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Houston’s commercial property values will continue to trend upward in 2020 as demand for development opportunities expands amid the region’s positive job growth, according to Deal Sikes, a leading Houston-based valuation firm.

“Although there are a few exceptions, the real estate market in Houston is headed for another good year,” said Mark Sikes, principal with Deal Sikes. “The region’s economy is healthy and although the energy industry is in a lackluster period, the overall economic outlook is outstanding.”

Houston’s industrial market is attracting interest from around the nation and research indicates that more than 15 million square feet of warehouse space is under construction in the Greater Houston area.

“Prices for land or urban infill development property has risen significantly in recent years,” Sikes said. “Rising land prices have pushed the wave of industrial development farther away from the center of the city and outer suburban land prices have increased accordingly.”

Property values in the urban core of the city remain strong as developers and builders locate buildings for redevelopment or seek sites that are appropriate for new construction, Sikes said.

“Multifamily construction is strong in Houston and researchers report more than 25,000 units are now under construction, although the pace is expected to be slightly more moderate in 2020 as the new inventory is absorbed,” Sikes said. “Investor demand is good and multifamily valuations have not yet peaked in most submarkets.”

Newer office buildings and Class A towers under construction are leasing briskly, although Houston’s office market is the most sluggish sector.

The Texas Medical Center, where more than 100,000 people are employed, is a source of growth for Houston and several hospitals and research facilities are expanding.

“Houston’s commercial real estate values will be on a solid upswing in 2019,” said Matthew Deal, principal with Deal Sikes. “With Houston expected to gain population significantly in the next decade, the long-term forecast must include rising property prices that will be very impressive over the long haul.”


Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston’s largest health system, opened a new 17-floor critical care tower at its Texas Medical Center hospital.

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center’s new tower, dubbed the Susan and Fayez Sarofim Pavilion, began accepting emergency room patients effective Feb. 20, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Susan and Fayez Sarofim, the billionaire behind Houston-based investment firm Fayez Sarofim & Co., donated $25 million for the project — the largest gift Memorial Hermann had ever received when it was announced in February 2018. The Sarofim Pavilion was part of a roughly $700 million renovation and expansion project at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, according to Memorial Hermann.

“The Sarofim Pavilion enables Memorial Hermann to stay ahead of the fast-growing advances in medicine, keep pace with the extraordinary growth of the greater Houston metropolitan region and, most importantly, meet the health needs of our community for years to come,” David Callender, president, and CEO of Memorial Hermann said in a news release.

The new 17-floor tower has more than 140 patient rooms; 24 operating rooms, including three hybrid ORs; a 335-seat cafeteria dubbed the Arboretum Café; and 900 new parking spots. Sarofim Pavilion also is the new home of the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-TMC — one of two adult Level 1 trauma centers in Houston.

Operations for Memorial Hermann’s air ambulance service, Life Flight, moved on top of the new tower. The new John S. Dunn Heliport is 10,000 square feet larger than the old helipad and is capable of handling the weight of a Black Hawk helicopter.

“As the Houston community is growing by leaps and bounds, the need for access to quality health care increases exponentially,” Susan Sarofim, chair of the Memorial Hermann Foundation board between 2015 and 2017, said in the release. “Memorial Hermann has stepped up to the plate to deliver a new facility with greatly increased patient capacity and state-of-the-art equipment. Fayez and I are so proud to support Memorial Hermann as the health system continues to deliver award-winning, innovative care to the Houston community.”

Construction began on the Memorial Hermann-TMC expansion in 2015. The building of Sarofim Pavilion took over 5,500 workers and 3.5 million man-hours, according to Memorial Hermann. Houston-based Vaughn Construction served as the project’s general contractor.


TA Realty acquired the East Belt Business Park, a 350,000 SF, four-building industrial plan near the Port of Houston in Houston’s Southeast submarket. The seller, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing was represented by the JLL Industrial Capital Markets. East Belt Business Park comprises two rear-load and two cross-dock buildings that feature 20- to 24-foot clear heights, 114 dock-high doors, 14 drive-up ramps, 510 parking spaces and truck courts ranging from 120- to 180-foot . The property has been more than 90 percent leased since delivery. East Belt Business Park is three miles from the Port of Houston, a 25-mile long waterway that services 8,200 vessels and 215,000 barges each year.


 

The boutique small real estate firms of Houston are now even smaller. Chicago-based Cushman & Wakefield purchased Colvill Office Properties and now more Houston local brokerage offices are being absorbed by the largest brokerage firms in the world. Chip Colvill, the founder and former president/CEO of Colvill Office Properties, joins Cushman & Wakefield as Executive Vice Chairman.


​​​​​Elite 25sm, the premier membership organization for luxury real estate agents, has announced its expansion in Spring 2020 with the launch of chapters in Houston and Dallas, Texas. Established in 1994 and based in Austin, Texas, Elite 25sm  represents a city’s top luxury residential agents, providing ample opportunities to increase exposure, bolster reputations, network with fellow top luxury agents and stay educated on real estate trends and happenings. Beyond the value for members, Elite 25sm also presents an incomparable asset for buyers and sellers, taking out the guesswork of finding an agent.

“We’re excited to bring this exclusive opportunity to luxury realtors in the largest real estate markets in Texas,” said Tony Trungale, Managing Director of Elite 25sm and a Senior Loan Officer with PNC Bank. “This organization has proven to be an invaluable resource for our members, allowing unmatched time and space for networking and dealmaking.”

Founding Elite 25​ Austin member Cindy Goldrick of Wilson & Goldrick Realtors said of the group: “I’ve been a member of Elite 25sm in Austin since its inception 25 years ago and it has been an essential part of my real estate career and success. Elite 25sm membership provides individual agents recognition as verified leading producers of high-end homes and, equally important, it offers camaraderie with other top agents and the opportunity to network. I’ve been excited and motivated to work to meet the criteria each and every year.”

Members apply on an annual basis and are chosen based solely on production numbers, ensuring a true representation of the city’s top professionals. Criteria for membership varies year to year, but eligibility begins with a minimum of four homes sold each over $1 million. In 2019, each of Austin’s 34 members sold at least eight homes over $1 million – a major marker of Austin’s booming housing market – for a staggering collective sales total exceeding $1 billion.

“In today’s fiercely competitive market, Elite 25sm is the perfect platform to provide a competitive edge for my clients,” said Dara Allen, Broker Associate and Sales Manager for Compass Austin. “All members of Elite 25sm are experts in the luxury market and our monthly luncheons – always in a member’s fabulous new listing – give us the opportunity to share coming soon and pocket listings.”

Elite 25​ Houston and Elite 25​ Dallas will continue under the leadership of Tony Trungale, with Advisory Board members to be announced. Marketing efforts will continue to be managed by Commission.Co, a boutique Austin-based agency specializing in social media, video, and design for luxury and commercial real estate.


There’s a sophisticated new restaurant in one of downtown’s most prestigious buildings but you wouldn’t know it from the street. That’s because Adair Downtown is at the tunnel level, connected to Wells Fargo Plaza at 1000 Louisiana by the snaking system of underground pathways.

Quietly open for a few weeks, the restaurant is already being discovered by downtown office workers as a new dining destination with a slick menu that covers breakfast, lunch and after-work happy hour with a full bar offering wines and craft cocktails. Tenants of the 71-story tower — one of Houston’s premier Class A office buildings that is home to Wells Fargo Bank, PwC accounting, and top law firms – now have a handsome dining room with bar and patio to entertain clients.

“We are beyond thrilled to have Adair Downtown in the tower, and we are excited to offer this thoughtfully curated addition to our amenity base for our tenants,” said Marilyn Guion, senior vice president for CBRE, the commercial real estate firm that manages the building.

The building’s owners tapped Adair Concepts (Adair KitchenEloise Nichols Grill & Liquors, Skeeter’s Mesquite Grill, Los Tios Mexican Restaurants, Bebidas, and Betsy’s at Evelyn’s Park) to bring their restaurant know-how to the project designed by Gensler Architects and Houston-based McGarr Design & Interiors. The sophisticated, 4,628-square-foot buildout on the southeast corner of the tower may be at tunnel level but it is washed with natural light. The unusual construction takes advantage of an existing patio space that is accessible both from the street level, the tunnel system and the building’s lobby.

LOS TIOS ON TOP: Popular Tex-Mex restaurant opens beautiful new flagship restaurant in Tanglewood

The space includes a coffee bar clad in white subway tiles; a retail area with grab-and-go meals, fresh flowers, and upscale packaged foods; the main dining room with waiter service; a full bar; and a patio. The look is chic: walls of glass, marble and herringbone-patterned hardwood floors, antique mirrors, tufted banquettes, bistro tables, antique mirrors, and globe lighting fixtures. It’s a chic look (perfect for a power lunch) that looks plucked from River Oaks.

“It’s a tunnel restaurant that doesn’t feel like the tunnel,” said Nick Adair, who along with his sister, Katie Adair Barnhart, oversee operations for Adair Concepts. The partners describe the French bistro-looking space as “Eloise Nichols meets Adair Kitchen,” a nod to two of the hospitality company’s brands.

It is those brands that guide Adair Downtown’s food and beverage menus. Breakfast options include avocado toast, breakfast tacos, chicken and waffles, omelets, steel-cut oats with fresh berries, and breakfast bowls filled with rice, kale, sweet potatoes, black beans, avocado, and a poached egg. Lunch includes salads (kale and quinoa salad, Thai chopped salad, citrus Caesar) and bowls (superfoods bowl, tuna poke bowl) as well as lemon artichoke soup and tortilla soup. But there are also entrees such as grilled pesto salmon with cilantro rice; chicken paillard with arugula salad; New York strip steak sandwich on a baguette with peppercorn sauce; turkey club sandwich; and a classic beef burger and a veggie burger. The menu is overseen by executive chef Roberto Ozeata, culinary director for Adair Concepts.

After lunch, the space segues into its bar bites menu to pair with beer, wine, and spirits. The bar menu includes tuna tartare, cheese board, sliders, bruschetta, fried calamari, caramelized Brussels sprouts, fried asparagus with cilantro ranch, beef tenderloin crostini, guacamole and chips, hot chicken with house pickles, and meatballs with garlic bread.

The bar offers cocktails, an extensive collection of bourbon and scotch, wines by the glass ($11-$18) and bottle ($40-$178), and beer including local brews from 8th Wonder, Saint Arnold, and Karbach.

Barnhart said the company has longed to be part of the downtown dining scene. Adair Downtown, she said, offers office workers a place that can be both casual and artisan – “unique to what you’d expect from a downtown dining experience.”

Company founder Gary Adair said that his restaurant businesses were built on “being local and neighborhood-y.” Adair Downtown manages to bring that type of dining experience to a part of town not traditionally seen as local or part of a neighborhood, he added.

Adair Downtown, 1000 Louisiana; adairdowntown.com. Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (serving breakfast 7 to 11 a.m.; full-service lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; full bar and bar bites 3 to 8 p.m.).

 


Olin Corp. is renovating a 62,500-square-foot office building in Lake Jackson to create a Technology and Administration Center that will serve as the main building for its Texas operations. The Missouri-based chemical manufacturer will consolidate more than 200 employees from seven area offices to 604 Highway 332 when renovations are completed this summer.

Olin, which has 1,200 employees in the Freeport area, worked with the building owners to create a collaborative work environment. The building, which allows room for future growth, will have a training hall with seating for 130. Dallas based owner/developer St. Ives Realty and partner LandPlan Development are leading the construction. Houston-based Osborn & Vane Architects designed the renovations and LSI Construction is handling construction. Olin will maintain its office in the Energy Corridor.

San Antonio-based Kairoi Residential was hired by a joint-venture of Argosy Real Estate Partners and InvestRes to provide property management services for Kingsland West, a 305-unit apartment community at 18325 Kingsland Blvd. in the Katy area. The joint venture acquired the property, which had been damaged by Hurricane Harvey and subsequently renovated, in November 2018.

Spring Branch Independent School District purchased a 22,381-square-foot warehouse on 4.7 acres at 2425 Campbell Road, from Camnora Ltd. Brad Elmore of NewQuest Properties and John Leggett of Leggett Properties represented the seller, a partnership that includes several investors who live in Spring Branch. The site, originally planned for townhome development, will be used for the expansion of Northbrook High School. PBK is the architect for the project, while Satterfield & Pontikes will handle construction.

Mond Properties purchased a vacant 95,170-square-foot office building at 10500 Richmond Ave. David Carter and Jeff Peltier of Colliers International assisted the seller, a commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) trust represented by special servicer LNR Partners. The building, which lost Worley Parsons as its sole tenant in 2018, is on five acres at the corner of Richmond and Rogerdale in the Westchase District.

Hackbarth Delivery Service leased 49,701 square feet at 1350 Salford Drive. Harper Gully with CBRE represented the tenant. Ed Bane with Bridge Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord, Stonelake Capital Partners.

Riverstone Property Management purchased an 18,643-square-foot office building at 1000 FM 1960 W. from A-K Texas Venture Capitol. David K. Meyers of NewQuest Properties represented the seller. Friedman Real Estate represented the buyer.

Othon leased 13,761 square feet at 575 N. Dairy Ashford. Gary Lawless and Dustin Cruz with Cresa represented the tenant. Steve Rocher and Kristen Rabel with CBRE represented the landlord, I-10 EC Corridor #2 LP.

Zohra and Riyaz Momin purchased a 3,380-square-foot four-plex at 415 W. Polk St. in Montrose. The buyers plan to fix up the 1930s building and rent the suites. Jojo Tharayil of Excel Realty Co. represented the buyers. Cotton Munson of Davis Commercial represented the seller, GFK Associates.

Advanced Analysis leased 7,150 square feet at Wynwood Business Park, 7245 Wynnpark Drive. Will Austin with Bridge Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant. Garret Geaccone and Boone Smith with Stream Realty Partners represented the landlord, KKR.

Associated Energy Group/AEG Fuels, a provider of aviation fuel and services, subleased 5,630 square feet at 8686 New Trails Drive in the Woodlands. Ryan Dierker of Newcor Commercial Real Estate represented the subtenant. Angela Barber and Tim Gregory of JLL represented the sublessor, ETCL Woodland LLC.

JobSparx, an employment resources firm, renewed its 2,655-square-foot office lease at 14500 Torrey Chase. Zack Wheeler with Newcor Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant. Jason Gibbons of the Finial Group represented the landlord, 14500 Torrey Chase LLC.

 


Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI), a leading commercial real estate investment services firm with offices throughout the United States and Canada, has announced the sale of The Shops at Champions, a 16,112-square foot retail property located in Houston, Texas, according to Ford Noe, Regional Manager of the firm’s Houston office.

Alex Wolansky and Gus Lagos, investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Houston office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, an individual/personal trust. The buyer, a private investor, was secured and represented by Gus Lagos.

The Shops at Champions is located at 6265 Cypress Creek Parkway in Houston, Texas.

About Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI)

With nearly 2000 investment sales and financing professionals located throughout the United States and Canada, Marcus & Millichap is a leading specialist in commercial real estate investment sales, financing, research and advisory services. Founded in 1971, the firm closed 9,472 transactions in 2018 with a value of approximately $46.4 billion. Marcus & Millichap has perfected a powerful system for marketing properties that combines investment specialization, local market expertise, the industry’s most comprehensive research, state-of-the-art technology, and relationships with the largest pool of qualified investors.


Rendering of the Hewlett Packard Enterprises project which is under construction north of Houston.

A joint venture of Patrinely Group, USAA Real Estate, and CDC Houston, announced the start of construction on a two-building campus for the offices of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, north of Houston.

Scheduled for completion in spring 2022, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise development will consist of two 5-story buildings located at the southwest corner of East Mossy Oaks Road and Lake Plaza Drive and include 440,000 SF of rentable space.

Located in Spring, this development will house the fourth major corporation to choose CityPlace at Springwoods Village, joining HP Inc., Southwestern Energy and the American Bureau of Shipping.

“Breaking ground on HPE’s campus is another major milestone reinforcing CityPlace as the most important and vibrant, 18-hour mixed-use destination in north Houston,” said Robert Fields, President, and CEO of Patrinely Group, the managing partner of the joint venture. “2019 was a significant year with the opening of ABS headquarters, the HP Inc. campus, Star Cinema Grill, 24 Hour Fitness, and two Class A multi-tenant buildings, CityPlace 1 and 1401 Lake Plaza Drive.”

Pickard Chilton is the design architect; Kirksey is the executive architect; REES is the interior architect; D.E. Harvey Builders is the general contractor. Ronnie Deyo, John Roberts and Beau Bellow of JLL represented Hewlett Packard Enterprises. Dennis Tarro of Patrinely Group, and Chrissy Wilson and Russell Hodges of JLL represented the landlord.

The project will have a parking garage with 2,055 spaces.

CityPlace is a 60-acre mixed-use development providing the growing area along the Grand Parkway corridor near the 3 million-SF Exxon Mobil campus.

When fully developed, the project will include a full-service Houston CityPlace Marriott, 8 million SF of Class A office space with 500,000 SF of retail space and multifamily projects.

The development’s five to 10-story Class A office buildings will offer parking at a ratio of up to 4.5 cars per 1,000 rentable square feet, with spaces located in all structured parking.

CityPlace is the commercial center of Springwoods Village, a 2,000-acre master-planned community, 20 miles north of downtown Houston.

 


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
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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 : www.houstonrealtyadvisors.com  Thank you for your interest.