Partners Real Estate Company—the holding company of NAI Partners, Partners Capital, and Partners Development—has announced that Brett Chiles, a veteran private equity professional, has joined Partners Development as a Director. Mr. Chiles will be responsible for growing capital and sourcing debt for Partners Development’s ground-up retail and other development and investment opportunities. In addition, he will be responsible for other aspects of development projects including legal, entity organization, project management and other activities. Mr. Chiles has over two decades of experience in the investment space, and comes to Partners Real Estate Company from KA Investments, a Houston-based private equity firm where he was a Principal. Prior to that, he spent time at Equus Total Return, Inc., and Murphree Venture Partners. Mr. Chiles has an MBA from Rice University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Texas Christian University.
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).
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.
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.
The Houston metro area has a long way to go until its office market fully recovers. Houston led the nation in overall office vacancies at the new year at a staggering rate of 24%, but there is one bright spot in the market: medical leasing. It’s perhaps no surprise that there’s increased demand and growth in the healthcare and medical field across the nation during the pandemic, and the trend is likely to continue in the coming years. While traditional corporate offices sent their workers home throughout the worst months of the pandemic, medical businesses maintained a presence in the workplace as an essential service.
According to recent numbers from brokerage NAI Partners, a number of key metrics in the medical market in Houston reveal some optimistic signs. First, and perhaps most important, is the overall vacancy level of 16.8% from this past February was slightly lower than 17% from the same period a year prior. Additionally, gross average asking rent has increased slightly from $25.02 per square foot in February 2020 to $25.86 this last February.
However, there’s still a lot of space to fill and even more on the way. Overall medical office available increased from 18.5% to 21.1% year-over-year, and net absorption is way down, from nearly 157,000 square feet to -65,278 over the last year. There were no new deliveries to the market in February, but there remains nearly 864,000 square feet of office space currently under construction.
Leases of note mentioned in the report include a deal for a 35,000-square-foot space in the Bissonnet Medical Plaza in suburban Bellaire, a 20,000-square-foot lease at the Texas Medical Center near downtown Houston, and a 14,000-square-foot deal at the River Oaks Medical Center in Greenway Plaza.
Like most major metro markets, Houston’s workforce was hit hard by the abrupt business shutdowns and ensuing economic downturn that followed last spring as the pandemic took hold. Sectors such as hospitality, construction and manufacturing took big hits. In total, the Houston metro area saw a loss of 350,000 jobs during the pandemic, a Cushman & Wakefield report shows, however, the city was able to recover just over 200,000 of those losses by the end of 2020. At its worst, office vacancies in Houston last year reached a staggering 25.5%. And ending 2020 with a vacancy rate of 24.1% meant that Houston continued to lead the nation in vacant office space into the new year. And despite the turmoil, the city’s economic outlook remains positive as forecasts see upwards of 70,000 jobs being added to the Houston economy in 2021. But how is the office market faring in 2021? It’s not looking as cheery. New numbers for this February from brokerage NAI Partners show that the needle has barely moved. As of last month, Houston’s total office vacancy rate was 23.9%. During the same period a year prior, the vacancy rate was 21.8%. Some other fast stats show leasing activity down by nearly half year-over-year between February 2020 and February 2021, going from 2 million square feet leased to 1.225 million leased respectively. Absorption is also in the red while over 4.277 million square feet of new office space remains under construction. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.