In the News—Week of November 9, 2020
Around the Nation
Manhattan office vacancy rate at high not seen since 2004
Manhattan’s office vacancy rate is higher than it was in the Great Recession, The Real Deal reports. Almost 13% of offices are vacant, the highest figure since 2004. Leasing volume in October rose 57.1% over September but is still well below where it was a year ago. “The demand has not yet recovered,” Colliers International’s Franklin Wallach says. “It improved in October, but definitely has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.”
Energy & Environment
Virginia takes closer look at building codes to improve energy efficiency
With a push for more energy efficiency in residential and commercial structures, Virginia’s building codes are getting some scrutiny, the Virginia Mercury reports. Buildings account for 70% of electricity consumption and more than half of gas consumption. Virginia lags behind it neighbors, the District of Columbia and Maryland when it comes to keeping up with code changes. Maryland, for instance, requires all jurisdictions to update when the International Energy Conservation Code is updated. Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development oversees any updates. It involves other stakeholders, such as homebuilders, to have input. Energy efficiency advocates don’t like that.
Construction begins on hotel complex for Texas Medical Center
House in 2022, Culture Map Houston reports. Sayta, a commercial real estate company based in Houston, is developing the 14-story property. Hyatt Place will offer 159 rooms; Hyatt House will have 136 extended-stay rooms. This will be the first time Hyatt has used dual brands in one tower.
Jerry Jones sees demand, working on speculative building at Frisco complex
Jerry Jones, the colorful owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is going forward with a $65-million speculative building at The Star in Frisco, Dallas Innovates reports. The project includes an 11-story office tower and parking garages that can accommodate 1,200 cars. Lincoln Property is handling the leasing. “Office space at The Star is 100% leased and has been for some time, but we still get calls every week for space,” Lincoln Property’s Worthey Wiles says. “Just this week we had 5,000-square-foot and 20,000-square-foot tenants looking for space at The Star. It will be great to have a new state-of-the-art office building ready for occupancy because the demand is there.”
Companion Hotel to SkyBridge under development at airport
SkyPlus Hotels is building a 127-room hotel to service SkyBridge Arizona Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, AZ Big Media reports. The Wingate/Hawthorn Suites will be near ASU’s Polytechnic campus and Chandler-Gilbert Community College and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2022. SkyBridge Arizona is a 360-acre development that will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexican Customs to process cargo at the same time.
Spanish hotel chain appeals order that halts works on inn
Spanish hotel chain Riu Hotels & Resorts is appealing a court ruling that stopped construction on a $95.6-million hotel in Cancún, Mexico News Daily reports. A district court put a halt to work on the 530-room project, saying Riu had not lived up to an agreement to upgrade water-treatment facilities in the area. The company argues that the legal action filed to stop work was over another issue. Riu lawyers say the company has permission from the federal government to build a water treatment facility on hotel grounds and will not be placing a burden on municipal plants.