KeyBank Secures $30 Million Loan for El Paso Apartment Complex

KeyBank Real Estate Capital (KBREC) secured $30 million of fixed-rate Freddie Mac financing for a real estate private-equity investment firm based in New England to acquire a multifamily housing property in El Paso, Texas. Built in 2009, Bungalows at North Hills is a 342-unit garden-style apartment complex that consists of 42 two-story apartment buildings on 18 acres of land. Units are available in studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans. Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool and courtyards with barbeque grills. The loan is structured with a five-year term, and subsequent to a one-year interest-only period amortizes on a 30-year schedule. Caleb Marten of KBREC’s Commercial Mortgage Group and Chris Neil of KeyBank’s Institutional Real Estate Group structured the financing.

Remediation of Ammunition Plant Creates Thousands of Acres of Development-Ready Land in Texas

During a virtual news conference this week with regional, statewide, and national leaders, TexAmericas Center announced that thousands of acres have been successfully remediated to meet commercial and industrial standards. Official action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality removed the United States Army’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit from the property and opens up more than 6,800 acres of additional ground to be transactable for development, making them ready for job-generating uses. The almost-7,000 acres of land represented a portion of the former Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant property, which necessitated environmental remediation before development could be approved. The comprehensive remediation, which began in 2010 and was recently completed, required a lengthy process to ensure all standards and assurances were met correctly and completely. This announcement complements a 2015 announcement in which 2,000 acres were removed from the same RCRA permit. In total, TexAmericas Center now has over 12,000 acres of transactable property. The amount of land this opens for development is significant. To put it into perspective, 6,800 acres is the same approximate size as 5,142 football fields, 7.5 times the size of Central Park, 40 times bigger than Disneyland, or 65 times bigger than the Mall of America. More than 2 million parking spaces can fit into 6,800 acres. Accordingly, the availability of this amount of land opens up opportunities for the largest players in almost any industry. In recent years, TexAmericas Center and its redevelopment partners have invested more than $40 million in remediation activities and improved infrastructure to advance job and capital creation the region. These investments, combined with these 6,800 acres of shovel-ready land, further enhance the organization’s offerings, capabilities, and services for businesses seeking to grow or relocate. TexAmericas Center and the region’s features that are attractive to potential businesses include: New 150,000-square-foot spec building that will be completed summer of 2021 | Enhanced fiberoptic lines | A new, onsite $200 million water treatment plant that is funded and will soon be under construction | Area’s robust transportation system | Region’s low cost and abundant sources of power | New airport terminal and pending flight expansions | TexAmericas Center’s third-party logistics services division | Expansion of training options at all local universities and colleges, which includes seven institutions of higher education within 30 miles of TexAmericas Center TexAmericas Center has built significant momentum with recent recognitions and announcements. In 2020, TexAmericas Center was ranked as the No. 8 industrial park in the country by Business Facilities magazine. It is one of the largest mixed-use industrial parks in the country, and a designated US Opportunity Zone, HUBZone, and Foreign Trade Zone. Current tenants include transportation equipment, oil and gas pipe, warehousing, construction, and supplement manufacturing industries. TAC is also equipped to serve a range of industries such as primary and fabricated metals, alternative energy, paper and wood products, chemicals, rubber products, defense, cement, and heavy equipment. In November, TexAmericas Center broke ground on a new speculative (spec) building to support future tenants relocating to or growing in, the Texarkana region. The 150,000-square-foot building on 24 acres will be ready for new tenants in the summer of 2021 and is the first new building in the industrial park in 15 years.

Commercial and Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originated $441.5 Billion in 2020

Commercial and multifamily mortgage bankers closed $441.5 billion of loans in 2020, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) 2020 Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Annual Origination Volume Summation. The $441.5 billion in commercial and multifamily mortgages closed last year was 26 percent lower than the record $601 billion reported in 2019. “Commercial and multifamily borrowing and lending in 2020 fell by a quarter from 2019’s record year, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the economy and created increased uncertainty,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. “The property types most impacted by the pandemic – lodging and retail – saw the largest declines in originations, while those in which investors and lenders had the greatest confidence – particularly multifamily – held up better. The source of capital also mattered, with government-backed loans from the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA hitting new record-highs in volume.” Multifamily properties saw the highest volume of mortgage bankers’ origination volume last year at $272.0 billion, followed by office buildings, industrial properties, retail, health care and hotel/motel. First liens accounted for 98 percent of the total dollar volume closed. Click to read more at www.mba.org.

In Historic Kimco-Weingarten Merger, Two Shopping Center Stalwarts Combine Forces

Shopping center owner Kimco Realty said on Thursday it would buy rival Weingarten Realty Investors for about $3.87 billion, adding heft to its business just as more parts of the U.S. economy open with the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Kimco said in a statement it would pay Weingarten shareholders about $30.32 per share in cash and stock, a near 11% premium to the company’s closing share price on Wednesday. The deal will create a company with 559 open-air grocery-anchored shopping centers — one of the better performing parts of the commercial real estate sector during the pandemic as people rushed to stores to stock up on essential items. Click to read more at www.cnbc.com.

Hartman REIT Launches BIZSUITES, an Executive Suites Concept for Small Businesses

Hartman Income REIT Management Inc. (Hartman) has launched BIZSUITES, a new business entity aimed to address the post-pandemic workplace needs of Texas-based small businesses and owner-operators. BIZSUITES – a single-office model designed with affordability and flexibility in mind – is rolling out in eight locations across Houston, Dallas Fort-Worth, and San Antonio, with more locations coming on board later this year. According to the Small Business Administration, in 2020, despite the worldwide pandemic, 1.7 million small business entities were filed for creation in the U.S. Though, their presence has not been reflected in the commercial real estate market more prominently than it is now. In addition, small businesses that had the flexibility to exit their office leases at the height of the pandemic to work from home are now re-entering the market to return to the office. As the Texas economy fully reopens and confidence continues to return to the market, BIZSUITES is responding to the rising number of inquiries from small businesses who are ready to move their operations from home. CEO & President of Hartman, Al Hartman shared, “Increased demand in individual office space is a terrific sign. It is indicative of a recovering economy and shows the desire people have to network and be in a stimulating professional environment.” Other factors BIZSUITES curbs are the plagues of “zoom fatigue,” home distractions, focus disruptions, and lower productivity produced by the work from home model. “As a result of the pandemic, businesses are becoming more flexible in the way they work. Small businesses, particularly start-ups may not need a dedicated front desk staff, a long-term lease, or a custom-designed office; they need convenience and flexibility.” Shared Al Hartman. BIZSUITES suburban office locations check the boxes for convenience and low rates. Its short-term leasing model allows for flexibility as a business scales its growth trajectory. Most importantly, BIZSUITES brings professional networking opportunities and great all-inclusive amenities. Small office spaces like BIZSUITES should appeal to individual operators looking to forge new relationships and business opportunities that surely are not met at the kitchen table. “Our goal is to provide a professional space to work in great buildings and surround small business owners with other like-minded individuals,” said Al Hartman. BIZSUITES offices span seven submarkets within three of the four major metros of Texas and reside in highly desired suburban office markets. Other appealing factors of BIZSUITES and its all-inclusive pricing model include its furnished office options, coffee bars, free Wi-Fi, presentation equipment availability, lobby directory listings, mail delivery services, and complimentary maintenance and janitorial services. If you are looking for an affordable small office space, please contact BIZSUITES by Hartman for more information. A leasing representative can be reached by phone at 800-880-2212 or by email at leasing@hireit.com.

Openpath Helps Texas Reopen Safely with Touchless Access Control and Cloud-Based Security

CULVER CITY, Calif., April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Openpath, a leader in touchless, cloud-based access control and workplace safety automation, today announces new installations helping Texas businesses to reopen safely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Openpath has picked up momentum all across Texas, with major cities like Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio at the forefront of adoption. The new addition of industry-leading commercial real estate customers in Texas during the pandemic — including Cyprus Real Estate Advisors (CREA), Lincoln Property Company, Hines, and Transwestern — collectively add 4.8M square feet of office space to Openpath’s rapidly expanding portfolio, proving that Openpath’s technology is a must-have for businesses looking to get people back into offices and other buildings. As the first state to reopen, and the second-largest economy in the U.S., it was critically important for Texas to reopen as safely and quickly as possible in order to bring people back to offices, restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues and more. Openpath’s Social Distancing Index shows Texas ahead of the national average in terms of Return to Work. Openpath’s complete cloud-based security solution offers features such as touchless access for doors, elevators, turnstiles and more; occupancy management capabilities to comply with social distancing; health-check and fever detection enforcement, and easy scheduling for hybrid office schedules. “We’re excited to help tenants feel safe in getting back to work, in major part because Openpath’s touchless access capabilities and mobile credentials will allow us to reduce germ-spread and promote social distancing at our properties,” said Seth Johnston, Senior Vice President of Lincoln Property Company’s Austin region. “The world may be forever changed, but with Openpath in our buildings, we feel well-prepared to navigate the New Normal with confidence.” Click to read more at www.prnewswire.com.