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Real Estate Center Online News

April 24, 2015


Dallas, Austin Among Most Attractive U.S. Cities for Investment

DALLAS (CBRE) – Half of all real estate investors in North America intend to increase their property acquisitions in 2015, with Dallas as the number two target in the country, tied with New York, according to the CBRE North America 2015 Investor Intentions Survey.

San Francisco remains the most attractive metro area for investment for the second year in a row. With sustained economic and demographic growth in Texas, CBRE said Dallas and sixth-ranked Austin were hard for investors to ignore.

"Dallas continues to bolster domestic and international interest as one of the most business-friendly environments in the United States," said Josh McArtor, executive vice president with CBRE’s Institutional Group in Dallas. "From Fortune 500 corporations to startup companies, Dallas provides world-class infrastructure, no state income tax and a central time zone location to conduct a profitable enterprise."

Half of survey respondents said they expect their purchasing activity to increase in 2015. Among this group, approximately one-third plans to raise their investment volumes by 20 percent or more.

$50 Million Texas Children's Hospital Expansion Planned

HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – Texas Children's Hospital will invest $50 million in several projects at its West Houston campus at 1-10 and Barker Cypress Rd.

Projects include:

  • adding 18 beds on the fifth floor, which will also contain the specialized isolation unit Texas Children's Hospital is building for highly contagious infectious diseases, including Ebola and pandemic influenza,
  • increasing its operating room count from four to eight,
  • adding a new in-patient unit with 24 beds,
  • building a dedicated interventional radiology suite, and
  • converting current office space into clinical space.

Chanda Cashen Chacón, president of the Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, said she expects the project's first phase — building out the shelled fifth floor — to open by Oct. 1. That project was designed by Page. Tellepsen Builders is doing the contract work.

As for the other projects, Chacón said their goal is to begin them in two and a half years.

Sinclair, Sanger Bros. Projects Granted $5.3 Million Incentive

FORT WORTH (Fort Worth Business Press) – The city's downtown tax increment finance (TIF) district board Wednesday unanimously approved a $5.3 million incentive to related groups that plan to renovate the Sinclair and Sanger Bros. buildings.

The Sinclair owners plan to convert the 512 Main St. building into a 160-room Marriott Autograph Collection hotel.

The group that owns the Sanger Bros. building, which once housed Color Tile’s headquarters, plans facade and streetscape improvements, ground-floor retail, meeting and banquet space that connects to the hotel by skybridge, a spa, and potentially office remodeling, conversion of some empty space to house data centers, and conversion of more space for hotel services.

Under the agreement, minimum investment for the Sinclair is $32 million. Minimum investment for the Sanger renovation is $20 million.

Payments on the incentive would begin after the ownership groups complete the first and second phases, required by Dec. 31, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2018.

650,000-SF Post Oak Mixed-Use Project in the Works

HOUSTON (RealtyNewsReport.com) – A 35-story mixed-use tower is planned about a mile north of the Galleria.

The 650,000-sf Post Oak will have 240 high-end hotel rooms, 120,000 sf of office space and 22 apartment units.

Landry's Inc. Chairman Tilman Fertitta will develop the project on ten acres at 1600 West Loop. It is slated for completion in 2017.

Riverbend Center Industrial Property Changes Hands

FORT WORTH (Dallas Business Journal) – Klabzuba Realty LLC has sold Riverbend Center, a 188,355-sf industrial complex at 2301-2435 Gravel Dr. and 7401-7445 Pebble Dr. The buyer was Riverbend Complex LLC.

The property, which was 90 percent occupied at the time of sale, includes about 5,000 sf of excess land for an expanded parking site.

Transwestern represented the seller, an affiliate of locally based Klabzuba Oil & Gas Inc. Colliers International represented the buyer.

147,658-SF Katy Shopping Center Sold

KATY (HFF) – Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc. has purchased Green Tree Shopping Center, a 147,658-sf, 99 percent-leased shopping center.

Tenants include TJ Maxx, PetSmart, Office Depot, Party City, Five Below, Ulta Salon, Famous Footwear, Mattress Firm, Bath & Body Works, GNC and Castle Dental. The center is shadow-anchored by Target and Randall’s.

Renovated in 2004, the center is on 21.6 acres at 231-515 South Fry Rd.

HFF represented the seller, a TIC ownership group managed by Joseph and Henry Mandelbaum of RealTax Inc.

NerdWallet Study: Keep Austin Green

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – San Francisco-based NerdWallet.com has ranked the nation’s most environmentally friendly cities. Austin landed at number 13.

Based on nine factors, such as walking commuters, Austin generated a score of 53.5 on the study's index compared with the No. 1 city, Honolulu, which scored an 83.6.

Ten percent of Austin’s commuters carpool, and just 3 percent of them walk to work versus Honolulu carpoolers of 13 percent and walking commuters of 9 percent.

The number of Austin residential buildings with solar heating per 10,000 was listed as 2.8 compared with 101.9 in Honolulu.

Irving, at number 20, was the only other Texas city to crack the top 25, generating an overall score of 51.2.

Organization Helps Central Texans Breathe More Easily

DALLAS (U.S. EPA) – The Environmental Protection Agency this week announced that seven organizations from around the country were recognized this month for their efforts to protect health, reduce air pollution and address climate change. One of those organizations was from Texas.

Clean Air Force of Central Texas (CAF) was recognized in the Community Action category for its Clean Air Partners Program.

According to Clean Air Force's website, the program was a response "to the Austin Gridlockfact that most pollutants creating harmful ground-level ozone pollution in Central Texas are coming from vehicles, both on-road (commuting vehicles) and off-road (construction/lawn/site vehicles and equipment). Since local employers are the main cause for on-road vehicle emissions, the CAF went straight to the source and recruited six major employers in the region to charter the program and help develop strategies to reduce emissions. The six Charter Partners were AMD, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Solectron and Vignette."

Efforts to clean up the air included encouraging public transit use, vanpooling, carpooling, teleworking, biking and walking.

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