KBS Extends Technology Focus; Achieves WiredScore Status for Four Class A Office Properties in Texas

City View and Fountainhead Tower are the first two properties in the San Antonio market to achieve WiredScore certification. City View, a 221,373 square-foot office building located at the corner of Interstate 10 and Huebner in northwest San Antonio, was awarded WiredScore Gold, and Fountainhead Tower, 179,932 square-foot office building located directly off IH-10 with quick access to Loop 410 and just minutes from Loop 1604 and the San Antonio International Airport, was awarded WiredScore Silver. The certifications are noteworthy accomplishments in today’s tech-driven office environment, according to Gio Cordoves, Western regional president for KBS. “KBS understands that connectivity is critical to driving business for today’s office tenants and enabling them to operate efficiently,” says Cordoves. “By offering the first two WiredScore certified properties in San Antonio, KBS continues to lead the market in providing its tenants with outstanding service and amenities.” Two additional Texas-based KBS office assets – 515 Congress, a 263,058-square-foot office tower located at 515 Congress Avenue in Downtown Austin, and 1800 Bering, a 171,510 square-foot office building located at 1800 Bering Drive in Houston – have each been certified WiredScore Silver. With these new designations, KBS now holds a majority of Wired Certified assets nationwide. Click to read more at www.businesswire.com.

Transwestern Real Estate Managing Director Receives Landlord Broker Award

Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) announces the Houston Office Leasing Brokers Association (HOLBA) has recognized Managing Director Doug Little as the Landlord Broker of the Year for his office leasing efforts in 2020. Little was a finalist for the broker of the year award in 2018 and on the team that received the HOLBA Deal of the Year award in 2019 on behalf of Brookfield for Direct Energy’s 105,578-square-foot lease at 2 Houston Center. This honor is voted on by the tenant representation community in Houston and was presented to Little at the HOLBA Awards ceremony on May 13, 2021. In 2020, Little’s team completed approximately 748,200 square feet of lease transactions with an aggregate value exceeding $132 million. Notable leases include TGS-Nopec Geophysical Company at 10451 Clay Rd. (97,295 square feet), Cadence Bank at Park Towers South (82,215 square feet), Ryan LLC at Park Towers North (66,750 square feet) and Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson at Loop Central III (43,113 square feet).

Opportunity Update: As Major Deadlines in the Opportunity Zone Program Pass, We Dive into the Benefits that Still Exist

Going into a new presidential administration, one of the big concerns in the investment community was the future of the Opportunity Zone (OZ) program. It was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed under a Republican administration. “These are uncertain times for any income tax laws. However, the OZ program was originally enacted with bipartisan support, and I’m not aware of any proposed discontinuation of the OZ program,” said Chris Goodrich, partner at Houston-based law firm Crady Jewett McCully & Houren. “There has been Democratic interest in imposing more stringent reporting requirements for OZ investments, but it’s not presently known what these more stringent requirements might be.” §§ 1400Z allows investors to defer, reduce, and in some cases, eliminate
capital gains tax by investing in specified low-income areas designated as qualified Opportunity Zones (OZs). They must do so by reinvesting their capital gains in Qualified Opportunity Zone funds (QOFs). State governors submitted their recommendations for OZ tracts, areas in need due to chronic unemployment, lower population density and economic disruptions, such as natural disasters. The result is more than 8,700 qualified tracts scattered around the country, including hundreds in Texas. A common question related to that list is whether it could change based on the results of the 2020 Census. “Technically, the designation of a census tract as an Opportunity Zone expires after 10 years,” said Goodrich. “But the final regulations provide that an investment in OZ property will retain its status through December 31, 2047, even though a census tract ceases to be classified as an OZ due to a future census.” Click to read more at www.rednews.com.

Who’s Next: Amazon Selects La Marque for Delivery Station

During a year that was a struggle for so many Texas communities, La Marque saw the light at the end of the tunnel earlier than most. “We had quite a bit of behind-the-scenes work that happened, as you can imagine before we could finally make the announcement,” says Alex Getty, Executive Director of the La Marque Economic Development Corporation. That announcement? Amazon chose La Marque as the site of a 180,000-square-foot delivery station, which will power the company’s last-mile capabilities to speed up deliveries for people in and around Galveston County. “We know location is a very important factor when sites are selected for projects like this. Since La Marque is the hub of the mainland, I think it helped Amazon ultimately choose us,” Getty says. The facility is expected to directly contribute about 400 jobs, which pay a minimum of $15 per hour — everything from drivers to primary management positions, to team leads. But projects show it will also contribute to 150 more, such as janitorial suppliers or employees in restaurants built to accommodate the expanded workforce. Another 230 construction workers are needed just to get the building off the ground. “We are excited to continue to invest in Texas with a new delivery station in La Marque that will create hundreds of new job opportunities and provide faster and more efficient delivery for customers,” said Daniel Martin, a spokesman for Amazon. “We look forward to continuing our growth in Texas and want to thank local and state leaders for their support in making this project possible.” Click to read more at www.rednews.com.

Ramsey March: The Struggle Between The Leaders And Followers of Industry “Herds”

Herd instinct is the inclination of people or animals to behave or think like the majority in the interest of self-preservation. Herd mentality is hard-wired into human behavior and requires great discipline and conviction to override—if it should be overridden at all. It has also long been embedded into corporate and capital markets behavior. In the year ahead, we may witness the most interesting struggle between the leaders and followers of industry “herds” in memory. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, possesses a market cap of $1.35 trillion and employs 135,000 people across 70 offices globally. Even if it did not also happen to control how information flows on the internet, the company’s standing as one of the world’s most influential real estate occupiers is undeniable. So when Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai had this to say recently as he announced Google’s $7 billion commitment to expanding its real estate footprint in multiple states this year, it captured our attention: “Coming together in-person to collaborate and build community is core to Google’s culture.” Click to read more at www.dmagazine.com.