In the News—Week of July 26 2021
Around the Nation
Collapsed Miami condo tower wasn’t architect’s first building that toppled
More than a decade before William Friedman, who designed the Surfside condominium that recently collapsed, had been previously suspended by Florida’s board of architecture when another structured he designed collapsed, the Real Deal reports. The publication found that the board suspended him for six months for designing structures for a Miami commercial building that toppled during Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Friedman was suspended from June 1, 1967 to Dec. 1, 1967. That was about a decade before he designed the Champlain Towers South. Friedman died at age 88 in 2018.
Energy & Environment
California transit agency sours on electric bus fleet after fire
After an electric bus manufactured by Proterra caught fire while charging, a Southern California transit agency considered taking the electric buses off the road, The Washington Free Beacon reports. The Foothill Transit agency, which serves the suburbs near the city of Los Angeles, was weighing whether the electric buses purchased in the last decade are still operable. The buses have problems operating in the heat. It is not just summer in California where the buses struggled. Proterra buses were taken off the streets in Philadelphia and Duluth, Minnesota for other reasons.
Houston office market begins to attract more investor interest
After a year of uncertainty, the market for Houston investment properties appears to be coming back to life, the Houston Chronicle reports. Transaction volume is running ahead of 2020, Real Capital Analytics data shows. “We’re getting double-digit offers on most of the office buildings that we’re selling right now,” JLL Managing Director Marty Hogan says. Houston has been hit not only by the pandemic but a slump for energy companies. “Houston has had its challenges over the last few years, and among some investors, it’s fallen out of favor,” says Brett Reese, a senior vice president at CP Group, a Florida firm that recently reentered the Space City market. “That means better opportunities are available for those who are (looking to buy).”
Powerhouse Canadian firm opens an office in Dallas
Toronto-based Cadillac Fairview is returning to Texas in a big way, The Dallas Morning News reports. The firm, which is owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, manages more than $36 billion in properties worldwide. Cadillac Fairview played a key role in North Texas in the 1980s. The company developed three downtown Dallas office high-rises, as well as other projects in North Texas. The Canadian firm recently acquired a 50% stake in a key North Texas development firm, KDC, and is now opening an office in uptown Dallas.
Developer acquires land in downtown Phoenix for a 24-story Moontower
An Austin, Texas-based developer has acquired a parcel of land at the southeast corner of Third and Garfield streets in Phoenix, AZ Big Media reports. Figures from real estate tracking website Vizzda, show the Lincoln Ventures bought a .63-acre parcel from Wayne Rainey and Jason Merck for about $5.4 million. The property is expected to be used for Moontower PHX, a 24-story, 460,000-square-foot apartment building. The tower will have 326 units, as well as office and retail space. The property borders Roosevelt Row, which has become popular with hipsters.
Government plans to roll out series of infrastructure projects
The Mexican government is planning to announce 10 to 15 building projects worth around $3.4 billion, Mexico Business News reports. Rogelio Rivero Márquez, general director of Highway Development for the Ministry of Communications and Transportations, gave an outline of the package during a conference hosted by the College of Civil Engineers of Mexico. These projects will be added to an existing package of 30 other infrastructure projects. The government is hoping these projects attract private investment. “We can no longer depend so much on the Federal Expenditure Budget,’’ Márquez says. “We have to look for projects whose own demand pays for the investment, operation and maintenance, generates profitability for the concessionaire and the country.”