Here at REDNews, we’ve written at length about the development boom in the communities west of Houston, such as Waller County. In the past few years, that area has exploded with growth, a movement perhaps ignited by the construction of the Daikin Texas Technology Park in Waller. “That was a game-changer for the area,” says Keith Edwards, Senior Vice President of land brokerage at Caldwell Brokerage Company. His team helped negotiate that 491-acre land deal. Boasting 4 million square feet under one roof, Daikin’s facility employs approximately 4,000 people today, but that number is expected to grow to roughly 7,000, according to Edwards. “It was a great project,” he says. “It’s fulfilling to see what it’s done for the area — not only Waller County but Harris County too.” The Daikin deal, while significant, is one of many Caldwell Brokerage has closed in the northwest quadrant of the Houston metro area. “We have sold thousands of acres along US-290 and throughout Northwest Houston,” says Edwards. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
The lunch crowd is just beginning to stream in when developer Shawn Todd arrives at Mirador, the buzzy restaurant atop Forty-Five Ten, a tony boutique in the heart of downtown Dallas. He takes note of the interior table where I’m sitting and asks a waitress if we can move to a spot that’s closer to the windows. “I promise I’m not high maintenance,” he assures her. Then he turns to me and adds, “I just want to look out at the buildings. You can see the history and get a great sense of what’s happening downtown.” Our new table offers a view of Main Street and Elm Street corridors … a swimmer cooling off in the cantilevered pool at The Joule, the Pegasus-topped Magnolia Hotel, and, down a bit on the right, the former First National Bank Tower. The 52-story building occupies the largest vacant block downtown. Various resuscitation attempts have been made over the years, most recently by Drever Capital Management. But now, the property is in the able hands of Todd, whose Todd Interests took control in May. Click to read more at www.dmagazine.com.
Whether you’re an architecture nut or a casual admirer of Houston’s marquee buildings, such as Pennzoil Place, One Shell Plaza, and Williams Tower, you have the Houston heat to thank for such handsome structures – the heat and Gerald Hines. Hines grew up in Indiana and following graduation from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering, he took a job with a Detroit-based engineering company that specialized in air conditioning. After training and orientation, he was given the choice of three office locations – Indianapolis, Detroit, and Houston. He chose Houston, in part because a couple of college friends lived here, but also because, without a doubt, the air conditioning business was going to be stronger in Houston than the other cities. While still working for the air conditioning company, Hines took on his first project – a 5,000-square-foot warehouse. He met his first client at a neighbor’s barbecue, and when the fellow mentioned he needed a warehouse for his company, Gerald Hines said immediately, “I can build that for you.” And he did, eventually founding his own firm, Gerald D. Hines Interests in 1957. Click to read more at www.downtownhouston.org.
When the signs went up and the demo work started at 3634 Glenn Lakes Ln. in Missouri City, the calls of excitement began coming in, says Apurva Sanghavi. “It’s exciting and a testament to the demand,” he says. The 40,000-square-foot office building stands at the intersection of Highway 6 and FM 1092, which also serves as the entrance to Quail Valley, a master-planned community in the growing suburb southwest of Houston. Built in 1984, the building served the adjacent Memorial Hermann campus. The hospital eventually moved closer to SH-99, as did the physicians who operated out of the Glenn Lakes building. “Then the building was severely damaged by
Hurricane Ike,” explains Joseph Esch, the economic development director for the City of Missouri City. “It had been damaged and vacant ever since.” Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
For the Signorelli Company, its most recent success involves “chasing the corridor,” keeping up with the Grand Parkway as it expands access to new areas of Southeast Texas. “It’s changed traffic patterns, the way people move, the way they shop, where they’re going. It’s making farmland convenient, and that has opened up a lot of opportunity for us,” president and CEO Dan Signorelli told the crowd gathered at The Briar Club for REDNews’ Houston & Southeast Texas Development / Redevelopment
Summit in late June. The most significant opportunity upon which Signorelli has seized may be the 1,400-acre Valley Ranch. His company bought the first parcel at the intersection of US-59 and SH-99 back in 1999. It took another seven years before he’d assembled the full property needed for the master-planned community in Porter. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
In the Houston real estate market, sometimes your end goal can be overshadowed by the process of how to achieve it. Development is a challenge, even in a city with no zoning laws, as Oxberry Group learned when it eyed a 1.5-acre property at the corner of San Felipe and Chimney Rock in Southwest Houston. The intersection appeared to be the ideal site for a luxury retail development, but there was a reason no developer had touched it yet. “That land has been in a deed-restrictive association for more than 80 years,” principal Sean Jamea told those in attendance at REDNews’ Houston & Southeast Texas Development / Redevelopment Summit. Seeing that obstacle, Oxberry led a nine-month marketing effort to educate homeowners in that association, Briarcroft, about the project and Houston’s everchanging real estate market. In the process, Jamea said he got to learn about the area as well. “One homeowner shared that when she was young, her house was on San Felipe and she used to ride her horse up and down San Felipe and Chimney Rock,” he laughed. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.