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AmREIT Declines Regency’s Unsolicited Acquisition Proposal

31 Jul 2014, 3:35 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Regency Center Corp. announced three weeks ago that it offered to acquire AmREIT Inc. for $22 per share. The unsolicited acquisition proposal represented a 20 percent premium, based on the average closing price of AmREIT’s common stock over the last 30 days, and also exceeds AmREIT’s all-time-high stock price by more than $2 a share.

According to Regency’s official statement, the offer represents a solution to AmREIT’s difficulties in accessing capital due to its smaller size in contrast to other public REITs. AmREIT will also benefit by being able to grow same-property NOI and by accessing a stronger balance sheet that offers readily available capital for growth, Regency declared.

“We believe that there is a strong strategic, financial and operational rationale for the combination of Regency and AmREIT. We are confident that this transaction is in the best interests of both companies’ shareholders and have a great interest in moving forward toward the negotiation of final terms and documentation. Importantly, we are willing to offer either cash or stock consideration, or a combination of the two, such that AmREIT shareholders could receive immediate and certain value for their shares and/or the opportunity to participate in the combined company’s upside potential,” said Hap Stein, Regency’s chairman & CEO.

On the 29th of July, AmREIT officially refused the acquisition proposal, announcing that its board of directors plans to seek out alternative strategies to improve stockholder value.  In order to assure a fair assessment of alternatives, the board decided to make the company subject to the Maryland Business Combination Act, which prohibits certain mergers between the company and potential stockholders who own 10 percent or more of the voting power of AmREIT’s voting stock. With this measure, they ensure an orderly review of all the alternatives feasible for the company.

“Given the value of our unique assets, robust development pipeline and promising future prospects, supported by our top-of-class platform, our board believes that now is the right time to conduct a thorough review to determine how best to continue to enhance stockholder value, and we are taking appropriate action to ensure a thorough evaluation,” the company said.

CNL Healthcare Buys Specialty Hospital for $76M

25 Jul 2014, 3:10 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

In a $76 million deal, CNL Healthcare Properties Inc.  has acquired  the Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital campus (HOSH). The transaction represents the largest single-property investment to date for the Orlando, Fla.-based REIT, which specializes in senior housing and healthcare properties.

Located  at the intersection of Interstates 69 and 610 in the Galleria submarket,the asset consists of a 126,946-square-foot specialty hospital, a 99,768-square-foot multi-tenant medical office building and two dedicated parking structures.

The hospital includes 64 private beds, 10 operating suites and a wide array of imaging services. HOSH was naned one of Houston’s top surgical units in 2013 by Consumer Reports. According to a statement released by CNL Healthcare, Lincoln Harris CSG will handle leasing and management of the campus.

“The HOSH campus is an exceptional addition to our expanding healthcare portfolio, allowing us to further enhance and diversify our holdings,” said Stephen H. Mauldin, president & CEO of CNL Healthcare Properties. “Strategically positioned in the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan area, HOSH’s management and providers have earned an outstanding reputation for delivering the highest quality services and patient care.”

HOSH joins CNL Healthcare’s extensive senior housing portfolio in Texas, which also includes assets such as The Watercrest at Bryan, the Isle at Cedar Ridge in Cedar Park, The Springs Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in San Angelo and the Raider Ranch-Development in Lubbock. Nationally, CNL Healthcare’s portfolio comprises 78 assets in 26 states that represent a $1.37 billion investment.

Image Courtesy of CNL Healthcare Properties

Woodbranch Plans New Residential High-Rise for Downtown Houston

17 Jul 2014, 3:35 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

The plethora of office projects either under construction or close to breaking ground in Houston has given real estate companies incentive to focus on more and more residential projects.  One such project is Market Square Tower, a 40-story luxury high-rise on which Woodbranch Investments Corp. plans to break ground in coming weeks.

Market Square Tower will feature residences ranging from 550-square-foot efficiencies to 1,950-square-foot units, with a limited number of penthouses also included in the project plans.  The average layout will have approximately 1,275 square feet, with a rent of roughly $3,500, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. According to an official statement, amenities will include a virtual golf simulator, an indoor basketball court, a screening and banquet room, and two pools – one near the bottom and one near the top of the tower.

Market Square Tower Rendering by Jackson & Ryan Architecture, Courtesy of Woodbranch Investments Corp.

“But perhaps most unique to the Houston market,” said Philip Schneidau, president of Woodbranch’s Houston office, “will be Market Square Tower’s wrap-around rooftop amenities, which have breathtaking panoramic vistas of the downtown Houston skyline and Buffalo Bayou Park  – all from 500 feet above street level.” The rooftop amenities include a cloud lounge, sky gym, sundeck and sky pool. A portion of the sky pool is encased in glass, including the bottom, and cantilevers beyond the face of the building.

The tower’s design is being handled by Jackson & Ryan Architecture, which also designed other Houston-area multifamily properties, such as Museum Tower and the Post Oak Lofts in the Galleria area.

Located at 777 Preston, the site has been owned by Woodbranch since 1995 and is a full city block bounded by Milam, Preston, Louisiana and Congress. The tower will be in the neighborhood of another residential project expected to be completed by fall 2016 – Hines Market Square, a 33-story, 289-unit building featuring ground-floor retail and a podium garage. Another potential development in the area is International Tower, a 41-story, 750,000-square-foot office tower from Stream Realty and Essex Commercial Properties.

Hines Receives LEED Platinum Certification for Williams Tower HQ

2 Jul 2014, 9:44 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Hines’ 49th Floor Lobby

Hines Interests L.P. announced its recently renovated headquarters in Williams Tower has been granted a LEED Platinum for Commercial Interiors certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification awards outstanding ecological practices in the design of commercial, non-retail spaces.

The company has been leasing the 49th and 50th floors of the tower for more than 30 years. Until the recent remodeling, it had opted not to make any significant changes to the two floors, keeping them as close as possible to the original design by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Hines chose Houston-based Kirksey Architecture for the renovation, as it presented a project that put emphasis on the adaptive reuse of existing materials and on the creation of a new two-story lobby with a view of downtown Houston.

The real estate company obtained the LEED certification through careful planning and efficient use of resources. It salvaged 42 percent of the materials and 62 percent of the furniture. Other implemented measures included:

  • The marble countertops in the new public restrooms were repurposed.
  •  Ninety-six percent of the construction waste material was diverted from landfills and recycled.
  • The implementation of efficient water fixtures reduced potable water usage by 40 percent.
  •  Lighting-power density was diminished by 39 percent over the current code requirement.
  •  The use of ENERGY STAR-rated appliances lowered carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are tremendously proud of this achievement, and we recognize the importance of leading by example and demonstrating our commitment to the environment,” said Hines Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations Services Ilene Allen.  “Achieving LEED-CI Platinum is the result of more than 18 months of preparing, planning and execution by our architects, contractors and employees.”

Photo Courtesy of Hines L.P. 

Hartman Short-Term Income Properties XX Purchases Houston Industrial Property; Bascom Acquires Sierra at Fall Creek

26 Jun 2014, 4:14 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Hartman Short Term Income Properties XX Inc., a Houston-based REIT, recently announced that affiliate Harman Mitchelldale Business Park L.L.C. purchased the Mitchelldale Business Park from Falcon Southwest for an undisclosed sum. Consisting of 12 office buildings that total roughly 380,000 square feet, Mitchelldale Business Park has an occupancy rate of 92 percent. The park’s tenants include Craven Carpet, A Better Trip, GC Services and LOYC Investments.

One of the best features of the business park is accessibility – by US Highway 290, the 610 West Loop and Interstate Highway 10. Because of the park’s 100 percent HVAC opportunities, its grade & dock-high and 12 to 22 foot clear height, the park can cater to almost any type of business trade. Other amenities include on-site management and leasing, ample parking, landscaping and after-hours security.

According to research data from CBRE’s industrial report on the first quarter of 2014, Houston will experience a gargantuan amount of focus on industrial real estate. The Bayou City seems to be one of the most powerful industrial markets in the U.S., with very high occupancy rates. Moreover, due to the 1.6 million square feet of net absorption and the 8.1 million square feet of industrial space already under construction in the first quarter, Houston seems to be heading toward a strong industrial year.

In other regional news, The Bascom Group L.L.C. announced the acquisition of Sierra at Fall Creek, a 252-unit multifamily community. Debt financing was supported by California Bank and Trust, while the acquisition process was arranged and supervised by Brian Eisendrath and his team at CBRE Capital Markets.

Constructed in 2004, Sierra at Fall Creek encompasses 13 residential units and a leasing center, which span 13 acres.  More than half of the units are one bedroom, but there are options that feature two to three bedrooms. Moreover, as part of the Fall Creek community, Sierra offers an impressive list of amenities: a clubhouse, billiards room, fitness center, pool and spa, and grill and lounge area.

“Buying a newer asset in a sought-after location that is generating strong current yield, with appreciation potential through capital improvements, is a good deal profile for us in Houston,” said James D’Argenio, principal for Bascom, in an official statement.

Photo courtesy of the Bascom Group L.L.C. through PRNewswire.

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