As the first quarter winded down last month, business analysts began to assess how the Houston commercial real estate market shifted and the news appears positive for those business decision makers in search of office space for lease, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
Nearly 700,000 square feet of commercial property space entered the market in the first three months of this year, which represents a significant improvement over last year's figures at this same point in the year, according to an analysis of the data by Commercial Gateway.
New office building construction is also improving, as new Houston North office space and commercial locations in West Houston will become available to tenants this year. Woodlands office space will become especially more prevalent as 2012 goes on, thanks to four projects totaling more than 900,000 square feet.
As commercial real estate becomes more readily accessible in Houston, there appears to be a swell of support for public works projects that bolster public transportation in the metro area instead of improving existing highways. A Rice University survey found that 55 percent of Houston residents support new transit projects, compared with 40 percent who would prefer to channel resources toward enhancing current roads.
"[Sprawl] is dying, and if we don't embrace walkable urbanism, especially in the City of Houston, which has a lot of good fundamentals left over from the streetcar days, we're going to have a tough time with our budgets and our streets are going to be nearly impassable," according to an op-ed in The Houston Chronicle written by Houston Tomorrow president David Crossley.
This rejection of sprawl suggests that many residents in the Houston area would rather live within walking distances of commercial locations, which could bode well for those who own Downtown Houston retail space. To acquire one of the many properties available for lease in the Houston area, business owners should work with a local consultant who is well-connected with the right real estate stakeholders.