In the News—Week of March 15 2021
Around the Nation
Affordable homes planned on site of shuttered Chuck E. Cheese eatery
City officials in San Jose, California are reviewing plans to build 200 affordable housing units on the site of a former pizza restaurant, the East Bay Times reports. Chuck E. Cheese closed during the 2020 pandemic. The developer has a contract to buy the land. “There is not a lot of affordable housing in this area,” Northern California for Affirmed Housing’s regional director, Rob Wilkins, says. “It’s a great spot for affordable housing.”
Energy & Environment
Expert: Texas’ storm problems weren’t what broke — there wasn’t enough power
There’s been an argument about which power source to blame for leaving millions of Texans without power during and after the severe winter storm that hit Texas. Both natural gas and wind power stopped functioning. But Brent Bennett, policy director for Life Powered, says both sides miss the biggest point. Even if all power sources worked perfectly, Texas would not have enough power to get through a storm of this magnitude. “State leaders should focus less on what broke and who is to blame and more on how Texas’ reliable electric generation capacity has fallen so low,” he writes.
Lone Star State citied among leaders in workers going back to the office
Texas metro areas were the leaders for workers going back to the office, Kastle Systems reports. The Dallas-Fort Worth area led the nation with 36.9% of workers occupying offices. Houston was second with 36.7%; Austin was third at 35.8%. The national average was 24.8%, up 0.7% from the previous week.
Black Creek Group amasses 165 acres for Interstate 20 industrial park
Black Creek Group has bought 165 acres of land in Dallas for the planned I-20 Logistics Park, Commercial Property Executive reports. Black Creek is co-developing the project with Archway Properties. Although Black Creek Group will own all the land, Archway spent two years buying 42 parcels of land from 18 owners. The I-20 Logistics Park will have 2-million-square feet of industrial space, built in two phases. The first phase is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2022.
Idaho man accused of bilking millions from commercial real estate investors
The Arizona Attorney General’s office is accusing Bradley Heinrichs of bilking investors of $82 million from 2005 to 2014, KOLD-TV reports. Heinrichs, who is from Idaho, faces seven felony counts. In its indictment, the AG’s office says Heinrichs peddled two real estate portfolios to investors while borrowing heavily against the properties and never disclosing the information. Heinrichs’ co-defendant Stephen J. Hatch pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices in Maricopa County Superior Court, the AG’s office said in a release. Hatch was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.
Home Depot to invest $160 million in two stores and e-commerce platform
Home Depot has a store on the way in Querétaro and may add two more. But the home improvement chain is making its biggest push online, Mexico News Daily reports. The company will enlarge its distribution center in Atitalaquia and overhaul its technology. All told, Home Depot plans to invest $160 million in Mexico. The company saw an upswing in e-commerce in 2020. “Our online business accelerated such that it achieved results (in 2020) that we planned for 2021,” Home Depot Mexico president José Rodríguez Garza says.