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HID Global Receives LEED Platinum Certification for Its New World Headquarters and North American Operation Center in Austin

18 Jul 2014, 5:25 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The first and only industrial manufacturing facility in the state of Texas to achieve LEED Platinum certification is located in Austin, Texas. The distinction has been awarded to HID Global, a worldwide leader in secure identity solutions.

The Austin building is the company’s world headquarters and North American Operations Center and it has been designed from ground up with this achievement as goal, which includes site selection, design and construction.

“LEED Platinum certification for our world headquarters further elevates our award-winning facility as a leading Austin sustainability showcase and a Texas business success story,” says Kevin Teehan, senior director of strategic operations and corporate sustainability with HID Global.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), only 6 percent of the total LEED certified projects have reached the LEED Platinum level. To attain this certification the buildings need to implement practical and measurable strategies and solutions designed to achieve high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

“This achievement signifies our ‘Green by Design’ philosophy and continuing focus on sustainability excellence. For our customers, this translates into innovative, secure products and solutions that help minimize environmental impact while reducing operating costs. We share this accomplishment with all of the many people and organizations who worked with us to make this possible.”

ASSA ABLOY, the parent of HID Global has also received the Platinum distinction, expressing its attachment to the sustainable development movement.

General contractor Harvey Cleary Builders from Houston and Austin-based commercial real estate developer Live Oak-Gottesman were involved in the construction of the world headquarters and North American operations center. Austin-based Studio 8 Architects was responsible with the design of the facility, in collaboration with engineering consulting and design service partners Bury, Endeavor Real Estate Group LLC and Carrillo Dean Landscape Architecture (CDLA). Boston Industrial Consulting, Lee Gros, Architect and Artisan, and the Austin Chamber of Commerce were also important in the development.

Century Communities Announces the Purchase of an Additional 527 Home Sites in Austin

11 Jul 2014, 6:50 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Colorado-based Century Communities announced that its subsidiary Jimmy Jacobs Homes acquired 527 premier home sites in two of Austin’s leading communities. A top 50 homebuilder in the United States and one of the top five fastest growing home builders by total revenue, Century Communities has insured a place among the top builders of Austin.

Four hundred and twenty-three of the home sites were acquired in the Pearson Place at Avery Ranch community. Located in one of Austin’s most desirable areas, Pearson Place is an extension of the Avery Ranch master-planned community. Among its featured amenities are five community centers, an outdoor amphitheater, easy access to hiking and biking trails, and close proximity to top-rated schools.

The other 104 acres are wooded home sites acquired in the newly developed Reagan’s Overlook community, 30 miles northwest of Austin, in Leander, Texas. It totals approximately 250 acres and offers beautiful panoramic views of the San Gabriel River valley. Reagan’s Overlook features impasse home site locations, mature oak trees, and views of the Texas hill country. The development of the community is designed into three phases, encompassing 190 home sites; the Jimmy Jacobs Homes has signed to acquire the additional phases of the development.

Jimmy Jacobs Homes is one of Texas’ premier luxury home builders, on the market for over 20 years. Century Communities was launched in 2002, operating in Colorado, Nevada and Texas.

CBRE Represents Hamilton Zanze in the Sale of 600-Unit Multifamily Complex in Austin

4 Jul 2014, 5:39 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

One of Austin’s huge apartment complexes located near the Central Business District has a new owner. The Retreat at Barton Creek has been acquired by Southern California-based Paydar Properties for an amount that remains undisclosed.

Charles Cirar, a Vice Chairman with CBRE Multifamily, represented the seller, San Francisco-based Hamilton Zanze and its joint venture partner NYL Investors. Hamilton Zanze acquired the 600-unit multifamily complex in 2007 and ever since it invested over $7 million in capital improvements such as 100 percent renovation of the units, modernizing the pool areas, and upgrading the property’s landscaping.

“We owned Barton Creek for just over seven years and executed on a capital improvement program that significantly enhanced the property’s appeal and operations,” says Kurt Houtkooper, Chief Investment Officer of Hamilton Zanze. “This transaction speaks to the strength of the Austin market and the high quality of the asset.”

The Retreat at Barton Creek was built in 1984 and occupies about 30 acres. At the time of the sale it was 95 percent occupied. Its location at 3816 South Lamar Boulevard makes it highly attractive to residents as well as its beautiful features, which includes two swimming pools, a clubhouse, a dog park, a 24-hour fitness center with free personal trainer and wonderful panoramic views and easy access to Barton Creek Greenbelt. Additionally, an 800-acre nature preserve running through the city is the perfect spot for hiking, biking, swimming, and other outdoor activities.

Capital Studios, the First Affordable-Housing Community in Downtown Austin, Set to Open in October

30 Jun 2014, 2:36 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Downtown Austin Plan is moving forward. The city’s blueprint that shows the need for more affordable housing and permanent supportive housing is meeting its materialization. The first affordable-housing project in 45 years is currently in the works.

Capital Studios is the new community that will serve low-income and homeless residents in the Austin area, designed to meet LEED Platinum standards. Works are scheduled to be completed this fall for residents to move in in October.

The developer and managing company is Foundation Communities and they work with various public-private partners including UnitedHealthcare – the largest investor that provided $11.7 million through the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity in a partnership with Enterprise Community Investment, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs that allocated the tax credits, the Austin Housing Finance Corporation who provided $4.7 million in permanent financing. The Federal Home Loan Bank secured an additional $1 million in a permanent financing, the Bank of America granted a $500,000 construction loan, and other sources and private donations raised another $2.7 million.

Capital Studios will be located at 11th and Trinity Streets and will offer 135 efficiency apartments for single adults and 25 percent of them will be reserved for homeless individuals. The property will have 24-hour monitored access; residents will have a private community space with a computer lab, TV lounge and fitness area. Just a block of the Texas State Capital, it has street level retail space and a publicly accessible bike-share kiosk. Rents will range between $400 and $650 per month with utilities included.

“Expanding access to affordable housing is important in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty and helping people live healthier lives,” says Donald Langer, president of UnitedHealthcare Community & State of Texas. “Capital Studios will be a tremendous boost to downtown Austin, providing affordable housing and services to help people in need.”

Photo courtesy of City of Austin, Texas.

RLJ Lodging Trust Sells Holiday Inn Austin NW Arboretum Area for $13.5 Million

20 Jun 2014, 4:49 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

One of the hotels nestled in the hills of northwest Austin has left RLJ Lodging Trust’s portfolio. Details about the transaction have not been disclosed.

The 194-room Holiday Inn Austin NW Arboretum Area (the “Hotel”) was built in 1984 near the MoPac Expressway/Highway 183 intersection and RLJ purchased it in 2006 as part of a 100 hotel portfolio. The hotel recently sold for approximately $13.5 million, more precisely $70,000 per key. This represents a 7.9 percent capitalization rate on the hotel’s 2014 net operating income.

“We are very pleased to close on the sale of an additional non-strategic asset. To date, we have sold 15 assets for gross proceeds of more than $130 million,” says Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., president and CEO. “As we pursue additional dispositions, we are very encouraged by the interest we are seeing for our assets and an improving lending environment. We remain committed to further recycling capital into assets that improve our portfolio quality.”

RLJ Lodging Trust is undergoing a massive capital recycling strategy to strengthen its portfolio through the disposition of assets that don’t match the company’s long-term investment vision. The company owns now 147 properties made out of 145 hotels with approximately 22,700 rooms, and two planned conversions, spread across 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Photo courtesy of RLJ Lodging Trust

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