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Category Archives: Ralph Bivins

The Boom is Not Over for Houston, So Why are Local Economists So Negative?

Commentary by Ralph Bivins, Editor, RealtyNewsReport: Houston is No. 1 in the nation in job growth.  So why are Houston’s local economists forecasting a puny 2014? Houston added 82,000 jobs in 2013, a 3 percent gain over the previous year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number will be revised, probably downward, but Houston will remain an economic star. ... Read More »

AEW Capital Buying Majority Stake in Heritage Plaza in Downtown Houston in $400 Million Deal at About $413 per SF

HOUSTON – AEW Capital has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in the 53-story Heritage Plaza, according to the authoritative Real Estate Alert newsletter. The 1.15 million-sf building, known as one of Houston’s most distinctive towers because its top resembles a Mayan temple, is valued at approximately $475 million.  AEW, a Boston-based investment manager, is believed to be acquiring at ... Read More »

Ralph Bivins’ Realty News Report Top 7 Predictions for 2014

HOUSTON – The Boom is not over. Houston’s real estate market is respected as one of the hottest markets in the world. With a few exceptions, both residential and commercial real estate will continue to sizzle in 2014 and produce as much pop as we saw in 2013. Here are the top seven predictions for Houston real estate in 2014 ... Read More »

REIT Buys the Most Flamboyant Shopping Center in Texas

By Ralph Bivins HOUSTON – The Portofino shopping center, one of the most ambitiously designed shopping centers in Texas, has been acquired by the Kite Realty Group Trust. Borrowing from the architecture of Venice, Jefco Development Corp., a Houston retail center group led by Jim Fisher, developed Portofino in 2000. The center features Roman fountains, canals, courtyards and waterfalls. Its buildings ... Read More »

New Home Sales Up in Houston as Labor Shortage Develops and Inventory of Specs Virtually Disappears

By Ralph Bivins Houston home builders  are reporting a 13 percent increase in in 2013, but a tight labor market is making many buyers wait six months or longer for their new home to be completed, according to the latest report from the Metrostudy housing information firm. “Everybody is quoting six months (of waiting) for a production home,” said David ... Read More »

Skanska Tower Near Galleria in Houston Sells for $112 Million

HOUSTON – Skanska USA has sold its new spec office building, a 20-story building located near Houston’s Galleria to an investment group affiliated with the building’s new lead tenant, the Alliantgroup for $112 million. The 20-story building, 3009 Post Oak Boulevard, is located on a parcel between Loop 610 and the Gerald D. Hines Water Wall Park. Alliantgroup, a providers of specialty ... Read More »

Hines Planning Major-Scale Skyscraper in Downtown Houston

By Ralph Bivins Editor, RealtyNewsReport Hines is expanding the size of its skyscraper proposal for a major-scale office building on downtown Houston’s Main Street and it is considering constructing the tower on a spec basis. The new project, destined to be one of Houston’s most notable buildings, will be what some in the real estate industry have been calling “Class ... Read More »

Chevron Announces 50-Story Office Tower in Downtown Houston

By Ralph Bivins HOUSTON — Chevron U.S.A., calling Houston “the epicenter” of the global energy business, on Wednesday announced plans to construct a 50-story skyscraper in downtown Houston on Louisiana Street, as an extension of its urban office complex. The 1.7 million-square-foot building will be located at 1600 Louisiana Street at Pease. Chevron is creating an urban campus in downtown, ... Read More »

Real Estate Alert: Historic 712 Main Building For Sale in Downtown Houston

By Ralph Bivins The former Gulf Building – an Art Deco landmark on Houston’s skyline is being marketed to investors by HFF. The 37-story Main Street landmark could bring as much as $110 million in the sale, reports the authoritative Real Estate Alert newsletter. The building, 712 Main, was completed in 1929 by legendary developer Jesse H. Jones, the former ... Read More »

Houston Home Sales Hit All-Time Record

By Ralph Bivins Houston home sales hit their highest monthly sales total ever in May, establishing a new record of 7,794 home sales in a single-month, the Houston Association of Realtors reported. The May sales total, up 28 percent over May 2012, shattered the previous monthly record established in June 2006 when 7,688 single-family homes were sold in the Houston ... Read More »

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