Energy industry sparks surge in Houston commercial real estate

As regular readers of TheSquareFoot know, Houston's economic success is tied closely to the growth of the energy industry. In fact, that market's resilience during the recession is one of the primary reasons that Houston has been able to emerge from a national period of economic struggles far better than many other cities.

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Magic Johnson purchases commercial real estate in Houston to include Class A Office Space

Long-time Houstonians likely remember Magic Johnson as the Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Fame point guard who, despite his impressive resume, lost twice to the hometown Rockets during the 1980s. Since his retirement, Johnson has continued to support the city of Los Angeles, as evidenced by his recent ownership stake in Major League Baseball's Dodgers, but now Houston too may be benefiting from Johnson's leadership.

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Getting Busy In The Woodlands

As if it needed any more validation after getting voted as the 2011 2nd best-selling mater planned community in the United States, The Woodlands keeps getting good news on the commercial side as well.  Anadarko recently announced plans to add a second office tower next to its headquarters on Woodlands Parkway.  The new tower will hold 550,000 square feet of class A office space and will rise 21 floors above the 10 story parking garage it will sit on.  We can certainly assume that the new tower will be constructed using state-of-the-art energy efficiency practices LEED certified.  Based on the rendering, it looks like it will be gorgeous.

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Starbucks Is Getting Saucy, What Liquor License Issues Do Retail Tenants Run Into?

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.

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What Do Office Tenants In The Garden State Want Most? FOOD ON SITE.

It's always interesting to compare commercial real estate leasing trends from market to market.  Different cities and regions produce unique leasing landscapes and a tenant leasing office space in Houston Texas may value certain amenities differently than a tenant leasing space somewhere on the East Coast.  According to a recent article in Globe Street, CBRE sent an anonymous survey to decision makers of more than 100 large tenants across the state of New Jersey ranking the most important "must-have" amenities in an office building.

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Interview with Chuck Gordon - CEO of SpareFoot - World's Largest Marketplace For Self Storage

Chuck Gordon, founder and CEO of SpareFoot joined us to talk about their Austin office space and his experience with different office spaces through the growth of his company. SpareFoot is the world’s largest, simplest and best marketplace for self-storage. They also provide leading web marketing solutions for storage operators. SpareFoot currently offices at 701 Brazos Street, Suite 700 Austin, TX 78701.

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Lloyd Goldman of BLDG on 1372 Broadway and New York Leasing

On Monday in my Real Estate Transactions class we had the pleasure of having Lloyd Goldman, CEO of BLDG and EVP Scott Zecher come to discuss their distressed purchase of 1372 Broadway in the Garment District in 2008.  As the case states, they are “one of New York City’s savviest and most seasoned real estate investors” so it was very interesting to hear them discuss the ins and outs of that deal as well as hear their general thoughts on the industry.  BLDG is both an investor and operator so they also had thoughts on the New York office and retail leasing markets.

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Texas Office Space to Benefit from Corporate Relocations - Top 10 in the US!

As Prime Property pointed out this past Friday (try saying that 5 times fast!), Texas was once again in the top 10 for corporate relocations.  Texas has had a significant positive inflow of corporates for every year in the last decade.  This is obviously great news for Texas real estate...and every type of it.  For starters it's great for Texas office space landlords.  These corporations move to Texas and need Texas office space of course, but then think about the next group of happy landlords.  Corporations bring workers, these workers need places to live (you're welcome multi-family landlords) and these workers shop (you're welcome retail landlords).

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Suburban vs Urban Market Recoveries

This article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal discusses the "widening divide" seen in the recoveries of suburban and central business district (CBD) properties following the Great Recession.  As usual, most of the data highlighted in the article centers around the major East Coast markets of New York, Washington DC, and Boston.  The trends seem to pervade other markets as well, with Houston commercial real estate being not all too dissimilar.

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Germans moving inward...Houstonians next?

This article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal discusses the recent development (forgive the pun) of Germans "moving back into city centers, abandoning outside villages."  In the opening sentence, this is attributed to aging populations and to people putting added value on sustainability and green living.  This is a trend that is sprouting up in the states as well except here we call our "villages", "suburbs" and our "lifts", "elevators."

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Houston Commercial Development Returns

While the talking heads on CNBC and Bloomberg keep flapping their lips about if the recession is over or if the recovery has begun or “maybe something really cool that I don't even know about,” here in Houston we are starting to see signs pointing to a brighter future. Fresh on the heels of Hines’ completion of BG Group Place they are already preliminary discussions for another downtown office building. As this article points out, we will soon be seeing the first new office building in the Galleria area break ground over the summer.

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