Reflecting on RECon: Reflecting on RECon: Texas CRE professionals weigh in on retail’s biggest week


Beyond the extravagant booths and limitless networking opportunities, this year’s ICSC RECon offered something even more valuable: excitement and optimism about the industry that has garnered so many pessimistic headlines.

“The attendees, from retailers to brokers to developers and other market players, were all upbeat and positive,” says Marshall Mills, President and CEO of Weitzman, which has offices in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. “These are people on the front lines of our business, and that positive outlook reflects our own assessment that we’re in the middle of a strong
market for retail real estate.”

JLL Houston Retail Land Brokerage Associate, Chris Bergmann, pointed to the attendance and attitude of ICSC as a clear indication that “retail is alive and well,” while Simmi Jaggi, a Senior Vice President and Houston Retail Land Brokerage Lead for JLL, highlighted the “sheer energy and positivity of the entire conference.”

“It seemed as though all 37,000 people in attendance were busy and actively pursuing a variety of opportunities,” she says.

For Jennifer Pierson, Managing Partner of Dallas’s STRIVE, the gathering was affirmation that “everything is happening exactly as it should.

Click here to read the rest of this Article.


Sights Set on Seabrook

SH 146 construction promises more lanes, more opportunities


For about 20 years, an air of uncertainty hung over the future of Seabrook. Everyone knew TxDOT was bound to make changes to State Highway 146, but no one could say what it
would look like when all was said and done.

“The idea was to alleviate traffic congestion and ultimately link it to the Grand Parkway. That was its ultimate goal,” explains Paul Chavez, the city’s director of economic development.
“But that uncertainty stifled a lot of new developments in our community.”

He says investors were hesitant to pour money into a project without knowing when construction would begin and what it would look like.

“They need to know with confidence that what they’re buying and putting into place will still be there and will grow,” Chavez says.

Any proposed changes to SH 146 were usurped by other construction for a couple of decades, but when Hurricane Ike hit, the devastating storm and the evacuation it
prompted highlighted that an expansion was overdue.

Click here to read more about Seabrook.

Back to



Using a Natural Drainage Approach to Enhance Real Estate Development Projects


Houston area real estate developers have traditionally used concrete parking areas, concrete streets, and pre-cast concrete storm sewer systems to convey rain water quickly and efficiently to “end-of-pipe” detention basins or underground cisterns. From there, the collected rainwater is discharged into nearby streams or bayous or the public storm sewer system at a restricted rate to avoid downstream flooding from storms smaller than the design storm.

Suburban developments are typically disconnected from their nearby streams in favor of locating homes and businesses around the detention basins, which are often designed with permanent pools water and are viewed as manicured “lakes” by future residents. Urban developments typically place stormwater systems underground– out of sight and out of mind.

There is an alternative, however: natural drainage systems – also known as “low impact development (LID)” or “green stormwaterinfrastructure (GSI).”

Click here to read more about Natural Drainage Approach.

Back to



Leverage for Lending: Texas’ market creates new opportunities


When oil prices started to drop a few years ago, they pulled Houston’s economy down with them. It took a big toll on the city built on black gold. Late in 2017, a barrel of crude started to
become more valuable, helping Texas’ largest city bounce back.

That rebound is being noticed in just about every sector of the economy, including commercial real estate lending.

“We’re starting to see an uptick in transactions, in buyers and investors looking and more actively approaching properties,” says Bill Dampier, vice president of commercial lending for City Bank. “I think the increase in the price of oil has re-energized the market. It has given investors more optimism in regard to kicking the tires and looking for good buying opportunities.”

Beyond the city limits of Houston and even the borders of Texas, Dampier says there is a lot of capital out there, which means competition among investors. Additionally, it’s likely interest rates will only continue to climb and real estate isn’t getting any cheaper. That means finding a deal might take a bit more effort than it has in the past.

Click here to read the rest of this Article. 

The sky’s the limit:


Taking flight with Pro Aire Aerial Photography

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the images captured by Pearland, Texas-based Pro Aire Aerial Photography are virtually priceless. However, they don’t comewith the price tag you’re
probably expecting.

“A lot of people don’t realize how inexpensive it is,” says owner Deana Waddell.

A couple times a week, she’s up in a plane, photographing properties all over the greater Houston area from an average height of 1,500 feet, though flying even higher
is an option for larger properties.

“It’s really as simple as opening up the window,” Waddell explains. “We use our high-resolution cameras and telephoto lens to capture all angles to enhance a property.”

Click here to read the rest of this Article. 

More than just a warehouse

The diverse industrial market in Texas


Stretching across 4,000 acres in Northeast Houston, McCord Development’s Generation Park is a kind of mini-reflection of the largest city in Texas. It is a mixed-use development loaded with every kind of commercial real estate opportunity – from residential to office, retail to industrial.

One of the first tenants to plant a flag in Generation Park was FMC Technologies, now TechnipFMC, which opted to locate its 173-acre, state-of-the-art corporate campus there. Already 2,000 employees strong, the company currently has a footprint of 1 million-squarefoot and room to grow in its next phases.

“I think it took landing TechnipFMC to get people thinking, ‘Wow. This is actually a great location,” McCord says. “Now we’re just seeing people piling on at this stage. It’s very exciting.”

Click here to read the rest of this Article.