Peloton Commercial Real Estate has operations in Dallas and Houston.

Two big North Texas real estate players are joining forces.

Dallas-based property firm Peloton Commercial Real Estate is being acquired by JLL, the Chicago-based international real estate services firm.

More than 130 professionals in Peloton’s Dallas and Houston offices will join JLL, which already has a huge presence in the area.

It’s JLL’s second recent major acquisition. It just completed a purchase of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, the Dallas-based investment sales and finance firm.

JLL said its purchase of Peloton will accelerate the growth of the company’s leasing and property management businesses.

 “This is a momentous step in our journey to become a market-leading player in Texas,” JLL’s regional director David Carroll said in a statement. “With the exceptional growth we have seen in those markets, Peloton’s position as a leading provider of leasing and property management services will greatly enhance our business capabilities and breadth of services.

“Just as importantly, we look forward to working with a team of professionals that share JLL’s strong commitment to collaboration and culture.”

JLL already has about 700 people in North Texas.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, and the transaction is still subject to closing conditions.

Peloton’s founders, Joel Pustmueller and T.D. Briggs, will continue to focus on the D-FW and Houston property markets in their new roles at JLL.

Medical Office Building Sells In Sugar Land       A medical office building changed hands in Sugar Land.  An undisclosed buyer acquired Town Center Medical, a 30K SF medical office building at 16545 Southwest Freeway. The Class-A property is adjacent to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, a 319-bed general acute care hospital specializing in cardiology, oncology, sports medicine, and women’s care. Built-in 2008, Town Center Medical is fully leased. ENT and Allergy, an ear, nose and throat group, serves as the anchor tenant.  “The Town Center Medical disposition highlights the robust demand for stabilized, on-campus medical office buildings in the Houston Metro area,” Transwestern Commercial Services’ Robby Winston said. “Sophisticated healthcare real estate investors continue to be optimistic about long-term yields from core medical office assets.” Houston Specialists Alliance Ltd. purchased the land in 2006 from Town Center Lakeside Ltd. for $750K, according to Reonomy. The assessed land value now is $1.3M while the total assessed value of the property is $5.3M, according to Reonomy.  Winston, along with Eric Johnson, Lisa Bovermann and Brooks Creech, represented the seller. TCS Houston has executed 522 healthcare transactions during the last 24 months and manages a healthcare portfolio of 69 properties totaling more than 5M SF.

NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Greystone, a leading national commercial real estate lending, investment, and advisory company, announced it has provided $27,000,000 in bridge financing to Iliad Realty Group (IRG) for the acquisition of Villa Nueva Apartments, a multifamily property in Houston, TX. The transaction was originated by Daniel Wolins of Greystone’s New York office. Sal Torre with Estreich & Company brokered the transaction.

Originally constructed in 1980, the garden-style Villa Nueva Apartments community features 542 one- and two-bedroom units across a gated 47-building campus that has full-time security on site. Residents have access to three outdoor pools, common laundry rooms, and central mailbox centers. The property offers easy access to all of the Houston metro area’s major thoroughfares.

The $27,000,000 interest-only bridge loan carries a two-year term with two six-month extension options so that the borrower can acquire and rehabilitate the property while Greystone works to secure a low, fixed-rate permanent loan. Planned improvements include extensive exterior renovations to building facades, landscaping, and recreational areas, as well as interior structural improvements and fixture upgrades to each of the property’s units.

“Our bridge lending platform gives us the flexibility to put the right financing together for clients with diverse options for permanent financing,” said Mr. Wolins. “We are pleased that IRG was able to close quickly and get started on making capital improvements to the property while we work to secure long-term agency financing with our seamless bridge-to-agency lending process.”

“We were delighted that the Greystone team was able to move us seamlessly and rapidly through the bridge loan process so that we could start realizing our vision for Villa Nueva Apartments,” said Mr. Elliott Aronson of IRG. “Having acquired and renovated thousands of apartment units across Texas over the past decade, we understand what it takes to bring a property back to life. We are thrilled to have a team that is committed to getting us competitive financing terms so that we can get to work doing what we do best.”

About Greystone
Greystone is a real estate lending, investment, and advisory company with an established reputation as a leader in multifamily and healthcare finance, having ranked as a top FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac lender in these sectors. Our range of services includes commercial lending across a variety of platforms such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, CMBS, FHA, USDA, bridge and proprietary loan products. Loans are offered through Greystone Servicing Company LLC, Greystone Funding Company LLC and/or other Greystone affiliates. For more information, visit

For years, real-estate technology startups watched from the fringes as big banks and venture-capital firms lavished attention on financial-technology firms.

Now “proptech” has joined the party. Startups are raising more cash than ever while landlords are adopting a range of new software and hardware that is changing the way they do business.

New capital sources including some of the world’s biggest banks are taking notice. “We feel like we’ve hit that tipping point a couple of months ago,” said Allison Sedrish, co-head of the new proptech group at Barclays Investment Bank.

In the first half of 2019, venture investors poured $12.9 billion into real-estate tech startups, according to research firm CREtech, already surpassing the $12.7 billion record for all of 2017. In 2013, the total was $491 million.

Proptech Joins the PartyVenture capital invested into real-estate techcompaniesSource: CREtechNote: 2019 figure as of June 26

New investors include some of the world’s biggest commercial property owners and brokerages. Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, which has $191 billion of real estate assets under management, last year began investing in proptech startups.

Brookfield is both a user of and investor in such startups as VTS, which provides commercial property owners with online tools for managing leases; Convene, a co-working and workplace amenities firm; and Honest Buildings, which helps owners manage capital projects.

“Innovation is causing revenue to go up and expenses to go down,” said Ric Clark, chairman of Brookfield Property Group.

Several times a week, a drone flies over Texas Tower, taking digital images that Hines compares with job specifications to confirm plans have been accurately followed. PHOTO: JEFF LAUTENBERGER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The real-estate industry for years had a reputation for being slow to innovate, but investors are betting that is changing because of a confluence of forces.

For starters, the values of many properties have plateaued after rising steadily throughout much of the economic recovery. Many owners view technology as a way to keep growing their bottom lines, either by cutting costs or making their buildings more appealing to tenants.

At the same time, traditional owners are turning to technology to defend themselves against major disruptions in their businesses. In a retail world increasingly dominated by e-commerce, for example, mall and shopping-center landlords have started to test facial recognition and artificial intelligence technology to prove the value of bricks and mortar.

In-office space, the popularity of co-working firms like WeWork Cos. has triggered a race between startups and traditional landlords to provide better tenant amenities. Both sides, for example, are working with startups to develop such things as the best mobile app for office workers.

Openpath Security, which has raised $27 million, enables workers to ditch their card keys and enter their offices with a smartphone app. “We’re one of those amenities in the arms race to up the ante for tenants,” said James Segil, Openpath’s president and co-founder.

Changes taking place in Silicon Valley are making fundraising easier. Real-estate technology-specific venture funds have sprouted, including Fifth Wall Ventures, MetaProp NYC and Zigg Capital. Law firm Goodwin Procter LLP launched a proptech initiative in September with more than 60 attorneys from it’s real-estate and technology practices.

Workers at the Texas Tower construction site in Houston. PHOTO: JEFF LAUTENBERGER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Since 2014, more than 20 proptech startups have joined the unicorn club, meaning they are worth more than $1 billion, according to Fifth Wall. Only one firm achieved that status between 2011 and 2014—Airbnb Inc., Fifth Wall said.

It helps that interest in real estate is growing among some of the world’s biggest players in technology. For example, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. has made big commitments to firms like WeWork and Compass, a tech-heavy residential brokerage.

“If you see someone like SoftBank piling in the extra hundreds of millions of dollars, it makes you more inclined to say ‘the money could come, so let’s make that early bet,’” said Mark Goldberg, a partner at Index Ventures.

Commercial real estate, of course, hasn’t been completely insulated from new technology until now. Data giant CoStar Group Inc. and software developer Yardi Systems Inc. are both over three decades old.

But many startups failed because they had a difficult time convincing users the costs were justified. “The reason there’s a graveyard of technology companies in real estate is they try to disrupt just to disrupt,” said Robert Reffkin, chief executive of Compass, during a panel discussion in 2015.

As the world changed and technology improved, landlords lately have been much faster to adapt and adopt. Lincoln Property Co. is testing 16 different technologies, according to Eric Roseman, Lincoln’s head of innovation.

Russell Kutach, a contractor for SiteAware, launches a drone that he uses to survey construction sites in Houston. PHOTO: JEFF LAUTENBERGER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

New technologies being used by Houston-based Hines, one of the biggest global developers, include a drone surveillance service provided by an Israeli startup named SiteAware. Several times a week, a drone flies over Texas Tower, a new office building rising in Houston, taking digital images that Hines compares with job specifications to confirm plans have been accurately followed.

Hines created the position of chief innovation officer in 2016, feeling the industry had changed more in the previous five years than in the preceding quarter-century, according to Charlie Kuntz, who was named to the job. “The volume of technology that was coming into real estate was larger than ever before,” he said.

For more information on Houston office spaceHouston retail space or Houston warehouse space and Houston industrial space, please call 713 782-0260 or see my web site at :  Thank you for your interest.

Ed Ayres of Houston Realty Advisors

Ed Ayres of Houston Realty Advisors


James Fisher Excavation has leased 6421 Cunningham in a 12,000 square foot building. Ed Ayres of Houston Realty Advisors represented the tenant. Copeland Rhea of Clay-CMBS GP represented the landlord.

For more information on Houston office spaceHouston retail space or Houston warehouse space and Houston industrial space, please call 713 782-0260 or see my web site at :  Thank you for your interest.



When Ryan Hoopes of Cushman & Wakefield helps companies choose new headquarters, he often asks landlords a question that, not too long ago, would have been unheard of: “How do you plan to accommodate flex-space in your building? Because our clients are demanding it.”

Flexible, shared office space — think coworking spaces, incubators, and accelerators — is on the rise in Houston. Over the past 10 years, flex office space has absorbed a greater share of Houston’s office market, growing at a compound annual rate of 17 percent, while the office market only increased at a 1.7 percent clip, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE.

Flexible, shared office space — think coworking spaces, incubators, and accelerators — is on the rise in Houston. Over the past 10 years, flex office space has absorbed a greater share of Houston’s office market, growing at a compound annual rate of 17 percent, while the office market only increased at a 1.7 percent clip, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE.

With flex office space, companies and individuals can rent by the month and by the number of offices and desks needed, which can be scaled as the user shrinks or grows. The arrangement originally solved a problem faced by many startups with too much uncertainty to sign long-term leases. Now the practice has spread to all segments of the office market.

 While the model still appeals to startups — The Cannon, which aims to build a tech culture in Houston, converted an entire oil and gas equipment manufacturing warehouse into a home for entrepreneurs — other industries have found a use for it as well. Coworking companies say they’ve seen sign-ups from individuals looking for a place to work on days they don’t commute to an office and from large corporations that want space for a satellite sales office or are staffing up for short-term projects.
“We’ve got realtors, we’ve got oil and gas companies, we’ve got consultants,” said content creator Carrie Colbert, who shares an office with three desks at Life Time Work with her partner, investor Mark Latham.
“I just got a call from a Fortune 1500 company looking for a way to put 2,000 people in a flexible workplace because they did not want to sign a long-term lease,” said Jacob Bates, chief executive of CommonGrounds, which will open a 27,136-square-foot coworking space in Greenway Plaza this September.

The explosion of coworking space has given rise to a variety of product offerings; it seems there’s a coworking company for every niche.

Into fitness? Life Time Work offers health-centric office spaces (lots of water stations for hydration and plantlife for productivity), and a membership comes with access to Life Time’s high-end gyms. James O’Reilly, president of Life Time Work, said the idea to expand into coworking came from seeing people working in the lobbies of its gyms. Life Time Work opened in City center in May and plans a downtown location in GreenStreet and a north suburb location in Shenandoah to open in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

A frequent flier? Several coworking companies are racing to open locations around the world, sometimes by franchising or buying local operations. Mark Patek, the director of sales for Venture X, said the company has sold more than 100 franchises around the world. “So if you travel to Chicago, New York or London, you can check into Venture X,” he said. The company, which has six locations in Dallas, recently announced it is encouraging franchises to open in Houston.

Hoopes, of Cushman & Wakefield, said he’s seen landlords begin to treat coworking spaces as an amenity, a way to offer companies happy hours, lunch-and-learns and the option to expand when necessary.

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Stonelake Capital Partners broke ground on Park Place Tower, a 15-story, 210,000-square-foot office building designed by Beck Architecture.

Park Place Tower, which is under construction in between the River Oaks District and Highland Village, is now 21 percent leased.

Three tenants will occupy a total of 42,939 square feet in the 15-story, 210,000-square-foot tower at 4200 Westheimer Road, according to a press release. Brad Beasley and Connor Saxe of Colvill Office Properties handle office leasing at Park Place Tower. Bruce Wallace and Radkey Jolink of CBRE are handling leasing for the tower’s first-floor retail space.

The largest tenant is Compass Real Estate, which will occupy a full floor totaling 27,249 square feet. Mark O’Donnell, Josh Meltzer, David Gordon and Jennifer Jordan of Savills represented Compass in the lease. Compass is a tech-focused residential real estate brokerage specializing in luxury sales. It launched in Houston in November 2018 with seven local employees, initially, and planned to open an office in the Galleria area, River Oaks or Upper Kirby. The firm now lists dozens of agents affiliated with its Houston office, currently at 2925 Richmond Ave., Suite 1200, according to its website.

Separately, Charles Schwab leased 10,908 square feet on the ground floor. Trevor Franke of Peloton Commercial Real Estate and Scott Gardner of Streetwise Retail Advisors represented Charles Schwab. Currently, the financial firm has Houston-area locations in the Galleria area, Memorial City, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, Kingwood and The Woodlands.

Stonelake Capital Partners, the building’s developer and owner, will move its Houston office to the tower, occupying 4,782 square feet. The real estate private equity firm’s current Houston office is at 5847 San Felipe St., between Fountain View Drive and Chimney Rock Road. It also has offices in Austin and Dallas.

Stonelake expects the tower to be fully leased by the time it reaches substantial completion in March 2020, according to the release. The tower’s amenities will include a landscaped terrace on the ninth floor, which will be available to all tenants.

Park Place Tower broke ground in February. It was designed by Dallas-based Beck Architecture and is being constructed by Harvey Builders as the general contractor.

Stonelake acquired the land for the 11.5-acre Park Place River Oaks development in 2010 and has already completed two other phases: The James and The Ivy. The James is an eight-story midrise multifamily building with 344-units that was completed in July 2016. The Ivy is a 17-story luxury residential building with 297-units that opened in 2017.

Back in August 2016, Stonelake developed a 5-acre park on the land at Westheimer Road and Mid Lane, which was a placeholder as Stonelake planned to develop a mixed-use project on the land.

Stonelake still has 3.7 acres available at Park Place, but when the tower was announced in September 2018, Stonelake Managing Partner Kenneth Aboussie said that a portion of that land will remain undeveloped as an open green space.

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  • It's still a tenant's market, but companies continue to seek out urban environments where amenities such as restaurants and hotels are a few steps away. That's why pockets of west Houston such as CityCentre, pictured, and Memorial City are doing great, while a few miles farther west, older buildings are getting passed by, according to brokers at NAI Partners. Photo: Colvill Office Properties, Photographer / Colvill Office Properties / copyright 2014 Shannon O'Hara

Houston’s office market is improving and the industrial and retail sectors continue to charge forward, according to a quarterly update from commercial real estate services firm NAI Partners.

Brokers at the company’s Galleria area office shared insights on the market at a quarterly press update Wednesday. Some takeaways:


The office market is still in a slump — roughly 60 million square feet of office space throughout the metro area lies fallow.

And while some statistics suggest rents have risen, Dan Boyles, an NAI tenant representative, said those numbers are deceptive.

“The rents that are going up are really gross rents, they’re not net effective rents, which are still under significant pressure,” he explained. In other words, landlords are offering such large concessions that the actual rent received over the term of the lease remains low. Boyles said he is seeing significant concessions in both new buildings and older, lower-quality buildings.

While it’s still a tenant’s market, Boyles said leasing activity has taken more space off the market over the past few quarters, referred to as positive absorption. For the first time in a long time, some NAI clients are discussing expanding their office space requirements. In the first quarter of 2019, the Houston market absorbed half a million square feet.

“Which is marginal,” Boyles said. “But better than the other way around.”


Houston has historically been more of a manufacturing-based industrial market, but it’s shifting to a distribution market.

Million-square-foot spec warehouses are coming, said Clay Pritchett, a partner in the industrial and land brokerage services practice at NAI.

Spec warehouses used to be 200,000 to 300,000 square feet. Now they’re 600,000 to 800,000 square feet. Breaking the 1 million-square-foot mark would put Houston in the league of distribution markets such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago and the Inland Empire in Southern California.


Mixed-use is becoming a bigger component of retail.

“There’s a big flight to urbanization,” said Jason Gaines, senior vice president, retail services at NAI Partners.

Investors are interested in re-purposing empty big-box stores into last-mile distribution centers. In a 350-foot depth building, a developer might put anchor tenants in the front 250 feet and transform the back into a logistics point.

That type of use hasn’t yet arrived in Houston, but these types of creative conversions are happening in places with more inventory of space such as the Midwest, Gaines said.

Houston’s retail has remained fairly full, with occupancy at or above 94 percent during the last five years.

“The developers have learned to self-police this industry,” Gaines said. “They’re not building a lot of specs anymore.”

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Houston is the nation’s top “buy” market for multifamily real estate, according to a new report released by Ten-X Commercial.

Ten-X Commercial, a commercial real estate sales platform based in Irvine, California, found that Houston’s projected rental unit rate increased and falling vacancy rates beat all other markets studied.

By 2022, Houston is projected to see apartment rents increase by 15.9 percent, while vacancies are expected to decline by 150 basis points to 4.3 percent.

The average effective apartment rent in Houston is expected to reach $1,183 by 2022, the report said.

Houston’s anticipated rent increases were 4.4 percent higher than what was projected for Las Vegas, the No. 2 “buy” market in the United States, according to the report. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Atlanta; and Salt Lake City rounded out the rest of the report’s top five “buy markets.”

The report noted that the Southwest region leads the nation in apartment buying activity, with Texas being the “clear standout.”

The report attributed Houston’s strong multifamily real estate market to the city’s resurgent energy sector, which Ten-X Commercial said has aided the local economy and boosted apartment rents.

“Millennials are a large reason why the current rental market is thriving,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Though we expect homeownership in this important age group to increase over the long term, so far they remain focused on renting.”

The report’s projected uptick in the multifamily real estate market falls in line with similar projections made by local multifamily experts.

While rental rates in Houston have remained flat in recent years, many Houston-based brokers have been optimistic about what the near future might hold. Last month, Clint Duncan, senior vice president of CBRE’s (NYSE: CBRE) capital markets multifamily group in Houston, said Houston’s strong job market and growing population are helping to fuel demand for apartments.

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