HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – “Buy land, they’re not making any more of it,” Humorist Mark Twain once famously said. Houston real estate legend Stan Creech doesn’t necessarily buy land; he brokers it – to the tune of $2 billion during his more than 40 years in the real estate business. Since his graduation from the University of Texas law school in 1971, Creech specializes in the sale of commercial and investment land parcels throughout the Houston area. What better expert to speak with about what’s going on with land sales in the region than Stan Creech, president of Stan Creech Properties Inc.? Realty News Report talked with Stan about land prices, the hottest areas in Houston and the growing Grand Parkway Corridor, which has opened thousands of acres for new development.
Realty News Report: Is the land market strong in Houston?
Stan Creech: Yes. There is continuing strong demand for single-family residential, suburban multifamily, retail, industrial, and mini-storage. And the good news is the office market has stabilized and is improving.
Realty News Report: Are land prices going up?
Stan Creech: Prices of land are increasing. There is more demand and less supply of land that can be readily developed with utilities and drainage.
Realty News Report: What’s the hottest area in Houston right now for land sales?
Stan Creech: The Grand Parkway Corridor. Six segments of the planned 184-mile Grand Parkway (which is also known as State Highway 99) circle the Houston metro region. Motorists can travel nonstop through the northwest side of Houston from I-10 near Katy to I-69/US59 north of Houston. Much of that area has become fertile ground for real estate development.
Realty News Report: How has the Grand Parkway impacted the growth of Houston?
Stan Creech: It has opened thousands of acres for development. The Grand Parkway is to Houston real estate what Tiger Woods is to golf. Developers are coming to build on the Grand Parkway for the same reasons golf fans are coming to watch Tiger Woods. Everyone wants to be where the action is.
Realty News Report: What if the road hadn’t been built? What would that have done?
Stan Creech: It would have severely limited Houston’s ability to handle the inevitable growth.
Realty News Report: What about the most recent northern stretch that opened – from Highway 290 to 45 to I-59 NE? What difference has that made to development?
Stan Creech: It allows North Houston to accommodate growth in the same manner as West and Southwest Houston.
Realty News Report: The 3 million SF Exxon Mobil campus was built in northernmost Harris County near the Grand Parkway. Did the Grand Parkway enable the Exxon deal to be done?
Stan Creech: Definitely! The Exxon deal was contingent upon and probably would not have happened without the Grand Parkway.
Realty News Report: Does it make difference to a tract’s value to have Grand Parkway frontage?
Stan Creech: Yes, land fronting on the Grand Parkway offers the best visibility and accessibility.
Realty News Report: What was the most important stretch of the Grand Parkway? The western part near Cinco Ranch?
Stan Creech: The Cinco Ranch started the Grand Parkway explosion in 1994 when it located its front door marketing window on the Grand Parkway. Most of the major land sales along the Grand Parkway took place as the Parkway was opening. We were fortunate to broker the sale of a number of strategic locations including 850 acres at Grand Parkway and US 59 to Walter Mischer; 725 acres at Grand Parkway and I-10 for Texas Commerce Bank; and, 2,525 acres for R.E. Smith at Grand Parkway and US 290.
Realty News Report: Did the Grand Parkway have any negative impact?
Stan Creech: I’d have to say the positives far outweigh any negatives!
Realty News Report: Any other comments?
Stan Creech: The Grand Parkway has been a “game changer!” Its importance and impact on Houston real estate cannot be overstated!!!