Like the rest of the nation Houston, Texas has been hit hard by the recession. Even with the economy taken into account, it remains one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation. More than five million people live in the Greater Houston Metro area, which encompasses all or parts of 10 different counties. With the great weather year round and nearby beaches of the Gulf Coast, it is a great city in which to locate any commercial venture.
Houston actually began feeling the recession one year after the rest of the nation. Recovery is taking place, but as with many other areas, it remains sluggish. However, commercial real estate has benefits from core business growth, disciplined new development, and a great business environment, bringing businesses into the area. The workforce available to ventures both large and small offers plenty of trained professional as well as blue collar workers, making this region perfect for any type of business to locate and grow.
Our local Houston OfficeFinder rep tells us, “Despite the consequences of the recession, businesses forge ahead and some are experiencing banner years. National and international investors recognize Houston as an international, first-class metropolis. Energy has always been our main driver but Houston also has the Texas Medical Center and the Port of Houston as strong underpinnings for our local economy. Many authorities have cited the Panama Canal expansion as the next big step in the growth of goods flowing into and out of the Port of Houston.” Our local office rep has served the Houston commercial real state market as a licensed agent since 1985, assisting businesses and association with relocation, renewal, expansion, and disposition of office and industrial space, so he has his finger on the pulse of the Houston market.
The total commercial office inventory in Houston currently encompasses approximately 266 million square feet with a vacancy rate of 13.3%, with nearly 1 million square feet of net absorption in the second quarter of 2011. Class A properties account for the lion’s share of new leasing with positive absorption in the first and second quarters of 2011. Our local rep said, “While we have had some foreclosures, investors and users have typically rushed to the buying opportunities with deep pockets and a plan.” Recovery from the recession is clearly well on its way in Metro Houston.
Some of the major news in commercial real estate include:
• Core Real Estate LLC purchased the former Minute Maid facility at 2000 St. James Place from Wachovia Bank after the bank took back the 335,000 square foot office building from a local partnership. Core then leased the entire building to Weatherford International.
• Lincoln Property Co. purchased Energy Crossing I from M&I Bank., on behalf of a public pension fund. The 240,000-square-foot office building is located in Houston’s Energy Corridor. The new ownership recently leased 41,000 square feet to an energy-related company.
• Chevron recently purchased a 50-story 1.3 million-square-foot downtown office tower from Brookfield Office Properties. Chevron had been leasing the building. The sale price was reportedly $340 million, or about $260 per square foot.
• In a separate transaction, Brookfield Properties Corporation acquired Heritage Plaza, a 53-story, 1.2-million-square-foot trophy office tower in Houston’s central business district, reportedly for $321.5 million.
• ExxonMobil has finally announced the development of a new office campus in north Houston. The 385-acre site is near the intersection of I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road. Company employees currently working in a variety of locations will be consolidated into the new facility upon completion. Full occupancy of the development is expected by 2015.
• Coventry Development Corp. will invest approximately $10 billion in their Springwoods Village development. Springwoods Village will be a 1,800 acre master-planned community near the new Exxon Mobil campus.
Our local rep went on to say, “Even the former Astroworld site appears to be poised for new development. The Mallick Group purchased this 104 acre site in 2010 after the Astroworld closure in 2005. Established companies are cautiously locking into today’s rental rates and new companies are looking to find short term, As-Is, opportunities. Every business tenant has choices, but occasionally, their “short list” is shorter than the average business person would believe from reading the headlines.”
If you are considering starting a new business venture or wish to add a satellite location to your already-established venture Houston, Texas, is a great place to choose. With the end of the Space Shuttle program, many high tech workers from nearby Johnson Space Center are readily available and skilled trade crafts persons for any commercial venture can be found. With the growing recovery, much of this labor will be consumed in the coming years, but there are many young people entering the employment in every area to continue to feed the staff required to many any commercial venture a success.
You can contact our Houston OfficeFinder Rep for help with your commercial office and industrial need at Officefinder.com. He will be happy to help you find the perfect home for your business.
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