In the News—Week of April 18, 2022
Intel’s plans to build facility shakes up CRE in Licking County
Intel plans to build a semiconductor plant in central Ohio, and the news has set off a land rush, WSYX-TV reports. Intel plans to start construction this year, and the factory is expected to be operating by 2025. The presence of the plant in Licking County, not far from Columbus, will require other support and infrastructure. Park Shai, of Shai-Hess Commercial Real Estate, tells the TV station he is being deluged with phone calls. There is a lot of speculation and uncertainty. “It’s very, very difficult to tell someone what their value is today because none of us know,” Shai says. “None of us, certainly in Ohio or in the Midwest, have seen this type of massive development come to our town.”
Energy & Efficiency
Turbine-makers fear economic conditions make business unsustainable
The combination of price pressures from auctions, rising costs for raw materials and logistics, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led to an unsustainable business climate for wind-turbine makers, Recharge News reports. Top executives from GE, Nordex and Enercon told attendees at the WindEurope 2022 conference that they are in trouble. “It is really ridiculous to think how we can sustain a supply chain in a growing industry with these kind of pressures,” says GE Renewable Energy chief executive for onshore wind Sheri Hickok.
Former newspaper building is being turned into a mixed-used project
The building that housed the daily newspaper the Houston Post is being transformed into a mixed-use project in East Downtown Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. The developer is Lovett Commercial, which developed The POST (a former post office) in Houston downtown. This project, with 76,000-square-feet of retail and office, will be known as Printhouse. The development is near 8th Wonder Brewery. A 400-plus unit apartment building is planned for next door to Printhouse.
‘Commercial condo’ concept coming to the Lone Star State
Those Aussies know how to have fun — even with commercial real estate. XSpace is bringing the “commercial condo” concept from Down Under to Texas, Texas CEO Magazine reports. XSpace offers commercial space with a living — and partying — component. “The concept is a sophisticated market adaptation from Australia,” XSpace co-founder Byron Smith says. “It evolved to bridge a gap between residential and office/commercial.” The first XSpace building is in Austin and is three levels, containing 106 customizable units from 300 to 2,500 square feet. Others are planned for Houston and Dallas.
Iconic wave pool Big Surf is sold for $49 million
In a converted downtown Phoenix pool hall with snipers climbing on the roof during civil unrest in the summer of 1967, a 40-year-old entrepreneur named Phillip Dexter developed the prototype for a wave machine. Two years later, Dexter opened Big Surf in Tempe. “At Big Surf, in a span of 40 feet — whump — a surfable wave is born once a minute,” Sports Illustrated wrote. Big Surf, which allowed actual surfing on boards in its early years, inspired wave pools throughout the country. But as every surfer knows, even the best ride must come to an end. The water park has been sold for $49 million to Overton Moore Properties, a California-based company, KPNX-TV reports. Overton Moore’s plans for the property are not known. But the equipment for the water park already has been sold off. “It was a casualty of COVID. There’s no doubt about it,” Phillip’s son, Keith Dexter, tells the TV station.
Mexico City to promote turning empty office buildings into housing
Mexico City’s government will offer tax benefits to developers in an effort to promote converting offices into housing, Mexico Business News reports. The city is hoping to stimulate the commercial real estate and construction sectors while increasing housing. The spaces eligible for the program are in buildings unused or abandoned before March 31. Developers will be eligible for a streamlined permitting process.