Reflecting on RECon: Reflecting on RECon: Texas CRE professionals weigh in on retail’s biggest week


Beyond the extravagant booths and limitless networking opportunities, this year’s ICSC RECon offered something even more valuable: excitement and optimism about the industry that has garnered so many pessimistic headlines.

“The attendees, from retailers to brokers to developers and other market players, were all upbeat and positive,” says Marshall Mills, President and CEO of Weitzman, which has offices in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. “These are people on the front lines of our business, and that positive outlook reflects our own assessment that we’re in the middle of a strong
market for retail real estate.”

JLL Houston Retail Land Brokerage Associate, Chris Bergmann, pointed to the attendance and attitude of ICSC as a clear indication that “retail is alive and well,” while Simmi Jaggi, a Senior Vice President and Houston Retail Land Brokerage Lead for JLL, highlighted the “sheer energy and positivity of the entire conference.”

“It seemed as though all 37,000 people in attendance were busy and actively pursuing a variety of opportunities,” she says.

For Jennifer Pierson, Managing Partner of Dallas’s STRIVE, the gathering was affirmation that “everything is happening exactly as it should.

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Sights Set on Seabrook

SH 146 construction promises more lanes, more opportunities


For about 20 years, an air of uncertainty hung over the future of Seabrook. Everyone knew TxDOT was bound to make changes to State Highway 146, but no one could say what it
would look like when all was said and done.

“The idea was to alleviate traffic congestion and ultimately link it to the Grand Parkway. That was its ultimate goal,” explains Paul Chavez, the city’s director of economic development.
“But that uncertainty stifled a lot of new developments in our community.”

He says investors were hesitant to pour money into a project without knowing when construction would begin and what it would look like.

“They need to know with confidence that what they’re buying and putting into place will still be there and will grow,” Chavez says.

Any proposed changes to SH 146 were usurped by other construction for a couple of decades, but when Hurricane Ike hit, the devastating storm and the evacuation it
prompted highlighted that an expansion was overdue.

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Using a Natural Drainage Approach to Enhance Real Estate Development Projects


Houston area real estate developers have traditionally used concrete parking areas, concrete streets, and pre-cast concrete storm sewer systems to convey rain water quickly and efficiently to “end-of-pipe” detention basins or underground cisterns. From there, the collected rainwater is discharged into nearby streams or bayous or the public storm sewer system at a restricted rate to avoid downstream flooding from storms smaller than the design storm.

Suburban developments are typically disconnected from their nearby streams in favor of locating homes and businesses around the detention basins, which are often designed with permanent pools water and are viewed as manicured “lakes” by future residents. Urban developments typically place stormwater systems underground– out of sight and out of mind.

There is an alternative, however: natural drainage systems – also known as “low impact development (LID)” or “green stormwaterinfrastructure (GSI).”

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