Monday, February 28, 2011

Statler Hilton Hotel Downtown Dallas Sold

Good news for downtown Dallas. The shuttered 710 room Statler Hilton Hotel in Commerce Street sold today to a developer who intend to redevelop the city block into housing and retail. - Randall Turner, Harvard Companies, Inc.

New Locations for Walmart & Sam's in Dallas, Texas

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Walmart has announced that it will invest $200 million to open more than a dozen new projects in North Texas.

Locations for six stores have been announced:

  • Supercenter at I-35 and Ledbetter Rd.
  • Neighborhood Market near South Buckner Blvd. and Scyene Rd.
  • Neighborhood Market near North Hampton Rd. and Fort Worth Ave.
  • Sam’s Club at Webb Chapel and West Northwest Hwy.
  • Supercenter near Webb Chapel and West Northwest Hwy.
  • Supercenter on North Central Expy. at Midpark Rd., north of LBJ Frwy.

The expansion will more than double the retailer's presence in the area and will create thousands of jobs in North Texas.

Economic Update Today

Existing home sales rose 2.7% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million units from 5.28 million units in December. The inventory of unsold homes on the market declined 5.1% to 3.38 million, a 7.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.2-month supply in December.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending February 18 rose 13.2%. Refinancing applications increased 17.8%. Purchase volume rose 5.1%.

The consumer confidence index rose to 70.4 in February from an upwardly revised 64.8 in January. It was the highest level since February 2008. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — fell 1% in December after a 1% decrease in November. On a year-over-year basis, prices fell 2.4% compared with December 2009.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 22,000 to 391,000 for the week ending February 19. Continuing claims for the week ending February 12 fell by 145,000 to 3.79 million.

Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose 2.7% in January after a revised 0.4% decrease in December. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly decrease of 3.6%.

New home sales fell 12.6% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 284,000 units from a revised rate of 325,000 units in December. Economists had expected a pace of 310,000 units.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BANKRUPT BORDERS SHUTTERING TEN TEXAS STORES

DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal) – Borders Group Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of its plan to restructure operations.
Borders will close about 200 stores nationwide, a 30 percent net reduction in its stores.
Seven stores in North Texas and three in the Austin area will close within the next few weeks. Those are the only stores of Texas' 28 Borders locations that will close at this time.

MINORITIES FUEL TEXAS' GROWTH SPURT

WASHINGTON, D.C. (U.S. Census Bureau, Texas Tribune) – Texas' population increased by 20.6 percent during the last decade, with minorities accounting for 89 percent of the growth.

According to data released yesterday by the U.S Census Bureau, the state's Hispanic population grew by 42 percent between 2000 and 2010. They made up 37.6 percent of the state's more than 25.1 million residents last year. The black population grew by 22 percent and accounted for 11.8 percent of last year's population.

The white population increased by 4.2 percent and accounted for 45.3 percent.

Asians made up 3.8 percent of the state's total population last year.

The following tables show population increases for certain Texas cities and counties.

City

2010 population

Percent Increase
Since 2000

Houston

2,099,451

7.5

San Antonio

1,327,407

16

Dallas

1,197,816

.8

Austin

790,390

20.4

Fort Worth

741,206

38.6

El Paso

649,121

15.2

Arlington

365,438

9.8

Corpus Christi

305,215

10

Plano

259,841

17

Laredo

236,091

33.7

County

2010 Population

Percent Increase
Since 2000

Harris

4,092,459

20.3

Dallas

2,368,139

6.7

Tarrant

1,809,034

25.1

Bexar

1,714,733

23.1

Travis

1,024,266

26.1

El Paso

800,647

17.8

Collin

782,341

59.1

Hidalgo

774,769

36.1

Denton

662,614

53

Fort Bend

585,375

65.1

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

JV COMMENCES $45 MILLION PROJECT NEAR SMU DALLAS

DALLAS (GlobeSt) – A newly formed joint venture between Prescott Realty Group, Northwestern Mutual and AREA Property Partners has broken ground on a mixed-use development near Southern Methodist University (SMU).

The $45 million project on the old Shamburger Lumberyard site consists of 417 apartments and 9,100 sf of retail. It is within walking distance of the DART Mockingbird rail station and a quarter mile from SMU’s campus.

This development is the final phase in the revitalization of the University Crossing neighborhood.

The first phase was construction of a garage on the 6060 North Central Expy. site adjacent to the DART line. The second phase was construction of the Shelby, a 55-loft project with 3,500 sf of retail located on SMU Blvd.

Humphreys & Partners designed the final phase, which consists of two levels of podium parking with street-facing retail plus three four-story buildings on top of the podium. A mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be available with an average unit size of 800 sf.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Recovery? Trouble Ahead in America

 Issue                                                                                       January 2009  January 2011  %Chg

Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S.
$1.83
$3.104
69.6% 
1
Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)
$43.48
$99.02
127.7% 
2
Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)
$38.74
$91.38
135.9% 
2
Gold: London (per troy oz.)
$853.25
$1,369.50
60.5% 
2
Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL
$3.56
$6.33
78.1% 
2
Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL
$9.66
$13.75
42.3%
2
Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob
$13.37
$35.39
164.7% 
2
Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall
7.6%
9.4%
23.7% 
3
Unemployment rate, blacks
12.6%
15.8%
25.4% 
3
Number of unemployed
11,616,000
14,485,000
24.7% 
3
Number of fed. employees, ex. military (curr = 12/10 prelim)
2,779,000
2,840,000
2.2%
3
Real median household income (2008 v 2009)
$50,112
$49,777
-0.7%
4
Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10)
31,983,716
43,200,878
35.1% 
5
Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10)
7,526,598
9,193,838
22.2% 
6
Number of long-term unemployed
2,600,000
6,400,000
146.2% 
3
Poverty rate, individuals (2008 v 2009)
13.2%
14.3%
8.3%
4
People in poverty in U.S. (2008 v 2009)
39,800,000
43,600,000
9.5%
4
U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings
5
9
n/a
10
Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10)
29.9
23.5
-21.4% 
11
Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date)
140
164
17.1% 
12
U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate
89.76
82.03
-8.6%
2
U.S. money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)
1,575.1
1,865.7
18.4% 
13
U.S. money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)
8,310.9
8,852.3
6.5%
13
National debt, in trillions
$10.627
$14.052
32.2% 
14


Just take this last item:  In the last two years we have accumulated national debt at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our entire nation's history. 
(1) U.S. Energy Information Administration; (2) Wall Street Journal; (3) Bureau of Labor Statistics; (4) Census Bureau; (5) USDA; (6) U.S. Dept. of Labor; (7) FHFA; (8) Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller; (9) RealtyTrac; (10) Heritage Foundation and WSJ; (11) The Conference Board; (12) FDIC; (13) Federal Reserve; (14) U.S. Treasury