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January 6, 2011 

Join the 138 RSVP'd so far at our next Bisnow Schmooze: The Future of Fort Bend County, feat. Granite Properties leasing manager Sandy Benak. Jan. 27. Sugar Land Square. Early bird prices fly away soon!


Last August, we were the first to report that Granite Properties was selling its 3.1M SF industrial portfolio and exiting the sector. Well, it didn’t take long—in late December, Exeter Property Group purchased the three Dallas buildings and Duke Realty bought two assets by the Port of Houston. And the remaining 11 Houston properties are about to go under contract.

Michael Dardick

Granite Properties prez Michael Dardick tells Bisnow the decision to exit the industrial market was made about a year ago and the plan is to focus on the company's office portfolio and look at some new markets. "Office is predominantly what we do and our industrial portfolio was only a small part of our business. Now was a good time because the market is paying good prices for industrial properties with high-occupancy rates," he adds. The funds will go toward available growth capital.

Rusty Tamlyn

HFF’s Rusty Tamlyn (pictured), Trent Agnew, Jud Clements, Robby Rieke, and Kelsey Roop represented Granite, and Thompson & Knight provided legal services. Rusty saw the portfolio’s sale as an opportunity for a new owner to come into either city as a substantial landlord, and many new faces made offers, but Duke Realty and the other Houston buyer are well-established locally. (Exeter is fairly new to DFW, however, with only one property in the area.) Granite had considered selling the whole kaboodle (the largest industrial portfolio for sale in Houston in 15 years) to one buyer, and did get offers but decided to split it to maximize profits. Rusty tells us they got about 25 offers on various iterations of the portfolio.

Barbours Cut Business Park

The port buy deets: Duke bought the Barbours Cut Business Park (pictured) and Bayport Container Terminal (a total of 583k SF and fully leased) in an all-cash deal. Rusty says the assets received a great deal of interest because they’re in an irreplaceable location across from the terminals and have a long-term solid tenant. Plus, Houston's industrial market saw 4M SF of positive absorption last year, making it attractive. Rusty tells us the biggest challenge of this deal was the Houston tours: They could take four hours because the properties are so spread out. He often conducted two a day, which gave him a 15-minute break to fill his gas tank and wolf down a burger. On one tour, a hubcap flew off a truck and smashed his windshield, terrifying his potential buyers. How come we think Rusty was able to keep cool, even in that moment of tribulation?

Heights B&B

Baseball Hall of Fame voting teaches us men who weren't historic for 13 years of voting can suddenly become so. And apparently towns that are historic, could suddenly become regular...though it didn't happen. The Houston Planning & Development Department determined that the Avondale West, Boulevard Oaks, Heights East, Heights West and Heights South historic districts did not reach the 51% threshold that would have required the planning director to recommend repealing the historic district designations. We're told panning director Marlene Gafrick will submit one of two recommendations for each historic district to City Council: take no action or amend the boundaries to reduce the historic district's size. City Council can then decide whether to accept the recommendations or not. The reconsideration process continues in the Norhill and First Montrose Commons districts, and yes, more public meetings.

King Development Services’ Gerald King, StudioRED Architects’ Jared Wood, and Telios’ Brian Peterson

We found King Development Services’ Gerald King, StudioRED Architects’ Jared Wood, and Telios’ Brian Peterson at Hudson Lounge recently demonstrating that sometimes you CRE types like to get together outside of work. When it comes business, Gerald tells us his company is doing third-party consulting work for Unilev Management—he’s in the development management phase of a 70k SF addition to an existing shopping center on I-45N. Groundbreaking is anticipated for mid-year 2011, with delivery in spring 2012 to four major retailers. He’s also working with Unilev on its Barkers Crossing project, which he developed while working with brother Ewing King at Read King Commercial Real Estate.

You run into us all the time at events, but you don't need to wait for the chance encounter. E-mail story ideas and idle pleasantries to Catie Brubaker, catie@bisnow.com.
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