The Cane Island Parkway exit along Interstate 10 in Katy is tough to miss. A new Buc-ee’s, which boasts the world’s longest car wash, draws a seemingly endless flow of traffic off the freeway. Less eye-catching to the casual traveler, but much more interesting to commercial real estate professionals, is what’s next door: West Ten Business Park, Parkside Capital’s 460-acre master-planned development. Parkside recently sold the final 17.26 acres of West Ten to Insite Realty, a Houston-based commercial real estate company, and joint-venture partner Principal Real Estate Investors. “We were very excited to have the opportunity to buy this site,” says Rives Nolen, Vice President at InSite Realty Partners. Nolen went on to say, “It’s a well-established business park, and we think Parkside did an excellent job of creating an attractive corporate environment for businesses, clients, and visitors. The park has direct access to and from Interstate 10 via the Cane Island Parkway interchange and offers an abundance of amenities, including new roads, utilities in place and attractive landscape features. It also offers convenient access to nearby restaurants, hotels, shopping and, of course, Buc-ee’s.” Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
Houston has long been recognized among the most competitive U.S. cities for corporate relocation and expansion activity. Houston is the top-ranked metro for Economic Growth Potential in Business Facilities’ 14th Annual Rankings Report, released July 2018. In addition, Chief Executive Magazine (for the twelfth straight year) named Texas the “2017 Best State for Business.” In addition to its diverse industries and educated/skilled workforce, a key factor underscoring Houston’s business appeal is the fact that it is one of the least expensive major U.S. cities in which to conduct business. Significant benefits include the absence of state or city income taxes, no state property tax, as well as a moderate cost of living index. As a major transportation hub with two major airports, a world-renowned port, and superior rail and road infrastructure, Houston facilitates the interconnection of global business locations. Business alliances with major U.S. and international markets are further enhanced by the presence of 90 foreign consulate offices in Houston. As of 2018, Houston still ranks third in the U.S. – following New York and Los Angeles – in foreign consulate representation. Click to read more at www2.colliers.com.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Galveston County Judge Mark Henry met Oct. 2 at the Bay Oaks Country Club to discuss various issues facing both counties. Hidalgo said Harris County’s No. 1 priority is flood control, particularly after Tropical Storm Imelda. The county has hired an independent firm to figure out how to get drainage projects done faster. Projects originally expected to take 10-15 years are now firmly set at 10, she said. “We’re moving forward as quickly as we can,” Hidalgo said. “Speed is of the essence here.” As a county that borders the Gulf of Mexico, Henry said he was concerned about evacuation routes during hurricanes. During Hurricane Rita, more people died trying to evacuate than to the actual storm, Henry said. To evacuate, Henry said, residents use Hwy. 146, which is under major construction; I-45, which is also under major construction; or Hwy. 6, which has stoplights and results in congestion. The Grand Parkway project would add a much-needed alternative evacuation route, so Henry said he was happy to see the road project back on the Texas Department of Transportation Unified Transportation—a 10-year plan that guides transportation projects—after it was temporarily removed. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.
So often when REDNews covers development in the suburbs, we’re highlighting growth in as-yet-undeveloped areas. Think massive master-planned developments, such as Grand Central Park near Conroe. However, many communities are reinvesting in existing areas. A key example of that is Missouri City, where city leaders are working with the real estate community to attract redevelopment and reuse. From his early memories of Missouri City, District A, City Councilman Reginald Pearson recalls a time when the corridor of Texas Parkway and Cartwright Road was the retail core of the community. “I’ve been in the community since 1991 and I can tell you that area had a movie theater, hardware store and some major retailers, including Walmart,” says Pearson. “It was basically the mecca of Missouri City at the time.” Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
SAN ANTONIO – The aesthetics of communities across Texas could be changing after a new law went into effect this month. HB 2439 New state law prevents cities from regulating construction materials 2439, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, limits certain regulations adopted by cities that required the specific use of materials used during construction or renovations. Cities no longer have a say, and any approved material by the national code can be allowed. Brandon Melland Leon Valley’s Planning and Zoning Director says communities were blindsided by the passage of the bill. The city sent a letter to the governor asking that he not sign the bill into law. “I think the question that needs to be asked is ‘where did this bill come from?” he said. “Because it certainly didn’t come from the citizens of Leon Valley.” Communities like Leon Valley worry that now that developers have a choice, they will choose to build with cheaper, less durable materials. He says a construction company has already informed the city they will be changing their material plans following the passage of the law. Click to read more at www.ksat.com.
Takeaway: Instead of restrictive red tape controls (such as zoning) the City of Houston is unique among big cities in that it lets ‘The Market’ control development. When there is a deal that the City wants but it is not quite viable, after in-depth study, the City, with approval by the Mayor and Council, may offer incentives to ensure the deal happens. This often takes place in underdeveloped neighborhoods that are hard for developers to ‘sell’ to their equity investors or lenders. If the deal is beneficial to the City, the City has a number of economic tools to help make it happen.
Andy Icken, who has had a long and successful career developing for Friendswood/ExxonMobil and the Texas Medical Center, has been called the City’s “Development Concierge”, as he meets with various parties to begin the process of identifying projects good for Houston and Houstonians
• Incentives are only offered if otherwise a desired project would not quite work
Click to read more at www.rednews.com.