NewsTalk Texas

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown

New HAR.com goes live with listings from all over Texas 

(3/27/2015 11:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON and TEXAS - The popular consumer-facing real estate search portal operated by the Houston Association of Realtors, HAR.com, has officially relaunched with listings from throughout the state of Texas.

After nearly a year in beta testing, the association has flipped the switch on the new HAR.com, which has been rebranded as “Homes and Rentals” and includes more than 130,000 active, Realtor-represented for-sale and rental listings in 11 major markets and property tax information for more than 8.2 million homes throughout the state.

“As a prominent provider of real estate listings for the past 18 years, the accuracy and integrity of the content on HAR.com is of utmost importance, and we know that our content is completely broker-authorized and MLS-accurate,” said HAR President and CEO Bob Hale.

The new site’s features include:

•  “Drive Time” from INRIX, which allows users to enter any address, their desired drive time, and other search parameters such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms to produce a map of available property listings that fall within that drive time.

•  Push notifications on GPS-enabled smartphones for new home listings and the ability to search for nearby open houses.

•  “Texas School Finder” which lets potential buyers shop for a home based on schools and districts, school ratings, rankings and test score statistics.

•  “Neighborhood Finder” which lets consumers search for properties based on neighborhoods, subdivisions, cities, counties or ZIP code.

The site receives data from about 21 MLSs throughout Texas, including Dallas-based North Texas Real Estate Information Systems Inc. (NTREIS), as well as franchisors Realogy, Keller Williams and Re/Max of Texas.

The site is not receiving listings from the Austin Board of Realtors because that association no longer uses ListHub as its syndicator.

But the two associations are in discussions to figure out an alternative, Hale said. In the meantime, Hale estimates that more than half of Austin’s listings appear on HAR.com through franchisors.

Click here to check out the new HAR website.

Read more at Inman News.

Houston bayou area to see more million-dollar condos 

(3/27/2015)

HOUSTON - Monroe at Bayou Park, a six-story building with nine condominium units, will be developed just south of the bayou at 1034 Rochow between West Dallas and West Clay.

Floors two through five will each have two 3,400-sf units with balconies.

The building will also offer a 7,000-sf penthouse unit that comes with a year's worth of housekeeping services. Prices are expected to be between $1.3 million to $1.5 million. The penthouse could be priced at $3.8 million.

The building will also have a 2,000-sf rooftop deck with an outdoor kitchen, dining terrace and fitness room.

Al Ross, who for the past couple of years has been developing multimillion-dollar mansions on spec, is the developer of the project. Ross hopes to break ground by fall.

On a nearby site along D'Amico St. near Allen Pkwy., construction will begin this summer on a 29-unit building called Riva at the Park. Units in the ten-story building are sold out, said Chris Sims, president of developer Sims Luxury Builders.

Future developments for this area include Regent Square, which has been designed as a multiblock mix of housing, offices, shops and entertainment venues.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Menil to break ground on 30,000-SF Institute in Houston 

(3/26/2015)

HOUSTON - The Menil Collection will break ground on the 30,150-sf Menil Drawing Institute — its first new art building in almost 20 years.

The drawing institute will be part of a $40 million initial phase of construction on a 2009 master plan for the expansion of the campus.

Also included in the first phase will be a new energy house to power the main art buildings, new green space and the extension of West Main St. around the institute on a block that currently dead-ends.

The drawing institute will include a gallery and space for the study, preservation, research and storage of drawings, making it the first of its kind in the United States solely devoted to the medium.

This will be the first new art building in the Menil Collection since the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, which originally opened in 1997 and recently reopened as a space for site-specific installations after being closed since 2012, when the frescoes were returned to Cyprus.

West Main St. is expected to be complete this year. The Menil Drawing Institute is expected to open mid-2017.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Carbo Ceramics extends 27,000-SF lease in Houston 

(3/25/2015)

HOUSTON - Carbo Ceramics Inc. amended its lease with I-10 EC Corridor #2 LP for the company’s principal executive offices at 575 North Dairy Ashford, Suite 300. Carbo leases 27,259 sf in the building.

The amendment extends the lease term ten years to June 30, 2026, and provides for a revised base rent and improvement allowances for the space.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston: Swift Energy relocates HQ to 461,000 SF 

(3/25/2015)

HOUSTON - Swift Energy Co. has signed a lease with its current landlord, Hines, for 120,000 sf at 17001 Northchase Dr. in Five Greenspoint Place, a 461,000-sf, 19-story office high-rise. Swift Energy's lease includes the top six floors.

The LEED Gold-certified Five Greenspoint Place building was constructed in 1992 within Greenspoint Place, a 13.5-acre, mixed-use office and retail development located near the I-45 and Sam Houston Pkwy. interchange.

An oil-and-gas exploration, development and acquisition company, Swift Energy is shifting its corporate offices down the street from Two Greenspoint Place to Five Greenspoint Place to better accommodate future expansion.

Swift Energy will be the first major tenant to occupy Five Greenspoint since ExxonMobil relocated its headquarters in October 2014, according to CoStar information.

Other tenants within Greenspoint include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), ExxonMobil and HealthHelp, a provider of technology for educative and collaborative healthcare administration that signed a lease last month to relocate its headquarters from 654 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. to 40,000 sf at Four Greenspoint Place.

Read more at CoStar Group.

DHL speeds to 2,500 shipments per hour with expansion 

(3/25/2015)

HOUSTON - Increased demand for international shipping has led DHL to add a 28,000-sf facility to its Houston service center.

It will add 2,500 shipments an hour to the location's capacity, doubling its previous volume.

The new facility should also speed delivery times and allow for later drop-off times, the company said in a statement.

The new $2.5 million DHL Express Service Center is located at 3300 Claymore Park Dr.

The upgraded service center will handle a variety of shipments, including international small parcels as well as palletized and container freight.

Read more at Direct Marketing News.

Houston: 500,000-SF industrial park headed to south side 

(3/24/2015 10:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The Houston arm of Boston-based Cresa Partners LLC, a tenant representation firm, has plans underway for a 500,000-sf industrial Class A park on 32 acres off SH 288.

The industrial park, dubbed Lower Kirby District, includes potential plans for an office building as well as a rear-load building, although the company said it is pursuing build-to-suit projects as well.

The project would combine industrial and office spaces using tilt-wall construction and curtain-wall glass for a look that will be a departure from older concrete industrial buildings on the market.

The initial phase of the project will be a 181,000-sf building fronting Kirby Dr. and Airport Blvd. that is 60 percent preleased, although no tenants have yet been named. Phase one is expected to break ground third quarter this year.

"We think there's a real hunger and demand for the tenants that might even be a 60 to 90 percent office user with a little bit of warehouse or a lab. Those guys are frustrated because there's not a lot of that," said Andre Granello, managing principal at Cresa Houston.

In terms of potential tenants, Granello said he has seen interest from the architecture and design community, as well as lighting, flooring and furniture companies.

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

Energy Corridor no brainer for new Arrabella's 232 townhomes 

(3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Arrabella, a luxury 232-unit rental townhome community located off of I-10 and Beltway 8, has opened. The community is only a couple of minutes drive to CityCentre in the Energy Corridor.

Asset Plus Cos. developed the project, which features six different one- to three-bedroom floor plans, ranging in size from 1,094 sf to 1,749 sf. Rents are between $1,800 and $3,275 per month.

Each of the three-story townhomes offer one- or two-car private garages and a gated backyard on the first floor.

Michael McGrath, chairman and CEO of Asset Plus Cos., described Arrabella as a one-of-a-kind apartment. "It feels like a home, not like living in a small apartment," McGrath said. "There's nothing new like this in Houston."

Move-ins began earlier this year, and currently, there are 20 residents living in Arrabella, McGrath said. Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2015 and lease-up is anticipated by the end of the year, McGrath said.

Arrabella is currently 15 percent preleased.

Although multifamily developers have flocked to the Energy Corridor, many have been hesitant to enter the submarket north of I-10, which is characterized by vacant lots and more commercial sites.

However, the cheaper price of land and "tremendous location" near two major transportation corridors made the redevelopment project a no-brainer, McGrath said.

"Someone's got to start," McGrath said.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Coastal Welding hot with 7th Texas location in Freeport 

(3/24/2015)

FREEPORT, BRAZORIA COUNTY - Coastal Welding Supply has recently opened its seventh location in the state of Texas, and eighth location overall.

Coastal opened the 23,000-sf filling plant and retail location on March 20. The company is headquartered in Beaumont, Tex,, with other state locations in Groves, Baytown, Silsbee, Liberty, Orange, and Freeport, as well as Sulphur, La.

Coastal Welding Supply serves the petrochemical and metal fabrication industries, as well as residents of greater Brazoria County.

The Coastal Freeport location will also supply local industry with the high purity gases, calibration standards, and specialty gas related products.

Read more at Industrial Distribution.

Visiting colleges? Check out Houston's Lone Star System 

(3/24/2015)

HOUSTON - The Fall 2014 certified enrollment numbers have been released by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

Lone Star College System District
  Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Change
Cy-Fair College 18,165 18,488 1.78%
Kingwood College 11,231 11,820 5.24%
Montgomery College 11,362 11,904 4.77%
North Harris College 15,651 15,644 -0.04%
Tomball College 7,547 7,612 0.86%
University Park 6,709 8,091 20.60%


Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

See Texas' higher education list of universities, colleges and private universities under Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Research.

Check out! 83,000-SF H-E-B underway in Deer Park 

(3/24/2015)

DEER PARK - An 83,000-sf H-E-B is under construction on the northeast corner of East Blvd. and Spencer Hwy.

For comparison sake, the current H-E-B on Center St. is only 20,000 sf and the Fairmont Pkwy. store is 70,000 sf.

Construction is expected to be completed by November 2015. It is not known what will happen to the current store on Center St.

Read more at Your Houston News.

Detering Co. sells 70,000-SF Washington Ave. site 

(3/23/2015 8:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - After 100 years on Washington Ave., the Detering Co. has sold all of its 5.4 acres of land and some 70,000 sf of headquarters space at 3028 Washington just east of Studemont.

The Houston-based building materials supply company recently moved to its new facility — 107,000 sf on a 19-acre site — at 6800 Helmers near Irvington and the North Loop in north Houston.

The acreage on Washington Ave. was divided into three properties and sold to three buyers, according to J. Michael Boyd, principal of Boyd Commercial/CORFAC International, who represented the Detering Co. in the sales.

Luxury home builder Sullivan Brothers Builders purchased a small parcel at 2900 Hicks. Dallas-based apartment developer JLB Partners bought almost three acres at 3028 Center. And the remaining site fronting Washington Ave. site is scheduled to close at the end of the month.

The redevelopment of the Washington Ave. site is indicative of the land use changes underway in this part of Houston, where many properties have gone from industrial to retail or residential.

The property had been held by the Detering family since the early 1900s, when Herman Detering ran a grocery store there. His son, Carl, opened the building supply company on the land in 1926.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Morgan Stanley leases 30,000 SF in Houston 

(3/18/2015)

HOUSTON - Morgan Stanley has leased 29,990 sf within the Four Oaks Place business park at 1330 Post Oak Blvd.

The financial firm will occupy the ninth and tenth floors in the 30-story, 647,324-sf, LEED Gold office building constructed in 1983 in the Galleria/Uptown submarket.

Four Oaks Place is comprised of four office buildings totaling 1.75 million sf. Current tenants at 1330 Post Oak include Cushman & Wakefield, Fleming & Associates LLP and CAMAC International Corp. Morgan Stanley's occupancy is scheduled for July 2015.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston home sales decline for first time in six months 

(3/16/2015)

HOUSTON - Falling oil prices and related layoffs, limited housing inventory, and rising home prices contributed to the first decline in home sales the Houston market has seen in six months, according to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR).

Sales of single-family homes dropped 5.8 percent year-over-year in February, led largely by faltering activity among homes priced above $500,000, which, until now, had been one of the market’s strongest and steadiest segments.

Months of inventory edged up slightly to a 2.7-months supply. That is still well below the current national supply of 4.7 months of inventory. Home prices achieved record highs for a February.

“We are witnessing the start of exactly what economists predicted would create a more ‘normalized’ Houston real estate market: declining sales volume, increasing prices, and improvement in housing inventory levels,” said HAR Chair Nancy Furst with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties.

Housing Market Summary: Feb. 2014 vs. Feb. 2015
  Feb. 2014 Feb. 2015 Chg.
Total sales 5,837 5,564 -4.7%
Total dollar volume $1,392,411,753 $1,369,031,345 -1.7%
Total active listings 27,798 27,990 0.7%
Total pending sales 3,777 3,719 -1.5%
Single-family sales 4,798 4,521 -5.8%
Single-family home avg. price $248,109 $259,293 4.5%
Single-family home median price $184,740 $199,400 7.9%
Single-family inventory* 2.6 2.7 4.3%


* The number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months of sales activity. The market is considered evenly balanced between supply and demand when it has a six-month inventory.

Source: Houston Association of Realtors

Check out 'Housing' under Houston Market Research..

HAR: Houston area cities' home sales Feb. 2015 

(3/13/2015 9:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) released home sales data for February 2015. Some quick facts include:

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $200,000 — up 3.5 percent from January 2015. 
•  Existing single-family home sales increased 7.5 percent from January 2015 for a February 2015 total of 4,356 units sold. 
•  Condos increased in price to $157,000 — up 2.3 percent from January 2015. 
•  Existing condo sales increased 37.5 percent in February 2015 over January 2015 for a total of 524 units sold.

Select region cities are represented below along with statistics from the HAR MLS area as a whole. Release date was March 10, 2015,

HAR Jan. 2015 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  Feb. 2015
Price Chg.
vs. Feb. 2014
Units Sold
  Feb. 2015
Sales Chg.
vs. Feb. 2014
HAR
(single-family)
$200,000 8.1% 4,356 -8.9%
HAR (condo) $157,000 -1.2% 524 1.2%
Region Cities*        
Houston $177,000 2.1% 1,272 -15.8%
Katy $228,000 -3.0% 308 -2.2%
Spring $195,200 8.1% 304 -9.3%
Cypress $240,500 16.7% 174 -26.9%
Richmond $243,040 10.5% 154 -12.0%
Humble $170,500 10.0% 141 5.2%
Pearland $227,750 1.4% 130 -8.5%
Conroe $231,950 20.6% 122 5.2%


*Region Cities' data include single-family only and represent eight cities sorted by number of units sold.

See Housing under Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Research or see the full report from Houston Association of Realtors.

Houston: Cityside Crossing sale produces $10.7M profit 

(3/13/2015)

HOUSTON - Cityside Crossing Apartments, a 360-unit multifamily community, has been sold by Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT Inc., a non-traded real estate investment trust sponsored by Resource Real Estate Inc.

Opportunity REIT acquired the community in December 2012. The sale of Cityside Crossing produced a cash profit of $10.7 million, and an average annual return of 28.4 percent.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Harris County to see largest number of new residents by 2050 

(3/12/2015 7:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Texas is projected to roughly double in size between now and 2050, and Harris County is expected to add the most new residents of any county, according to county-level data released by the Texas Office of the State Demographer.

When it comes to percentage growth, suburban counties — including some in the Houston area — are projected to grow the fastest.

In terms of absolute growth, Harris County, which encompasses Houston, is set to see the largest number of new residents in the state by 2050, with 3.4 million new residents projected by then. But because the county is already large — it had more than 4 million residents as of 2010 — that's only a growth rate of 83.9 percent.

It's interesting to note that the Texas counties that encompass the state's largest metropolises are projected to grow at a much slower rate than their bordering suburban counties.

In the Houston region, for example, Harris County's growth rate is dwarfed by projected growth in Fort Bend County to the south, which will grow by 367.8 percent with the addition of 2.1 million new residents by 2050.

The chart below shows the five fastest growing counties by 2050 ranked by absolute change.

Texas Fastest Growing Counties by 2050 (Absolute)
County 2010
Population
2050
Population
Change
Harris 4,092,459 7,527,827 3,435,368
Collin 782,341 3,801,840 3,019,499
Denton 662,614 3,031,597 2,368,983
Fort Bend 585,375 2,738,553 2,153,178
Tarrant 1,809,034 3,497,034 1,688,000


Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston's Redford Apartments bring $11.9 million 

(3/9/2015 7:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The Redford Apartments, an 856-unit multifamily residential community, has been sold for $11.9 million.

The seller was Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT, a non-traded real estate investment trust sponsored by Resource Real Estate.

Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT acquires and operates a portfolio of multifamily real estate throughout the United States.

Opportunity REIT is sponsored by Resource Real Estate, Inc., a firm that specializes in direct real estate investments, commercial real estate lending and global real estate securities.

Read more at MultifamilyBiz.

Gracepoint(s) to brownstones in Imperial Sugar Land 

(3/9/2015)

SUGAR LAND - Gracepoint Homes will break ground in March on 35 brownstone-style homes in Imperial Sugar Land. The homes will be in the community's newest neighborhood, The Point, where Gracepoint Homes is the exclusive builder.

The brownstones will be three stories and range from 3,500 to 4,000 sf. They will be priced from the $630,000s to the $710,000s. Other features include second- and third-floor balconies and three-car garages.

Several other residential developments are underway in Imperial Sugar Land:

•  Meritage Homes has a new 127-acre community, which has yet to be named.
•  Darling Homes and Partners in Building LP are building patio homes in the 30-acre Quiet Cove gated neighborhood.
•  Sitterle Homes is building Mediterranean-style homes and Trendmaker Homes is developing a row of two-story townhomes in the 15-acre Silent Manor neighborhood.
•  Sueba USA Corp. is developing Imperial Lofts, a 257-unit luxury apartment complex next to the Sugar Land Skeeters' Constellation Field.

In addition to the residential components, Imperial Sugar Land has plans for a mixed-used district featuring hotels, office and retail space.

The community is currently home to Constellation Field and a weekly Farmer's Market. It will be the future site of the Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center and the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: demolition paving way for 312-unit Alexan Ashford 

(3/9/2015)

HOUSTON - Trammell Crow Residential is paving the way for the Class A Alexan Ashford, a five-story, 312-unit apartment complex in the Energy Corridor. It is anticipated to be complete by late 2016.

The Dallas-based multifamily developer has begun demolition work on a 3.1-acre site at 1200 Dairy Ashford Rd., just south of I-10. The land, which was purchased in December, was the former site of a Cornelius Nursery.

When completed, Alexan Ashford will be the second Alexan-branded apartment to be built in the Energy Corridor after the Alexan Enclave, a four-story, 354-unit complex that was finished in January.

"We're looking at a pretty spectacular pool, courtyard and fitness center, typical amenities in a high-end, Class A development," said Scot Davis, Trammell Crow's senior managing director of development. "We're also planning a few surprises."

"In the short term, everybody is pausing in Houston, but we really like Houston long term," Davis said. "We've got a great track record here, a lot of great successes. These developments that we're just now starting to work on are going to open in 2016 and 2017, when we're going to be looking at a different world."

The company also is developing Alexan CityCentre, which is anticipated to finish spring 2016. A fourth Alexan brand is expected to rise near Rice University in 2017.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Emerson's $4M facility doubles space in Houston 

(3/9/2015)

HOUSTON - Ohio-based Emerson Network Power is doubling its space to 35,000 sf and moving to an upgraded $4 million facility at 5980 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. N.

The facility was completed in February as an all-in-one hub of manufacturing, testing, training and office space. Emerson Network Power has signed an 84-month lease of the facility.

The facility has about 10,000 sf of office space and more than 24,000 sf of manufacturing and testing space.

Emerson Network Power employs about 100 people in Houston, but it is part of the larger Missouri-based Emerson Electric Co., which has close to 1,300 total Houston-area workers.

Emerson is seeking to serve the Houston-area oil and gas, petrochemical and refineries sectors both onshore and offshore, said Scott Barbour, business leader of Emerson Network Power.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: 284-unit Ashley Park to The Edge 

(3/8/2015)

HOUSTON - Ashley Park Apartments, a 284-unit, Class B community, has been purchased by 29th Street Capital. The property is located inside the 610 Loop and is less than two miles from the Texas Medical Center.

The property will be rebranded as The Edge at City Centre. The company plans to invest $2.17 million, or $7,640 per unit, to improve the quality of the units and common areas while enhancing curb appeal.

Amenities will include a new fitness center and upgraded leasing center. New plank siding, landscape improvements and signage will be added to the exteriors.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

NW Houston: Gaia JV secures 1,376-unit residential portfolio 

(3/6/2015 8:15:00 AM)

HOUSTON - A five-property, 1,376-unit residential portfolio in northwest Houston has been sold.

The five garden-style communities were constructed in 1983 with the first four communities located within a half-mile of one another in Houston's Bear Creek/Copperfield Multifamily submarket.

The Cottages of Champions Forest is located in the Outlying Harris County Multifamily submarket.

The acquisition consists of:

- Copperfield Apts.: 196 units;
- Coventry Square Apts.: 270 units;
- Easton Village Apts.: 146 units; 
- Peppermill Place Apts.: 464 units; and 
- The Cottages of Champions Forest: 300 units.

New York City-based Gaia Real Estate, in a joint venture with Israeli companies Menora Mivtachim Insurance and Amitim Senior Pension Funds were the buyers.

Source: CoStar Group

Swiss-based ABB adds robotics space, jobs in Houston 

(3/6/2015)

HOUSTON - Switzerland-based ABB Ltd. is expanding in Houston with new facilities and employee growth.

The company opened its new ABB Robotics Support, Training and Demo Center in Houston and will soon open a new Automation and Power Center of Excellence and a new Analytical Systems Integration Factory.

The energy and power technology giant also plans to add about 50 jobs to its more than 600 Houston-area positions, which includes its Ventyx software and Baldor Electric Co. subsidiaries.

ABB's new robotics facility is in northwestern Houston at 7210 Empire Central Dr. ABB has leased a 40,000-sf facility at 6820 Willowbrook Park for its analytical integration factory.

The Automation and Power Center is being built into the first floor of ABB's main Westchase office space to display ABB technology and equipment as an unofficial storefront.

While ABB only had a small U.S. presence until recent years, the company counts 140,000 global employees. ABB has grown from 11,500 North American employees to 26,300 workers in the last four years.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

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

(3/5/2015)

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston's 1000 Main to sell for $435M 

(3/5/2015)

HOUSTON - After less than a year on the market, 1000 Main, an 837,000-sf, 36-story tower in downtown, has reached an agreement with a buyer for $435 million, according to Real Estate Alert.

The buyer, Seattle-based Metzler Real Estate, was originally the runner-up bidder for the tower.

Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management was the original winning bidder at $537 per sf, or about $450 million total. In January, it was reported that LaSalle backed out of the preliminary deal due to market fears of falling oil prices.

After LaSalle's exit, the building owners turned to Metzler, which has agreed to pay $520 per sf, according to Real Estate Alert. Houston's current record for a building sale is $524 per sf when the Hess Tower sold in 2011.

The building's current owners, Dallas-based Invesco Real Estate and an unidentified Australian entity, put the tower up for sale in September. At the time, the building was estimated to be worth around $440 million.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

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

(3/5/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(3/4/2015)

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

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

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

Read more at GlobeSt.

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

(3/4/2015)

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

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

(3/4/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Shipping containers to apartments in Huntsville 

(3/3/2015)

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

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

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

The complex will use 36 shipping containers in total.

Read more at USA Today.

Welcome to Houston: America's Economic Miracle 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Forbes.

Houston: 500 homes to Hines' European-style village  

(3/2/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

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

(3/2/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at PRNewswire.

Millennium Six Pines open 314 units in The Woodlands 

(3/2/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Higginbotham moves into 35,000-SF space in Houston 

(3/1/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Niagara Bottling labels 207,000 SF in Houston 

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

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

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

Up to 102,780 sf remains available for lease.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Webster: 237,000-SF Baybrook Gateway sold 

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

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

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

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

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

HEB plans 70,000-SF store for Bellaire 

(2/27/2015)

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

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

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

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

Read more at Instant News Bellaire.

Condominium tower to bring 90 units to The Woodlands 

(2/27/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Sam Houston centers $22M on engineering 

(2/26/2015)

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

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

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

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

A timeline for the project is still to be determined.

Read more at KBTX.

Colliers: Houston's strong 2014 medical office market 

(2/26/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Realty News Report.

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

Need for Speedsportz races to New Caney 

(2/26/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

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

(2/26/2015)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: 165,000-SF Copperfield Village Shopping sold  

(2/25/2015)

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

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

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

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

Read more at Realty News Report.

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

Transwestern: Houston retail MarketWatch Feb. 2015 

(2/25/2015)

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

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

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


Source: Transwestern

For more Retail statistics, see Houston Market Research.

tag: Houston NewsTalk retail

Houston Gateway to industrial, office stats year-end 2014 

(2/24/2015 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Commercial Gateway, the commercial division of the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), has released its area industrial and office reports for year-end 2014.

Houston Area Industrial Market Summary Year-End 2014*
Market
Area
Bldg.
SF**
Vacancy
Rate
Net Absorp.
YTD
Under
Const.
Wtd.
Avg.
Rent***
Northwest 135,083,980 5.7% 2,290,203 3,560,084 $8.05
Southeast 81,556,042 5.1% 1,956,977 730,157 $6.16
Northeast 70,064,308 9.2% 2,581,730 2,037,760 $7.88
Houston-Area
Total
406,955,376 5.8% 8,997,304 7,932,542 $7.78

*Top three markets ranked by SF.
**Includes all general-purpose existing industrial buildings 10,000 sf or larger.
***Rental rates are weighted and averaged based on available space.

Houston Area Office Market Summary Year-End 2014*
Market
Area
Bldg.
SF**
Vacancy
Rate
Net Absorp.
YTD
Under
Const.
Wtd.
Avg.
Rent***
Suburban 162,896,194 12.0% 5,614,286 15,890,296 $23.31
CBD 40,627,042 8.2% 132,299 1,525,000 $35.09
Uptown 28,861,676 11.1% 512,544 1,377,824 $31.48
Houston-Area
Total
203,523,236 11.3% 5,746,585 17,415,296 $25.17

*Top three markets ranked by SF.
**Includes all general-purpose existing office buildings 20,000 sf or larger.
***Rental rates are weighted and averaged based on available space.

You want more! So here you go.

See the full 4Q 2014 Industrial Market Summary. Scroll to page five of the PDF for the 4Q 2014 Office Market Summary.

Source: Commercial Gateway

Regions Bank to anchor 180,000-SF office in Houston 

(2/24/2015)

HOUSTON - Regions Bank's Houston headquarters will anchor a new 11-story building located at 3773 Richmond Ave. The 180,000-sf building, which will be called Regions Financial Center, will have 162,000 sf of office space and 18,000 sf of retail.

Birmingham, Alabama-based Regions will occupy the top three-and-a-half floors, totaling 56,000 sf, as well as 3,500 sf on the retail level for a full-service customer banking center.

TRC Capital Partners (formerly The Redstone Cos.), Hansen Partners and Barbour Investments are developing the building. Construction began in December, and the project is expected to deliver in April 2016.

Regions Financial Corp. is the parent company of Regions Bank, which is the 14th-largest bank in the Houston area, based on its $1.55 billion in local deposits as of June 30, 2014.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Baytown: CastleRock buys 106 acres for residential homes 

(2/23/2015 8:00:00 AM)

BAYTOWN - CastleRock Communities has purchased a 106-acre parcel of land at the northwest corner of Garth Rd. and Wallisville Rd. for a residential subdivision. The property was purchased from Sowell & Co.

Situated north of I-10, the land was part of a 124-acre parcel Sowell & Co. had purchased out of foreclosure in 2011. The Dallas-based company has been working on entitling the property and getting water and sewer service to the site from City of Baytown.

Home building has been on the rise in Baytown. The City of Baytown issued 176 permits for new single-family homes in 2014, up from 126 in 2013 and 62 permits in 2010.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

HAR: Houston area cities' home sales Jan. 2015 

(2/23/2015 7:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) released home sales data for January 2015. Some quick facts include:

•  The median price of existing single-family homes decreased to $192,000 — down 9.9 percent from December 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales decreased 38.2 percent from December 2014 for a January 2015 total of 3,960 units sold.
•  Condos decreased in price to $154,500 — down 7.8 percent from December 2014.
•  Existing condo sales decreased 40.0 percent in January 2015 over December 2014 for a total of 374 units sold.

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

HAR Jan. 2015 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  Jan. 2015
Price Chg.
vs. Jan. 2014
Units Sold
  Jan. 2015
Sales Chg.
vs. Jan. 2014
HAR
(single-family)
$192,000 7.3% 3,960 1.1%
HAR (condo) $154,500 8.8% 374 -23.5%
Region Cities*        
Houston $169,900 8.9% 1,204 -1.0%
Spring $190,000 3.0% 257 -15.5%
Katy $235,000 9.3% 251 -7.0%
Pearland $260,000 18.2% 171 52.7%
Humble $173,442 17.4% 153 17.7%
Cypress $220,000 2.3% 152 -15.1%
Richmond $230,000 11.5% 135 5.5%
Sugar Land $303,000 -2.6% 99 -1.0%


*Region Cities' data include single-family only and represent eight cities sorted by number of units sold.

See Housing under Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Data Research or see the full report from Houston Association of Realtors.

Yara and BASF to build $600M ammonia plant in Freeport 

(2/23/2015)

FREEPORT - Norway-based Yara International ASA and German chemical giant BASF SE confirmed they will build a major $600 million "world-scale" ammonia plant to open 2017 at BASF's existing property.

The ammonia plant will be owned 68 percent by Yara and 32 percent by BASF. The plant will have a capacity of about 750,000 metric tons per year.

Yara also will build an ammonia tank at the BASF terminal, bringing Yara's total investment to $490 million. BASF will upgrade its current terminal and pipeline assets.

A 20-year supply agreement for nitrogen and hydrogen has been signed with Connecticut-based Praxair Inc., who is investing more than $400 million to add hydrogen and nitrogen production capacity and extending its Gulf Coast pipeline systems approximately 46 miles from Texas City to the Freeport area.

The pipeline extensions are scheduled to be in operation 2016 and the supply to the complex is expected to start late 2017.

The project follows the trend of foreign chemical companies rushing to invest in Gulf Coast chemical plant expansions to take advantage of cheap shale gas, which is used as a feedstock for many chemicals, including ammonia.

Yara has expertise in the global ammonia network and BASF is a major consumer of ammonia for its downstream manufacturing activities. Ammonia can be used in the manufacturing of fertilizers, home furnishings and explosives.

In Houston, BASF currently employs more than 1,200 people at multiple plants. It also is investing millions of dollars in building a new emulsion polymers plant at its existing chemical complex in Freeport.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: Stag Industrial buys 185,000-SF building 

(2/23/2015)

HOUSTON - Stag Industrial Holdings LLC has acquired a 185,000-sf manufacturing building located on 16.8 acres at 1020 Rankin Rd. from Texas Best Land LP.

STAG Industrial is a real estate company focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of single-tenant industrial properties.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Houston George R. Brown 30,000 SF retail ready by Super Bowl 

(2/23/2015)

HOUSTON - Up to seven new restaurants, sidewalk cafes and entertainment venues will be part of a makeover of the George R. Brown Convention Center and surrounding areas.

Approximately 30,000 sf of restaurant and other venue spaces will front Avenida de las Americas, which is being narrowed to make room for outdoor plazas designed to connect people in the George R. Brown to Discovery Green Park across the street.

The spaces will range from 1,500 sf to more than 10,000 sf. Roadwork and renovations are underway, including the addition of a grand entryway at the convention center.

Houston First Corp., which manages the convention center, is working with Griffin Partners and Wulfe & Co. in the development process. Houston First is also developing an office building at the northern end of the convention center which will house some of the new retail space.

The new retail and entertainment spaces are targeted for opening late 2016 around the same time as the The Marriott Marquis under construction nearby. They are expected to be open in time for the Super Bowl in 2017.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Tomball, Cypress: 520-unit Avenues sell for $76M 

(2/20/2015 9:00:00 AM)

TOMBALL, CYPRESS - The acquisition of the 280-unit Avenues at Northpointe and the 240-unit Avenues at Cypress has been finalized for approximately $76 million, or roughly $140,000 per unit.

Atlanta-based multifamily owner and operator Preferred Apartment Communities purchased the properties.

Developed by Stockbridge, GA-based Davis Development, Avenues at Northpointe is located at 11740 Northpointe Blvd. in Tomball. The 28-building community is situated on 9.4 acres and consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Houston-based Friendswood Development Co. developed Avenues at Cypress on a 17.81-acre site at 21500 Cypresswood Dr. in Cypress. The nine-building community also features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

The two newly constructed communities are each three stories and delivered approximately 12 miles from one another.

Read more at CoStar Group.

CBRE flash: Houston retail center market hits record high 

(2/20/2015 8:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston’s retail center market occupancy is at its highest point ever and it’s filling up fast, according to a CBRE Texas Marketflash report.

Occupancy hit 93.4 percent at the end of the year and many prime retail centers in Houston are running 100 percent occupancy.

Leasing is strong and a considerable amount of shopping center space was filled last year. Some 2.1 million sf of retail space was absorbed in 2014, the highest since 2003, CBRE reported.

With 2015 population growth projected at 125,000, positive job growth and healthy single-family construction, the Houston shopping center market will remain tight this year, CBRE said.

“Frankly, I think we have a shortage of retail space,” said Eric Lestin, senior vice president of retail properties at CBRE Houston.

Houston has some 2.7 million sf of retail space under construction, but that is not a large number considering the Houston market has 212 million sf of space, said Lestin, a 30-year veteran in the industry.

Lestin said he considers the Houston market to be “almost fully leased” currently.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Two more towers for Houston's Downtown Living Initiative 

(2/20/2015)

HOUSTON - Two new residential projects are planned for downtown — a historic renovation of the 21-story Great Southwest Building, originally known as the Petroleum Building, and a new 24-story apartment tower.

Dallas-based Todd Interests is developing the Great Southwest Building located on the eastern half of Block 72, bounded by Texas Ave., Austin St. and Capitol St.

The existing office tower will be renovated into 162 residential units, and plans also call for the addition of 11 townhouses on Austin and Capitol, all lining an internal parking garage.

Illinois-based Marquette Cos. is developing the 304-unit, 24-story apartment tower planned for Block 114 located just a block northeast of Minute Maid Park.

Both projects have been approved for the Downtown Living Initiative, which now has nearly reached its cap. The program offers developers up to $15,000 for each unit built in a multifamily complex of at least ten units.

The Downtown Living Initiative is capped at 5,000 units, and there are now 17 projects totaling 4,955 units approved for the reimbursement, though some agreements are still pending.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Green Crossing signs 45,000-SF lease in Houston 

(2/20/2015)

HOUSTON - Columbus McKinnon signed a three-year lease for 45,185 sf in the Green Crossing Phase 2 building located in the Greens Crossing Business Park at 845 Greens Pkwy.

The 91,000-sf facility is owned by Denver-based DCT Industrial Trust, which acquired the asset back in 2005 in a portfolio.

Columbus McKinnon is an Amherst, NY-based designer, marketer and manufacturer of material handling systems and services. They have been in business for 140 years, and their focus is commercial and industrial applications.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston: 91,000-SF H-E-B shows off many firsts in Tanglewood 

(2/19/2015)

HOUSTON - H-E-B is opening its newest 91,000-sf location at San Felipe and Fountainview. The Tanglewood location will have many firsts for the grocery chain, including an in-house restaurant Table 57.

Some of the other new or unique features include an expansion selection of Asian fare in addition to its sushi bar.

The store will have one of the largest bulk food offerings in any H-E-B stores, a hummus bar and the largest yogurt selection to date.

It will also have the largest selection of organic food, gluten-free options and 1,600 wines. The wine section includes a wine tasting area.

“H-E-B San Felipe’s unique shopping and family friendly environment will elevate the grocery-store experience in all aspects, from planning the weekly menu to entertaining in grand style to meeting friends for a casual dinner and a glass of wine or picking up dinner ‘to go’,” said Scott McClelland, president of H-E-B Houston.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Baytown: $22M upgrades for 11,000-acre Cedar Port Industrial 

(2/18/2015 9:00:00 AM)

BAYTOWN - The fifth-largest industrial park in the world, Cedar Port Industrial Park, will soon undergo serious infrastructure improvements under new ownership, allowing nearly 11,000 acres of development along the Houston Ship Channel.

The industrial park was purchased by Beaumont-based Trans-Global Solutions Inc. (TGS) in December. See previous story 11,000-Acre sale! One of Houston area's biggest land deals for more details.

The park is located across the Houston Ship Channel from the Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals with SH 99 running through it.

There is direct access to both the Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway as well as to a Chambers County Improvement District barge dock on Cedar Bayou.

Walmart Stores Inc. has its largest import distribution center complex, which is the size of 70 football fields, located within the park, and Home Depot Inc. has a 755,000-sf distribution center there.

Much of the park remains undeveloped, but not for long. "There's $22 million in work we'll do that'll be completed this year," said William F. Scott, TGS's CEO. Those improvements include adding two 9,000-foot interchange railroad tracks on the north end of the property.

The tracks, which are slated to be complete in the fourth quarter of this year, will open up more than 4,000 acres around the park for development, the company said.

Railcar storage capacity will also be added and weight capacity of existing rail lines will be increased. The project also includes drainage and road improvements.

"Previously, you had all this land and rail, but capacity wasn't there to build out," said Scott, who added that the prime location is ripe for development. "All of it is tied to logistics. Our job is to put the infrastructure in place so that real estate is advantaged."

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

No time to play in Waller's 500,000-SF industrial park 

(2/18/2015 9:00:00 AM)

WALLER, WALLER COUNTY - Alegacy Development is developing an 87-acre industrial park near the Waller community, west of Houston.

Located near Hwy. 290, the park will include more than 20 industrial and office buildings totaling 500,000 sf upon completion.

Commercial State Bank recently closed a $17 million commitment to Alegacy Development for the industrial park.

With syndication to Community Bank of Texas and Amegy Bank, it will fund the first of three phases for the development.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Luxury details of the 34-unit 3615 Montrose in Houston 

(2/18/2015)

HOUSTON - Riverway Properties has begun presales for 3615 Montrose — a seven-story, 34-unit condominium project planned for the former site of The River Cafe on the northeast corner of Montrose Blvd. and Marshall St.

The building features six floor plans with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out toward downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center and St. Basil's Chapel. The units — including four penthouses — range in size from 1,900 sf to 4,149 sf and are priced from $1 million to $2.25 million.

Common amenities will include a 24/7 concierge service, two levels of private parking for residents with electric car-charging stations and private elevator access for some residences.

Riverway plans to break ground spring 2016, after selling about half of the units, said Michael Carroll, Riverway's president.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

O'Connor: Houston apartment overview Feb. 2015 

(2/17/2015)

HOUSTON - O'Connor and Associates submarket apartment data for February 2015 are available. Below is a chart of the eight submarkets with the highest number of units in the region.

Annual Houston Submarket Overview
February 2015
Submarkets # Units Avg.
Occ.
Avg.
Unit/SF
Avg.
Rent
Far West 29,352 91.15% 953 $1,035
Galleria 27,939 92.92% 884 $1,193
Clear Lake/
League City
22,949 94.08% 861 $918
Sharpstown/
Westwood
22,719 90.59% 792 $639
Alief 22,453 90.16% 837 $733
Champions
- East
21,719 91.69% 855 $738
Gulf Freeway 20,384 93.95% 800 $720
Steeplechase 18,755 92.94% 907 $916


See the entire list of Houston area cities (from Alief to Woodlands) at O'Connor and Associates

For more Multifamily stats, see Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Research.

Another SkyHouse joins Houston's skyline with SkyHouse Main 

(2/17/2015)

HOUSTON - The SkyHouse development partnership has broken ground on SkyHouse Main — a mirror image of SkyHouse Houston located in downtown Houston.

The new 24-story tower at 1725 Main St. will feature 336 residences and 7,200 sf of street-level retail space. Delivery is expected in early 2016.

SkyHouse Main apartment homes will have floor-to-ceiling glass and nine-foot plus ceiling heights with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wood floors, expansive balconies and high speed internet.

Within walking distance of more than 40 million sf of office space, the Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park and BBVA Compass Stadium, the project will provide residents with excellent access via public transportation to the surrounding areas.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

Pelican migrating to 17-story Wilshire in Houston 

(2/16/2015)

HOUSTON - Pelican Builders Inc. plans to break ground in May 2015 on its 17-story luxury condominium tower, The Wilshire. Located near the Galleria, the tower will offer 96 residences ranging from $800,000 to $2.99 million.

The Wilshire will be located at 2049 Westcreek Lane on the site of the former Westcreek apartment complex. Pelican purchased the land, immediately south of SkyHouse River Oaks, about a year ago.

The building will offer 14 different floor plans. The two-bedroom units average 1,300 sf for those with two bathrooms and 1,750 sf for those with two-and-a-half bathrooms. The typical three-bedroom units average 2,300 sf, and there are 12 three-bedroom penthouses that average 3,500 sf.

Pelican Builders Principal Robert Bland called the project a landmark building for the company. Presales have been very strong despite Houston's current economic uncertainty, he said in a statement.

The Westcreek site is immediately south of San Felipe St. and directly north of the River Oaks District luxury mixed-use development just inside the 610 Loop.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: Omninet buys 328-unit Hartford Park Apartments 

(2/16/2015)

HOUSTON - Los Angeles-based Omninet Capital has purchased Hartford Park Apartments, a 328-unit property at 3939 Synott Rd. just north of the Westpark Tollway.

Built in 1983, the complex sits on 9.5 acres a few miles south of the Energy Corridor and west of Beltway 8. Rents range from $623 to $802. Sizes range from 602 sf to 1,070 sf.

Omninet Capital made its first Houston purchase last year with the acquisition of Southwest Corporate Center, a 525,580-sf office complex at 9700 Bissonnet. It is planning to launch a capital improvement program consisting of upgrades to the interiors, lobbies and parking.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Bay Area hospital set to add 100,000 SF in Webster 

(2/16/2015)

WEBSTER - The Bay Area Regional Medical Center, an acute-care hospital located at 200 Blossom St., is set to begin construction in May to add more than 100,000 sf over four stories, doubling its patient capacity.

Currently, the five-story, 232,000-sf general acute care hospital has 104 beds and five operating rooms. The expansion will bring the patient-room total to 200.

The eighth floor is being designed for women’s services, including labor and delivery and a NICU. When the expansion is completed, the facility will have 373,000 sf over nine stories.

Medistar Corp. is developing the project. “The expansion will significantly add to the hospital’s emergency, diagnostic and surgical services capabilities while nearly doubling its inpatient capacity,” Medistar said.

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

Katy: $12.3M Parkwest Skilled Nursing Facility planned 

(2/15/2015)

KATY - The $12.3 million, 80-bed Kindred Parkwest Skilled Nursing Facility will be built at Katy Fort Bend Rd. and Colonial Pkwy.

Work on the 60,000-sf building is scheduled to begin early this year, and construction is expected to take approximately 11 months.

The five-acre site will have room for future expansion to 120 inpatient rooms. A separate generator with a weatherproof enclosure will be installed to provide emergency power.

Medistar Corporation is developing the project.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Galveston: Carnival Freedom joins Magic and Triumph 

(2/13/2015 8:30:00 AM)

GALVESTON - The Port of Galveston will welcome a third year-round ship from Carnival Cruise this month.

Carnival Freedom will make its inaugural sailing from Galveston on Feb. 15, 2015.

Carnival will host a special event honoring military families, including a performance by Martina McBride, at the Port of Galveston on Feb. 14.

Carnival Freedom will be the first Carnival ship to offer seven-day cruises. Carnival is the first cruise line to deploy three year-round ships in Texas, as the Freedom joins the Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph in Galveston.

It also brings Carnival's annual passenger count to 600,000 people departing from Texas, more than any other cruise operator, according to the company.

Cruise activity generated $43 million in passenger onshore spending and another $12 million in services provided in Galveston in 2013, according to a report conducted by Pennsylvania-based Tourism Economics for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In recent years, the Port of Galveston has pursuing growth in the face of new local competition from the Port of Houston Authority's Bayport Cruise terminal, which began operating cruises at the end of 2013 after sitting vacant for years.

Last year, the Port of Galveston said it is investing about $10 million to expand its second cruise terminal, which will help accommodate bigger ships and more passengers. The port’s governing board has also approved spending up to $100,000 to commission design plans for a third cruise terminal.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Lake Jackson Class A, 238-unit Plantation Park underway 

(2/13/2015)

LAKE JACKSON - Plantation Park, a 238-unit apartment community located at 100 Cactus St., is underway. It is the first Class A apartment complex to break ground in the area since 2008.

Plantation Park will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Common amenities will include a pool with a cabana, a dog park and a fitness center.

The developers closed in August on 27 acres of land between the Port of Freeport and downtown. The first phase of the project will be the 238-unit apartment complex on 15 acres of now wooded land abutting a residential community and existing apartment complexes.

Houston-based BHW real estate firm hopes the complex will house not just the transient construction workers but the young engineers and other white collar workers expected to move into the community in the next several years thanks to a boom in the petrochemical industry.

“It’s different from what is currently available in Lake Jackson,” said project coordinator Barton Kelly. “Everything you expect in Class A apartments in the Houston, you’ll find here.”

Current rents in Lake Jackson for a 700-sf one-bedroom could be as high as $1,200 a month. The total average for Class A apartments in the area is $1.40 a sf.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Fort Bend County: Fig, Butterfly, Cotton to Harvest Green 

(2/12/2015)

FORT BEND COUNTY - Johnson Development Corp. has submitted land plans to the City of Houston for several residential neighborhoods within Harvest Green, a 1,300-acre master-planned community located by the Grand Pkwy. and West Airport Blvd., near Cullinan Park.

Harvest Green is planned for 2,000 home lots as well as 87 acres of commercial space, according to the community's website.

Plat records for subdivisions along Harlem Rd. show plans for dozens of homes on streets named Butterfly Garden Trail, Fig Leaf Lane and Cotton Farms Dr.

As the community and street names suggest, Harvest Green will include many natural features, including 280 acres of green space, 230 acres of lakes and waterways and 50 acres of parks.

Children in Harvest Green will be zoned to James Bowie Middle School and Travis High School within the Fort Bend Independent School District.

The Grand Pkwy. extension has been spurring new development across Houston, particularly in the northwest. Once the project is complete, the expanded transportation corridor will connect Houston's western suburbs of Sugar Land and Katy all the way around to Kingwood.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Downtown Houston's 1301 Fannin Street office sold 

(2/11/2015 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - A 1.1 million-sf downtown building, 1301 Fannin Street, has been sold. The 25-story building originally was developed in 1981 as an enterprise data center and office building.

It has nearly 400,000 sf of data center space, with additional space available to be converted to network colocation use.

Netrality bought the property from Houston-based Griffin Partners. Netrality will be developing plans to convert two floors — up to 100,000 sf — for additional data center space, pending tenant demand.

Netrality is a new joint venture operated by affiliates of Philadelphia-based Amerimar Enterprises Inc. and Hunter Newby, founder and CEO of New York-based Allied Fiber LLC.

"Under the stewardship of Griffin Partners, 1301 Fannin was renovated and repositioned into a multitenant, Class A office and data center facility," said Gerald Marshall, president and CEO of Netrality, "and we look forward to building on Griffin's legacy and continuing to enhance the profile of this excellent asset."

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Texas City: 45,000-SF World Gym opens in former Macy's 

(2/11/2015)

TEXAS CITY - The state’s largest World Gym is flexing away after opening. The 45,000-sf World Gym is in the redeveloped Macy’s building at Mall of the Mainland, 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expy.

Rows of treadmills and elliptical machines fill the gym.

Other cardio equipment includes four Star Trac Tread Climbers and 30 spin bikes. The gym also features a 60-yard indoor track, a private area for women to lift weights, a large free-weight area for everyone, 36 TVs and space for group classes.

World Gym joins Palais Royal at the 150,000-sf Macy’s building, which has been subdivided.

Friendswood developer Jerome Karam owns the World Gym franchise in Texas City and expects more tenants to lease space in the former Macy’s building he acquired last year.

Karam has confirmed he has an earnest money contract on the entire 451,000-sf mall property, where interior stores were closed last year. Sears, Cinemark and Palais Royal, which in November moved to the Macy’s building, all remained opened.

Karam said he intends to keep the Mall of the Mainland name and repopulate the property with national and local retailers and other tenants.

Read more at the Galveston Daily News.

Katy: 250-unit Providence at Grand Parkway sold for $27M 

(2/11/2015)

KATY - Providence at Grand Parkway, a 250-unit luxury community for active seniors 55 and older, has been sold. The buyer acquired the property for $27 million or $108,000 per unit. The property was 95 percent leased at the time of sale.

Built in 2009, the property features nine separate buildings and was developed through a partnership with Blazer Building Corp.

Providence features a heated pool, business center, library, conference room, chapel, activity rooms, game room, a fitness center, media room and covered parking.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Houston: BMW driving machine to new 95,000-SF dealership 

(2/11/2015)

HOUSTON - BMW of West Houston has officially opened its new dealership at 20822 Katy Fwy. Part of Sonic Automotive, the dealership spans 95,000 sf. It relocated from 15865 Katy Fwy.

The new facility includes a customer cafe, lounge seating and an interactive center where customers can now customize and build their own BMW on site, according to general manager Maria Moncada-Alaoui.

Houston-based Goree Architects designed the dealership, which was built by Wier Enterprises.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston real estate 2014? Transwestern tells all 

(2/10/2015 6:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - For Houston, 2014 was a successful year for the metro’s economy, according to the Houston Metro Real Estate Outlook report from Transwestern.

The office market had a banner year with high leasing velocity and a significant number of preleased deliveries. Leasing activity is expected to weaken in 2015 as some businesses refrain from expanding in the current energy climate.

Net absorption of industrial space totaled 2.1 million sf in fourth quarter 2014, for a year-end total of 9.0 million sf. A decrease in demand is expected in 2015 as lower oil prices cause a slowdown in manufacturing, especially for oil field equipment.

The retail sector added 6,500 jobs over the 12 months ending in November. Retail vacancy was 7.7 percent for 4Q 2014, down significantly from 9.7 percent in 3Q. Throughout the year, grocery-anchored tenants had a dominant presence with more than 25 new stores opening, many in the suburbs.

Houston Market Indicators Year-End 2014*
Sector Inventory SF Available Vacancy Rate
4Q 2014
Under
Construction
Net Absorption
4Q 2014
Net Absorption
2014
Office** 228,569,000 21,816,976 9.5% 16,607,985 1,586,000 6,412,000
Industrial*** 466,656,871 20,080,427 4.3% 8,645,130 2,090,000 8,956,000


*Does not include buildings under construction or owned by the government.
**Includes buildings 50,000 sf and greater.
***Includes buildings 15,000 sf and greater.

Click here for the full Houston Metro Real Estate Outlook Year-End 2014 report from Transwestern.

See Office Report Dec. 2014 (Transwestern)

See Industrial Report Dec. 2014 (Transwestern)

See Multifamily Report Dec. 2014 (Transwestern)

Save time and effort! See Houston Market Data Sources for a variety of up-to-date stats.

Houston: $28M swarm to Honeywell Building sale 

(2/10/2015)

HOUSTON - Parkway Properties reached an agreement to sell the eight-story, 157,000-sf Honeywell Building for $28 million, the company announced.

The property is located at 1250 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. in the Westchase District.

Parkway expects to close on the sale in first quarter for a gain of about $13.5 million.

Source: Houston Chronicle

Porter: 440-home Azalea District on order for Valley Ranch 

(2/9/2015 7:45:00 AM)

PORTER, MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Lot development will begin in March on The Azalea District, a new 130-acre neighborhood within Valley Ranch — a 1,400-acre master-planned community just north of Kingwood.

The Azalea District is located on the southeast corner of Valley Ranch, off US 59 and the proposed Grand Pkwy. extension.

It will feature 440 homes amid lush azaleas and dogwoods, lakes and trails.

Signorelli Co. is the developer of The Azalea District as well as Valley Ranch. The two builders for The Azalea District will be the Signorelli's home building division, Signorelli Homes, and Houston-based Legend Homes.

The builders plan to begin home construction by summer 2015. The homes will range from 1,400 sf to 3,750 sf. Prices will range between $200,000s and $400,000s.

Currently, Valley Ranch has 900 homes and is expected to have about 3,000 homes at buildout. Home prices range from $180,000s to the $400,000s.

Valley Ranch is zoned to New Caney Independent School District, which has built two schools so far: Valley Ranch Elementary and New Caney Middle schools.

In 2014, the school district opened Texan Drive Stadium in Valley Ranch, a $20 million high school football stadium with 8,500 seats and the largest video screen for a Texas high school.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: $125M mixed-use Kirby Collection gearing up 

(2/6/2015 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - New York-based Thor Equities is gearing up to break ground on the $125 million Kirby Collection, a million-plus-sf mixed-use project in Upper Kirby, despite the current oil slump.

"The oil issue is a silver lining for us," said Jack Bousquet, a developer at Thor. "We think we'll get more favorable construction costs and some of the competition will fade."

Demolition of the site's former buildings is finished, and construction is set to start in April or May, Bousquet said. It's slated to be complete third quarter 2017.

The project will encompass the block bounded by Kirby Dr., West Main St., Colquitt St. and Lake St.

It will include:

•  a 25-story, 385,000-sf residential tower,
•  a 13-story, 210,000-sf Class A office building, and
•  67,000 sf of high-end retail along Kirby Dr.

The residential tower will include 199 apartments averaging just under 1,500 sf. There will be seven two-story, ground-level townhomes along Lake St., and the sixth-floor plaza level will have seven two-story residential loft spaces with private yards.

Thor bought the land in 2008. In May 2014, Thor's request to replat the property from commercial use to unrestricted was approved through the Houston Planning Commission.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

tags: Houston apartments, Houston office, Houston Transwestern Metro Outlook Year-End 2014, Houston Market Data

Roger that! Houston airports' record-breaking year 

(2/6/2015 5:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) both broke records for numbers of passengers in 2014, the Houston Airport System announced.

IAH saw record highs for international travelers and combined passenger totals for the airport's 46-year history.

Meanwhile, Hobby's total passenger traffic in 2014 reached an all-time high for the fifth consecutive year. Combined, the airports saw a 4.5 percent increase from 2013 and an all-time high.

The Federal Aviation Administration ranked IAH the eighth-busiest airport in the U.S., with nearly 509,000 flight operations in 2014. That includes commercial airline flights, general aviation flights, military flights and air taxi operations.

IAH, which offers flights to more than 70 international destinations and more Mexican destinations than any other U.S. airports, added six new international carriers in 2014, with four more scheduled to begin operations in 2015.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines Co. will begin flights to Latin American destinations after Hobby's new five-gate international terminal opens. The $156 million project, a partnership between Southwest and the Houston Airport System, is expected to open later this year.

IAH also plans to build a new international terminal, replacing its existing Terminal D.

Houston Airport System Statistics 2014
  George Bush IAH William P. Hobby
2014 2013 2014 2013
Domestic Passengers  
     Deplaned 15,752,398 15,438,007 5,948,290 5,518,391
     Enplaned 15,686,331 15,375,192 5,997,534 5,591,058
International Passengers  
     Deplaned 4,915,892 4,499,817 0 0
     Enplaned 4,896,394 4,486,398 0 0
Freight (metric tons)  
     Deplaned 209,772.8 188,981.8 6,199.8 6,228.4
     Enplaned 223,660.5 212,789.9 6,505 6,686


The full 2014 report is available here! Department of Aviation Monthly Statistical Summary Report

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: Retreat at Vintage Park part of $190M sale 

(2/6/2015)

HOUSTON - Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (MAA) has purchased Retreat at Vintage Park, a 323-unit apartment community.

The purchase was part of a three-property portfolio that sold for $191.8 million.

Retreat at Vintage park offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 655 sf to 1,468 sf and in price from $1,015 to $2,170.

Amenities include a fitness facility, an internet cafe, a business center and a lap pool.

For more, check out MAA's operating results for fourth quarter 2014 at PRNewswire.

Needing quick stats? See the Multifamily category under Houston Market Data Sources.

Wildwood expands 200 acres, 475 lots in Tomball 

(2/6/2015)

TOMBALL - Friendswood Development Co. has acquired a 200-acre parcel of land for the expansion of its top-selling Wildwood at NorthPointe community off SH 249 and Northpointe Blvd.

The 200 acres, which borders Boudreaux Rd. and is north of the Oakcrest at Wildwood neighborhood, was purchased from the Martens family of Tomball. The expansion will add about 475 lots, plus space for trails, pocket parks and a recreation center.

The first lots are expected to be available to builders next year. The lots will come in a variety of sizes consisting of 50-, 60-, 65-, and 75-foot wide home sites.

Buildout for the expanded Wildwood at NorthPointe is projected for spring 2019. Builders consist of Village Builders, Lennar, M/I Homes, Meritage Homes and Anglia Homes.

Wildwood at NorthPointe, a 700-acre community offering homes priced from about $190,000 to more than $600,000, was named among the Top 20 master-planned communities in the nation for 2014 by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

The community reported 442 home sales last year, an increase of 129 percent in 2014, according John Burns Real Estate Consulting. It benefited from the completion of the Grand Pkwy. south of US 290 to I-10 along with other communities such as Towne Lake and Canyon Lakes West.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Pearland new housing starts to add 13,000 new residents  

(2/6/2015)

PEARLAND - Last year, the City of Pearland issued the highest number of single-family housing permits in a single year since 2008.

The Pearland Economic Development Corporation reported that the city issued 1,068 single-family residential permits and 1,008 multifamily residential permits in 2014.

In the fiscal year running from October 2013 to September 2014, 2,252 residential lots were approved by the city for construction of single-family homes and 2,163 lots were approved under preliminary plats.

The group predicts that the new housing starts will bring 13,000 new residents to Pearland in coming years.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle. See the Pearland Economic Development Corporation for more information.

97-Room DoubleTree Hilton beaches in Galveston 

(2/6/2015)

GALVESTON - DoubleTree by Hilton Galveston Beach, a five-story, 97-room hotel located at 1702 Seawall Blvd. is now open.

Amenities include a saltwater swimming pool with swim-up bar, 24-hour fitness center, laundry service, on-site parking, 24-hour business center and in-room safes.

Formerly the Galveston Beach Hotel, the property has concluded a multimillion-dollar renovation that includes a redesign of the lobby, food and beverage outlets, public spaces, meeting and event areas and guest rooms.

The property is DoubleTree by Hilton’s first hotel in Galveston. It is owned by 17th Street Properties LLC.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Houston's Westway Plaza now 100 percent preleased 

(2/5/2015 7:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The Westway Plaza office building located on nine acres at 11330 Clay Rd. is now 100 percent preleased. The five-story building with 314,000 sf is set to open second quarter.

General Electric Co. will take up more than 70 percent of the building after signing an expansion for an additional 72,177 sf, bringing its total space to 222,177 sf.

In June 2014, GE agreed to prelease 150,000 sf to house employees in its GE Power & Water and GE Oil & Gas divisions.

Superior Energy Services has leased 64,018 sf. Tesco Corp. has leased 27,225 sf.

Westway Plaza will feature an onsite restaurant and fitness center with locker rooms and a two-story lobby with granite flooring. Parking will be available in a separate garage.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Whole Foods sets up camp in The Woodlands 

(2/4/2015)

THE WOODLANDS - Whole Foods will open its first Woodlands location in March. The 40,000-sf store is located at 1925 Hughes Landing Blvd., Ste. 100.

The 66-acre Hughes Landing development, located along Lake Woodlands Dr. west of Grogan’s Mill Rd., features two office buildings with more on the way.

The project will also offer several restaurants along what is being called Restaurant Row, including Truluck’s, Del Frisco Grille, Local Pour and California Pizza Kitchen.

Alex Sutton, co-president of The Woodlands Development Company, said many of the restaurants would begin opening this spring.

One Lake’s Edge, an apartment complex in Hughes Landing, is leasing for an April opening, and construction is underway on an Embassy Suites Hotel.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Houston: $90M Midtown units move forward (anyway) 

(2/3/2015)

HOUSTON - Camden McGowen Station, a 315-unit apartment project in Midtown, is underway, despite the market slowdown expected this year.

The $90 million project is being developed by Camden Property Trust.

The eight-story project will be built along Main St. at McGowen, Camden said earlier this year.

McGowen Station is expected to open in 2017, when Camden Chairman and CEO Ric Campo expects few new multifamily projects will be opening, as development plans now are slowing.

"When the market has a hole in it in 2017, we'll be there to fill it," Campo said.

The news comes as multifamily developers across Houston are casting a wary eye toward falling oil prices. While some developers are pushing forward with new projects, others are playing a game of wait-and-see.

Campo said Houston has two key economic drivers beyond the energy industry that will help the economy through the downturn: the medical sector and the port.

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

Humble's Point North Cargo Park to expand, renew leases 

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

HUMBLE - Duke Realty Corp. has acquired a new 250,660-sf building and parcel of land for the expansion of its Point North Cargo Park next to Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The building is fully leased to K&K Express. The building is adjacent to the company’s Point North One and Two buildings and will be known as Point North Four.

The company also acquired an adjacent 13.9 acres as the site of Point North Five, a 205,608-sf building which is 47 percent preleased. Roadrunner Transportation Systems has leased 97,344 sf in the building, which will break ground this month.

In recent leasing activity, Geodis Wilson USA, a global freight forwarder a tenant since 2009, renewed its lease in Point North One, a 158,940-sf building at 8210 Humble-Westfield Rd. last year.

Amazon.com leased Point North Two, a 240,000-sf building at 8120 Humble Westfield Rd. in 2013.

“Since we delivered our first building in Point North Cargo Park in 2008, we have continued to see a great deal of interest from companies that want to be close to the airport,” said David Hudson, senior vice president of Duke Realty’s Houston operations.

“With the transactions we completed recently, three tenants have secured their positions in the park for the long term. Plus, we have increased the size of Point North Cargo Park to more than 850,000 sf with the ability to expand it to approximately 1.2 million sf,” Hudson said.

Duke Realty owns and manages nearly 4.4 million sf of industrial, office and medical office space in the Houston area, as part of its national portfolio of 153.2 million sf in 22 markets.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

tag: Colliers Industrial Houston 4Q 2014, IRR Industrial 2015 Forecast

Make searching easy! Visit Houston Market Data Sources for Industrial, Office, Retail, Hotel data and more from a variety of sources.

Houston: 269-unit Alexan Blaire House to Medical Center 

(2/2/2015)

HOUSTON - Alexan Blaire House, a 269-unit, Class A luxury apartment community, will be developed on a 4.2-acre tract located two miles from the Texas Medical Center.

The total project is expected to cost $48.6 million, or about $181,000 per unit, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing notes that approximately 70 percent of the project will be one-bedroom units, and the remaining 30 percent will be two-bedroom units. Units are expected to average 894 sf.

In order to cater to the area’s high-income demographic, the community will feature best-in-class interior finishes, larger-than-average floor plans on account of limited supply, premium appliances, a pool, a fitness facility, a concierge and a business center.

Trammell Crow Residential and Bluerock Residential Growth REIT will develop the community.

The project is expected to break ground third quarter 2015 and be complete 4Q 2017.

The two companies are collaborating on another Houston-based project, the Alexan CityCentre, a 340-unit, Class A community slated for completion in 2016.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal and Commercial Property Executive.

Houston: tech companies lease 68,000 SF in Town Centre 

(2/2/2015)

HOUSTON - Moody Rambin has attracted two tech-related companies, Microsoft and Altus Group, as the first tenants in its Town Centre development at 700 Town & Country Blvd.

The Houston-based company is putting the finishing touches on the first of two planned office buildings in the development, which is surrounded by stores and restaurants in Town & Country Village and is next to additional retail, office, apartment and hotel space at CityCentre.

Microsoft has leased 40,589 sf to consolidate its regional office and technology center in August.

Altus Group, a commercial real estate consulting and software company, has leased 27,194 sf with a move-in date of November.

The ten-story, 253,714-sf Town Centre I near I-10 West and Beltway 8 is 30 percent preleased. Companies will begin moving in later this year after building out their spaces. The project contains a parking garage that can accommodate four cars per 1,000 sf.

Toronto-based Altus Group chose the new building to consolidate its two Houston offices with a total of 120 employees. About 100 of the employees will move from the Galleria-area headquarters of its Argus Software subsidiary.

Town Centre II, an eight-story office building with 150,000 sf, is planned. The timing will depend on how quickly the first building gets leased and the overall health of the market later in the year, said Dan Moody III, principal and managing director of Moody Rambin.

"If we see that the demand is dropping in the market and the Houston economy softens, then we will carefully evaluate if we go forward with the second building," Moody said.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

CBRE: Houston industrial market's record numbers 2014 

(1/30/2015 7:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The Houston area absorbed a record-breaking 8.1 million sf of industrial space in 2014, according to CBRE's fourth quarter 2014 report.

In 2014, nearly 12 million sf of industrial space was delivered to the market, the highest since 2008. The past quarter was the 15th consecutive quarter of positive absorption at 2.2 million sf.

Much of the recent industrial activity involves distribution. In October 2014, a 400,000-sf warehouse for Houston-based Silver Eagle Distributors, Anheuser-Busch's biggest U.S. distributor, was completed.

A big project underway is Aldi's new 650,000-sf division headquarters and distribution center that's slated to open in early 2016 in Rosenberg.

Dallas-based Crow Holdings Industrial has broken ground on a 415,000-sf Class A industrial park, Apex Distribution Center, on Tanner Rd. near Beltway 8, on the site of New Jersey-based Goya Foods' former manufacturing site.

Houston Industrial Market Statistics 4Q 2014*
Market Rentable
Area SF
Vacancy
Rate
4Q Net
Absorption
(SF)
2014 Net
Absorption
(SF)
Under
Construction
SF
Avg. Asking
Rate
($/SF/Year)
Northwest 133,718,928 3.9% 468,712 1,880,729 3,501,971 0.78
North 77,566,092 8.5% 551,112 1,907,599 2,251,284 0.71
Southeast 75,697,565 5.0% 647,309 1,766,981 1,241,888 0.68
Southwest 61,059,279 5.6% 104,649 653,856 1,122,926 0.78
CBD 52,582,252 4.8% 176,922 404,611 0 0.53
Total** 474,015,067 5.0% 2,216,488 2,216,488 8,392,470 0.67

*Ranked by market rentable area.
**Totals are based on all submarkets. Only top five of the seven submarkets are shown.

Click here to see the full Industrial 4Q 2014 report from CBRE.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

tags: Houston industrial, Houston Industrial Data

Spring: 400,000-SF retail center planned near Grand Pkwy. 

(1/30/2015)

SPRING - A 400,000-sf retail power center — to be called Grand Parkway Marketplace — is planned for the intersection of Spring Stuebner Rd. and Kuykendahl Rd. in the Woodlands area.

New York-based Kimco Realty Corp. has acquired 64 acres for the project. Kimco owns and operates multiple Houston-area shopping centers, including Copperwood Village, Cypress Town Centre, Tomball Crossing and the Centre at Copperfield.

Growth in the area has been robust due to construction on the Grand Pkwy. extension and Exxon's new campus.

"Our leasing is moving along briskly," said Rob Nadler, the central region president for Kimco. "For many retailers operating in the Houston market, this (location) is a void for them. Given the growth between residential and community development in the area, it's quite a remarkable site."

The leg of Grand Pkwy. from I-45 to US 290 is slated to be complete at the end of 2015. Grand Parkway Marketplace is expected to open during fourth quarter 2016.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: 94,000-SF Timbercreek, Copperfield offices sold 

(1/29/2015)

HOUSTON - Hartman Highway 6 LLC has purchased the Timbercreek Atrium and Copperfield office buildings, two Class B office buildings totaling 93,656 sf. The multi-story office buildings are located along Hwy. 6 between I-10 and FM 529.

Timbercreek Atrium is a three-story, 51,035-sf building located at US 6 North and & Timbercreek Place. As of Dec. 2014, the property was 79 percent leased to tenants including The Loken Group, H2O and the Harris County Hospital District.

Copperfield Building is a three-story, 42,621-sf office building located on Spencer Rd. and US 6. As of Dec. 2014, the property was 80 percent leased to tenants including J. P. Morgan Chase Bank, Deep Sea Development and Harvey Home Health.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Memorial Hermann underway on $168M Cypress campus 

(1/29/2015)

CYPRESS - Memorial Hermann Health System has broken ground on its $168 million full-service medical campus. It is located on a 32-acre site at the northeast side of Hwy. 290 and the Grand Pkwy., between Mason Rd. and Mueschke Rd.

The first phase includes a six story, 125,000-sf medical office building with a 40,000-sf Convenient Care Center.

Phase two involves an 80-bed hospital. Besides the eight operating rooms, the hospital is set to house a 16-bed intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiac catheterization lab, with room to accommodate future growth.

Plans also include Life Flight helipad, an air ambulance service who has 15 minutes access to any location within a 150-mile radius of Houston.

The Convenient Care Center is set to open early 2016, and the hospital is expected to be completed by 2017.

As the area continues to grow, the campus has room for two additional medical office buildings and two additional patient bed towers.

The Cypress campus is said to be designed with a “forward-looking focus” taking into consideration the area’s current population of more than 355,000 residents and an expected growth of nearly 100,000 more people over the next decade.

Read more at Your Houston News.

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