The Texas Office Rebound is One of the Strongest…

But, Can the Same be Said for Houston?

Texas’s office market has proven itself to be one of the strongest in the U.S. The market has continued to reflect positive trends throughout its post-pandemic recovery, though the numbers differ slightly from city to city.

Houston, for example? Vacancy and availability continue to rise, despite office brokers reporting increased activity and leased commitments.

To break it down, Partners recently analyzed the area’s activity during the first eight months of the year — August 2022 compared to August 2021.

Houston Office Vacancy at 25.5%

Overall vacancy was at 25.5% in August 2022, based on the report, up 100 basis points from last year’s 24.5%. Availability was nearly 30%, up 80 basis points from August 2021. Partners said the difference between this figure and the vacancy rate reflects expected future move-outs. Houston has recorded 9.3 million square feet of leasing activity of both new leases and renewals, which is down 13% from the 10.7 million square feet recorded at this time last year. Net absorption is at negative 100,000 square feet, up from negative 2.2 million square feet year-over-year. In addition, the amount of construction underway is at 2.5 million square feet — down almost 30% from last year.

Downtown Office Leases

Even though leasing activity is down from last year, this year’s new and renewed leases are quite large. In the largest office lease of 2022, law firm Baker Botts renewed and extended its lease in the former One Shell Plaza at 910 Louisiana Street. Baker Botts will now lease a total of 173,201 square feet where the company’s CBD headquarters has existed for over 50 years, according to the report.

Oil and Gas

Oil prices trended downward in August 2022, closing at just over $93 on August 26. The Baker Hughes rig count report for that date reflects a slight rise in active rigs compared to July — 765 active drilling rigs in the U.S, according to Partners. One month ago, the total active rig count was 758, and one year ago it was 508.

The current oil rig count is 605 rigs, compared to 599 in August 2022 and 410 in August 2021. The current gas rig count is 158 rigs, compared to 155 in August 2022 and 97 in August 2021, based on the report.

How To Invest In Real Estate When The Bubble Deflates

Amid mounting evidence that the rapid rise in home prices is over, investors in rental property will have more options over the next few years as sellers outnumber buyers and prices deflate – slowly in most markets but very rapidly in others.

As has ALWAYS happened in the past, home prices and rents will eventually re-align with local income. This readjustment may take years but investors don’t need to wait that long to spot good opportunities.

In all real estate markets, some local areas do better than others, on the downside as well as in boom times. Investors can spot the differences using solid local data.

Local data can tell you if there will be strong or weak demand for housing, in what rent range you find the heart of the rental market, and what type of investment will fare best in the local housing mix. Then investors can decide if an available property is a good fit for the local conditions. Click to read more at

Where are the Workers? Hotels Still Struggling with Staffing Shortages

The pandemic continues to hit the hospitality industry hard, with nearly all hotels across the country now struggling with staffing shortages.

According to a new survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, 87% of respondents said that they are suffering through a staffing shortage. A total of 36% of survey respondents said that their staffing shortages were severe ones.

The position hotels are struggling the most to fill? Housekeepers, with 43% of respondents saying they were having a difficult time finding enough cleaning staff for their facilities.

Those numbers are slightly better than in May, when the lodging association found that 97% of respondents faced a staffing shortage.

Hotels are taking steps to fill their staffing vacancies. The association says that 81% of survey respondents said that they have increased wages, while 64% said they are offering their workers more flexible hours and 35% have expanded their benefits.

Survey respondents said that they are trying to fill an average of 10.3 open positions per property, down from 12 vacancies in May’s survey.

The average hotel wage across the nation for 2022 through June are more than $22 per hour, higher than any other year on record. Since the pandemic, average hotel wages have increased faster than average wages throughout the general economy, according to the lodging association.

“Today’s tight labor market is creating unprecedented career opportunities for current and prospective hotel employees,” said Chip Rogers, president and chief executive officer with the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Class-A Self-storage Facility in Austin Sells to Extra Space Storage

JLL Capital Markets has closed the sale of Woodland Self Storage, a 92,288-square-foot, 952-unit, Class-A storage facility in Austin.

JLL marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Endeavor Real Estate Group. Extra Space Storage purchased the asset. The sale closed on July 19th.

Woodland Self Storage is a climate-controlled facility built in 2019 located along Interstate 35, near Downtown Austin at the intersection of I-35 and Woodland Avenue. With over 400 feet of prime highway frontage, the property benefits from excellent visibility to over 200,000 vehicles per day. The facility was 70% occupied at the time of sale and is fully equipped with best-in-class features and amenities, including electronic access control, secure fencing, elevator access, 24-hour video surveillance and a retail-oriented customer service office.

The property is further benefited by the explosive population in-migration and residential growth currently being experienced in Austin. More than 8,600 new apartment units and 730 new single family home sites are currently being added within a three-mile radius of the property. Woodland Self Storage is located within the Travis Heights neighborhood, which boasts an average household income of $112,000 and a median home price of over $1.3 million, ranking it among the most affluent neighborhoods in Austin.

The JLL Capital Markets team representing the seller was led by Managing Directors Steve Mellon and Brian Somoza and Directors Adam Roossien and Matthew Wheeler.

New Mixed-use Project Coming to Corner of Hwy. 79 and Kenney Fort Boulevard Following Council Approval

A new mixed-use project could bring up to 530 housing units and commercial space to the northwest corner of Kenney Fort Boulevard and Hwy. 79 following Round Rock City Council’s approval of annexation and rezoning requests as well as a utilities service agreement.

The trio of action items went before council July 28, requesting an 8.955-acre plot of land be rezoned to a planned unit development to allow for mixed residential and commercial use, to be serviced by city water and wastewater utilities and annex 7.287 acres of the property that are not already within the city’s limits. The city previously annexed the property’s frontage along Hwy. 79 in 1979, according to city documents. All were approved unanimously.

The PUD zoning allows for a maximum build height of eight stories, although Brad Wiseman, Round Rock Planning and Development Department director, said the developer, Gulf RC Ventures LLC, is planning a multifamily project with a height of six stories. According to documents detailing the zoning request, 90% of necessary parking for the development will be contained in an attached parking garage, and 25% of units will have balconies. Click to read more at

Stream Realty Helps Dallas-based Construction Firm Expand Footprint in The Guild

One of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms will expand its Dallas location at a landmark office tower that it is also helping to renovate.

Brasfield & Gorrie will soon occupy all 16,221 square feet of the 10th floor of The Gild at 8350 N. Central Expressway, formerly Cambell Centre. The gold office complex is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation for which Brasfield & Gorrie is serving as the general contractor. Gensler will serve as the architect for the building renovations.

Renovations at the highly amenitized, two-building office complex make The Gild a prime work and play environment. Updates will include, but are not limited to:

  • Facelift of both tower entries, including removal and installation of new glazing and canopies;
  • Updated tower lobbies featuring a hospitality lounge, coffee bar and grab & go–all with a coffee shop vibe;
  • Renovation of “loft” space between towers to create creative and collaborative space;
  • New coffee bars and dining areas with exterior courtyard views;
  • The addition of several central tenant work lounges with a variety of active and quiet zones;
  • Updated restrooms and tenant corridors;
  • A conference and meeting center;
  • A community “connector” park that brings the buildings together and provides easy access to a shaded walkway and outdoor seating area.

Stream Realty Partners leases the building. Senior Associate Marissa Parkin, Managing Director Matt Wieser, and Associate Patrick Cruz represented owner Fenway Capital Advisors in the transaction. Robbie Baty and Charlie Beck with Cushman & Wakefield and Cribb Altman with Jones Lang LaSalle represented the tenant in the transaction. 

Several speculative suites, ranging from 2,000 square feet to a full floor, recently delivered and are available for lease at The Gild.