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January 3, 2011 
The Fighter

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!

It was a good year for boxing movies and real estate companies with that name. Houston-based Boxer Property recently bought two more buildings, bringing its 2010 purchases to 14 properties totaling 2.9M SF (1.1M of that in Dallas).
Doug Pack, Andre Pereira and David Kayle
Our Houston reporter snapped the firm’s director of asset management Doug Pack with acquisitions team Andre Pereira and David Kayle just before the holidays. The recent buys include a property in Chicago and Park on the Bayou, a 160k SF office building (plus garage) in Houston. David says they’re limiting their acquisitions search next year to specific markets with the right price points and ability to stabilize. Texas tops that list, but the pair is also hitting Florida and targeting Atlanta, LA, and Chicago. The last buildings acquired in Dallas were Executive Center II and III (totaling 381k SF) in May.
La Gran Plaza
Boxer manages more than 3M SF in DFW including La Gran Plaza (pictured) shopping mall in Fort Worth, which the firm redeveloped. “Since we have a significant operation in Dallas, we expect to be very active again this year in acquiring buildings throughout DFW, as well as taking on third-party management and leasing assignments for owners, lenders, and special servicers,” David adds.
Boxer van
That's Doug's mug splashed on Boxer’s vans. The firm has 13.5M SF in third-party management nationwide. Houston has the bulk, 88 projects totaling 6M SF. About 5M of that is third party. He predicts the firm could triple its management portfolio this year, partly because it's getting a niche in regional malls. The sector is facing distress, and service often don't know what to do with those assets. Boxer has five of those in its management pipeline nationwide. In December, Boxer added Southwest Center Mall in Dallas.

REIS chart
Dallas historically has a much higher office vacancy rate than the nation . . . and it’s no different today. As of Q3 ’10, vacancy for Dallas office buildings sits at 24.7%, compared with 17.6% nationwide. Yet this may be misleading, Reis analyst Brad Doremus tells us, in terms of relative performance over the past several years. There's been a noticeable decline in the size of the Dallas/US spread since '08. In Q2 ’08, the difference between the two rates reached 880 bps, with Dallas vacancies at 22% and the US at 13.2%. Yet beginning in Q3 ’08, the spread declined for seven consecutive quarters, reaching a low of 700 bps in Q1 ’10. The spread jumped 10 bps in Q2 ’10 but held flat the following quarter. Reis forecasts that the spread should remain roughly flat at 710 bps for the next several years.

Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief
Sustainability goes beyond building operations and construction projects, which the City of Fort Worth recognized with the establishment last year of a Sustainability Task Force, says Fort Worth mayor Mike Moncrief (snapped here at a library opening in November). The City added some solar power and set climate control standards for its buildings to help reduce energy consumption, emissions and costs, the mayor said. Now, the City has received $260k from the Regional Transportation Council to convert four heavy-duty and six light-duty trucks to propane and upgrade the propane infrastructure at three locations. The RTC awarded $1.2M to various governmental entities as part of the Clean Fleets North Texas: Recovery Act Project.
DFW Airport fueling station
DFW Airport will receive $784k in grant funding to convert 37 DFW Airport shuttle buses to compressed natural gas and $16k for two CNG sweepers. Other projects getting funding include: Tarrant County with $32k for eight vehicles; McKinney with $39k for three vehicles; Garland with $53k for two vehicles and one infrastructure site; and Euless with $56k for an infrastructure site. The RTC still has more than $985k in ARRA funds to distribute to local governments seeking cleaner fleets and the NCTCOG has opened another call for projects. Efforts to reduce petroleum use and improve the region’s air quality are important because the nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth area is in non-attainment for the pollutant ozone. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But if you do, it's probably allergies, not air quality.
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