In the News—Week of April 12 2021
Around the Nation
Pandemic might stall but won’t stop Angels Landing, developer says
A $1.5 billion project in downtown Los Angeles that will bring two skyscrapers to the Bunker Hill area is still on despite the pandemic, one developer tells the Los Angele Times. The project is called Angels Landing because of its proximity to the Angels Flight funicular railroad. Ricardo Pagan, CEO of Claridge properties, tells the newspaper he expects the project to begin construction in 2022 or 2023 and take about four years. He says the pandemic is not a factor. “This process started in 2013, and it’s like any other. It’s massive, it’s bureaucratic, but we’re committed, and we’re going to see it through,” he says.
Energy & Environment
Researchers say organic material may make HVAC more efficient
Texas A&M researchers say they have enhanced a polymer that could lead to more efficient HVAC systems, Sci Tech Daily reports. HVAC systems rely on dehumidifiers that use up to three quarters of a commercial building’s electricity. An organic material called polyimides uses less energy to dry air. “In this study, we took an existing and rather robust polymer and then improved its dehumidification efficiency,” a researcher explained. “These polymer-based membranes, we think, will help develop the next generation of HVAC and dehumidifier technologies that are not just more efficient than current systems but also have a smaller carbon footprint.”
Evergreen tree was hoisted atop 47-story tower as construction continues
The construction crew from Gilbane Building placed an evergreen tree on top of the 47-story Texas Tower, the Houston Chronicle reports. Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge are developing the 1.2 million-square-foot building on a downtown block formerly occupied by the Houston Chronicle. The evergreen tree is an old construction tradition to bring good luck. So far, the project has had it; the ceremony came a month ahead of schedule. The Texas Tower is slated to open later this year.
California bank expands into Texas, will move its headquarters to Dallas
First Foundation and its two subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors and First Foundation Bank, announced plans to expand into Texas and move their executive office to Dallas, Businesswire reports. First Foundation, based in Irvine, will occupy The Crescent. “The Dallas-Fort Worth area today reminds me of what Southern California was like 30 years ago, where First Foundation started, and for me personally, it is nice to return to Texas as my roots are in the South,” First Foundation’s CEO Scott F. Kavanaugh says.
Phoenix metro area ranks third for growth in rents year-over-year
Rents in the Phoenix area experienced strong year-over-year growth in March, AZ Big Media reports. Figures from the Yardi Matrix Multifamily National Report show metro Phoenix rents rose 6.9%, ranking third among the 134 markets surveyed. Southern California’s Inland Empire led with 8.3%, and Sacramento was second with a 7.3% increase. Nationally, rents increased 0.6% and were flat or positive in 114 markets. A recent federal aid package, with $50 billion in support for the housing industry, should strengthen the sector, analysts say.
Golf of Mexico: Demand high for communities built around courses
Golf sells when it comes to real estate communities in Mexico, The New York Times reports. “Golf in Mexico is huge and shows no signs of slowing down,” Josh Sens, a writer for Golf magazine, tells the newspaper. “It’s a very international market that brings in Americans, Canadians and even Europeans.” And the pandemic has made the market hotter as buyers look for outdoor activity and wide open spaces. And it is more than golf, former PGA Tour star and course designer Greg Norman says: “ You can get in great rounds but also have fun with amazing snorkeling and diving, gorgeous beaches, hiking and mountain biking.”