REDnews April 2024 Issue

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UNEQUALED Turn to the Best to Protest Your Commercial Property Taxes THE TEXAS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE NEWS SOURCE | APRIL 2024
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‘The new norm’: Austin coping with influx of multifamily properties Austin's multifamily market is dealing with an oversupply of available units — a "too much of a good thing" scenario.

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Building with Beck: The Beck Group offers insight into construction trends in Texas Embracing innovation, sustainability and community engagement remains paramount as Texas's commercial real estate landscape evolves, something The Beck Group knows well.

Battling the elements: How to tackle commercial roofing challenges in Texas Commercial roofing transcends mere shelter, serving as a cornerstone of structural integrity and energy efficiency for office complexes, retail stores, warehouses and industrial facilities.

Taxing Times in Texas: What Commercial Property Owners Should Know About Tax Reform The old adage goes that everything’s bigger in Texas. While those of us in the Lone Star State might grow tired of hearing it, the sentiment remains relevant.

Texas Women in Commercial Real Estate –Special Section 6 16 18 19 20 21 30 31 8 10 12

Some CRE good news: Report predicts jump in sales activity in all four major asset classes … even office Brokers, developers and lenders who worked through the challenges presented by high interest rates won't be surprised to learn that investment sales volume fell for the second consecutive year in 2023.

Climate-proofing your investment: The key role of building envelopes in Texas One of the most indispensable, yet often overlooked elements of commercial real estate construction is the building envelope.

A shortage of skilled labor? It’s still a challenge for the commercial construction industry It’s not getting any easier for commercial construction companies to find the skilled workers they need to staff their job sites.

Tenants didn’t flock to bulk warehouses and distribution space in 2023. But what about this year? Industrial tenant demand cooled during 2023, particularly in bulk warehouse and distribution space.

2024 Texas Economic Development Guide Special Section.

Scoop/People on the Move

Features

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‘The new norm’: Austin coping with influx of multifamily properties

Austin's multifamily market is dealing with an oversupply of available units — a "too much of a good thing" scenario. National and local apartment data collector ALN Apartment Data indicated that this trend is likely to persist through at least 2024. Its data ranks Austin eighth in the country for cities with the most new units under construction. As of September, it recorded 63,882 units under preconstruction, 41,071 units under construction and 10,124 units under lease-up or being filled. Add to that another 17,364 units under construction/lease-up, and Austin’s apartment cup runneth over.

"The Austin multifamily sector is currently grappling with an oversupply of units, largely driven by significant new construction in recent years,” said Cheryl Higley, managing director of debt & equity for Northmarq’s Austin office, which offers comprehensive services in debt, equity, investment sales and loan servicing. “This oversupply has led to vacancy rates reaching a 20-year high. However, there are indications that the market will gradually balance out in the long run."

6 APRIL 2024
Photo by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash.
“Owners are taking a more strategic view as their loans are maturing, evaluating between a refinance or sell scenario. We are seeing more owners adopt a 'wait-and-see' approach until market conditions become more favorable.”

One key factor influencing this balance is the projected growth in the population of young adults aged 20-34 in Austin. With a forecasted increase of 1.8 percent in 2024, Austin leads major U.S. markets in the growth rate of this demographic.

"Given that this age group is more inclined towards renting rather than homeownership, the continued influx of young adults into the city, in addition to the expected drop-off in new units, suggests a more balanced multifamily market in the long run,” Higley noted.

A seasoned professional with more than 22 years of experience in multifamily asset financing, Higley emphasized the importance of location in driving investment decisions amidst the current market scenario.

"A couple years ago, multifamily properties in Austin were trading at similar cap rates, regardless of quality and location,” she said. “We currently have a multifamily listing in North Austin that would have traded at a 3 cap a couple of years ago, but now it’s approaching a 7 cap. This significant shift in cap rates underscores the impact of market dynamics on investment strategies."

Multifamily owners are strategizing in response to market conditions, with some focusing on new acquisitions while others reinvest in existing properties. Age of the asset plays a significant role in decision-making, with buyers showing interest in older properties in strategic locations.

"Owners are taking a more strategic view as their loans are maturing, evaluating between a refinance or sell scenario. We are seeing more owners adopt a 'wait-and-see' approach until market conditions become more favorable,” observed Higley, who, along with a team of Northmarq professionals, delivers tailored solutions to clients' needs, attracting diverse capital sources while providing personalized services for buying and selling multifamily properties.

Regarding the economic outlook, Higley remains cautious.

"We need to be prepared for a higher-for-even-longer reality and a dim path for interest rate markets in the near future,” she said. “It is unlikely that interest rates will return to the historically low levels experienced over the

past decade, but the market will eventually accept the new norm and pick up transactional activity."

While the Austin multifamily market currently faces challenges due to oversupply and shifting dynamics, there are signs of resilience and opportunities for growth. With a strategic approach to investment and a focus on emerging market trends, stakeholders can position themselves for success in the long term.

7 APRIL 2024

Building with Beck: The Beck Group offers insight into construction trends

Embracing innovation, sustainability and community engagement remains paramount as Texas's commercial real estate landscape evolves, something The Beck Group knows well. With a diverse portfolio spanning the United States, Mexico and internationally, Beck continues to redefine industry standards. Matt Leyman, regional director of Beck’s Dallas office, offered his insight into how his firm is addressing client and market demands.

Fluctuating interest rates have significantly influenced private- and commercial-sector projects, particularly in office and multifamily spaces. Developers, Leyman said, are being challenged to initiate projects, with pre-leasing becoming a prerequisite for commencement. Uncertainty looms over the office market as organizations reassess workspace needs. Despite a shrinking private market, the public sector remains robust, with projects for local entities and data centers driving demand.

8 APRIL 2024
Photo by Dakota Roos on Unsplash.

“The Beck Group has initiated measures to mitigate this problem by increasing job-site efficiency and productivity, which benefits everyone, including our trade partners,” shared Leyman. “This approach involves integrating deeper into supply chains, creating cost benefits, and improving fabrication/production efficiencies.”

Clients, he added, are embracing the design-build delivery method, Beck’s specialty.

“Design-Build is the teaming of two separate design and construction firms in a formal agreement or, in our case, contracting with fully integrated firms like Beck,” Leyman explained.

For example, Texas Health Huguley commissioned Beck's design team to plan and assess a new patient tower for its campus. Then Beck's construction team successfully completed a six-story patient bed tower featuring a ground floor with a new public lobby and administrative spaces, a women’s services floor and three additional levels that house med/surg units with 36 inpatient beds per floor. Reflecting changes in healthcare standards, the new facility's rooms are nearly double the size of the original private patient rooms, providing ample space for equipment and visiting family members.

Leyman also highlighted surging demand for sustainable building materials, driven by regulatory standards, consumer preferences and environmental consciousness. This shift towards eco-friendly materials aligns with Beck’s green building initiatives and underscores the firm’s commitment to durability and cost-effectiveness.

“At Beck, we implement sustainable building materials, evaluate construction activities that reduce emissions and develop corporate strategies that set us apart from our peers in design and construction,” said Leyman.

The trend towards adaptive reuse and repurposing of existing buildings also reflects Beck’s commitment to sustainability and urban revitalization.

“High-rise towers are becoming a mix of product types with retail, office, multifamily and hotel constructed in a vertically stacked design,” Leyman said.

This approach minimizes environmental impact, reduces resource consumption and contributes to neighborhood preservation.

“We are developing strategies and workflows to consider the total life span of buildings. A material's durability, long-term maintenance, future adaptability, eventual building demolition and material recyclability are taking priority,” said Leyman. “Our team is also future-proofing buildings by designing and building with flexible layouts, movable or demountable partitions and prefabricated components. We're incorporating strategies for technological advancements. We also prioritize energy efficiency and try to understand climate threats better so that buildings can withstand extreme conditions.”

At the Old Parkland West Campus in Dallas, Beck’s design and construction teams helped Crow Family Holdings bring its vision of a new headquarters to life by redeveloping the neglected historic hospital into

a stunning Class A-plus office campus.

Beck is currently working on the West Overlook of Trinity Park Conservancy’s longawaited 250-acre Harold Simmons Park just west of downtown Dallas. The former industrial site had an existing long shed, which was incorporated into the design, along with an event lawn, café, skate and bike park, water features, play cove with a cable ferry, six two-story interactive towers and more.

Another trend Leyman has witnessed in commercial property design is an emphasis on wellness and employee well-being. Projects are increasingly focused on providing amenities and experiences akin to luxury hotels, fostering vibrant and inspiring environments.

“Live-work-play concepts are dominating the place-making effort. One example is the office environment. Office buildings are shifting to a service- and amenities-focused competition in response to those who generally want to experience vibrant, comfortable, and inspiring environments. Also, developers are repurposing old office spaces into multi-family,” Leyman said. “The new office model is increasingly focused on mixed-use, offering a combination of retail, outdoor space and place-making, hospitality and multi-family.”

He pointed out that higher mortgage rates and the rising cost of homeownership are forcing younger generations into the rental market earlier in their careers. Additionally, Leyman added, many younger people working in urban areas are shunning renting in the suburbs, opting to live in amenities-focused apartments closer to work.

Meantime, Leyman said technological advancements are reshaping construction methodologies, enhancing efficiency, safety and quality assurance. From sophisticated quantity take-off tools to safety applications utilizing photo recognition, he said the industry is witnessing a paradigm shift and Beck is adapting as needed.

“Our team is continually developing and honing in on the most efficient applications,” Leyman said. “There are innovations in on-site or nearsite fabrication technologies. These relatively new applications would benefit prefabrication without the challenges associated with full modular factory prefabrication.”

Beck’s imprint on the built environment will be a lasting one, created via a holistic approach to construction that incorporates collaboration, diversity and education initiatives.

9 APRIL 2024
Matt Leyman

Battling the elements: How to tackle commercial roofing challenges in Texas

Commercial roofing transcends mere shelter, serving as a cornerstone of structural integrity and energy efficiency for office complexes, retail stores, warehouses and industrial facilities. Unlike residential roofs, commercial roofing systems are designed to cater to the unique needs of larger structures.

Navigating the unique challenges of commercial roofing in Texas requires a keen understanding of the region's climatic intricacies and regulatory landscape. From the relentless onslaught of severe weather phenomena like hurricanes and tornadoes to the scorching heat that tests the resilience of roofing materials, Texas presents a formidable environment for maintaining commercial roofs. Maintenance efforts are further complicated by the sweltering temperatures, making roof inspections and repairs arduous tasks fraught with health risks for workers. Moreover, the intricate maze of building codes and regulations adds another layer of

complexity, necessitating meticulous adherence to safety standards and environmental mandates. Choosing the right roofing material and ensuring proper installation are pivotal decisions, as subpar choices can lead to costly repercussions such as leaks, structural damage and compromised energy efficiency.

While both commercial and residential roofs serve the fundamental purpose of protecting property, their dissimilarities lie in their structural designs and functionalities. In contrast to the steep-sloped roofs commonly found in residential settings, commercial roofs often boast flat or gently sloping profiles, largely unseen from ground level. This architectural disparity underscores the need for specialized expertise and materials tailored to the expansive nature of commercial buildings.

10 APRIL 2024
Image by dvccommercialroofing from Pixabay.

Commercial roofing installation demands meticulous planning, expert craftsmanship and adherence to stringent safety standards. From material selection to comprehensive roof design, professional commercial roofers oversee every aspect of the installation process, ensuring optimal performance and longevity of the roofing system. Thorough pre-installation assessments, meticulous insulation and proper drainage setup are integral steps in guaranteeing the structural integrity and functionality of the roof.

The versatility of commercial roofing materials allows for tailored solutions to match diverse structural requirements and climatic conditions. Here's a glimpse into some commonly employed materials:

• Built-up Roofing (BUR): Constructed from layers of bitumen alternated with reinforcing felts, BUR offers exceptional waterproofing and durability, making it ideal for structures with heavy foot traffic.

• Modified Bitumen: Enhanced with polymer modifiers for superior performance, modified bitumen delivers enhanced strength, flexibility, and resilience against extreme weather conditions.

• Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO): Characterized by its lightweight construction and reflective properties, TPO membranes aid in reducing energy costs while offering robust resistance against UV rays and punctures.

• Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM): Renowned for its weather resistance and flexibility, EPDM membranes excel in withstanding temperature fluctuations and environmental stressors.

• Metal Roofing: Available in various materials such as steel, copper, or

aluminum, metal roofs offer exceptional longevity, fire resistance, and energy efficiency.

• PVC Roofing: Comprising a single-ply PVC membrane, PVC roofing systems boast durability, chemical resistance, and energy efficiency, making them a popular choice for commercial applications.

In Texas, commercial roofing projects are subject to rigorous regulations and building codes established by local and state authorities. Compliance with these regulations ensures the safety, durability and adherence to industry standards throughout the roofing process. Licensed contractors equipped with in-depth knowledge of these regulations collaborate closely with clients to navigate legal requirements and ensure seamless project execution.

While residential roofing companies may suffice for smaller-scale projects, the complexity and scale of commercial roofing demand specialized expertise and resources. Engaging a reputable commercial roofing company offers several advantages. Commercial roofers possess specialized knowledge and experience in handling intricate roofing systems, ensuring optimal performance and longevity. Equipped with commercial-grade tools and materials, professional roofers offer tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of commercial buildings. With a skilled workforce and state-of-theart equipment, commercial roofing companies expedite repairs, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity.

By understanding the distinct characteristics of commercial roofing, harnessing advanced materials and techniques and entrusting the task to seasoned professionals, property owners can fortify their investments with enduring protection and peace of mind.

11 APRIL 2024
Image by roofimages from Pixabay.

Taxing Times in Texas: What Property Owners Should Know About Tax Reform

The old adage goes that everything’s bigger in Texas. While those of us in the Lone Star State might grow tired of hearing it, the sentiment remains relevant. And sometimes that relevance hits in new and surprising ways.

In the real estate world, it hit home in November of 2023, when Texas voters passed $18 billion in property tax cuts. The move was the largestever tax cut not only in Texas, but in the U.S.

Signed into law just before tax season, however, and said to have widespread impacts for residential and commercial property owners alike, confusion surrounding the laws loomed large, too. What impacts does this record-breaking change have for commercial property owners? And are the changes enough to correct course for commercial property tax valuations that are chronically overinflated? Let’s take a closer look.

How Did Recent Elections Change Texas’ Commercial Property Tax Laws?

The recently enacted legislation was comprised of details laid out in two senate bills (SB) and one house joint resolution (HJR). Although there were implications for residential property owners, we’ll focus specifically on impacts related to commercial properties.

• SB2 (Bettencourt): Detailed the $18 billion in tax cuts, laying out lower school property tax rates and the creation of a 20% circuit breaker pilot program which placed a 20% cap on the amount a commercial property’s appraised value could increase year over year, for properties valued at $5 million or less.

• SB3 (Bettencourt/Parker): Laid out new franchise tax relief benefits for small business owners, increasing the amount of revenue exempted from the tax to $2.7 million, and eliminated zero-tax form requirements for some.

• HJR 2 (Meyer/Metcalf): Directly linked to SB2 (Bettencourt), this constitutional amendment set a December 2026 expiration date for the pilot program and exempted the $18 billion in appropriations from being calculated into the constitutional spending limit.

How Will the Changes Impact Commercial Property Tax Owners this Tax Season?

The good news is, not only do the updated laws mean savings for many — albeit not all — commercial property owners, but the impacts are already in effect. Some county appraisal districts (CADs) working to get ahead of the changes sent out October tax bills with adjustments already factored in. Even for communities where CADs waited for final word, mailed tax bills will have reflected any adjustments for which a commercial property owner qualifies.

Let’s talk through the financial and accounting benefits the changes afforded to property owners, and how to determine who qualified.

• Franchise Tax Payments Eliminated for Thousands of Texas Business Owners: SB3 increased the state’s no-tax-due threshold from $1 million to $2.47 million, a move that eliminates payments for some 67,000 Texas businesses.

• No Tax Due Report Requirements Waived for the Aforementioned Business Owners: The same property owners benefiting from waived franchise taxes also no longer have to worry about filing a Form 05-163 for properties with no taxes due. However, they must still submit an Ownership Information Report (OIR) or Public Information Report (PIR).

• School Property Tax Rates Lowered by 10.7 Cents per $100 for All Property Owners: All commercial and residential property owners should note less money owed to local school districts. Don’t worry — the state is sending additional funds to the districts instead.

• Less Sticker Shock Related to Skyrocketing Appraised Values: From now through at least December 2026, commercial properties valued at less than $5 million will not see assessed values increase by more than 20% from one year to the next.

Property Tax Law Changes Help, But the System Remains Far from Perfect

The aforementioned efforts might help commercial property owners look after their business interests, but they aren’t a magic fix. The simple truth is, Texas’ appraisal system is an imperfect one, due in large part to — you guessed it — our size.

Because CADs are tasked with assessing each commercial property within its jurisdiction each year, most employ mass appraisal programs to speed the work along. These systems compare properties to those of similar size, use and geographic region, but fail to take into account issues such as property damage or improvements, or simple extras. More often than not, they generate overinflated valuations that cost property owners thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The best thing any commercial property owner can do is to protest their property values annually.

We recommend teaming with an experienced firm that understands the intricacies of real estate and tax law, has established relationships with appraisal district professionals and has the ability to represent the property owner’s interests through every stage of the process. That means taking the reins on everything from information gathering to building an evidencebased case and quality representation through hearings and into arbitration or litigation when required.

Yes, everything really is bigger in Texas. But that includes the desire to dig in and fight for what’s fair. By keeping up with the latest laws, keeping an eye on property values and keeping the right team by one’s side, commercial property owners can keep their businesses headed down the right financial path well into the future.

12 APRIL 2024

Overinflated commercial property valuations don’t just present an unclear picture of one’s portfolio. They can result in thousands of dollars unfairly overspent on taxes. Lane Property Tax Advocates protests on your behalf, saving you time and stress. We’re here to unburden your business.

Don’t go down without a fight. Contact Lane today 832.358.2000 | info@lanepropertytax.com

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14 APRIL 2024

Some CRE good news: Report predicts jump in sales activity in all four major asset classes … even office

Brokers, developers and lenders who worked through the challenges presented by high interest rates won't be surprised to learn that investment sales volume fell for the second consecutive year in 2023.

But what about this year? Will investment sales activity pick up? A new report from Colliers predicts that it will. But how much this activity rises in 2024 is still unknown.

In its most recent Market Snapshot, Colliers points to an unsurprising reason for optimism in 2024: The Federal Reserve Board has signaled that it will no longer be increasing it benchmark interest rate. But while this is good news, there is some disappointment here: As Colliers says, the market initially predicted not just flat interest rates, but significant rate cuts this year. So far, that hasn't happened.

At the same time, even with the Fed's decision, borrowing costs will still be

16 APRIL 2024
Photo by Aryo Yarahmadi on Unsplash.

well above where they stood when many CRE deals originated, something that will cause challenges for the many refinancings expected this year. An estimated $2.8 trillion of loan maturities are expected through 2028. As Colliers asks in its report, how will these deals be capitalized?

What about individual asset classes? What does the future hold for them?

Multifamily: Colliers says that multifamily remained the most heavily transacted asset class as 2023 drew to a close. At the same time, it also posted the largest annual volume decline in sales activity of all the major asset classes last year.

Colliers reports that a record influx of new supply continues to impact the multifamily sector. This supply boost has resulted in falling asking rents in many parts of the country. Concessions are also on the rise.

However, Colliers says that multifamily is expected to remain the top choice of capital in 2024, leading all asset classes in sales volume. Fewer groundbreakings of new multifamily properties will take place this year, leading to an anticipated window of lower supply in the future, setting the multifamily market up for a new round of rent growth and stronger fundamentals.

Office: Colliers reports that office volume as a share of total sales hit a new low point in 2023, accounting for just 15.1% of all sales activity last year. CBD activity has been hit the hardest, with only $13.4 billion traded in 2023, the lowest volume since 2009.

The good news? Colliers says that the office market has likely hit bottom, and predicts that momentum and deal velocity will accelerate in 2024. Investors

and lenders will be forced this year to move underperforming assets.

Industrial: The industrial market has long been a darling of investors. But even this sector saw sales activity fall in 2023, according to Colliers.

Sales volume last year aligned with activity in 2015 through 2019, according to Colliers. But the number of individual deals was lower, with today's higher pricing propping up aggregate volume.

Sales volume peaked in the second quarter of 2023 and then declined in both the third and fourth quarters. Colliers, though, said that it expects increased sales activity in the industrial sector in the months ahead.

As Colliers says, industrial remains a highly liquid asset class, and should rank as the second-most heavily traded property type in 2024.

Retail: Retail bucked the trend in 2023, showing improved fundamentals last year. That led to an uptick in sales volume. According to Colliers, retail drove 16.7% of all sales volume in 2023, its highest aggregate mark since 2015.

Because of its strong 2023 performance, Colliers predicts that retail will become a potential landing spot for capital in 2024 and beyond.

The positives in the retail sector are many today. Colliers pointed to low unemployment, healthy job gains and wage growth as three of the bigger ones. There are some potential worries: Consumer delinquencies on credit card and auto loan debt have risen. But overall, consumers seem ready to continue spending, Colliers says.

Image by louisehoffmann83 from Pixabay

Climate-proofing your investment: The key role of building envelopes in Texas

“Texas summers are notorious for their scorching temperatures, often surpassing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In such conditions, the importance of an effective building envelope cannot be overstated.”

One of the most indispensable, yet often overlooked elements of commercial real estate construction is the building envelope. Building envelopes stand as silent guardians, protecting investments, ensuring occupant comfort and enhancing energy efficiency. By recognizing their significance and investing in their optimization, developers and builders can create properties that not only withstand the test of time, but also contribute to a more sustainable and resilient built environment.

Comprising walls, windows, roofs and foundations, the building envelope is more than just a physical barrier. It serves as the primary defense against external elements, a regulator of indoor environments and a determinant of energy efficiency. Understanding the significance of building envelopes is crucial for developers and builders aiming to create sustainable, comfortable, and structurally sound commercial properties.

At its core, the building envelope acts as a shield, protecting occupants from the vagaries of weather. Rain, snow, wind and temperature fluctuations are kept at bay, ensuring a comfortable indoor environment regardless of external conditions. But its significance extends beyond mere protection; it's also a cornerstone of energy efficiency. With envelope technologies accounting for approximately 30 percent of the primary energy consumed in residential and commercial buildings, optimizing these structures becomes paramount in reducing energy consumption and operational costs.

One of the primary functions of the building envelope is to maintain structural integrity. Walls, roofs and foundations form a cohesive system that not only shelters occupants but also supports the entire structure. By withstanding external forces and distributing loads effectively, the envelope ensures stability and longevity, safeguarding investments for years to come.

Moisture intrusion poses a significant threat to buildings, causing deterioration, mold growth and compromising indoor air quality. The building envelope serves as a fortress against moisture, employing various strategies such as barrier systems, drainage mechanisms and diversion systems to keep water out and maintain a dry interior environment.

Controlling air infiltration is essential for both energy efficiency and indoor comfort. The building envelope regulates the movement of air, minimizing drafts, reducing heat loss or gain and preventing moisture buildup. Through proper specification and installation of air barriers, insulations and sealants, builders can create airtight envelopes that enhance energy performance and occupant well-being.

Few regions present the unique challenges and opportunities as the state of Texas. From the blistering heat of its summers to the occasional icy chill of its winters, the Texas climate is characterized by extremes that demand careful consideration when designing and constructing building envelopes.

Texas summers are notorious for their scorching temperatures, often surpassing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In such conditions, the importance of an effective building envelope cannot be overstated. Proper insulation, air sealing and solar control measures are essential to keeping indoor spaces cool and comfortable while minimizing reliance on mechanical cooling systems. Additionally, selecting materials with high thermal resistance helps prevent heat transfer, reducing energy consumption and utility costs.

Conversely, Texas winters, although generally milder compared to northern states, can still bring periods of cold and inclement weather. A well-designed building envelope acts as a barrier against chilly drafts and moisture infiltration, maintaining interior warmth and protecting against structural damage caused by freezing temperatures. By incorporating robust thermal barriers and moisture control measures, builders can ensure year-round comfort and resilience in the face of fluctuating weather patterns.

In commercial real estate, where every detail counts, understanding the components of a building envelope is crucial. Cladding, control layers, insulation and structural framing work together to create a robust barrier that shields against external elements and maintains optimal indoor conditions. By carefully selecting materials, considering climate factors and adhering to best practices in design and construction, developers can create buildings that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also efficient, durable and resilient.

18 APRIL 2024

A shortage of skilled labor? It’s still a challenge for the commercial construction industry

It’s not getting any easier for commercial construction companies to find the skilled workers they need to staff their job sites. This shortage of skilled labor ranks as one of the bigger challenges that commercial construction companies face.

That’s the big takeaway from a recent study looking at the hurdles that commercial constructions companies must overcome in today’s competitive construction industry.

A recent analysis by Marcum LLP, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), indicates that despite some economic improvements in 2023, the construction industry remains hampered by a severe shortage of skilled labor.

The annual analysis, conducted by Marcum's National Construction Services Group, reveals that although the economy showed signs of strength with robust hiring in the construction sector throughout 2023, the industry still grapples with a significant deficit in skilled workers.

Anirban Basu, Marcum’s chief construction economist and the report's author, noted that despite steady job growth over the past 10 months, the industry remains about 500,000 jobs short of pre-pandemic levels.

According to Basu, the pace of hiring in the construction industry would have been even stronger if not for the persistent shortage of skilled labor that companies face. He highlighted that throughout 2023, an average of 4.6% of construction positions remained unfilled, marking the second-highest level on record, surpassed only by the previous year's 4.9% average.

While other industries have seen improvements in labor supply imbalances, the construction sector continues to face challenges. This has led to increased labor costs. Basu said that since the beginning of 2022, average hourly earnings for construction workers have outpaced wage growth across all industries, a trend expected to persist into 2024 due to sustained demand for construction services. But even with these higher wages, construction companies have struggled to fill their empty positions.

Marcum’s report wasn’t all gloomy, though. Joseph Natarelli, Marcum's national construction leader, expressed cautious optimism about the future of the construction industry despite these challenges.

Companies that strive for creative solutions to meet their staffing needs are the same companies that will thrive throughout 2024 and beyond, he said. "The demographic trends at the heart of labor shortages over the years are likely to continue,” Natarelli said. “With Baby Boomers edging toward retirement and immigration offering limited relief, our industry must navigate these headwinds with innovative hiring strategies and a firm grasp on market forecasts."

19 APRIL 2024
Image by wal_172619 from
Brad Sumrok ................................................................................................. 14,15 Conroe Economic Development Council ..................................................... 26 The Development Corporation of Abilene 22,23 Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation 28,29 Grand Pacific Financing .....................................................................................7 LGE Design Build 2 Lane Property Tax Advisors 1,12,13 Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation ............................ 24,25 National Environmental Services, LLC .......................................................... 5 TexAmericas Center 27 advertiser index
Pixabay

Tenants didn’t flock to bulk warehouses and distribution space in 2023. But what about this year?

Industrial tenant demand cooled during 2023, particularly in bulk warehouse and distribution space.

New industrial occupancies greater than 100,000 square feet totaled 302 million square feet during the year, a 47.6% decrease compared to 2022’s total of 576 million square feet. Tenants took occupancy on a total of 1,042 new leases and user sales in 2023 compared to 1,956 in 2022. The average transaction size for new bulk occupancies was 289,840 square feet, slightly smaller than last year’s average of 294,659 square feet.

New supply set a new bar as developers delivered 607 million square feet of new industrial construction, nearly 85% of which was built on a speculative basis. This new product, combined with the drop in demand and new bulk occupancies in 2023, pushed vacancy higher in every region of the country and in nearly every market nationwide.

In some emerging markets, vacancy increased by several hundred basis points during the year, nearing or eclipsing 10%. Following a nearly three-year period of constrained supply and record-low vacancy rates where tenants had few options, this modern product has been welcome, although it will take longer for vacancy to return to historical norms in markets where too much space has been delivered at once and vacancy has climbed into the double digits.

The greatest number of new bulk occupancies during 2023 occurred in the West region, where 288 tenants took occupancy in 100,000 square feet or more during the year, totaling 91.6 million square feet. This was a decrease of 37.3% compared to 2022’s total of 146.2 million square feet.

New bulk occupancies dropped by only 20.7% in the Southcentral region (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana), where they totaled 51.1 million square feet during the year. The greatest drop in new bulk occupancies took place in the Northeast region, where they totaled 28.9 million square feet during the year, a decrease of 62.6% compared to 2022.

Velocity fell off by at least 41% year-over-year in all size segments, with new occupancies between 300,000 and 499,999 square feet seeing the greatest decrease of 51.2%. While new bulk occupancies will decrease again in 2024, the year-over-year drop is forecast to be less dramatic as demand normalizes near prepandemic levels.

Similar to the last several years, third-party logistics providers and packaging companies occupied the most space in 2023, representing nearly one-third of the new bulk occupancies during the year. Manufacturing occupancies increased slightly to 16%, and this percentage is expected to increase further in 2024 as some of the large-scale manufacturing construction projects underway in response to the CHIPS act deliver.

A total of 44 manufacturing projects with an investment of $1 billion or greater were under construction at the end of 2023 or about to begin construction, most of which are semiconductor factories or electric vehicle battery facilities for users like TSMC, Texas Instruments, Samsung or Tesla. E-commerce users represented only 7.6% of new bulk occupancies during the year, a drop from 12.3% in 2022, largely due to Amazon significantly scaling back its expansion plans.

Despite the drop, Amazon was still the largest new occupier during 2023, taking 16.8 million square feet, although that is well below its total of 58.3 million square feet in 2022 and during each year going back to 2020. Target and Walmart followed as the second- and third-largest new occupiers, each taking at least 5 million square feet. Only five users took occupancy of 4 million square feet or more during 2023, compared to seven in 2022, another sign of the drop in demand.

Although new industrial bulk occupancies decreased by nearly 50% during 2023, this drop was anticipated as the market resets following two years of exceptional and unsustainable demand. A drop in construction starts will limit how high vacancy can climb throughout the country, and moderated but still historically strong demand for industrial space will usher in the next growth cycle for the product type sooner than most expect.

Craig Hurvitz brings 17 years of commercial real estate research experience to his role as Director, National Industrial Research for Colliers' national team.

20 APRIL 2024

Unlocking Opportunities: Abilene, Texas - Your Premier Business Destination

In the heart of the Lone Star State lies a city with a spirit as bold as its skies: Abilene, Texas. Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of West Texas, Abilene stands as a beacon of opportunity, beckoning entrepreneurs, innovators, and industry leaders to its vibrant landscape. At the forefront of this thriving community's economic development efforts stands the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA), a pioneering organization dedicated to unlocking the full potential of Abilene, Texas and the Abilene Region.

Established over three decades ago, the DCOA has become the key economic development driver of Abilene, Texas. Our award-winning team has been instrumental in shaping Abilene's economic landscape by fostering a climate conducive to business growth and expansion. With a steadfast commitment to attracting and sustaining industries that support job creation and foster strong business, the DCOA is creating the future of Abilene, Texas. Through strategic investments, innovative initiatives, and collaborative partnerships, the DCOA paves the way for sustainable economic growth, ensuring that Abilene, Texas remains a dynamic hub of opportunity for generations to come.

One of the key factors that sets Abilene, Texas apart as a premier location for business is its geographical position. Situated at the crossroads of major transportation routes, including Interstate 20 and the Union Pacific Railroad, Abilene, Texas offers unparalleled access to regional, national, and international markets. This strategic connectivity, coupled with a robust infrastructure network, provides businesses with a competitive edge, facilitating seamless operations and efficient distribution channels.

Moreover, Abilene, Texas boasts a diverse and skilled workforce, equipped with the talent and expertise to meet the demands of today's rapidly evolving industries. Home to four universities, a technical college, and a community college, Abilene, Texas nurtures a culture of lifelong learning and innovation, ensuring that businesses have access to a pool of highly qualified professionals across various fields. From advanced manufacturing to research and development, technology, and beyond, Abilene's workforce stands ready

to drive innovation and propel businesses to new heights of success.

In addition to its strategic advantages, Abilene, Texas offers a supportive business environment characterized by a probusiness mindset, streamlined regulatory processes, and a strong spirit of entrepreneurship. The DCOA fosters this environment by providing tailored support and resources to businesses at every stage of their journey. With a visionary team of economic development professionals, the DCOA stands as a trusted partner, empowering businesses to thrive in Abilene, Texas.

Abilene's rich cultural heritage and quality of life contribute to its appeal as a premier business destination. The DCOA is committed to ensuring companies come to Abilene, Texas and benefit from the qualities that make our community a wonderful place to live, learn, work, and grow. From its vibrant arts scene and diverse culinary offerings to its outdoor recreational opportunities and strong sense of community, Abilene, Texas offers a high quality of life for residents and employees alike. This unique combination of economic opportunity and lifestyle amenities makes Abilene, Texas an attractive destination for businesses seeking to attract and retain top talent.

Looking ahead, the DCOA remains steadfast in its commitment to driving economic growth and prosperity in Abilene, Texas. With a forward-thinking approach and a focus on innovation, the DCOA is poised to capitalize on emerging opportunities and address the challenges of tomorrow. By leveraging its strengths, harnessing the power of partnerships, and embracing a spirit of resilience and adaptability, Abilene, Texas and the DCOA are primed to write the next chapter of success in the story of our city's economic evolution.

Abilene, Texas, stands as a premier destination for business, fueled by the vision and leadership of the Development Corporation of Abilene. With its competitive advantages, supportive business environment, and unparalleled quality of life, there are boundless opportunities for growth and expansion in Abilene, Texas.

22 APRIL 2024

Marble Falls’ growth leads to multiple community developments

Like most communities, Marble Falls has commercial and industrial land that is available for development. The town of nearly 8,000 also has reasonably good transportation infrastructure and proximity to large urban centers like Austin (60 minutes away) and San Antonio (75 minutes away). The area can start claiming some advantages as a scenic lake town in the Texas Hill Country, popular for retirees and tourists alike, with recent growth creating new opportunities in the healthcare, light manufacturing, and professional office sectors. Being a regional shopping hub for more than 120,000 people has helped Marble Falls weather the current economic storm very well—in fact, monthly sales tax allocations have remained very stable after shattering records post-pandemic.

What sets Marble Falls apart, however, now more than ever, is the community’s small-town values coupled with its welcoming attitude toward newcomers. Those who are buying land in the Business and Technology Park are coming from nearly everywhere. The community supports law enforcement and first responders, holding multiple events every year to honor their service. The Marble Falls Independent School District is the area’s largest employer, so teachers, administrators, and other support staff provide a strong foundation at all levels of the workforce.

Roughly 100 businesses open or expand annually in Marble Falls, with about 70% of those being locally-owned and operated. The Downtown area in particular has been a major contributor to that growth. Professional offices and small headquarter facilities are well-situated here with proximity to quaint shops, great restaurants, and amazing park space. People are realizing that, if they can work from anywhere, they want to work from Marble Falls.

New subdivisions like Gregg Ranch with 707 lots-currently in phase II-and Thunder Rock with 1,870 lots will support recent developments that include Baylor Scott & White’s $100 million regional medical center, a 110,000-square-foot

H-E-B grocery store, and a $20 million operations center for Pedernales Electric Cooperative. There are also several medical office facilities and a new family entertainment center that recently opened, and the development pipeline includes some exciting retail opportunities such as the 114-acre Legacy Crossing, 40-acre Flatrock Crossing, and the 10-acre Panther Hollow Village. Also in the development pipeline are several multi-family properties with 1,000+ combined units and a public/private Downtown hotel and conference center project slated to break ground summer 2024.

While the emergence of Marble Falls as the retail and entertainment hub of the Highland Lakes area is a relatively recent development, the community’s draw for generations has been its connection to the outdoors. Beautiful Lake Marble Falls is ideal for skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, and the Downtown parks along the waterfront are continually enhanced by a $25 million improvement plan that began in 2019. Amenities such as a boardwalk, a babbling brook, trail extensions, and more will break ground later this year.

Marble Falls is already a special place, and community leaders are focused on making incremental improvements to a few areas while maintaining momentum in others. When it comes to new businesses, size and fit are critical considerations. Small- to medium-sized companies will likely have an easier time with real estate and employment than very large firms—and the community likes it that way. If the prospects of a charming small town with steady, manageable growth and a surprising set of amenities sounds appealing, give Marble Falls a shot. Whether your interests lead to a greenfield development in the Business and Technology Park or the restoration of an historic downtown structure into a live/work/shop space, opportunities abound in Marble Falls. For more information about investing in Marble Falls, contact Christian Fletcher, Executive Director of the EDC, at 830/798-7079 or cfletcher@marblefallseconomy.com.

24 APRIL 2024

A small town with big potential. Beyond our booming economy, you’ll find landscapes filled with adventure, food flavored with goodness, and new Texans falling in love with life. Unlock your potential here.

VISIT MARBLEFALLSECONOMY.COM

Conroe, Texas: More is Made Here

Located 40 miles north of Houston along I-45, Conroe is one of the fastestgrowing cities in the United States.

Talent is readily available with an expanding workforce of 1.8 million potential employees within a 40-mile radius. Conroe’s dynamic and diversifying economy is attracting robust investments in advanced manufacturing, energy services, logistics, retail and — increasingly — healthcare and biotechnology.

For manufacturers, Conroe boasts easy Interstate access and proximity to the bustling Port Houston. For executives, Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport offers its own customs facility, a rare asset that smooths out the wrinkles of international business travel.

Targeted investments in infrastructure that helped to produce an enviable public school system also yielded two premium industrial parks, one of which has an on-site community college. Totaling nearly 2,000 acres, Conroe Park North and the newer Deison Technology Park are crucial pillars of the city’s economic development strategy.

“We’ve got all the infrastructure in place,” says Conroe Economic Development Council Executive Director Danielle Scheiner. “You can have your corporate headquarters in The Woodlands, your manufacturing plant here in Conroe and park your corporate aircraft at our airport.”

In Conroe Park North, medical device manufacturer Steris knows that location matters.

“The great thing about Conroe,” says Chief of Operations Bruce Stoltzfus, “is that we’re on the north side of Houston, which is the growth side. We have very, very beneficial access to high-tech talent, manufacturing talent and engineering talent. It’s a great technology area, great for growth of life sciences. Every time we’ve expanded,” Stoltzfus adds, “they’ve been very helpful with permitting and really everything else we need.”

As the initial tenant at the 248-acre Deison Technology Park, VGXI is a contract manufacturer of plasmid DNA for vaccines.

“We are a small, but growing company,” says COO Dorothy Peterson. “Deison Technology Park is the perfect fit for us. We love that the land in the Park is designed to be a technology community.”

S k i l l e d l a b o r S k i l l e d l a b o r & e x c e l l e n t & e x c e l l e n t s c h o o l s s c h o o l s J u s t n o r t h o f J u s t n o r t h o f H o u s t o n & H o u s t o n & T h e W o o d l a n d s T h e W o d l n d s ROBUST WORKFORCE | CONVENIENT MOBILITY | STRONG QUALITY OF LIFE

TEDC Recognizes 2023 Economic Excellence Recognition Recipients at 2024 Winter Conference

The Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) announced the recipients of its annual Economic Excellence Recognition program for 2023. The awards were presented on Friday, February 23rd, during the TEDC’s 2024 Winter Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The Economic Excellence Recognition program provides recognition to economic development organizations that meet a desired threshold of professionalism. Recipients qualify for recognition based on training taken by their governing board/council as well as the economic development director and professional staff. Certifications, professional memberships and activities, and organizational effectiveness of the economic development staff also contribute to the standards for qualification.

These seventy-two (72) economic development organizations received the TEDC’s 2023 Economic Excellence Recognition:

Allen Economic Development Corporation

Amarillo Economic Development Corporation

Bay City Community Development Corporation

Boerne Kendall County Economic Development Corporation

Bowie Economic Development Corporation

Cedar Hill Economic Development Corporation

Cibolo Economic Development Corporation

City of Azle Economic Development

City of College Station- Economic Development & Tourism

City of Justin

City of Keller

City of Lancaster

City of League City

City of Mesquite Economic Development Department

City of Plano

City of Sachse/Sachse Economic Development Corporation

City of Saginaw

City of Southlake

City of Waxahachie, Economic Development Department

Conroe Economic Development Council

Converse Economic Development Corporation

Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation

Cuero Development Corporation

Decatur Economic Development Corporation

DeKalb Economic Development Corporation

DeSoto Development Corporation

Develop Corporation Richmond TX

Development Corporation of Abilene Development Corporation of Snyder

East Aldine Management District

Frisco Economic Development Corporation

Gainesville Economic Development Corporation

Gonzales Economic Development Corporation

Granbury Economic Development

Greater San Marcos Partnership

Harlingen Economic Development Corporation

Ingleside Development Corporation

Jacksboro Economic Development Corporation

Kaufman Economic Development Corporation

Kilgore Economic Development Corporation

La Marque Economic Development Corporation

Lavon Economic Development Corporation

Leander Economic Development

Levelland Economic Development Corporation

Lindale Economic Development Corporation

Little Elm Economic Development

Longview Economic Development Corporation

Lubbock Economic Development Alliance

Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation

Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation

New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce

North Richland Hills Economic Development

Partnership Lake Houston

Pasadena Economic Development Corporation

Pflugerville Community Development Corporation

Rockdale Municipal Development District

Sanger Economic Development Corporation

Schertz Economic Development Corporation

Seguin Economic Development Corporation

Sherman Economic Development Corporation

Spring Branch Management District

Sugar Land 4B Corporation

Sugar Land Development Corporation

Sulphur Springs - Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation

Taylor Economic Development Corporation

Temple Economic Development Corporation

Terrell Economic Development Corporation

The Colony Economic Development Corporation

Tomball Economic Development Corporation

Van Economic Development Corporation

Wylie Economic Development Corporation

Yoakum Economic Development Corporation

“The TEDC’s Economic Excellence Recognition program is one of the ways in which our organization honors the outstanding commitment to excellence of our communities and regions, their leaders, and their economic development professionals have toward the professionalization of their economic development efforts,” noted Carlton Schwab, President/CEO of the TEDC.”

The Texas Economic Development Council, established in 1961, is an Austin-based, statewide, non-profit professional association, dedicated to the development of economic and employment opportunities in Texas. The TEDC provides information, educational and legislative services to more than 1,000 members. The organization’s objective is to support the economic growth of Texas and develop strategies that promote a positive business climate in the state.

27 APRIL 2024
DELIVERING SPEED-TO-MARKET AND SPEED-TO-PROFIT ƒ Lease or Purchase ƒ 5,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet ƒ Texarkana MSA (Texas) ƒ Third-Party Logistics Services ƒ Rail and Transload Services At TexAmericas Center, 12,000 acres with 3,500,000 square feet are available for you! Our complement of built-to-suit solutions and redevelopment services allow us to deliver a state-of-the-art facility on time and on budget. INDUSTRIAL | OFFICE | WAREHOUSE | FLEX CONTACT US TODAY Eric Voyles 903-306-8923

Investing in Transformation

Fifth Ward’s Journey of Growth and Community Empowe rment

The Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (Fifth Ward CRC) is a pivotal force in the revitalization and empowerment of Houston's historic Fifth Ward. Our mission is to drive transformative change, blending the rich cultural heritage of this storied neighborhood with innovative development strategies aimed at fostering economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. The following text highlights the unique investment opportunities the Fifth Ward presents to commercial real estate decision-makers, investors, developers, and brokers.

Economic Growth and Opportunity

Nestled at the heart of Houston, the Fifth Ward is blossoming under the guidance of the Fifth Ward CRC. Our initiatives have breathed new life into the area, catalyzing economic activity, job creation, and the development of commercial and residential spaces. The neighborhood's strategic location near downtown Houston and major transportation routes makes it an attractive hub for commercial investments. Through mixed-use developments that harmonize living, working, and cultural spaces, the Fifth Ward is transforming into a vibrant community with vast potential for growth.

Community Engagement & Empowerment

Central to our ethos is a deep commitment to the Fifth Ward’s residents. The Fifth Ward CRC champions a participatory approach to development, where projects are shaped by the voices and aspirations of the community. By fostering a collaborative environment, we ensure that the fabric of the Fifth Ward is strengthened, and its residents are active participants in the neighborhood's transformation. This engagement not only builds a resilient community but also creates an inviting atmosphere for external investors and stakeholders.

Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation

Cultural Heritage & Sustainability

The Fifth Ward CRC places immense value on the Fifth Ward’s cultural legacy, integrating it into the fabric of our redevelopment efforts. Our projects not only aim to preserve historic landmarks but also to celebrate the area's vibrant culture through arts and events. Sustainability is a cornerstone of our approach, with initiatives designed to promote green living, enhance public spaces, and ensure the long-term viability of the neighborhood. By prioritizing cultural preservation and sustainability, the Fifth Ward remains a unique and enriching place to invest and thrive.

For those in the realm of commercial real estate, the Fifth Ward represents a compelling investment opportunity. Beyond the promising financial returns, investing in this community offers the chance to be part of a meaningful transformation. The Fifth Ward CRC’s successful track record in partnership and project execution stands as a testament to the viability and promise of the Fifth Ward as a flourishing urban enclave.

Fifth Ward’s journey, guided by the Fifth Ward CRC, is one of community, culture, and innovation. It’s a narrative of a neighborhood that honors its past while boldly stepping into the future. We invite you to explore the investment possibilities in the Fifth Ward—a community not just with a story to tell but with a future to shape. Join us in contributing to a legacy of growth, empowerment, and resilience.

www.fifthwardcrc.org | (713) 674-0175 | info@fifthwardcrc.org
Why Fifth Ward?

SCOOP/PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Dustin Slack hired at The Opus Group

The Opus Group has appointed Dustin Slack Vice President and General Manager of Real Estate Development, based in Austin, Texas. In his new role, he will source development opportunities in central Texas, which represents a strategic expansion opportunity for Opus. Slack previously worked for Opus from 2016 to 2021 focused primarily on multifamily development in the Phoenix market. He has almost 30 years of experience in real estate development and architecture.

Dallas’ Stream Realty Partners names chief human resources officer

Stream Realty Partners has appointed Kate Lengyel as chief human resources officer.

In this newly created role, Lengyel will spearhead the oversight of all human resources and recruitment functions, including talent acquisition, employee engagement, compliance,and company culture initiatives. She will operate from Stream’s corporate headquarters in Dallas and will report directly to the chief operating officer.

Bringing nearly three decades of experience in Human Resources, Lengyel’s career has been distinguished by her commitment to aligning human capital strategies with organizational growth objectives, particularly in the realm of mergers and acquisitions. Her extensive background includes significant roles in HR strategy, talent management, and organizational development, making her a trusted leader in the field.

Prior to Stream, Lengyel served as a Human Resources Consultant for Corporate Connections LLC and held key leadership positions, including Chief Human Resources Officer at Canoo and Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Human Resources Officer at Aventiv Technologies.

Outside of her professional endeavors, she is involved in community initiatives and serves as the Secretary, Treasurer, and Founding Member of Women with Promise, a Dallas-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering women in need.

Wendy Hatchell promoted to Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has promoted Wendy Hatchell to Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for McCarthy’s Southern Region. Wendy, who led human resources in the region for the last 10 years, will now lead the newly formed strategic planning and change management efforts. Her role includes overseeing business planning, organizational design, and oversight of the communication and marketing departments for the region.

Tyler Detiveaux hired at DLR Group

Tyler Detiveaux, AIA, NCARB joins DLR Group as a Project Architect | Associate. He has eight years of experience with a strong expertise in design technologies and tools. With a passion to making a positive impact to communities, Tyler brings a unique end-user perspective to our educational facility projects.

Crystal Allen hired at Houston Habitat for Humanity

Houston Habitat for Humanity is pleased to welcome Crystal Allen as chair of the board. Crystal brings extensive experience in retail real estate and currently serves as the Managing Director of the Houston Retail Services Group for Transwestern. In 2015 Crystal was recognized as one of Globe Street’s Top Ten Emerging Retail Leaders, was one of Real Estate Forum’s 2018 top 10 under 40, and was recently named in the 2019, 2020 and 2022 Houston Business Journal’s Retail Heavy Hitters.

ERES Companies adds new associate broker to serve Midland market

ERES Companies has named Alonso Hernandez as its newest associate broker. Hernandez is set to bolster ERES’s commitment to providing exceptional real estate services in the market of Midland, Texas.

Hernandez brings both expertise and an outstanding local reputation to his new role at ERES Companies. Specializing in meticulous property analysis and providing invaluable insights into the Midland market landscape, he strives to deliver unparalleled value and support to his clients.

As an associate broker, Hernandez will be responsible for providing comprehensive support to clients throughout every stage of the real estate journey.

Stream Realty Partners expands Austin tenant representation team with strategic Vice President hire

Stream Realty Partners, a national commercial real estate firm offering an integrated platform of services, announces the hiring of Bryant McKenzie as Vice President of Tenant Representation. Based in Austin, McKenzie will be responsible for tenant representation and transaction management as well as new client and business pursuits in the market and nationwide.

“Bryant brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record to Stream,” said Hunter Alexander, Senior Vice President of Office Tenant Representation at Stream. “His impressive portfolio includes headquarters deals and various transactions across seven states, showcasing his extensive reach and proficiency in navigating diverse markets throughout Florida, Illinois, California, Georgia and Texas. I am confident his knowledge of the real estate landscape and remarkable ability to drive leasing initiatives will strengthen Stream’s presence in the industry.”

Before joining Stream, McKenzie was based in Atlanta, where he served as a Senior Associate at Vestian Global Workspace Services and, prior to that as an Associate at Lee & Associates.

30 APRIL 2024

Summit Design + Build

Amber Autumn

Director of Business Development P: 312.972.8547

aautumn@summitdb.com

98 San Jacinto Blvd, 4th Floor, Austin, TX, 78701 www. summitdb.com

Amber Autumn is the Director of Business Development for Summit Design + Build. In this position, Amber plays a crucial role in bringing prospective projects and clients through the project pipeline and positioning Summit Design + Build as Austin's leading general contractor and construction management firm.

Summit Design + Build is a nationally recognized provider of innovative preconstruction, construction management, general contracting and design/build construction services.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

At the helm of the construction industry, with Summit Design + Build being recognized for innovation, sustainable practices, and excellence in business development and project execution.

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

My very first construction project manager gave me a great piece of advice, "It's best to complete one thing a day as opposed to starting 10 things without one of them completed.”

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

Opening Summit in additional markets across the country. This dream centers around the idea of creating a network of trust and cooperation that serves as a foundation for our company's sustained expansion and prosperity.

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why?

The perfect job. A fulfilling career provides a sense of purpose, personal growth, and the opportunity to create a positive impact on communities and the industry. Money without purpose is empty and depressing.

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you?

One of my favorite books is "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. Its exploration of justice, empathy, and societal change resonates with my values, and the timeless narrative continues to inspire me.

32 APRIL 2024

Altus Group

D: 281.640.2213 M: 832.419.7287

Mari.Bolanos@AltusGroup.com

10497 Town & Country Way, Ste 600A Houston, TX 77024

www.AltusGroup.com

With over a decade of experience under her belt in Commercial Construction, Marisol has proven time and again to possess an unwavering go-getter attitude that sets her apart from the rest. In Business Development, Operations, Project Management, Estimating, Strategic Planning, Data Analysis, Accounting, Bookkeeping & foremost Entrepreneurial Spirit; Founder of Omega Consulting Development, LLC.

She is a risk-taker who fearlessly ventures into uncharted territories, always seeking innovative solutions and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. With a no-excuse mindset, Marisol conquers obstacles head-on and refuses to let setbacks hinder her progress. A lifelong learner, Marisol is driven by an insatiable desire for knowledge. She continually seeks out opportunities to expand her skills and broaden her understanding of the industry, never content with the status quo.

Excited to continue building upon a legacy of accomplishments, fostering meaningful relationships, and propelling businesses towards unprecedented success, Marisol adds another tool to her belt as a Property Tax Consultant in the Commercial Real Estate industry for Altus Group.

Altus Group a leading provider of property tax services internationally, managing over $40B in CRE assets in Texas alone. Honored to represent clients such as CVS, Home Depot, Berkshire, Equity, Residential, HCA Healthcare, Penske, and Principal. Altus Group handles all phases of property tax management. To learn more, please reach out to Marisol.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

God willing, I will be celebrating my son's college graduation in 2027 and cheering on my daughter as she graduates High School in 2028.

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

To trust and rely on God, El Shaddai, for He is all sufficient, Hashem, the name above all names, for Yahweh-Yireh provides my every need. Embracing uncertainty. A reminder that growth and opportunity often arise in the face of the unknown. This advice has empowered me to step out of my comfort zone, take risks, and seize life's unpredictable moments with confidence and resilience as the daughter of El Roi.

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

Looking back at my journey, one dream I have yet to fulfill is traveling the world extensively. My past experiences have taught me the value of exploring diverse cultures and perspectives, and I'm eager to continue expanding my horizons through travel.

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why?

Having experienced the sense of accomplishment that comes from overcoming challenges and making a positive impact through my career, I would prefer to continue down that path. The perfect job, in my opinion, offers more than just financial rewards; it provides a sense of purpose, personal growth opportunities, and the chance to contribute to something larger than oneself. I believe that long-term happiness and fulfillment come from doing meaningful work that aligns with passions and values.

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you?

A favorite book that resonates with me is, “The Set-Apart Woman” by Leslie Ludy.

“Imagine if your only concern was making Jesus known, even if no one ever remembered your name.”

33 APRIL 2024

Strongtower Commercial

Dawn Brewer, CCIM, MBA

Principal Broker

P: 281.733.4077

dawn@strongtowercommercial.com

11015 Northpointe Blvd Ste. B, Tomball, Texas, 77375

www.strongtowercommercial.com

CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member), CREW Member, Accomplished Professional with 18+ years of experience in Commercial Real Estate. Focused individual with a Heart to serve; proficient in Maximizing Value, Competitive Analysis, and Contract Negotiation in Competitive Markets. Specializing in Industrial & Retail opportunities. High level of Integrity and Dedication to Company Objectives.

Strongtower Commercial Group, the Premier Real Estate Investment, Brokerage and Management firm in Texas. We specialize in creating structured transactions and establishing relationships that last by building trust. We work diligently to understanding the needs of our clients, in order to achieve the results they desire.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I expect to have completed my Doctoral Program while continuing to make impact in the CRE Industry.

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

Pray without ceasing and trust that with God all things are possible!

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

Professionally, I have a desire and dream to transfer the industry knowledge that I have to my team and see them be incredibly successful. Personally, I have a desire and dream to visit Paris, France.

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why?

Both, winning the lottery would financially allow me to serve and continue working the perfect job ultimately providing a sense of fulfillment that can be obtained no other way.

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you?

Unshakeable Hope by Max Lucado - Provides encouragement to build a life based on the Promises of God.

34 APRIL 2024

Principal P: 214.912.2282

lynn@dowdlerealestate.com

6282 Willowgate, Dallas, TX, 75230

I am a broker specializing in land and specifically hospitality. I cover the state of Texas.

Dowdle Real Estate was founded in 2011. We are a small boutique real estate firm. We consider our clients partners and strive to create value for everyone involved in a transaction.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Somewhere near water

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

Live your life as you choose. No one else knows what they are doing either.

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

I've been pretty blessed. Many dreams have come true. I plan to continue dreaming...If you believe it you can see it.

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why?

If I won the lottery I would dedicate my life to sharing with organizations and individuals in need. There is so much good work to be done.

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you?

I believe everyone should read Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". It's a handbook to life.

35 APRIL 2024
Dowdle Real Estate

Capital Title of Texas

Attorney

thanzik@ctot.com

2400 Dallas Parkway, Suite 560, Plano Texas 75093

www.ctot.com

• Serves on corporate legal team, active in commercial/residential closing and development.

• Texas A&M University School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas, Juris Doctor.

• Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, Masters of Arts - Dispute Resolution.

• Yale School of Management Graduate certificate - Womens leadership.

• Texas Land TItle Association - Alex H Halff Leadership Academy alumni 2019.

• Certified Title Insurance Professional and Certified Escrow Settlement Professional.

Capital Title is the Largest Independent Title Company in the United States. It provides its statewide customers with over 100 branch offices serving the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, Northeast Texas, Coastal Bend Golden Triangle, and Central Texas metroplexes. Capital Title’s corporate office, located in Plano, Texas, is directed by the company’s Owner & CEO, Bill Shaddock and COO Tracy McMahon.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

As fast and strong as our company is growing, I see myself helping our leaders in a National capacity as we continue our takeover. I look forward to seeing my two girls grow into amazing young ladies who will hopefully love real estate as much as i do!

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

Trust your identity as a leader even during challenging times. Do not let fear take over and allow yourself to shrink in the face of adversity. If you werent meant for something greater then you would not have to fight as hard. The challenging times are what prepare you for your greatest breakthroughs in life. Learn from them and help others when theyre going through their challenging times as well.

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

My dream is to build generational wealth for those in my family that I haven't even met yet. I want my grandchildren and their children to look back at what we are doing now to see this is where it all started. Specifically that even as a woman, you can be the ONE to make that change and to lead our daughters to be independent successful women. I focus on that thought when the days get tough but I know its time to push on...for them.

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why?

This is a hard one because winning the lottery would allow me the opportunity to work at the perfect job without money being a factor AND allow me to help others in need which is one of my ultimate goals in life. The blessing is being able to bring others up with you and lottery money could definitely help with that!

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you?

The Power of One More by Ed Mylett, in this book Ed lays out strategies for the readers that show how we are all just one more thought or action away from transforming our lives from average to extraordinary. I try to use these strategies daily. It may mean one more call or email at the end of the day or pushing myself to go to a networking event even if I am tired. I know that I could be one meeting away from changing my life along with those in my family for generations to come.

36 APRIL 2024

Houston Independent School District

Leesa Love, TACS, SR/WA, RW-NAC

Senior Manager, Real Estate & Facility Reservations Office

P: 713.556.9262

llove@houstonisd.org

3200 Center Street, Houston, Texas, 77007 www.houstonisd.org

Public and private sector real estate professional. Senior Right-of-Way Professional (SR/WA). Leads real estate acquisitions (including eminent domain), sales, leases, and right-of-way for a portfolio comprised of over 300 sites, 3,700 acres of land and 31 million square feet of buildings worth $6.2 billion. Texas Accredited Commercial Specialist (TACS) certification.

Houston ISD has more than 189,000 students and encompasses 333 square miles. It is the eighth-largest public school system in the nation and the largest in Texas.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I will have my Texas Real Estate Broker License!

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

Just start doing whatever you dream! Every day do at least one or two things toward your dream. Very quickly your dream will become your reality.

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

Looking back at my journey, one dream I have yet to fulfill is traveling the world extensively. My past experiences have taught me the value of exploring diverse cultures and perspectives, and I'm eager to continue expanding my horizons through travel.

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why? Win the lottery! Invested properly it helps yourself and many others.

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you? “Mobile Home Wealth - A Practical Guide for the Savvy Investor ” by Zalman Velvel. This book launched my career in Real Estate.

37 APRIL 2024

LGE Design Build

Texas Director of Business Development P: 469.498.0128

shelbiem@lgedesignbuild.com

1280 East Levee Street, Dallas, Texas, 75207

www.lgedesignbuild.com

As LGE Design Build's Texas director of business development, Shelbie McDiffett drives company awareness in Dallas-Fort Worth, emphasizing Texas portfolio expansion. Since joining in May 2021, she's spearheaded strategic initiatives, achieving 30% revenue growth and 3,496,204 square feet of growth in the LGE Texas portfolio.

LGE Design Build is a leading design-build construction firm, serving the Southwest's commercial sector for nearly 30 years. Based in Phoenix and Dallas, LGE offers comprehensive services for diverse industries.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to build and lead a successful team, nurturing client relationships and driving new business opportunities for the LGE Texas team as we continue to scale

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

The one thing you can control is your effort.

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

I would love to own a ranch one day in East Texas, which is where I’m from!

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why?

I’d rather win the lottery! Money isn’t everything but it provides the freedom to explore what excites you. Plus, I'd be closer to owning my dream ranch in East Texas.

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you?

One of my favorite books is “Playing Big” by Tara Mohr. It’s been a career-long companion, offering invaluable advice on authentic self-expression and finding your voice.

38 APRIL 2024

Wildcat Management

Tanya Ragan

President P: 214.758.0348

mmoreno@wildcatmanagement.net

501 Elm St. Suite 350, Dallas, TX, 75202

Tanya Ragan, owner and President of Wildcat Management, is a real estate developer entrepreneur, and leader of the movement to redevelop Downtown Dallas. As a female business-owner, Tanya is leading the charge for Women in commercial real estate, construction and venture capital.

Wildcat Management is a national, woman-owned real estate investment, development, and management company known for pioneering work. Wildcat takes on mission-driven projects and strategic public-private sector partnerships to spark economic turnaround and community growth.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

My focus is on growth and scaling Wildcat Management. Expanding my real estate investments in other markets, diversifying my businesses and prioritizing capital investment. Time is our most valuable resource.

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

My parents taught me it was okay to be different, set my own bar and expectation of myself. Stay focused on my goals and drown out noise. I always believed I could accomplish anything.

What is one dream you have yet to fulfill?

Design a product. I have years of product development and design experience. I’ve worked with several startups and fortune 500 companies as a consultant but would like to build ground up.

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? Why?

I love the art of the deal and having a sense of purpose. I wake up every day excited to start my day and working in a fast-paced industry.

What is one of your favorite books or movies and why does it resonate with you? Hoosiers. I consider myself an underdog. When you have opportunity in front of you take your shot. 90% is showing up and mindset of believing you can win the game.

39 APRIL 2024
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