In the News—Week of November 8, 2021
Around the Nation
Office buildings are still empty in LA County, but leasing market warms up
The workers did not rerun to the office right after Labor Day in Los Angeles as was hoped. But Los Angeles County saw a net loss of 55,600 square feet of leased office space in the third quarter, the Los Angeles Times reports. At the height of the pandemic the area was seeing the net losses of 2 million square feet per quarter. Landlords in the area are raising rents, asking $3.88 per square foot per month in the third quarter, CBRE said. Figures from Kastle Systems, which provides key-card entry systems, show LA County offices are only about 32% occupied, below the 36% average nationally.
Energy & Environment
Department of Energy starts $61 million pilot program for homes, businesses
The Department of Energy has announced $61 million for 10 pilot projects that will deploy new technology to transform thousands of homes and workplaces into state-of-the-art, energy-efficient buildings, according to the agency’s website. The proposal calls for grid-interactive efficient buildings that use smart controls and other technology to communicate with the electrical grid. The department refers to these networks of buildings as connected communities. “From our homes to workplaces, this groundbreaking, grid-connected building technology will help reduce our impact while cutting energy bills, maximizing convenience, and propelling our efforts to reach a carbon-neutral, clean energy economy by 2050,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm says.
Legendary apartment developer Finger selling $2 billion worth of properties
Legendary apartment developer Marvy Finger is selling $2 billion worth of apartments form his Houston-based company’s national portfolio, the Houston Chronicle reports. Finger Companies is selling the properties because prices have soared. “I did not go knocking on doors to sell,” says Finger, who serves as the company’s CEO. “It’s a moment in time where values went up 40, 50% or greater in a very short period of time.” The locations of the properties and the number of units were not disclosed.
Dallas area leads the country in new hotel construction
Hotels have fared poorly during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now the industry is making a bit of a comeback and more overnight lodging is being built, The Dallas Morning News reports. Figures from Lodging Econometrics show there are 147 hotel construction projects in the pipeline for the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The area leads the nation in hotel construction. Houston ranked fifth.
Road to success: Freeways drive growth in Phoenix metro area
The Phoenix metro area was late to the party when it came to freeways. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s, in fact, that Phoenix had a complete freeway connection to Los Angeles. But since then, the area has developed an impressive freeway system. That system is a major factor it the area’s commercial growth, AZ Big Media reports. “Big manufacturers want to be within a few miles of an interstate or highway. Depending on their truck traffic and employment counts, it’s an integral part of what they need to know throughout the site selection process,” says Jackob Andersen, CEO of Saint Holdings. Eric Anderson, executive director for the Maricopa Association of Governments, says 86% of companies in the metro area with 250 or more employees are within 2 miles of a freeway or light rail.
Parent company wants to add 10,000 Oxxo convenience stores in Mexico
It seems like everywhere you go in Mexico there is an Oxxo store. But FEMSA, the parent company, says there are not enough. The company plans to add 10,000 locations for the convenience store over the next decade, Mexico News Daily reports. That would increase the total to 30,000 stores. CEO Eduardo Padilla Silva says the company will only open about 800 stores this year because expansion plans were slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.