In the News—Week of December 14, 2020

 In The Title Trove


Oracle the latest Silicon Valley icon to move headquarters to Lone Star state
Oracle, the database software giant that has been based in the Silicon Valley since its founding in 1977, is leaving its headquarters in Redwood Shores, California for Austin, Business Insider reports. “We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work,” Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger says. “Depending on their role, this means that many of our employees can choose their office location as well as continue to work from home part-time or all the time.” Austin is no stranger to the tech industry. Dell Technologies was started there. IBM and Samsung have operations there. Oracle already built a campus in downtown Austin.

construction site

Hewlett Packard’s move to Houston could usher in a tech rebirth for area
Houston was already Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s largest employment hub, so the company’s announcement that it is moving its headquarters to Houston may not have an immediate impact on the area’s job numbers, the Houston Chronicle reports. But the symbolism is important. “Psychologically it’s just a huge boost for Houston and what we’re trying to do to diversify our economy,” Rand Stephens, managing director of the Houston office of Avison Young, says. And what makes Houston attractive ― business-friendly state, affordable residential real estate and HPE as a draw for other businesses. The paper also reminds us that Houston was once home to Compaq Computer (acquired by HPE in a merger) and other tech companies.

Trey Smith, Lauren Napper, and Ward Eastman

Major changes in leadership at large CRE firms in the DFW metroplex
You can’t tell the players without a program. D Magazine provided an update of recent changes of top managers at top CRE firms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Ran Holman left Cushman & Wakefield to oversee Newmark’s operations in Dallas-Fort Worth and other markets. Steve Everbach left Colliers International. Daniel Taylor, formerly with CBRE, will be in charge of Colliers’ Dallas office. Trey Smith (president), Lauren Napper (vice president), and Ward Eastman (vice president) joined CBRE’s Advisory and Transaction Services group. Mike Lafitte will serve as CEO of Trammell Crow. The current CEO, Matt Khourie, will become a chief investment officer of real estate investments. CIO Craig Cheney will retire in April. COO Mike Duffy s retiring. He will be replaced by Adam Weers.

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Energy & Environment

Renewable energy developer Swell raises $450 million for projects in three states
Swell Energy, a Los Angeles-based provider and manager of residential renewable energy, is raising $450 million to build four virtual power plants, Tech Crunch reports. The company was commissioned by utilities in three states to create power generating and storage systems. The idea is to create smaller projects that distribute power nearer points of consumption. The project will pair 200 megawatt-hours of distributed energy storage with 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity, the company says.

Luhrs Tower in Downtown Phoenix


Around 17% office buildings in Phoenix have been refurbished since 2000
AZ Big Media reports that about 17% of office buildings larger than 25,000 square feet in Greater Phoenix received at least a cosmetic refurbishment since 2000. Figures from Commercial Cafe show about 1.7% of the larger office buildings in the Valley received a full renovation. That is the lowest figure of any of the 19 markets Commercial Cafe studied. On average, the building that underwent just cosmetic improvements was 33 years old. The average building that received a complete overhaul was 41 years old. Nationally, the big leader for complete overhaul was Manhattan, and four of the top five markets for overhauls were in the Northeast.


USMCA credited for helping U.S.-Mexico business activity expand
Commercial Property Executive reports that USMCA, the replacement agreement for NAFTA that went into effect in July, has been well-received and that business activity involving the United States and Mexico is growing despite the economic headwinds caused by the pandemic. That has increased the demand for commercial property near the border of the two countries. More investment has flowed into Mexico from China, Japan and South Korea.

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