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Wednesday, 14 July 1999

Southcentral Regional Digest, July 15

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July 15, 1999

Old Commercial National Bank site sold
Houston Chronicle, July 14

One of the oldest structures in Houston, the 95-year-old Commercial National Bank building on Main Street, has been sold to a local group of investors that plans to restore the property. The cost of purchasing and renovating the six-story building, which will have a restaurant and about 40,000 square feet of office space, will be more than $3 million. The purchaser was 917 Franklin Land Ltd., a partnership that includes Tony Abyad, Brent Friedman, Frank Hevrdejs, James Crane and Houston developer Andrew Kaldis. Houston's Main Street in the northern part of downtown has come alive with redevelopment activity as the city's oldest buildings are transformed into restaurants, bars, apartments and refurbished office space. Most of the projects are within walking distance of Enron Field, the new ballpark for the Houston Astros, which will open in April.

700-unit Garden District complex advances
New Orleans Times-Picayune, July 14

NEW ORLEANS – A Texas developer hopes to break ground in September on a $60 million upscale apartment complex in the Lower Garden District. Greystar Development & Construction cleared a hurdle this week when the Historic District Landmarks Commission's governing board decided not to designate an industrial building in the 14-acre project site as historic. The development, which will incorporate 700 housing units and 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, would be the largest multi-family development in the city in 50 years. It would be the first step in a comprehensive development plan for 54 acres of riverfront land owned by the New Orleans 2000Partnership. The partnership's plans include a high-rise, full-service convention hotel, office buildings and high-rise condominiums.
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Albuquerque seventh on high-tech list
Albuquerque Journal, July 14

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque ranked first out of more than 300 metro areas studied for having the strongest growth in the technology industry from 1990 to 1998, according to a report by the California-based Milken Institute. The area experienced growth during that time that was almost 4.5 times greater than that of the nation as a whole. Overall, Albuquerque ranked No. 7 for the concentration of its technology industries and for the value of those industries' output. The top 10 were: 1. San Jose, Calif.; 2. Dallas; 3. Los Angeles-Long Beach; 4. Boston; 5. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.; 6. Washington; 7. Albuquerque; 8. Chicago; 9. New York; 10. Atlanta.
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Grapevine Mills expansion plans put off for 1 year
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 14

FORT WORTH, Texas – Off-site expansion plans for Grapevine Mills will be on hold for a year while the mall's owner, the Mills Corp., tries to add anchors and makes some decor changes to the chopping center. Grapevine officials said months ago that the Arlington, Va., retail developer wanted to expand, but Mills Corp. didn't acknowledge it until this week. Now, however, the mall will concentrate on building an ice-skating rink and a retail store that sells Mexican and South American goods while trying to sign another – yet unnamed – retailer that would leave the mall with four unused anchor spots. Grapevine Mills is about 10 percent ahead of 1998 sales revenues of roughly $290 million, not including free-standing stores and restaurants on its ring road.
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Commission approves downtown Fort Worth apartments
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 14

FORT WORTH, Texas – A planned 390-unit apartment project northeast of the old Tarrant County Courthouse hinges on whether city leaders agree to close two blocks of East Bluff Street, developers said. Zoning commissioners voted 7-0 Tuesday to allow Atlanta-based Post Properties to build the apartments in the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of East Bluff, perched above the Trinity River's West Fork. City Council members, who are scheduled to consider the zoning change at their August 10 meeting, also must approve any public street closing. Post officials said East Bluff would have to be closed between Commerce and Grove streets.
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Testing firm gives tech.ridge project a passing grade
Austin Business Journal, July 12

AUSTIN, Texas – National Computer Systems Inc. has leased 225,000 square feet of industrial flex space in Northeast Austin for a test production and processing center. The new space is under construction at tech.ridge corporate center, an industrial park under development by The Gottesman Co. on the former Austin Executive Airpark off Howard Lane. NCS will take all of building three. Minneapolis-based NCS, a global information services company that provides services, software and systems to collect, manage and interpret data, selected Austin for the new center after a search that covered several states.
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Siemens group leases additional 42,000 s/f
Austin Business Journal, July 12

AUSTIN, Texas – Siemens Nixdorf Retail and Banking Systems LLC has leased 42,000 square feet of industrial space to expand and consolidate office and staging facilities under one roof. The company, part of multi-national German firm Siemens, leased space still under construction at 2400 Grand Avenue Parkway. Siemens Nixdorf will be one of several tenants in the 126,000-s/f building, which has 36,950 s/f of space still available for lease. Bart Matheney of Insignia/ESG Inc. in Austin represented Siemens in negotiating the lease. Andy Swanson negotiated the lease on behalf of the property owner, Industrial Properties Corp.
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Developer seeks city loan to redo Humble building
Houston Business Journal, July 12

HOUSTON – Houston City Council will consider next week whether to loan redevelopers of the Humble Oil building about $4.6 million as part of a new program to encourage reinvestment. The city would loan New Orleans-based Historic Restoration Inc. the funds to pay school taxes, and the debt would be repaid from income on the property when the redo is complete. Historic Restoration plans to develop the vintage 1928 Humble building at 1212 Main into a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel, a 171-room Marriott Residence Inn and 82 private condominiums or apartments.
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Stream Realty lands The Pyramids assignment
Dallas Business Journal, July 12

DALLAS – Stream Realty Partners L.P. beat out four other companies for the leasing assignment for The Pyramids, two six-story buildings of 300,000 square feet at Central Expressway and Park Lane. The first 150,000-square-foot building will be complete September 1, and the second building will be completed in early November. Others vying for the assignment from developer Champion Partners were Cushman and Wakefield of Texas Inc., FultsOncor, Trammell Crow Co. and Transwestern Property Co.
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San Jacinto Tower sale is imminent
Dallas Business Journal, July 12

DALLAS – A Phoenix investment group plans to buy one of downtown Dallas' best-known skyscrapers for about $89 million, real estate sources familiar with the transaction say. Teachers Retirement System of Texas and The Travelers Group have received an unsolicited offer of $106 per square foot from an unidentified Arizona investment group for San Jacinto Tower, the 33-story, 843,728-s/f building at 2121 San Jacinto St., the sources say. San Jacinto is 65 percent leased. According to CB Richard Ellis Inc.'s 1998 report on major office sales, recent sales prices for downtown buildings include NationsBank Plaza for $179 per s/f, Plaza of the Americas for $108 a s/f, St. Paul Place for $121 a s/f and Harwood Center for $112 a s/f.
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Westech 360 for sale
Austin Business Journal, July 12

AUSTIN, Texas – The Archon Group has put Westech 360, a Class A North Austin office building, on the selling block. The company has listed the 178,175-square-foot property at 8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway near the Arboretum for sale with Scott Farber, senior vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle in Dallas. Westech 360 is 96 percent leased.
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Editor's Note: provides direct links to full stories wherever available.


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