In the News—Week of August 10, 2020
Around the Nation
Hotels make a small comeback as occupancy nears 50% mark
The hotel occupancy rate hit 48.9% nationwide for the week ending Aug. 1, The Real Deal reports. Figures from hotel data tracker STR show that the rate has increased in 15 of 16 weeks, although the rise has been minimal. Most urban markets have struggled. Detroit, San Diego and Philadelphia-New Jersey were above 50%, and Norfolk/Virginia Beach was above 60%. “What happens after Labor Day, when people go back to school, if they go back, and leisure numbers decrease? We expect corporate group demand to stay very low,” STR’s Jan Freitag tells the site
Energy & Environment
NY state announces clean-energy program for low- and moderate-income households
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the state’s investor-owned utilities will offer more assistance to bring clean energy to low- and moderate-income families, the state announced in a release. The program will benefit 350,000 low-to-moderate income households with services such as insulation, air sealing, electric load reduction and HVAC improvements. The program will invest nearly $1 billion through 2025.
Skanska USA purchases prized property in inner-city Houston
The company that built the Bank of America Tower in downtown has bought 3 acres at the southwest corner of Westheimer Road and Montrose Boulevard, the Houston Chronicle reports. Skanska USA Commercial Development picked up one of the prized parcels in inner-city Houston for $27 million. The corner lot houses a 1930s-era shopping center. The area has undergone rapid redevelopment. Skanska says it has not decided what to do with the property but most likely will turn it into a mixed-use development that includes apartments, retail and office.
Former Pier 1 distribution center near Fort Worth seeking a tenant
The new owner of Pier 1 Import’s former distribution center is looking for a tenant for the 460,000-square-foot warehouse, The Dallas Morning News reports. Lonejack II LLC bought the property at an auction for an estimated $18 million. Pier 1 Imports, based in Fort Worth, announced plans to liquidate in May. The company has filed for bankruptcy. Lonejack has hired LanCarte Commercial to find a renter for the large industrial building in Mansfield near U.S. Highway 287 and State Highway 360. “There are few properties like it, and we expect to see quite a bit of activity,” Sarah LanCarte says.
Medical office market in Phoenix surges even as more space is added
The medical office sector in Greater Phoenix posted its strongest quarter in two years during the second quarter, AZ Big Media reports. Figures from Colliers International, show the vacancy rate fell to 18%, even though 244,956 square feet was added. That is the largest expansion of space since 2017. Rents were up 0.7% for the quarter and 4.3% year over year. The average rent is $21.58 per square foot.
Co-working firm AllOffice.Space opening 28 locations in Mexico
AllOffice.Space, a Canadian co-working space company, is coming into Mexico in a big way, Guru Observer reports. AllOffice.Space is opening in 28 locations around the country. The company says it offers redesigned layouts and other controls to help with COVID-19 issues. “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin to work on spacing and administrative solutions to retrofit our offices to offer a more safe working environment,’’ the company’s marketing director, Chris Allen, says. “After a lot of work, we found solutions that meet WHO standards and offer our clients spaces where they can feel safe and focus on productivity during these uncertain times.”