In the News—Week of February 21, 2022

 In The Title Trove


Hawaii coming off a banner year in commercial real estate  

Hawaii’s commercial real estate sector boomed in 2021, Hawaiian Public radio reports. Figures from Colliers International show there were $3.15 billion in CRE sales in 2021, better than 2019 before the pandemic. In-state investors were involved in more than half of the transaction. Investors from the U.S. mainland were also active, but foreign investors stayed on the sidelines. With inflation rising and interest rates still low, 2022 will be another strong year, Colliers International forecasts. 

Energy & Efficiency

New tech can salvage rare earth elements found in electronic waste 

A team led by Rice University organic chemist James Tour has come up with a process to streamline the extraction process of rare earth elements from electronic waste, Science reports. Backers of the new process say it is about twice as efficient as the process currently used. Using fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal, creates a temperature spike that set the elements free. “It’s a very interesting approach,” says Amir Sheikhi, a chemical engineer at Pennsylvania State University who studies REE extraction. 


Houston   market is leading the way in flex space

Houston added a higher percentage of flex office space than any other market in the country, Innovation Map reports. Figures from CBRE show that Houston added more than 5% flex office space year over year through the third quarter of 2021. Dallas-based Common Desk, which is being acquired by WeWork, accounted for more than three-quarters of that flex space. Houston office vacancy remains high — as much as 25% was unoccupied at times in 2021 — but it has 3.1 million square feet of flex space, seventh among U.S. markets. 


Dallas CRE market continues to sizzle; Austin is even hotter   

Dallas-Fort Worth has been a hot market for commercial real estate and will continue to sizzle in 2022, Culture Map Dallas reports. But Austin is going to be hotter. Austin-based CrowdStreet has the DFW metroplex as the No. 8 CRE market with Austin as No. 1. “With employment growth and in-migration outpacing the majority of top U.S. markets, Dallas-Fort Worth is full of opportunities for investors in 2022,” CrowdStreet says. San Antonio ranked No. 14 in the survey.


More details emerge about overhaul of Paradise Valley Mall

RED Development has unveiled plans for its redo of Paradise Valley Mall as a mixed-use project, AZ Big Media reports. The property will be called PV, and its logo will draw on the Union Jack entry cubes that were part of the mall when it opened in the 1970s.  “At its core, PV is about building a strong and enduring sense of community. It will be a mix of retail, restaurant, outdoor spaces, housing and employment and a destination that fosters collaboration, creativity and coming together,” RED managing partner Mike Ebert says. 


Military entity to operate completed infrastructure projects   

Olmeca Maya Mexica, a company run by the country’s armed forces, will manage and operate President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s big projects, Mexico Business News reports. Those projects include Mayan Train and four airports under construction: Felipe Angeles, Tulum, Chetumal and Palenque. The enterprise is to set aside at least 75% of its yearly profits to military pensions.

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