In Memorium: Father of Real Estate Center Julio Laguarta

COLLEGE STATION – “A marriage made in heaven.” That’s what Julio Laguarta called the partnership between Texas Realtors and Texas A&M University when the Real Estate Center was created nearly 50 years ago. Laguarta, former National Association of Realtors and Texas Realtors president, died Jan. 3. “Julio was the father of the Center,” said Executive Director Gary Maler. “Creating an organization to conduct real estate research for Texas was his idea. Although he was a Longhorn, he was ecstatic when Texas A&M agreed to house the Center he envisioned.” Appointed to a six-year term on the Center’s first advisory committee, Laguarta was elected its first chairman. Read more about Laguarta’s role in creating what was known at the time as the Texas Real Estate Research Center. Click to read more at www.recenter.tamu.edu.

Transwestern Development ramps up its Texas industrial business with high-profile hire

One of Texas’ best-known commercial property firms is beefing up its industrial business with the hiring of a new regional partner from a competitor. Denton Walker is joining Transwestern Development Co. as a regional partner after more than 30 years with developer Trammell Crow Co. At Transwestern, Walker plans to significantly expand the firm’s logistics and industrial building operations across all of Texas’ major markets. “It’s the most exciting opportunity in my career in terms of the times we are in,” Walker said. “It was the right time and the right company and the right product type. “I think industrial is a great opportunity for me,” Walker said. “It also includes the Southwest region — I’m overseeing Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas.” Transwestern currently has more than 4 million square feet of logistics projects in the pipeline in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Texas is one of the country’s biggest warehouse and industrial markets. Click to read more at www.dallasnews.com.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares jump on real estate deal that gives the retailer $250 million

Bed Bath & Beyond shares jumped nearly 5% on Monday after the retailer said it had completed a sale-leaseback transaction with an affiliate of Oak Street Real Estate Capital, netting it $250 million in proceeds. The embattled company’s new CEO, Mark Tritton, who just took the reins in November, said the deal, which entailed selling real estate and leasing it back, “marks the first step toward unlocking valuable capital … that can be put to work to amplify our plans to build a stronger, more efficient foundation to support revenue growth, financial stability and enhance shareholder value.” Bed Bath & Beyond said in a press release that the properties it has sold represent about 2.1 million square feet of commercial real estate, which includes stores, office space, and a distribution center. Bed Bath & Beyond, which also owns Buy Buy Baby and Harmon drugstores, has roughly 1,500 locations in total. The company said it is continuing to work with outside financial advisors to review its real estate and determine the best uses “to optimize its asset base and enhance shareholder value.” Click to read more at www.cnbc.com.

Demographic shifts in the workforce will make winners and losers of some markets

A new research report from Cushman & Wakefield, “Demographic Shifts: The World in 2030,” analyzes the effects that this generational swing, along with other demographic transformations, will have not only on the workforce of tomorrow but real estate occupiers and investors. “These demographic trends will drive the pace of growth in cities around the world,” said Dr. Dominic Brown, head of insight and analysis, Asia Pacific at Cushman & Wakefield. “Cities will need to establish themselves as ‘places’ to attract the highest quality workers and in turn create the greatest real estate opportunities for occupiers and investors alike.” Cushman & Wakefield looked at the progression of GDP and labor force in more than 130 cities around the world. Unsurprisingly, those cities with high growth in both categories are positioned to experience strong real estate demand while the prospects are low for markets exhibiting slow growth in the two categories. The report notes that Gen Z (those born in the mid- to late-1990s) came of age during the War on Terror, and with the Great Recession—the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression—occurring during their formative years. Though it is too early to know exactly what to expect as this next generation enters the workforce, they may have a lot in common with the Silent Generation, those who matured during the Great Depression and therefore exhibited more frugality and showed a greater desire for stability than the Boomers who followed. Click to read more at www.rejournals.com.

Year-End Apartment Report: It Wasn’t Cheap To Rent In 2019

Renting an apartment in 2019? It was pretty expensive, a monthly rents for both two-bedroom and one-bedroom units rose throughout the year. ABODO recently released its 2019 annual rent report, finding that the national median monthly rent for one-bedroom apartments rose 4.1 percent last year, hitting $1,078 in December. The national median monthly rent for two-bedroom apartments rose to $1,343 in December, a 5.5 percent gain from the same month one year earlier. This jump came even though develoers brought more than 330,000 apartment units online during the year. That’s a sign that demand for apartment living remains strong. The increase in rents was consistent throughout the country, according to ABODO. The comany reported that monthly rents increased in 39 states, including the District of Columbia, and droped in just 12. Detroit ranked as the city with the biggest percentage gain in average rents for one-bedroom units last year. The city ended 2019 with an average monthly one-bedroom rent of $866, an increase of 7.48 percent. Cleveland ranked second, seeing its average monthly one-bedroom rent jump 3.85 percent to $782. Click to read more at www.rejournals.com.

Drop In Retail Construction Helps San Antonio Shopping Centers Stay Full

A dramatic drop in retail construction over the last decade is helping keep San Antonio’s big shopping centers full, driving companies to expand in existing storefronts and take over empty space left behind by brands such as Sears and Toys R Us. The metro area added about 6.8 million square feet of retail space between 2010 and 2019, down nearly 11 million square feet from the previous ten years, according to an annual report by Weitzman, a Dallas-based commercial real estate firm. The decline helped push the occupancy rate — for 302 shopping centers with at least 25,000 square feet each — up from 89.9 percent in 2009 to 94.5 percent in 2019. “There typically are not a lot of holes,” said Marcus Shaffer, a senior vice president at Weitzman’s local office. When slots do open, multiple retailers usually make offers, he added. On ExpressNews.com: What’s keeping Wonderland alive? Quirky events, businesses, discount stores, and art films The drop in new construction reflects seismic changes in the retail industry. Click to read more at www.expressway.com.