RECON for September 6, 2019RECON for September 6, 2019Bryan PopePope
RECON Real Estate Center
Sun shining through piney woods in East Texas
In today's RECON: funds available for East Texas southern pine beetle prevention, federal tax credits awarded for low-income El Paso multifamily, and national pending home sales fall 2.5 percent in July. Keep scrolling for all this and more. (Photo from Center files.)
September 6, 2019

Federal tax credits awarded for five low-income El Paso apartments

​​EL PASO (El Paso Times) – The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has awarded $53.4 million in federal tax credits for the construction and renovation of five low-income apartment complexes across El Paso County. 

The El Paso Housing Authority will use $15 million to start construction next summer on the $21 million, 120-unit Patriot Place apartments at Diana Dr. and Kenworth St. Opening is set for the end of 2021. 

Meanwhile, $14.4 million in federal tax credits will help finance renovations to the 98-unit DeWetter Apartments at 560 Lisbon Ave. and the 78-unit Kathy White Apartments at 2500 Mobile Ave. 

Renovations have already begun and will be complete by February 2021.

Investment Builders Inc. will use $15 million to help finance the $18.3 million, 104-unit Ridgestone Estates complex at 11050 Montana Ave. Construction will begin by the end of 2019 and wrap up by fall 2021.

Tropicana Building Corp. will use $9 million to help finance the $12 million, 80-unit Anthony Palms low-income apartment complex on the 100 block of Sandia Dr. in Anthony. ​​Work will start next summer, and opening is set for early 2021. 
You know those waiver and release forms some recreational businesses make you sign before you so much as step foot on their premises? If you think those don’t carry much legal weight, think again. When properly drafted, they can. Center Research Attorney Rusty Adams says more in his latest Tierra Grande article. 

Southern pending home sales drop 2.4 percent

​​WASHINGTON (National Association of Realtors) – U.S. pending home sales dropped in July, reversing course on two consecutive months of growth, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).​

The Pending Home Sales Index fell 2.5 percent to 105.6 in July, down from 108.3 in June. Year-over-year contract signings fell 0.3 percent, opposing last month's increase. ​

Pending home sales in the South—the region that includes Texas—fell at a similar rate, dropping 2.4 percent to an index of 122.7 in July, which is 0.1 percent higher than last July.

"Super-low mortgage rates have not yet consistently pulled buyers back into the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Economic uncertainty is no doubt holding back some potential demand, but what is desperately needed is more supply of moderately priced homes."

Yun expects GDP growth to ease to 2 percent in 2019 and 1.6 percent in 2020, but growth predictions are somewhat uncertain due to trade tensions. With slower economic growth, interest rates will remain low. Though home sales will get a short-term boost from lower mortgage rates, existing-home sales are likely to be flat at 5.34 million in 2019 given the level of sales in the first seven months of the year. ​

Amid tight inventory conditions, the median price of existing-home sales will continue increasing, but at a slower pace of 4 percent in 2019, to $269,000, and 3 percent in 2020, to $278,500.
12 tips for staying safe at open houses
September is National Realtor Safety Month, so now is a great time to review your workplace safety practices. Although you should always cautious while holding an open house or showing, we've compiled a dozen tips to take into consideration this month.

Funds available for Southern Pine Beetle prevention

​​​COLLEGE STATION (Texas A&M Forest Service) – ​​Landowners in 21 East Texas counties conducting first-thinning operations in overly dense, pulpwood-sized pine stands may now apply for the 2019 Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Prevention Program Thinning Cost Share.​

Eligible landowners may receive up to $50 per acre (100-acre maximum) to assist in first-thin operations. 

The forested property must meet several criteria and be in one of the following counties: Angelina, Cass, Cherokee, ​Hardin, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Marion, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler, or Walker. 

All approved thinning projects must be completed within 12 months of the approval date. ​

This funding opportunity is available thanks to a cost-share grant through the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection Program and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service.

Since the SPB Prevention Program's inception, over 100,000 acres have been treated throughout East Texas.​​
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City approves 800 apartments on J.C Penney campus

PLANO (Dallas Morning News) ​​– Silos Harvesting Partners​ has received city planning approval to add almost 800 apartments to the 110-acre redevelopment of J.C. Penney's old corporate campus.

Trammell Crow Residential and Kairoi Residential will build at least five-story apartments on a small portion of the property at Legacy and Headquarters Drives.​

As part of the deal, which still must get the city council's approval, the property owners must set aside almost 14 acres of open space in the project.​

The project, called The Campus at Legacy West, will include converting the more than one million-sf​ ​headquarters into offices for multiple tenants. Developers will also add a hotel, retail and restaurant space, more offices, residential options, and a boardwalk.​
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

Hanover developing 412-unit multifamily project 

HOUSTON (JLL) – The Hanover Co. and its joint venture partner, PCCP LLC, are developing a 412-unit apartment complex on 5.86 acres at 1500 Westbranch Dr. 

The six-story property will encompass a mix of 343 market-rate and 69 affordable units, which will average 889 sf. 

The project will feature:
  • nearly 3,000 sf of ground-floor retail space;
  • landscaped courtyard with resort-style pool, firepit, and grilling area; 
  • clubhouse with demonstration kitchen and multimedia area equipped with a cinema with stadium seating, gaming activities, and televisions; 
  • fitness center and business/conference rooms; and
  • 596 residential parking spaces.
JLL represented The Hanover Co. in joint venture equity negotiations. 

Completion is slated for ​​late 2021.

Viridian makes room for 400 more homes

​​​​​​ARLINGTON (Dallas Morning News) – ​Johnson Development Corp. is adding sites for nearly 4​​​​​​​​​00 homes in the Viridian community off N. Collins St. 

The new phase will include houses priced from $300,000 to $1 million. 

Homebuilders include CB Jeni Lifestyle Homes, CastleRock Communities, David Weekley Homes, Drees Custom Homes, Highland Homes, Normandy Homes, Plantation Homes, Toll Brothers, Glendarroch Homes, Struhs Homes, and Windmiller Custom Homes.

​Viridian opened in 2008 ​and was purchased by Johnson in 2015. In 2016, developers opened space for ​138 more homes. 

Earlier this year, the development landed on John Burns Real Estate Consulting's ​​top 50 master-planned communities list for 2018.​
MarketViewer ScreenshotTexas Realtor's MarketViewer tool helps members and their clients quickly understand the market statistics in their area. This powerful tool is a member benefit available exclusively to Texas Realtors and local Realtor associations in Texas. Data are compiled and analyzed through a research agreement between Texas Realtors, the Real Estate Center, and all MLSs across the state. 

NuStar wraps up Corpus crude oil pipeline 

CORPUS CHRISTI (Corpus Christi Caller-Times) – NuStar Energy has completed the second stage of its export project, an eight-mile, 30-inch pipeline that will transport crude oil from Taft.

​NuStar is also adding 600,000 barrels of storage to its local terminal, which will bring its total capacity to 3.9 million barrels.

The company's storage expansion will be complete ​in December.

Massachusetts trust sells three Texas offices

​​NEWTON, Mass. (GlobeSt.) – Locally based Office Properties Income Trust has sold three Texas buildings​​ as part of a five-property, $223 million office portfolio across three states.

One property is a one-story, 182,630-sf office building at 2115-2116 E. Randol Mill Rd. in Arlington.

The other Texas asset includes a two-building, 618,000-sf property at 19100 Ridgewood Pkwy. in San Antonio. The buildings are six and 14 stories.

Other buildings in the portfolio are in Rochester, N.Y., and Hanover, Penn. ​
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H-E-B coming soon to Lubbock 

LUBBOCK (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) – H-E-B is developing a 120,000-sf grocery store at 114th St. and Quaker Ave. 

The store will include the True Texas BBQ restaurant, pharmacy, Meal Simple department, bakery, healthy living department, and one-hour beer and wine delivery. ​

Construction will start early next year and wrap up in fall 2020. 

Switchyard Apartments power on

CARROLLTON (MultifamilyBiz) – Lincoln Property Co.'s 324-unit Switchyard Apartments ​​​at 1199 N. Broadway St. is now open and available for lease.

The four-story community offers studio, one-, and two-bedroom floor plans ranging from 525 to 1,262 sf. 

Amenities include indoor bike storage and repair studio, pet salon, juice bar, fitness center, interactive fitness studio, and easy access to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system. ​
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Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

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