In the News—Week of July 12 2021
Around the Nation
Boston commercial real estate liquidity surpasses Manhattan
As major league baseball hits the All-Star break, Boston fans are delighted the Red Sox have a comfortable lead over the New York Yankees in the standings. Beantown’s success doesn’t end there. Boston just beat Manhattan in commercial real estate investment, Commercial Observer reports. Figures from Real Capital Analytics show Boston has ranked as the nation’s most liquid commercial property market the past two quarters. Manhattan is second. Boston’s technology and life sciences sectors have kept leasing relatively strong, while Manhattan has slipped. “Just given the size, Manhattan has more unique buyers than Boston does,” says Jim Costello, vice president with Real Capital Analytics. “But relative to the history for Manhattan, there’s fewer active participants today than you’d see in a normal period, as opposed to Boston.”
Energy & Environment
Entrepreneur works to bring green solutions to communities of color
New York entrepreneur Donnel Baird is attempting to bring green building to communities of color, Reuters reports. “We’re putting in a smart, modern, all-electric heating system and cooling system that you can operate from your smartphone that’s going to reduce this building’s greenhouse gas emissions by 70%,” said Baird, next to a home of a recent client. His company BlocPower helps small apartment buildings and other urban structures become more energy efficient. BlocPower was founded in 2014, and Baird wants to take it public in seven years. He says his idea is to turn “buildings into Teslas.”
Owner will accept Bitcoin for two Houston office buildings
The owner of two Uptown Houston office buildings that saw mass exodus of tenants during the pandemic is seeking offers in Bitcoin, the Houston Chronicle reports. “The seller is… taking a cue from where the world is moving and wants to be on the forefront,” says Glenn Dickerson, the broker selling 50 Briar Hollow on behalf of BDFI LLC, in a statement. Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not produced by governments or banks, and its value has fluctuated drastically. No asking price was disclosed. The two buildings have almost 200,000 square feet of space. One building in completely vacant; the other has only 30% occupancy.
Frisco continues to boom as other cities struggle to recover
Even as many other cities struggle, Frisco, which has nearly doubled in population since 2010, continued to be a magnet for development, RE Journals reports. The Dallas suburb that is home to the Dallas Cowboys training center and headquarters is riding the Metroplex’s wave of industrial property growth. But Frisco is also seeing strong interest in office space. Jason Ford, president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, says his organization is currently working on upwards of 50 prospects at the moment. More than a dozen of those prospects have put Frisco on a short-list for company headquarters.
Scottsdale investment firm starts venture to build for rental market
Scottsdale-based global real estate investment firm Walton Global Holdings USA has formed a joint venture with SVN/SFR Capital Management of New York to build single-family residential communities nationwide, AZ Big Media reports. In the wake of the pandemic and rising prices for single-family homes, build-for-rent communities have caught the attention of investors and developers in the past few months. The partnership’s first communities will be started in Texas and Colorado in 2022.
Mexico City mayor meets with business leaders about development issues
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum met with leaders from the private sector to discuss real estate development issues, Mexico Business News reports. Sheinbaum addressed the conversion of underutilized or unoccupied office buildings to housing and mixed uses. “In some cases, it requires a change of land use and in other cases it does not; there are many powers that I have as head of government and the idea is precisely to use them at this moment of economic reactivation, so that all these procedures can be reduced, and this process can begin,” she says.