GRAND PRAIRIE - Veilux Manufacturing has announced the opening of its new 27,500-sf corporate headquarters at 802 Greenview Dr. The facility houses the corporate offices, a training center that can train up to 75 to 100 people, a storefront display, technical support, distribution, and a brand new manufacturing facility.
The manufacturer of surveillance cameras and related equipment will be starting their "Made in the U.S.A." product line in Grand Prairie.
Veilux’s new manufacturing facility is scheduled to open in June 2013. The facility will be equipped to manufacture IP cameras, analog cameras and other surveillance equipment.
Read more at SourceSecurity.com.
AUSTIN - Office properties have been trading at a rapid clip since the first of the year, resulting in nearly 3 million sf of commercial space being sold to a wide variety of investors through April, according to information provided by Kennedy Wilson.
More than $386 million worth of properties changed hands. That’s a very conservative estimate.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s Lone Star Campus at 851,000 sf sold to Spear Street Capital for $164 million or $192.52 per sf.
Cousin Properties Inc. of Atlanta purchased 816 Congress Ave. for $102.4 million from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. With 433,024 sf, that equates to $236.48 per sf.
Thomas Properties Group’s sold of its suburban portfolio to KBS Strategic REIT Inc. for about $76 million. The ten-building portfolio was composed of three complexes: Westech 360 on North Capital of Texas Hwy., Great Hills Plaza at 9600 Great Hills Trail and 8601 RR 2222. The Great Hills Plaza complex at 135,333 sf commanded a price of about $28 million or $206.91 per sf.
Bridgepoint Plaza I and II near the Pennybacker Bridge off of North Capital of Texas Hwy. sold for almost $36.5 million or $205 per sf. The buyer was TA Associates in Boston.
La Costa Centre in North Austin sold to Houston-based Boxer Property in partnership with the largest building tenant, Emergency Service Partners. The 87,900-sf building sold for a little more than $7 million or about $80 per sf.
Read more at the Austin Business Journal.
ROANOKE - Saddle Creek Logistics Services of Lakeland, Fla., has leased 287,000 sf of warehouse space at Gateway 50 at 743 Henrietta Creek Road in Hillwood’s AllianceTexas development. The company took occupancy in April 2013.
The deal brings first quarter 2013 leasing activity at Alliance in far north Fort Worth to 1 million sf, according to Hillwood Properties.
Saddle Creek will operate in the 1 million-sf warehouse mostly leased by Tom Thumb, said Reid Goetz, marketing manager with Hillwood.
Saddle Creek also operates an 860,000-sf warehouse at 4600 Railhead Rd. in Fort Worth. The company also operates two Grand Prairie facilities totaling 900,000 sf.
HOUSTON - Boxer Property has purchased the 75,289-sf Northwest Central Plaza, a two-story office building at 5500 NW Central Dr. The building, located off the US 290 corridor in northwest Houston, complements Boxer's next-door property at 5600 NW Central Dr.
Though the seller of the 1980s property was not indicated, the Harris County Central Appraisal District lists it as MLCV NWC LP, an offshoot of ML Realty Partners of Itasca, IL. HCAD also indicates that the seller owned the property since 2001, and that it's valued at $3.8 million.
Read more at GlobeSt.com.
HUTTO - Hutto’s first-ever community college campus is in the final stages of construction and is scheduled for completion in July. Construction on the $17 million, 117,000-sf building has lasted about one year.
Classes are scheduled to start at the new East Williamson County Higher Education Center, 1600 County Road 108 in northwestern Hutto, on Aug. 26.
The college is being run under an agreement between Temple College and Texas State Technical College: Temple College will lease the building, which will be owned by Texas State Technical.
The technical college will offer culinary and other vocational programs, including those on air conditioning, construction, plumbing, pipefitting, engineering technology and welding.
The facility will include approximately 50,000 sf of industry-standard lab space.
Temple College will offer academic classes at the center, including math, English, health sciences, criminal justice and business management.
Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.
RED OAK, ELLIS COUNTY - Ground has broken on Triumph Aerostructures' new $170 million aerospace production facility in the 175-acre Red Oak Industrial Park. The facility will manufacture integrated aerostructures for commercial, military and business jet aircraft.
The 714,000-sf assembly and composites fabrication facility (known as Building 2) will be home to Triumph’s Vought Aircraft Division and will initially employ 175 workers. Work is also underway on a 50,000-sf building for engineers and executives within the company.
Building 1, a 240,000-sf, $70 million building at the site, was completed in September 2012. It currently employs 275 workers.
The entire Triumph site has the long-term potential to employ 600 workers, according to Red Oak City Manager Todd Fuller.
CORPUS CHRISTI, PORTLAND - Academy Sports + Outdoors is building a new 58,000-sf store in Portland at Northshore Blvd. and the US 181 access road, with a planned opening in spring 2014.
The retailer is expected to spur more than 100 jobs in Portland. Construction costs are estimated at $4 million, according to state filings.
Academy is also renovating its 110,000-sf store on South Padre Island Dr. in Corpus Christi. Renovations have already begun to expand the sales floors and update an archery lane and digital golf simulator, among other updates. The store is expected to host its reopening July 13, 2013.
The Katy Texas-based sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer operates 161 stores throughout 13 states.
Read more at ABCnews4.com
WACO - The Baylor University Board of Regents voted to approve a $13.6 million on-campus track and field stadium, which will replace the current Hart-Patterson Track Complex near Floyd Casey Stadium.
The track stadium will include a nine-lane track, a new team training building with men’s and women’s locker rooms, stadium seating for up to 5,000 spectators, and a 13,500-sf indoor practice facility.
The university has received enough gifts to fully finance Phase 1 of the track stadium project, said Baylor Athletics Director, Ian McCaw.
A future Phase 2 project would expand the office space and student amenities in the team building and create additional space for equipment and training.
The track stadium will be built next to the $250 million football stadium currently under construction. Both facilities will open at the start of their respective sports seasons during the 2014-15 school year.
Read more at the Waco Tribune-Herald.
HOUSTON - The JW Marriott Houston Downtown Hotel is undergoing an $80.8 million renovation, with an expected completion date for spring 2014.
The project, at 806 Main St., is a renovation of the Samuel F. Carter building, which was acquired by Pearl Hospitality.
The funding includes several sources, $31 million in owner equity, $42.5 million in senior financing and $7.35 million in financing from the city.
The new luxury hotel will feature 323 guest rooms, a restaurant and full-service bar, a spa, health club, an executive lounge, swimming pool and 10,000 sf of meeting space. The project will create 177 new jobs, 150 of them permanent.
This project will be the first Houston project for Fort Worth-based Pearl Hospitality. The company owns and operates hotels in Fort Worth and Lubbock.
Read more at the Houston Business Journal.
PARIS, LAMAR COUNTY - Campbell Soup, one of Paris’ largest employers, has received a $369,000 building permit to continue its Ready-To-Eat line construction installation, which has a total construction cost of over $5.45 million, according to state filings.
The permit is a portion of an overall $45.4 million the company has invested in Paris, according to The Paris News.
Campbell Soup was one of 78 permits issued by the City of Paris in March 2013, which altogether are valued at just under $1.4 million.
In other Paris news, Skinner Baking Co. has been approved for a $1.3 million, ten-year tax abatement on $19.4 million of expected improvements and 393 jobs at the former Sara Lee plant over the next five years.
In 18 months the plant should be up and running smoothly and hiring has already started, according to Audie Keaton, CEO of J. Skinner Baking Co.
The 375,000-sf plant, located at 2020 19th St. NW, should be up and running within a year and a half. The company makes Danish and sweet rolls.
Skinner’s annual payroll from 2013-17 is expected to be more than $81 million a year. Skinner is also expected to spend $5.2 million with local contractors and on utilities and $500,000 in sales taxes
GRAND PRAIRIE - Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc., a high-end furniture and decorations company, plans to hire more than 300 employees for its new $22 million, 850,000-sf distribution facility.
The facility, located at SH 161 and Arkansas Ln., will serve as the California-based company's new southwest regional distribution hub and fulfillment center. The operation also includes a call center.
The facility is scheduled for completion by July 1, 2013.
Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.
EL PASO - The home of the El Paso Triple-A baseball team is starting to take shape — like a diamond. Construction crews are working on the foundation of Downtown's new baseball stadium, said City Engineer Alan Shubert.
The foundation work is only the beginning of what will become a 9,000-seat baseball stadium.
Removal of the City Hall implosion debris is expected to be finished by the end of this week. The debris comprised about 18,800 tons of reinforced concrete, metal, glass and other materials that used to make up the former City Hall.
The ballpark is expected to be ready by April 2014, when the minor league baseball team is expected to play its first game in El Paso.
The ballpark's final construction will include artwork commemorating the history of baseball in the city and a red brick exterior to match the nearby Union Depot train station.
The $50 million stadium in Downtown El Paso will be the home of the Tucson Padres. The team will have a new name when it takes the field in El Paso.
Read more at the El Paso Times.
TEXAS - Texas added 33,100 jobs in April — more than any other state — despite the federal payroll tax increase, U.S. spending cuts and a global slowdown.
The state also added the most jobs nationally — 326,100 — over the last 12 months, the Texas Workforce Commission reported.
“Texas was the No. 1 state again in job creation,” said Jason Frederick, a senior economist for BBVA Compass bank.
Construction has been Texas’ fastest-growing industry in the last year, adding 41,500 jobs. That made the state No. 2 for the most construction job gains in the last 12 months, after California’s 44,800 jobs, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
Trade, transportation and utilities created the most jobs (16,000), followed by professional and business services (8,000). Government — state and local — also added 4,700 jobs in April and 19,300 jobs over the last year, bucking the national trend.
The Midland area had the lowest April unemployment rate at 3 percent.
Read more at The Dallas Morning News.
ABILENE - Abilene Realtors sold 173 homes in April 2013, 25 more than what was sold in April 2012. The average home price was $140,747, nearly $16,000 more compared to April 2012.
The median sales price in April 2013 of $124,500 is more than $13,000 from last year. Sales totaled $24,349,235 in April 2013. Most homes sold in April from $100,000 to $119,000.
Of the 173 homes, 36 buyers paid in cash, 56 used conventional loans, 46 FHA financing, 30 VA and five under owner and other financing.
Abilene had 5.6 months of inventory in first quarter 2013, according to the Texas Association of Realtors.
Read more at the Abilene Reporter-News.
PLANO - Granite Properties' $150 million speculative office tower and the four-star, 299-key Hilton Granite Park conference hotel have broken ground. Both projects slated for completion in mid-2014.
The two new structures are part of the existing 90-acre development located at the Sam Rayburn Tollway (SH 121) and the Dallas North Tollway.
The 12-story, 300,000-sf Class A office tower, known as Granite Park IV, is being built to achieve LEED Silver certification, featuring energy efficient building systems, unique exterior lighting elements, as well as a fitness center, conference space and a five-level garage.
The 262,500-sf Hilton Granite Park conference hotel includes 299 luxury rooms and 35,000 sf of conference space, a full-service restaurant, retail shop, a fitness center and outdoor pool and lounge. The lobby includes a large bar area and a unique, multipurpose technology lounge.
Granite Properties is a privately held commercial real estate investment and management company.
Read more at WebWire.
WACO - A $225 million deal closed that has Minnesota-based Varde Partners acquiring Waco-based FirstCity Financial Corp. — a major player in purchasing distressed assets such as shopping centers and office buildings and turning around their fortunes.
“The FirstCity headquarters will remain in Waco and we hope to grow our operations,” said James Holmes, senior vice president and managing director of FirstCity who will become chief credit officer in the deal that takes the company private.
FirstCity employs 116 at its offices on Imperial Drive and about 20 at a satellite center in Dallas. Holmes said joining forces should translate into hiring.
“Today marks an important next step in FirstCity’s development and position in the marketplace,” said Mark B. Horrell, now CEO, in a prepared statement.
“Under Varde’s leadership as a privately held company, FirstCity will have enhanced financial flexibility, enabling us to focus on our strategic direction and long-term goals.” That strategy includes targeting more troubled properties in the U.S. and reducing business outside the country.
Read more of Mike Copeland's article in the Waco Tribune-Herald.
FORT BLISS - With Fort Bliss experiencing explosive growth over the course of the past seven years, the base has opened its new $15.5 million Aquatics Training Center at 20733 Constitution.
The 50,000-sf center has three indoor pools, each with a different purpose.
The complex doubled the number of pools operated by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation from three to six. The indoor facility contains an Olympic-size pool, a multipurpose pool and a diving pool.
The new center's main emphasis will be on soldier training, but the three pools can easily be converted and used for recreation. The facility is open to all military ID cardholders, including active-duty military, retired military, family members and civilian employees at the installation.
The new Aquatics Training Center is across the street from the Soldier Activity Center and its outdoor pool and Soto Gym, creating a physical fitness and recreation zone to serve soldiers and their families.
Read more at the El Paso Times.
HOUSTON - Texas Children’s Hospital announced that it will open $10 million state-of-the-art sports medicine clinic at its campus near Katy.
Slated to open in August 2013, the 28,500-sf facility will focus completely on young athletes. It will include a 3,000-sf gym, two radiology rooms, three casting rooms, 16 exam rooms and advanced technologies.
Read more at the Houston Chronicle.
PLANO, HOUSTON - Colleyville-based US Memory Care has started construction on two new 57,000-sf facilities offering specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The projects will be located in Plano, at the corner of Silverglen Ln. and Mapleshade Dr., and in Houston at Louetta Rd. and Cutten Rd.
Both Facilities will employ 45 to 50 people and will include 75 memory care beds with private and semi-private rooms. Construction on both projects will begin in early 2013 with opening anticipated in the late fall, and each cost about $14 million.
Construction is expected to be completed on both facilities in first quarter 2014.
Both locations will feature a “Main Street” themed common area that will include a beauty salon and barber shop, movie theater, private dining area, relaxation room, music hall and sweet shop.
Read more at Senior Housing News.
PARIS, LAMAR COUNTY - The City of Paris issued $3.8 million in building permits in April 2013, down 12 percent for the year, but up 15 percent compared to April 2012.
In the same month, certificates of occupancy grew 134 percent from April 2012, and 31 percent more year to date.
Fresenius Medical Care, a dialysis center, is building a new 13,600-sf complex at 633 Stone Ave. The permit is for $895,000. Work has begun on the $2.6 million facility with plans to open by the end of the year.
Walmart, at 3855 Lamar Ave., will do interior remodel with a $749,753 permit.
There were permits for four new homes issued in April, totaling $481,793.
Read more at The Paris News.