Tag Archives: NW Houston


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.


Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) announced today that the firm has acquired Colvill Office Properties, a leading provider of office agency leasing services in Houston. Colvill Office Properties currently directs leasing and marketing efforts for 17 million square feet of Class-A office space in Houston.

“As one of the five largest metro areas in the U.S., Houston remains a critically important market for Cushman & Wakefield,” said Andrew McDonald, President of Cushman & Wakefield’s West Region. “Providing our clients with the most respected and accomplished office agency in Houston complements our investor services platform significantly in Texas. The Colvill team has a proven track record of creating exceptional value for their clients and shares our commitment to collaboration and innovation.”

The Colvill Office Properties team has more than 130 collective years of experience and is a four-time recipient of the Owner’s Representative of the Year award as voted by the Houston Office Leasing Broker’s Association (HOLBA). The Colvill current portfolio includes more than 30 individual properties in the CBD, Energy Corridor/Katy Freeway, Galleria/Uptown, Westchase, West Belt, Springwoods and Inner Loop submarkets.

“We could not be more thrilled to join one of the world’s pre-eminent commercial real estate firms,” said Chip Colvill, the founder and former president/CEO of Colvill Office Properties, who joins Cushman & Wakefield as Executive Vice Chairman. “The depth and breadth of Cushman & Wakefield’s global platform and the outstanding team already on the ground here in Houston will enable us to deliver even more value for our building owners, taking what we’ve built at Colvill over the last two decades to the next level with the Cushman & Wakefield international platform.”

About Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 51,000 employees in 400 offices and 70 countries. In 2018, the firm had revenue of $8.2 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation, and other services.


The par 3, like the rest of the course, also is deep inside the 100-year floodplain. Cypress Creek, which forms the club’s southern and western boundaries, jumped its banks and flooded the course in the Memorial Day and Tax Day storms. Four feet of water filled the clubhouse during Hurricane Harvey; it did not fully recede from the course for two weeks.

The club’s frustrated owner last week sold the 27-acre site containing the clubhouse, tennis courts and swimming pool for $11.5 million to the Harris County Flood Control District, which plans to raze the buildings. The county plans eventually to acquire the remaining 206 acres of the club and course and use the site for massive detention basins.

The initial transaction is emblematic of the county’s all-of-the-above approach to flood control. As engineers search for places to store stormwater, especially in heavily developed areas, the flood control district increasingly is turning to golf courses.

“Well over 600 homes experienced flooding in the general vicinity of Raveneaux Country Club in our recent flood events, from 2015 to 2019,” said Matt Zeve, the flood control district’s deputy director. “There’s a large need for stormwater detention volume in the Cypress Creek watershed.”

With an influx of capital from the $2.5 billion bond voters approved in 2018, the flood control district has more cash for a land acquisition than at any point in its history and golf courses often are ideal sites for detention projects, Zeve said. They frequently are located next to bayous, abut neighborhoods in need of protection and already are cleared of trees. They also have a single owner, allowing for a quicker acquisition than the county’s typical piecemeal approach to purchasing flood-prone properties.

A Chronicle analysis of the county’s interactive floodplain map found more than 30 Harris County courses at least partly inside the 100-year floodplain, from municipal links to the private Golf Club of Houston, which hosts an annual PGA Tour event.

Harris County’s push for better flood protection, made more urgent after Harvey flooded more than 200,000 homes in 2017, comes at a time when Americans are playing fewer rounds of golf. About 10 percent of courses in the United States closed between 2006 and 2018, according to the National Golf Foundation, a research firm for the industry.

A glut of course building in the 1980s and ‘90s and a 30 percent decline in golfers since 2000 have been major causes of club closures. Houston’s climate is a blessing and a curse for course owners; tee times are available year-round, though several clubs have been subjected to repeated flooding.

Harris County decided against rebuilding the Bear Creek Golf World course after it was swamped by Harvey. The storm also inundated Kingwood Cove Golf Club for the third time in two years, convincing the owners to sell the parcel on the San Jacinto River to developers. The City of Houston closed the money-losing Brock Park course after it flooded in 2016.

Voluntary buyouts

Zeve said several courses have approached the county about selling out. Ongoing negotiations are secret until a deal is reached, he said, though he encouraged interested owners to call the flood control district. The county is open to deals where courses can remain open while helping reduce flooding, he said.

“If a golf club wants to re-do their course … so that during a storm event, that course can temporarily store some stormwater, and maybe provide some flood damage reduction benefit, we’re happy to partner,” Zeve said.

Sometimes, flooding experts and residents in vulnerable neighborhoods try to move the process along. Phil Bedient, a professor at Rice University’s severe storm think tank, said much of Meyerland would be protected if Westwood Golf Club and Braeburn Country Club on Brays Bayou were used to store floodwater. He proposed partnerships in which clubs agree to host detention projects and the county commits to repairing courses after storms. He said the county should seize needed property, if necessary.

“It’s better to clean up a golf course than thousands of homes,” Bedient said.

The general manager at Braeburn declined to comment; his counterpart at Westwood did not respond to requests for comment.

Zeve said he sometimes gets frantic calls from course owners who suspect the county is trying to force them to sell. He assures them all course buyouts are voluntary.

Former golf courses also are attractive acquisitions for developers, as they often are the only open parcels in densely populated neighborhoods. Commercial real estate developer MetroNational bought the former Pine Crest Country Club in Spring Branch and in 2017 flipped the property to a homebuilder.

Houston City Council unanimously approved permitting 900 homes on the site, which sits almost entirely inside the 100-year floodplain. Several civic groups opposed the project and questioned city leaders’ commitment to flood protection. Just weeks earlier, council members enacted stricter floodplain building standards.

Zeve said the flood control district would have liked an opportunity to purchase the Pine Crest plot for a flood mitigation project. Ed Browne, founder of advocacy group Residents Against Flooding, said Pine Crest was a missed opportunity. He said the group “wholeheartedly supports conversion of golf course lands to regional detention basins.”

The county jumped at the chance to dig detention ponds on the former Inwood Forest Country Club on White Oak Bayou. The City of Houston purchased the 227-acre site in 2011 to build two basins; the county joined the project three years ago to construct an additional 10. The volume of water that can be stored there exceeds that of the Astrodome. In southeast Houston, the Clear Lake City Water Authority partnered with a nonprofit to convert a former golf course into a 200-acre detention pond.

Final round

The county’s deal with Raveneaux allows the club a year to wind down operations and sell equipment.

A foursome of retirees, all longtime members, said during a recent weekday round they doubted a detention basin would provide many benefits.

“They’re going to buy these big, expensive buildings, tear them down, and put a hole in the ground,” said Ben Mason on the 14th fairway. “It won’t hold much water.”

Bernie Hollenshead said the flood control district instead should build a long-debated third reservoir in northwest Harris County, to complement the existing Addicks and Barker dams. The quartet conceded, however, they are biased in favor of keeping their tee times.

The shame in the Raveneaux sale, club Vice President Lou Mills said, is the course never has been in better shape. Greens and sand traps are in pristine condition, and the course looked verdant on a recent soggy morning.

He conceded Cypress Creek poses a constant threat, however. Walking along the second hole, he pointed to a section of the waterway that swelled during a recent three-quarter-inch downpour. He said residents of the Champions Forest neighborhood north of the club, where tony homes top $1.3 million, are wary when the forecast includes rain.

“Every time there’s a rain event here, they’re all freaking out,” Mills said. “The minute you get rainfall, this becomes a raging river.”

Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle, whose Precinct 4 includes Raveneaux, said he has sympathy for residents who bemoan the community’s loss when the club closes. The stately clubhouse, modeled after a French chateau, has held weddings, retirement parties, and other events since the late 1970s.

The prospect of providing badly needed flood protection on the site, however, is too golden an opportunity to pass up as neighborhoods along Cypress Creek continue to fare poorly in storms, he said. Cagle’s own home, three miles downstream from Raveneaux, flooded during Harvey.


HOUSTON—WeWork’s setback could lead to a number of landlords in various US markets wrestling with how to fill space, according to a new Transwestern research report.

There have been many measures of the impact coworking has had on the office sector; Transwestern offers a new one in its study: when comparing coworking expansion to the growth of top industries nationally since 2015, coworking ranks ninth. Just prior to WeWork’s IPO, momentum in the sector accelerated dramatically, improving its ranking to sixth among all industries through the third quarter of 2019, and by itself accounts for nearly 8 million square feet of absorption.

Specifically, WeWork’s US portfolio currently comprises approximately 27 million square feet in 35 US metros, with New York accounting for 10.3 million square feet, followed by Los Angeles (2.2 million square feet), San Francisco (1.8 million square feet), Washington, DC (1.6 million square feet), and Boston (1.5 million square feet).

To state the obvious, the success or failure of these locations has the potential to affect availability, lease terms and other real estate fundamentals, impacting neighboring properties and entire submarkets, Transwestern says.

The math on that point is clear: WeWork committed to more than half the total space it has leased within the past two years at a time when rent was rising nationwide, according to Jimmy Hinton, senior managing director, investments and analytics. More than a quarter of that space remains ‘unsold,’ presenting a significant amount of financial liability for the company, he says in prepared comments. Now WeWork finds itself in the position of having to market more than 7 million square feet of space as the economy is beginning to slow and businesses are taking a cautious stance in an uncertain political environment, Hinton adds.

Hinton explains that WeWork’s business model, grounded in its strategy to build communities by saturating select markets, was predicated on positive leasing spreads between its own base rent and that of its sublessees, an increasingly difficult balance as prevailing market rents increased over time.

“As a result, risks inherent in WeWork’s business plan would most probably have played out in periods of adverse market conditions,” he says. “As we now know, such circumstances came in the form of restrictive capital supply to WeWork, not from a dearth of tenant demand.”

As the company explained in its IPO, WeWork’s workstation pipeline included five distinct phases—Find, Sign, Build, Fill and Run. The first three categories captured locations before opening, while the last two reflected open locations, Transwestern explains. As of November 2019, 66.6% of WeWork’s Build space, 20% of Fill space, and 6.5% of Run space were vacant nationwide, with Atlanta exhibiting the greatest percentage of availability, at 42.4%, compared to the total market portfolio.

The report concludes that the overwhelming majority (90.5%) of risk is related to lease commitments still in the Build and Fill phases—in other words, where WeWork is constructing space it intends to sublease or is currently subleasing, to corporations or individual memberships.

Of the top five metros, as measured by WeWork total square feet, New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles have the greatest percentage of available space classified in these phases.


Deal Sikes

Commercial property values in Houston should trend upward in 2020, as the region’s positive job growth will increase demand for development opportunities, according to Houston-based valuation firm Deal Sikes. Bisnow/Catie Dixon Matthew Deal and Mark Sikes DATACENTER INVESTMENT CONFERENCE & EXPO (DICE) SOUTH 2020 APRIL 9, 2020 | REGISTER NOW   FEATURED SPEAKER ROMELIA FLORES Distinguished Engineer & Master Inventor, IBM “Houston’s commercial real estate values will be on a solid upswing in 2019,” Deal Sikes principal Matthew Deal said. “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.” The firm said rising land prices have pushed industrial development farther away from the center of the city, and outer suburban land prices have increased accordingly. But that hasn’t stopped development: More than 15M SF of warehouse and industrial space is under construction in the greater Houston area, the firm said. Meanwhile, property values in the urban core remain strong, as developers and builders locate buildings for redevelopment, or seek sites that are appropriate for new construction. “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,” principal Mark Sikes said.  “Investor demand is good and multifamily valuations have not yet peaked in most submarkets.” Though newer office buildings and Class-A towers under construction are leasing briskly, Houston’s office market is its most sluggish sector, according to the firm. The energy industry — a juggernaut in Houston’s leasing arena — is in the midst of a downturn, which is hurting growth. The healthcare sector is faring better. The firm identified the Texas Medical Center as a source of growth for Houston, pointing to the expansion of several hospitals and research facilities. “Although there are a few exceptions, the real estate market in Houston is headed for another good year,” Sikes said. “The region’s economy is healthy and although the energy industry is in a lackluster period, the overall economic outlook is outstanding.”


A beer tap is kept locked in a Washington, D.C., WeWork location

Bye Bye, Booze: WeWork Killing Kegs At North American Locations NationalCoworking January 27, 2020, Ethan Rothstein, East Coast Editor Bisnow/Ethan Rothstein A beer tap is kept locked in a Washington, D.C., WeWork location. WeWork’s free beer taps, one of the defining attributes of the halcyon days of the coworking company, are almost kicked. WeWork is phasing out free beer and wine at it North American locations, a spokesperson confirmed to Bisnow Monday. The company doesn’t have kegs at all of its 600-plus locations, but they were staples of WeWork’s earliest outposts, which were also its most successful, according to WeWork’s financial disclosures last year. By the end of February, the taps will all be phased out, the spokesperson said. Business Insider first reported the change Monday morning. “Data from an expanded member satisfaction survey we conducted last year indicated many of our members wanted a greater variety of beverage options, and we are pleased to roll out these expanded offerings, including a selection of cold brew, kombucha, seltzer, and cold teas, in response,” WeWork said in a statement. “As part of this beverage refresh, WeWork will also phase out on-tap alcoholic beverages in U.S. and Canada locations and aims to complete this process by the end of February.” The beer and wine taps are expected to be replaced with nonalcoholic options, rather than removed. The decision came as a result of new WeWork Chairman Marcelo Claure’s go-forward plan for the business, and was prompted by a member survey, not as a cost-cutting move, a WeWork source said. Booze will still be served at WeWork happy hours and other events, the source added. Alcohol was once a pillar of WeWork’s identity, from bottomless-drink member parties to CEO Adam Neumann’s infamous penchant for shots of tequila. But the company was sued in 2018 by a former executive who said she was sexually assaulted twice at WeWork events, which she claimed “center around partying and reflect the frat-boy culture that starts at the top.” That litigation is still ongoing and is in the discovery phase, according to New York State court records.  A month after the sexual harassment suit was filed, WeWork shifted its alcohol policy, from offering unlimited drinks and blatantly promoting consumption to a four-drink maximum. While the company claims cutting kegs isn’t about costs, its other recent stratagems have focused squarely on its blood-red balance sheet. After losing $1.25B in Q3 2019, WeWork nearly stopped leasing new spaces altogether in Q4, laid off 20% of its staff and has sold several previous acquisitions, including its stake in women-focused co-working company The Wing and digital meeting startup Teem in the last month.


An affiliate of Sealy & Co. has acquired a recently built distribution warehouse totaling nearly 500,000 square feet in the far northwest Houston area near Waller.

The 479,806-square-foot building at 18140 Kickapoo Road was acquired by Sealy Industrial Partners for an undisclosed price.

“Houston’s rapidly growing industrial market and increasingly low vacancy rates are attractive to us,” Scott Sealy Jr., the company’s chief investment officer, said in an announcement.

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The property, on the south of U.S. 290 about eight miles past the Grand Parkway, was developed by Broad-Ocean, a China-based manufacturer of electric motors. The building is across U.S. 290 from the expansive Daikin Texas Technology Park. Broad-Ocean is a supplier to heating and cooling equipment maker Daikin.

RELATED: E-commerce continues to feed the industrial beast

Broad-Ocean, which leases the property, offer the new owner stable occupancy for several years, according to Sealy & Co.

“This is a core asset with features we believe to be attractive to many of the surrounding manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors,” Sealy said. “We’re looking forward to executing our strategy of acquiring at a discount to replacement cost and stabilizing the asset.”

Scott Sealy Jr., Jason Gandy, and Tom Herter led the Sealy investment services team on the transaction, while Tom Lynch and Mark Redlingshafer of CBRE represented the seller.

Sealy & Co. a commercial real estate investment and operating company with corporate offices in Dallas and Shreveport, La.

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.