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Real Estate Bisnow
   
January 17, 2013 
 
 
Bisnow Exclusive:
Generation Park's
First Buyer

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McCord Development’s 4,000-acre master-planned behemoth has its first buyer. And we learned exclusively that Generation Park has grown: McCord added 238 acres in November.
 
Ryan McCord
FMC Technologies snapped up 173 acres along Beltway 8 bounded by Lockwood Road and West Lake Houston Parkway; McCord Development prez Ryan McCord pointed out the site for us. He says the sale took almost a year, including extremely thorough due diligence that used multiple engineering firms and took over four months. McCord will deliver infrastructure to FMC in 18 months, but FMC hasn’t announced its plans or timeline for the site.
Generation Park
FMC’s project will be in the northern part of Generation Park’s Corridor District, which also houses the park’s newest acreage, the 238-acre parcel just south of FMC’s site. (Above, renderings of a potential medical district.) Ryan already has a lot of demand for it, thanks to its Beltway frontage, in-place utilities, and proximity to FMC. Generation Park is benefiting from its size: Groups that want large tracts don’t have many other options. (Seriously, where else can you find 173 acres along the Beltway?) There are a number of corporate consolidation plays in the market, and Ryan suspects many will land at Generation Park.
Generation Park
Phase 1 of Generation Park, including FMC's site, as photographed from the Bisnow Dreamliner. (They're suddendly super affordable.) Ryan tells us his pipeline for the park is robust. His top five deals total $1B of improvements and over 15,000 employees. In addition to FMC, they include two office HQ deals (one with a significant manufacturing component) and two huge distribution projects. CBRE’s Sanford Criner and Elliott Hirshfeld repped FMC in its acquisition; Sanford says Generation Park has the potential to be the most important new commercial development in the city in at least 30 years. And we’re wondering, will industrial development in the park open the floodgates and lead to other industrial activity in Northeast Houston? (Want to know more about Generation Park? Check out our coverage of its announcement last summer.)

REITs are Winning
 
Integra
Integra Realty Resources chairman Ray Cirz (with Guardian Life Insurance Co’s Robert Behrmann, IRR’s Matthew Krauser, TIAA-CREF’s Sam Kuckley, and IRR’s John Monaco at Integra’s annual forecast in NYC last week) says REITs have outperformed other equities since 2010, but that’s because REITs took such a dive two years earlier. Last year turned in less deal volume than IRR anticipated, but stable cap rates across asset classes (and a 50/50 chance of decreasing ones in multifamily) portend something better. Surprisingly, regional malls jumped from fifth to third among asset class cap rates. Some office markets dependent on singular industries are faring better than others, Ray says. San Fran’s tech focus is treating it well, while DC’s defense contractor concentration makes for a flailing market.
Joe Pasquarella
IRR Philly head Joe Pasquarella says half the 65 US office markets IRR tracks are in recovery or expansion mode, and only 10 are in full-blown recession, including Baltimore, Atlanta, and Northern New Jersey. Suburban bastions like Northern New Jersey and Long Island are suffering, as those major tenants that are interested in suburban office are building their own places. Joe won’t give up on suburban office, though, as jobs, housing prices, and building permit issuances all are rising.
 
Eric Enloe and Brad Weiman
We also snapped IRR Chicago head Eric Enloe and Denver chief Brad Weiman, who says e-commerce sales rose 15% from Q3 ’12 to Q4, foreshadowing a contraction in store footprints. (That goes for grocery stores, too.) Urban redevelopments and outlet malls will get the retail sector’s construction capital. Medical uses will continue to backfill vacant strip center blocks. He named Colorado’s The Joint as an example. (C’mon, people, it’s a chiropractic provider.) Random retail fact beyond the US: Beijing alone has 30M SF of retail under construction.

BEARing Gifts
 
Colliers
Colliers’ local office took part in the BEARing Gifts Program: prez Pat Duffy, Crissy Nolen, Amber Ruggles, Lisa Bridges, and Caroline Freeman posed with toys the firm collected for children under the care of Child Protective Services. The office collected enough donations to purchase every gift from three children’s holiday wish lists, plus provide winter clothing. The BEAR (Be A Resource for CPS Kids) program hosts an annual holiday drive; last year, it collected toys for 8,400 children.

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The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. Email your news to Catie Dixon, catie@bisnow.com.
 
 
 
 
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