Harris, Galveston County Judges Discuss Flooding, Transportation, Economy

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.

Military Friendly® Honors Cushman & Wakefield With Silver Designation

CHICAGO – Cushman & Wakefield announced today that the firm is honored to achieve Military Friendly®’s Silver designation in the category for companies exceeding $5 billion in revenue. The 2020 Military Friendly® Company survey investigated and identified organizations whose commitment to serving the military and veteran community is comprehensive in scope and meaningful in terms of actual outcomes and impact. The organization used public data sources, proprietary data from its survey and personal data from surveys of veterans to evaluate companies’ and schools’ commitment and results. Cushman & Wakefield exceeded Military Friendly® benchmarks in hiring and onboarding veterans, opportunity and advancement, culture and commitment, support and retention, policies and compliance and recruiting and sourcing. “We are honored and proud to receive the Military Friendly award for the second consecutive year,” said Frank Stanley, Director, Veteran Programs at Cushman & Wakefield and LTC, U.S. Army. “We look forward to deepening our work with Military Friendly and the invaluable service they provide. Click to read more at www.cushmanwakefield.com.

Governor Greg Abbott Signs Bill Designed to Limit Property Tax Growth

Against the backdrop of an Austin burger joint struggling with its property taxes, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Wednesday an expansive reform measure meant to slow the growth of Texans’ property tax bills, long a priority issue for GOP state leaders. The ceremonial bill signing was a victory lap for top Republicans, who spent the legislative session hammering the issues of school finance and property tax reform. Yesterday, they gathered at an Austin elementary school to witness the signing of a public education package that includes about $5.1 billion to lower Texans’ property tax bills. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.

CBRE Austin Raises Record $70K For Charity In Recent Golf Bash

AUSTIN, TX — CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm, raised more than $70,000 — a new record — at its recent annual Charity Golf Bash in Austin this year benefiting a half-dozen area nonprofits. The event is organized by the firm’s Austin employees and the money raised will be donated to six local nonprofit organizations, company officials said in a press advisory. “Our team members work extremely hard each year to make sure this event is a success, ” Scott Senese, senior managing director of CBRE’s Central Texas region, said in a prepared statement. “I am always amazed and proud of the dedication exhibited by each of the employees who volunteers his or her time for this event. Since 2013, our Austin employees have raised more than $500,000 for charity through philanthropic events.” Click to read more at www.patch.com.

Long May You Run: An Essential Commercial Real Estate Tuneup

1Q19 Commercial Real Estate Insights Report
Some songs manage to withstand the test of time. The iconic title track on the 1976 Stills-Young Band album “Long May You Run” is one such example. A tribute to Neil Young’s 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse, which he named Mort, the song has come to symbolize endurance. I heard this song several times during my research for this report, and its message and backstory made me think about our industry. How long will commercial real estate professionals continue to run if they don’t take time to tune up their skills? Today, technology and data are changing more rapidly than ever before, transforming the commercial real estate practice at every iteration. Generation Z, who will soon make up the early-career-stage industry workforce, is our first all-digital generation, having mostly learned on touch screens. At the same time, hundreds – possibly thousands – of prop-tech companies are building turnkey solutions for property management, leasing, market analysis, and other common functions. Far removed are the days of fold-out discounted cash flow analysis reports, maps plastered with rub-off decals, and microfilm-powered due diligence. Click to read more at www.ccim.com.

Frisco’s $2 billion Wade Park project dodges foreclosure again

For a second consecutive month, lenders have opted not to foreclose on Frisco’s troubled Wade Park development.

Two lenders — New York-based Gamma Real Estate and Bamcap Partners of Farmers Branch — have been seeking repayment of more than $130 million in debt on the mixed-use project at the Dallas North Tollway and Lebanon Drive.

In February, the lenders declared the 4-year-old mixed-use project in default of loans and scheduled a forced sale.

Click here to read more.