O’Connor & Associates
2000 N. Loop West, Suite 110
Houston, TX 77018
HOUSTON REAL ESTATE TRENDS
EDITED BY PATRICK O’CONNOR, MAI $199 PER YEAR VOLUME 16 NUMBER 1 MARCH 2002
The local apartment market remains in neutral this quarter. Pockets of the Class A market have softened,
particularly complexes located near downtown. The Class B and Class C markets have fared better. Class
A occupancy dropped 1.32 points from this time last year, while Class B occupancy increased 0.62 points
over that same period.
Overall rental rates reached their all time high at $0.74 per square-foot (psf) last quarter, where they
remain this quarter. Overall rents have gained $0.03 psf over the past 12 months, an increase of 4.23%
over the past year; this is 2.8 points higher than the 1.43% gain recorded over the same period one year
According to the O’Connor & Associates March 2002 Greater Houston Apartment Data Program,
average overall occupancy for Houston area multifamily projects is 92.98% (Class A = 91.66%; Class B
= 93.92%; Class C = 93.54%; Class D = 87.82%). The overall multi-family rental rate is $0.74 per
square-foot per month.
•= Camden Property Trust (713-354-2500) broke ground on Camden Oak Crest (0879), a 364-unit
complex, located at 12025 Richmond between Kirkwood and Old Westheimer Road (489W). The
$24 million project will consist of 13 two-and three-story buildings set on 14 acres of land. The site
was part of 700 acres Camden originally purchased in 1998 that was formerly Andrau Airport. The
firm sold 600 acres for the development of Royal Oaks Country Club and surrounding
•= Dwayne Henson Investments (713-334-5808) broke ground on Sugar Creek Apts. (0302), a 240-
unit, LIHTC project, located at the east corner of West Road and Seattle Slew Dr. in northwest
Houston (409E). The complex will feature pitched roofs and will be separately metered for
electricity. Dwayne Henson Investments purchased 12 acres on which the project will be situated
from Fred Caldwell. Keith Grothaus of Caldwell Watson RE Group represented the seller in the
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 1
The following chart illustrates historical apartment rental rates.
Apartment Rent ($/SF)
Note: The multifamily projects listed below are followed by the O’Connor & Associates’ database
identification number and are included for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information
contained within the Houston Area Apartment Data Program is published on a quarterly basis.
New Orleans-based MBS Management Services (504-836-5075) purchased Bristol Place Apts.
(0284A), a 390-unit complex, located at 11245 West Road, from Flagship Properties. The 3-year-old
Class A complex is 98% occupied with average rents at $0.93 per square-foot. The property is located at
the southeast corner of West Road and Steepleway Blvd. (409A). The complex features pitched roofs and
is separately metered for electricity.
Archstone Properties (877-272-4786) purchased Briar Meadows Apts. (0866A), a 256-unit complex,
located at 1414 S. Dairy Ashford, from MIG Realty Advisors. The 10-year-old complex is 96% occupied
with average rents at $0.98 per square-foot. The west Houston property (488M) is separately metered for
electricity and features both flat and pitched roofs. Peter Katz, Norm Eastwood and Robert Meek of
Marcus & Millichap represented the seller.
Houston Condominiums, LP (713-790-7900) purchased Gables City Plaza (2229A), a 246-unit complex,
located at 1330 Old Spanish Trail, near the Texas Medical Center (532M), from Gables Residential.
Houston Condominiums purchased the property for $20.2 million and plans to turn the 7-year-old Class A
complex into condominiums. Gables City Plaza features pitched roofs and is 99% occupied with average
rents at $1.09 per square-foot.
Landar Corp. (973-376-2626) purchased Enclave @ Mary’s Creek (4025M), a 240-unit complex, located
at 2900 Pearland Pkwy, from Bomasada Group. The 3-year-old complex is 93% occupied with average
rents at $0.93 per square-foot. The Pearland property (615T) is separately metered for electricity and
features pitched roofs.
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Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 2
Stone Mountain Properties (973-376-2626) purchased SunBlossom Woods (1821), a 200-unit complex,
located at 4545 Cook, from Bradley Apt. Homes. The 20-year-old Class C complex is 99% occupied with
average rents at $0.62 per square-foot. The southwest Houston (529E) property is separately metered for
electricity and features pitched roofs. Thomas C. Brennan III of Allied Properties and H.J. Tollett Jr. of
Allied Realty Services represented the seller, while Bishale Patel of Houston Income Properties
represented the buyer.
MLS home sales increased in February, as 4,104 homes were sold, up from the 3,721 homes sold in
January, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. Sales for February 2002 were up 13.3%
from the 3,624 homes sold in February 2001. The median price of a used single-family home sold in
February was $126,000, up 6.3% from $118,560 a year ago. Note: MLS sales include primarily used home
sales throughout the Houston region. Historical comparisons are offered solely for informational purposes
and may not truly reflect growth in sales.
New home sales increased in February, as 1,633 new homes were sold, up 22.3% from the 1,335 homes
sold in January, according to CDS Market Research. The sales were a decrease of 6.0% over the 1,737
homes sold at this time one year ago. The CDS survey showed starts were up 9.7% in February, while
closings were up 25.2%. Note: Figures on new home sales are reported as an indication of recent market
conditions and are thought to be representative of overall market trends. Data represents approximately
60% of the total market.
Midway Co. (713-629-5200) is developing Spring Trails, a 950-acre residential project, located at Old
Town Spring (22 miles north of Downtown). Spring Trails will feature about 1,500 homes priced from
$100,000 to over $300,000. Amenities will include a 350-acre preserve, two recreation centers with a pool,
a cabana, tennis court, and a playgound/education area. The area will also have open space, lakes, trees,
and nature trails. The new community is expected to be completed by 2009.
Interfin Co. (713-840-8474) has cleared a 30-acre site in Uptown Park located just west of Loop 610, for
construction of the Montebello. The firm plans to construct a 30-story condominium high-rise similar to
Villa d’Este, which is located just north of the site. Prices will range from $500,000 to $1.8 million.
Montebello was designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects and will have pale ocher and beige exterior, high-
lightened by an aluminum spine. The 112-unit project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2004.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 3
The following chart illustrates historical used-home sale activity.
Houston Used-Hom e Sales
Number of Homes Sold
Feb- M ar- Apr- M ay- Jun- Jul-01 Aug- Sep- O ct- Nov- Dec- Jan- Feb-
01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 02 02
The City of Houston issued permits to build 322 houses and to demolish 118 houses in February 2002.
Permits were issued to build 23 multi-family buildings (126 units). Permits for privately owned new non-
residential construction totaled $34,406,753. Public sector permits for new non-residential construction
totaled $3,181,648. Additions, alterations and conversions totaled $46,630,134 for the private sector and
$22,866,717 for the public sector.
Total Building Permits, City of Houston
2000 2001 2002
February $ 254,848,626 $ 257,568,943 $ 161,179,157
Year-to-Date $ 532,002,880 $ 606,490,226 $ 554,057,750
New Residential Units
Number of Single-Family Permits
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
-0 -0 -0 -0 n-
0 l-0 -0 -0 t-0 -0 -0 n-
b ar Ap
r ay Ju g p
Oc ov ec Ja
Fe M M Ju Au Se N D Fe
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 4
The Houston office market remains sluggish. Class A occupancy fell 0.18 points to 92.02% this quarter.
Southwest Freeway and the Medical Center recorded the highest Class A occupancies each at 100%.
Technology Corridor/FM 1960 came in a close third at 99% occupied. The lowest Class A occupancy,
meanwhile, was found in the Fountainview/Gessner sector at 71.21%.
Class A rents rose $0.27 psf this quarter to $23.49 psf, the largest increase of any Class this quarter. The
highest Class A rents continue to be found Downtown, which posted an average rental rate of $24.49 psf,
and The Woodlands/Conroe sector, at $23.86 psf. Despite this quarter’s rent growth, Class A rents
remain $0.15 psf below their level of one year ago.
According to the O’Connor & Associates January 2002 Houston Area Office Data Program, overall
occupancy for Houston area multi-tenant office buildings is 88.02% (Class A = 91.72%; Class B =
86.57%; Class C = 83.35%; and Class D = 80.90%). Overall occupancy is down 0.71 points over the
previous quarter. Meanwhile, the overall multi-tenant office building rental rate is $19.38 per square-
foot per year, an increase of $0.10 per square-foot from last quarter.
•= Lantern Bend Properties, LLC is planning a 42,000 square-foot professional office building
located at 301 Lantern Bend Dr. (GNB 127). The firm recently purchased a 5-acre tract in the
Cypress Station Park subdivision from American Retirement Corp. North Houston Heat
Center plans to anchor the building. George Jones of CB Richard Ellis represented the
seller, while James A. Garrity of Garrity Commercial Real Estate represented the buyer in
the land transaction.
The following chart illustrates historical office building rental rates.
Office Building Rents ($/SF)
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 5
Note: The buildings listed below are followed by the O’Connor & Associates’ database identification
number and are included for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information contained within the
Houston Area Office Data Program is published on a quarterly basis.
Apex Investment Group (281-955-6600) purchased Regency Place (SWF 050), located at 7207
Regency Place, from TCP Regency Prts I, LP. The 26-year-old Class B building is 100% occupied with
average rents at $11.50 per square-foot. The building is located between Regency Square Blvd. and
Stoney in southwest Houston (530C).
Betty Marjon Bryan purchased a 20,707 square-foot building, located at 606 Rollingbrook (SOE 049),
from Rolling Brook Investments Co. The 22-year-old Class B building is 100% occupied with average
rents at $17.34 per square-foot. The building is located between Creekbend and Garth in Baytown
(501Q). Claire Sinclair of Re/Max represented seller.
Mustang Engineering leased 35,102 square-feet at 1400 Broadfield (P10 043) from Phoenix Hm Life
Mutual Ins. (860-403-5000). The 20-year-old Class B building is now 100% occupied with average rents
at $16.50 per square-foot. The building is located on the east side of Broadfield, south of Park Row in the
Park 10 area (447Y). Philip Price of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord.
Merrill Lynch leased 12,711 square-feet in Two Westlake Park (KFW 051), located at 580 Westlake Park
Blvd., from CMD Properties (713-960-8710). The 20-year-old Class A building is located between
Memorial & Grisby in west Houston (488B). Building occupancy is 99% with average rents at $25.00 per
square-foot. Mike Martin of PM Realty Group represented the landlord.
Preferred Medical Electronic Billing leased 12,365 square-feet in the 8300 FM 1960 West Bldg. (CPQ
050), from Koll Bren Schreiber Realty Advisors (949-833-3030). The 16-year-old Class B building is
93% occupied with average rents at $16.00 per square-foot. The building is located on the northwest side
of FM 1960 in northwest Houston (370J). Wanda Wilson and Marci Phillips of PM Realty Group
represented the landlord, while Bobbie Bozarth of NAI Partners Commercial represented the tenant.
Standard Industrial Structures Corp. leased 11,935 square-feet in Dairy Ashford Plaza (WES 020),
located at 2000 Dairy Ashford, from Trammell Crow Co. (281-493-4665). The 21-year-old Class C
building is located in west Houston (488R) between Whittington & Westheimer. Building occupancy is 85%
with average rents at $16.25 per square-foot. John M. Talhelm and Kevin A. Erck of Cushman &
Wakefield represented the tenant, while D.A. Smith and Pat Burk of Trammell Crow Co. represented the
Patterson-UTI Drilling Co. leased 6,157 square-feet in Bridgewood One (GNB 043), located at 654
North Sam Houston Parkway E., from Koll Bren Schreiber Realty Advisors (949-833-3030). Building
occupancy is 46% with average rents at $15.00 per square-foot. The 22-year-old Class B building is
located between the Hardy Tollway & Imperial Valley in north Houston (373S). Michelle Wogan of CB
Richard Ellis represented the tenant, while Wanda Wilson and Marci Phillips of PM Realty Group
represented the landlord.
Wapiti Energy leased 5,343 square-feet in Three Memorial City Plaza (KFW 067), located at 840
Gessner, from Metro National Corp. (713-973-6400). The 4-year-old Class A building is located between
Gessner and Plantation in west Houston (490A). Building occupancy is 96% with average rents at $23.00
per square-foot. John J. Norkus of John J. Norkus Associates represented the tenant, while Randy
Nerren of Metro National Corp. represented the landlord.
NBC Management, Inc. leased 5,335 square-feet in the Wells Fargo Tower (GAL 053), located at 1300
Post Oak Blvd., from Lenhndorff Four Oaks Place, J.V. The 19-year-old Class A building is 84%
occupied with average rents at $24.00 per square-foot. Dave Hanusa of Trammell Crow Co.
represented the landlord, while Coy Davidson of Colliers International represented the tenant.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 6
Curtis & Windham Architects leased 4,456 square-feet in Montrose Tower (MAP 037), located at 3815
Montrose, from 3815 Montrose Blvd., L.P. The 39-year-old Class B building is 100% occupied with
average rents at $21.00 per square-foot. The building is located in the Inner Loop (493S). Howard W.
Horne of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant, while Coy Davidson and John Parsley of
Colliers International represented the landlord.
Devolve Corp. leased 3,568 square-feet in Montrose Tower (MAP 037), located at 3815 Montrose, from
3815 Montrose Blvd., L.P. Howard W. Horne of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant, while
Coy Davidson and John Parsley of Colliers International represented the landlord.
Paul B. Rosen, Brian L. Jensen and David P. Havins leased 4,124 square-feet in Pin Oak Office Park
(BWU 016), located at 6750 W Loop South., from McCord Development (713-860-3000). The 25-year-
old Class B building is located between Bellaire and Bissonnet in southwest Houston (531G). Building
occupancy is 82% with average rents at $19.50 per square-foot. Virgil Hydes of McCord Development
represented the landlord.
Complete Technical Staffing leased 3,364 square-feet at 13231 Champion Forest Dr. (CPQ 006) from
Marada Properties, Ltd. The 21-year-old Class C building is 72% occupied with average rents at $14.50
per square-foot. 13231 Champion Forest Dr. is located south of FM 1960 W in northwest Houston (370C).
Liz Westcott Brown of Moody Rambin Interests represented the landlord, while Robert Avery of The
Gustafson Group represented the tenant.
The Houston retail landscape continues to evolve, as Kohl’s charged into the market with 12 stores, K-Mart
announced the closing of 11 area stores, and Albertson’s, who had over 40 stores, announced they were
pulling out of Houston entirely. Many of the K-Mart, Albertson’s, and Service Merchandise closings had not
yet occurred by the close of our survey, and they are not truly reflected in this quarter’s performance
Albertson’s arrived in Houston with a strong reputation and leaves just a few years later with a trail of
empty (and nearly new) stores in its wake. In a hotly contested local grocery market, the Idaho-based
grocer never found its niche. Its stores lacked the panache and selection of Randall’s or Kroger, the
specialty appeal of Whole Foods or Fiesta, or the low prices found at HEB or Wal-Mart.
Albertson’s failed to offer a compelling reason to Houstonians as to why they should shop at the chain’s
fairly generic stores (other than a seemingly attempting to place an Albertson’s on every local corner in the
apparent hope that proximity would overcome deficiencies in selection, quality, and appeal). The
uninspired performance of the Houston stores for a chain that still performs well nationally only serves to
spotlight the overall quality of the remaining local grocery chains. This is a lesson Safeway painfully
learned a decade ago, only to resurface as the owner of local favorite Randalls. Perhaps Houston will one
day hear from Albertson’s again.
According to the O'Connor & Associates February 2002 Houston Area Retail Data Program, overall
occupancy for Houston area multi-tenant retail centers is 86.45%, an increase of 0.30 points from last
quarter. Meanwhile, the overall multi-tenant retail rental rate dropped this quarter to $1.48 per square-
foot per month, down $0.01 over this time last year.
•= Fort-Worth-based Trademark will develop The Shops at Six Pines (FNO 197), a 225,000 square-
foot retail project in The Woodlands. The $50 million project will include 400,000 square-feet of
retail space, second-story office space, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. The center will
have an open-air atmosphere and will include retail tenants such as Border’s Books & Music,
Ann Taylor Loft, PF Chang, Aaron Brothers, and Café Express.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 7
•= A new Grotto Italian restaurant will be built at the corner of Loop 610 and Westheimer in a new
28,000 square-foot shopping center (INL 222). The new Westheimer restaurant will replace the
8,000 square-foot Highland Village (INL 047) location. The center is being developed by a
partnership including local developers George Lake, Rocky Stevens, and Kyle Tauch. The small
buildings around the center will be demolished and a 12,000 square-foot CVS Pharmacy will stand
alone at the corner of the new shopping center.
•= Ainbinder Co. (713-892-5072) is constructing Phase I of RiverPark Shopping Center, a 300,000
square-foot center, near the Grand Parkway and U.S. 59 South. The center will have a 78,000
square-foot HEB Grocery store, a Walgreens, a Hallmark card shop, a Whataburger, and a
branch of Bank of America.
•= Star Furniture is planning to build a 100,000 square-foot store near RiverPark Shopping Center.
Union Bank & Trust of Omaha is providing construction financing. Levinson & Assoc. is the
designer of the project.
•= Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. withdrew their application to build a 208,000 square-foot
supercenter along Interstate 10. The 40-year-old national retailer originally submitted its application
in November 2001 and was denied by the city’s planning and zoning commission after being found
deficient on 17 items. City Council was in the process of scheduling public hearings, when Wal-
Mart canceled its application. Wal-Mart is still holding the land and no further plans have been
•= Landry’s Seafood Restaurants (713-850-1010) is redeveloping the old downtown fire station
located at 410 Bagby between Memorial and Preston. The new 80,000 square-foot restaurant will
feature a total of 42 aquariums (ranging from 20 gallons to 100 gallons), a Ferris wheel, and a train.
The 4-story restaurant will include a café on the first floor, a full service restaurant on the second
floor, a bank on the third floor, and offices and aquarium support equipment on the forth floor. The
restaurant will seat 640 people.
The following chart illustrates historical retail center rental rates.
Retail Center Rental Rates (per/SF)
Note: The retail centers listed below are followed by the O’Connor & Associates’ database identification
number and are included for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information contained within the
Houston Area Retail Data Program is published on a quarterly basis.
V&D Holdings purchased Fondren Southwest Village (NSW 201), located on the southeast corner of
Fondren and West Bellfort (570D), from Weingarten Realty Investors. The 23-year-old center is 100%
occupied with average rents at $0.60 per square-foot. Jerry Goldstein of Marcus & Millichap
represented the seller, while Jane Nguyen of Alpha Realtors represented the buyer.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 8
Marshall’s leased 50,000 square-feet in the River Oaks Plaza (INL 094), located on the northwest corner
of West Gray and Waugh (429L), from Trammell Crow Co. (713-963-1000). The retailer leased the old
Cineplex Odeon theater space, which will be demolished in order to construct the first mega Marshall’s in
Houston. Mega Marshall’s will offer more furniture than the typical 30,000 square-foot stores. The center is
currently 69% occupied with average rents at $1.67 per square-foot.
Dollar Tree Stores leased 7,697 square-feet in Meyer Park Shopping Center (NSW 106), located at the
corner of Post Oak and W. Belfort (531V), from Luel Partnership (713-688-2369). Center occupancy is
76% with average rents at $1.33 per square-foot. Perry Zeiben of Perry Zeiben Realty Co. represented
Simply Fashions has added two locations in both Inwood Central Shopping Center (NNW 019) and
Cullen Plaza (SOU 013). Simply Fashions leased 3,568 square-feet in the Inwood Central Shopping
Center (NNW 019), located at the northwest corner of Antoine and West Gulf Bank (411Q), from TCP
Inwood Partners (713-243-6900). Center occupancy is 92% with average rents at $1.00 per square-foot.
David Stuklin and Walter Salek of the Weitzman Group represented both parties. Simply Fashions also
leased 3,000 square-feet at Cullen Plaza (SOU 013), located at the southwest corner of Cullen and
Wellington (573D), from Weingarten Realty Investors (713-866-6000). Center occupancy is 100% with
average rents at $1.00 per square-foot. David Stuklin and Walter Salek of the Weitzman Group
represented both parties.
WMF Investments purchased 1.2 acres, located at 7922 Mosley, just west of the Gulf Freeway, from
Southeast Texas Inns. Pete O. Zamora of Alliance Commercial Investments represented the buyer,
while Charles Dechiro of Cox, Davis, & Brock represented the seller.
Jim Coleman purchased 1.2 acres on West 43rd Street and Southerland Road from Lutheran Foundation
of Texas. Tom Condon Jr. and Karl D. Willmann of Betz Commercial Brokerage represented the
seller, while Tony Patronella of Southwest Realty Advisors represented the buyer.
Spring Cypress 10.72, Ltd. purchased 15 acres on Spring Cypress & State Hwy 249 from J.A. Ehrhardt.
Todd N. Edmonds and Karl D. Willmann of Betz Commercial Brokerage represented the seller, while
Keith Grothaus & Keith Edwards of Caldwell Watson RE Group represented the buyer.
Leading Edge Technologies purchased 10 acres on Hardy between FM 1960 & Airtex from Hardy North,
J.V. Todd N. Edmonds of Betz Commercial Brokerage represented the buyer, while Ron Dagley of
Betz Commercial Brokerage, Inc. represented the seller.
JBMG, Ltd. purchased 24 acres at the northwest corner of I-45 North and Hardy from EFO Land, LP.
Todd N. Edmonds of Betz Commercial Brokerage represented the seller.
J. Nga-Dung purchased 9.2 acres at the corner of Walters and Spears Road from Henry Popkin. Todd
N. Edmonds and Karl D. Willmann of Betz Commercial Brokerage represented the seller, while Jane
Nguyen of Alpha Realtors represented the buyer.
Randy McGinty purchased 13 acres, located at Interstate 10 East and FM 3180, from Roberta McDowell.
Sherril Bates of Re/Max represented the buyer, while Claire Sinclair of Re/Max represented the seller.
Char purchased 6.3 acres, located at Interstate 10 and North Main, from Pilot Corp. Robert Bailey of
Gems Realty represented the seller.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 9
James Washburn purchased 6.4 acres, located at Texas 288 and Holcombe Blvd., from 288 Properties.
Keith Jaehne of General Property & Services represented the buyer, while William F. Taber of Taber
Real Estate Co. represented the seller.
M. Doreen Bhatt, Lee Stationery & Office Supply Co. purchased 2 acres, located at 3118 Harrisburg,
from R. B. Everett & Co. Doug Bates of Henry S. Miller Commercial represented the buyer, while Mike
Hill and Mark Emde of CB Richard Ellis represented the seller.
Fairway Centre Associates, L.P. purchased 3 acres, located on Fairmont Parkway at Fairway Plaza Drive
in Pasadena, from Kate Florence Shipp. Marshall Clinkscales of MSC Properties, Inc. represented the
Felipe Valez purchased 4.7 acres, located on Oates Road, from Carolyn Weber Davis. James E.
Forman, Sandra F. Harris, and Beau Kaleel of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller.
The Greater Houston Industrial market looks to rebound in 2002 after struggling mightily in 2001.
Occupancy declined in each quarter in 2001, which is the first time in over a decade that the market has
performed this poorly on an annual basis. The local Industrial market clearly has suffered from the
sluggish national economy and the skittishness it has brought. The 1.13-point drop in occupancy that
occurred between the second and third quarter is the third largest quarter-to-quarter fall over the last seven
years. On a positive note, average rental rates inched upward in the fourth quarter, ending four quarters of
Despite the overall softness, deals are still being done. As the market has changed, those involved have
been forced to adapt, requiring new marketing strategies to appeal to tenants. What might have seemed
like a good idea last year might not get much consideration this year. The target client is different this year,
at least more diverse, as brokers are not aiming for technology companies nearly as much as they were
last year. The majority of the leases being signed are for smaller spaces with the option to expand. Also,
much of the new space entering the market sits vacant as the rents are too high for many tenants to
commit to right now. Many companies, large and small, national and local, are still holding to the “wait-and-
see” approach, while hoping for signs of an economic turnaround.
According to the O’Connor & Associates January 2002 Houston Area Industrial Data Program, overall
occupancy for Houston area operating industrial facilities is 85.28%. Occupancy in the Houston industrial
market remained stable this quarter. Meanwhile, the overall multi-tenant industrial rental rate is $0.38
per square-foot per.
•= Architect John Kirksey, homebuilders David and Dick Weekley, and investor Henry Hamman
purchased Weiner's (NRW 1755) 368,000 square-foot headquarters and service center at 6005
Westview. The 37-year-old west Houston (451Z) warehouse features dock-high loading and 22-
foot clearance height. Cook says the new owners plan to treat the building like "a blank canvas,"
renovating to suit tenants. Kirksey says he already has plans for traditional distribution uses, open
flex space for a call center or an open office concept for a large company, similar to the spot he
created for his architectural firm. The two-story, tilt-wall structure currently has 50,000 square-feet
dedicated to office space.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 10
The following chart illustrates historical industrial facility rental rates.
Industrial Rent ($/SF)
Note: The facilities listed below are followed by the O’Connor & Associates’ database identification number
and are included for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information contained within the Houston
Area Industrial Data Program is published on a quarterly basis.
Hooten Family Trust purchased a 58,000 square-foot flex building, located at 10849-10899 Kinghurst
(3851) in southwest Houston (529Y), from the Klein Family Trust. The 21-year-old, multi-tenant facility is
currently 90% occupied with an average rental rate of $0.55 per square-foot. L. Michael Wallace of
Colliers International represented the seller in the negotiations.
Roger Rumsy purchased a 15,000 square-foot office/warehouse, located at 15734 Lee Rd. (0158), from
Investors Property Exchange. The 21-year-old facility is positioned on half an acre between Beltway 8
and Greens Rd. in northwest Houston (364R). Todd N. Edmonds of Betz Commercial Brokerage
represented the buyer in the negotiations, while Jim Arledge represented the seller; Doug Dabbs with
Texas American Title coordinated the closing.
Houston Industrial Partners dba Granite Properties (713-781-8000) purchased a 100,800 square-foot
warehouse distribution building, located at 11502 South Main (4227A) in south Houston (532W), from
RREEF. The 27-year-old, multi-tenant facility is fully leased with an average rental rate of $0.34 per
square-foot. Trammell Crow Co. represented the seller in the negotiations.
Bambiferro, Ltd. purchased a 55,000 square-foot distribution warehouse, located on 6.5 acres at 7947
Mesa Rd. (2222M) in northeast Houston (455L), from Moore North American, Inc. Built in 1983, the fully
leased facility features sprinklers and dock-level loading. John M. Talhelm and Kevin A. Erck of
Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the negotiations, while Michael Taetz of Colliers
International represented the buyer.
Carl W. Poe purchased a 20,500 square-foot, single-tenant warehouse, located at 4600 Allen St. (2681A)
in north Houston (492H), from Galperti Investments, Inc. Built in 1981, the metal facility features grade
level loading and a 20–foot clearance height. B. Kelley Parker, III and John F. Littman of Cushman &
Wakefield represented the seller in the negotiations, while Keith Jaehne of General Property Services
represented the buyer.
Philip Services Corp. leased 61,800 square-feet of space at 5500-5534 Cedar Crest (4478) in south
Houston (534P) from Louis Macey Investments (713-960-0690). Built in 1975, the rail-served facility
features dock level loading, cranes, and metal construction. Louis Macey Jr. of Louis Macey
Investments represented the landlord in the negotiations, while James E. Foreman, Sandra F. Harris,
and Beau Kaleel of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 11
A.N. Deringer, Inc. leased 10,630 square-feet of space at Central Green Phase I (0317B), located at
16445 Air Center Blvd. (373L), from Liberty Property, LP. The 67,965 square-foot distribution center is
now fully leased with an average rental rate of $0.32 per square-foot. Built in 1997, the tiltwall facility
features dock-high loading, sprinklers, and a 24-foot clearance height. John M. Talhelm and Kevin A.
Erck of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant in the negotiations, while John Duffie of Midway
Companies represented the landlord.
Thorpe Corporation subleased 57,350 square-feet of space at 6830 Kirbyville (4552B) in south Houston
(534T) from Gulf Winds International, Inc. (713-960-1583). Built in 1964, the rail-served facility features
dock and grade level loading, sprinklers, and a 20-foot clearance. The single-tenant warehouse is now
fully leased with an average rental rate of $0.25 per square-foot. Aron Grenader of First Houston
Properties represented the landlord in the negotiations, while James E. Foreman, Sandra F. Harris, and
Beau Kaleel of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant.
A.D. Vision Inc. leased two suites totaling 51,398 square-feet of space at Beltway 8 Business Park in
southwest Houston (529U) from Vantage Co. (713-780-4300). The two suites are located at located at
10501 Kipp Way (3824M) and 10114 West Sam Houston Parkway South (3824K). Built in 2000, the multi-
tenant facility features dock-level loading and a 24-foot clearance height. Josh LaRocca of InSite Realty
represented the tenant in the negotiations, while Walter Menuet and Brad Berry of Vantage Co. served
as in-house representatives for the landlord.
Internet Access Technologies, Inc. leased 30,475 square-feet of flex space in Bondeson Business
Park (0595), located at 6510 N. Sam Houston Parkway (409U), from Vantage Co. (713-780-4300). Built in
2001, the 28-acre master-planned business park features dock and grade level loading, a 24-foot
clearance height, and an average rental rate of $0.65 per square-foot. Brad Berry of Vantage Co. served
as in-house representative for the landlord, while Gary Mabray and Greg Cizik of Colliers International
represented the tenant.
Tartone Enterprises leased 97,041 square-feet of space at the Clay Road Distribution Center (1280A),
located at 10350 Clay Rd. (449M), from Vantage Co. (713-780-4300). Built in 1999, the 194,000 square-
foot facility features dock level loading, covered parking, a 20-foot clearance, and access to fiber optic
service lines. The multi-tenant warehouse is now 83% occupied with an average rental rate of $0.32 per
square-foot. Brad Berry of Vantage Co. served as in-house representative for the landlord, while Bob
Berry of Staubach Co. represented the tenant.
Assess Net leased 4,050 square-feet of space at the Northport Business Park (2179), located at 7100
North Loop East (454V), from 7100 North Loop Inc. The 89,660 square-foot flex-warehouse is 93%
occupied with an average rental rate of $0.75 per square-foot. Built in 1978, the tiltwall facility features
dock-high loading, sprinklers, and 16 and 24-foot clearance heights. John Garnett of Houston Income
Properties represented the tenant in the negotiations, while Ric Kiersh of NAI Partners Commercial
represented the landlord.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 12
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL NEWS
The number of wage and salary jobs in the 6-county Houston area increased by 11,900 jobs to
2,104,200 in February 2002 from 2,092,300 jobs in January 2002, according to the Texas Workforce
Commission. Services experienced the biggest increases, posting gains of 6,300. This month’s total is
2,000 jobs less than the 2,106,200 jobs at this time last year. Houston's unemployment rate remained at
5.1% in February, while the statewide unemployment rate dropped 0.2 points to 5.8%.
Houston-based Shell Oil Co., the nation's largest gasoline retailer, has acquired Pennzoil-Quaker State,
the nation's leading motor oil company for $1.8 billion in cash. The world energy giant Royal Dutch/Shell
Group, has agreed to pay $22 per share for Pennzoil-Quaker State. Shell intends to keep both the brand
names and its headquarters in downtown Houston, said the head of the Shell Oil Co. division. “Shell
recently bought Texaco's interests in Equilon and Motiva, and upon rebranding some 13,000 Texaco
stations to Shell, will become the nation's largest gasoline marketer, based on market share. While Shell
has a good share of the market for truck motor oils, its share of the passenger car market is minuscule at
only about 3%.”, said Rob Routs, president and chief executive of Shell Oil Products US. Pennzoil owns
brands such as RainX, Fix-A-Flat, Gumout and Blue Coral. In addition to the motor oils and car care
products, Pennzoil-Quaker State owns more than 2,000 Jiffy Lubes.
Triumph HealthCare is planning to spend $20 million to launch two new hospitals by late summer. The
three-year-old, Houston-based hospital company has purchased two defunct 120-bed psychiatric facilities
for conversion into acute care hospitals. The company estimates the cost of each hospital, one in Sugar
Land and the other in northwest Houston, to exceed $10 million after renovations. Triumph Hospital
Northwest will be located at 205 Hollow Tree, less than three blocks from Houston Northwest Medical
center, and is expected to open in August. Triumph Hospital Southwest will be located at 1550 First Colony
Blvd. in Sugar Land and is scheduled to open in September. Tanya Snodgrass, vice president of
professional relations, says each hospital will focus on providing long-term acute-care services for patients
requiring extended hospital admissions and will complement the services offered by the area's short-term
Houston production company VT/TV Graphics & Post, Inc. will develop a studio and post-production
facility in Houston. The media firm purchased a 21,279-square-foot building south of the Astrodome from
rival company Bill Young Productions. VT/TV has begun renovating the 18-year-old building, which is
located at 2401 West Bellfort near the intersection of the South Loop and Kirby Drive. When completed, the
facility will include two large sound stages and editing and production facilities, as well as multimedia and
fiber optic capabilities. VT/TV will relocate from the Decorative Center Houston on Woodway near Sage
Road to the South Loop building later this year. Houston architects David Guthrie and Stephen Klimas of
Zeitbauen 1 Ltd. are designing the building's interior.
The downtown YMCA is planning to sell its old location and construct a new building in the downtown area.
The downtown YMCA building is aging and is suffering parking woes after the new Enron Center South
building was constructed next to it, said John Keeling, the downtown YMCA's board chairman. The 40-
story Enron Center South was constructed on land that formerly served as the YMCA's parking lot. Without
that lot, many of the association's members must park a couple of blocks away, which has caused a
decline in membership. The 10-story YMCA building, constructed in the early 1940s, needs extensive
remodeling, Keeling said.
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 13
The Houston Astros have bought back naming rights to their stadium, Enron Field, for $2.1 million. The
team had sold these rights to Enron for a reported $100 million. The baseball field is being called Astros
Field and the team is looking for another sponsor to give its name to the stadium.
Developer John Garabaldi, managing director of The Hanover Co. plans to develop a one-acre park on
the eastern edge of downtown and donate it to the city. The park will run alongside Hanover's new Lofts at
the Ballpark (1445C) apartment complex, which is just east of Astros Field. Hanover is putting in lighting,
landscaping and benches on the property and will give it to the city in April, Garabaldi said. The land was
excess property Hanover had when it developed the apartments. The site was filled with underground
utilities, so it was not feasible to develop residential units.
The Federal Highway Administration has approved a plan, promoted by Harris County Judge Robert
Eckels and U.S. Rep. John Culberson, for widening the Katy Freeway and potentially building a toll road
down the middle. The expanded freeway will include four toll lanes. The approval would allow mixing toll
road revenues with federal funds received through the Texas Department of Transportation. Construction
would take a maximum of six years, starting possibly late this year or in 2003. The Harris County Toll
Road Authority, which proposes to operate the toll lanes using an EZ-tag system with no cash gate, is
conducting a financial analysis of the toll plan. Backers have said the toll revenues could provide up to
$500 million of the $1.1 billion project cost, enabling work to proceed without funding delays. Current plans
call for widening the freeway from 275 feet to about 400 feet, with the lane configuration to be determined.
Culberson and Eckels have proposed having four toll lanes, two diamond lanes serving as high-occupancy
vehicle lanes in peak traffic hours, eight to 10 regular lanes, and two three-lane frontage roads.
Harris County officials are seizing 30 abandoned properties for which back taxes are owed as part of an
effort to put such property back on the tax rolls and clean up neighborhoods. The joint operation between
Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt and County Attorney Mike Stafford will issue warrants to
seize land. There are more than 30,000 properties in Harris County on which owners owe more than 10
years' worth of back taxes, Bettencourt said. The owners of thousands of them are either unknown or
unclear. A 1997 law written by state Rep. Harold Dutton, allows tax collectors to seize such property and
sell it at public auction. Property owners, if they can be found, must be at least five years delinquent in
taxes, and officials must prove the property has been abandoned for at least a year. Bettencourt and
Stafford said they are seeking warrants to seize 30 properties worth about $430,000 in the next few weeks.
They said about $700,000 in back taxes and liens are owed on the properties.
The following chart illustrates total nonagricultural employment.
Total Nonagricultural Employment, Houston MSA
Labor Force, in thousands
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 14
Retail Sales Productivity for February 2002
(According to International Council of Shopping Centers)
UNITED STATES WEST SOUTH CENTRAL REGION
FEBRUARY, 2002 YEAR TO DATE FEBRUARY, 2002 YEAR TO DATE
Sales/ % Chg Sales/ % Chg
SF*p Yr. Ago SF*p Yr. Ago
Apparel and Accessories
Women's Accessories and Specialties $32 0.80% $30 0.10%
Women's Ready to Wear - Total $19 1.10% $18 -1.00%
Men's Apparel $19 -5.60% $19 -8.40%
Children's Apparel $23 -10.50% $25 -3.50%
Family Apparel $20 -12.60% $19 -8.80%
Women's Shoe Stores $25 1.50% $26 8.00%
Men's Shoe Stores $34 1.50% $38 6.20%
Family Shoe Stores $20 0.10% $21 3.60%
Athletic Shoe Stores $25 1.20% $27 -1.50%
Children's Shoe Stores $30 -1.00% $30 -0.20%
Apparel and Accessories - Misc. $57 -32.80% $33 -9.20%
Subtotal $21 -4.90% $21 -3.30%
Home Furniture & Furnishings $22 5.10% $22 8.30%
Home Entertainment & Electronics $27 4.20% $26 5.60%
Subtotal $25 4.60% $24 6.40%
Stationery/Cards/Gifts/Novelty $19 1.90% $17 -0.30%
Books $16 -2.90% $12 -10.40%
Sporting Goods/Bicycles $18 7.30% $20 -1.80%
Toys/Educational/Hobby $17 -0.70% $13 -7.10%
Personal Care $32 -3.90% $25 -6.10%
Jewelry $75 -1.20% $74 -1.20%
Other GAFO - Miscellaneous $22 -5.80% $21 -2.10%
Subtotal $30 0.80% $29 -0.70%
TOTAL GAFO $24 -2.30% $23 -2.00%
Fast Food $36 -1.30% $37 0.80%
Food Court $48 -0.60% $41 4.90%
Restaurants $28 -0.90% $20 -5.00%
Subtotal $33 -1.30% $28 -2.10%
Other Non-GAFO Categories
Specialty Food Stores $37 -1.10% $32 4.30%
Supermarkets $54 13.70% $19 3.10%
Drug/HBA $33 4.40% $35 8.90%
Personal Services $27 0.30% $27 0.20%
Automotive $13 1.10% N/A N/A
Home Improvement $22 9.20% N/A N/A
Theaters $7 5.30% $6 15.80%
Mall Entertainment $6 -3.00% $6 48.90%
Other Non-GAFO - Misc. $24 -11.40% $23 0.30%
Subtotal $19 1.90% $18 4.30%
TOTAL NON-GAFO $24 0.80% $21 2.00%
Memo: GAFO + Food Service Total $25 -2.20% $24 -1.90%
GRAND TOTAL $24 -1.60% $23 -1.20%
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 15
W H Y O ’C O N N O R & A S S O C IA T E S ?
Accelerate Depreciation with a Cost Segregation Study…
and Pay Less Income Tax
Most property owners are grossly overpaying federal income taxes because they are not depreciating their
property as quickly as they could. A cost segregation study allows property owners to both defer and
reduce federal income taxes.
Save Up To Ten Times The Cost Of The Study In The First Year
Year 1 federal income tax savings are typically at least two times the cost of a cost segregation study. In
some cases they are five to ten times the cost of the study. The cost segregation study is only required
once. Its cost is not recurring, but the benefits are recurring during the term of property ownership.
More Than Your Accountant Is Currently Doing
Most accountants have not adequately researched this highly specialized field to understand the myriad of
items that can be segregated and are inadvertently overstating their client’s income tax liability.
Furthermore, not obtaining a cost segregation study increases exposure in case of an audit since there is
no clear audit trail.
If You Pay Taxes, You Will Benefit from a Cost Segregation Study
If you own real estate and pay federal income taxes or expect to during the ownership period for the
property, you will/can benefit from the results of a cost segregation study. This is true whether the
ownership to the real estate is titled in a corporation, limited partnership or limited liability corporation.
Does this only apply to large owners?
Both large and small owners of income property or owner-occupied commercial property can benefit from a
cost segregation study. Commercial or apartment properties with a cost basis of at least $500,000 will
likely see a material benefit in excess of the cost from a cost segregation study.
Qualifications to Consider when ordering a Cost Segregation Report
The ability to value land and real property are critical elements when engaging a tax reduction expert to
perform a cost segregation study. Be certain your report provider has scrutinized both the federal income
tax code and the meaningful tax court cases to allow you to maximize you depreciation and minimize your
federal income tax liability.
To find out more about how O’Connor & Associates can help you save on your income taxes,
please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713-686-9955 today and ask for Richard Zigler!
WE HOLD THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Houston Real Estate Trends MARCH 2002 Page 16