In the News—Week of October 11 2021
Around the Nation
Industrial vacancy rate in LA market shrinks to 1.4%
The market for industrial space in the Los Angeles area continues to tighten, The Real Deal reports. The vacancy rate dipped from 1.7% in the second quarter to 1.4% in the third quarter, figures from Kidder Mathews show. About 3.3 million square feet was absorbed by tenants. Not surprisingly rates rose by 8.6% from a year earlier. The average rent is now $1.14 per square foot.
Energy & Environment
BP buys tech company that connects buildings into electric markets
BP acquired a New York-based tech company that says it can connect buildings to energy markets, the Houston Chronicle reports. The energy giant bought Blueprint Power, which uses customized algorithms to allow building owners to sell surplus energy stored in batteries or generated by roof-top solar panels. BP has applied with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to supply power to residents in Texas and four other states.
Houston developer wants to turn The Lawn into hub for community events
The developer and owner of Memorial City is expanding its green space in the project with the idea of turning it into a community hub, the Houston Chronicle reports. MetroNational plans to expand The Lawn by up to 30,000 square feet in the aim of making the site a place for festivals, markets, movies nights and to give workers and residents a place to enjoy throughout the year. The Lawn is next to a hotel and a 25-story apartment building. “With COVID happening and everything else, greenspace was something that just about everyone was clamoring for,” says Jason Johnson, president of MetroNational.
Retail leasing market in North Texas bounces back
Retail occupancies in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex rose by more than 1.6 million square feet in the third quarter, The Dallas Morning News reports. The leading areas of absorption were in suburban submarkets Frisco, Richardson and West Fort Worth, according to figures from CBRE Group. “Fitness and furniture tenants continued to be active, backfilling big boxes that went dark over the pandemic,” CBRE said in its just completed survey.
Developer tasked with bringing Sam Fox’s hotel project to life
When Valley restaurateur Sam Fox announced he would build his first luxury project, he called on Brian Frakes, founder and principal of Common Bond Development Group, AZ Big Media reports. The two have worked on restaurant projects such as The Yard and Culinary Dropout. Fox is planning The Global Ambassador, a 144-room luxury hotel in the toney Arcadia section of Phoenix. “I trust Brian implicitly,’’ Fox says. “We grew up learning about the business together, and I’ve seen him make genuine and fair decisions over and over again. He understands real estate, reuse of real estate and creating value where no one else sees an opportunity. He also understands what’s important to me. I’m lucky that he goes with my wild ideas.”
Belize wants to connect to Mexico’s Mayan Train
Belize Prime Minister Johnny Briceño met with the leading Mexican tourism official to discuss extending the Mayan Train into Belize or connecting with the projection another way, Mexico Business News reports. Briceño’s meeting with FONATUR head Rogelio Jiménez Pons was first tweeted by Mexico’s ambassador to Belize Martha Zamarripa. Briceño and SRE leader Marcelo Ebrard also met to discuss such an extension.