August 24, 2012
$10 Million Water-Research Center Planned
SAN MARCOS (Austin American-Statesman) – Texas State University plans to expand its research and teaching related to drought, rivers, springs and other water matters under a $10 million plan.
The university's River Systems Institute will get a new name, the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, in recognition of a $1 million donation from the Dallas-based Meadows Foundation.
The $1 million gift is to endow the center, and the foundation expects to make additional endowment gifts during the next few years for a total of $5 million, said Bruce Esterline, its vice president for grants. Texas State will seek other philanthropic gifts as well as state funds earmarked for emerging research universities to achieve the $10 million goal.
"Establishing the center is a critical step toward our goal of preserving a sustainable supply of water to support the needs of Texas' residents, wildlife and natural habitats by providing scientific research on which to base sound water management policies in Texas," said Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO of the Meadows Foundation.
The $10 million plan is intended to underwrite graduate student fellowships, research projects and endowed faculty positions in environmental flows, watershed management, environmental education, and water conservation and sustainability.
Large Self-Storage Transaction is World Class
AUSTIN (Inside Self-Storage) – In what represents one of the largest self-storage portfolios sold in the United States this year, World Class Capital Group LLC has acquired a 12-property self-storage portfolio from Sovran Self Storage.
The portfolio includes more than 8,000 units totaling almost one million sf. The units are in Houston and Dallas.
World Class has planned a multi-million-dollar capital-improvement project for the self-storage facilities. The investment firm will rebrand the properties under its Great Value Storage flagship brand.
Sovran operates under the Uncle Bob’s Self Storage brand.
Retailing Summit Set for Oct. 11, 12
This year's program includes speakers from H-E-B, AT&T, GameStop, Southwest Airlines and Toys 'R' Us.
The conference is sponsored by the Center for Retailing Studies, part of Texas A&M University's Mays Business School. Proceeds will fund educational programs for students pursuing retail studies at Texas A&M University.
Hotel Alden Sold
HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – Locally based American Liberty Hospitality has purchased Hotel Alden.
American Liberty purchased the 97-room hotel at 1117 Prairie in downtown Houston with partner Gentry Mills Capital of Dallas. Northwood Hospitality of New York was the seller.
Dallas-based Compass Lodging Advisors represented American Liberty in the transaction.
H-Town Existing Home Sales Up
HOUSTON (RealtyNewsReport.com) – Existing home sales increased 27 percent last month, marking the 14th month in a row that sales have been up in the Houston area, according to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR).
HAR reported a 5.3-months supply of homes, the city's smallest inventory since 2007. A year ago, Houston had 50,022 homes for sale. That number declined 16 percent to 41,860 listings last month.
The average price of a single-family home in Houston rose 3.7 percent from last July to $231,484, the highest level for a July in Houston and the third highest price of all time, HAR reported. The median price was $170,000 in July, up 6.3 percent from last year.
“Sales volume isn’t achieving the record levels we experienced in 2006, before the recession, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a market performing as well as Houston, even as the national housing recovery continues,” said HAR Chairman Wayne Stroman.
Irving Office Complex New Home for VHA
IRVING (Dallas Morning News) – Three Las Colinas office buildings will soon become the new headquarters for health care company VHA Inc.
A partnership between Wolverine Interests and Fairways Equities has purchased the 539,000-sf property at 250 E. John Carpenter Freeway from Behringer Harvard.
The new owners plan to spend $5 million renovating the buildings, which were built in the late '70s and early '80s.
VHA has committed to a 300,000-sf lease at the property. The company will relocate after work is finished in October 2013.
8300 Douglas' New Owner
DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – The 8300 Douglas building in Preston Center has been sold after being remodeled.
Dallas’ PegasusAblon and Houston-based Lionstone Group bought the property, which totals more than 100,000 sf. The seller was Parmenter Realty Partners. Parmenter bought the building in 2004 and spent $3.8 million on upgrades.
The property, which is just east of the Dallas North Tollway, is valued for taxes at $11.2 million.
Jones Lang LaSalle brokered the sale.
Mayfield Picks Up H-Town Industrial Portfolio
HOUSTON (HFF) – Mayfield Properties LLC has purchased a 13-property, one million-sf industrial portfolio. The seller was DCT Industrial Trust Inc.
The portfolio is 98 percent occupied by 46 tenants. The properties are located in six different industrial projects throughout the Greater Houston area. They are:
- Corporate IV 12603, 12613 Executive; 79,252 sf; Stafford
- Julie Rivers at 505, 525 Julie Rivers Rd. and 12505 Reed Rd.; 219,703 sf; Sugar Land
- Greenbriar at 4000 Greenbriar; 229,200 sf; Houston
- Silber at 1240-1270 Silber; 170,880 sf; Houston
- Wynnwood Park at 7215 Wynnwood and 7240 Wynnpark; 107,406 sf; Houston
- Willowbrook at 8270 and 8280 Willow Place North, 13161-13175 Misty Willow Dr., and 9305-9323 Millsview Rd; 198,790 sf; Houston
HFF represented the seller.