DOWNTOWN HOUSTON ~ August 25, 2014 ~Downtown Houston began its renewal in the mid-1990s, and since then,
more than $5.5 billion of buildings, parks and infrastructure have been
completed. Recently completed developments include One Park Place, a
346-unit high rise apartment building overlooking Discovery Green, a
four-year-old 12-acre park; GreenStreet (formerly named Houston Pavilions),
a $170 million mixed-use entertainment, retail and office complex;
BG Group Place, a 47-story, one million square-foot office tower
by Hines; Hess Tower, a 29-story, 844,763 square-foot office tower by
Trammell Crow; the new Houston Ballet Center for Dance; and a new
state-of-the-art Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA.
DOWNTOWN HOUSTON ~ August 25, 2014 ~Downtown Houston began its renewal in the mid-1990s, and since then,
TEXAS ~ (Sage Group) ~ August 25, 2104 ~ Texas’ four major markets continue to experience population and employment growth, with retail development being a core component of the real estate expansion.
1Q 2014 OVERALL RETAIL OCCUPANCIES
Houston 92.57% ~ Austin 93.39% ~ Dallas 90.66% ~ San Antonio 92.67%
HOUSTON ~ (Bayou City Magazine) ~ August 13 2014
The month-long food odyssey is finally here! From prime steak to lobster ceviche, Gulf redfish, duck confit, shrimp and grits, beef barbacoa enchiladas, chicken tikka masala and more, Houston Restaurant Weeks showcases the diversity of what our city’s culinary scene has to offer.
Houston Restaurant Weeks, the largest annual fundraiser for America’s largest food bank, was established in 2003 by Cleverley Stone, host of “The Cleverley Show,” and 6 1/2 year food segment contributor to Houston’s Fox 26 Morning News. To date, the event has raised more than $4.3 million to fight hunger in Houston. The HRW team of volunteers donates their time to produce the event so that 100% of the donations raised go directly to the Houston Food Bank. “As one who reports on restaurants and chefs in our city, I am so grateful for the outpouring of support by Houston’s restaurant industry and diners for Houston Restaurant Weeks, benefiting the Houston Food Bank,” said founder & chair Cleverley Stone. “Houston Restaurant Weeks has become one of the most anticipated times of the year for local foodies and visitors to our city.”
Houston Restaurant Weeks provides a month-long passport to the city’s top restaurants and award-winning chefs. In addition to the ever-expanding contribution made to the Houston Food Bank, this event has grown to include not only the trendiest eateries in Uptown Galleria, bustling downtown and vibrant Midtown, but also popular eateries in outlying communities such as The Woodlands, Sugar Land and Galveston, Texas, among others. The Houston Food Bank partners with the Montgomery County Food Bank and the Galveston County Food Bank. All donations from restaurants operating in those counties will go to their respective food banks
AUSTIN (Texas Tribune) ~ August 8, 2012 ~ Texas is growing at a fast pace, and developers are hustling to keep up with the growing housing needs. But who’s footing the bill for the new infrastructure?
That’s the question posed yesterday by a Texas Tribune article.
“Within the past year, several cities have started to rely on a strategy of raising one-time fees charged to developers to pay for new homes to be connected to water and wastewater lines, which have skyrocketed in some cities,” author Eli Okun writes.
“The municipalities and water utilities say the higher charges are needed to avoid passing the costs onto existing ratepayers and force developers to pay for the added burden their projects place on public water systems, many of which are already stretched thin.”
Real estate professionals, however, argue that impact fees are passed on to homebuyers.
On the latest Red Zone podcast, Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines talks about how impact fees and new building regulations affect overall home prices. If you’d like more background on impact fees, check out “Impact Fees: Paying for Progress,” a Tierra Grande article written by Gaines and Center attorney Judon Fambrough.
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – August 1, 2014 – The Texas economy gained 370,300 nonagricultural jobs from June 2013 to June 2014, an annual growth rate of 3.3 percent compared with 1.9 percent for the United States.
According to the Real Estate Center’s latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy, the state’s nongovernment sector added 342,800 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.6 percent compared with 2.2 percent for the nation’s private sector.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent last month from 6.4 percent a year ago. The nation’s rate decreased from 7.5 to 6.1 percent.
All Texas industries had more jobs. The state’s mining and logging industry ranked first in job creation, followed by the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and construction.
All Texas metro areas except Texarkana had more jobs last month than a year ago. College Station ranked first in job creation, followed by Midland, Dallas-Plano-Irving, Odessa and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos.
The state’s actual unemployment rate last month was 5.5 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment, followed by Odessa, Amarillo, San Angelo, Abilene and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos.
HOUSTON (Colliers International) ~ July 25 2014 ~ In its second quarter market report, Colliers International calls the Houston’s industrial market one of the healthiest in the nation, thanks largely to continued growth in the oil and gas industry. 2013 Manufacturing Employment: 255,400 2013 Manufacturing Job Growth: 3.1% 2008-13 Job Growth: 4.9%
“Texas is expected to produce more oil and gas than all but one of the OPEC nations in 2014 due to the booming Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin, and Houston’s industrial real estate market will benefit from that rapidly increasing production,” the firm said in its report.
Around 2.6 million sf of new product was delivered during the quarter, pushing 2014 year-to-date deliveries to 5.6 million sf. In addition, 3.9 million sf of industrial space is currently under construction.
Houston’s average industrial vacancy rate remained unchanged between quarters at 5.5 percent and increased 60 basis points from 4.9 percent to 5.5 percent, year to date.
The citywide average quoted industrial rental rate was $6.09 per sf triple net, a 0.3 percent drop from the previous quarter but a 5 percent increase over a year ago.
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE By Nancy Sarnoff) July 14, 2014 ~
A developer plans to break ground next month on what will be downtown’s tallest residential tower, a project symbolic of this city’s healthy economy and downtown’s growing emergence as a place to call home.
The Texas-sized tower is set to rise 40 stories and house 463 apartments built to almost-condominium standards, the developers said Monday
“It’s big,” said Jack Lee, president of Oakmont Group, the project manager. “It’s bigger than any other downtown Houston high-rise rental property we know of.”
The project, to be called Market Square Tower, will be built just off Market Square Park on the southern half of the block bounded by Preston, Louisiana, Milam and Congress.
The building will target relatively affluent renters in the 30- to 45-year age range with rents soaring as high as $5,800 per month, though there will be small units that lease for less than $2,000.
“This is not a starter apartment,” said Philip Schneidau, president of developer Woodbranch Investments Corp. “This is for someone who’s gotten a promotion.”
The tower will be one of two new multifamily projects planned for this section of downtown.
At Travis and Preston on the other side of Market Square Park, developer Hines has blueprinted a luxury residential building. That project is slated to rise 33 stories.
Several more residential projects are under way or proposed in the broader downtown area. Many of the new buildings have been approved to participate in the city’s Downtown Living Initiative, which provides a $15,000 per unit tax rebate to developers who add residential housing in the city’s core.
Through the incentive, Woodbranch stands to benefit by nearly $7 million. The company declined to disclose the project’s cost.
Apartment construction has been on the rise downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods to the west where some 4,000 units are under construction, according to MPF Research, a multifamily industry consulting and data firm.
Occupancy in that area is 94.5 percent and rents are rising faster than greater Houston as a whole.
The market is being fueled by new jobs and a growing desire to live closer to employment centers, experts said. Many young Houstonians, too, are putting off buying a house while some longtime owners are selling in favor of apartment living.
“People are selling their homes with the ability to make a handsome profit and moving into very nice multifamily to see if they would like living there and to see if they want a smaller home,” said Pat Kiley, principal of Kiley Advisors, a consulting firm to the construction industry.
Greg Willett, MPF’s head of analysis, said downtown has a limited demand for such high-end units, but it has by no means been filled.
Downtown, he said has been undersupplied relative to the employment base.
“You reach a certain point where you cross a threshold where you get enough product with retail and support services that it becomes a more attractive living environment,” he said. “It looks like Houston has probably crossed that level.”
In Market Square Tower, typical units will range from 550-square-foot efficiencies to three-bedroom, three-bath spaces with around 1,950 square feet. Rents will range from around $1,800 to $5,800 per month. The average unit will have more than 1,275 square feet and rent for approximately $3,500. There will be a limited number of larger penthouses as well.
Jackson & Ryan Architects designed the building, whose address will be 777 Preston. A 10-story garage that shares the tower’s block will serve residents of the new building. The garage has 1,100 spaces now, but that number will be reduced to about 950 as the property is refigured.
About 150 spaces will be reserved for residents’ guests and visitors of some 22,000 square feet of retail space planned for the first floor.
The garage will continue to operate to the public and with its existing contracts until the building is completed
Excavation work is expected to start by mid August, and initial occupancy is slated for January 2017.
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) The Texas economy gained 375,300 nonagricultural jobs from May 2013 to May 2014, an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent compared with 1.8 percent for the United States.
According to the Real Estate Center’s latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy, the state’s nongovernment sector added 343,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.7 percent compared with 2.1 percent for the nation’s private sector. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent from 6.4 percent a year ago. The nation’s rate decreased from 7.5 to 6.3 percent.
All Texas industries had more jobs last month than a year ago. The state’s mining and logging industry ranked first in job creation followed by the transportation, warehousing and utilities, construction, and leisure and hospitality.
All Texas metro areas except Texarkana had more jobs. College Station ranked first in job creation, followed by Midland, Dallas-Plano-Irving, Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos and Victoria.
The state’s actual unemployment rate last month was 5.1 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate, followed by Odessa, Amarillo, Lubbock, College Station-Bryan and San Angelo.
NEW CANEY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY – Grand Texas, the future 610-acre sports and entertainment district, will break ground on the first phase late this summer.
Features will include:
• a 150-acre theme park;
• a 40-acre water park;
• an 83-acre sports complex;
• a 144-lot RV park;
• more than 240 hotel rooms; and
• 450,000 sf of retail and dining.
Grand Texas is estimated to draw 1.2 million annual visitors and will be located near the intersection of Hwy. 242 and Hwy. 59, about 35 miles east of Magnolia. It will feature Texas history and culture elements throughout the property.
The theme park is expected to span 71 acres in the first phase slated to open May 2016. The theme park has room to expand attractions on up to 150 acres in the future.
The Big Rivers Water Park will begin its first phase of construction on 28 acres in September 2014 and open in June 2015. The water park has space to accommodate up to 40 acres of development.
The sports complex will include indoor facilities and 20 sports fields with turf able to withstand up to eight inches of rain per hour without game delays.
The fields are designed to accommodate a variety of sports teams, including baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, football and rugby. Construction is expected to begin in August 2014 and open in March 2015.
The RV park will break ground in July and open in February 2015. The first hotels will be completed around the same period. There will be a 50-acre parking lot for visitors. A trolley shuttle system is planned in the coming years once the park opens.
DALLAS (ALN Apartment Data) – Average year-over-year multifamily occupancy rates for Texas remained roughly the same last month, while effective rents jumped 6.7 percent from a year ago.
According to ALN Apartment Data Inc., which tracks multifamily data in ten Texas markets, the overall occupancy last month was 92.3 percent, down 0.1 percent from May 2013. Average effective rent was $904 compared with $847 a year ago.
Here’s how specific markets fared: