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THE TEXAS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE NEWS SOURCE | APRIL 2021
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IN THIS ISSUE 20
Features REDnews Dallas - Ft. Worth Industrial Summit A recap of the event in an unprecedented time for industrial development in the Metroplex.
As hot as we've ever seen it The industrial sector is taking off in a way experts have never experienced in their decades in the field. We dig in to what’s behind the trend and which markets you can bank on.
Diamond in the Industrial rough With a distribution market larger than Dallas and cost of living that rivals any other Texas city, Texarkana is primed for an industrial boom and the TexAmericas Center is opening up opportunities for companies looking to cash in.
REDnews Houston Industrial & Logistics Summit A recap of the event in a region which is not one “market” but several diverse submarkets, each with its own dynamics and demand generators.
After the Freeze The Texas deep freeze could be the largest insurance claim event in history. We talk to a public adjuster about how to make sure you get what you’re owed.
Houston office market vacancies still among highest in nation Despite the turmoil, the city’s economic outlook remains positive.
CHOSE LA MARQUE LA MARQUE MEANS BUSINESS Amazon’s ground-up, 180,000 square foot delivery station is under construction in La Marque, Texas. Hundreds of new jobs are expected in late 2021, and the market is red hot.
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Letter from the Editor This is my first letter to the readers of REDnews, so it’s only appropriate to start with a formal introduction. I’m AJ LaTrace, and I’ve just started with REjournals where I’ll be covering commercial real estate news in Illinois and Texas — two of the most dynamic markets in the country. Matt Baker is a tough act to follow, but I promise to do my best.
THE TEXAS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE NEWS SOURCE
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I've spent the last several years primarily writing about residential real estate in Chicago, and throughout this period, it felt like covering the "good times." The economy was roaring along, tower cranes populated the downtown skyline, and I was busy highlighting the market for outlets like Vox Media’s Curbed Chicago and then the glossy city mag Chicago magazine. We all know the narrative from the last 12 months and the hardship many of us have had to endure. But as we look ahead, there are reasons to remain optimistic. Some experts are calling for double-digit GDP growth within the first couple of quarters of 2021. The second major stimulus and national mass vaccination campaign give hope that there may be an end in sight.
Meanwhile, in the world of commercial real estate, developers, architects, general contractors and the plethora of other professionals in the business have had a rollercoaster of a year. Construction was deemed essential work and industrial has boomed, thanks largely in part to warehousing, distribution and logistics. But there’s much more to it. The economy is adapting to meet the demands of our evolving world.
If anything, the pandemic has further solidified Texas’ place in the business world as more companies announce relocations and expansions into the state. Houston and Dallas got an early start on turning to its stadiums for makeshift vaccination sites, and others (including the United Center in Chicago) have followed.
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REDnews Dallas-Ft Worth Industrial Summit Recap BY RAY HANKAMER
WEBINAR HOST: TODD PHILLIPS-REDnews Panel 1 – Industrial Real Estate Market Overview Moderator: Timothy Veler-Transwestern Panelists: Conrad Madsen-Paladin Partners; Allen Gump-Colliers International; Mark Graybill-Lee & Associates; John Gorman- Holt Lunsford Takeaway: This is an unprecedented time for industrial development in the Metroplex; one of the only things putting a brake on activity is lack of sites; DFW is “Number three” nationally in desirability for industrial demand; labor availability is the first box every user wants to ‘check’ before they continue their discussions with landlords and developers. Bullets: • Vacancies are in the 6% range; the market ‘paused’ for four to six weeks at the beginning of Covid and it took off; 30 million square feet are currently under construction; lease rates continue on an upward trajectory. • The market is SO dynamic, and each submarket has its own dynamics; a glut may appear in a submarket but in six months there is no space; we see no end to demand; so many moving parts to deals, that tenants need a really good broker to explain all that is going on in each submarket. • South Dallas along I-30, I-45, and I-20 is now heating up, although qualified labor can be less available all around the Metroplex in certain locations; also Forney, Midlothian, Denton and other outlying areas are getting attention. • Industrial real estate is the ‘darling’ of institutional investors at the moment; in the next couple of years DFW should catch up to Chicago’s size as an industrial hub, due to population growth from incoming companies who are drawn to the local pro-business climate, and lower taxes. • Fear of supply chain interruption is driving companies to expand inventory; ‘just in time’ is subject to logistics interruptions, leaving consumers unserved; 8
disruptions from Covid showed fragility of ‘just in time’; it is time to expand inventory storage to a ‘just in case’ level. • On-shoring to Mexico will benefit Mexico, which is becoming more and more competitive with Asian manufacturers, due to its closeness to the U.S., resulting in faster and cheaper shipping on shorter distances; many ships at Long Beach and other West Coast ports have long waits to get to the unloading dock for their containers. • Industrial building costs are rising due to increased robotics, and other sophisticated tenant improvement needs; some industrial boxes are used for electronics manufacture and assembly, and need A/C and lots of electricity, combined with a high car parking ratio. • Amazon accounts for around 20% of annual expansion since 2015, and other giants are following where Amazon goes and what A mazon does. • Structural steel costs are soaring, driven by Amazon construction around the country, making it difficult for contractors to bid and hold the line on their quotes. • International investment cash is seeking industrial product all over the U.S., and especially DFW, where population growth promises rising demand for goods passing through warehouses; some traditional retailers are using abandoned big boxes as fulfilment centers for their goods. • Industrial tenants are willing to pay higher rents in older buildings if they are close to density of rooftops. Panel 2-Working with Local Government to Build Lasting Product Moderator: Todd Phillips-REDnews Panelists: Chris Strayer-Ft. Worth Chamber; Michael Talley-Denton County; Continued on Page 10>
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are all part of the mix when a company moves to the Metroplex; since May 2020 ‘the floodgates have opened’; domestic and international companies are relocating to the DFW Metroplex; deal flow is up sharply. • Some frustrations exist with international companies who are having difficulty flying in; food distribution and consumer goods for the folks staying home are big drivers of expanding warehouse demand. • The smaller suburban submarkets have land that is cheaper and ‘small town’ atmosphere, as well as good school districts; the small governmental entities sometimes lack a level of sophistication, which may vary from the larger town governments; the smaller towns must make a brave commitment to spend big bucks on infrastructure which may or may not be needed for future industrial expansion. • Some more remote suburbs are organizing transit plans to facilitate worker access to industrial parks; companies coming in want very detailed information on every aspect of their proposed move, including labor and transit/access.
< Continued from Page 8
Alex Phillips-City of Burleson; Guy Brown-City of Hutchins Takeaway: DFW submarkets, while competitive with each other, nevertheless work as a team to bring new companies into their general area, knowing everyone will benefit. Governmental entities try to assemble their local officials all in the same room for meetings with prospective industrial tenants so all questions can be answered in one meeting, to expedite the client’s decision. Cities and counties try to have industrial sites shovel-ready by having utilities such as water, sewer, and roads in place in advance, and by expediting the permitting process. Smaller suburban areas in the Metroplex are attractive if they have good school districts and affordable homes for sale, since many relocating companies like to move fast. Bullets: • Not just warehouse workers but front office employees and executives
• Home builders are having trouble keeping up with demand for affordable homes for new employees coming in from both the east and west coasts; many companies bring their employees with them-in some cases 10-40% of employees move to the DFW area with their companie. • DFW doesn’t consider that it competes with Austin, because it has most of what Austin has without its shortcomings, including higher development costs in Austin and thus higher rents. • DFW is working to become an “inland port” with BNSF Intermodal and other rail carriers bringing containers direct from East, West, and Third Continued on Page 12>
< Continued from Page 10
Coast ports, such as Houston and Plaquemine Port near New Orleans; sixteen Amazon air freighters land every night at Alliance Airport in the Metroplex, and this creates warehouse demand near the airport; 70-80% of containers from China return there empty because the US does not shippable products that are in demand there. • Decatur, Granbury, Hutchins, and Weatherford are some more of the far-flung areas now getting industrial development; repurposing older infill industrial sites usually is not cost-effective and it rarely happens; tenants don’t mind putting up with older buildings and higher rents in return for being close to consumers. Panel 3-The State of Industrial Development Moderator: Todd Phillips-REDnews Panelists: Bill Baumgardner-VanTrust Real Estate; Charles RaymondRaymond Construction; Bob Rice- Ironwood Realty. Takeaway: Construction costs are rising steadily largely due to Amazon nationwide expansion, and contractors are having a tough time locking in quotes on new-build; developers have many variables ‘to juggle’; all over U.S. industrial developers are having the same problems, since there is a tremendous demand for new product, all of which requires the same building materials. Bullets: • Over all, rent is a relatively small part of the cost structure of a warehousing/ logistics operation; the tighter site availability becomes, the more ‘hair’ each remaining available site has on it, requiring more time and money from the developer, while at the same time the end user is in a hurry to have a new building. • The outlying markets which are enjoying attention now, are at the same time at the most risk if a slowdown comes . • A conundrum exists where last mile shallow bay distribution operations need to be close to consumers, but municipalities are zoned against ‘warehouses’ close to residential; how to repurpose abandoned brick and mortar stores and malls that are close to customer's rooftops? • Cities are bemoaning lost sales tax revenue from shuttered brick and mortar retail, and some are holding out for it but it may never come back; will current intense logistics demand continue after COVID is no longer a threat? 12
• Amazon has only 18% of the e-Commerce market and many other big players are following its lead on one-two day delivery; land constraints across the country are holding development-and overbuilding-somewhat in check. • New generation of tenants have higher needs for parking, electricity, clear height ceilings, and air conditioning for worker comfort compared to past industrial buildings; developers are building for current users and are also trying to imagine what future users will want, so that their buildings retain value over the long haul; supplying electrical conduits to parking areas and electrical lines to charge future delivery vans will drive up costs for developers. • Cold storage is very specialized, and sometimes results in ‘a box within a box’, i.e. some communities do not want to see a metallic exterior wall on a warehouse. Panel 4-Capital Markets Investment Climate Moderator: Todd Phillips-REDnews Panelists: Tom Fishman-Hillwood Acquisitions and Dispositions; Dayton Conklin-Clarion Partners; Greg Lehrmann-Asset Preservation, Inc.; Al Sorrels-Majestic Realty; Jonathan Bryan-CBRE Takeaway: In spite of recent upward trends in interest rates and the threat of possible inflation, cap rates continue to compress, and some offshore sovereign funds and others are willing to buy at cap rates in the 3’s, since they are still more favorable that what is available to them at home. Texas is attractive because of its population growth and the expectation of ongoing increasing industrial needs to serve this growing state, and in particular the DFW area. Bullets: • Investors like multi-tenant industrial buildings with shorter lease terms because of the prospect of rolling over leases ongoing at ever higher rates; it must be remembered though that higher minimum wages, higher interest, and higher construction costs are on the foreseeable horizon • Owners of existing buildings are debating whether now is the time to lock in their mortgage rates • Not just construction costs but costs of dock equipment, fire retardation, and other buildout costs are rising in step • For attractive, fully leased industrial product, there is often a frenzied bidding for them; one building recently had four rounds of bidding before a
“The DFW industrial community thinks current market conditions are “Disneyland” for them, but also realize that one day the cycle will turn due to currently unknown variables.” buyer was finally chosen; many brokers are ‘having their best year ever’; investors who used to have to chose between retail, office, and industrial are now all focused on industrial, creating somewhat of a feeding frenzy; industrial is further attractive due to its low maintenance, slow depreciation, and lower operating cost.
• The DFW industrial community thinks current market conditions are “Disneyland” for them, but also realize that one day the cycle will turn due to currently unknown variables…although, many feel they have a ten year ride ahead of them; a developer with a slow-to-lease building does not have to worry since with each passing month area rental rates go up.
• 1031 exchanges are an ideal vehicle to save on taxes from a beneficial sale, and are also an incentive to landowners who have hesitated to sell because of fear of paying tax.
• Political and other uncertainties with Asia create an atmosphere in U.S. industrial to keep more back-up stock in inventory, hence big bump in demand for warehouse space.
• In some cases, failed retail malls can be repurposed as distribution centers for last mile delivery, but often the obstacles prevent this; in rare cases on older industrial, the roof can be raised up to ten feet, but it is mostly infeasible.
• Moderator Phillips forecasts we are heading into a major entrepreneurial decade in our economy in general and in real estate in particular.
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“As hot as we’ve ever seen it”: Texas experts pinpoint the state’s industrial hot spots BY BRANDI SMITH
Logistics Property Company's City Park Logistics Center, Missouri City, TX
At this time in 2020, it was hard to imagine that the industrial market could get much better. It was arguably already the strongest of the sectors when the pandemic hit. And while shutdowns had a devastating impact on other real estate markets, industrial only gained steam. “The Dallas industrial market is as hot as we have ever seen it,” says Josh Barnes, Senior Vice President of Holt Lunsford Commercial (HLC). “Tenant 14
demand has continued to provide +/- 20M Square Feet of net absorption, which has allowed the development pipeline to remain strong.” The Metroplex was at or near the top of just about every nationwide industrial ranking a year ago thanks to its key position as a logistics hub. “Companies located here can access numerous markets in the United States, not
to mention Texas itself. That’s 29 million people alone,” says Bill Baumgardner, Executive Vice President of VanTrust. “Dallas is the hub to all that.” The pandemic accelerated consumer buying habits, increasing e-commerce business and, in turn, the need for distribution sites. “All these consumer product companies are now focused heavily on what their e-commerce strategy is and how they get their goods to your home as quickly as possible,” Baumgardner says. “Couple that with the sustained population growth and job growth, that’s a great recipe for a solid industrial market,” adds Barnes. Another side effect of the pandemic that has benefited the industrial sector: layoffs in other areas have helped remedy a longstanding labor shortage. “With traditional retail and hospitality taking their lumps during the pandemic, we’ve seen a migration of those workers into the industrial distribution sector,” says Baumgardner. “Wages are good and employment is stable. The truth of the matter is if you are looking for a job, you can find a good-paying one in the industrial area.” Even though supply is coming to the Dallas market as quickly as contractors can get it up, demand is still outpacing it.
“Rates are increasing as land prices and development costs are increasing,” says Canon Shoults, Managing Principal of HLC. “Existing buildings are following the same trend as the overall vacancy rates in established markets have remained low.” As investors steer their money away from other asset classes, such as retail Continued on Page 22>
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Diamond in the industrial rough: The one-of-a-kind offering hidden along the Texas border BY BRANDI SMITH
When you boil down real estate, it really just comes down to three factors: demand, supply, and location. The TexAmericas Center in Texarkana can claim two of those and this summer, when its new 150,000-square-foot spec building is complete, it will hit the trifecta. Location Texarkana, which is nestled at the cross section of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, is an often-overlooked distributor’s dream. Nearly 54 million people live within 500 miles, almost 10 million more than are reachable from the Dallas market. “If your goal is to access a large market, we're a better fit because we are closer to the population center, as well as the geographic center, of the United States,” says Eric Voyles, Executive Vice President and Chief Economic Development Officer at TexAmericas Center. “Plus, you get to stay in Texas if you operate from here.” TexAmericas Center is a special purpose district of the State of Texas with the mission of redeveloping former military property in Bowie County, including portions of the Red River Army Depot, with the purpose of creating quality jobs for the region
“What Texarkana needed was product,” says Voyles. “This city is in a great location. It has an available workforce. Our taxes, labor, and utility rates are all well below the rest of the state.” Demand
“We act as a not-for-profit industrial development and management company,” Voyles explains.
TexAmericas Center delivered that product, becoming a high-quality, valuedriven solution for the industrial real estate market.
Created by the Texas Legislature in 1997 and fully operational by 2000, the organization just marked its 20th year of operation.
“There's been demand in the market, and we're about the only place that can fulfill that demand with existing buildings,” Voyles says. “We have just about
the only available industrial space in the Texarkana area, so any time someone is looking at Texarkana, we get a phone call.” When he started with the organization in 2014, the center had only leased about 580,000 square feet of its 3.5-millionsquare-foot footprint. It has now leased just under 1.1 million square feet, an 86 percent increase. The demand has not eased up. “We reached a point at which we had to choose between continuing to invest in smaller existing buildings, which are less attractive to companies, or build what people have been asking for,” says Voyles. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked for 50,000 square feet, 75,000 square feet, 125,000 square feet. We just had to say no because we didn’t have it all under one roof.” Supply The solution to TexAmericas Center’s space supply issue is slated for completion in July 2021. The first new building at the industrial park in 15 years, the spec building reflects the growing momentum and confidence in opportunities available at the TexAmericas Center and in the greater Texarkana region, according to Voyles. “We decided to build a multi-tenant structure capable of handling warehouse distribution, but also light manufacturing,” he says. “We had to put our money where our mouth was.” The mixed-use facility features 32-foot clear height ceilings, one dock door per 5,000 square feet, and two drive-in doors. It is also equipped with thicker floors to accommodate any manufacturing, including transportation, food,
wood and paper, tactical vehicle, as well as weapons and specialty systems. “If a company thinks that it would like to be in a lowcost rural location, where employees build a long-term relationship with their employer, that company should contact us,” says Voyles. “We'd love to talk with them about our spec building or a build-to-suit project on the property adjacent to it.” Singularity TexAmericas Center ticks all the standard boxes, but it also offers up some exceedingly rare features. Because it is a former military property, it has a number of bunkers that can hold division 1.1 explosives. Many of the old production lines are still on site, available to be repurposed by tenants. There is also a helicopter pad with all vectors still in place. “We had a drone manufacturer contact us and the site we threw at them just blew their minds,” Voyles laughs. “We have a 24-acre site that crews used to repair Huey and Bell helicopters during the Vietnam War.” Additionally, TexAmericas Center owns 36 miles of rail on its footprint, along with a transload facility. That translates to 3,000 acres of directly rail-served property. “When a potential business wants to locate here, we help manage upfront investment and become their partners,” says Voyles. “They can feel confident in taking that next step because we have skin in the game too.” If you’re interested in learning more about opportunities available at TexAmericas Center, visit TexAmericaCenter.com or contact Eric Voyles at Eric.Voyles@TexAm
REDnews Houston Industrial & Logistics Summit Recap BY RAY HANKAMER
Senior Moderator: Todd Phillips Panel 1-2020 Industrial Real Estate Market Overview Moderator: Rives Nolan, CenterPoint Properties Panelists: Justin Robinson, Stream Realty Partners; Jeff Venghaus, JLL Takeaway: Analysts who say Houston is overbuilt in industrial don’t understand our vibrant market, which is not one “market” but several diverse submarkets, each with its own dynamics and demand generators. Demand is currently strong, with lots of prospective tenants looking. 2020 had two strong quarters: the first and last, and 2021 will see vigorous leasing while construction slows marginally due to rising land and materials costs. Bullets: • Houston basically has two separate industrial market segments: oil & gas & chemical plant-related manufacturing, and eCommerce/retail distribution. • There is lots of new supply, and tenant demand slowed during the Covid year, but is expected to come booming back in 2021; 18 million square feet of tenants currently looking for space. • Overall bullish on industrial, with crane-served manufacturing market a little slower than e-Commerce side. • Houston is very resilient; people want to live here; population is growing; 7 million consumers in our trade area and Covid has sharply accelerated the e-Commerce home delivery trend, requiring distribution centers near their customers. • Class B industrial is thriving; while it is older, it is often much better located, nearest to the most dense population concentrations; many Class B properties have 22-24 ft. clear height while new developments serve tenant demand up to 40 ft.; Class B owners are smiling since their lease rates are rising in step with new-build warehouses; in some cases their rents are even exceeding Class A rents; Class B tenants put up with older buildings in return for being close to customers, resulting in lower transportation/delivery costs, which offset other inconveniences. 18
• One-third of all Houston industrial inventory is in NW sector, which is the population density epicenter of our metro area; ‘speed to market’ is key, with consumers demanding shorter and shorter delivery times. • Although riskier for developers, spec space is important to accommodate tenants in a hurry to enter our market; many deals have quick fuses and tenants don’t want to wait for build to suit in many cases. • Some developers are creating parks with some spec warehouses but also padready sites with all detention, utilities, and engineering already done, cutting months off front end construction time; developers are finding ways to compress development period to serve prospective tenants with ‘short fuses’. • Trend is to ever-higher clear heights and to more trailer storage, and employee parking for e-Commerce facilities which have many employees; one warehouse tenant required 40,000 square feet of office buildout inside the warehouse to consolidate all employees at the industrial site. • Freeway ingress and egress is very important; time is of the essence; available industrial land is getting further and further out. • Main submarkets in Houston metro area are: SW, W, and NW; the West submarket is five hours from 15 million consumers, including DFW, the I-35 corridor, and the Valley, as well as the Golden Triangle and Louisiana; the other main market is the Port, and due to land scarcity there are more and more barriers to entry there, while at the same time incoming cargo is growing rapidly for distribution; the N submarket is struggling with 14% vacancy, due to overbuilding. • Flood plain re-designations have required more square feet for each industrial site, and this requirement is exacerbated by vastly increased demand for parking, i.e. impervious cover; Port industrial support facilities are moving east of Baytown into W. Chambers County; the Port submarket has grown from 20 million square feet to 45 million in ten years. • The positive aspect of Houston industrial is that due to flat topography we have unlimited expansion options.
• Availability of competent labor is one of the first boxes incoming tenants want to check, and as manufacturing for oil & gas ramps down, there are many employment cross-over options for laid off employees; the NW submarket has lots of good available labor. • Huge deals up to 500,000 square feet each are being negotiated at present; not long ago the average deal was 50-60,000; much larger now. • Cold storage is a growing part of local industrial demand. • Supply chain experts say ‘we are just in the 3rd inning of e-Commerce expansion, in a 9 inning game’; warehousing, logistics, and overall distribution are all adjusting to the new ‘game’. • Driven by lower interest rates is the trend of tenants to acquire the buildings they occupy; this is happening during a lull in overall investment interest in Houston industrial by investors who can’t stop thinking of Houston industrial as only oil
& gas oriented; cap rates continue to compress, and currently are between 4.5 and 5; user purchases of their buildings removes available supply from market; industrial in Houston has boomed even with oil prices hitting lows in last twelve months-that should send a signal to the investment community that industrial growth is now based on population growth here, and not the oil & gas industry. Panel 2-The State of Industrial Development Moderator: Kevin Sager, EastGroup Properties Panelists: David Wheeler, Hartman REIT; Charlie Meyer, Lovett Industrial; Gary Mabray, Colliers International Takeaway: Development is moving forward apace, as builders adjust to all the changing factors in the market, such as rising construction and land costs, changing tenant and permitting requirements, and evolution of the logistics of Continued on Page 24>
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After the freeze: How to ensure you get the full benefit of your insurance policy BY BRANDI SMITH
“Many property owners are juggling pipe repairs, water damage mitigation, satiating tenant demands and dealing with their insurance claims simultaneously,” says Friedson, who exclusively represents commercial and multifamily owners, as well as management companies. “The carriers’ adjusters are coming as quickly as they can as policyholders are grappling with understanding their policy, as well as their contractual obligations in order to ensure a fair and prompt settlement.” Typical policy language requires policyholders to “take all reasonable steps to protect the Covered Property from further damage, and keep a record of your expenses necessary to protect the Covered Property, for consideration in the settlement of the claim.”
For a state that has weathered its share of storms, Texas was unprepared for the record-setting deep freeze that hit in mid-February and the initially estimated $50 billion in damages. “According to Enki Research disaster modeler Chuck Watson, the severe weather event could cost as much as $90 billion, making this the largest insurance claim event in history,” said public insurance adjuster Scott Friedson, CEO of Insurance Claim Recovery Support (ICRS). REDnews connected with Friedson while he was making the trek to Houston, where he was slated to inspect more than 35 different properties that week. “There is no insurance risk model that accounts for a catastrophic loss to an entire state, especially the state of Texas,” he says. Hurricanes, Friedson explains, typically cause damage along the coast. Even a hail storm or tornado has limited exposure. The freeze, on the other hand, stretched from the westernmost point of Texas to its easternmost point. 20
Fully understanding and interpreting what “all reasonable steps to protect from further damage” means could leave policyholders in a vulnerable and adversarial position with their insurer, putting their claims in jeopardy, receive the full amount they deserve. It’s why public adjusters, like Friedson, play such a vital role. He is licensed and bonded by the state and, in his role, represents policyholders’ interests, not those of the insurance company. “When water damage occurs, we advise our clients to immediately put your insurer on notice of a claim,” he says. “We go through the policy and determine if only one deductible applies regardless of the number of locations, professional fee sub limits and we make ourselves available to meet the carrier’s representative as soon as possible to get the process moving forward.” Friedson says the primary issue he’s seen is water mitigation due to burst pipes. While property owners are understandably concerned about getting plumbers to fix the broken pipes, he worries they’re ignoring the proper mitigation needed to prevent further damage. “While they're focused on repairs to keep tenants happy and retain occupancy in their buildings, they're not engaging water extraction mitigation companies
as quickly as they should,” Friedson says. “That means they run the risk of getting mold, which may not be covered under the policy. Even if it is covered as ensuing damage, typically there are both conditions and limits on how much can get covered.” According to board certified policyholder commercial insurance attorney Shannon Loyd, if mold goes over the amount of a policy limit and it grew because of the delay in the investigation, then the overage amount is an independent injury. “One of the biggest issues we see is policyholders fear their insurer will dispute full payment of the water mitigation bill,” advises Loyd. “Water mitigation contractors understandably have the challenge of defining the full scope and cost until they inspect and moisture map affected areas not visible to the naked eye. So they typically provide time and material costs. Insurers are reluctant to approve vendor published price lists, leaving policyholders vulnerable and exposed.
“When water damage occurs, we advise our clients to immediately put your insurer on notice of a claim,” - Look for a water mitigation contractor using professional certified restoration/remediation crews that implement S500 and S520 Restoration industry standards set by the IICRC process - Document every part of the process to hedge risk and ensure maximum settlement in minimum If that all sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Friedson handles all that when he’s engaged early in the process, though he knows he’ll soon get calls from property owners unsatisfied by how the process is moving along with their carriers. Friedson has considerable experience stepping up when needed at any point in that process. Best of all, there is no fee for his services if there’s no recovery. That, he emphasizes, has never happened. For more information about public adjuster Scott Friedson or Insurance Claim Recovery Support, visit InsuranceClaimRecoverySupport.com.
She adds that many large commercial policyholders have in-house or third-party contractor resources they trust and don't want to get burned by an outside water mitigation company. “We get it, but there is a method to managing risk while also performing your contractual duty in your policy to mitigate, prevent further damage and maximize your insurance claim,” says Loyd. “Using untrained and uncertified crews to tear out contaminated materials, can result in an improper dry out, create cross contamination liability and mold issues for property owners.”
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To ensure a water mitigation vendor will defend their work to your insurer, moving any obligation you pay any additional cost, Friedson and Loyd encourage clients to ask their insurer to help provide resources. Try to get upfront approval before engaging a third-party water mitigation contractor or consultants. A few more tips from Friedson: - Request the remediation is performed in phases with adjuster approvals along the way. - Negotiate contract terms and conditions that hedge policyholder risk while holding vendors accountable to defend their work in the event of disputed charges
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“As hot as we’ve ever seen it” < Continued from Page 15
and office, and focus on industrial, the industrial investment market is getting “extremely competitive,” according to Rives Nolen, Senior Vice President of Investments at CenterPoint Properties. “Investors are very interested in putting money into industrial real estate, whether it's in the form of acquisitions or development,” he says. “Even with the competitive marketplace, it’s a great time to be in industrial real estate.” Nolen is based in Houston, which he points out has always offered a businessfriendly environment. “We don’t have zoning and it’s easier to get projects permitted and built here in Houston compared to other markets,” says Nolen. As a result, infill locations are difficult to find, but not impossible. Logistics Property Company’s CityPark offers more than 450,000 square feet of investment-grade rear load and cross-dock buildings and 50 acres of available land right off Beltway 8 and Hwy. 90 in Missouri City. “We are ideally positioned for the 75,000 - 100,000 square feet tenant, a corporate campus requirement, or an e-Commerce user who needs excess auto or trailer parking,” says Robert Wheless, LPC’s Senior Vice President -- South Region. “We are attracting interested prospects for all three of the above use classes.” The value of infill locations, more than ever, is their proximity to the very consumers industrial tenants hope to reach, Wheless explains. Every retail segment posted gains in January, led by the Stimulus Bill and e-Commerce sales growth. These users of space have to adapt their operating models, supply chains and distribution plan to meet the needs of the consumers under pandemic restrictions. “The Houston MSA covers more than 9,500 square miles, larger than five New England states. The population of the MSA, at 7 million, has an appetite for consumer goods, home building and home furnishing products,” he says. “Traditionally, these goods were conveyed via retail storefront; today, these goods are more likely to be conveyed from warehouse fulfillment centers. The distribution centers which store and deliver these products on the periphery of the MSA will not perform as well as the in-fill and ‘close-in’ locations along the traditional industrial corridors.” Even so, because of the challenge of finding affordable infill locations, Nolen says developers are beginning to focus on new and emerging micromarkets in the outlying areas, such as Katy, where they can build much larger distribution spaces. “Whereas 10 years ago, we would have considered 150,000 square feet a really large deal for the Houston market, we are now seeing much larger deals up to 1,000,000 square feet or more and the volume of larger distribution deals in the market has also increased. The average deal size has grown significantly,” 22
says Nolen. “Developers are responding to this trend with speculative projects of all sizes including the 500,000 to 1,000,000 square feet size range that we previously haven’t seen in Houston.” The experts we spoke to pointed to Austin, San Antonio and El Paso as markets they’re watching, but all are primarily focused on Dallas and Houston. As always, they’re analyzing trends to help them stay on top of the market. “We have seen predictions that e-Commerce sales will rise to levels of over 40 percent of all retail transactions over the next few years,” says Wheless. “This level of sales will require freeway accessible warehouse distribution facilities that are proximate to population centers for same-day deliveries.” “With land being sold at a record pace and increased development costs, we do expect to see rents to continue to follow,” says Shoults. “Compared to other parts of the country, we are still relatively affordable, so we know there is runway on rent growth.” These industrial pros say, as always, they’re ready for whatever the market throws at them. But for now, they’re enjoying riding this wave. “We've seen cycles in the past that were pretty strong, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this in my career,” says Nolen. Summarizes Baumgardner: “It’s just good to be in industrial right now.”
advertiser index ABC Realty Advisors...................................................................................... 11 Caldwell Companies..................................................................................... 9 City of Seabrook............................................................................................ 3 Cushman & Wakefield.................................................................................. 19 Harlingen Economic Development Corporation..................................... 2 Insurance Claim Recovery Support LLC.................................................... 13 La Marque Economic Development Corporation................................... 4 Lane Property Tax Advocates..................................................................... 7 National Environmental Services, LLC...................................................... 31 North Texas CCIM (Dallas)........................................................................... 23 Phase Engineering......................................................................................... 28 Spear Minerals............................................................................................... 15 Subcarrier Communications............................................................
TexAmericas Center...................................................................................... 16 The Real Estate Council - Greater Ft. Worth........................................... 21
Houston Industrial and Logistics Summit < Continued from Page 15
moving freight via land, sea, and air. Bullets: • 20 million square feet absorption anticipated this year; lots of land for future development in NW sector is already tied up now; developers are going as far as Richmond-Rosenberg on the SW and Porter on the NE sides of town. • New development is not aimed at the smaller users, thus intensifying for Class B, which is older and closer in, and…more expensive; build-to-suit and spec buildings vary from submarket to submarket and this keeps developers on their toes, to anticipate needs. • New users are demanding 32 ft. minimum and up to 40’, dock levelers, and LED lighting, and since prospective tenants want to see the finished building, the amenities need to be right to land the tenant; Covid has not affected interior buildouts much. • WalMart, Home Depot, Lowes, and others will follow Amazon with warehouse needs, so developers are gearing up. • Today’s warehouses consume a lot of electricity and many are fully airconditioned, unlike in the past; energy efficiency is a focus and some LEEDS guidelines can be followed, but not all. • Spiking construction costs and hesitancy during the Covid year paused some projects, but activity is returning; industry is bullish on leasing this year and beyond. • Industrial construction nationwide is driving up cost of steel, lumber, and concrete; site prep is getting more complicated and expensive; as land prices increase dramatically and more site detention is required, the question is: who absorbs the cost? Ultimately it is the tenant in the form of higher rents. • ndustrial land that was $3 square feet is now $5 • Houston has traditionally had moderate annual rent growth, but that seems to be coming to an end, as growth accelerates, following existing trends in Dallas; there is some trend toward shorter term leases. • Capital should be available as equity and debt in coming year in our market if sources can move on from thinking only of Houston as an oil & gas city; these sources must realize that now in Houston consumers and growing population matter more than fossil fuels. Panel 3- Emerging Trends in Logistics and Industrial Real Estate Moderator: Craig Rhodes, Greater Houston Partnership Panelists: Walker Barnett, Colliers International; Maureen Solomon, WATCO Companies; Bob Wheless, Logistics Property Company, LLC Takeaway: Houston has a booming port, two international airports, 4,800 warehouse and transportation facilities, 1,000 logistics service providers, and 24
6,500 manufacturers, making us one of the nation’s largest manufacturing cities; we are a major container distribution center with increased incoming rail from Mexico, as that country becomes more competitive with Asian manufacturers; bottlenecks at West Coast ports and other supply chain disruption are re-routing containers here and they can be distributed faster and more cheaply overland as far as the Great Lakes and the entire mid-section of the country; Houston has become ‘the’ major Third Coast port, as Amazon and other large retailers continue to import much of their inventory from Asia. Bullets: • Cold storage needs and indoor agriculture (hydroponic growing of vegetables) is starting to create warehouse demand, although TI costs are very high; being close to consumers is the key, and thus reducing transportation costs; rail is important to many industrial sites, and Houston has rail; a ‘green’ locomotive is in development for use at the Port, since trucking and rail overall make a huge contribution to pollution; more overall consideration is being given to solar and wind power in the industrial sector; Houston’s area ports handle distribution of wind turbine blades; the West Coast is setting the standards for reducing emissions at Ports. • Change in logistics and storage is happening so fast that it is hugely challenging for industrial park developers to anticipate very far into the future; increasing air freight is creating demand, and tighter labor market in some sectors is creating new dilemmas. • There is some consolidation among logistics providers, as they strive to become more efficient. • Houston benefits overall from the sheer size and scope of our labor market; as oil & gas releases employees, the industrial sector benefits. • Packaging manufacturers and their warehouse facilities are locating next to the mega distribution centers. • Logistics and distribution systems are under pressure to reduce any possibility of interruption of service and to control all elements from arrival of product to its delivery to the customer; Amazon has 15-20 buildings in the Houston MSMA and is adding large cargo jets to its fleet to ensure more control over its own logistics. • Houston attracts new companies because of its business-friendly, can-do attitude; there are four major ‘incubator’ projects under way in Houston for biomed and other scientific start up encouragement; hopefully this will result in biomed manufacturing and need for warehouse space. • Houston’s central location in the state enables truckers to deliver to about 50% of the state’s population and return the same day; we can service San Antonio and Austin and the I-35 corridor in one day round trips; Interstate highways on all sides of Houston are in major widening/expansion. • Houston has some of the country’s largest industrial parks. • “America First”, i.e. onshoring of manufacturing will benefit Houston’s industrial segment; Houston is well-positioned to take advantage of developing trends in logistics, manufacturing, and distribution.
Houston office market vacancies still among highest in nation BY AJ LATRACE
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
Credit: NAI Partners
And how does Houston stack up against other major metro markets? According to a year-end report from JLL published in January, the Texas metropolis led New Jersey, Westchester County Dallas, all of which had vacancy rates just over 21%. Other southern cities on the list with high vacancies were Fort Worth at 19.4%, Atlanta at 18% and Phoenix at 16.9%. But it’s not all doom and gloom for Houston. A handful of notable leases highlighted by NAI Partners includes a downtown expansion by law firm Susman Godfrey, LLP to just under 77,000 square feet, a 26,000-squarefoot lease by SIBS Galleria, and a lease renewal by the General Services Administration on its 22,000-square-foot office in Greenpoint.
Cushman & Wakefield Hires Clint Bawcom as Managing Principal of the firm's Houston Office
Cushman & Wakefield has hired Clint Bawcom as managing principal of the firm’s Houston office. Former managing principals of the Houston office Tim Relyea, executive vice-chairman, and Scott Wegmann, vice chairman, will remain with the firm and continue to focus on all aspects of real estate for their clients. Bawcom joins Cushman & Wakefield from Brookfield Properties, where he was a senior vice president of leasing and oversaw an about 10.5-million-square-foot Class-A portfolio in the Houston Central Business District. Prior to joining Brookfield Properties, Bawcom served as senior managing director and principal with Cassidy Turley in Houston. He has completed more than 11 million square feet of transactions throughout his career. Bawcom serves on the Board of The Forge for Families as well as Logos Leaders Outreach. He previously served a multi-year tenure on the Board of NAIOP Houston, where he still serves as a mentor in the Developing Leaders program. Bawcom is a member of Grace Bible Church and the Bayou Breakfast Club.
1 Attendees CREN Houston February 28 2021 Meeting. 2 BACREN Member Wayne Landin Left BACREN President Erica
Balaban Middle BACREN Treasurer Wayne Rutledge Right.
3 CREN Houston networking chefs luncheon. 4 CREN Houston January 2021 meeting featuring Scooter Hicks. 5 CREW FT Worth January 2021. 6 CREN Houston Networking Chefs luncheon. 7 CREN Houston February 2021 Mtg featuring Lee Zieben.
CRE MARKETPLACE ASSET/PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRMS
CENTERPOINT PROPERTIES 800 Town and Country Blvd., Suite 500 Houston, TX 77024 Website: centerpoint.com Key Contacts: Danielle Radtke, firstname.lastname@example.org Services Provided: CenterPoint Properties is an innovator in the investment, development and management of industrial real estate and multimodal transportation infrastructure. CenterPoint acquires, develops, redevelops, manages, leases and sells state-of-the-art warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities near major transportation nodes. Our experts focus on large rail, port and trucking infrastructure assets. Company Profile: CenterPoint Properties continuously reimagines what’s possible by creating ingenious solutions to the most complex industrial property, logistics and supply chain problems. With an agile team, substantial access to capital and industry-leading expertise, we provide our customers with a competitive edge and ensure their success—no matter how great the challenge.
BROKERAGE FIRMS FRANKEL DEVELOPMENT GROUP 5311 Kirby Drive, Suite 104 Houston, TX 77005 P: 713.661.0440 Website: Under Construction Key Contact: Bruce W. Frankel, President, email@example.com Services Provided: Frankel Development Group offers over 33 years of experience and expertise in the retail real estate business. Services include tenant representation, shopping center/project leasing, investment sales, land sales, and development services. Company Profile: Headquartered in Houston, Frankel Development Group provides comprehensive brokerage services for its clients throughout Texas with an emphasis on the Houston MSA. The company represents over 25 "best-in-class" retailers and restaurants, 15 property owners, and possesses a skillset and depth of experience unmatched in the marketplace. Notable Clients/Transactions: Notable retailers include Orangetheory Fitness, Burkes Outlet Stores, UBREAKIFIX, Escalante's Fine Tex-Mex & Tequila, Three Dog Bakery, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Pump it Up, WaveMax Laundry, and Rush Cycles.
FRIEDMAN REAL ESTATE 34975 W. Twelve Mile Road Farmington Hills, MI 48331 P: 888.848.1671 Website: friedmanrealestate.com Key Contacts: David B. Friedman, President/CEO; Gary Goodman, Sr. Managing Director-Brokerage Services Services Provided: Friedman offers a full range of real estate services including commercial and multifamily property and asset management, tenant and landlord representation, investment and loan sale advisory, space planning, design and construction and a unique platform of lender-focused bankruptcy, receivership and distressed asset services. All services are provided in-house, though a single point of contact, which guarantees that clients receive the most timely and efficient service available in the marketplace. Company Profile: Founded in 1987, Friedman Real Estate is one of the largest privately held commercial real estate organizations in the nation; currently managing over 16M square feet of commercial space and more than 21,000 apartment homes located throughout the country. Friedman’s commercial brokerage team has over 800 current listings with $20 billion in closed transactions. Recent Transactions: Friedman Real Estate recently sold the 2,953 square foot retail-restaurant space on Imperial Valley Drive in Houston Texas. Friedman’s Neha Abassi advised the seller in the transaction.
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CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES/GENERAL CONTRACTORS ALSTON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 1300 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, Suite 225 Houston, TX 77042 P: 713.904.2899 10440 North Central Expressway, Suite 720 Dallas, TX 75231 P: 214.363.0551 Website: alstonco.com Key Contact: (Houston) Nick Dwyer, Director of Business Development, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dallas) Brittany Schneider, Director of Business Development, email@example.com Services Provided: Alston offers a diverse background of design-build experience, general contracting and construction management of industrial, commercial, healthcare, retail, and municipal projects. Company Profile: Alston Construction is celebrating 35 years of excellence in 2021, and we believe our success comes from being a true partner. With 21 offices nationwide, we have market knowledge throughout the country, which provides clients with the best building methods and materials available. Our goal is to provide quality, cost efficient projects that leave a positive experience for our clients and their communities. Notable/Recent Projects: Park 249 - 817,920 square feet LEED tilt-wall warehouse facility park including interior finishes for Amazon in Houston, TX; McKinney National Business Park – 150,000 square feet warehouse/distribution tilt-wall facilities in McKinney, TX; Restaurant Depot – 59,565 square feet pre-engineered metal retail building with cold storage in Pasadena, TX; Valley View Lane Warehouse – 160,000 square feet warehouse/distribution facility in Farmers Branch, TX
CADENCE MCSHANE CONSTRUCTION 5057 Keller Springs Road Suite 500 Addison, TX 75001 P: 972.239.2336 F: 972.239.1214 Website: cadencemcshane.com Key Contact: Will Hodges, President, firstname.lastname@example.org Services Provided: Cadence McShane Construction Company offers over 30 years of experience providing design-build, construction management at risk, preconstruction and general construction services on a national basis. The rm’s diverse expertise includes specializing in the Education, Multifamily, Senior Living, Commercial and Industrial market sectors. Company Profile: Headquartered in Dallas, Texas with regional offices in Austin, Texas, Houston Texas, and San Antonio, Texas, Cadence McShane Construction Company provides comprehensive construction services on a local, regional and national basis for a wide variety of market segments. The firm is the builder of choice in the state of Texas and its surrounding region as it deploys a culture of relentless service with an entrepreneurial spirit that originates from inside of each individual and helps constantly deliver reliable results of excellence. Notable/Recent Projects: Hermosa Village Apartments –Leander, TX – 238 modern farmhouse inspired garden-style units, offering one- two- and three- bedroom options.
DEVELOPERS PROLOGIS 2021 McKinney Ave., Suite 1050 Dallas, TX 75201 P: 847.420.8321 Website: prologis.com Key Contact: Kate Rutherford, Regional VP, email@example.com Services Provided: Prologis provides approximately 1,600 real estate professionals worldwide with extensive local market knowledge and development expertise to meet complex logistics and distribution requirements. Customers include third-party logistics providers, transportation companies, retailers and manufacturers. Company Profile: Prologis, Inc. is the global leader in logistics real estate with a focus on highbarrier, high-growth markets. As of September 30, 2019, the company owned or had investments in, on a wholly owned basis or through co-investment ventures, properties and development projects expected to total approximately 797 million square feet (74 million square meters) in 19 countries. Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to a diverse base of approximately 5,100 customers principally across two major categories: business-to-business and retail/online fulfillment.
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