In the News—Week of June 20, 2022
Deal of the Week
A Texas-based private investment firm sold a 160-unit apartment complex in Dallas for approximately $21 million. This transaction was closed by Stephanie Welch, Vice President and Escrow Operations Manager, in our Dallas Office.
Los Angeles city leaders offer to buy complex for affordable housing
Los Angeles city leaders have offered to buy a Chinatown apartment complex for $46 million in a move to spare some tenants the risk of losing their leases, the Real Deal reports. The owner of the 124-unit complex in Chinatown says he doesn’t want to sell, but the city may play hardball. The complex was built in the 1980s with capped rents to low-income households. Now the 30-year agreement to keep rents low has expired. The owner wants to raise rents by as much as 300%. Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents the area and is facing a tough election challenge, is spearheading the effort to force a sale, using eminent domain. “It is unprecedented,” Cedillo says. “But we do it for airports. We do it for stadiums. We do it for major public works projects. Now is the time for us to move forward and do it as part of an overall strategy to protect affordable housing.”
Energy & Efficiency
Detroit pilot program helped make weather-proofing homes affordable
Making a home more energy-efficient involves upfront costs. Low-income people are eligible for federal assistance to weather-proof their homes. But others who find the finances challenging are left out in the cold. “But there’s that gap,” says Todd Parker with Michigan Saves “where customers make too much for free services, but they still can’t qualify for traditional financing.” Michigan Saves recently partnered with DTE, a utility in Detroit, to provide 100 low-interest loans to help people who are in that in-between zone, Yale Climate Connections reports. “They could get these critical improvements that they needed for their house. It was a program that was very meaningful to a lot of the participants,” Parker says. Michigan would like to expand the program.
As life sciences grow in Houston, space becomes a premium
Investment in real estate for life sciences is booming, and many of those dollars are likely to flow to Houston, Houston.org reports. Figures from CBRE show investment in commercial real estate related to life sciences soared 62% nationally last year and is projected to grow by 10% this year. Houston is seen as a potential magnet for biotech — with Texas Medical Center and an educated workforce. More than 1,700 life sciences firms, hospitals and research institutions operate in the region. Big players such as Abbott, Bayer, Merck and Novartis already have a strong local presence. Commercial space for life sciences companies has been limited.
Caterpillar to move its headquarters to Irving
Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is leaving Illinois for Texas, according to Associated Press reports via Commercial-News.com. Caterpillar was based in Peoria, Illinois, for over 90 years before moving to Deerfield, a suburb of Chicago in 2017. The company will be moving to Irving this year. “We believe it’s in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move,” CEO Jim Umpleby says. The company will begin the relocation process this year. This is the second major company to announce it was moving from the Chicago area this year. Boeing announced it was heading to Washington, D.C.
Fairmont plans 25-story hotel, residences in downtown Phoenix
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has signed a development agreement for a Fairmont Hotel and Residences in downtown Phoenix, AZ Big Media reports. The 25-story property will open in 2025 and will have 225 guestrooms, 151 residential units, a full-service restaurant, a lobby bar and a rooftop pool. Fairmont is a subsidiary of French-based Accor, the second largest operator of luxury hotels in the United States. “Fairmont Phoenix will be a prominent addition to the region’s growing luxury portfolio and will provide a unique offering unlike anything in Phoenix.” Accor North & Central America’s CEO Heather McCrory, says.
Government aims to drive development in industrial area of Mexico City
Government officials are trying to expand the Industrial Zone of Vallejo of Mexico City, Mexico Business News reports. “Vallejo is an industrial zone par excellence, and we want to keep it that way; there are several investments coming, including (toward) warehouses and Doppelmayr, the Austrian company that built Mexico City’s cableway system, which is constructing a spare-parts center for Latin America,” Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum says. Fadlala Akabani, the local minister for economic development, says the permitting process has been streamlined. The government has come up with a plan to add public spaces and affordable housing for workers to expand development in the area between now and 2050.