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Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown

Houston: 159,000-SF Sam Houston Crossing sells for $26M 

(12/18/2014 1:00:00 PM)

HOUSTON - Sam Houston Crossing I, a 159,175-sf office building in northwest Houston has been purchased for $26.2 million. The buyer ia a joint venture between Houston-based Fuller Realty Partners and Independencia.

The three-story building was completed in 2007 with a typical floor plate offering 53,000 sf of rentable space.

The building is 100 percent leased to six tenants, including U.S. Steel; Farmers Insurance Exchange; C.H. Robinson Project Logistic; Brock Enterprises, Inc.; Axon EP, Inc.; and AMEC Oil & Gas, Inc.

Sam Houston Crossing I is located in Houston’s West Belt Corridor off of the Sam Houston Parkway (Beltway 8) between the Northwest Freeway (US 290) and Hwy. 249 at 10343 Sam Houston Park Dr.

SH Crossing I, LP — a joint venture between Fuller Realty Partners and Independencia — purchased the building from Duke Realty Corp. and Chambers Street Properties.

The acquisition follows Fuller Realty Partners’ recent purchase of a building being vacated by Exxon Mobil at 13401 North Fwy. in the Greenspoint area.

Read more at Realty News, Houston Chronicle.

Houston: Parkway inks two office leases totaling 213,000 SF 

(12/18/2014 9:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Parkway Properties Inc. has signed two leases totaling 213,000 sf with Nabors Industries and Bristow Group Inc.

"These two leases help to quickly mitigate some upcoming known move-outs in our Houston portfolio with little to no downtime," stated James R. Heistand, president of Parkway.

Nabors Industries signed a 98,000-sf expansion lease at One Commerce Green, located in the Greenspoint submarket, that expires September 2025.

The Nabors expansion will immediately back-fill space that Southwestern Energy Company will vacate during first quarter 2015.

Bristow Group Inc. signed a 115,000-sf new lease at CityWestPlace, located in the Westchase submarket, that expires January 2025.

The Bristow lease will back-fill known move-outs at CityWestPlace of approximately 39,000 sf of 2014 expirations and approximately 76,000 sf of 2017 expirations.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Houston: green to glam for 14 acres in Memorial 

(12/18/2014 7:45:00 AM)

HOUSTON - A vacant 14-acre site at 12601 Memorial Dr. has been sold to development firm Midway who plans to fill the property with million-dollar homes, luxury apartments and commercial space.

The project, called Memorial Green, is about a mile away from Midway's CityCentre complex near the intersection of I-10 and Beltway 8.

Midway's new plan includes a gated complex of 57 two- and three-story homes, averaging between 3,000 and 5,000 sf to be built along the back of the property.

Along the Memorial side of the property, Midway will develop a six-story, 250-unit apartment complex and a four-story office building with 47,000 sf of office space.

Builders will include Jeff Paul Custom Homes, McCollum Custom Homes and Pelican Builders.

It is expected to break ground in January and be completed summer 2016.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Katy: 172,000-SF spec office underway in Grand Crossing 

(12/18/2014)

KATY - One Grand Crossing, a three-story, 172,000-sf office building, is going up on an eight-acre site within the Grand Crossing development at the southwest corner of Grand Pkwy. and I-10.

The new Class A office building will be a tilt-wall concrete structure with a minimum parking ratio of 4.5 spaces per 1,000 sf of office space. The building will be ready for occupancy fourth quarter 2015.

The office project will be a multiphase development potentially including 350,000 sf in two buildings. Trammell Crow Co. and Prudential Real Estate Investors are developing the project.

In addition to office space, the 124-acre Grand Crossing project expected to include hotel rooms, retail, restaurants and housing.

A luxury garden apartment community with 311 traditional apartment homes and 40 townhome units is also being built within the mixed-use development, according to Kansas City-based Price Development Group LLC's website.

According to Price Development, Grand Crossing will include approximately 15 acres for multifamily development, a 1.8-acre hotel site, approximately 300,000 sf of office space and at least 500,000 sf of big box, junior anchor, in-line and pad retail space.

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

tag: Houston office

Houston: 319-unit CityLake sells near Texas Medical Center 

(12/18/2014)

HOUSTON - Grayco Partners sold its 319-unit mid-rise wrap apartment complex at 8877 Lakes at 610 Dr. to Carroll Organization.

Formerly known as CityLake Apts., the community was completed in 2013 near the Texas Medical Center.

Carroll Organization has rebranded the community as ARIUM City Lake.

The community offers studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans from 638 sf to 1498 sf.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Source: ARIUM City Lake

Houston: 127-acre Fallbrook Pines Business Park underway 

(12/17/2014)

HOUSTON - Fallbrook Pines Business Park is now the largest industrial park project underway in Houston, according to Trammell Crow. The 127-acre park is located near the intersection of Beltway 8 and Hwy. 249 on Fallbrook Dr.

The first phase is scheduled for completion first quarter 2015. It will be composed of four tilt-wall office/warehouse buildings totaling 709,045 sf.

The project will incorporate 28 to 32-foot clear heights, 52-foot-wide column spacing, extra trailer parking/outside storage, ample car parking, wide truck courts and ESFR sprinkler systems.

Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. and New York-based Clarion Partners are developing the project. They expect the project's versatile design to target a wide range of tenants, including consumer goods distributors, oilfield service companies and light manufacturers.

The remaining 66 acres in the park are available for build-to-suit projects.

Read more at Houston Business Journal and GlobeSt.

Houston: 256-unit Alta Heights sells to MIG 

(12/17/2014)

HOUSTON - Alta Heights, a 256-unit apartment community located at 145 Heights Blvd., just north of Washington Ave., has been sold.

Sitting on a 3.5-acre site, Alta Heights consists of a four-story building with studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans and a five-story parking structure.

The project was developed by Wood Partners and was completed about a year ago.

MIG Real Estate, a Newport Beach, California-based real estate investment company, purchased the property.

“Alta Heights has strong upside potential, benefiting from its excellent amenity package and proximity to major employers,” said Greg Merage, CEO of MIG Real Estate.

Read more at Realty News Report.

tag: Houston apartment

The Woodlands: Memorial Hermann $17 million redo 

(12/17/2014)

THE WOODLANDS - Memorial Hermann Health System plans to renovate its emergency department at its Woodlands hospital in a $17.4 million project.

The project, slated to start in 2015, will include approximately 3,400 sf of new space, seven additional treatment rooms including three trauma rooms, as well as an area designed for pediatric patients, according to a statement.

The reason for the new renovation is the fast-growing population in The Woodlands and surrounding area, Josh Urban, CEO of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands, said.

It's estimated that over the next five years, Montgomery County and the surrounding area will grow 11.4 percent, or by 70,000 residents.

The new space will bring the department's total to 32,400 sf and its room count to 35, according to a statement. Memorial Hermann's Life Flight helipad will move to a new east tower.

The plan is to make The Woodlands a Level II trauma center, said Urban. To achieve that designation, patients would need access to a variety of specialists 24 hours a day. Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center is one of the city's two Level I Trauma Centers.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Room to breathe in 80,000-SF Kelsey-Seybold Clinic 

(12/17/2014)

THE WOODLANDS - Kelsey-Seybold Clinic has relocated to its new three-story building with 80,000 sf at 106 Vision Park Blvd.

The clinic relocated from a 41,000-sf space in the Medical Arts Center II building at 17350 St. Luke's Way.

"We are all very excited. This is the first time that our Woodlands Clinic will have its own free-standing building, hassle-free parking and plenty of space to care for our patients," said Hugh Poindexer, M.D., managing physician.

The new clinic has room for 38 physicians in select specialties. Planned new medical specialties will include Optometry and Orthopedics.

The Woodlands location is a part of a $200 million capital investment Kelsey-Seybold is making in the Houston area.

It is one of four major construction projects to be completed in 2014 along with new clinics in Clear Lake and Humble and the remodeled Tanglewood Clinic in the Galleria area.

Kelsey-Seybold operates 19 clinics in the Houston area.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston stage right for 168,000-SF arts high school 

(12/16/2014)

HOUSTON - Construction begins today on a sleek five-story, 168,000-sf building for Houston ISD's High School for Performing and Visual Arts at the corner of Rusk and Austin.

The $80 million project will include a 200-seat mini-theater, 200-seat black box theater, 150-seat recital hall, rooftop garden and outdoor art studio.

The centerpiece will be an 800-seat main theater, complete with a balcony, that will fit the magnet school's entire faculty and student body with room to spare.

"We're downtown and so close to the arts district, you can just feel the energy down here. It's going to be amazing to have the kids down here," said HSPVA principal R. Scott Allen.

The new space, approved by voters in a 2012 bond, will allow the school to move from its current Montrose campus. It will also provide room for the new creative writing program, whose students currently take classes in the library and in portable trailers.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston: 900-unit apartment portfolio sold 

(12/16/2014)

HOUSTON - A 900-unit portfolio of four Class A apartments has been sold.

The portfolio, located in the Texas Medical Center and Galleria submarkets, is 95 percent leased overall and will be managed by Lincoln Property Company.

Portfolio
Property Name Location Submarket Units
Mirage Apartments 2100 Bering Dr. Galleria 200
Parque Del Oro Apartments 8380 El Mundo St. Texas Medical Center 224
San Melia Apartments 6383 El Mundo St. Texas Medical Center 252
Versailles Park Apartments 7200 Almeda Rd. Texas Medical Center 224



Southwest Multifamily Partners, a commingled fund jointly led by Los Angeles-based CityView and Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. purchased the portfolio in a joint venture with an institutional co-investment partner.

Read more at HFF and Realty News Report.

tag: Houston apartment

Houston Energy Corridor 286,000-SF Kirkwood Tower sold 

(12/12/2014 7:15:00 AM)

HOUSTON - The 15-story Kirkwood Tower, a 286,000-sf Class A office building, has been sold. The 92 percent occupied tower at 11757 Katy Fwy. is located in Houston's Energy Corridor submarket.

Tenants include Texon LP, Skyline Executive Suites Ltd., KCA Deutag LLC, First Solar Inc., Greene's Energy Group LLC and Mac Haik Holding Co. Inc.

Santa Fe, New Mexico-based Rosemont Realty acquired the building. The purchase was a joint venture through a new arm of the company — Rosemont Investor Central Properties. The sellers were co-investors Denver-based Amstar and Dallas-based Frontier Equity.

Rosemont now owns 16 buildings representing nearly 2.5 million sf of office space in the Houston area, including Kirkwood Atrium II next door.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Spike in Houston rents outpaces U.S. average 

(12/12/2014 6:04:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Renters in the Houston metro area this year paid about $600 more on average than they did in 2013 as rents have increased at twice the national rate, according to data analyzed by San Francisco-based Apartment List.

In November, Apartment List found that Houston one-bedroom rents averaged $910 and two-bedrooms averaged $1,040. Rents here are 9 percent more expensive than the national average based on two-bedroom rents.

Even Houston’s suburbs are seeing sky-high rents, although they vary. Renters in The Woodlands pay 75 percent more than those in Pasadena.

The Woodlands, Katy and Pearland are the most expensive markets, with two-bedrooms averaging more than $1,330 a month. Tomball, Houston proper and Spring average $1,050.

Humble and Pasadena — at $900 and $760, respectively — are the only two suburbs where rents are below the $950 national average.

In Houston, Downtown is the most expensive neighborhood, with the average rent at $2,600 per month.

The least expensive neighborhoods in the city are Northshore, Sharpstown and greater Greenspoint, where rents hover at $750 per month.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

tag: Houston apartment

Houston home sales Nov. 2014 (HAR) 

(12/12/2014)

HOUSTON - The Houston real estate market grew in all categories in November, with total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing all up when compared to November 2013.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), single-family home sales totaled 5,092 units, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to November 2013.

Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on the previous 12 months of sales, dipped to a 2.7-months supply versus a 2.9-months supply last November.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in November

    Single-family home sales rose 1.8 percent versus November 2013;
    Total property sales were up 2.8 percent year-over year;
    Total dollar volume increased 12.3 percent, from $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion on a year-over-year basis;
    At $194,800, the single-family home median price achieved a record high for a November;
    At $271,232, the single-family home average price also reached a November high;
    Days on Market for single-family homes was 54 days;
    Rentals of single-family homes rose 4.2 percent year-over-year and the cost of renting those homes increased 5.0 percent to $1,669.
    Townhouse/condominium rentals climbed 5.7 percent, with rents up 3.6 percent at $1,520.

Housing Market Summary: Nov. 2013 vs. Nov. 2014
  Nov. 2013 Nov. 2014 Chg.
Total sales 6,044 6,212 2.8%
Total dollar volume $1,430,952,766 $1,606,455,376 12.3%
Total active listings 30,341 27,374 -9.8%
Total pending sales 3,273 3,404 4.0%
Single-family sales 5,000 5,092 1.8%
Avg. price single-family home $245,933 $271,232 10.3%
Median price single-family home $182,500 $194,800 6.7%
Single-family inventory* 2.9 2.7 -7.3%

* 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

Also see 'Housing' under Houston Market Data Sources.

The Woodlands: IMT Capital sells Alden Landing 

(12/12/2014)

THE WOODLANDS - General Electric Capital Corp. purchased Alden Landing at 7575 Gosling Rd. from IMT Capital.

The three-story, 292-unit multifamily community was constructed in 1998. The property was 97.3 percent occupied at the time of sale.

The new owner intends to upgrade unit interiors and increase rents at the value-add community.

Read more at CoStar Group.

HAR: Houston area cities' home sales Nov. 2014 

(12/12/2014)

HOUSTON - Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) released home sales data for November 2014. Some quick facts include:

•  The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $198,000 — up 1.5 percent from October 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales decreased 23.6 percent from October 2014 for a November 2014 total of 4,940 units sold.
•  Condos increased in price to $172,000 — up 6.8 percent from October 2014.
•  Existing condo sales decreased 25.3 percent in November 2014 over October 2014 for a total of 518 units sold.

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

HAR Nov. 2014 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  Nov. 2014
Price Chg.
vs. Nov. 2013
Units Sold
  Nov. 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. Nov. 2013
HAR
(single-family)
$198,000 7.6% 4,940 -1.8%
HAR (condo) $172,000 7.5% 518 -8.3%
Region Cities*        
Houston $175,000 3.0% 1,572 1.9%
Spring $182,500 8.6% 344 -11.3%
Katy $242,000 7.6% 327 -3.3%
Cypress $238,783 11.1% 210 -9.5%
Richmond $245,000 15.8% 179 -3.8%
Humble $170,000 4.9% 135 -36.0%
Sugar Land $335,000 8.1% 129 -9.8%
Pearland $237,266 18.6% 124 -9.5%

*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 Sources or see the full report from Houston Association of Realtors.

Rockspring Capital acquires 157-acre Katy site 

(12/12/2014)

KATY - Rockspring Capital has acquired a 157-acre site located off of Katy Hockley Rd., just north of FM 529.

The tract, targeted for single-family residential, is adjacent to the 2,705-acre Newland Communities site, and is within the Katy Independent School District, which grew by 2,000 students this year.

The property is nearby North Cypress Medical Center and the Houston Premium Outlets.

Less than five miles northeast is the 11,400-acre master planned community, Bridgeland, which includes dining, retail, medical offices and employment.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Katy: Academy Sports 200,000-SF expansion 

(12/11/2014 7:30:00 AM)

KATY - The 200,000-sf office building on the corporate campus of Academy Sports & Outdoors is more than halfway completed. This is the second office building on the site.

The new four-story headquarters office building will include a six-story parking garage. It will be connected with the existing office building by a walkway. Completion is scheduled for spring 2015.

The sprawling campus at 1800 N. Mason Rd. is already the workplace of about 2,900 people between the corporate office and distribution center.

The current distribution center is over 1.4 million sf, and the existing office is over 270,000 sf. The entire Katy campus sits on 118 acres.

With annual sales of $4 billion, Academy Sports & Outdoors is one of the Houston area's largest privately held companies. The sporting goods and lifestyle retailer operates 190 stores.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston No. 7 market for luxury retailers in U.S. 

(12/11/2014)

HOUSTON - Houston ranked No. 7 on JLL’s top ten markets for luxury retailers in a report released at the International Council of Shopping Centers New York City conference.

The Bayou City, along with Dallas and Orlando, were cited as emerging retail markets, driven by ongoing population and income growth.

JLL’s The New World of Retail Index tracks the expansion of 350 retailers across 19 markets in the United States and assesses the vitality and attractiveness of retail markets.

The ranking factors in variables such as household income growth, the number of total retailers, rental rates, vacancy levels, total leasable area and the balance of supply and demand.

Houston’s current population of 6.4 million residents has experienced a 9 percent growth over the past five years thanks in large part to the energy markets growth within the city.

White-collar expansion has given Houston an influx of households with incomes greater than $100,000.

In turn, this increase in disposable income has spurred a growth within the mid to high-end luxury retail market of nearly 1.6 million sf, projected to arrive in 2014.

Also on the luxury retail radar are Atlanta, Orlando, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and Seattle. The other Texas cities on the list are Austin (No. 17) and San Antonio (No. 18.).

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Downtown Houston tower reaches record-high price 

(12/10/2014 9:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - LaSalle Investment has agreed to pay $450 million for the 837,000-sf 1000 Main building in downtown, formerly known as Reliant Energy Plaza.

LaSalle’s price of $537 per sf will be the highest ever paid in Houston, surpassing Houston’s existing price record of $524 per sf, according to the Real Estate Alert newsletter.

Houston’s existing all-time record per sf price is the sale of the Hess Tower, which is located in downtown near Discovery Green park. The H&R REIT bought the Hess Tower in 2011 for $442.5 million or $524 per sf.

The 1000 Main building, owned by an Invesco Real Estate partnership, is more than 99 percent leased with Shell Oil occupying 332,000 sf.

Rental rates have risen in Houston’s Class A properties in recent years and some buildings are asking $50 per sf rents.

The 1000 Main building was developed by Richard Everett of Century Development and opened in 2003. The Invesco purchased the building in 2012 for $355 million.

The building is located on the Main St. Square METRO stop on a block bordered by Main, McKinney, Travis and Lamar.

A few blocks from the 1000 Main building, Hines is building 609 Main at Texas — a 48-story spec tower that is expected to be rated Class AA+ when it opens in 2016.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Builders Firstsource opens doors in Conroe; Schertz 

(12/10/2014 6:30:00 AM)

CONROE, SCHERTZ - Builders FirstSource, a leading supplier and manufacturer of structural and related building products for residential new construction in the U.S., has announced the planned opening of a new distribution facility in Conroe, as well as the relocation of its existing San Antonio facility.

The Conroe facility is located on the I-45 corridor approximately 40 miles north of downtown Houston. It is an 11.5 acre site that includes 60,000 sf of warehouse, showroom and office space.

Product offerings will include dimensional lumber and lumber sheet goods, interior and exterior doors, millwork and other distributed building products.

The new San Antonio facility is located in Schertz, approximately 20 miles northeast of downtown. This rail served site sits on 15 acres and has approximately 90,000 sf of warehouse and office space as well as multiple outside storage sheds.

Products initially distributed from this location will include dimensional lumber and lumber sheet goods but will eventually include interior and exterior doors, as well as millwork.

Read more at NASDAQ.

Spring: 268 luxury units to Mark Cityplace 

(12/10/2014)

SPRING - The Mark at CityPlace Springwoods Village, a six-story, 268-unit apartment project, is planned for 3.75 acres at the southeast corner of Springwoods Village Pkwy. and Lake Plaza Dr.

The Mark will be located in CityPlace, a $10 billion urban district on 60 acres within the 1,800-acre master-planned community Springwoods Village.

CityPlace will feature 4 million sf of Class A office space, retail space and a full-service luxury hotel.

Proposed plans call for one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 572 sf to nearly 1,600 sf with spaces for restaurants and retail stores on the first floor along Lake Plaza Dr.

Martin Fein Interests Ltd. is developing the project, which is expected to break ground by mid-2015, with an estimated completion date of third quarter 2017.

Earlier this year, Fein opened its first apartment project in Springwoods Village. Residents have signed 100 leases at The Belvedere, a four-story, 342-unit luxury apartment complex located at 2323 East Mossy Oaks Rd.

Developers hope The Mark at CityPlace will attract young professionals from ExxonMobil's new corporate campus, Southwestern Energy's new headquarters and the CHI St. Luke's medical campus.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal and the Houston Chronicle.
EZ find Texas real estate news

Houston: 109-room Holiday Inn Express sold  

(12/10/2014)

HOUSTON - A two-building, 109-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites located at 125 Airtex Dr. has been sold.

Amenities include an outdoor pool, gym, guest laundry, business center and meeting room.

The three-story hotel was built in 1999 and was converted into a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in early 2012. The hotel is located five miles away from George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Warehousing site for dangerous goods sold near Houston's IAH 

(12/9/2014 7:00:00 AM)

HUMBLE - The Netherlands-based DGM, a global organization that provides services related to the transport of dangerous goods, has purchased a 21.5-acre site at 18727 Kenswick Dr. from the Houston Intercontinental Trade Center.

Phase I of the project will consist of 150,000 sf of warehousing and office space with four acres of concrete laydown yard, which will house 120 employees. That phase will break ground in February and is expected to be complete summer 2015.

Phase II will consist of another 100,000 sf of warehouse space.

DGM's current 70,000-sf facility at 1813 Greens Rd. will remain open throughout the construction and will remain as the hazmat parking facility.

The company will use the added space to provide general packaging services of nonhazmat freight.

DGM specializes in classification, marking and labeling, hazmat packing, drumming/re-drumming, and full export and project packaging services.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.
Texas real estate news

Polk County OKs $280M tax abatement for plant 

(12/9/2014)

CORRIGAN, POLK COUNTY - The Polk County Commissioners have approved a ten-year tax abatement for Corrigan OSB LLC’s new $280 million plant, which will have 160 full-time employees, create 1,854 construction jobs and hire 200 truckers.

The company will spend $5 million for a plot of land on the southwest corner of US Hwy. 59 and SH 287. The plant could open as early as 2017, and will use pulp wood from a 55-mile radius around Corrigan.

The company's president told the Polk County commissioners that construction also depends on approvals from Union Pacific, Corrigan-Camden ISD, Entergy and Centerpoint Gas.

Read more at KTRE-TV.

USAA, Crimsom plan 266-unit Residences at CityWest 

(12/9/2014)

HOUSTON - A Class A apartment complex in the Westchase submarket of Houston is set to start by Crimsom Real Estate Fund and USAA Real Estate Company.

The Residences at CityWest, a 266-unit apartment complex, is set to break ground in December.

The four-story complex will offer one- to three- bedroom floor plans ranging from 600 sf to 1,900 sf. The units will be built around a center parking structure and courtyard.

The project will be built on three acres next to the 2500 City West Blvd. office building. Crimson and USAA Real Estate acquired 2500 City West and the adjacent development site in November 2011.

Patrinely Group is developing the project, which is scheduled for completion July 2016.

Read more at GlobeSt.
Texas real estate news

Galveston apartment market overview Oct. 2014 

(12/9/2014)

GALVESTON - Apartment MarketData Research Services LLC has released October 2014 data. The multifamily market data represent three months trailing (Aug.-Oct. 2014).

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

Multihousing Market Condition Comparison Aug.-Oct. 2014
Age
Group
Galveston Texas
Units Occ. Rate Size Units Occ. Rate Size
< 1970 1,337 91.7% $0.874 856 132,294 96.4% $0.852 832
1970's 3,321 97.9% $0.905 809 383,819 95.8% $0.841 818
1980's 4,999 98.1% $0.914 794 488,257 96.9% $0.928 780
1990's 1,577 98.8% $1.022 862 226,024 97.4% $1.080 922
2000's 3,634 98.6% $0.959 984 366,007 97.4% $1.046 963
2010's 1,384 98.8% $0.964 932 70,963 97.2% $1.194 927
Totals 16,252 97.8% $0.935 863 1,667,364 96.8% $0.966 859


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

Click to see the full October 2014 Houston Multihousing Market Conditions Report, including previous data.

Source: Apartment MarketData Research Services LLC, San Antonio

See Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Market Data Sources for pages of data you will love.
Texas real estate news

Houston 'fleas' market to $41M Village at Palm Center 

(12/8/2014 11:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - ITEX Group will soon start work on turning the former King's flea market into a $41 million mixed-use project, The Village at Palm Center. The project will feature about 222 housing units — 154 apartments and 68 townhomes — and 14,500 sf of retail space.

Located at 5330 Griggs Rd., the project received $15.3 million in federal funding from the Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery Program, which is meant to spur the creation of affordable housing for low- to moderate-income individuals affected by the hurricane.

Most of the apartments will be affordable housing for low- and moderate-income renters, but a portion will be priced at market rents. The retail space will be located on a portion of the ground floor of the apartment complex.

Amenities will include a promenade, pools, playgrounds, gazebos, a splash pad, barbecue pits and picnic tables. The center of the project will be a 4,000-sf community building with a computer lab, a gym, meeting areas, a coffee bar and a daycare center.

Parking will be supplemented with a parking garage for apartment residents and individual garages for townhome tenants.

Port Arthur-based ITEX builds and manages affordable apartment complexes and rental housing. The Palm Center complex will be its first Houston development.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle and Commercial Property Executive.
Texas real estate news

Santiago, Chile hot ticket! United Airlines nonstop from IAH 

(12/8/2014)

HOUSTON - United Airlines launched its new daily flights between Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Santiago, Chile, on December 7.

It is the only nonstop service between Houston and Chile's capital city, according to Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc.

Flight 847 will depart IAH at 9:35 p.m. and arrive at Santiago's Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport at 10:10 a.m. the following day. Flight 846 will depart Santiago at 11 p.m. and arrive in Houston at 5:55 a.m. the next day.

United will also add its new weekly Saturday service from Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on December 20. That flight will operate year-round and increase to daily service from June 4 to August 17, 2015.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.
Texas real estate news

Dornin acquires Columbia Centre in Houston 

(12/8/2014)

HOUSTON - Dornin Investment Group has acquired Columbia Centre, a 166,720-sf, Class B+, nine-story office building and structured parking garage situated on approximately 4.05 acres in Houston’s Westchase District.

Located at 11011 Richmond Ave., the building and the parking garage were completed in 1983.

In-place rents are approximately 34 percent below market, and 92 percent of the rent roll expires within the first five years of the holding period, allowing for immediate NOI growth.

“The property was 93 percent occupied at the time of acquisition with no tenant exceeding 12 percent of the building, so we felt extremely comfortable with the risk profile and ability to push rents,” said Dornin, president and CEO of Dornin Investment Group.

Source: Globe St.
Texas real estate news

CHI 400,000-SF Houston industrial park underway 

(12/5/2014 10:59:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Crow Holdings Industrial (CHI) has broken ground on a new 24-acre industrial business park. CHI purchased an existing building and adjacent land located on Tanner Rd., just west of Beltway 8, to assemble the acreage to develop the 410,000-sf, Class A Apex Distribution Center.

The park will consist of three warehouses. The park’s two new buildings will be 204,000-sf and 66,000-sf front-load, light-industrial warehouses.

The buildings will offer the option for divisibility and the site will provide trailer parking and options for outside storage. Stream Realty will handle leasing and property management.

The third building is an existing 140,000-sf warehouse. Previously occupied by Goya Foods, the building offers potential distribution or manufacturing tenants more than 16,000 sf of office space and 21,000 sf of cooler/freezer storage, in addition to 100,000 sf of warehouse space.

Read more at GlobeSt. (Texas real estate news)

Houston apartment market overview Oct. 2014 

(12/5/2014 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Apartment MarketData Research Services LLC released October 2014 data. The multifamily market data represent three months trailing (Aug.-Oct. 2014).

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

Multihousing Market Condition Comparison Aug.-Oct. 2014
Age
Group
Houston Texas
Units Occ. Rate Size Units Occ. Rate Size
< 1970 34,856 95.3% $0.897 850 132,294 96.4% $0.852 832
1970's 155,488 94.6% $0.833 833 383,819 95.8% $0.841 818
1980's 111,176 95.9% $0.906 797 488,257 96.9% $0.928 780
1990's 60,177 96.4% $1.174 932 226,024 97.4% $1.080 922
2000's 111,852 97.2% $1.096 988 366,007 97.4% $1.046 963
2010's 17,191 96.5% $1.325 952 70,963 97.2% $1.194 927
Totals 490,740 95.8% $0.983 878 1,667,364 96.8% $0.966 859

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

Click to see the full October 2014 Houston Multihousing Market Conditions Report, including previous data.

Source: Apartment MarketData Research Services LLC, San Antonio

Visit Houston Market Data Sources for more about Houston.

tag: Texas apartment data

Automaker to drive into Galveston's $10M Pier 10 facility 

(12/5/2014 8:05:00 AM)

GALVESTON - Plans for development of a $10 million-plus vehicle-processing center on nearly 18.9 acres of Port of Galveston property advanced considerably late November with the hiring of an engineering firm for an amount not to exceed $275,000.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, which leases the property at the public docks, will split the costs of building the vehicle-processing center with the landlord port, which is kicking in $5.8 million for the project.

Port officials aren’t naming the tenant of the building at Pier 10. Wallenius will sublet the property to an automaker, which is expected to process about 20,000 cars a year from the facility.

The vehicle-processing center would provide 30 to 35 well-paying jobs, Port Director Michael Mierzwa said. And, it would be good for the island port’s image, he said.

Last year, the city’s seven-member Industrial Development Corp. agreed to contribute $1.4 million for the vehicle processing center and paving at Pier 10.

The port owns most of the 18.9 acres needed for project, but will have to negotiate to lease about four from the The Sealy & Smith Foundation.

Read more at the Galveston Daily News.
(Texas real estate news)

11,000-Acre sale! One of Houston area's biggest land deals 

(12/5/2014 8:00:00 AM)

BAYTOWN - Cedar Crossing, a 10,897-acre industrial park, has been sold to Trans-Global Solutions (TGS) Cedar Port Partners. Also included in the transaction was a 312,000-sf on-site warehouse. The Park is located 20 miles east of Houston in Chambers County.

Cedar Crossing is considered the fifth largest industrial park in the world and it is equal to three-fourths that of New York’s Manhattan Island, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Approximately 65 percent of the park remains undeveloped and is available for future expansion.

Cedar Crossing offers dual rail service (Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF) with considerable rail infrastructure — 57 miles of rail within the park, with existing storage for over 2,000 railcars.

TGS said it will to expand the industrial park’s rail capacity to 3,000 railcars by 2018 to accommodate increasing petrochemical and refining demand.

Cedar Crossing has water access for barges and docking facilities. It is not far from the Port of Houston, Bayport and Barbour’s Cut, which are major shipping outlets. The site is a few miles from the Exxon Mobil Baytown Refinery, which is the largest refinery in America.

TGS will have approximately 1,500 plastic pellet railcars committed to the facility. The many chemical plants on the Gulf Coast produce plastic pellets which are shipped around the world for manufacturing consumer products and other plastic goods.

Prior to the acquisition, TGS executed a ten-year extension of a railcar storage agreement with Union Pacific Railroad that originally dates back to the 1990s. TGS will continue to operate the railroad and assume operations and development of the industrial park.

To date, Cedar Crossing has attracted many top-tier companies with significant operations:

  • Home Depot’s 755,000-sf distribution hub,
  • Walmart’s 4.2 million-sf import center (their largest in the U.S.),
  • JSW Steel’s plate and pipe manufacturing facilities, and
  • Borusan Mannesmann’s $148 million steel pipe manufacturing facility.

Other occupants include Exel, S&B Engineers, National Oilwell, GE Water, TMK-IPSCO, Century Asphalt, Samson Controls and LS Energy Fabrication.

Read more at Realty News Report.
(Texas real estate news)

British School to open 2,000-seat campus in west Houston 

(12/4/2014)

HOUSTON - The British International School of Houston will move to a newly acquired piece of land at the southwest corner of Westgreen Blvd. and Franz Rd. that will allow its student body to double.

The new 274,000-sf and 2,000-seat campus will open September 2016. The land is just a mile north of I-10 and a little over two miles from the Grand Pkwy.

The school’s current campus will close and relocate to the new building at that time.

Founded in 2000, the British International School of Houston has grown in recent years in response to demand from expatriate and local families.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston: $75M apartments park in Museum District 

(12/4/2014)

HOUSTON - Hermann Park Residences, a $75 million apartment project located at 1699 Hermann Dr. near Jackson St., is underway. The seven-story, 224-unit building will sit on 2.25 acres across from Hermann Park, within the Museum District.

The complex will feature 311,000 sf of studios, one- and two-bedroom units and five penthouse suites.

The units, which boast high-end fixtures, millwork materials and stainless steel appliances, will overlook Hermann Park or a courtyard.

Common amenities include a 12,000-sf courtyard with fountain, 9,000-sf amenity area, rooftop sky lounge, cafe bar, club, conference area, fitness center, yoga room, swimming pool with a sunbathing ledge, fire pit, barbecue area, bicycle storage and an electric car-charging station.

There will be a 144,000-sf, five-story structured parking garage behind the apartment project. Residents can drive into the garage, park in one of 351 spaces and enter into the apartment complex at each level.

Tema Development Inc. is developing the project, which is expected to be completed late 2016. The company is planning two other projects in the Museum District.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.
Texas real estate news

Atlanta Post(s) $81 million in Galleria apartments  

(12/3/2014)

HOUSTON - Post Galleria, a five-story apartment complex, is planned on the site of a now-demolished hotel along the West Loop just north of Richmond Ave.

Post Galleria will consist of 388 luxury units with an average size of approximately 867 sf. The first apartment unit is anticipated to deliver in third quarter 2016.

The community has a total estimated development cost of approximately $80.7 million. Atlanta-based Post Properties is developing the project.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston: 18-story Park Place at Buffalo Bayou underway 

(12/2/2014 6:59:00 AM)

HOUSTON - An 18-story office building, Park Place at Buffalo Bayou, has broken ground. The building is located on 1.3 acres on Willia St., just north of Spotts Park and near the intersection of Memorial and Waugh.

It will contain 250,000 sf of office space and have a fitness center with locker rooms on the first floor, as well as eight levels of parking.

Rents are expected to be in the low- to mid-$30-per-sf range.

The building will be close to Buffalo Bayou Park, which runs from downtown to Shepherd and is undergoing a $58 million restoration. Upgrades to the park include new lighting, pedestrian bridges and separate bicycle and jogging trails.

Pinto Realty Partners is developing the project, which is scheduled for completion in summer 2016.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Liberty trims five Houston industrial facilities for $30M 

(12/2/2014 6:56:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Malvern, Penn.-based Liberty Property Trust trimmed its 6.3 million-sf Houston portfolio with the sale of five warehouse and distribution facilities for $29.7 million.

Portfolio Overview:

•  9500-9450 Clay Rd. — a 228,900-sf warehouse constructed in 1981 on six acres within the Clay-Campbell Business Park.

•  11502 S. Main St. — known as Willowbend Distribution Center II — a 100,866-sf flex building constructed in 1983 on four acres.

•  5910 West by Northwest Blvd. — a 96,000-sf distribution facility constructed in 1998 on nine acres within the West by Northwest Industrial Park.

•  8801 Wallisville Rd. — a 69,300-sf warehouse constructed in 1980 on six acres within the Wallisville Industrial Park.

•  8811 Wallisville Rd. — a 58,444-sf warehouse constructed in 1979 on two acres, also within the Wallisville Industrial Park.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston: More condos in demand at Riva at the Park 

(12/2/2014)

HOUSTON - Demand for units in a condominium building planned along Allen Parkway has been so strong the developer has scrapped the original design and added three stories to the structure.

Riva at the Park, a ten-story structure with 29 units, is planned on the site at D’Amico St. near Allen Pkwy. and Dunlavy St. The project is expected to be completed summer 2016.

Units come in nine floor plans ranging from 2,350 to 3,600 sf and are priced from $800,000 to $1.6 million.

“Our initial vision was to build a boutique 22-unit condominium on the property, and we projected it would take six months to sell half the units,” Chris Sims of developer Sims Luxury Builders said in a statement.

They sold the first four units within a couple of days and more than half the units within 60 days.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston: River Oaks high-rise going condo 

(12/2/2014)

HOUSTON - The River Oaks Luxury Apartments, a 1960s-era high-rise at 3435 Westheimer Rd., has been sold to a New York-based company with plans to redevelop the property.

Arel Capital bought the 17-story building in September. The company will convert the high-rise apartment building into a 92-unit condominium building over a two- to three-year time frame.

The building has gone through several owners since it was built in 1962. The latest owner was Boston-based Metropolitan Properties of America.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Manvel handful: 2,700-acre master-planned Meridiana to rise  

(12/1/2014 9:10:00 AM)

MANVEL, BRAZORIA COUNTY - Rise Communities is planning Meridiana, a 2,700-acre master-planned community just east of Hwy. 288 near Hwy. 6 and County Rd. 57.

The project is projected to have more than 1,300 acres for single-family home building, more than 60 acres for commercial, about 25 acres for multifamily and other significant development.

Rise anticipates having Meridiana underway in 2015.

In addition to Meridiana, Rise is developing a 1,000-acre community called Cane Island in Katy. See previous story Katy Raising Cane Island with 2,000 homes.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Tomball: Lone Star to pump skills, not oil, at $4.5M rig 

(12/1/2014)

TOMBALL - Lone Star College (LSC) will soon build a rig on 18 acres of an old oilfield. The steel tower and platforms will be the newest classroom of sorts, providing a hands-on experience for would-be roustabouts to hone their skills in darkness, rain and heat.

"No one wants someone to practice on a live rig," said Linda Head, the college system's associate vice chancellor for workforce development and corporate partnerships. "It's just not a safe situation."

The approximately $4.5 million rig is the latest of several new efforts in the Houston area to train skilled laborers to join the burgeoning, but sometimes dangerous, oil- and gas- drilling work force.

The Lone Star rig is to be built to scale, 275 feet from front to back. The height is still to be determined. It will run 24 hours a day for about 200 days per year, Head said.

LSC-Tomball president Lee Ann Nutt said the rig will feature courses on electrical technology, commercial wiring, engineering, pneumatics and hydraulics. There will also be a 30-seat classroom to complement the rig's "hands on component."

Head said the rig would feature pipe-handling equipment, drillers' chairs and some sort of simulator. The plan is to have the rig up and running by summer 2015.

Data from the Houston-Galveston Area Council shows that the number of job openings for oil and gas industry workers is expected to grow almost 24 percent in the Gulf Coast region from 2012 to 2022. That number is more than 27 percent for roustabouts.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Construction to begin on Brazoria County LNG export plant 

(12/1/2014)

BRAZORIA COUNTY - Freeport LNG has secured financing for two of three natural gas liquefaction units, clearing the way for construction to begin on one of only a handful of natural gas export terminals authorized by federal regulators.

The privately owned company plans to pay for most of the project — about $8.4 billion — with loans from an array of Japanese banks. The remaining $2.5 billion will come from two Japanese companies — Osaka Gas Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co.

The first of the production units, called trains, is scheduled to be operating by third quarter 2018. The second is to come online five months later.

The debt and equity financing commitments add up to nearly $11 billion. That's $1.4 billion more than the two trains are expected to cost, giving Freeport LNG a buffer for potential cost overruns, the company said.

At its peak, construction will generate more than 4,000 jobs. Once open, the plant will employ 300 full-time workers.

Freeport LNG received final approval from federal regulators earlier this month to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States. Each train has the capacity to produce 4.6 million tons of LNG per year.

The company has secured use-or-pay tolling arrangements with Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric, BP Energy Co., Toshiba Corp. and SK E&S LNG for 13.2 million tons per year.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Katy Raising Cane Island with 2,000 homes 

(11/30/2014 8:00:00 AM)

KATY - Cane Island, Katy’s first master-planned community, designed for a 1,000 tree-lined site, will add 2,000 new homes to the area.

The homes will be priced from the $200,000′s to more than $1 million.

Developer Rise Communities said the community was named after the 1872 settlement that later became Katy.

The new development will be four miles west of the Grand Pkwy. and off I-10 at the Cane Island Pkwy., which is expected to open around the same time. The community is slated to open mid-2015.

The Cane Island development team will complete the community’s first phase with 13 model homes, including traditional family and luxury patio homes, in seven neighborhoods.

Home builders include Coventry Homes, David Weekley Homes, Perry Homes, Ryland Homes, Shea Homes, Toll Brothers and Trendmaker Homes.

The first phase of development will include an amenity center with an outdoor amphitheater, a family pool with an adjacent splash pad, an adult pool and a two-story fitness center including a health spa and yoga studio.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Houston Community College's $24M and $18M projects 

(11/25/2014 8:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston Community College will break ground on projects at its Northline and West Loop campuses under the college's $425 million Groundbreaker Bond Program in December.

Construction on the $23.5 million Northline campus project will add 40,373 sf of space including a three-story parking garage with 476 parking spots and an instructional building.

The new instructional building will add classrooms, labs, an art studio and a fitness-training center, among other things, to the campus.

The $18 million West Loop campus project will add a 768-space parking garage, which will be designed to accommodate two additional levels of parking in the future.

HCC's Groundbreaker Bond Program involves 14 projects across all six colleges in the system, including updates to existing structures, new instructional buildings and additional parking garages.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Katy: 82-unit senior living Legacy at Falcon Point complete 

(11/25/2014)

KATY - Legacy at Falcon Point, an 82-unit assisted living and memory care facility, is complete.

Occupying a prominent, seven-acre site at 1520 Katy Gap Rd., the two-story, 64,281-sf facility is a luxury development within a mile of the Katy Mills Mall, as well as Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

Legacy offers 60 assisted-living residences and 22 units designated for memory care residents. The residential wings each represent different “neighborhoods” and offer their own distinctive themes.

They are arrayed around a central “Main Street” where residents can avail themselves of an assortment of amenities, including a movie theater, spa, restaurant, fitness center and sports bar. Together, these features comprise a pioneering “Main Street and Neighborhood” site layout and design concept.

Features and finishes of the center include wireless RFID door-entry systems, identity lighting and advanced camera systems that monitor all areas outside resident apartments to help ensure instant assistance when needed.

The facility was constructed on behalf of PinPoint Commercial LP.

Read more at Multi-Housing News.

Houston: Marcus & Millichap 4Q 2014 apartment report 

(11/24/2014 10:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Houston ranks atop most U.S. metros for job creation, household formation and net migration, which supports expectations for the local apartment market to finish the year strong, according to Marcus & Millichap's Fourth Quarter 2014 Apartment Research Market Report.

Multifamily permit activity jumped 74 percent to nearly 24,600 units during the past 12 months.

During 2014, Houston’s prime renter-age cohort will grow by 1.9 percent, or 26,100 residents, and developers will complete 13,100 apartments, a sizable increase from 2013, when 9,600 units were delivered.

Completions will pick up in the fast-growing communities to the far north, including The Woodlands and Spring/Tomball areas, where a collective 2,220 apartments are already on tap for 2015.

Here are the top five submarkets ranked by vacancy rate:

Submarket Vacancy Ranking
Submarket Vacancy
Rate
Effective
Rent
Y-O-Y
Change
Katy 3.2% $1,135 6.5%
Sugar Land/Stafford 3.4% $1,146 6.9%
Gulfton/Westbury 3.5% $854 1.3%
Cypress/Waller 3.5% $1,055 3.3%
Greenway Plaza/Upper Kirby 3.6% $1,562 1.3%

Source: Marcus & Millichap

Click here to see the full Apartment Research Market Report for 4Q 2014 from Marcus & Millichap. Also, see Multifamily under Houston Market Data Sources for more apartment info!

Detailing Central Houston's new ten residential projects 

(11/24/2014 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Surge Homes Development LLC, a new Houston real estate developer and builder, is launching ten residential projects, mostly inside the I-610 loop.

Surge plans to build single-family homes, townhomes and Class A condominiums in prime neighborhoods. Prices will range from $125,000 for a condo unit in Midtown to $1.5 million for a single-family home in The Heights.

The company was recently founded by Louis Conrad and Ben Lemieux, who each have nearly 25 years of experience in the real estate industry, developing single-family homes and condominiums in Canada and Houston.

Here are the details of the new projects:

•  Downtown (103 N. Jackson St.): Condos from $125,000 to $755,000

•  Greater Heights (1800 W. 15th St.): Single-family homes from $535,000 to $954,000

•  Houston Heights (150 Frasier St.): Single-family homes from $631,000 to $1,465,000

•  Midtown (4001 Main St.): Condos from $125,000 to $757,000 and townhomes from $360,000 to $659,000

•  Midtown (2401 Crawford St.): Condos from $144,000 to $288,000, townhomes at $342,000, sky townhomes from $219,000 to $432,000 and single-family homes from $425,000 to $728,000

•  Museum District (1820 Binz St.): Townhomes from $391,000 to $521,000 and single-family homes from $520,000 to $929,000

•  Museum District (4819 Caroline St.): Condos from $125,000 to $883,000 and single-family homes from $550,000 to $984,000

•  Spring Branch East (7500 Westview Drive): Single-family homes from $401,000 to $964,000

•  Upper Kirby (3410 Morningside Dr.): Townhomes from $391,000 to $521,000 and single-family homes from $430,000 to $1,087,000

•  Woodland Heights (2810 Beauchamp St.): Townhomes from $319,000 to $637,000 and single-family homes from $565,000 to $1,007,000

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Lennar's 69,000-SF Houston HQ underway 

(11/23/2014)

HOUSTON - A new two-story, 68,950-sf office building at 681 Greens Pkwy. is underway. It will be the new Houston headquarters to Lennar Homes of Texas Land and Construction Ltd.

Lennar, whose parent company is based in Miami, is the largest home builder in Houston, based on its 2013 gross local revenue of $575 million, according to Houston Business Journal research.

The new office building will be across the street from its current offices and will house 225 associates from Lennar, Village Builders, Friendswood Development Co., Universal American Mortgage Co. and North American Title Co.

Dallas-based commercial real estate development and investment firm KDC and Dallas-based Sarofim Realty Advisors are developing the project.

The built-to-suit project will include a 5,000-sf design center to showcase Village Builders' in-home product offerings, plus an open, two-story lobby. It will be adjacent to a five-acre detention pond, which will feature a walking trail and extensive landscaping.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: Remington Square's 201,000-SF Phase II underway 

(11/22/2014)

HOUSTON - Remington Square phase II, an eight-story office building with 201,293 sf at 10713 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. N., is underway.

The project is owned by Sun Life Financial and is being developed and leased by Stream Realty Partners. Completion is planned in November 2015.

Remington Square consists of two buildings with more than 190,000 sf of office space which is 96 percent leased. The project also offers a landscaped park area with benches, water features and community gathering places.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

The Woodlands: 36% of employers are energy-related 

(11/22/2014)

THE WOODLANDS - The Woodlands has become a sought-after area for energy companies, especially since Exxon Mobil Corp. announced in 2011 it would build its corporate campus just south of The Woodlands.

The campus, which is 20 percent complete, will eventually house at least 10,000 employees. In addition, Exxon leased 478,000 sf at Hughes Landing and expects to move in during the first half of 2016.

The are 8,210 businesses that call The Woodlands area home. Houston Business Journal's List of the 25 Largest Employers in The Woodlands shows that 36 percent are energy-related.

The Woodlands largest employers list breakdown by sector:

•  Energy: 36%
•  Government: 20%
•  Hospitality and retail: 16%
•  Health care: 12%
•  Banking and finance: 12%
•  Media: 4%

Source: HBJ research

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston wired for nation's 1st Energy Institute High School 

(11/21/2014)

HOUSTON - The Energy Institute High School, the nation's first energy high school, finally has a permanent location to call home.

The plan is to build a $37 million, 110,000-sf magnet school campus at Southmore Blvd. at Tierwester St., which is south of downtown and Texas Southern University, at the 12-acre site of the former Lockhart Elementary School, according to the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

HISD said the high school, which is in its second year and second temporary location, will house 800 students, which is twice its current enrollment. The goal is to start construction in the second half of 2015 and open in 2017 with construction lasting 18 to 24 months.

The high school initially opened last year in the Heights at I-610 and North Durham Dr. in converted HISD office space, but the location was too small for the long term.

It relocated temporarily this summer to its current site at the controversially closed Dodson Elementary southeast of downtown off I-45.

The school has an energy and STEM focus — science, technology, engineering and math — but not exclusively centered on oil and gas. The school prides itself on treating its students like project managers with less reliance on the classic classroom experience.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

NRG Energy's Bacliff peaking plant to power 70,000 homes 

(11/21/2014)

BACLIFF, GALVESTON COUNTY - NRG Energy Inc. has begun work on a 360-megawatt, natural gas-fired peaking plant on a 230-acre site. Upon completion, the plant is expected to power more than 70,000 homes during peak time.

The site of the new facility is part of the former PH Robinson power plant, which was decommissioned in 2009 and demolished in 2012. Upon build out, natural gas will power six GE 7E economical, fast-start combustion turbines.

In addition, consistent with Texas’ water constraints, the units will not require water for cooling purposes and will have the potential to help integrate wind and solar power into the ERCOT grid.

The facility is being built by a partnership between BTEC Turbines and Rockland Capital for $400 per kilowatt. The price is significantly lower than that of a new peaking plant because the gas turbines will be relocated from a site in New Albany.

Furthermore, NRG has two other 850-megawatt facilities planned for the Houston region. The company received a green light from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for one of them and is expecting approval for the second one in early 2015.

Read more at Commercial Property Executive.

Houston: $69 million buy for 450,000-SF 600 Jefferson Tower 

(11/20/2014 6:40:00 AM)

HOUSTON - A partnership of Stream Realty Partners and DRA Advisors has purchased the 20-story 600 Jefferson office tower downtown. Brookfield Property Partners closed the sale for $69 million, generating $56 million of net proceeds at BPY’s share.

United Airlines is the anchor tenant in the 450,000-sf building, which is 91.4 percent leased.

Covering an entire city block, the 600 Jefferson tower is bordered by Jefferson St. on the north, St. Joseph Pkwy. on the south, Smith St. on the west, and Louisiana St. on the east.

“We will be investing a significant amount of capital into the building during the first nine months of ownership,” said Paul Coonrod, managing director and partner with Stream Realty.

The upgrades will include renovating the exterior façade and lobby, upgrading finishes to Class A consistency and changing the building’s address.

The overall vacancy rate in downtown is less than 10 percent — one of the best rates in the country — and rents have been rising sharply. Some Class A buildings are quoting rents in excess of $40 per sf, a record high.

The building was purchased from Brookfield Office Properties. The Harris County Appraisal District appraised the building at $55.2 million, but the actual sales price in today’s market would be higher.

Read more at Realty News Report and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Two Houston Marriott hotels part of $107 million deal 

(11/20/2014)

HOUSTON - Chatham Lodging Trust, a hotel real estate investment trust, has acquired four hotels, including two Marriott-related properties in Houston’s Inner Loop, for $107 million.

The two hotels in Houston are the 120-room Residence Inn by Marriott West University, at 2939 Westpark, near Kirby Dr. and the 100-room Courtyard by Marriott West University, 2929 Westpark, near Kirby Dr.

The other two hotels are the 179-room Hilton Garden Inn in Burlington, Mass. and the 176-room Courtyard by Marriott Dallas in Addison, Texas.

The purchase was connected with Chatham’s previously announced acquisition of a 52-hotel, 6,976-room portfolio from Inland American, a $1.1 billion deal.

Read more at Realty News Report.

Houston: 320-unit, Class A Tiburon sold to Philly buyer 

(11/20/2014)

HOUSTON - The Tiburon, a 320-unit Class A apartment complex, has been sold. Tiburon was constructed in 2008 and is located at 8989 West Rd. just off Beltway 8.

The property is in Houston's Brookhollow Inwood Multifamily submarket.

Tiburon residents have access to community amenities such as a clubhouse, business center, fitness center and swimming pool.

Lubert-Adler Partners, a Philadelphia, Penn.-based property investment firm, sold the property to an individual investor.

Read more at CoStar Group and Texas Real Estate Business.

MRC Global leases 81,000 SF in Houston 

(11/20/2014)

HOUSTON - MRC Global, formerly known as McJunkin Red Man Corp., signed a deal to fully lease 4545 Eastpark Dr.

The 81,295-sf building was constructed in 1977. It has a 20’ clearing height with 20 loading docks and three drive-in bays.

The property owner is Cadeco Industries.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Katy Geico adding 300 new positions in 2015 

(11/19/2014)

KATY - Geico's claims operation center near the Grand Pkwy. will add 300 new positions in 2015. Geico's Katy location, which already employs more than 500 associates, opened in 2014.

The company will continue to add entry-level claims representatives, degreed candidates for liability claims representatives and college graduates for Geico's fast-track management development program with a focus on claims operations.

The company is also looking to add more auto damage adjusters in the Houston area.

In December 2013, Geico first revealed its plans to move into 135,000 sf at Mason Creek with plans to hire up to 1,000 workers over the next three years.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

That's the Spirit! Ten destinations added to Houston IAH 

(11/18/2014)

HOUSTON - Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines Inc. announced ten new destinations from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The Florida-based airline first launched service from Houston in 2012 and currently offers nonstop flights to 12 cities from Houston.

Here are Spirit's new U.S. destinations:

•  Tampa (TPA) — daily flights begin March 26, 2015
•  Baltimore-Washington, D.C. (BWI) — daily flights begin March 27
•  Oakland-San Francisco Bay (OAK) — daily flights begin April 16

Here are Spirit's new destinations to Mexico:

•  Cancun (CUN) — three flights per week begin May 7, increasing to daily on June 11
•  Los Cabos (SJD) — two flights per week begin May 7, increasing to four per week on June 11
•  Toluca-Mexico City (TLC) — two flights per week begin May 7, increasing to three per week on June 11

Spirit also will launch flights to the following Central American destinations on May 28:

•  Managua, Nicaragua (MGA) — three flights per week
•  San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) — four flights per week
•  San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) — three flights per week
•  San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL) — four flights per week

The Oakland, Los Cabos and Toluca routes are for the summer season only, and the Mexican and Central American routes are subject to foreign governmental approval.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

LUC Urethanes' first U.S. plant coming to Conroe 

(11/18/2014)

CONROE - The Conroe City Council approved a performance-based agreement for $197,235 over seven years with Belgium-based LUC Urethanes, according to Danielle Scheiner with the CIDC.

The company, Scheiner said, has purchased 5.33 acres at Conroe Park North, a 1,045-acre industrial park just northeast of downtown.

“This will be their first manufacturing plant in the United States,” Scheiner said of the company’s $5.17 million facility.

The company plans to hire about 20 people over its first two years and have an inventory of about $1.4 million in seven years.

Read more at Your Houston News.

Okla. Sooner Container adding 45,000 SF in Conroe  

(11/18/2014)

CONROE - Two years after building a 65,000-sf facility, Sooner Container is expanding its local footprint at Conroe Park North, a 1,045-acre industrial park, by 45,000 sf.

Conroe City Council approved a request from General Manager Allan Locke to amend his original incentive agreement for the expansion. The amended $107,098 over seven years agreement is effective in 2016.

Sooner Container, located at 3375 Pollok Dr., was built in 2011. The $2.5 million expansion would add warehouse space and four new employees.

“My anticipation was that it would last five years; it lasted two,” Locke said, adding the company grew 49 percent last year.

Founded in 1992, the company, according to its official website, distributes industrial shipping containers.

Locke said while the expansion is needed, he expects that in the next three to four years he probably would have to build out the company’s remaining four acres to keep up with demand.

Read more at Your Houston News.

Houston: 143,000-SF office building sold in Greenspoint area 

(11/18/2014)

HOUSTON - Fuller Realty Partners has purchased a seven-story building in the Greenspoint area. The property is located at 13401 North Fwy. and contains 143,410 sf.

The building, now occupied by Exxon Mobil Corp., will soon be vacated as the energy giant moves into its new campus near The Woodlands.

“We knew Exxon was vacating when we purchased it. We liked the asset because we felt like it was probably the most quality small asset — small being 100,000 to 200,000 sf — in that submarket,” said Fuller Principal Stephen Darnall.

The company also acquired some adjacent land from a separate owner that will allow it to add parking for future tenants. A large tenant could have signage rights to the building.

The building is located along I-45, just 1.5 miles north of Beltway 8 and 15 miles south of The Woodlands. Its previous owner was EM Houston Funding Co. LP according to Harris County property records.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Halliburton paying $34.6 billion for Baker Hughes 

(11/17/2014 9:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Halliburton Co. has acquired Baker Hughes Inc. for $34.6 billion. The Houston-based companies reached a definitive agreement on Nov. 17, under which Halliburton will acquire all the outstanding shares of Baker Hughes in a stock and cash transaction.

"The transaction will combine the companies' product and service capabilities to deliver an unsurpassed depth and breadth of solutions to our customers, creating a Houston-based global oilfield services champion, manufacturing and exporting technologies, and creating jobs and serving customers around the globe," Dave Lesar, chairman and CEO of Halliburton, said in a statement.

Once the transaction is complete, Baker Hughes stockholders will own approximately 36 percent of the combined company. The agreement was approved unanimously by both companies' boards of directors.

The transaction is still subject to the approval of each company's stockholders, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

The two companies have a combined revenue of $51.8 billion and more than 136,000 employees worldwide, and operate in more than 80 countries. The new company will have 15 board members, including three from Baker Hughes. Dave Lesar will continue as CEO of Halliburton.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston home sales Oct. 2014 (HAR) 

(11/17/2014 7:30:00 AM)

HOUSTON - According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), October delivered across-the-board gains with total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing all up when compared to October 2013.

Home prices climbed to record highs for an October, and the number of days it took a home took to sell was 51 versus 57 last October. In July 2014, it reached a record low of 45 days.

Sales of townhouses and condominiums jumped 12.4 percent with a total of 634 units sold in October 2014 compared to 564 properties in October 2013. The average price increased 3.1 percent to $193,635 and the median price shot up 9.9 percent to $147,750.

Single-family home rentals climbed 13.1 percent compared to October 2013, while year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals were unchanged.

The average rent for a single-family home was up 4.0 percent to $1,711 and the average rent for a townhouse/condominium was up 8.5 percent at $1,592.

Housing Market Summary: Oct. 2014 vs. Oct. 2013
  Oct. 2013 Oct. 2014 Chg.
Total sales 7,182 8,106 12.9%
Total dollar volume $1,650,628,141 $2,016,260,648 22.2%
Total active listings 31,638 28,333 -10.4%
Total pending sales 3,995 4,355 9.0%
Single-family sales 5,912 6,639 12.3%
Avg. price single-family home $238,525 $262,013 9.8%
Median price single-family home $177,330 $192,000 8.3%
Single-family inventory* 3.1 2.8 -10.1%

* 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

Also see 'Housing' under Houston Market Data Sources.

Spring: 385,000-SF retail center to Springwoods Village 

(11/17/2014)

SPRING - A 385,000-sf grocery-anchored retail center will be located at the southeast corner of the Grand Pkwy. and Holzwarth Rd. in the Springwoods Village community.

Regency Centers is developing the project. “With everything that’s happening in that community, it will give us a leg up on what we want to bring to market,” said Abe Pacetti, vice president, investments for Regency Centers in Houston.

The Regency project will include a grocer, entertainment and fitness components, and a higher tiered discount retailer, Pacetti said.

Springwoods Village, a 2,000-acre master-planned community just south of The Woodlands, is home to new campuses for Exxon Mobil and Southwestern Energy.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Young Ranch 388-acre master-planned community to Katy 

(11/17/2014)

KATY - The Young Ranch Planned Development District, a master-planned community approved by the Katy City Council in October, will cover 388 acres south of I-10 between Anserra and Willow Creek Farms on Pederson Rd.

The land for the project will extend the city’s boundaries westward and was annexed by the city in May.

The community will feature about 1,000 homes and is expected to include trails, parks, ponds and other amenities. Ryland Homes and Beazer Homes will split development costs for the community’s residential sections.

The community will be split almost evenly between Katy and Lamar Consolidated Independent School Districts (ISDs), city officials said.

Fifteen acres have been set aside inside the community for the construction of an elementary school by Katy ISD, City of Katy planning technician Anas Garfaoui said.

The neighborhood will also feature some light commercial districts, Garfaoui said, including businesses such as daycares and dry cleaners and other amenities for the neighborhood.

A timeline has not been set for when construction will begin on the development.

Read more at Community Impact Newspaper.

Houston: 576-unit Madison Park sold 

(11/17/2014)

HOUSTON - Delta Alliance Capital Management LCC (DACM) has acquired Madison Park Apartments, a 576-unit apartment community situated on 23.5 acres near the intersection of Westheimer Rd. and Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway 8.

Built in 1978, the community consists of a variety of floor plans, with an average unit size of 895 sf.

DACM plans to invest significant capital to enhance the grounds, interiors, leasing office and fitness center. The business plan also includes updating the landscape and installing new signage.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Texas City: 26,000-SF Three Palms retail center sale 

(11/14/2014)

TEXAS CITY - Three Palms Center, a 26,318-square-foot retail property, has been sold. Three Palms is located at 8030 FM 1765 at the corner of FM 1765 and South Amburn Rd.

The three-building development was completed in 2013. Tenants include A Brighter Day Childcare, Chicken Plus, KLM Food Mart, K&G 5 Star Barber College and Cricket Wireless.

The buyer was a private international investor, and the seller was a Houston-based developer.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Houston: 70,000-SF Nau Center underway in downtown 

(11/14/2014)

HOUSTON - The Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage is underway. The 70,000-sf center will be built at 1801 Capitol St., between the George R. Brown Convention Center and Minute Maid Park and is expected to be complete by fall 2016.

The center is a public-private partnership, in which the city donated the land and Houston First Corp. is the main partner on the project and will operate the facility once it is complete.

The center will include a retail shop and following six major areas:

•  the visitor center, which will showcase events and activities throughout the 29 counties of southeast Texas;

•  the historic Cohn House, which will be restored;

•  Texas Theatre, which will "offer a preview of the Nau Center experience";

•  education center;

•  the "Seize Opportunity" gallery, in which guests will "experience a chronological journey" through southeast Texas history;

•  the "Get Big Things Done" exhibit, which will highlight three of the region's greatest achievements by using immersive 
presentations, titled "Johnson Space Center Mission Control," "Where 17 Railroads Meet the Sea" and "A Port that Welcomes the World";

The center currently has $33 million toward its $80 million overall project budget. Future revenue will come from visitor admissions, field trips, venue rentals for private events, sponsorship of galleries and kiosks, the retail shop, hotel occupancy taxes and private funding.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Katy: 112,000-SF Villagio at Cinco Ranch sold 

(11/14/2014)

KATY - The Villagio at Cinco Ranch, an 111,963-sf lifestyle shopping center on almost eight acres, has been sold. The center is located at 22764 Westheimer Pkwy. and was 89 percent occupied at the time sale.

Tenants include Italian restaurant 3 Olives, The Public House, Charter Title Company, Steeplechase Pediatric Center, Keller Williams and De Vero Salon & Day Spa.

An international buyer purchased the property from The Marcel Group. The center had a list price of $31,290,000.

Other major retail destinations in the immediate area include the recently constructed La Centerra at Cinco Ranch, a 34-acre Main Street-style mixed-use development.

Read more at Marcus & Millichap.

HAR: Houston area cities' home sales Oct. 2014 

(11/14/2014)

HOUSTON - Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) released home sales data for October 2014. Some quick facts include:

•  The median price of existing single-family homes decreased to $194,500 — down 2.7 percent from September 2014.
•  Existing single-family home sales decreased 1.6 percent from September 2014 for an October 2014 total of 6,291 units sold.
•  Condos decreased in price to $160,000 — down 3.0 percent from September 2014.
•  Existing condo sales decreased 2.4 percent in October 2014 over September 2014 for a total of 680 units sold.

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

HAR Sept. 2014 Regional Sales and Price Activity
MLS Wide Median Price
  Oct. 2014
Price Chg.
vs. Oct. 2013
Units Sold
  Oct. 2014
Sales Chg.
vs. Oct. 2013
HAR
(single-family)
$194,500 8.7% 6,291 7.2%
HAR (condo) $160,000 8.1% 680 6.3%
Region Cities*        
Houston $183,641 14.8% 1,950 6.3%
Katy $242,000 19.5% 488 14.6%
Spring $184,900 3.9% 467 -0.4%
Cypress $223,500 14.7% 248 1.2%
Humble $163,000 8.1% 199 -2.5%
Richmond $230,000 15.0% 197 3.1%
Pearland $217,000 5.9% 196 10.1%
Conroe $185,325 12.4% 151 15.3%

*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 Sources or see the full report from Houston Association of Realtors.

Avanti at Towne Lake brings senior living to Cypress 

(11/14/2014)

CYPRESS - Avanti Senior Living is developing an assisted-living and memory care community in the Towne Lake master-planned community near US 290 and Barker Cypress Rd. Avanti will provide 90 one- and two-bedroom suites.

The company is opening a welcome center in November to provide a glimpse of the community.

The project will consist of 50 suites for assisted-living and 40 dedicated to memory care. The suites will feature large windows, both wood and carpet flooring, walk-in closets, oversized showers, stone countertops and upgraded plumbing finishes.

Model units are under construction and will open early winter at 17808 Lakecrest View Dr. The development will open summer 2015. This is the first community to be developed by Avanti Senior Living

Avanti at Towne Lake will have amenities such as a wellness center, theater, full-service salon and spa offering relaxation therapy, aromatherapy, therapeutic massages, hair styling and manicures/pedicures, and an art studio.

“An ‘experience coordinator’ will be available to customize personal preferences in regard to meals, activities, wellness, entertainment and more. Residents can pick and choose when they want to participate in activities, when and where they prefer to dine and how they wish to plan their day,” Tim Hekker, CEO of Avanti Senior Living, said.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Also see Avanti Senior Living goes to Towne with $15M.

Blank Rome expands to 27,000 SF in downtown Houston 

(11/13/2014)

HOUSTON - Blank Rome LLP will relocate to 717 Texas in downtown after agreeing to a long-term deal with building owner Hines for 27,144 sf on the 14th floor.

Blank Rome is scheduled to vacate its current offices on the 40th and 41st floor of the 1.3 million-sf Bank of America Center and move into its new location in February 2015, a move that also denotes a 6,000-sf expansion for the law firm.

The 28-story office tower measures nearly 700,000 sf at 717 Texas Ave. Completed in 2003, the LEED Platinum high-rise incorporates a 900-car enclosed parking garage and two-story lobby with 24 floors of office space currently leased to tenants such as Calpine Corp., Rosetta Resources and Jones Day.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Angleton: 10.4 acres to become industrial park 

(11/12/2014)

ANGLETON - Teal Development has purchased 10.4 acres at Hwy. 288 Business and CR 220.

The site will be developed into an eight-building industrial park.

The seller was Second Baptist Church of Angleton.

Read more at Texas Real Estate Business.

Montgomery County: 2,000 acres sold for $95M 

(11/12/2014)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Howard Hughes Corp. completed the acquisition of two parcels of land north of Houston where it is planning a new master-planned community.

The company paid $67.2 million for the first 1,343-acre tract and $27.8 million for an additional 653 acres.

The nearly 2,000-acre parcel is planned to have about 4,600 new homes. The property is about 40 miles from downtown, west of I-45 in the Willis area. Commercial development is slated for 161 acres.

The first lots are expected to be finished and sold in 2016. The Woodlands Development Co., a Howard Hughes company, will manage and operate the new community.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Galveston big beach dune at 120,000 cubic yards 

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

GALVESTON - Sand will be dredged from the Galveston Ship Channel for a $4.8 million beach restoration project that begins December 1.
Crews plan to restore about 120,000 cubic yards of sand between the west end of the Galveston seawall and Dellanera RV Park.

The project aims to construct a large dune and replenish nearly 300 feet of beachfront.

Officials say the dune is necessary due to rapidly eroding nature of the area and its relative closeness to Farm-to-Market 3005, which is a hurricane evacuation route.

See more at the San Antonio Express-News and The Galveston County Daily News.

Also see Megadune's 16 feet sweep Galveston's West End.

Katy: 97,000-SF Mason Village Shopping Center sold 

(11/11/2014)

KATY - The Mason Village Shopping Center, a 97,405-sf center anchored by 99 Cents Only Stores, has been sold. It is located on 9.5 acres near the southwest corner of the Katy Fwy. and Mason Rd.

The center is 94 percent leased to 17 tenants, including Harbor Freight Tools, Jason’s Deli, Freebirds, Huntington Learning Center, Just for Feet and Jiffy Lube.

DNA Partners purchased the center. DNA Partners acquires and manages commercial properties in select markets with strong demographics and economic drivers.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Bellaire's 83,000-SF Condit Elementary underway 

(11/11/2014)

BELLAIRE - Condit Elementary has broken ground. The 83,000-sf facility will be built next to the current facility at 7000 S. Third St.

The school is expected to house 750 students upon completion, which is expected first quarter 2016. The current building will be demolished to allow for additional parking and 60,000 sf of green space.

VLK Architects designed the school. Voters approved the $1.89 billion bond package in 2012. It will include building or renovating 40 schools.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Porter: 1,400-acre Valley Ranch plenty of dressing 

(11/11/2014)

PORTER, MONTGOMERY COUNTY - More than ten years ago, Danny Signorelli saw the forested acreage along the west side of US 59 north of Kingwood as a place to build homes, thousands of them, in this once rural region of eastern Montgomery County.

He gobbled up tracts of land — 1,400 acres in total — and started building houses in anticipation of population growth and economic opportunity.

Knowing Kingwood and The Woodlands had little land left on which to build homes, Signorelli decided to create a master plan for the acreage in the Porter area along the same lines as those nearby communities.

"The vision started mostly as residential," Signorelli, president and CEO of Signorelli Co. said recently during a tour of the master-planned community Valley Ranch. Now, he said, "we wish we had more land."

Valley Ranch is designed to include 2,500 homes, 1,000 multifamily units and a 240-acre "town center" with 1.5 million sf of retail space. A business and a medical district also are part of the master plan.

A new segment of the Grand Parkway will bisect the community. Signorelli recently inked deals for a 123,000-sf Kroger Marketplace and a 136,000-sf Sam's Club.

An amphitheater is planned, and an 8,500-seat New Caney ISD football stadium recently opened, offering a unique civic component to the community, Signorelli said.

So far, nearly 1,000 homes have been built. Prices range from the $180,000s to the $400,000s.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Katy: 3,600-acre Elyson community to rise near Grand Pkwy. 

(11/11/2014)

KATY - Newland Communities submitted plans to the City of Houston for Elyson, a 3,619-acre master-planned community near Beckendorff Rd. and the Grand Pkwy.

The community will consist of single-family homes, townhomes and commercial space. The first homes are expected to be built near Porter Rd. and Beckendorff Rd., according to city plat records.

Elyson residents will be zoned to either Katy Independent School District or Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. At least three Katy elementary schools and one Cy-Fair elementary school are planned for the community.

Bear Creek runs through Elyson, so plans call for several detention ponds and lakes in the community. Several dozen acres of land along the Grand Pkwy. are planned for commercial place and "future development," according to the plat records.

Elyson will join four other Newland communities in the Houston metropolitan region: Cinco Ranch in Katy, Telfair in Sugar Land, Summerwood in Houston and Eagle Springs in Humble.

Earlier this year, local investors snatched up 621 acres near Elyson for a new development, and Johnson Development announced plans to build a master-planned community on 1,300 acres at the intersection of the Grand Pkwy. and West Airport Blvd.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston combo extended-stay hotel plus apartment concept 

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

HOUSTON - The Wichita, Kansas-based WaterWalk is poised to reinvent the lodging industry by combining the features of an extended-stay hotel and apartment while eliminating the downsides.

The Houston site is expected to begin construction June 2015, according to David Redfern, WaterWalk's president.

It will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom, furnished or unfurnished units.

Like an apartment, WaterWalk will have a fitness center, in-unit washer and dryer and kitchen appliances.

Like a hotel, WaterWalk will boast a 24/7 shuttle service, free in-room breakfast, housekeeping and free cable and Internet.

Billed as the nation's first "all inclusive apartment," WaterWalk charges its guests and residents on a monthly basis, eliminating application fees, security deposits and utility fees that burden typical tenants.

The new concept promises cheaper rents than an upscale extended-stay hotel. Residents can stay for a week or live for a year.

WaterWalk is the fifth and newest concept from Wichita, Kansas, entrepreneur Jack DeBoer, who founded the extended stay lodging industry with flags like Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites, Candlewood Suites and Value Place.

"Apartments are still being built and managed the same way they were more than 50 years ago, without any recognition of today's mobile workforce and changing consumer lifestyles," DeBoer said in a statement. "None of that is consumer friendly, so we did away with it all."

The first WaterWalk opened in Kansas earlier this year, and investors are planning to expand the locations to Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Indianapolis, Louisville and St. Louis.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Kenwood Club's 320 units sold in Katy 

(11/10/2014)

KATY - Kenwood Club at the Park, a 320-unit garden-style apartment community located on 19 acres at 2000 Westborough Dr. near the Energy Corridor, has been sold. The property was constructed in 2000.

The 350,000-sf community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans and incorporates an updated clubhouse, swimming pool with sundeck, fitness center with cardio room and a business center.

Olympus Property purchased the property.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston warehouse = 213,000-SF Greens Commerce Center 

(11/10/2014)

HOUSTON - Greens Commerce Center, a Class A industrial distribution development, is set to break ground in November. It will be located just west of I-45 and north of Beltway 8 on Greens Rd.

The project is situated on 19 acres and will offer 213,218 sf of cross-dock warehouse space, scheduled for completion summer 2015.

Greens Commerce Center will accommodate tenants from 42,900 sf to 213,218 sf, boasting state-of-the-art amenities such as an ESFR sprinkler system, 32-foot clear height and ample trailer storage.

KTR Capital Partners (KTR) is developing the project.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Sugar Land: performing arts center to kick up ground 

(11/10/2014)

SUGAR LAND - The City of Sugar Land will break ground on its performing arts center in December. The guaranteed maximum price will be $74.3 million. Completion is expected fall 2016.

The facility will be built on a portion of 38.5 acres of city property southeast of US 59 and University Blvd.

It will anchor a mixed-use development, which could include retail, office, commercial and residential facilities "surrounding a public plaza and possibly a full-service hotel and conference center."

The performing arts center will have an indoor seating capacity of approximately 6,430, though it will be flexible enough to accommodate shows as small as 3,300.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: $13 million takes The Reserve at Jones Road 

(11/7/2014 10:00:00 AM)

HOUSTON - Starlight U.S. Multi-Family Core Fund has entered into an agreement to acquire The Reserve at Jones Road, a 114-unit, garden-style, Class A apartment complex.

Price for the property is approximately $13.1 million.

It was completed in 2013 and is located at 11925 Jones Rd. The company is scheduled to close on or about November 11.

The Reserve consists of four, three-story walk-up buildings on a 4.2-acre site comprised of one- and two-bedroom units. As of October 27, The Reserve's occupancy was 94.7 percent.

Amenities include a central clubhouse with a 24-hour fitness center and an executive business center. Outdoor amenities include a salt-water lagoon pool, cabana with gas grill, picnic area and dog park.

Source: Starlight U.S. Multi-Family (No. 3) Core Fund

Grow Texas: Houston by the numbers 

(11/7/2014)

HOUSTON - As of 2014, Houston's population is 2,107,449 people. Since 2000, the population has grown by 1 percent.

The median home cost in Houston is $182,700. Homes have appreciated 11.1 percent in the last year.

Compared to the rest of the country, Houston's cost of living is 1.8 percent lower than the U.S. average.

Houston public schools spend $10,596 per student. The U.S. average is $12,435. There are about 15.8 students per teacher in Houston.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 4.7 percent. The U.S. average is 6.3 percent.

JUST THE FACTS

Median resident age: 32.3 years
Household Size: 2.6
Est. Household Income: $58,952
Median Home Price: $182,700
Homes Owned: 39.4%
Home Appreciation: 11.1%
Family Households: 61.5%
Married Population: 45.9%
Single Population: 54.0%
College Education: 29.6%
Commute Time: 26 mins.

SOURCE: www.city-data.com

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Houston: 14 multifamily projects tap into downtown 

(11/6/2014)

HOUSTON - Five residential projects are under construction and at least nine more are planned in downtown, according to Central Houston's third quarter real estate report.

The City of Houston's Downtown Living Initiative has further sparked downtown development, according to the nonprofit's report. The initiative offers $15,000 per unit in tax breaks to developers building multifamily projects downtown.

SkyHouse Houston was taken off Central Houston's list, because the 24-story, 336-unit building recently opened and was the first beneficiary of the Downtown Living Initiative.

Under construction:

•  500 Crawford, a seven-story, 397-unit project being developed next to Minute Maid Park — slated for completion May 2015;

•  The Old Texaco Building, a conversion project to 323 units located at 1111 Rusk — expected to reopen 4Q 2015;

•  Block 334, a 207-unit complex located one block north of SkyHouse Houston — expected to open 2Q 2015;

•  Market Square Tower, a 40-story, 463-unit tower located next to Market Square Park — expected to be complete 1Q 2017;

•  A 148-unit apartment building bounded by St. Joseph, Chenevert, Pierce and Hamilton.

The list of planned projects is available online. 

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Houston: 369,000-SF First Northwest Commerce Center complete 

(11/6/2014)

HOUSTON - First Industrial Realty Trust's 369,284-sf First Northwest Commerce Center is complete. The distribution facility is located on nearly 24 acres at 4800 W. Greens Rd.

Designed by Munson Kennedy Partnership, the facility features 91 loading docks and a 32' foot clear height.

Davis Commercial Development developed the project.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Northlake Forest shopping center brings $3.6 million 

(11/6/2014)

CYPRESS - The Northlake Forest shopping center has been sold for $3.65 million, or about $180 per sf.

The 20,340-sf shopping center was constructed in 2004.

Petereit Properties acquired the shopping center from Milestone Properties.

Read more at CoStar Group.

Houston Whole Foods unwraps cart escalator, in-store brewery 

(11/6/2014)

HOUSTON - Whole Foods Market has opened at 1700 Post Oak Blvd. The 48,000-sf Galleria area location will be the first grocery store in the world, according to Whole Foods, to have its own in-store brewery.

It will also feature new prepared food sections and a second-floor seating area. Customers can sample the in-house brews and other beers at bars on both floors and order food from the cheese and charcuterie counters.

“We try to make our stores more of a destination,” spokeswoman Jeannette Webster said. “When you’re thinking about where you want to go for happy hour, we want you to think of us.”

The bakery will use spent grains from the brewery, and the Post Oak location will be the first to offer a Greek food station. It will also have sushi, juice and smoothie, and sandwich and taco bars.

In the below-ground parking garage, Whole Foods has a system for finding parking. Green lights show open spots, and turn red once occupied. And customers can take their carts down to the garage on a cart escalator.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Deer Park: 400,000-SF new joint for Flexitallic Group 

(11/5/2014 7:00:00 AM)

DEER PARK - Flexitallic Group Inc. will lease a 400,000-sf multibuilding manufacturing facility that is currently under construction. The facility is located on 27 acres in Deerwood Glen Business Park on Hwy. 225 near Georgia Ave.

The facility will be leased from the park’s owners, Clay Development and Construction Inc. Flexitallic is currently located at 6915 Hwy. 225 and plans to relocate operations to the new campus by third quarter 2015 once construction is completed.

The new Flexitallic campus will consist of a two-story office building, testing lab and shop space, and other Houston Flexitallic facilities will be merged into the new campus location.

The Deerwood Glen Business Park is a 150-acre business park that now has only 26 acres left for development.

Read more at Your Houston News.

Houston: $23 million sheds light on Lantern Lane sale 

(11/5/2014 6:25:00 AM)

HOUSTON - AmREIT acquired Lantern Lane Shopping Center, an 81,567-sf Fresh Market and CVS/Pharmacy anchored shopping center, for approximately $22.7 million.

Average household incomes within a one-mile radius of Lantern Lane are over $163,000.

There are approximately 62,000 households and over 95,800 daytime employees within a three-mile radius of the property.

Source: SEC Filings

Houston: 143,000-SF Cypress Station Center sells 

(11/5/2014)

HOUSTON - The Cypress Station Shopping Center, a 143,000-sf center located near FM 1960 and I-45 between The Woodlands and downtown Houston, has been sold.

Weingarten Realty Investors sold the property to a private REIT in Canada who plans to enhance the property with a light renovation of the parking lot and facade.

Read more at GlobeSt.

Meritage buys 127 acres in Imperial Sugar Land community 

(11/5/2014)

SUGAR LAND - Meritage Homes has purchased 127 acres in the Imperial Sugar Land development. The home builder plans to develop 335 homes in the master-planned community, which is at Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 90.

The acquisition represents a third of the land to be developed in the community and the new homes represent about half the single-family homes slated for the master-planned community.

Floor plans and prices for the Meritage homes will be announced in early 2015.

Imperial’s first neighborhoods are beginning to take shape with the construction of garden-style, luxury patio homes and two-story townhomes.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

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