Real Estate Center Online News

July 8, 2011

Austin, El Paso CRE Markets On Upswing

NEW YORK (Real Estate Forum) – American Law Media’s Real Estate Forum magazine published its list of ten “up and coming” commercial real estate markets, and Austin and El Paso were among them.

The magazine said "thousands of young professionals are flocking to Austin for new jobs and a popular music and arts scene." Meanwhile, El Paso is "rising from the ashes and prospering thanks to new public policy and tax incentives."

No other Texas cities made the list.

To find out what else the magazine had to say about Austin and El Paso (and to find out which other cities made the list), read "Up-and-Coming U.S. Markets."

Martin Docks in Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI (San Antonio Express-News) – Martin Midstream Partners LP announced that it will build a crude oil terminal at the Port of Corpus Christi.

The $25 million terminal will receive crude from the Eagle Ford formation via a pipeline originating in La Salle County.

Martin plans for the terminal to have a barge dock and a deep water tanker dock at the port. The Kilgore-based company also plans to build storage for 300,000 barrels of crude.

Two REC Market Reports Revised

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Real Estate Center's 2011 Market Reports for San Angelo and Wichita Falls have been revised to include more information.

The San Angelo edition now includes spring 2011 data from Stribling-Probandt Appraisals. Sheppard Air Force Base economic information is now included in the military section of the Wichita Falls edition.

This information was not available when the Market Reports were originally published in April.

Dallas Commercial Building's Hotel Transformation

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – A 100-year-old, five-story brick building near downtown Dallas is being turned into a hotel.

The 76-room boutique hotel at Lamar St. and Belleview St. will be operated by Nylo Hotels, which has properties in Las Colinas and Plano.

5G Architecture is designing the makeover for the former Sears building.

Matthews Southwest and the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System will own the $19 million project.

Gardens of Grapevine Getting Multifamily Housing

GRAPEVINE (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) – A bankruptcy court in Fort Worth approved the sale of a 17-acre undeveloped tract in the Gardens of Grapevine project to Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co.

The $6.9 million property was originally owned by the Gardens group managed by former Texas Rangers star Rafael Palmeiro.

Lincoln plans to build multifamily residences on the property. The company has the option to acquire another 17 acres in the 192-acre development as well.

Billingsley, Stockbridge Buy Landmark

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Behringer Harvard has sold two far north Dallas office buildings to Billingsley Co. and Stockbridge Real Estate for $16.35 million.

The two-story Landmark Center office buildings at Dallas North Tollway and Frankford Rd. contain 257,000 sf of office space.

New Dallas Design District Residences

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Dallas' Design District will get new neighbors with the addition of new residential space.

Phoenix-based Alliance Residential will start work next month on a 303-unit urban-style apartment complex on Market Center Blvd.

Another developer, PM Realty Group, is building a 23-story residential high-rise on High Line Dr. in the area as well.

Houston JV Powers Up with center

HOUSTON (Globe St.) – Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust Inc. and RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust has purchased Sawyer Heights Village.

The 107,626-sf power center just outside of Houston’s central business district was sold for $35 million.

Houston-based investment firm Property Commerce was the seller.

Buxton Shops in Benbrook

BENBROOK (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) – Fort Worth-based Buxton Co. is under contract to buy 193 acres at the corner of I-20 and Winscott Rd.

Buxton plans to build a 1.5 million-sf open-air shopping center called The Trails Town Center.

The 1.5-mile-long shopping center could be started in a year with the first stores opening in 2013.

DFW New Home Starts Increase

DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal) – The Metroplex's housing market had its first quarterly increase in home starts and closings in a year, according to Metrostudy.

Starts during second quarter 2011 were up 18 percent from the first quarter. Closings were up 9 percent from the first quarter as well.

These increases are the first since the end of the homebuyer tax credit in April 2010.

Oilman Explores Downtown Dallas

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Local oilman Tim Headington, through his company Headington Oil Co., has purchased a development site in downtown Dallas.

The 1.5-acre site is at Ross Ave. and Field St. just blocks from Headington’s other downtown holdings.

A partnership set up by New York-based Trimarchi Management sold the property to the oil company.

Austin Office Market Strengthens

AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – The Capital City's office market continued to strengthen in second quarter 2011 with improvements in vacancy and rent rates, according to Oxford Commercial.

The vacancy rate for Class-A office space was 19.8 percent compared with 23.1 percent a year ago and 20.6 percent in first quarter 2011.

Rent rates continued to improve for Class-A space as well, increasing for the third consecutive quarter. It currently stands at $28.24 per sf. That's up from $27.74 in the second quarter of last year and $27.73 in the first quarter of this year.

Oxford partner Ford Alexander said brokers are seeing growth across the board, including small and medium-sized gaming and software firms.

Road to Recovery Slow for SA New Home Market

SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – San Antonio home building is on the road to recovery. It just happens to be a slow journey, according to research firm Residential Strategies Inc.

New home starts were down 15 percent in second quarter 2011 compared with the same period last year, the firm's latest figures showed. Home starts dropped from 2,382 in 2010 to 2,028 this year, a drop that can be partly blamed on the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

Residential Strategies reports that there are currently 32,775 vacant lots in the area, a number that needs to be reduced.

Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines said the large number of lots disguises the fact that there are a shortage of desirable lots in San Antonio and in other major Texas cities.

“The total lot count may still be high, but that's because we built a lot of lots in places no one wants to be," Gaines said. "It’s the fickleness of the market. We don’t really have a whole lot of lots where we want to have them, and we can’t move them around.”

Baron Comes to Young County

NEW BRAUNFELS (San Antonio Business Journal) – Baron Energy Inc. has acquired 25 percent working interest in an oil field property in Young County.

New Braunfels-based Baron has retained an option to purchase an additional 25 percent of the working interest in the property.

Young County is on the Strawn formation west of the Metroplex in North Texas.

TREC, TALCB Announce New Online Domain Names

AUSTIN (Texas Real Estate Commission) – The Texas Real Estate Commission and the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board have updated their website domains.

Effective immediately, the new website names are and

These addresses will be the permanent home for the agency’s websites. The previous website addresses, and, will remain operational for another year.

In addition, all agency email addresses have been updated to reflect the new domain. All emails directed to staff members of the agency can be sent to or

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