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Football & Forecasts

Dallas-Fort Worth
Football & Forecasts
With Super Bowl festivities already underway across the Metroplex, Hillwood Properties prez Mike Berry has football on the brain. Among his predictions for industrial CRE, he slipped in his picks: Jets over the Packers with LT scoring three TDs. (Impressive that he didn't combine CRE and football by choosing TI instead.)
Mike Berry
We snapped Mike showing the yardage needed for first down Thursday during the Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Non-football predictions: Industrial CRE vacancy improves to 11.3%; new construction limited to build-to-suits; and more scrutiny on corporate RE decisions equating to slower-moving deals. Mike says spec construction projects ended and positive absorption returned in 2010. DFW flipped from a massive negative absorption to some positive numbers signaling stabilization. DFW saw 6M SF ofnew deals, but only 614k SF of positive absorption. The big takeway? DFW North is the strongest submarket; with deals smaller across the board; an abundance of bulk space along I-35W; and a flurry of activity at year's end.
Susan Halsey
Jackson Walker managing partner Susan Halsey (the one commanding everyone's attention) gave the bad news of the $17B to $25B shortfall for the 82nd state legislative session. The balance of power shifted to the Republicans, which should mean reduced state spending, no tax increases, and pro-economic development legislation. Unfortunately, it also means no new funding for roadsand highways, Susan says. 2011 legislation in the works: budget, redistricting (Texas gained 4.3M residents, more than any state between 2000-2010), TxDOT restructuring, property appraisal reform, margin tax reform, and government spending limits.
Denton Walmart
The Makens Co prez Jim Makens says retail in 2011 will be led byfast food (mmm, Carl’s Jr and In-N-Out Burger are coming to Tarrant County), dollar storesauto parts suppliers, and big discounters(like Target, Big Lots, and Tractor Supply all expanding). Walmart’s grocery market share was down 2.9% from 2009 to only 36.5% in 2010, but we still have the largest concentration of the discount stores nationwide. Jim says Walmart will refocus on neighborhood market stores, trying to recapture lost market share to the recent success of Aldi (with 32 new stores in DFW and about a dozen more in the works) and HEB, which opened a big store in Burleson (its northernmost location). HEB announced plans for a 500k SF distribution center in Terrell. Jim thinks that's a clue that it wants to expand into DFW beyond its Central Market stores.