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Berkadia Originates Loan on Smart Money Investment

26 Jun 2015, 8:18 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Judging by one of Berkadia’s recent announcements, if you were to put a wager on the real estate market in College Town, Texas, it had better be on student housing. The small city owes much of its prosperity to the presence of Texas A&M University, which has had a tremendous impact on the local economy.

Woodlands of College Station

Woodlands of College Station

Berkadia announced that it has originated a $34.1 million loan for Woodlands of College Station, a 276-unit student housing community located at 1725 Harvey Mitchell Parkway. The community, which consists of 21 buildings, offers two-, three- and four-bedroom layouts and includes amenities such as study areas, a cyber café, basketball and volleyball courts, a fitness center and a resort pool.

The borrower was an undisclosed company from San Diego, which will use the loan to refinance the asset’s existing debt. Managing Director Jackson Cloak of Berkadia’s Irvine office secured the financing through the firm’s Fannie Mae program.

“This transaction involved several legal considerations that had to be resolved before the loan could close,” said Cloak. “Our extensive experience with this product type and the Texas market, coupled with our sophisticated and collaborative client, allowed us to structure the loan with attractive terms and close the deal efficiently.”

Houston’s First Speculative LEED Platinum Campus Set for Success

23 Jun 2015, 6:07 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Despite the oil slump, activity in the Energy Corridor has been going strong. Skanska USA Commercial Development announced that it has signed a 158,050-square-foot lease with IHI E&C at West Memorial Place II, the firm’s third commercial development project in the Houston market.

West Memorial Place II Skanska USA

West Memorial Place II

“IHI E&C has grown significantly in recent years and expanded its Houston presence,” said Glyn Rodgers, its president. “This dynamic, energy-efficient new space and prominent location on Memorial Drive will give our growing company flexibility for growth and superb visibility. Its location adjacent to green space and Terry Hershey Park and its world-class features reflect our commitment to our employees. We are very much looking forward to calling West Memorial Place our home for years to come.”

Skanska expects to have the building topped off by October and operational by midyear 2016. Upon build out, the new 14-story, 385,000-square-foot office tower will join the already operational West Memorial Place I and complete the firm’s campus. Both towers are expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification, making Skanska’s campus the first speculative LEED Platinum campus in Houston.

Luxury Begets Luxury in Houston’s Hottest Submarkets

19 Jun 2015, 5:32 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

As if the Inner Loop and the Galleria-Uptown submarkets weren’t enough to attract luxury developments, OliverMcMillan’s River Oaks District project is slowly becoming a magnet in and of itself. A joint venture between The Carlyle Group and Pelican Builders just secured a $55.2 million senior loan for the development of The Wilshire, a 17-story, 96-unit luxury condominium project. The loan was originated by Pacific Coast Capital Partners LLC (PCCP).

The Wilshire

The Wilshire

The Wilshire will rise on a tract located at 2049 Westcreek Lane, adjacent to OliverMcMillan’s 650,000-square-foot mixed-use project. Upon completion, River Oaks District will include 252,000 square feet of luxury retail; restaurants; street-side cafes and entertainment; 92,000 square feet of office space; and 279 residential units.

“PCCP’s loan will provide the project’s joint venture ownership with the majority of funding needed to develop this Class A residential project,” said Ron Bonneau, senior vice president with PCCP. “This asset will be delivered within a market where demand is outpacing supply for this luxury property type, and we are confident that the ownership has the experience and vision to realize a favorable outcome for The Wilshire.”

Foreign Investment Undeterred in Houston

16 Jun 2015, 3:12 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Foreign investors seem undeterred by the oil slump in Houston, seeing as Vancouver, BC-based Nicola Crosby Real Estate recently acquired Mason Creek I, a two-story, fully leased, 135,716-square-foot office building in Katy, Texas.

The office asset was acquired from a Boston-based institutional real estate advisor for an undisclosed amount. HFF marketed the asset on behalf of the seller and also secured a five-year, fixed-rate acquisition loan for the Canadian firm.

Development Map of the Mason Creek Corporate Business Park

Development Map of the Mason Creek Corporate Business Park

Mason Creek I is located at 21420 Merchants Way within Mason Creek Corporate, a 110-acre, master-planned business park. The building was developed by Myers Crow & Saviers Ltd. in 2013 and serves as GEICO’s new regional claims processing center.

Mason Creek I was the first office building within the business park, and it seems that Myers Crow & Saviers will be the one to bring Mason Creek Corporate to build out, as the park has been slowly running out of space. The firm recently completed Mason Creek II, a three-story, 127,000-square-foot office building, and announced plans for a third office project.

Image courtesy of Parkside Capital

Houston’s Industrial Projects Fly Off the Shelves

1 Jun 2015, 5:07 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

In one of Houston’s most lucrative industrial submarkets, ownership can change as soon as a project gets off the ground. Denver-based Amstar announced recently that not long after it had started working on its 352,680-square-foot Beltway North Commerce Center, the firm entered into an agreement with an anonymous buyer to sell the building.

The Beltway North Commerce Center is a LEED-certifiable, cross-dock industrial building located at 971 North Sam Houston Parkway E., within the North Houston submarket. The Class A industrial project, which fronts the Beltway for more than 1,200 feet and has been designed for single- or multi-tenant use.  It was developed on a 35-acre tract purchased last year by Amstar in partnership with Davis Commercial Development.

“We purchased this site in early 2014 from a corporate owner who had slated it for commercial development for years due to the outstanding location near George Bush Intercontinental Airport but had never started construction. We acquired the site, changed the use and designed a building very well suited for the industrial and office space users in the North Houston submarket,” said Jeffrey Davis, principal of Davis Commercial Development.

Josh McArtor and Heather McClain Venegoni with CBRE’s Dallas office represented Amstar in the transaction.

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