Wednesday, July 31, 2013

MetLife Makes $145 Million Investment in Addison Apartments

Metropolitan Life Insurance has invested $145 million to become a half owner in a huge Addison apartment community.
MetLife formed a partnership with developer UDR Inc. to own the Vitruvian Park apartments south of Spring Valley Road near Brookhaven College.
UDR began construction on the almost 100-acre development in 2008.
Since then the Denver-based developer has built more than 1,100 apartments in the project, which is projected to ultimately total $1 billion in value.
MetLife has bought a 50 percent stake in the Savoye, Savoye 2 and the new Fiori apartment buildings at Vitruvian Park. The insurance company investor has also become a partner in almost 30 acres of raw land planned for future developments.
Construction is currently finishing up on the 10-story, 391-unit Fiori building, which was designed by, architects Good, Fulton & Farrell.
The third phase of Vitruvian Park, the Fiori project costs $98.4 million and has already started leasing.
UDR says that the land in put in the joint venture with MetLife has room for another 2,000 to 2,500 rental units and 45,000 to 50,000 square feet of retail space.
As part of the deal, the developer said it’s secured $118.3 million in debt for the Savoye, Savoye 2 and Fiori communities.
UDR has also formed a joint venture with MetLife to own apartments in Denver and San Diego.
The Vitruvian Park development is part of a major project by UDR and the Town of Addison to replace almost 3,000 old apartments with new rental units and as much as 500,000 square feet of retail and office space.
More info at:
Author: Steve Brown

California Investor Shopping Las Colinas Office Towers

A California investor is in talks to purchase one of Las Colinas’ biggest office centers.
San Diego-based Parallel Capital Partners has signed a contract to acquire the 2-building Urban Towers complex near State Highway 114 in Irving, real estate brokers say.
The 850,000-square-foot office development is one of a handful of local properties that CBRE Global Investors has had on the market.
Built in 1982 and 1984, the mirrored glass high-rises are located at 222 Las Colinas Boulevard.
The distinctive buildings have only about 10 percent vacancy rate and are considered a prime business location in Las Colinas.
CBRE has owned the property since 2006 and has been marketing the buildings for sale to several interested buyers.
Terms of the potential deal have not been disclosed. The buildings are valued for taxes at about $80 million.
Read more at:
Author: Steve Brown

Allen Office Park Set to Start in September North of Dallas

The Allen Economic Development Corp. is hunting tenants to kick off development of an office campus in the Dallas suburb.
The proposed s AllenPlace Office Campus will have four buildings developed with Sentinel Capital of Houston.
Allen Economic Development owns the construction site on U.S. Highway 75 at Century Parkway.
Plans are to start construction in September on the first phase of the 468,000-square-foot project.
Author: Steve Brown

Downtown Dallas Buildings Getting Makeover for Apartment and Retail Space

Three old retail and commercial buildings in downtown Dallas are being redeveloped.
The project is a joint venture development by Scott Remphrey of Brytar Cos. And Kip Sowden with RREAF Holdings.
The buildings at 1512 through 1516 Elm Street contain about 55,000 square feet. The developers plan to create 24 loft apartments on the upper floors and retail on the street level.
“We have a unique opportunity here to capture the fabric of old Dallas in the heart of the central business district on Elm Street,” Remphrey said in a statement.
The properties are some of the last unrestored buildings in that area of downtown Dallas’ old commercial district. Dallas businessman Tim Headington has redeveloped several buildings a block away on Main Street, including the Joule Hotel.
The building makeovers are scheduled for completion sometime next year.
More info at:
Author: Steve Brown

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Design Unveiled for The Richards Group's New Headquarters

Dallas-based The Richards Group has selected Perkins+Will to design its new $45 million headquarters near the West Villagein Dallas.
The 250,000-square-foot office building will be a modern counterpart to Cityplace Tower, and is scheduled to open in early 2015. Construction is scheduled to begin in August.
The building's design will include a three-story stairwell atrium and a gathering space for The Richards Group's long-standing tradition of stairwell meetings for its 700 employees.
"It was vital to me to maintain the creative flow we've become known for, and that starts with the building, something Perkins+Will seems to fundamentally understand," founderStan Richards said, in written statement. "This will be our home for decades, and we couldn't be more proud."
Along with the firm's new headquarters, the building will also include a fitness center, garden terrace and 10,000 square feet of retail space.
More info at: Dallas Business Journal
Author: Candace Carlisle

Hundreds of New Apartments Planned with State Farm Project in Richardson

Irving-based apartment developer JLB Partners will soon be building hundreds of apartments next to the new State Farm Insurance regional campus in Richardson.
The apartment builder just unveiled plans for a Turtle Creek high-rise in Dallas’ Uptown district.
JLB Partners’ Richardson project will be part of developer KDC’s $1.5 billion mixed-use development.
The 186-acre development at the Bush Turnpike and Plano Road is where State Farm Insurance is building its huge new regional office complex. More than 6,500 State Farm employees will be able to work in the three office buildings.
JLB’s apartments will be ready when thousands of new workers move to the property in 2015.
“It’s close to 500 apartment units on two parcels,” said JLB CEO Bay Miltenberger.
The project is just east of DART’s Bush Turnpike rail station.
JLB has about $600 million in apartments in the works nationwide, Miltenberger said.
See more at: Dallas News
Author: Steve Brown

New High-Rise Residential Project Planned Near Katy Trail

One of the last vacant development sites on Dallas’ popular Katy Trail will be the location of a new high-rise residential building.
Developer JLB Partners is teaming up with Sammons Enterprises to build the 18-story, 299-unit apartment tower at Cedar Springs Road and Carlisle Street.
The prominent Uptown property was previously planned for a St. Regis Hotel tower.
JLB acquired the 2.3-acre tract after it went through foreclosure during the recession.
“This isn’t the kind of dirt that an apartment builder gets to play on very often,” said JLB chief executive Bay Miltenberger. “This is the best location we have built on in Dallas for sure — maybe nationwide.
“The site warrants a very nice building.”
GDA Architects designed the brick and glass rental home community, with a seven-story building taking up most of the vacant corner. “And we will have 86 units in the tower above that,” Miltenberger said.
The tower will have a private penthouse lounge.
And the mid-rise portion of the project includes a roof deck pool with views of downtown Dallas.
The building will have a courtyard with direct access to the Katy Trail.
“The Katy Trail aspect of our project is very significant,” Miltenberger said. “It’s become sort of an epicenter of the whole Uptown area.”
Miltenberger said that the first apartment units in the Cedar Springs Road project should be ready in 18 to 22 months.
Author: Steve Brown

Monday, July 29, 2013

Legacy Senior Communities plans development in Dallas

The operators behind The Legacy Willow Bend in Plano plan another large-scale retirement community, this one in Dallas, according to Michael Ellentuck, president of The Legacy Senior Communities.
The company is evaluating several sites and hopes to be in escrow on a site in 60 to 90 days and break ground within 18 months, Ellentuck told me in a recent interview. The facility will have an as yet undetermined number of independent living, assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing rental units, Ellentuck said. It's too soon to say what the project's cost will be, he said.
"It's early in the development of it," Ellentuck said. "We're just putting together operating budgets and construction budgets and looking at the sites."
In addition, The Legacy Willow Bend is one of five Dallas-area senior living communities recently selected as a tour destination for the 2013 LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO, which comes to North Texas Oct. 27-30, Ellentuck said.
"They were impressed that our philosophy, customer service, the uniqueness of our architecture and the incorporation of art and wellness into everything we do really demonstrates the trends of where retirement living should be moving," Ellentuck told me. "It's about experience, it's about quality of life. We offer something quite unique."
The LeadingAge organization consists of 6,000 not-for-profits, 39 state partners and hundreds of businesses, research partners, consumer organizations and foundations across the United States that focus on the overall health and well-being of seniors, children and people with special needs.
Author: Bill Hethcock - Dallas Business Journal

Dallas Developer Starts Lake Highlands Project

Dallas-based MasterPlan Development LLC has started turning dirt for a 37-home infill residential development in the Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas.
The construction started after developerStephen Davis acquired more than 10 acres near the intersection of Skillman and Church streets from Dallas-based Prescott Realty and Forest Meadow Baptist Church.
Robert Faust of Robert Faust Mortgage Co. arranged the equity for the new project, which will be called the Bordeaux at Lake Highlands.
"We should have this custom home community delivered next year," Davis, president and CEO of the development firm, told the Dallas Business Journal. "There are a lot of builders clamoring for infill deals."
Author: Candace Carlisle

Thursday, July 25, 2013

NEW: EB-5 Legislation

With the recent passage of Senator Leahy’s Amendment 2 to S. 744 (the comprehensive immigration reform bill) by the Senate Judiciary Committee, many much anticipated enhancements to the EB-5 program could only be a few short months away. These enhancements would include making the Regional Center program permanent and increasing the number of available visas each year by exempting the spouses and children of applicants from the annual allotment.passport
If passed by the House without any additional changes, the Amendment could become a significant administrative burden on Regional Centers by requiring them to submit extremely detailed annual reports, certify their continuing compliance with United States securities laws, and submit to background checks on their principals and owners.  Violators would be met not only with the current penalties of a temporary or permanent bar from the program, but would now be subject to fines up to 5% of the capital in the project.  The changes will ideally begin to alleviate the backlog of filings currently awaiting processing by the USCIS. The availability of premium processing stems from the opportunity to obtain pre-approval of projects and the ability for the USCIS to track the progress of the projects through its accumulation of the annual reports.
NES Financial solutions are already designed to supply Regional Centers with all of the information they need to be in compliance with the new rules, in addition to the efficiency and transparency afforded to all users. As the market leader for escrow and funds administration in the EB-5 industry, we are the only company designing end-to-end solutions specifically for EB-5 and proactively evolving with its legislative landscape.
Our EB-5 Suite of Escrow Solutions provides EB-5 Regional Centers and EB-5 investors with a customizable platform designed specifically to meet all of their EB-5 escrow administration needs. When fully deployed, the suite of escrow solutions offers a comprehensive audit trail of all investment funds through the entire EB-5 investment life cycle, delivering security, transparency, and compliance to the Regional Centers, their partners, and their investors.
Use NES Financial’s end-to-end escrow solutions and be prepared for the changes resulting from immigration reform.

July 18th, 2013 By 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mini Park Now Occupies Plaza of the Americas

The $10 million redo of the atrium at downtown Dallas’ Plaza of the Americas is attracting lots of lookers.
Gone are the yards of green flooring tiles and the ice skating rink in the bottom of the 15-story atrium.
In their place is an almost 1-acre garden area with lush green plants, running water and gathering spaces for folks who work in the project’s office buildings and customers who come to the retail space.
“You have to get down there and see it and feel it,” said Kenneth Moczulski, CEO of M-M Properties, which bought the 33-year-old property in late 2011 in partnership with Invesco Real Estate. “It’s turned out to be a great space for our tenants and their employees.
“It’s all about attracting the young workforce.”
The Plaza of the America’s owners worked with building architect Corgan Associates and OJB Landscape Architecture to design the indoor park. OJB was also on the team that created downtown Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park.

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Real Estate Editor
Published: 20 July 2013 07:18 PM
Updated: 21 July 2013 09:16 AM

Dallas Office Boom is Nothing Special

After a long drought in construction, Dallas-area developers are scrambling to get new office projects off the ground.
So far in 2013, the amount of office space being built has quadrupled from year-earlier levels.
And still more deals are in the works. Another new building gets announced almost every week.
With roughly 4 million square feet of office space under construction and at least an additional 1 million square feet in the planning stages, is it time to worry about overbuilding?
Nah — not even close yet.

Read More At:

Real Estate Editor
Published: 18 July 2013 08:35 PM
Updated: 19 July 2013 06:33 AM

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Allstate Corporate Campus Bought by Cole


Phoenix-based Cole Real Estate Investments (NYSE: COLE) bought Allstate's Irving five-building office campus totaling 458,338 square feet of space.
The real estate investment firm bought the campus from the Allstate Insurance Co. in a sale-leaseback deal. This is one of the largest sale-leasebacks in Dallas-Fort Worth since 2008, according to Colliers International research.
Cole Real Estate Investments represented itself. Creighton Stark and Ben Lurie of Colliers International's Dallas office, along with Bill Fausone, president of the firm's Chicago office, represented the Allstate.
As part of the deal, Allstate committed to a 12-year lease at its Irving campus.
More info at:
Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal

Turner, Netherland move HQ's to Dallas Arts District

Dallas-based Netherland, Sewell & Associates Inc., a global petroleum consulting firm, will move its global headquarters and New York-based Turner Construction Co., plans to move its regional headquarters to the Dallas Arts District.
The two office leases at 2100 Ross total more than 90,000 square feet and take up three more floors at the 33-story Arts District tower, which is undergoing a much-needed multimillion dollar makeover.
Netherland leased two floors, or 62,000 square feet. Turner Construction leased one floor, or 29,000 square feet of office space.
Earlier this year, Lockton signed a big 99,000-square-foot lease at the 844,000-square-foot office tower.
With these leases, relatively new owner Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc.(NYSE: CUZ) has signed a total of 210,000 square feet since buying the property at foreclosure in August 2012 for $59.2 million.
2100 Ross is 81 percent occupied with 130,000 square feet left in the building. At the time of the purchase, the office tower was 67 percent leased.
More info at:
Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal

Apartments on Skillman are Being Replaced

Prescott Realty Group is demolishing apartments on Skillman St. to make way for new ones.

The aging apartments will be replaced by 362 new ones. Additionally, Prescott has sold a tract to be developed into 37 single-family homes farther north on Skillman at Church Rd.

These properties are south of the company's Town Center project, currently under construction.

Why There's a Growing Number of DFW Corporate Campuses

Dallas-Fort Worth is seeing increased interest in the corporate campus lifestyle with a number of large projects underway, including State Farm Insurance's large 1.5 million-square-foot campus in three office towers in Richardson.
So, what's the draw to a corporate campus lifestyle? It comes down to surrounding amenities, said developer Lucy Billingsley, who recently started on her Cypress Waters corporate campus in North Dallas.
"Office tenants want to see the amenities, such as retail, the trails and the lake, in an office campus," Billingsley said. "They want a quality environment for their associates."
Jim Manskey, principal of Austin-based landscape architecture firm TBG Inc., says more companies want to set up shop in an interactive, dense environment with a variety of apartments, retail and restaurants to support the employment base. Some of North Texas' corporate campuses — Legacy and Los Colinas — have built up density surrounding the developments with apartment communities, he said.
"In Las Colinas, multifamily spawned an urban environment and became symbiotic with the corporate office space," Manskey told me.
Now, larger companies are asking developers to become more involved in creating that amenity base, he said. Instead of companies carrying the costs of offering a cafeteria and on-site fitness center, developers like Dallas-based KDC and Dallas-based Billingsley Co. are creating developments catering to corporate users.
What's fueling demand? Manskey breaks it down:
  • Proximity to an urban mix of amenities in either urban or suburban locations
  • There's no "Office Space" here, but a focus on health with nearby parks, open spaces and trails
  • An exclusive environment, whether from Fidelity's wooded campus in Westlake or RadioShack's location on the banks of the Trinity River.
More info at:

Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal

The Shops of Highland Park has a New Owner

Dallas-based Stockdale Investment Group, a family-owned and operated real estate venture, has bought The Shops of Highland Park, from its original owner, Corrigan Properties Inc., for an undisclosed sum.
Corrigan was the original owner of The Shops of Highland Park and has owned the 45,000-square-foot retail property for more than 70 years.
"This shift in ownership should be seamless as we transition from one family-owned company to another," Leo CorriganIII">Leo Corrigan III, president of Corrigan Properties Inc., said in a written statement.
Leo Corrigan Sr. built the 42,000-square-foot retail property off Oak Lawn Avenue in the early 1940s. It has has undergone two major renovations since its original development. The property also includes a 50,000-square-foot parking lot and exterior.
The Shops of Highland Park is home to La Duni, Carbone's, Flywheel and The Dry Bar.
More info at:
Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal

Parmenter Acquires Dallas High-Rise

Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group has sold a 310,000-sf office high-rise at 7557 Rambler Rd.

The investor purchased the 14-story tower from Florida-based Parmenter Realty.

HFF marketed the 60 percent-leased property.


North Texas Housing Demand Strong

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – North Texas housing demand continues to rise, judging by the recent increase in both new home starts and existing home sales.
Metrostudy reported that area home builders started almost 6,000 homes in second quarter 2013 — more homes than in any quarter during the last five years. Metrostudy Regional Director David Brown said that 22,000 home starts by the end of the year are likely.
Nearly 5,130 new homes were sold in the second quarter. That's 25 percent more than were sold during the same period a year ago.
And it's not just new home sales that are showing gains. Local real estate agents sold 8,708 existing single-family homes last month, a 12 percent jump over a year ago. Sales for the first half of 2013 were up 19 percent over last year.
Median sales price for existing homes was also up last month. It increased 13 percent to a record $185,820.

Network Marketing - Podcasts

Social Media Sizzle, Part 3
Getting More Leads with Podcasting

A recent study discovered podcast awareness has increased 105 percent since 2006. Also, the number of consumers listening to these online audio and video broadcasts has increased by 163 percent.

Websites, blogs and social media accounts require up-to-date content, but not everyone is comfortable writing or has the necessary budget to employ a skilled writer. Podcasting can help business owners bridge the gap, without requiring too much technical wizardry.

Here are the four steps to producing a basic podcast:

Rehearse: Podcasts are recorded digitally, so the audio is easy to edit. Even so, your podcast will be noticeably smoother, your delivery more interesting, and your thoughts will be easier to follow if you work from an outline and practice first.

Record: Cheap or free audio software will record, edit, and output the finalized audio file. Audacity is the most popular, but there are others as well. Note that if you want to add bumper music or other audio elements, make sure to get multi-track software. Most user manuals do a good job explaining how the software works, but if you still have trouble, users often post helpful walk-through tutorials on YouTube.

Consider using an external microphone instead of the built-in mic on your computer. Most mics these days are plug-and-play and your listeners will appreciate the higher audio quality. Here are a few mics to choose from.

Publish: Once your audio has been finalized, you need to upload it to a podcast host such as Libsyn or Podbean. Also, make sure to apply to have your feed posted on iTunes, which will expand your reach.

Promote: Now it's time to link your podcast feed across your website, blog, and social media accounts. Also notify your clients and contacts by email. Ask strategic partners to post your podcast on their website, and look for other ways to promote it locally. Don't forget to list it on your business card!

Federal Reserve Update - July 2013

 The minutes from the Fed's June meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee showed that the Fed's Bond purchases will be contingent on how the U.S. economy does. Some members said further labor market improvement is needed, while several said a reduction in purchases would soon be warranted.

In terms of the labor market, regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in May. Twenty-five states had unemployment rate decreases, seventeen states had increases, and eight states and the District of Columbia had no change. And while the Jobs Report for June looked strong on the surface, when you dig into the report a lot of the jobs created were for low-paying jobs and part-time help. In addition, for the 18-29 year age group, the Unemployment Rate is a staggering 16.1 percent.

The labor markets are not out of the woods yet, and this is one of the reasons for continued stimulus from the Fed. In fact, on Wednesday Fed Chairman Bernanke tried to soothe the markets by stating that some of the easy money policies will be around for the foreseeable future due to high unemployment and inflation pressures remaining stable.

What does all of this mean for home loan rates?

Remember that the Fed's Bond purchase program has helped Bonds and home loan rates remain attractive. But the timing of tapering this program really does depend on whether the housing and labor markets continue to improve. In addition, with thousands of companies reporting their second quarter earnings over the next few weeks, the Fed will be watching closely. If numbers are reported at or below estimates for key sectors, the Fed may have to rethink the timeframe for tapering its Bond purchases.

Another key factor to monitor is inflation. Inflation at the wholesale level jumped by 0.8 percent in June, well above expectations, led by an increase in energy costs reflecting higher gasoline prices. Remember that inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds (and therefore home loan rates, which are tied to Mortgage Bonds) because inflation reduces the value of fixed investments like Bonds. Low inflation has given the Fed cover to continue its Bond purchases, but if inflation heats up, this could cause Bonds and home loan rates to worsen.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels, and now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Netherland, Sewell Moving to Downtown Office

One of downtown Dallas’ big energy industry firms is getting ready to make a move.
Netherland, Sewell & Associates - the international oil and gas consulting firm – has decided to shift its Dallas office to downtown’s 2100 Ross Avenue tower, real estate brokers say.
The 52-year-old company is now located in the Thanksgiving Tower on Elm Street.
Netherland, Sewell is leasing more than 60,000 square feet of office space in the Ross Avenue skyscraper that Cousins Properties is currently renovating.

See More At:

By Steve Brown
Real Estate Editor
Published: 15 July 2013 03:26 PM
Updated: 15 July 2013 03:26 PM

Monday, July 15, 2013

Upscale Liquor Store Coming to Downtown Dallas

Grocery store Urban Orchard Market, package liquor store Urban Vineyard and restaurant Bar None Cafe will occupy the downtown Dallas space that formerly housed city-backed grocer Urbanmarket.

A partnership of three guys in their mid-20s just may be the ticket to a successful downtown Dallas grocery.
A triple-concept of food and beverage retail will soon fill the 20,000 square-feet that used to house the Urbanmarket, a city hall-subsidized grocery store that failed last year after a 7-year struggle to stay open.
Urban Orchard Market is a grocery store that promises to have a higher percentage of organic versus conventional foods. It will sell local produce and feature frozen yogurt and a deli counter.
Urban Vineyard is the upscale liquor store, earning that description because it’s been designed to feel more like an Apple store than a corner package store.
Bar None Café expects to satisfy most cravings with a sushi bar, taco bar and sandwich bar. It will also have a hot and cold menu. Fresh juice, smoothies, coffee and snack foods will be sold at another station.
Urban Vineyard will open first, said John McIntosh, one of the partners. Urban Orchard Market was created by Umair Humeed and the third partner is Loc Tran. They’ve known each other since middle school growing up in North Richland Hills and all are in their mid-twenties.

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Commercial Real Estate Space Running Dry

Dallas-area businesses have had it easy for years and years.
“You didn’t have to worry about finding empty office space or finding a good deal,” said Joel Pustmueller, who’s worked in the local real estate market for more than 30 years.
Dallas-Fort Worth seems to always have an overabundance of cheap office space. That’s helped lure companies here and made North Texas one of best business environments in the country.
But slowdowns in building during the recession and strong recent employment growth have filled up much of the area’s office space.
D-FW office vacancy rates are below 18 percent. And in some hot markets there is much less sitting empty.
“We haven’t seen a market like this in 15 to 20 years,” said Pustmueller, who’s a principal in Peloton Commercial Real Estate. “There’s just not a lot left to pick from.”
At the worst of the recession, almost a quarter of the local office space was empty.

Read More At:

Real Estate Editor
Published: 11 July 2013 09:04 PM
Updated: 12 July 2013 02:26 PM

Real Estate Job Boom in Dallas

If the North Texas real estate market takes off this year — and all signs are pointing toward that — you can thank employment growth.
It’s new jobs, more than anything else, that fuel big increases in real estate demand.
That only makes sense.
People with new or better jobs often seek better housing — a nicer apartment or a home.
And companies that are adding workers require additional office and industrial space.
Last year was the best for home sales and commercial building leasing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since before the recession started.
No surprise, it was also the strongest year for employment gains in the area since 2007.

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