direction than expected,” said Ingham. Though the index is 7.8 percent above April 2014 levels, “the change in direction is unmistakable” as it declined slightly from March levels.

“It’s a little encouraging that the index doesn’t appear to be reaching a quick peak and then dropping off a cliff. It may be absorbing the oilfield contraction better than we might have thought,” Ingham said.

The contraction in Permian Basin oilfield activity that has resulted in a 60 percent drop in the rig count has yet to show up in the two key components of the index, consumer spending and employment, Ingham said.

April retail sales were up 2.6 percent compared to last April and are up 8.6 percent for the first four months of the year compared to the same period last year. Ingham noted that growth rates have narrowed considerably in recent months.

“Year-over-year growth per the month of the sales tax rebate was as high as 19 percent in late 2014 and 15 percent in January 2015 and has now fallen to 2.6 percent in April,” he said.

"Clearly this is a transition period. It’s unavoidable, but it’s not the worst thing that could happen,” Ingham said.

Read more about this story at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

2016: Midland's new H-E-B to include BBQ restaurant 


MIDLAND - The new Westside H-E-B is set to open in spring 2016 and will include gas and diesel pumps and a barbecue restaurant.

 The 112,000-sf store will be built at the site of the demolished AT&T call center. 

About 300 employees will be hired for the new store. The store will have a True Texas BBQ restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and to-go options.

The current H-E-B store in Midland is more than 118,000 sf, according to the Midland County Appraisal District.

H-E-B is also planning to open a second, 19,000-sf store in the sister city of Odessa, according to an article by the Odessa-American. The new Odessa store, which also will also feature a True Texas BBQ, is expected to open in July.

Read more about this story at the Midland Reporter-Telegram

Design to reality for UTPB $48M engineering bldg. in Midland 


MIDLAND - The University of Texas of the Permian Basin has plans to build an 80,000-sf School of Engineering Building at the Midland campus next to the next to the CEED and the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, southeast of the intersection of FM 1788 and SH 191.

The building will help accommodate the growth of UTPB’s fastest growing department. Total project cost, according to the UTPB President David Watts is $69 million.

The Texas House passed House Bill 100, which included $48 million in tuition revenue bonds for UTPB, which will be use in funding for the new project.

Read more about this story at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland's April home inventory down from March 


MIDLAND - Midland County real estate continues to sail into uncertain conditions, with fewer homes sold year-over-year for April and a drop in the number of homes on the market from March, according to figures from the Permian Basin Board of Realtors.

The figures show that there were 490 homes on the market in April, compared to 533 in March.

Year-over-year for April there were 68 percent more homes on the market, echoing the large increase in homes on the market from the previous three months of 2015.

Average sale prices were at $261,097, a 3.9 percent decrease from April 2014, while median prices were up 1.8 percent at $232,053.

Read more about this story at  the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland: 100% leased Western Park Plaza sells 


MIDLAND - The Western Park Plaza, a 91,353-sf retail property has been sold. Western Park Plaza is located at 1012-1028 Andrews Hwy.

The center is 100 percent occupied, and all leases are triple net.

Major tenants consist of Miss Cayce’s Christmas Store, Day by Day, EnerVest, Family Dollar, Mobility Unlimited, Yates Carpets, BootCamp, Calvary Christian Fellowship Church and Garza Crossfit.

The building was constructed in 1981 and sits on approximately 7.37 acres. The center is shadow anchored by Albertson’s grocery store and Ace Hardware.

Other retailers in the area include Wells Fargo, Wendy’s, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, Schlotzsky’s, Dollar Tree, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Furr’s Cafeteria, Planet Fitness, Hastings, Rosa’s Café, Whataburger, Burger King and others.

Source: Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

Midland NewsTalk Texas

Midland: make way on the course for 48,830-SF retail center 


MIDLAND - The Borgata, a five-building retail center, is taking the place of an old miniature golf course in the growing northwest part of Midland.

Construction of the 48,830-sf facility is 70 percent complete.

Located at 3415 N. Loop 250 W., The Borgata is anticipated to have a partial opening in July.

The remaining buildings are expected to open by the late part of summer.

Tenants thus far include Little Woodrow’s, Fresh Fit Meals, Total Nutrition, Stadium Sports, a nail salon, a hair salon and spa and two undisclosed tenants.

Tenants have signed on for at least 70 percent of the space.

The Borgata’s architectural design will resemble an Italian village.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midlanders talk the talk and walk the walk 


MIDLAND - Texas has some of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation, and the Midland-Odessa region is no exception.

Texas Monthly's Ultimate Newcomer’s Guide teaches new Texans how to walk, talk, eat, drink, dress, drive and otherwise act like a native.

Here are some survival tips for new Midlanders:

• Don’t try to drive down Wadley Ave. when it rains...or Garfield St...or Illinois Ave. Actually, just stay home because almost every road floods.

• When one writer’s car overheated, after pulling over, a random stranger pulled up to see if all was okay. For big-city people, that could almost warrant a 911 call. But here, Midland folks are genuinely compassionate, helpful and welcoming.

• The term “turn signal” does not exist in Midland.

Take a look at the entire list at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Beat the heat! Tiki Island's fresh air blows to Midland 


MIDLAND - Tiki Island — an inflatable water park by Mode Entertainment — will be opening on the west side of Midland.

The park is the first of its kind in Texas and the second one in the country.

Mode Entertainment is building Tiki Island at the Scharbauer Sports Complex parking lot closest to Loop 250 and Deauville Blvd.

It will operate Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Tiki Island will have 11 water-based attractions that tie into the park’s tropical theme.

Day tickets are $14.99; season passes will be available for $99.99.

Andrew Mellen, engineering representative for the development, said that, even though the park can handle more than 500 people, it will restrict the capacity to 500 to make the park a safe place.

According to Elizabeth McLellan, marketing director for Tiki Island, the park will use 60,000 gallons of water per week, as well as solar-powered mist machines, pump filtration devices and recycling receptacles.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram and Tiki Island.

Midland edging towards a balanced housing market 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* 6.5 months of inventory is considered a balanced market

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland's housing supply swings toward more expensive homes 


MIDLAND - Last year showed ever-rising home values for Midland, growing by nearly 10 percent. The increases were driven by the burgeoning oil industry, strong demand for homes and a lack of supply as Midland continued to struggle with its rapid growth.

Median home prices finished 2014 averaging $246,483, 9.1 percent higher than 2013 and representing a strong growth trend, according to figures compiled by the Reporter-Telegram from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M.

Average home prices grew by an even larger margin in 2014, jumping 11.7 percent to end at $285,842, compared with $255,867 in 2013.

Average home prices in Midland grew by 48.5 percent between 2009 and 2014, while median prices have increased by 44.6 percent.

At the same time, housing supply has made a dramatic switch in eight years. In 2006, 65.4 percent of homes sold in Midland were worth less than $159,000, while houses valued at more than $200,000 made up 21.6 percent of the market.

In 2014, the numbers for homes under $159,000 had plummeted to 16.6 percent of housing stock, while homes worth more than $200,000 had increased to 67.8 percent of the market.

Breaking down the numbers further, homes sold for $300,000 or more went from 6.7 percent in 2006 to 34.6 percent in 2014.

Homes above $400,000 increased from 1.5 to 16.3 percent between 2006 and 2014, while homes worth $500,000 or more went from 0.9 percent to 7.7 percent of the market.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland: 144-room Hotel Fuel pumps construction 


MIDLAND - Hotel Fuel, a 144-room, 12-floor boutique hotel in development at a vacant office building on 301 W. Texas Ave., is one of several ongoing downtown revitalization projects.

The transformation of the former Western United Life Building into Hotel Fuel will begin in three weeks, according to hotel developer Sagar Kumar.

Some of the amenities planned for Hotel Fuel include a restaurant and coffeehouse on the first floor, conference rooms on the second floor and kitchenettes in every one- or two-bedroom unit.

For the past three months, developer Texas 301 Ventures LLC has spent nearly $800,000 on cleaning out the building, which included asbestos removal, Kumar said.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland 'shoeing' in 52,000-SF complex 


MIDLAND - Midland County Horseshoe Arena Complex has opened the entertainment and meeting venue Horseshoe Pavilion.

The new facility is 52,000 sf. It will house trade shows and major regional conventions.

Its versatility is also noted by movable walls which can host concerts with up to 5,619 patrons or be broken down into smaller venues.

The Pavilion also includes an outdoor amphitheater with seating up to 4,500.

“There was so much demand for non-horse and cattle shows,” property manager Mike Dooley of Dooley Management Company said. “In the last two years, we had to turn away more than 300 event requests for conventions, trade shows and large parties. We either didn’t have the dates or the schedule to move the dirt.”

The venue features high-tech audio visual equipment that will enhance both convention and concert events.

An onsite full kitchen will increase catering capabilities as well.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram and Midland County Horseshoe.

Residential rates up 24 percent in oil-rich Midland 

(1/8/2015 7:00:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Residential rental rates have risen 24 percent in the last year in Midland, due to high demand generated by the energy industry, according to the RealtyTrac housing data company.

Midland is in the heart of the Permian Basin, a large formation in West Texas that leads the nation in drilling activity.

Apartment occupancy in Midland was reportedly at 97 percent in 2014, according to CBRE.

The No. 1 gainer in residential rental rates was another shale drilling community, Williamsport, Pa., in the Marcellus Shale.

Rents rose 32 percent in Williamsport last year, according to RealtyTrac, which based its report on data from a U.S. Department of Housing an Urban Development study of counties with more than 100,000 in population.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Listen to Podcast 240 for this story and more.

Sellerís market prevails in Midland 

(12/10/2014 8:00:00 AM)

MIDLAND - The 15.3 percent growth in median home prices year-over-year for October 2014 marked a rebound from September and August, which showed sluggish growth rates of 1 percent, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Midland has averaged a 10.9 percent growth rate in median prices for 2014 through October, and average home prices grew by 12.4 percent during the same time period.

These increases have happened despite a 38.6 percent plunge in the price of oil since June 12, 2014 when West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at a peak of $107.95 per barrel.

WTI is now trading at $65 a barrel, according to the Energy Information Administration and NASDAQ.

During the same period of falling oil prices, Midland’s median home prices have continued to rise by an average of 9.5 percent from June 2014 through October 2014.

While other areas of Texas have an average of three months real estate inventory, Midland's average is only 1.7 months, according to Warren Ivey, regional vice president of the Texas Association of Realtors.

The low inventory exists, despite the many new developments being built to the north and west parts of the city, because people continue to move to the Tall City.

“The hardship is sustained by the buyer and…the tenants who are looking for rental property,” said Ivey. “They’re really getting stumped; they’re finding prices that they never would have thought when they come into town to look at rental properties...”

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.
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Midland apartment market overview Oct. 2014 


MIDLAND - Apartment MarketData Research Services LLC has released October 2014 data. The multifamily market data represent three months trailing (August–October 2014).

As a rule these represent all properties except those that are leased but not occupied units.

Multihousing Market Condition Comparison Aug.–Oct. 2014
Midland Texas
Units Occ. Rate* Size** Units Occ. Rate* **Size
< 1970 556 98.2% $0.962 994 132,294 96.4% $0.852 832
1970's 1,918 95.7% $1.005 914 383,819 95.8% $0.841 818
1980's 5,626 98.1% $1.279 851 488,257 96.9% $0.928 780
1990's 184 100.0% $0.672 896 226,024 97.4% $1.080 922
2000's 1,139 99.6% $1.362 920 366,007 97.4% $1.046 963
2010's 1,156 99.0% $1.470 939 70,963 97.2% $1.194 927
Totals 10,579 97.9% $1.230 888 1,667,364 96.8% $0.966 859

*Rate: Rental Rate is the average market rate expressed as ($/SF/month).
**Size: The average size of each unit expressed as (SF/unit).

Click to see the full October 2014 Midland Multihousing Market Conditions Report, including previous data.
Texas real estate news

Source: Apartment MarketData Research Services LLC, San Antonio

Remember, this report and other data are available at Midland Market Data Sources.
Texas real estate news

Pioneer Permian Basin HQ opens in Midland 


MIDLAND - Pioneer Natural Resources has opened its new $76 million, 265,000-sf Permian Basin Headquarters at 3617 N. Big Spring St.

The six-story office building amenities include:

•  a three-story parking garage with 460 spaces,
•  an employee cafeteria,
•  child care facilities for up to 112 children of employees and
•  a fitness center and locker rooms.

Pioneer is the No. 1 taxpayer in Midland County and employs more than 1,700 people in the Permian Basin.

Pioneer focuses on four core areas: the northern and southern Spraberry-Wolfcamp, the West Panhandle, the Eagle Ford and the Raton Basin of Colorado.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram. Listen to Podcast 237 for this story and more.
(Texas real estate news)

Texas on the surface: oil booms & land prices 

(11/17/2014 7:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Texas rural land prices have been cruising higher, following the path of crude oil. In 2013, the average price per acre reached $2,160, up 9 percent from 2012.

So far in 2014, land is selling around $2,354 per acre, up another 9 percent, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

“Technically, it’s called a co-movement,” said Charles Gilliland, research economist at the Real Estate Center. “Land prices seem to follow the trends in oil prices.”

The Texas economy does well in general when oil prices rise, and people who work in the oil industry have more money to spend — often on ranches.

The economic impact of the oil boom in South Texas has erased any negative effect on land prices that the state’s severe drought might have otherwise caused, said Ranch broker Mark Hubbard.

South Texas land prices are averaging around $3,000 per acre, but selling sometimes at $3,500 to $4,000 an acre. People are “buying the property next to them for $4,000 per acre. Surface only,” said Richard Dockery, a real estate broker and appraiser in Three Rivers.

Mineral ownership can be severed from surface ownership in Texas, and sellers of South Texas land are particularly unwilling to part with their minerals.

Ranches on the fringes of the Eagle Ford and “out of the fairway” were in demand, but those for sale in the heart of the field, where industrial activity has taken over, were being met by “market resistance” if minerals weren’t part of the sale, according to a report by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

“A ranch sitting in the middle of the Eagle Ford Shale with no minerals is a pretty tough sell,” said Hubbard. “Land outside the Eagle Ford Shale with or without minerals is bringing a premium. There’s a lot of money in the system. There’s a lot of people who want to own land. But there’s a lot of people who are running from the shale.”

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Orbital Outfitters brings the moon to Midland's Spaceport 


MIDLAND - Spaceport Business Park already has two tenants — XCOR and Orbital Outfitters.

The development of Spaceport Business Park will include the $3.2 million Midland Altitude Chamber Complex (MACC), which Orbital Outfitters CEO Jeff Feige described as a level of infrastructure to do something that no one else in the world was doing.

Orbital Outfitters has broken ground on its 17,660-sf test, manufacturing and headquarters facility on the grounds of the Spaceport Business Park at Midland International Air and Space Port.

The new facility will include state-of-the-art manufacturing and development capabilities into which the company will be moving its space suit development and manufacturing activities.

The MACC will feature altitude chambers of different sizes and capabilities including a small equipment chamber, a two-person chamber for suit testing and evaluation, and a large cabin sized chamber that can accommodate as many as ten people or an entire vehicle cabin mockup.

The new Orbital Outfitters facility and the MACC are anticipating beginning operations in first quarter 2016.

Midland will be “one of the premier sites in the world” when it comes to aerospace, according to Keith Graf, director of the governor’s Aerospace, Aviation and Defense & Texas Military Preparedness Commission.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram and Orbital Outfitters.

See previous story, One giant leap for Midland International Air & Space Port.

Midland labor-locked manufacturer moves to Mansfield 

(11/5/2014 6:10:00 AM)

MIDLAND to MANSFIELD - New Tech Systems has relocated its manufacturing operations from 1100 South FM 1788 to Mansfield.

Many of the company’s 60-plus employees made the move, along with its management team. New Tech’s Midland location will remain open as a service center to serve Permian Basin customers, staffed by six to eight employees. The center will provide parts, service and training.

With so many new oilfield service companies coming to the area, there is a lot of competition for workers.

“Since we’re a manufacturing company, the amount of product we can ship depends on how big our labor force is. Since we couldn’t grow our labor force, we couldn’t increase shipments,” said Pat Hanlon, president.

New Tech employs 62, but Hanlon said he needs to raise that to 80 to begin growing the company.

While the company’s new manufacturing facility in Mansfield is not yet complete, the move has already had a positive impact. The new facility will be 60 percent larger.

“We’re finding, due to a larger population which is not oilfield-based, there’s a larger supply of highly skilled workers, both blue collar and white collar,” said Hanlon.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland, Odessa continue to post strong growth 


MIDLAND, ODESSA - The September 2014 Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index was up 6.9 percent from September 2013, according to economist Karr Ingham.

Amidst stunning growth, however, a more compelling story of impending change exists. The average price of crude, which peaked at $107 a barrel in summer 2014, averaged $89.57 in September 2014, down 13.3 percent from $102.90 in September 2013.

While crude prices fell from $102 to less than $75 in 2012, they recovered in the second half of the year. “I don’t have the sense oil prices are going to bounce right back,” said Ingham. Petroleum activity serves as a leading indicator of the direction of the overall Midland-Odessa economy, and lower oil prices will affect the overall economy in the next three to six months.

The number of drilling permits issued by the Railroad Commission in September 2014 soared to a record 1,402, up 110.8 percent from 665 in September 2013. At the same time, the rig count averaged 464 rigs, up 21.8 percent from 381 in September 2013.

Inflation-adjusted retail spending in 3Q 2014 was 13.2 percent higher than in 3Q 2013 and was up 11.2 percent in the first two-thirds of 2014 compared to a year ago. Automotive spending in 3Q 2014 was 20.2 percent above 3Q 2013 and so far 2014 is 16.4 percent higher than 2013.

Construction activity exploded in 3Q 2014 with $525 million in building permit valuations, the highest 3Q total on record. That total is up by more than 25 percent compared to 3Q 2013, which in turn was up by 68 percent compared to 3Q 2012.

September 2014 building permit valuations totaled more than $235 million due to nearly $140 million in new school construction in Odessa.

There were 904 homes sold in Midland and Odessa during 3Q 2014, up 8.1 percent from 836 in 2013. So far in 2014, 2,483 homes have been sold, up 5.3 percent from 2,359 during the same period in 2013.

The average sales price was $252,687 in 3Q 2014, up 3.7 percent from $243,651 in the 3Q 2013. To date in 2014, the average home sales price is $248,600, up 10.2 percent from $225,583 in the first three quarters of 2013.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland Microtel Inn decor includes guestroom work stations 


MIDLAND - The 82-room Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham has opened 12 miles from the Midland International Airport.

There are numerous corporate offices within a five-mile radius of the hotel including IBM, Halliburton, Patriot Drilling, as well as the Midland Center, several attractions, and dozens of restaurants within a two-mile radius.

This Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham is the newest hotel in Midland and offers guest laundry facilities and an ergonomic work station in each of the new guestrooms.

Read more at Hospitality Net.

Midland Samís Club $5.7M renovation completed 


MIDLAND - The Sam’s Club store, located at 1500 Tradewinds Blvd., has reopened after a six-month, $5.7 million renovation.

Renovations include:

•  a new $1.2 million gasoline island,
•  a new pharmacy,
•  an expanded optical center,
•  a new hearing aid center; and
•  remodeled and expanded restrooms.

Midland’s Sam’s Club opened in 1986 and was one of the first to open in Texas, just three years after Walmart founder Sam Walton opened the first Sam’s Club location.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland median income up by 14.8 percent 


MIDLAND - Midland’s median household income rose to more than $71,000 in 2013, a 14.8 percent increase year-over-year from 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Midland’s median household income has increased by 27 percent since 2011, rising $15,000 between 2011 and 2013. The Midland metropolitan area now ranks ninth in the U.S. for median home income.

Median income in Midland is almost $20,000 higher than the median household income in Texas and $19,000 higher than the U.S. median household income.

Midland’s previous peak, $62,272, was in 2008 before the recession, and then dipped until 2012, when it started growing again.

The Odessa metropolitan area ranks 74th in median household income behind Atlanta, and its income from 2012 to 2013 increased by 5.7 percent. Between 2011 and 2013, Odessa saw a 7.6 percent increase in income with a gain of almost $4,000.

More than $42 billion in oil revenue has been the catalyst for Midland and Odessa income growth. The oil industry has created thousands of jobs and has pushed Midland’s population above 120,000 this year.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Fifty-four months of Midland-Odessa economic expansion 

(10/3/2014 6:05:00 AM)

MIDLAND, ODESSA - The Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index was 6.8 percent higher in August 2014 than in August 2013, and has recorded 54 straight months of economic expansion, according to economist Karr Ingham.

Midland and Odessa issued 107 permits in August 2014, up from 105 in August 2013. The two cities have issued 913 permits so far this year, up 2.4 percent from 892 last year, a total Ingham reports is higher than all annual totals other than 2012 and 2013.

Realtors sold 294 homes in August 2014, up 3.9 percent from 283 in August 2013. So far in 2014, 2,209 home have been sold, up 4.7 percent from 2,109 in August 2013.

The average home sales price was $254,327 in August 2014, up 0.3 percent from $253,496 in August 2013. The average price so far in 2014 is $247,467, up 10.9 percent from $223,061 to-date in 2013, which was 17 percent higher than the to-date 2012 average.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Shipping out: Midland exports up 57 percent in 2013 

(9/24/2014 6:43:00 AM)

MIDLAND - The Midland MSA had merchandise exports totaling a record $164 million in 2013, up $60 million or 57 percent from 2012, according to the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Key merchandise export categories for Midland in 2013 included:

  • machinery;
  • computer and electronic products;
  • primary metal manufactures;
  • fabricated metal products; and
  • oil and gas.

“I believe it’s so imperative for Permian Basin manufacturers to keep a significant portion of their revenues focused on exports. It’s just good business — lending diversification to your business and a nice insurance policy for swings in the domestic market,” said Larry Richards, president and CEO of Hy-Bon Engineering.

Overall, Texas exported $60 billion in petroleum-related merchandise, followed by computers and other electronics, and then chemicals, said Dan Swart, director of the U.S. Commercial Service in North Texas.

The state’s top trading partner was Mexico, followed by Canada and then Brazil. China fell to fourth place.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland Wall Street Lofts ring opening bell in Nov. 


MIDLAND - The $17.4 million, 108-unit Wall Street Lofts in downtown are nearing completion, and will be ready for tenants by November 2014, according to developer Roger Gault.

The Lofts will include one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 605 sf to 1,136 sf. A top-floor clubhouse with flat screen televisions and a kitchen will complement the Lofts’ pool and fitness center.

The 5,000 sf of retail space in the bottom of the building has not yet been leased.

The four-story lofts will be released floor-by-floor, with the top floor, leasing office and club room coming online first. The parking garage should also be completed in mid-November.

Private funds provided $12 million of the construction costs, and the City of Midland, in conjunction with the Midland Development Corp. (MDC), provided $5 million for construction of the parking garage.

The land that the Lofts sits on, which was valued at $350,000, was provided for the project at no charge through the city’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Board.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

One giant leap for Midland International Air & Space Port 

(9/18/2014 6:30:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Midland International Airport is now Midland International Air & Space Port, as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved a commercial space launch site license for the airport.

Though there are eight other commercial spaceports with FAA licensing, Midland International Air & Space Port is the first primary commercial service airport certified by the FAA as a spaceport.

“The proximity of the airport to the spaceport allows us to take advantage of existing infrastructure, which in turn lowers cost to the operators and offers us a competitive advantage over operations at remote locations,” said Marv Esterly, the City of Midland’s Director of Airports.

XCOR Aerospace plans to launch suborbital flights from the spaceport by 2015, and Orbital Outfitters plans to build spacesuits for XCOR’s vehicles and operate a multi-use altitude chamber complex from the spaceport. Both companies will relocate from California.

The spaceport’s anchor tenant, XCOR, broke ground on its facility in August 2014, and Orbital Outfitters is preparing to break ground within the next two months.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Over 250 homes in store for west, north Midland 


MIDLAND - Three new phases of residential projects will add more than 250 new homes to Midland’s burgeoning housing market within the next year after Midland’s Planning and Zoning Commission granted its approval.

D.R. Horton gained both approval for a final plat of its Adobe Meadows Addition in north Midland and a zone change for their Legacy Addition development in west Midland. Additionally, a zone change of a 24-acre plot to the east of phase one of Daybreak Estates will make way for a second phase of 60 to 70 homes.

The Adobe Addition is moving into the second stage of building, while the Legacy Addition broke ground on its infrastructure in spring 2014. Home construction will begin within the next few months, and Legacy should be completed sometime in the next two years, said Eric West, a civil engineer for Parkhill, Smith & Cooper.

Phase one of Daybreak Estates laid out 167 lots, four of which have been built and more than 40 have been sold, according to Andrew Mellen of Midland’s Maverick Engineering. The project has four stages and will eventually have over 500 homes. The first phase broke ground in summer 2013 and phase two will begin in December 2014 or January 2015.

The median home price in Midland for July 2014 was $247,900, a 7.1 percent increase year-over-year from July 2013. Since July 2009, when home prices slumped due to the Great Recession, home prices for the month of July have increased by 48.2 percent.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Holiday Inn Express with 90 rooms to Midland market 


MIDLAND - The 90-room, 55,200-sf Holiday Inn Express has opened on Crump St. near I-20 and Rankin Hwy.

The estimated cost of construction was $5 million, according to state filings.

Insignia Hospitality Group owns and manages the hotel.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Midland hotels continue record gains in 2Q 


MIDLAND - Midland was ranked first in Texas for both hotel revenue and occupancy in second quarter 2014.

Hotel revenues in 2Q 2014 increased by 31.4 percent over 2Q 2013, growing from $25 million to $33 million, according to Source Strategies.

Midland’s hotel revenue growth was over 20 percent better than average revenue growth statewide, and taxable receipts were up from $21 million in 2013 to $28 million in 2014, an increase of 28.5 percent.

Both Midland and Odessa ranked in the top two for hotel performance with an 84.7 percent and 79.6 percent hotel occupancy, respectively.

Year-over-year, Midland’s occupancy rate grew by 0.9 percent from 83.9 percent to 84.7 percent. Both cities were far above the statewide occupancy average, which sat at 67.8 percent.

Room rates have continued to remain high, with the estimated average at $108 per night. Odessa has a $119-per-night average rate, while Austin took the top slot with a $126-per-night average rate.

Midland posted a $13.26 gain in its revenue per available room over 2Q 2013 numbers, compared to the statewide average increase of $4.58 year-over-year.

Revenues have increased from $36 million in 2009 to more than $101 million in 2013. Hotel revenue for 2014 is already more than $60 million, putting 2014 on track for another record year.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland McDonaldís, Walmart wager on students 


MIDLAND - An incentive program used by a local McDonald’s franchise owned and operated by Jesse Carillo, has begun its third year paying incentives to its high school-aged employees for good grades in school.

Eligible employees working a minimum of 20 hours a week will receive $40 for every A grade, $25 for every B and $10 for every C. Additionally, as recently as three years ago, the local McDonald’s offered $1,000 signing bonuses for new employees.

The incentives at McDonald’s will affect at least 250 employees, and more than $48,000 was given out in 2013 for the program. Because the money comes from Carillo, the payments do not affect the franchise’s finances.

“This is a program that we look to keep indefinitely,” said franchise CEO Richard Rodriguez. “This is what we’re giving back to the community.”

In addition to the McDonald’s incentives, a Midland Walmart is currently advertising a starting pay of $14 an hour for new hires.

Midland reported a 2.9 percent unemployment rate in July 2014, the fourth lowest in the nation. And since November 2013, the rate has been 3 percent or lower.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

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.

Midland posts second-lowest jobless rate in the nation 


MIDLAND - Midland posted the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation during the month of June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Midland’s unemployment rate of 2.9 percent trailed only Bismarck, North Dakota, which led the nation with a rate of 2.6 percent. Midland’s unemployment rate in May was the fourth lowest. From December to April, Midland posted the lowest unemployment rate or tied for the lowest four times.

The BLS report also showed Midland’s civilian workforce in June was 98,200 — an increase of 1,200 from May and an increase of 3,200 from June 2013.

Odessa’s 3.6 percent rate in June 2014 was the ninth lowest in the nation.

Read more at the Midland Reporter Telegram.

Nothing average in Midland: home values rank first in Texas 

(7/24/2014 8:14:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Home values grew by more than 23 percent year-over-year in June, pushing the Tall City’s median price back to the number one slot statewide for the second time this year.

The median home price in June was $283,100, as 208 single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums were sold. The sales volume grew about 14.3 percent year over year, up from 182 transactions in June 2013.

The volume of homes sold is traditionally strongest during summer months, but the number of transactions in June surged beyond the average and to the highest level in Midland’s documented history.

No other Texas city recorded a higher June median home price than Midland, which has not happened since January. The Tall City also broke its own record for highest median home price by almost $32,000.

Last month, the median value of an Odessa home was $176,500.

Highest June Home Values Statewide
Midland $283,100
Fort Bend County $280,800
Collin County $272,700
Montgomery County $251,400
Austin $249,800

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

It's elementary, Midland: three 93,000-SF schools coming 


MIDLAND - A $163 million bond passed in 2012 is funding the construction of three new elementary schools. Trustees approved design development plans for each of the three new 800-student, 93,000-sf campuses last November.

Bunche Elementary School, located at 702 S. Jackson St., broke ground on May 15. It was the first groundbreaking on a new Midland ISD campus in 22 years.

The Barbara Fasken Elementary School located at 5806 Val Verde is set to break ground July 29.

The ceremony for the new school at 6000 Riverfront Dr. in the Legends Park neighborhood is set for July 30.

Each school is expected to cost $18 million to construct according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

The Clusters apartments in Midland sold to Chicago firm 

(7/8/2014 6:45:00 AM)

MIDLAND - The 352-unit Clusters apartment complex, located at 4415 Northcrest Dr., has been sold to Chicago-based TVO Groupe.

TVO Groupe plans to invest more than $1.4 million into the property in the next several years. That figure translates to about $4,000 per unit.

Midland Central Appraisal District values the property at nearly $21.8 million, according to preliminary assessments for 2014.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland apartment supply growing 

(6/26/2014 6:59:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Earlier this month, 26 more units came on the market as Westwood Villas, at 4100 W. Illinois Ave., opened its first apartment building. A second building is expected to open July 1, adding another 26 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

In addition to Westwood Villas, four other apartment complexes have opened since the end of 2013, according to information compiled by Michelle Martinez, a local Apartment Finder publisher.

On the other hand, demand for housing has yet to taper off in Midland. Sunrise at Fairgrounds, a 54-unit complex at 1401 N. Fairgrounds Rd., opened in January and already is full, said April Feuge, the property manager. Another 54 units should open around November, as construction crews are now expanding the complex.

A total of 613 units have entered the market in 2014. The average price per month is $1,150 for a one-bedroom, $1,500 for a two-bedroom and $1,750 for a three-bedroom.

New Midland Apartments in the Market in 2014
Complex Address
Westwood Villas 4100 W. Illinois Ave.
Mesquite Terrace Apartments 501 S. Loop 250 W.
Sunrise at Fairgrounds 1401 N. Fairgrounds Rd.
Playa Del Puebo Apartment Homes 611 E. I-20
Midway Station 3700 N. A St.

Including the second phase of Westwood Villas, more than 870 additional units are slated for completion before the end of this year.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram. Listen to Podcast 220 for more Small Towns, Big Deals.

Hotels in Midland set revenue records in 1Q 2014 


MIDLAND - Following a record-breaking year, Midland’s hotel industry shows no signs of slowing down in 2014 as revenue grew 13 percent year-over-year in first quarter.

The Tall City’s 39 hotels generated more than $27.6 million in 1Q 2014, the highest amount from any quarter in history, according to the most recent report from the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

Five more hotels opened in Midland since 1Q 2013, adding about 400 rooms, which uses data compiled by San Antonio-based Source Strategies Inc.

The demand — or number of nights sold — grew by 9.4 percent year-over-year in the first quarter.

Consequently, the average rate for a room increased by about 3.2 percent year-over-year. Midland’s national hotel chains charged an average of $125.44 in the first quarter, while independently owned businesses averaged $67.54.

The average price per night — including every Midland hotel — was $108.42, the third highest in the state.

Austin and Odessa are the only other cities in Texas with a higher average rate than Midland’s hotels. In Austin, the average was $126.75 per night and $119.38 in Odessa, according to the report.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram. For the full report, see Source Strategies Inc.

Midland home sales April 2014 

(6/5/2014 6:30:00 AM)

MIDLAND - The Texas Association of Realtors has released home sales information for April 2014.

Midland Home Sales April 2014
Category April 2013 April 2014 Change
Median Home Sales $205,000 $230,500 12.4%
New Listings 214 251 17.3%
Average DOM 42 44 4.8%
Months Supply of Inventory 2.2 2.4 9.1%

Source: Texas Association of Realtors

Read more at the Texas Association of Realtors. For more information see Housing under Midland Market Data Sources.

Midland highlights Texas' low unemployment rate 


MIDLAND - The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Midland’s 2.3 percent unemployment rate in April was the lowest of all Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the country.

It was the fourth time in the last five months that Midland has posted the lowest or tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

The BLS report also showed Midland’s civilian workforce in April was 97,200 — an increase of 700 from March and an increase of 2,900 from April 2013.

The BLS rankings in April also showed the strength of the Texas economy. Of the MSA's with the lowest 20 unemployment rates (3.5 or lower), five were from Texas. Another four Texas MSA's posted unemployment rates below 4 percent.

Texas MSA's with Unemployment Rates Below 4%
Midland 2.3%
Odessa 2.9%
Amarillo 3.3%
Lubbock 3.5%
College Station-
San Angelo 3.6%
Abilene 3.7%
Austin-Round Rock-
San Marcos
Victoria 3.8%

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Home values and supply on the up and up in Midland 

(5/29/2014 6:15:00 AM)

MIDLAND - April home values were up by 4.7 percent year-over-year in Midland, marking the 11th consecutive month of growth.

The median price of homes sold last month was $227,000, according to data published by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Home values have not dropped year-over-year in Midland since May 2013, when the median price dipped $1,000 from May 2012, a decrease of less than 1 percent. The center’s data include single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums.

Midland now boasts the fifth highest home value across the Lone Star State, falling one spot from March. Fort Bend County, near Houston, had the highest April median price, at $258,400, the Real Estate Center’s data show.

Additionally, the supply of Midland homes on the market in April 2014 grew by nearly 57 percent year-over-year. The center reported 546 listings, the most since September 2012, when 551 homes were on the market.

Five Highest April Median Home Values in Texas
Fort Bend County $258,400
Collin County $257,100
Montgomery County $231,200
Austin $237,600
Midland $227,000

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland teachers get a $6M 'thank you' 


MIDLAND - The Midland ISD Education Foundation has received $6.25 million in donations for teacher signing and re-signing bonuses from eight area companies and foundations.

Entities providing donations include Concho Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources, Apache Corp., Warren Equipment Co., Chevron, the Abell-Hanger foundation, the Henry foundation and the Scharbauer foundation.

The donations will allow Midland ISD to offer 325 signing bonuses worth $10,000 each to any new, qualified teacher who commits to working in the district for at least three years, and 1,200 re-signing bonuses worth $2,500 for all current qualified teachers who sign on for the 2014–15 school year.

The specifics on the agreement for the signing bonus have not yet been finalized, but the $10,000 sum will be paid out over three years, according to Superintendent Ryder Warren.

Normal attrition across the state is about 10 to 15 percent, whereas Midland ISD’s rate is closer to 18 to 20 percent.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Listen to Podcast 216 for this story and more.

Chaney Ranch in Greenwood; new star in Midland County 


GREENWOOD, MIDLAND COUNTY - Site work on Chaney Ranch is set to start sometime in May. The development will consist of 107 executive one- and two-acre lots in the Greenwood School District of Midland County.

Phase 1 has 15 two-acre lots and 32 one-acre lots.

Developer Permian Basin Group will plant more than 300 trees in Phase 1. There will be a 2.5-mile bridle trail around the entire property.

One of the key features of Chaney Ranch is its abundance of water. There is sufficient water to support lush landscaping or full grass paddocks for horses.

Source: Permian Basin Group

Midland sports complex stirs multifamily, hotel development 


MIDLAND - New apartments and hotels around the Scharbauer Sports Complex in west Midland have been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Hillstone on Deauville, a 188-unit apartment complex situated on 11.74 acres, will be located on SH 191. It will be the first apartment complex in an area covered with subdivisions and hotels.

All of the tenant buildings will be three stories, two of which will be entirely units and the remaining eight will be two stories for units and one story for parking.

West of Hillstone on Deauville will be an Embassy Suites hotel. The zoning for the hotel was approved as a 3.3-acre tract, which allows for buildings at a maximum height of seven stories, or 80 feet.

At least 11 hotels are built or are being built around the sports complex area. Despite the number of hotel rooms, rates continue to be high and vacancies are still rare. Midland has the second highest occupancy rate and the third most expensive rates in Texas, as previously reported.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland Homewood Suites opens 118-suite hotel 


MIDLAND - The 118-suite Homewood Suites by Hilton has opened at 1401 Tradewinds Blvd. The four-story, extended-stay property is the first Homewood suites in the Midland/Odessa area, and is near Midland International Airport and several major oil and gas company facilities.

NewcrestImage LLC owns and manages the hotel.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Midland housing newsflash: median price jumps, supply up 


MIDLAND - The median home price jumped about 19.5 percent during first quarter 2014 compared to 1Q 2013, according to the Quarterly Housing Report published by the Texas Association of Realtors.

Midland’s median home value was $237,300 in 1Q 2014, compared to the statewide median value of $172,900.

The supply of homes in Midland increased to a 2.8-month supply — up from a 2.3-month supply in 1Q 2013. The inventory throughout Texas, however, plummeted in 1Q 2014, dropping to its lowest level in state history — at a 3.4-month supply.

“While housing demand shows no signs of declining, Texas will likely continue to see constrained home sales growth throughout the rest of the year, while home prices will continue to expand at double-digit rates,” said Jim Gaines, an economist with The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

Summer 2014 will likely bring one of the most competitive housing markets in state history, according to Dan Hatfield, Texas Association of Realtors chairman.

1Q 2014 Midland Housing Statistics
Units sold 417 431 -3.24%
Median price $237,300 $198,600 19.48%
Average price $272,346 $231,959 17.41%
Months of inventory 2.80 2.30  21.73%

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

See the full 1Q 2014 report at the Texas Association of Realtors.

Midlandersí wages rank first in West Texas, second statewide 


MIDLAND - Average annual wages top the entire West Texas region and fall short only to those in the Houston MSA. Midlanders boast an average annual income of $49,040 — only about $800 lower than the Houston average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Between 15 percent and 20 percent of Midland workers are employed within the oil and gas industry — likely the highest concentration of any U.S. metro area population tied to one single industry, according to economist Karr Ingham.

Midlanders who make the most money, on average, do not work within the oil and gas industry. Instead, it local physicians, including surgeons, who bring home the most money each year.

Surgeons and physicians are paid an average of $230,040 each year in Midland — nearly 24 percent more than those in Houston. There are 150 physicians employed in Midland, while there are more than 4,800 in the Houston metropolitan area.

In both metropolitan areas, however, chief executives make the second highest salary, on average. In Midland, CEOs collect an average of $195,820 a year, while they make an average of $226,290 in Houston.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland-Odessa construction sector on fire  


MIDLAND, ODESSA - The Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index posted its 48th consecutive month of increase in February 2014, and was 5.5 percent above February 2013 levels, according to economist Karr Ingham.

Midland-Odessa’s construction sector saw a February 2014 total permit valuation of just more than $63 million, up 46.7 percent from February 2013. During the first two months of 2014, the combined permit valuations totaled $140.4 million, up 36.6 percent from the $107.8 million issued during the first two months 2013.

Existing home sales were slightly higher in February 2014, with the 202 closed home sales up 2.5 percent from 197 in February 2013. There have been 403 closed sales so far in 2014, up 10.7 percent from 364 during the same time in 2013.

In February 2014, the average home sales price was $225,403, up 3.6 percent from $217,519 in February 2014. During the first two months of 2014, the average sales price has been $227,323, up 4.5 percent from $217,605 averaged in the first two months of 2013.

Payroll employment — the number of jobs estimated to exist in the Midland-Odessa combined metro area — was up by 3.2 percent in February 2014 compared to February 2013, reflecting the addition of 5,000 jobs to the economy over the last 12 months.

The unemployment rate remains the lowest in the state, averaging 3.3 percent in February 2014, down from 3.7 percent in February 2013.

Consumer spending — inflation adjusted — was up 7 percent over February 2013, which was more than 10 percent higher than February 2012. Automotive spending remains on the rise, with February 2014 figures up 8 percent compared to February 2013.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

What's normal? Over 400,000 at Midland International Airport 


MIDLAND - Midland International has accommodated more than 450,000 passengers every fiscal year since 2007, other than in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 due to the national recession.

Midland had 165,028 enplanements thus far in fiscal year 2014 (between October 2013 and January 2014). This figure is already above the seven-year average, prompting predictions that the airport may surpass 500,000 passengers by the end of the fiscal year.

From fiscal year 2010 to January 2014, the number of passengers at Midland International increased by 17 percent.

Midland International’s soaring enplanements are an echo effect of the oil boom that continues to bring more job seekers from across the country, with business travelers outnumbering leisure passengers, according to Marv Esterly, director of airports.

Of all the airport passengers, 40 percent come from Midland, 40 percent come from Odessa and the remaining 20 percent come from the surrounding area, said Esterly.

With the robust economy, the airport is adding corporate hangars, renovating its food court and lounge area and making other improvements.

The Wright Amendment appeal will open the door for Southwest Airlines to offer additional nonstop flights out of Love Field starting in October 2014. Dallas Love is the top destination for Midland International passengers, according to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

As of January 2014, the airport has about $6.7 million in the bank, $1.9 million of which is in its operating fund. Taking advantage of the land, the airport recently opened a new revenue stream by leasing mineral rights to oil companies.

One recent project that also has long-term ramifications is the construction of a spaceport at Midland International. The spaceport would be the first in the country that would be built at a commercial airport rather than in a private field or one specifically meant for aerospace use.

Midland International Airport Boardings
Year # of
FY 2007 488,792
FY 2008 496,841
FY 2009 433,032
FY 2010 426,648
FY 2011 463,874
FY 2012 488,138
FY 2013 499,169

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland hotel industry strongest revenue in history 


MIDLAND - In 2013, hotels brought in more cash than any other year in history, with revenues totaling $101,001,406, up about 1.7 percent from 2012, according to the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

The average daily rate in 2013 was $107.74, the third highest in all of Texas. Only in Austin, $116.70 per night, and Odessa, $115.34 per night, were the average rates higher, according to Source Strategies Inc. The average price throughout Texas was $94.44 per night.

Each individual hotel in Midland booked an average of 81.9 percent of its available rooms in 2013, the second highest occupancy rate in Texas, but down from 91.5 percent in 2012. San Angelo maintained the highest occupancy rate in 2013 at 82.9 percent.

The occupancy rate went down in 2013 because the overall hotel supply increased significantly while the number of people staying in hotels stayed virtually consistent, according to Keith Dial, Permian Basin Hotel Lodging Association president, said

More than 1,600 additional rooms were available between new hotels built in 2013, bringing the total up to 4,776 rooms at the end of 2013, according to the Midland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The demand for hotels is not anticipated to go up too much in 2014, so the increased supply will likely continue to drive the average price of a room down, according to Dial.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

See previous story Texas hotel occupancy 2013; 11 metros beat state average.

Midland energy leaders expand campuses 


MIDLAND - Oil companies are investing millions to build modern campus-like office space with many amenities. While many companies have moved north where more property is available, there still is significant interest in downtown.

Downtown Midland office buildings have typically been set up for multiple tenants, whereas large companies prefer their own buildings in campus-like settings, said former Midland mayor Wes Perry.

With all of downtown’s Class A office space full and “even the ‘C’ space is going up, price-wise, the market is very healthy and creates opportunities for us all,” said Perry.

Concho Resources acquired the ten-story Hightower Building and a nearby six-story building from Basic Energy Services in 2011 and spent about 18 months renovating the 180,000 sf of space into One Concho Center.

Pioneer Natural Resources, currently located downtown in the Bank of America Building, is constructing a $50 million six-story office building — complete with day care and cafeteria — north of ClayDesta Center on north Big Spring St. The project includes a three-story parking garage adjacent to the office building.

Fasken Oil & Ranch built a 60,000-sf two-story office building to accommodate its 150-plus employees in the southeastern-most section of the C Ranch. The office building was the first step in The Vineyards development, which will include The Office Park at The Vineyards, where two office buildings are under construction.

Chevron, located in ClayDesta Plaza at 15 Smith Rd., will head west in 2015 after the completion of its new $100 million campus near the Scharbauer Sports Complex. The new campus will have two four-story buildings totaling 330,000 sf with the capacity to accommodate 800 employees.

Establishing a vital downtown is a challenge every city faces, said Perry, and Midland is hampered by a shortage of ancillary attractions like retail and grocery stores and residences. That is why construction of Wall St. Lofts is so important: It will help provide that 24-hour component, said Perry.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland, Odessa: 2,976 units part of $300M deal 


MIDLAND, ODESSA - The Related Real Estate Recovery Fund has acquired 21 Class B multifamily properties, comprised of 3,128 units, for about $300 million. Fourteen of the assets with 1,751 units are in Midland; six assets of 1,225 units are in Odessa. The remaining 152 units are in Longview.

The properties were completed between 1974 and 1983, but have been extensively renovated after being acquired by Pivotal Group in 2012 for about $13 million.

The Midland-Odessa area has 3.2 percent unemployment, an average household income of $157,000, 97 percent occupancy of multifamily housing, and the potential to substantially raise rents, according to CBRE.

The Related Cos. expects to improve the portfolio by implementing institutional-quality management practices and investing significant capital to upgrade the properties.

“With the exception of the past five years, the Midland-Odessa region experienced an extremely limited amount of new construction and capital upgrade investment since mid-1980s, creating a gap in the marketplace,” said Justin Metz, managing principal of Related Fund Management.

Read more at Globe St. and Realtynewsreport.

Midland No. 1 MSA in U.S. under 3 percent jobless rate 


MIDLAND - Midland’s 2.9 percent jobless rate made it the only MSA in the nation to post a jobless rate less than 3 percent in January 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Midland’s civilian labor force grew by 2,500 people from January 2013 to January 2014. Of the 95,600 people in the labor force, 2,800 were unemployed.

During a five-month stretch from December 2012 through April 2013, no community in America posted a lower jobless rate than Midland.

Odessa’s 3.6 percent unemployment rate during January 2013 put the area in a three-way tie with Iowa City, Iowa, and Fargo, North Dakota for fifth best in the nation.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland Fasken Oil adding 39 units to The Vineyard 


MIDLAND - The 39-unit second phase of The Vineyard development will be located on 7.212 acres west of the Holiday Hill Rd. and Green Tree Blvd. intersection. Construction starts during summer 2014 and finish in 2015.

Fasken Oil and Ranch Ltd. will develop the luxury complex, which will be comprised of nine two-story buildings only holding at most six units, and an ample 128-space parking lot

The Vineyard is a master-planned, mixed-use development by Fasken that includes space for single-family homes, apartments, office space, parks, retail and an elementary school.

Fasken previously developed The Vineyard’s 176-unit Sandstone Ridge complex, and both complexes will be for rent to the public, not just exclusively for Fasken employees.

Construction of The Vineyard began in 2010 with the development of Fasken’s corporate headquarters. Construction is already underway for two office buildings, one of which will be occupied by SM Energy Co.

Barbara Fasken Elementary, a 92,000-sf campus that will accommodate 800 students, will be in construction in the near future, said Arthur Zuniga, real estate development manager for Fasken.

Read more at the Midland-Reporter Telegram.

Midland International Airport activity takes off 


MIDLAND - The Midland International Airport has released enplanement, deplanement and other statistics for February 2014.

Midland International Airport Progress Report
Total enplanements 35,214 6.5 37,503
Total deplanements 35,010 5.2 36,847
Commercial landings 661 9.7 725

Read more at the Midland International Airport.

Midland-Odessa economy regains balance in 2014 


MIDLAND - Over the past 47 months, the Midland-Odessa economies have grown 55 percent, according to economist Karr Ingham. January 2014, the 47th consecutive month of increase in the Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index, was 5.5 percent above January 2013.

January 2014 retail spending was up 5.2 percent from January 2013, which was more than 16 percent higher than January 2012. Automotive spending was up 22.4 percent in January 2014 compared to January 2013 and was the biggest year-over-year gain in 14 months.

Building permit valuations issued by Midland and Odessa in January 2014 totaled $77.2 million, up 29.3 percent compared to January 2013. Additionally, January 2013 was more than 80 percent above January 2012.

The 109 new home construction permits issued in January 2014 is the highest on record for the month of January, and outpaced January 2013 by 5.8 percent.

There were 201 existing homes sold in January 2014, up 20.4 percent from 167 sold in January 2013. The average sales price continues to rise, with the January 2014 average of $229,253 up 5.3 percent from the January 2013 average of $217,706.

“The numbers will begin to reflect a cooling in construction activity, housing prices, and so on, first in terms of a slowdown in the rate of growth, and then perhaps by an actual decline at some point,” said Ingham.

When the economy comes into balance, it should continue expanding at normal rates and will be “a much bigger economy than it was ten, even five years ago,” said Ingham.

The area economy is transitioning from an economy established to accommodate $20 to $30 crude oil to one capable of accommodating $90 to $100 crude from unconventional resources. The current economic expansion has been technology-driven.

Midland and Odessa residents will see a growth rate of between 4 and 5 percent for the remainder of the year, according to Ingham.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Downtown Midland: 300-unit Sun Dance Creek underway 


MIDLAND - Construction is underway on the $24 million, 300-unit Sun Dance Creek Apartments along Edwards St., north of downtown. Koontz McCombs is constructing the project.

The apartment complex, comprised of multiple three-story buildings, will have one- and two-bedroom units, a clubhouse, pool and a cabana building, according to Carl Fairchild, project superintendent.

The entire project should be finished within 14 to 16 months, but the clubhouse and the first 48 units are slated to be complete by September 2014.

Sun Dance Creek Apartments will be similar to other luxury apartments around Midland like the Blue Ridge Apartments and Midway Station apartments, according to Steve Thorpe, City of Midland building official.

One-bedroom apartments at Blue Ridge range between $1,367 and $1,412 a month. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment is currently between $1,587 and $1,672.

At Midway Station, a one-bedroom apartment’s rent sits between $1,399 and $1,625 a month. Two-bedroom apartments rent for between $1,825 and $2,010 a month.

San Antonio-based Koontz McCombs will oversee the construction, leasing and management of the apartments.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland Daybreak Estates set for 165 homes 


MIDLAND - Daybreak Estates' final plat for about 165 single-family homes on 54.5 acres has been approved by the Midland Planning and Zoning Commission. The homes will be near Big Spring St. and Mockingbird Ln.

Daybreak Estates will be developed by Permian Homes and will offer seven different floor plans ranging from $209,990 to $294,990.

The smallest house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and is about 2,460 sf, while the largest home design has two stories, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and is about 4,110 sf.

Other approved housing developments on Big Spring St., north of Loop 250 include Lone Star Trails with 952 homes and Adobe Meadows with 270 homes.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland office supply sales gushing  


MIDLAND - Total Office Solution has been named the number one provider of Xerox products within similar-sized markets across the country. The store has seen about a 67 percent sales increase since 2008, according to co-owner Tommy McCrury.

In 2013, Total Office Solution recorded $12 million in sales, and about $5.5 million was from Xerox products — which exceeded expectations by about 177.4 percent, according to Rose Willis, Xerox’s regional vice president.

“Midland is definitely where the opportunity is, as far as accounts,” said McCrury. There are about 6,000 business establishments in Midland and Odessa.

Total Office Solution provides businesses with equipment, furniture, supplies and management services, or technology support. The business also has physical locations in Odessa and in San Angelo.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-News.

Home runs, match points love Midland  

(2/24/2014 8:00:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Each sporting event hosted in the Tall City brings between about $200,000 and $1.3 million from visitors spending, according to Brenda Kissko, a spokeswoman for the Midland Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The Schlumberger Tournament of Champions, a baseball tournament, is expected to bring in the largest chunk of cash — totaling more than $1.3 million, according to the CVB. The West Texas Classic Softball Tournament is projected to contribute $875,000 in direct visitor spending — the second highest of the events.

The U.S. Tennis Association — Texas Junior Team Tennis Spring Section Championships is estimated to draw about 750 people to the city, creating $700,000 in direct visitor spending between two nights.

The increased number of hotel rooms in Midland has really helped to drive down rates, allowing more teams to afford to stay here, according to Kissko. More than 1,600 hotel rooms were built in 2013, according to CVB statistics.

Sarah Marston, CVB sports sales manager expects Midland to get even more events in 2014, citing the benefit of having more available hotel rooms.

“We need sports to stay alive in Midland and I think our community knows that,” said Marston. “We’re ready to roll out the red carpet.”

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland office spaces mixing perks 


MIDLAND - Conventional office space in Midland is giving way to more modern facilities that offer employees additional luxuries that were once only found in larger cities. As more oil industry headquarters, campuses and office buildings emerge around the city, the face of “traditional office space” continues to evolve.

Pioneer Natural Resources, currently located in the Bank of America Building, is constructing a six-story building within the ClayDesta Plaza that will house a day care center, cafeteria and fitness center.

Chevron is building a 340,000-sf campus on 25 acres west of the Scharbauer Sports Complex. A fitness center and cafeteria will also be included in the design.

Each Chevron floor will include a “town center,” which will provide employees an updated coffee bar and flatscreen televisions that feature company news.

Fasken Oil and Ranch Ltd. is constructing The Vineyard, a master-plan development that will include an apartment complex, an elementary school, retail shops and restaurants, single-family homes and a biking and hiking trail.

The first set of apartments, Sandstone Ridge, should be available for occupancy sometime during summer 2014.

Fasken’s new headquarters, located on the development, are already complete, and the company is now constructing two additional 58,000-sf buildings that will be leased to other oil companies. SM Energy Co. will move into one building, which should be finished by April 2014. The other building may have multiple tenants and should be complete by May 2014.

Despite the vast differences between each individual building and campus, employees working inside new oil-company facilities in Midland can expect their environments to be much more state-of-the-art than they once were.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland's Commons at Northpark plans 32,000-SF expansion 


MIDLAND - The Midland Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a 32,000-sf expansion of the Commons at Northpark shopping center on four acres just east of the current development.

The new shopping center expansion will include a strip mall for several businesses to lease space in addition to two stand-alone buildings, which will likely house restaurants or smaller retail stores.

The expansion plan currently calls for six or seven businesses and 262 additional parking spaces for customers.

Lubbock-based Graco Real Estate Development Inc. developed the Commons at Northpark and will also develop the new shopping center.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Southwest loves another Houston flight to Midland 


MIDLAND - Southwest Airlines will offer an additional direct flight between Midland International Airport and William P. Hobby Airport in Houston beginning in June 2014.

There will be four daily flights to and from Houston and Midland, according to Michelle Agnew, a Southwest spokeswoman. There are currently three daily flights.

Other direct Southwest flights are expected to stay the same, increasing the airlines’ total number of direct flights to 11. There are five direct flights to and from Dallas and two to and from Las Vegas.

Midland will not lose or gain any additional flights because of the repeal of the Wright Amendment, according to Marv Esterly, the city’s airport director.

Southwest has the largest market share in Midland with around 52 percent of those boarding an airplane at Midland International. In December 2013, 19,939 travelers boarded a Southwest plane, an increase of 2.6 percent compared to December 2012.

Midland International is the eighth largest airport in Texas and thirteenth for the southwest region, according to Esterly.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland $2M boost to spaceport 


MIDLAND - The Midland Spaceport Development Corp. accepted a $2 million grant from the Office of the Governor to help Midland International Airport’s spaceport grow.

The funds came from the state’s Spaceport Trust Fund, which was created by the Legislature to assist with infrastructure costs for spaceports. The goal of the fund is to create jobs and continue support of the space industry in Texas.

The $2 million will be used for spaceport-related capital improvement projects, according to Marv Esterly, director of airports.

“Two million dollars goes a long way to bring spaceport development to the City of Midland and diversifying our economy,” said John Love III, president of the Spaceport Development Corp. The corporation will be eligible to re-apply for the grant next year.

The aerospace industry’s presence in Midland began in 2012 when XCOR Aerospace announced its intent to relocate from Mojave, Calif. to Midland after agreeing a $10 million incentive package with the Midland Development Corp (MDC).

XCOR plans to launch one of its newest spacecraft, the Lynx, into space from the airport.

MDC previously struck a deal with another aerospace company, Orbital Outfitters. The spacesuit and spacecraft mockup company also will be moving to Midland. The arrival of XCOR was one of the reasons why Orbital Outfitters chose to relocate to Midland.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

See previous story Midland stellar deal with Orbital Outfitters.

Midland tops! Global think tank says so 

(2/7/2014 6:45:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Midland has been ranked number one for employment growth and named the fastest-growing economy in the country for the second year in a row, according to IHS Global Insight, a global think tank.

Midland’s gross metro product (GMP) grew 7.5 percent in 2013, and had previously grown 14.4 percent in 2012 when compared to 2011. “The GMP is sort of the equivalent of GDP, just at the metro level,” said Ana Orozco, a principle economist with IHS.

About 6.3 percent more jobs were created in 2013 compared to 2012, the largest percent change in any city in the country.

In 2014, Midland’s projected GMP is 3.9 percent, which would make it the tenth best in the country. As far as job growth goes, Midland is expected to see a 3.4 percent increase during 2014.

Odessa is ranked second in both the real GMP, with a 6.7 percent increase, and highest year-over-year employment growth. In 2014, Odessa is anticipated to have a 3.1 percent gain in GMP and a 2.5 percent increase in job growth.

Colo.-based IHS Global Insight uses data from the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland nonprofits open 42,000-SF facility 


MIDLAND - The 42,000-sf Midland Shared Spaces opened its doors at 3500 N. A St. with 11 nonprofit organizations and their 60 employees housed under one roof. The building has space for 13 nonprofits.

The idea for a shared nonprofit facility is to offer a discounted rent by maintaining separate office spaces but sharing the cost of common areas, office supplies and IT services.

Tenants will pay a discounted rent of $8 per sf per year and share common areas such as a commercial kitchen, break rooms, conference rooms and a community room for lectures and banquets.

Each nonprofit’s office size is different — Mission Adult Day Services occupies the largest space, with nearly 9,000 sf, and Midland Opera Theater has the smallest, with a one-room office.

The building is environmentally green, with LED lighting, shared servers, trees to be planted around the perimeter and other conveniences. The lawn outside the building can hold more than 1,000 people and will serve as a space for fundraisers, shows and other events.

The building also includes two “flex offices” that can be leased by nonprofits — including those that are not tenants at Midland Shared Spaces — for up to one year.

The shared facility has been under construction since early 2013. Led by the Abell-Hanger Foundation, the initiative has raised nearly $10.5 million.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland: Pontikes buys land for plan in Westridge Park 

(1/30/2014 6:58:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Pontikes Development LLC has purchased 19 acres in the 100-acre Westridge Park, according to CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). SBC LP sold the property.

Pontikes plans to develop a complex consisting of approximately 500,000 sf of office space, including structured parking facilities. Construction plans will allow tenants to begin occupying the space in 2015.

Additionally, Chevron Corporation is constructing an approximately 350,000-sf facility adjacent to the Pontikes development within Westridge Park.

"Midland and its economy have experienced a great deal of growth in the last few years, and we expect to see this expansion continue into the future,” said Alan Feinsilver, president of Pontikes Development.

Westridge Park is currently Midland’s fastest growing multi-use development. The location is within proximity to numerous major retail, restaurant and hotel facilities, as well as to Loop 250 and Hwy. 191.

Pontikes Development is affiliated with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc.

Source: CRBE

2013: Which city averaged 40 days on the housing market? 

(1/29/2014 9:00:00 AM)

MIDLAND - The average home price reached $254,680 in 2013, a 7 percent increase from the average in 2012, according to the Permian Basin Board of Realtors. August 2013 saw the largest home prices, with an average of $283,568.

The median home price in 2013 was $221,504, nearly an 8 percent increase from 2012.

The average number of days homes sat on the market in 2013 was 39.75. The average was 41 days in 2012, 55.75 days in 2011 and 65.67 days in 2010.

The average number of homes on the market in 2013 was 271 per month. In 2012, the average number was 277. That figure sat around 350 in 2011 and topped 500 in 2010.

The Midland City Council has approved the zoning for a subdivision in north Midland that will add about 900 new homes to the market.

The first of several phases of homes are expected to be on the market in September 2014, according to Rick Betenbough, president of Betenbough Homes.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland, San Angelo, Abilene drink from same cup 


MIDLAND - The Cities of Midland, Abilene and San Angelo have formed the West Texas Water Partnership, a coalition addressing long-term water needs of the region. The municipalities will share costs and combine efforts to find enough drinking water.

“Nowhere else in the state are cities combining their resources to find a regional solution to their future water needs,” said Leah Mazzarelli, City of Abilene communications and media relations manager. City managers from each community jointly signed the same contract after their respective city council’s approval.

In Midland, a public-private partnership has begun delivering about 20 million gallons of water daily to 50,000 homes. 

The City of Midland worked with the Midland County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1 to develop the $200 million T-Bar Ranch water pipeline, which is estimated to provide 40 years of water. The district’s next project, the $30 million ClearWater Ranch water pipeline, merges with T-Bar’s water to give the distant water supply better quality and additional years of life.

In San Angelo, the $120 million Hickory Well Field provides 9 million gallons daily.

The City of Abilene signed a letter of intent to share existing and to-be-developed water supplies as part of the partnership.

The Abilene City Council has approved $17.25 million for phase 2 of the Hamby Wastewater Treatment Plant project. The council previously authorized $41.4 million for phase 1 of the project which began in December 2013.

The Cedar Ridge Reservoir project, located at a site 40 miles north of Abilene, could hold as much as 74 billion gallons of water. The reservoir, with a dam beside the Brazos River, could provide water for the Abilene region for 100 years.

The reservoir will provide 23,380 acre-feet per year of water starting in 2020, but the City of Abilene is still in the process of getting the required permits for Cedar Ridge.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram and the Abilene Reporter-News.

Midland stellar deal with Orbital Outfitters  


MIDLAND - Orbital Outfitters will receive nearly $7 million from the Midland Development Corporation (MDC) for relocating its equipment and constructing a headquarters that includes an altitude chamber complex.

The economic development agreement includes:

$2.2 million for headquarters construction;
$3.2 million for altitude chamber complex construction; and
$1.5 million for salaries and relocation of equipment and other materials.

The MDC will own the chamber complex, but Orbital Outfitters will manage it. The altitude chamber could have practical applications beyond the aerospace industry such as the medical and engineering industries.

Orbital Outfitters will be the second space company that the MDC has attracted to the area; the first is XCOR Aerospace.

The arrival of both companies come at a time when Midland International Airport nears its completion of a spaceport designation license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The MDC has plans for one or two additional incentive deals with aerospace companies. As they have discovered from the past five or six years, targeting one industry is much easier than attempting to lure many industries at once.

California-based Orbital Outfitters specializes in space suits and vehicle mockups.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram and Orbital Outfitters.

H-E-B calls on AT&T's 135,000-SF Midland property  

(1/24/2014 9:30:00 AM)

MIDLAND - The 135,000-sf former AT&T Call Center building, located at 5407 Andrews Hwy., has been purchased by H-E-B.

In 2013, the assessed value for the property was about $11.2 million, according to the Midland Central Appraisal District.

H-E-B operates an existing store at at 3325 W. Wadley Ave., less than five miles away from the new property.

The building opened in 2001 as a Cingular Wireless and later housed Builders Square, a home improvement retailer . AT&T officials announced the closure of the call center in June 2013, which meant a loss of about 100 jobs, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram archives.

Read more at the Odessa American.

Play it again Midland! Permits a hit in 2013 

(1/10/2014 6:45:00 AM)

MIDLAND - For three years in a row, the City of Midland has issued a record number of housing permits as the population continued to grow.

The city issued 732 housing permits in 2013, an approximate 20 percent increase from the amount issued in 2012. Commercial permits also increased as the city issued 88 permits in 2013 compared to 58 in 2012.

The constant population increase caused by the oil boom and the subsequent high demand for housing played major roles in the record-breaking year that the city went through.

Betenbough Homes, with its nearly 700-unit Legends Park in West Midland, requested the most permits in 2013, according to Steve Thorpe, a city building official.

The number of housing permits in 2014 will be “level” with 2013’s number, according to Thorpe. However, the lack of infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines, could limit the capacity of the building community in 2014.

  2013 2012 %
Midland Construction Permits and Values
New residential permits 732 598 18.31
New commercial permits 88 58 34.09
Total permits 9,550 9,328 2.32
Construction value $836,692,614 $339,812,837 59.39

Source: City of Midland

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland International Airport busy with activity 


MIDLAND - The Midland International Airport has released enplanement, deplanement and other statistics for December 2013.

  Dec. 2013 %
Dec. 2012
Midland International Airport Progress Report
Total enplanements 42,590 3.9 40,984
Total deplanements 41,789 6.7 39,163
Commercial landings 797 14.2 698

Read more at the Midland International Airport.

Pioneer eyes $50M office; 3Q 2014 move-in  


MIDLAND - Construction of Pioneer Natural Resources’ new $50 million office building at ClayDesta Plaza remains on schedule, according to Danny Barker, company director of facilities.

Pioneer’s Midland employees will begin moving into the new six-story building in third quarter 2014 and all estimated employees will be settled into the new building by fourth quarter 2014.

The new building will house a cafeteria, daycare center and fitness center complete with locker rooms. A three-story parking garage will be constructed adjacent to the new office building.

The company has expanded its mobile home park on Midland’s east side and has moved into a new pumping services building on County Rd. 307, near the Midland Tank Farm. The pumping services building houses the company’s frac crews.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Greenwood ISD approves 160,000-SF Midland school  


MIDLAND - The Greenwood ISD Board of Trustees has approved project plans for the 160,000-sf Brooks Middle School. The school will serve about 900 students in fifth through eighth grades.

The campus will be designed in a manner that would allow for a 77,000-sf addition for third and fourth grades, should future enrollment growth call for it.

The $51.5 million bond package approved in May 2013 allotted about $37.4 million for the construction of the new school.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland housing 3Q 2013: Coldwell Banker Covenant 


MIDLAND - Median home prices increased by nearly 7 percent in third quarter 2013 from 2Q 2013, and have increased by 17.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, making Midland one of the highest price growth cities in both Texas and the nation.

Marketing times in Midland are quite low, having dropped to under one month on average, down almost one week from 2012.

Months-of-supply also remains low, hovering around two months for the past several quarters. Six months of inventory is considered by many to be a normal supply-demand condition, however that has typically been a high point in the Midland market.

Key Midland Home Statistics
Avg. sales price $237,332 $271,038 14.2%
Avg. $/SF $104 $117 12.8%
Median sales price $200,000 $235,000 17.5%
DOM 38 29 -23.3%
Sale % of list 98.1% 98.4% 0.3%
# of sales 528 490 -7.2%
Listed inventory 359 326 -9.2%

Source: Coldwell Banker Covenant

Also see Coldwell Banker Covenant's full report under housing in Midland Data Sources.

Record construction in Midland, Odessa tops $1B 


MIDLAND-ODESSA - The City of Midland and the City of Odessa have issued a combined $1.126 billion in construction permits as of October 2013, according to economist Karr Ingham. The previous record of $754 million was set in 2012.

October 2013 building permit values were 140.2 percent higher than October 2012, and through the first ten months of 2013, values are up 70.6 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

The Midland-Odessa Regional economic Index posted its 44th consecutive monthly increase in October 2013, gaining 7.9 percent over October 2012. However, every month in 2013 has seen a decline in the rate of growth compared to 2012, from 13.9 percent in January 2013 to 7.9 percent in October 2013.

A slight flattening of the index began in late 2012, but given the stresses rapid economic growth has put on Midland-Odessa’s housing, labor force, roads and other infrastructure that may not be a bad thing.

Retail sales were up 10.3 percent in October 2013 compared to October 2012. Since retail sales bottomed out in 2009, spending is up about 75 percent through October 2013, which is more than double October 2009 spending.

An estimated 7,700 jobs were added to the combined metro area economy over the last 12 months, nearly 3,500 of which were with oil and gas companies. The year-over-year growth rate of nearly 5 percent continues to top all Texas, and most national metros.

Midland and Odessa issued 112 new housing permits in October 2013, up 17.9 percent from 95 in October 2012, which was up more than 50 percent compared to October 2011. To date in 2013, the two cities have issued 1,142 new housing permits, up 20.2 percent from the 950 issued during the same period in 2012.

Existing home sales remained flat, with 258 homes selling in October 2013, compared to 256 in October 2012. The October 2013 home sales price averaged $232,329, up 7.5 percent from $216,191 in October 2012.

The only negative in the October 2013 index was seen in hotel-motel tax collections, which were down 2 percent compared to October 2012. The decline suggests enough new hotel room capacity has been added to take pressure off demand for hotel rooms.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland International Airport activity: October 2013  


MIDLAND - The Midland International Airport has released enplanement, deplanement and other statistics for October 2013.

Midland International Airport Progress Report October 2013
Total enplanements 45,286 42,244  7.2
Total deplanements 44,080 42,280 4.3
Total passengers 89,366 84,524 5.7
Commercial landings 845 686 23.2

Read more at the Midland International Airport.

Midlandís average personal income per capita tops 


MIDLAND - For the third straight year, Midland is the nation’s fastest growing MSA in terms of personal income, growing 12.1 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Midland’s average per capita income was $53,161 in 2009. In 2012, the average was $83,049, a gain of 56.22 percent from 2009 and the highest per capita income in the nation.

Area 2009 2012 % Chg.
Average Personal Income Per Capita in Texas Areas*
Midland $53,161 $83,049 56.22
Houston-Sugar Land-The Woodlands $43,291 $51,004 17.82
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington $40,485 $46,136 13.96
Austin-Round Rock $38,270 $42,902 12.10
Odessa $32,216 $42,698 32.54
San Angelo $34,848 $39,711 13.95
Abilene $33,122 $37,918 14.48
Lubbock $32,345 $36,074 11.53

* ranked by 2012 income

Source: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

2,800 Self-storage units sold in Midland and DFW for $27M 

(11/21/2013 7:45:00 AM)

MIDLAND, DFW AREA - Strategic Storage Trust Inc. (SSTI) has acquired five self-storage properties in Midland and the DFW Metroplex for a total of approximately $27 million. The properties totaled about 390,000 sf in 2,800 units.

The five-property acquisition includes:
•  1712 W. Randol Mill Rd. in Arlington (445 units, 59,495 sf)
•  810 S. Denton Tap Rd. in Coppell (740 units, 101,735 sf)
•  5005 Andrews Hwy. in Midland (615 units, 92,820 sf)
•  1904 W. Loop 250 N. in Midland (535 units, 75,800 sf)
•  1925 S. Bowie Dr. in Weatherford (470 units, 61,995 sf)

These, along with four additional properties acquired by SSTI in Alabama and Tennessee, will be rebranded under the SmartStop Self Storage name.

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Listen to Podcast 196 that highlights Small Towns, Big Deals including
Santa Rosa: the sweetest little town in Texas
Abilene home sales stable; and 
Coca-Cola to pop in new 81,000-SF Amarillo facility.

For self-storage market information for all 25 MSAs, see SpareFoot Self-Storage data under retail in Market Data Sources!

Midland expecting 2,000 units by spring 2014 

(11/1/2013 6:45:00 AM)

MIDLAND - New apartment complexes are being built across the city, but Midlanders will not see any relief before first quarter 2014, when a significant amount of new units are set to open, according to city officials.

The last new complexes of apartments that opened were both in 2011 — the Blue Ridge Apartments and the Gateway Plaza Apartments.

“The new apartments will help ease the housing crunch. A year from now, it might solve the housing shortage,” said Steve Thorpe, City of Midland building official.

Apartments that currently have building permits, according to City of Midland Code Administration, are listed below.

Apartment Complexes Coming to Midland*
Complex Name # of
Address Area**
Wadley Avenue Apartments 290 Wadley Ave. and Whittle Way
Midway Station 216 3700 North A St.
Tradewind Apartments 214 Tradewinds Blvd.
Mesquite Terrace 200 Loop 250 and Leisure Dr.
Sandstone Ridge 176 Sherwood Dr. and Holiday Hill
Wall Street Lofts 110 Wall St. and Main St.
Playa del Pueblo 96 611 E. I-20
Sunrise at Fairgrounds 54 1400 Fairgrounds Rd.
Westwood Villas 52 4100 W. Illinois Ave.

* listed by unit totals
**addresses may be preliminary

Source: City of Midland Code Administration and Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Midland new furniture store not run-of-the-mill 


MIDLAND - Bob Mills Furniture has opened its new location at 3111 W. Cuthbert Ave., a former Rooms To Go store. The new store, with 60,000 sf of showroom and warehouse space, will employ 30 to 35 people.

The sales staff is paid a flat salary rather than commission and the company has a “companion pricing” strategy, offering furniture groupings for less.

Oklahoma City-based Bob Mills also has locations in Odessa, Lubbock and Amarillo.

The Tall City’s thriving economy, fueled by the oil and gas industry, has brought expanded locations for Carter’s Furniture and Rooms To Go, the arrival of Haverty Furniture Co., along with Furniture Row and Ashley’s Furniture on Loop 250.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Listen to Podcast 192...for this story and more!

Gushing oil: Permian Basin still leads U.S. 


PERMIAN BASIN - The Permian’s production has increased by 93,000 barrels per day year-over-year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The area is still the largest oil producer in the United States.

Production in the basin has increased steadily in recent years, hitting the 1 million-barrels-per-day point in 2011. It is projected to reach 1.3 million barrels of oil per day in October 2013.

The Eagle Ford reached the 1 million-barrels-per-day point in August 2013 and is projected to reach 1.1 million barrels per day in October 2013.

Several Houston companies have assets in the top plays. Occidental Permian Ltd. had the most production in the Permian for the first six months of 2013, with 20 million barrels.

The Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in south Texas together account for 75 percent of current monthly oil production growth across the six regions the agency is tracking. Those regions include the Niobrara in Colorado and Wyoming, the Haynesville in east Texas and west Louisiana, and the Marcellus basin in Pennsylvania.

All together, the six basins represent almost 90 percent of domestic oil production and most domestic natural gas production growth in the past two years.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Border States opens in Midland territory  


MIDLAND - Border States Electric has opened its new facility at 5206 Princeton Ave. The new location has 10,670 sf for office and 18,000 sf for the warehouse. The estimated cost of construction was $3.2 million, according to state filings.

The previous Border States Midland location was at 3303 W. Illinois Ave. "Growth in the Midland region, including energy, is a factor in the move to our new location," said Tom Nelson, BSE's corporate communications director.

In addition to the increased office space, the new location features a ten-acre lot with easy access for both contractors and tractor-trailers delivering product.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

See previous story Border States electrifies Midland with growth.

Midland-Odessa Index rises for 45th month 


MIDLAND - The August 2013 Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index was recorded at 212.3, an 8.7 percent increase from the August 2012 recording of 195.3.

August 2013 represented the 45th consecutive month of economic growth, according to Amarillo economist Karr Ingham.

Average housing prices in Odessa and Midland reached a record high of more than $250,000 in August 2013. The August 2012 to August 2013 increase in housing prices was about 17 percent. In Midland, the average price was more than $300,000.

However, the number of sales actually declined, which Ingham attributed to people not being able to keep up with prices. “Not every household income is going up at the level housing prices are,” said Ingham. “In fact, most people’s probably are not.”

There are normally between 500 and 600 homes on the market, but a low of 215 was reached in July 2013; Odessa reached a low of about 200 from an average of about 400, according to Bobby McCourt, president of the Permian Basin Board of Realtors.

During summer 2013, houses were selling in an average 28 days in Midland and an average 38 in Odessa, said McCourt.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported a 7.47 percent increase in second quarter 2013 Midland housing prices compared to 2Q 2012. In Odessa, the increase was 9.53 percent.

While the region’s oil-fueled economy continues to expand, the rate of growth appears to be normalizing to levels that might allow infrastructure to catch up.

The Energy Information Administration and others have forecasted that crude oil prices in 2014 will average in the mid-$90 per barrel range. Ingham said those prices would sustain growth at a high but less extreme level.

Read more at the Odessa American.

Midland's unemployment rate lowest in Texas 


MIDLAND - Unemployment in the Midland MSA was 3.2 percent in August 2013: a decline from the July 2013 rate of 3.5 percent, and the August 2012 rate of 3.5 percent, according to the Texas Workforce commission (TWC).

Midland recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Texas.

The drop in unemployment was largely due to a smaller labor force, which declined to 95,687 in August 2013 from 96,151 in July 2013. The number of employed Midlanders declined to 92,598 in August from 92,800 in July, while the number of unemployed Midlanders also fell to 3,089 from 3,351 in July.

The Tall City added 3,800 jobs from August 2012 to August 2013 for a growth rate of 4.6 percent.

Virtually all industrial sectors added jobs during the 12 months with only the government, education and health services and information losing 200 jobs each. The mining, logging and construction, sector, which includes oil and gas, added 2,500 jobs for a growth rate of 10.9 percent.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

For all Texas areas, see the Texas Workforce Commission.

Building by building: Midland CBD office statistics 2013 

(9/24/2013 7:30:00 AM)

MIDLAND - The Midland Development Corporation has released 2013 office space. The full report is available under the industrial category at Midland Market Data Sources.

Selected Midland CBD Class AA, A-B Office 2013*
Building Class Size Leased Rate
Fasken Center AA 421,546 sf 100% $23
Bank of America Tower A-B 329,777 sf 99% $20
ARCO Building (Paragon) AA 223,368 sf 100% $19
Wilco Tower A-B 197,207 sf 95% $17
Mobil Building (Pure) AA 182,062 sf 100% $20
Centennial Tower AA 179,750 sf 100% $22
WNB Tower A-B 177,744 sf 100% $22
Independence Plaza AA 153,400 sf 100% $20
The Summit Building AA 148,936 sf 98% $22
Dinero Plaza A-B 121,454 sf 100% $18

*Selected ten in AA and A-B Class.

Read more at Midland Development Corporation.

See Midland NewsTalk Texas for more Midland real estate news.

Energy tower sparks already energized Midland 

(9/20/2013 4:00:00 AM)

MIDLAND - Due to the oil play western Texas, the Midland real estate market has been on fire. AngeloEconomics estimates more than 1.5 million sf of office space, 530 new hotel rooms, 12,289 multifamily units and 800,000 sf of retail space will be needed by 2023. 

Projected New Office, Hotel, Multifamily, Retail Space Needed by 2023*
Category Total Existing Pipeline Total SF Needed
by 2023**
Total New SF
Needed by 2013***
Office sf (June 2013) 9,935,477 1,104,000 12,548,507 1,509,030 564,000
Hotel rooms (2012) 3,000 1,301 4,831 530 198
Multifamily units (Mar. 2013) 9,825 1,866 12,980 1,289 132
Retail sf (2012) 6,677,968 50,000 7,526,070 798,102 53,500


**Office space and hotel rooms needed by 2023 are based on job growth projection of 52.6 percent. Multifamily units and retail space needed by 2023 are based on population growth projection of 25.4 percent. Hotel rooms and multifamily units include additional space necessary to achieve occupancy rates that mirror Texas state averages.

***Total new construction needed by 2023 = Total needed space by 2023 — (Total Existing Space + Pipeline).

Source: Midland Economic Development Corporation

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