It doesn't seem that long ago when I attended Startup Weekend Houston in February, and really caught a glimpse of what the startup scene was like here. TheSquareFoot was a brand new idea then, and I was excited to attend an event like this for the first time. I remember being nervous walking in because A) this would be the first event I attended of its kind, B) I didn't know ANYONE, C) I knew I would be pitching for the first time in front of a large audience, and D) I had no idea what kind of feedback I would get on our concept. Most people outside of the industry don't know much about commercial real estate leasing, and it's almost impossible to make it seem like a glamorous business.
This week TheSquareFoot is featuring the office of Green Business Bureau, which aims to aid companies and organizations to become environmentally friendly or "Go Green". Green Business Bureau believes that not only can green business practices and processes help protect the environment, they may also help a company improve its bottom line. We thought this was an awesome concept and wanted to check out the hub of this exciting Houston-based venture first hand. Located on the second story of the building housing Brian O'Neill's Pub, this unique setup for a Rice Village office in Houston looked ideal for a company full of so many young faces.
Recently we took a break from our efforts of bringing efficiency and transparency to Houston small businesses and entrepreneurs who were looking for space for their business. We ate at Sushi Pop located across from Memorial City Mall on I-10 and Bunker Hill because we had heard good things, and knew it was owned by the same group as Azuma and Uptown sushi. The sushi was delicious but we were surprised by the fantastic build-out and retail space. The inside was meticulously decorated and felt open and inviting. It is usually difficult to find a reasonably priced sushi retail establishments in Houston, which has awesome food and also great restaurant space, but Sushi Pop has our seal of approval!
One of our Houston retail brokers, Lance Gillam of UCR moodyrambin PAGE, was quoted in GlobeSt yesterday talking about current trends in Houston retail space leasing. It is interesting to see the dichotomy between class A retail space--where there can often be a waiting list--and class B and C space where vacancies abound.
We hear it all the time. Prospective tenants are sometimes wary about using a tenant broker because they think A) there is a fee involved, B) the broker may not be a market expert and know the best options available, and C) landlords charge higher rent for tenant who use a tenant broker to sign a lease. TheSquareFoot has certainly addressed A and B ad nauseam, and we need to flush out C just so everyone is clear on how the system works.
After reading this article on leasing trends in commercial real estate, we began to think about what the metrics meant for tenants. Loopnet put together a very good info-graphic (below) on lease versus buy trends and I thought a few statistics were interesting from a prospective tenants viewpoint as they lease new or renew space for their business -
For our first 2012 installment of office space of the week, we are featuring our friends over at Infinity Power Partners, an energy-consulting firm for large consumers of electricity or natural gas. Located in Three Post Oak Central in the Galleria area, Infinity's execs have matched a Galleria corporate & budding energy business culture with their love of big game hunting and flat screen TV's. When it comes to office space in Houston in the Galleria area, Infinity Power Partners has just about the best location possible with it's close proximity to 610 and all the Galleria retail that's within walking distance. Oh, and the views aren't too shabby either....
Noble Energy just signed a 497,000 square foot lease in the former Hewlett Packard building in northwest Houston. That is almost 11.5 acres and they will occupy all 10 floors with plans to expand in the future.
There have been a few stories that have come out recently saying that Starbucks will begin selling beer and wine at locations in several major US markets by the end of 2012. Starbucks began testing the concept in some of it's Seattle home based locations back in late 2011, and is planning on implementing the sale of beer and wine in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, and a few cities in Southern California soon. Word has it that they will start testing the concept in 4-6 locations in each of those markets and go from there. Seems as if Starbucks is attempting to become more of a true cafe, serving coffee, tea, beer, wine, to go along with pastries and Panini's. There are no immediate plans to expand the concept into any of the major Texas cities, but that could certainly change after seeing a positive response in some of the test markets.
A data services firm is relocating its headquarters from Las Vegas to Dallas, according to reports, underscoring the continued strength of the Dallas office space market.
For the first time since 2010, U.S. banks committed more in lending to commercial real estate projects than they did in the previous quarter, according to a national report. With improved access to financing, more businesses may have the financial backing needed to consider securing office space for rent in top metros such as Dallas, Houston or New York City.
Real estate experts have long tied the industry's fortunes to the strength of the nation's job market, and now many say the right type of growth is occurring to positively effect several corners of the market - including commercial real estate.
This week we're featuring a really unique space in the Houston Montrose area, where RedHouse Associates makes it home. Literally a red house, this Houston city landmark has been completely renovated on the inside and serves as the base to Houston's premier startup Incubator - which provides strategic advice and services to assist young companies in developing business plans, devising product strategies, growing sales organizations, and preparing senior management teams for raising capital and strategic exits.
Expansion is a welcome challenge for most businesses, and with it comes a variety of decisions. One of the most important may regard the business' physical location, and whether or not a company wants to buy or lease its new home.
For businesses considering retail space for rent in top metropolitan areas such as New York, Dallas, Austin or Houston, it has never been unusual to base this decision off of intangible factors, such as instinct or the general "feel" towards the property.
The latter six months of 2012 will provide greater opportunities for commercial real estate investors and property owners to profit from increasing demand and rising rents. However, for businesses seeking office space for rent in top metropolitan markets like New York and Dallas, it may be wise to begin considering options now, before vacancies become too tight.
We had the pleasure of touring CultureMap's Houston office space, located on Wood Street in East Downtown. Given CultureMap's hip and trendy vibe, our expectations were high and the offices did not disappoint. With hardwood floors and the sun shining through the windows, the space has a happy, warm tone. The main area of the space includes a spacious open room for the writers to work and a large kitchen, where almost any meal could be prepared. In the back is the living room type set up with great artwork and great looking (and very comfortable!) furniture. We finished off the tour in CultureMap CEO Stephen Newman's office and saw why CultureMap is inspired by great design.
While more technology firms and financial businesses continue to search for office space for lease in Houston, Austin and Dallas, one national grocery chain has announced its intention to occupy space in another key Texas metropolitan area.
Changes in how leases are classified for accounting purposes may affect commercial real estate in Dallas and other major markets like Austin, New York, and Houston.
This week we are featuring the offices of SnapStream TV Search, a television monitoring solution that lets you search, clip and save everything you can possibly record on TV. Jon Stewart from The Daily Show uses them to track news throughout the day and find clips for their shows. You can imagine without this technology how burdensome that process would be!
The United States' population is increasingly becoming centralized in major urban areas, including the Los Angeles, New York City and Austin metropolitan regions, according to new federal data. Patterns of growth may affect the level of commercial real estate leasing activity in particular parts of the country.
The buildings that once housed the East Austin headquarters for Motorola and Freescale Semiconductor are now likely to provide Austin office space for rent to local Austin business owners.
While traditional commercial real estate owners in Houston continue to buy up properties to lease to members of the city's growing business community, one notable property remains dormant, unused and unlikely to attract any attention from a commercial real estate perspective.
Businesses around the country have heard the drumbeats of cloud computing technology and, for the most part, many have responded by making investments in technology that help more workers perform duties remotely.
The current commercial real estate market appeals to buyers in major cities such as New York City, Dallas, Houston and Austin. However, experts say businesses conducting an office space search may soon increasingly find themselves leasing properties owned by foreign investors, who consider the market's current position ideal for investment.
Office leasing activity among businesses around the United States continued to improve during the first quarter of 2012, although larger gains were reported in certain key markets, such as Houston.
The burgeoning oil and gas market in the Houston area continues to push ongoing commercial real estate development and encourage new investments in local infrastructure. Now, one real estate team has announced plans to construct a 20-story tower west of Houston to house additional office space to serve this sector and others.
Small business owners with intentions of operating in the South should look no further than Austin, Texas, which continues its three-year reign atop The Business Journals' rankings of best southern cities for these organizations. This should spell good news for providers of Austin office space.