July 31, 2012
Hillwood, Brookfield Buying REIT
DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Two real estate companies are taking on a real estate investment trust in a merger agreement.
Dallas-based Hillwood Investment Properties and Canadian firm Brookfield Asset Management are shelling out $366 million for Verde Realty, a Houston REIT.
Verde holds about 50 properties in Texas, as well as others throughout the United States and Mexico.
The proposed merger agreement will be discussed at Verde Realty’s Aug. 29 shareholder meeting.
Affordable Downtown Studios First in Decades
AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – An Austin nonprofit will receive the federal tax credits it needs to build downtown’s first affordable housing development in decades.
Foundation Communities secured $11 million of the expected $13 million it will take to construct Capital Studios, a project to include 135 efficiency units on the corner of Trinity and 11th Streets.
The units will rent for between $400 and $650 a month, including utilities. Ten of the units will be reserved for artists and musicians, according to Foundation Communities’ executive director Walter Moreau.
The nonprofit plans to break ground early next year, with the building slated to open in early 2014.
SA Industrial Benefitting from Eagle Ford
SAN ANTONIO (NAI REOC) – The Alamo City's industrial market continues to benefit from Eagle Ford Shale activity, according to NAI REOC San Antonio's second quarter 2012 market report.
Three of the top five largest leases signed in the second quarter were by Chalk Mountain Services, an oilfield services company specializing in transportation of frac sand, an industrial sand used in deep well drilling of oil and natural gas.
Chalk Mountain signed leases at Alamo Downs Distribution Center (50,372 sf), Pan Am Distribution Center (47,183 sf) and Nickase Business Center (40,000 sf).
“It is estimated that frac sand is currently being stored in approximately 650,000 sf of San Antonio warehouse facilities, which has obviously benefitted the local market,” said Kim Gatley, senior vice president and director of research for NAI REOC San Antonio.
But Gatley said the local industrial market isn't built wholly on shifting sand.
According to the firm's survey of more than 31 million sf of tracked industrial space, the local market had 250,600 sf of positive net absorption in the second quarter. Year-to-date, local industrial properties had 912,958 sf of positive net absorption.
The citywide vacancy rate tightened to 10.3 percent at the close of the second quarter compared with 11.9 percent last quarter and 14 percent in the same quarter last year.
The average citywide quoted rental rate was up six cents from last quarter to $5.62 per sf per year on a triple net basis, and up nine cents compared with last year at this time for a moderate annual increase of 1.6 percent.
The city’s 24.3 million sf of warehouse space had the majority of leasing activity and absorption recorded in the second quarter, generating 225,776 sf of positive net absorption.
Citywide warehouse vacancy rate improved to 8.6 percent compared with 10.6 percent last quarter and 13.1 percent a year ago.
The citywide average quoted rental rate for warehouse space increased six cents from last quarter to $4.48 per sf, five cents higher than the average rate recorded in the same quarter last year.
CityCentre Four Breaks Ground
HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – Local real estate and development firm Midway Cos. has broken ground on a six-story, mixed-use building in the CityCentre complex.
Located at Beltway 8 and I-10, the 132,500-sf CityCentre Four will be next to CityCentre Three, which is currently under construction.
The first floor will be reserved for retail, while the upper stories will have Class-A office space.
Emerson Building in Gateway
McKINNEY (Collin County Business Press) – Emerson Process Management’s Regulator Technologies business has broken ground on its new $25 million global headquarters building in the Gateway development at US 75 and the Sam Rayburn Tollway.
The three-story, 128,000-sf building will house a research facility and “flow lab” that will enable the company to test its regulator products in real-world plant conditions. It will also include offices, a customer training center and a fitness center for its 130 employees.
The architect is Fox Architects, and the general contractor is Tribble & Stephens Constructors Ltd.
Construction is expected to be complete by late 2013.
More Housing for Leander
LEANDER (City of Leander) – Merritt Legacy's new 426-unit housing development here has received tax credit funding from the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs.
Connelly’s Crossing will have 208 units of mixed-income, multifamily housing and 118 single-family lots. In addition, a 100-unit senior housing development has been proposed for behind the city's public library.
Merritt Legacy’s initial capital investment is estimated at $24 million. When the additional single-family lots and senior housing development come online, investment will be roughly $60 million.
Admiral Commandeers Holiday Inn
FORT WORTH (Admiral Capital) – The Admiral Capital Real Estate Fund LP and Franklin Croft Inc. have purchased the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Fort Worth.
The recently renovated hotel at 1111 West Lancaster Ave. has 132 rooms, with 31 more on the way this year.
The buyer is a partnership between Admiral Capital Group and USAA Real Estate Company.
Bulverde Oaks Coming to San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO (Teeple Partners Inc.) – Teeple Partners Inc. broke ground today on Bulverde Oaks, a 328-unit apartment project in north San Antonio.
The complex, located on 16 acres north of 1604 on Bulverde Rd., will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
It is slated to be finished by March 2013.
Former Unocal Building Sold
HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – Locally based PM Realty Group (PMRG) has purchased Sugar Creek on the Lake, the ten-story, 515,000-sf building at 14141 Southwest Freeway.
The former Unocal office building has been mostly vacant since 2010. PMRG plans to invest $13 million to modernize the 30-year-old structure.
The firm also acquired the adjacent 15-acre parking lot, which can accommodate 650 vehicles.
Kaplan Developing Houston Apartments
HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – Houston’s Washington Avenue corridor will soon welcome another high-end apartment complex.
Houston-based Kaplan Cos. is developing the 396-unit District at Washington on a seven-acre site along T.C. Jester Blvd. between Allen and Schuler Streets. The four- to five-story complex will include one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $1,209 to $1,959.
Planned amenities include an 11,000-sf clubhouse, a fitness center with an area for yoga and spinning, and a dog park.
The District at Washington is slated to open in summer 2013.
Canyon Falls Back on Track
FORT WORTH (Dallas Business Journal) – A Northeast company has acquired a large master-planned community in north Fort Worth that had fallen into bankruptcy.
An affiliate of Wheelock Street Capital purchased the 1,242-acre Canyon Falls at I-35W and FM 1171 from Dallas-based Highland Capital Management.
Plans call for Canyon Falls to include about 1,700 homes as well as multifamily units and retail.
Investors Replacing Hulen Place
FORT WORTH (Austin Business Journal) – An Austin-based partnership is ready to build an apartment community in Fort Worth, replacing an existing complex.
Hulen Place Multifamily LP is developing a five-story, 240-unit complex at 4212 Hulen Place. The existing structures will be demolished in the next few weeks for construction of the new Class-A units.
The partnership raised $5.2 million from 19 different investors to make the redevelopment possible.
News, News and More News
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – If you'd like more Texas real estate news, check out NewsTalk Texas, our online news database.
Here's a handful of stories you'll find there this week:
- Author McMurtry historic auction hits Archer City
- Atlas lifts 750 units from Lubbock into portfolio
- ETMC Henderson completes $30M renovation
- Panda power hits Temple
- Frontier's shale solution: flat rate all-inclusive camp
NewsTalk Texas is updated each weekday, throughout the day.