News & Articles

Posts from April 2014

2014 Landmark Awards: Land Deal

Posted on April 28, 2014 in

By Staff
Houston Business Journal

WINNER: Fluor’s 50 acres in Telfair

Fluor Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of Irving-based Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR), has purchased 50 acres at the southeast corner of Highway 59 and University Boulevard for future development.
The company, Sugar Land’s largest employer, inked an incentive deal with the city and committed $165 million in capital investment to keep its almost 3,000 employees in the city.
Plans — which are in the very early stages -— call for an up to 1 million-square-foot campus close to Fluor’s current facilities, where it will relocate from when its lease expires in mid-2021. With the new development, Fluor aims to create a multibuilding campus with smaller, more efficient footprints that better works with its project-based business operations.
Fluor reviewed numerous locations in the greater Houston area before choosing Sugar Land, which realigned Lexington Boulevard, amended the development plan and performed additional land planning to ink the deal.


Buyer: Fluor Corp.
Seller: Newland Communities
Broker: Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. represented Fluor; Colliers International represented Newland Communities.
Attorney: Winstead PC for Newland; Fluor represented itself.

Exxon Mobil Chemical Headquarters

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) sold 35 acres in Houston’s red-hot Energy Corridor to Greenwich, Conn.-based Atlas USA Holdings LLC for an undisclosed price. The site housed Exxon’s chemical division, which will stay on the acreage until 2015 when it moves to Exxon’s massive campus in north Houston.
Atlas, with Houston-based PM Realty Group, plans to spend $1 billion over 10 years to create a mixed-used development with office, hotel, retail and multifamily components, similar to CityCentre.
The site has 1,000 feet of frontage on Interstate 10 and 800 feet of frontage on Memorial Drive, and borders Terry Hershey Park — a 500-acre public park which connects neighborhoods and businesses with 11 miles of wooded green space.
The heavily wooded tract is under-improved with only two buildings: a low-rise office building containing about 332,000 rentable square feet and a single-story conference center.
Exxon Mobil Chemical Co. was one of the first energy companies to buy land along the Katy Freeway in the late 1970s for its corporate campus. The area that quickly became home to Houston’s growing energy industry. Now, the area, known as the Energy Corridor, is one of the fastest-growing submarkets in Houston, and the land was one of the last large parcels available.


Buyer: Atlas USA Holdings LLC
Seller: Exxon Mobil Corp.
Developer: PM Realty Group
Broker: HFF represented Exxon Mobil; PM Realty Group represented itself.
Attorney: Vinson & Elkins LLP represented the buyer.

2929 Southwest Freeway

Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) bought 28 acres at 2929 Southwest Freeway that was the site of a Class C hotel.
Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse and several other eateries, plans to build a restaurant on the site but has not yet determined which one.
The hotel, which was constructed in 1965 and has been in business ever since, will be demolished.
The new restaurant will provide a place for local residents and families to congregate throughout the week and is anticipated to increase activity in the surrounding area as well.
The new restaurant will significantly upgrade the space at 2929 Southwest Freeway and will pave the way for more Class A development to be established in the immediately surrounding areas.

Buyer: Darden Restaurants
Seller: Corsicana Hospitality Inc.
Project Developer: Darden Restaurants
Broker: CBRE Group Inc. represented Corsicana; Transwestern represented Darden.


New Regional Planning to renovate 43rd/Ella shopping center

Posted on April 04, 2014 in

By Michael Sudhalter
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Houston commercial developer Blake Tartt III, of New Regional Planning, graduated from Northwest Academy in 1980, when it was located at 4211 Watonga Blvd.  Many of his best friends and favorite haunts are still in the area.
That’s why he decided to purchase the shopping center at the corner of W. 43rd St. and Ella Blvd. from a New-York based company last month.

“I’ve always liked that area,” Tartt said. “I felt I was returning to my roots. It’s a very up and coming area in Houston, and the infrastructure is greatly improved. It has great proximity to downtown, the Galleria and easy access to both airports.”
Construction on the property will begin within 60 days, and it will take 2-3 months to complete.  The construction will consist of improving the parking surface, the roof and the facade/signage of the property.

Most of the tenants are expected to stay, and three vacancies are expected to be filled.  The longest-tenured tenant is Merle Norman, a locally-owned business that’s been open for 60+ years. Other tenants include a Liberty Tax, a Domino’s Pizza, a foot doctor.

Due to the construction boom in Oak Forest, Tartt expects home improvement oriented businesses to fill the vacant stores. 

New Regional Planning, which is based in Greenway Plaza, plans to do more development in the Oak Forest/Garden Oaks area and is already exploring more properties there.  “We’ll look to invest more money in that market,” Tartt said. “I’m a big believer in that part of Houston.”