NAI Partners promotes Larry Koestler to senior vice president of marketing and communications

NAI Partners has promoted its head of marketing, Larry Koestler, to senior vice president of marketing and communications. “Larry has consistently raised the bar in his leadership of our marketing group, ensuring our brokers have the support they need to deliver the exceptional client service our customers count on every single day,” said Jon Silberman, managing partner of NAI Partners. “His creativity, insight and passion for the company make Larry an ideal brand evangelist, and he is highly deserving of this promotion.” Koestler’s expanded responsibilities now include management and oversight of the company’s more than one dozen client services coordinators and account managers, in addition to his day-to-day supervision of the entirety of the firm’s marketing priorities and media relations efforts for all of the company’s business lines—including office tenant representation, industrial services, retail services, landlord services, office project leasing, investment sales, property management, investment funds, project management, facilities services, valuation and advisory and development services—across the firm’s three markets in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. “Larry has been an incredible advocate for our company and draws considerable positive attention to our firm in what he does,” said Travis Rodgers, executive vice president. “Larry has also been a good leader and partner in our marketing efforts. Aligning the account managers and CSCs to his team will ensure consistency in the marketing aspects of their roles and provide new leadership to that team.” Koestler is a previous Real Estate Forum 50 Under 40 Rising Stars of Commercial Real Estate honoree. He was the only marketing and communications executive to make the list, the only professional in the NAI Global network and one of just two in this esteemed group to be based in Houston. Koestler has been at NAI Partners for four years, initially coming aboard to lead the company’s marketing team, and eventually being promoted to spearhead both marketing and communications. He came to NAI Partners from Fortune 500 commercial real estate services firm CBRE, where he spent more than a decade serving in a range of global marketing and communications leadership roles as a digital storyteller, corporate communicator, brand evangelist and content marketing strategist. Koestler is a New York City native. He has a bachelor of arts in journalism from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He lives with his wife and children in Katy, Texas.

Greystone Affordable Development preserves more than 800 affordable housing units in Texas

Greystone Affordable Development recently closed a $120.5 million transaction—its first in the state of Texas—in collaboration with Burnet, Texas-based Hamilton Valley Management, Inc., an owner and manager of affordable multi-family housing in rural areas of Texas. Using the housing industry’s critical 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), which is currently in crisis due to historically low rates, Greystone Affordable Development will redevelop, modernize and secure affordable rental homes for thousands of Texans. “The rehabilitation of these properties, and the jobs that will be created during the extensive rehabilitation, would not be possible without the housing credit, our nation’s primary tool for financing affordable rental housing,” said Tanya Eastwood, president, Greystone Affordable Development. “Unfortunately, the program is facing significant challenges, threatening the development of affordable housing across the country at a time when it is needed more than ever.” Hamilton Valley’s portfolio of affordable housing properties for this transaction includes 23 aged, USDA Rural Development Section 515 properties, comprising 802 apartment homes serving low-income households in 14 counties across Texas. Click to read more at www.rejournals.com.

Global tax giant Ryan LLC relocates Houston office to Park Towers with 66,750-SF lease

Regent Properties and Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) announce that Ryan LLC has leased 66,750 square feet at Park Towers, 1233 W. Loop S. in Houston’s Uptown/Galleria submarket. Transwestern managing director Doug Little, executive vice president David Baker, vice president Kelli Gault and associate Jack Scharnberg provided agency leasing services on behalf of the landlord, Regent Properties. “We are thrilled that the Ryan team is relocating to Park Towers,” said Matthew Benbassat, chief operating officer at Regent. “Park Towers exemplifies Regent’s vision of providing our tenants with an amenity-rich environment that will allow their employees to produce at their highest levels.” Park Towers is a Class A, 545,242-square-foot office property comprised of two 272,621-square-foot, 18-story buildings. The space boasts a high-performance fitness facility, tech-savvy conference center, in-building dining and soon-to-be-completed lobby renovations. The location is abundant with walkable amenities at the nearby Uptown Park shopping center and has excellent proximity and a paved walkway to Memorial Park. The building visibility and ease of access attributed greatly to the tenant’s decision to lease the space. “We are excited to move our Houston operations into Park Towers,” said Robert Wertz, senior vice president and chief real estate officer at Ryan. “The office space provides superb amenities for our employees and the location is in proximity to many of our clients and employee residences in the dynamic Uptown/Galleria area of Houston. In addition, Regent Properties is a first-class owner with tremendous plans for the Park Towers complex.”

Transwestern sells Amazon last-mile facility outside Houston

Transwestern Development Company (TDC) has sold its final phase of West Ten Business Park, which includes a 238,000-square-foot last-mile facility fully leased by Amazon at 28420 West Ten Boulevard in Katy, Texas. Stonelake Capital Partners purchased the 41-acre site from a joint venture between Transwestern Development Company and UBS Realty Investors. In addition to the building, the site includes an 1,100-space, 15-acre surface parking lot utilized by Amazon for delivery staging, as well as a 14-acre tract for future development. “We are very pleased with the culmination of this project, achieving superior results for our investors,” said Will Paton, partner at Transwestern Development Company. “Given the current market conditions, this sale is even more of a testament to both development quality and tenant creditworthiness. We appreciate Stonelake’s motivation to see this transaction through, despite the challenging circumstances.” In 2014, Transwestern and UBS purchased a 74-acre site within the West Ten Business Park developed by Parkside Capital. Transwestern developed phase one, consisting of two buildings totaling 415,000 square feet, which were both leased and purchased by Bel Furniture. Phase two was both delivered and fully leased to Amazon in 2019. The JLL capital markets team of Rusty Tamlyn, Trent Agnew and Charlie Strauss represented the seller in the Amazon building disposition. Transwestern’s industrial services team, led by Brian Gammill, executed the sale of the adjacent land parcel. “This is a compelling investment opportunity with state-of-the-art construction and a high-credit tenant,” said William Peeples, principal at Stonelake Capital Partners. “The building will be combined with our existing industrial portfolio, which now totals 11 million square feet. Additionally, we are planning to break ground on the 14-acre site with an approximately 180,000-square-foot distribution center on a speculative basis. We commend the Transwestern team and we look forward to our growing presence in the West Ten Business Park.”

Hines signs 250,000-SF lease within Texas’ tallest building

Hines, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, executed a new lease with a global financial services firm at 600 Travis Street in downtown Houston. Hines and Cerberus acquired 600 Travis Street and the adjacent 601 Travis Street last year. The 75-story tower will undergo major improvements including significant updates to the lobby and exterior plaza; the addition of connected, collaborative workspaces and enhancements to other building common elements; and the addition of a state-of-the-art conference center that can accommodate up to 150 people in various rooms over two floors, including the lobby level with a large, versatile gallery space. The comprehensive revitalization, designed by HOK, will welcome forward-thinking tenants for years to come. “The planned changes to the building’s ground-floor plane will be some of the most transformative in our firm’s history,” Hines senior managing director, John Mooz, said. “For several years, our team has contemplated the unique untapped potential of the building’s large plaza area. The renovation takes strong advantage of that opportunity and that vision resonated with our new tenant.” The currently underutilized plaza area will be transformed into a vibrant urban garden featuring a variety of seating areas to enjoy, featuring increased green space, an expanded canopy and more connections from the outdoors to the building. With the addition of retail to the lobby, the plaza will also be activated by new food and beverage for tenants and visitors. The plaza space will allow for outdoor meetings and meals, collaborative sessions with colleagues and more secluded spaces for contemplative time. The largest Joan Miró sculpture ever commissioned, entitled “Personage and Birds” will remain on site. A new feature of the building will be the reimagined entrance and building processional. Paying homage to one of I.M. Pei’s most celebrated achievements, the five-story curtainwall will be transformed from its current chrome and glass grid into a dramatic new trapezoidal pyramid that will add almost 3,000 square feet to the lobby. In additional to more square footage, the remodeled lobby will also enjoy immense natural sunlight and biophilic qualities as the outdoors are brought in. The newly designed pyramid entrance creates a spacious, hospitality-focused lobby for tenants with updated finishes and artistic light features. Building security systems will be upgraded and enhanced to reflect the more modern office environment. Finally, the former Sky Lobby on the 60th floor will be redesigned as an exclusive “Sky Lounge” for tenants to enjoy. With comfortable, elegant furnishings and seating vignettes, tenants will be welcome to use this space as a “third place” for meetings and collaboration. Hines developed and manages both buildings, which were designed by New York-based I.M. Pei & Partners. 600 Travis Street was originally developed for Texas Commerce Bancshares and is the tallest building in Texas at 75 stories. The five-sided, polished gray granite structure contains more than 1.7 million square feet. The 20-story 601 Travis Street contains 407,896 square feet and was also recently renovated. The building also features a 7,000-square-foot fitness center available to tenants of both buildings, a 280-seat auditorium and 12 floors of parking. Michael Anderson, Diana Bridger, and Margaret Elkins of Cushman & Wakefield as well as Chanse McLeod with Hunton Andrews Kurth represented the landlord.