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January 6, 2010 
 
 
DESIGN!

How did you spend your holidays? We’d love to run a few pictures of local real estate-types in exotic locales. You know, like TulsaSend photos of your vacations, staycations, and other fun activities (with a description) for inclusion in Bisnow!

 
Have you heard of a charrette? The dictionary says it’s from the root of “chariot,” evoking rapidly spinning wheels. In reality, it’s a period of intense design, like the annual Design Fellowship HKS hosted recently, uniting 10 designers from HKS Dallas, Detroit, London, Mexico City, and Orlando offices.
 
Thom Chuparkoff leads the talk at an HKS event, with Alison Vaughn, Ruel Mendoza and Simon Grayson.

Thom Chuparkoff leads a talk, with Alison Vaughn, Ruel Mendoza, and Simon Grayson. The design challenge was two-fold. First, compose a master plan for the Bonton neighborhood of South Dallas, using efforts of the city of Dallas, Habitat for Humanity, and BC Workshop to encourage private investment and diversity. Sara Sepanski from HKS Dallas says Habitat’s investment in South Dallas is showing positive results because of the increased sense of pride that comes with owning a home.

Part II: consider a new housing typology to accommodate three different family structures during its lifetime. (No, Sopranos, Jeffersons, and Bunkers are not recognized family structures.) The fellows addressed the need for community, and future dwellings that address economic and environmental sustainability. Nick Hudyma from the HKS Detroit office says the event showed that quality design thinking can benefit all, not just the privileged.


MORE AUCTIONS COMING
 
CRE Auction Group staffers

After a successful Dec. 15 live auction by CRE Auction Group and Henry S. Miller, HSM investments prez Robert Grunnah (below addressing the auction crowd) says HSM's next auction is planned for March, using the same structure but with a much more critical approach to pricing. Other sales methods (non-auctions) won't produce the objectives of sellers, he says. Thus, only market priced assets will be considered and included for sale. Looking like a Christmas card, here's CRE Auction Group staffers: seated, Nelson Somerville, Chris Meaux, Craig Barnes, Rob West, and Bill Vaughan. Standing, Krystal Krebs, Melanie Edmondson, Amber Leigh Hartman, Rowan Sbaiti, Roger Lee, Paige Osborne, Doak Lambert, and Ann Carne.

HSM investments prez Robert Grunnah
Robert says he’s hesitant to project the net results of the auction until scheduled closings occur in about a month. However, of those properties not selling, the results from the auction floor produced an average of 60% of set reserves, outside those few properties which actually achieved reserves. He believes the disconnect between buyers and sellers was brought dramatically closer by their effort. Sellers have yet to recognize the commercial value decline that actually exists, he adds, and it’s the seller who must adjust.
Doug Paul
Here’s Doug Paul, one of the auction's two bid spotters. Robert says the auction process was the most efficient disposition tool available for motivated sellers to liquidate. CRE’s Bill Vaughan anticipates continued downward pricing on commercial properties. In the past 10 years, he’s raised more than $20 million working charity auctions and is the current president of the North Texas Land Council.

NOW HELMING
 
TREC vice chairman, Stewart Title SVP Melissa Eastman, and chairman, Deloitte’s North and Central Texas Audit Services managing partner Jim Berry

Meet your new TREC chairman, Deloitte’s North and Central Texas Audit Services managing partner Jim Berry, and vice chairman, Stewart Title SVP Melissa Eastman. This year, Melissa thinks the bottom is still looming, with $400 billion of loans coming due in the next 12 months. Jim expects the multifamily market to experience rate pressure in most markets, while hospitality will continue its  challenges as discretionary spending of the individual consumer and corporate travelers remains well below pre-recession levels. Can they get away with saying they inherited those problems from the previous TREC administration?


UPCOMING EVENTS
 
The Real Estate Council - Jan 21 - 2010 Community Breakfast featuring Dallas Mavs’ CEO Terdema Ussery - 7:30-9am - The Fairmont Hotel. 214.692.3600 or Info
 
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