In the News—Week of April 19 2021
Around the Nation
Pandemic speeds up trend of converting office space to housing
In most markets, there is no shortage of office space these days. And many places suffer from a housing shortage. Fox Business reports that the COVID-19 pandemic may be accelerating a trend of converting office to residential. “I would say it has accelerated what we we’re already beginning to see in terms of you don’t need… as much space per person, and especially as there is more opportunity to telework,” The D.C. Office of Planning director Andrew Trueblood tells FOX Business. One drawback is such conversions are not cheap. Still, with many predicting that a substantial portion of the workforce will continue working from home even after the pandemic subsides, the expense might be cheaper than owning an office building with no tenants.
Energy & Environment
Online tool creates easy-to-understand results from residential energy audit
Energy X Solutions CEO Nishaant Sangaavi had an energy audit on his home a few years ago and received a dense, technical report that was basically unreadable. Today his software company offers utilities tools to bridge the understanding gap with consumers, Yale Climate Connections reports. Using the online tool, consumers answer question about their habits and about their house. The tool provides the customers with answers about possible solutions. “And so many times, we’ll hear our utility clients tell us stories about how their customers have now been able to find programs or qualify for programs that they never thought they could qualify for because of our tool,” he says.
Possible plans for site of Edwards Cinema make their way to Instagram
Renderings for a possible mixed-use project on the site of the Edwards Cinema near Greenway Plaza were posted on an architecture firm’s website and on a real estate agent’s Instagram account before disappearing, the Houston Chronicle reports. The paper reported that renderings of two high-rise towers near where the theater stands were posted on Ziegler Cooper’s website and titled “confidential mixed-use hospitality project.” The renderings were taken down and architect Scott Ziegler declined to comment. The renderings made their way to real estate agent Randy Romman’s Walking Houston Instagram account. The link from the Chronicle no longer works.
Twin 12-story office towers planned for Frisco near Cowboys’ complex
Cawley Partners is developing Tate + Toll, a 600,000-square-foot office complex of the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco, Commercial Property Executive reports. The complex will feature two 12-story towers and will feature touchless accessibility, likely a popular feature in the post pandemic world. Tate + Toll will be located near The Star, the Dallas Cowboys 91-acre headquarters.
Phoenix sees a slight decrease in cranes as projects wrap up
Phoenix was among the North American cites that saw a decrease in construction cranes in the first quarter of 2021, AZ Big Media reports. Rider Levett Bucknell regularly surveys 14 major markets for their crane index. Several major projects in Phoenix have wrapped up in recent months.
Hilton plans to add 31 hotels in Mexico over next two years
Hilton plans to open 31 properties in Mexico before the end 2022, Mexico News Daily reports. Mexico ranks fifth for the most properties in the hotel giant’s empire. One of the largest projects in Hilton’s upcoming expansion is Hilton Cancún, a 715-room resort that will open late this year. Hilton opened 400 hotels worldwide last year, including 14 in Latin America. Hilton is developing more than 100 properties in the region.