In the News—Week of May 23, 2022
Will remote workers relocate to remote locales and small towns?
McKinsey Global Institute reports that as much as a quarter of the workforce in the United States and other developed countries could work from home, according to The Daily Yonder. In the post-pandemic economy, more office workers are resisting going back to the office. The question is if you can work from anywhere will some workers choose to work in what is often referred to as the middle of nowhere? The federal government Is making billions available for high-speed internet in rural areas. Could this revive some small towns that died when the economic opportunity left? It’s too early to tell just as it’s too early to tell if the urban office market will completely recover. Still, it seems unlikely that small towns that offer no amenities will be able to benefit much from any population shift. If there is a future for hamlets in the countryside, it will likely belong to the settlements that offer entertainment options, good schools and other amenities.
Energy & Efficiency
NREL says it has made advances in thermophotovoltaics efficiency
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a photovoltaic cell with a record maximum efficiency of 41.1%, cleantechnica.com reports. That is 9% better than the previous world record. The device is designed to harvest energy from an object heated to 2,400°C and was developed for a joint demonstration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of an electric-energy storage concept.
Plans unveiled for transformation of area near Memorial City Mall
MetroNational has unveiled plans for a 27-acre mixed-use town center near Memorial City Mall that could bring major changes for the affluent area on the west side of Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. The project will bring dozens of restaurants, boutiques, retail brands, apartments and offices. MetroNational has dubbed the project Memorial Town Square. “It’s going to have a completely different type of offering that we’ve never had here before, from the type of retail to the type of restaurants to the walkability,” MetroNational’s president, Jason Johnson, says. “We also see this as kind of phase one of multiple phases of potentially repurposing exactly what Memorial City Mall looks like.”
Austin developer ready to build office, apartment tower in uptown Dallas
Endeavor Real Estate Group, based in Austin, plans to begin building a 19-story office and apartment high-rise in Uptown Dallas later this year, The Dallas Morning News reports. The 386,000-square-foot McKinney Avenue tower will be built on a corner at Boll Street and McKinney and will open in 2025. Plans call for construction on the $121 million project to begin in September.
Phoenix market ranks second in industrial development growth
The Phoenix market ranks second in industrial development growth, AZ Big Media reports. Figures from ComercialSearch show Phoenix has about 36.3 million square feet of industrial space under construction. That ranks only behind Dallas-Fort Worth with 38 million square feet of industrial space being built. About 592.5 million square feet of industrial space is being built in the United States, and ComercialSearch says this will be a strong year for industrial development.
Seed money raised for startup that promises to transform CRE
A Mexican brokerage startup that promises to speed commercial real estate transactions received $4.2 million in seed money, contxto.com reports. Spot2, which claims it can handle transactions six times faster than conventional brokerages, announced a round of financing led by Streamline Ventures; HOF Capital, Acrew Capital, H20 funds and angel investors Sebastián Kreiss from Xepelin, Alister Moreno from Clickalia, Alexis Patjane from 99minutes, and Enzo Cavalie from Startupeable also are involved. “Our goal is to revolutionize commercial real estate in Mexico, an industry that has not changed for more than 100 years. With our platform, we streamline the entire real estate marketing process from start to finish,” says Pablo Gadsden, co-founder of Spot2.