Houston’s Main Street among most-expensive in U.S. for office leases

What do the Scanlan Building, Great Jones Building and BG Group Place have in common? 

They’re all located on Houston’s most expensive street for office leases, according to a study by Chicago-based JLL (NYSE: JLL). Central Business District’s Main Street is No. 21 on JLL’s list of the most-expensive commercial leases in the U.S., and it’s the only street in Houston to make the list of 47.

The average full-service rent on Main Street is $44.24 per square foot, which is nearly 45 percent higher than the average rent in Houston at $30.55. However, Main Street’s price is a steal — JLL noted that the average rent on high-profile streets across the U.S. are $48.65 per square foot.

Click to read more at Houston Business Journal. 

The old suburban office park is getting a big reboot

The aging office park is getting a face-lift.

Once a proud symbol of suburban working life now suffering from high vacancy rates in many parts of the country, corporate office parks are being reimagined as sports domes, upscale town houses, retail shops and green gathering spaces, among other possibilities.

“It’s an obsolete model for an office,” said Robert Youngentob of the Maryland-based developer EYA, which has begun constructing upscale town houses in sections of an office park in suburban Bethesda, Maryland, including some that are selling for about $1 million.

Click to read more at Houston Business Journal. 

Texas moves up Forbes’ best states for business list

In a total turnaround, North Carolina ranked as Forbes’ best state for businessthis year, jumping up from near the bottom of last year’s list and keeping the Lone Star State from the top spot.

North Carolina’s low business costs, incentives and young, talented workforce helped the Tar Heel state reach the top spot. Labor costs in North Carolina are 10 percent lower than the national average and fifth lowest in the country, according to Forbes.

Click to read more at Houston Business Journal.

On the college campus of the future, parking may be a relic

With just one parking space for every five people, on a campus of roughly 65,000, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has one of the lowest parking ratios of any major university in the country.

To reduce the number of cars on campus, parking permits are off-limits to students, who are instead encouraged to walk, bike or take the bus.

Because visitors to the 936-acre campus often have a hard time finding parking, the university’s latest master plan, nearing completion, recommends an additional 2,200 spaces over the next 20 to 40 years. But Gary A. Brown, the director of campus planning, is reluctant to add any spaces right away. When Brown looks into the future, he sees a campus even more reliant on ride-hailing services like Uber and car-sharing services like Zipcar, as well as the likely emergence of autonomous vehicles, trends that could substantially decrease parking demand.

Click to read more at Houston Business Journal.

Getting “loopy” in Texas: How likely is a hyperloop in the Lone Star State?

BY BRANDI SMITH

Imagine being able to make the trip between Houston and Dallas in 30 minutes. We’re not talking about a super-speed flight or even a high-speed train. It would take a hyperloop, a pod traveling at supersonic speeds through a series of pneumatic tubes, to make it happen.

Before you write the idea off as science fiction, Elon Musk – the man behind Tesla and Space X – is promising to make it a reality. The billionaire entrepreneur who’s already changed how we approach auto and rocket travel now seems to have his sights set on this new mode of transportation.

In late July, Musk wrote a series of tweets, starting with, “Just received verbal gov’t. approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins.” He went on to explain that this was a very preliminary step, but encouraged supporters to reach out to their local leaders.

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Texas Central Partners inks deal with city of Houston for bullet train

The city of Houston and Texas Central Partners have confirmed the general site for the Bayou City’s passenger station for the proposed high-speed train between Houston and Dallas.

The city and company signed an agreement Aug. 17 to plan the economic development of the bullet train together, according to a press release.

Click to read more at Houston Business Journal.