Real Estate Center Online News

September 2, 2011

Chase Bringing 700 Jobs to Lewisville

LEWISVILLE (Dallas Business Journal) – J.P. Morgan Chase has announced plans to add about 700 people to its mortgage servicing center here.

Many of the new employees will work with consumers whose mortgages are delinquent, a company spokesperson said.

Chase, the second-largest banking company in North Texas based on total deposits, currently employs about 2,000 people in Lewisville.

Real Estate Center Scholarship Recipients Named

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) — Two students in the Master of Real Estate (MRE) program of Mays Business School have been named recipients of $5,000 scholarships from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

MRE students Gabriel Garcia of Bryan and Brock Robertson of Dallas have been selected to receive the first scholarships. Another will be named next semester.

“We are so grateful to the Real Estate Center for providing scholarships to our well deserving students,” said Cydney Donnell, executive professor and associate department head of finance and director of real estate programs for Mays.

“These scholarships represent some of the most generous available within Texas A&M and will help us continue to attract great candidates for the program. These candidates exemplify the qualities we seek in students as we train the real estate leaders of the future.”

Garcia is a current student worker at the Real Estate Center while Robertson is a former student worker there.

Dallas Buyer Digs into Quarry

SAN ANTONIO (Pfitz PR) – San Antonio-based Embrey Partners Ltd. has sold San Antonio’s first urban main street development, Quarry Village.

The buyer was a Dallas-based real estate private equity fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital Partners LLC.

The 10.7-acre mixed-use property includes the 280-unit Artessa apartment community, and a 70,785-sf retail development.

At the time of sale, the apartment community was 98.5 percent occupied. The retail component will be 90 percent leased by year-end.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler represented Embrey and equity partner Nationwide Insurance.

Vision-Care Firm Sees Move in Its Future

SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – Vision group HVHC Inc. plans to relocate its headquarters from the city's north side to IBC Centre, consolidating two of its subsidiaries in the process.

The locally based company will house its retail company, Eye Care Centers of America, as well as its insurance provider, Davis Vision, in the tower at 175 E. Houston St.

The group has signed a ten-year lease on about 112,000 sf of the IBC Centre. They should move in by Christmas.

New Homestead Law Now in Effect

AUSTIN (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, – A state law that took effect yesterday has changed proof of residency requirements for homeowners applying for the property tax homestead exemption.

The new law requires applicants to provide a copy of their Texas driver’s license or state ID card and vehicle registration receipt. The documents must show the same address as the property for which the exemption is requested.

Applicants who do not own a vehicle must provide a copy of a utility bill with the correct address. They must also provide an affidavit stating he or she does not own a vehicle.

The new requirements also apply to applications for the over-65, disability, disabled veterans, homeowner’s surviving spouse and manufactured (mobile) home exemptions. They do not apply to homeowners who already have homestead exemptions.

H-E-B Going Green in Mueller

MUELLER (Austin American-Statesman) – Texas grocery store giant H-E-B plans to begin work on its most sustainable store late next year. The destination: Austin's Mueller development.

The 75,000-sf store will be part of a 110,000-sf shopping center planned for the southeast corner of East 51st St. and Berkman Dr. The store is scheduled to open in 2013.

H-E-B executives say methods for expanding recycling and reducing electricity and water usage will be tested at this store before being implemented elsewhere. The company hopes the store will qualify for Austin Energy's Green Building program and a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

An H-E-B spokesperson said there are no plans to close the two existing stores nearby — one at 1000 E. 41st St., the other at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd.

Alliance Goes to the Movies

FORT WORTH (Fort Worth Business Press) – Residents of Hillwood Properties' AllianceTexas community have a date with Cinemark.

Or at least they will early next summer when the movie theater chain opens its new 14-screen, all-digital movie theater that incorporates the company's new Cinemark NextGen design.

According to the Fort Worth Business Press, Cinemark Holdings Inc. has purchased land for the theater along I-35W north of Sam Moon at Alliance Town Center.

L&B's Legacy

DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal) – Locally based L&B Realty Advisors has purchased Legacy Place I and II.

The  two-building, 299,005-sf complex is at the corner of the Dallas North Tollway and Tennyson Pkwy., within the Legacy Business Park. It was fully leased at time of sale.

Jones Lang LaSalle represented the seller, JP Morgan Asset Management.

Good Heavens! Apartments Replace Houston Church

HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – The former Central Presbyterian Church property at Richmond and Cummins in Houston is about to be replaced by high-end apartments.

Local developer The Morgan Group is preparing to break ground on a four-story project there that will have 341 studio, one- and two-bedroom units. Units will average 875 sf. Rents will range from $1,100 to $2,300.

Company Senior Vice President of Development Carter Bechtol said the timing for the new development was right, citing limited new supply and growing demand.

According to a recent Marcus & Millichap report, the vacancy rate for high-end rental properties in Houston fell to 8 percent in second quarter 2011, down half a percentage point from the previous quarter.

The project was designed by Wallace Garcia Wilson Architects. It is slated to break ground next month and open by the end of 2012.

Land Condemnation Changes: What Landowners Need to Know

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – A new Texas statute changing the procedure for condemning land took effect yesterday. Center attorney Judon Fambrough talks about what those changes mean to landowners on this week's Red Zone podcast.

Also, former Center Director Dr. Rick Floyd talks about a new scholarship endowment honoring the man behind the Center's ad valorem tax conference.

All this plus the latest Texas real estate news.

You can listen to the free podcast from your computer by going to and clicking the “play” button beneath each episode. To subscribe, click on the RSS feed found on the podcast page. You can also subscribe through iTunes and download each episode to your iPod.

So grab a cup of coffee and join us in the Red Zone. We'll save a seat for you.

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