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January 4, 2011 
 
 
'Definite Recovery' for Texas Capital Markets

In 2011, be it resolved that you do some more networking. Here's your first chance. Jan. 25 at Trece Restaurant. Two hours of open bar, delicous appetizers, and a special tequila tasting. Crazy low $29. Sign up today!

 
Liquidity. Cash. Moula. It's back, according to CBRE vice chairman Jack Fraker. Exhibit A: In 2010, a CBRE Texas partnership of Gary Carr, Russell Ingrum, Josh McArtor, and Jack closed 28M SF for $2B in sales with 13M SF in Texas, he tells us.
 
Jack Fraker
Jack (above speaking at Bisnow’s July 29 Capital Markets event) says he and his team have almost 5M SF of properties in escrow, totaling about $553M in deals. They’re also marketing another 2.4M SF valued at about $183M: “This is a pretty good barometer for capital markets in Texas, and things are dramatically different than they were just a year ago.” What things? Institutional and private capital have a renewed interest in real estate investing because of reliable yields that aren’t subject to the daily variations of the stock market, for one. In the past year, the debt market has dramatically improved, with lower interest rates and greater availability of debt capital, he tells us. Jack says CBRE financing guru Greg Greene partners with the investment sales team and works with various lenders to get customized loan structures for each property.
Overton Centre
Texas is leading the way thanks to job growth, increasing population, and no hangover from the single-family housing crisis, Jack says (because Texas never got overbuilt). Corporations are relocating here, too. Real estate fundamentals (leasing velocity, absorption, and rental rate growth) are favorable compared to other parts of the country, too. And it can be seen in the number of deals closed in 2010 in DFW, including the 448k SF Overton Centre (pictured). Some of the biggest area deals closed by the team in 2010 include the 400k SF Cowboys Distribution Center, the 421k SF Preston Commons, the 727k SF RiverPark 500 & 600, the 668k SF Valwood/Metropolitan, and the 412k SF DFW Air Cargo portfolio.
One Legacy Circle
Jack tells us this recovery will stabilize, though spec projects will remain non-existent for a couple more years, and investment sales volume will gradually return to the levels we saw in ’05, ’06 and ’07. Another driver is the aging population. 80M baby boomers (the largest demographic segment of our population) want safe, reliable returns on their investments, which means pouring money into real estate, he says. Office properties, especially in the suburban areas of DFW are especially popular, like the 214k SF One Legacy Circle (pictured). On Nov. 9, we told you about it hitting the market. It’s now one of four local deals CBRE currently has in escrow with closing expected next month, Jack tells us. (No numbers yet.) Others in escrow are La Porte Logistics Center (313k SF), Hilltop Business Center (67k SF), and Trade Center III & V (485k SF).

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Wayne McCormick
Ringing in the New Year requires big plans, so we headed north on I-35 across the Red River into Thackerville, Okla., for a visit to the WinStar World Casinos. It was a long walk to the concert venue through the world’s fifth largest casino. (Our feet can attest.) WinStar GM Wayne McCormick (pictured) tells us an enormous expansion project debuted on New Year’s Eve 2008 when the casino doubled to 380k SF of gaming floor and tripled the number of machines to almost 6,000. In the two years since, the casino has been adding new features based on customer demand. In the works: A new four-story 1,400-space parking garage, with an early 2012 finish date. (Or 700 spaces if everyone doubles down.)
WinStar World Casinos
The exterior of the building is designed by Lyndon Stromberg, known for his work at the Venetian and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Among the features are replicas of London’s Parliament Building, Rome’s Coliseum, and the Arc d' Triumph in Paris. Inside, great cities from around the world are highlighted with gaming plazas. Most recently, NYC was added with a Statue of Liberty and a subway car. The three-star, 395-room WinStar World Hotel opened in summer '09 along with three new restaurants. “With the addition of the hotel, spa and golf course, we have created a true destination casino drawing hundreds of thousands of patrons from across the country,” Wayne says. And it's an hour drive from DFW.
 
Matchbox Twenty
It could be 3 am, but you’d never be lonely during a long day in the real world (we were a little unwell trying to find any more ways to work in Matchbox Twenty lyrics). We were inspired by the band’s sold-out New Year’s Day show in the casino concert hall, where we surreptitiously snapped this before following the crowds packing into Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill restaurant, which opened in 2010. We did manage to keep all our cash in our pockets (fighting the urge to add more lyrics) and avoid the ATM machines, despite the newly increased table game limits from $1k to $3k. We'll take Wayne's word about the limits. We were strictly there on business.
 
What does your crystal ball foresee in 2011? Tell us at tonie@bisnow.com.
 
 
 
 
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