Houston's 14 Biggest Deals of 2014, Part 1
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This year has been a staggering success for Houston commercial real estate. We pulled out the biggest deals from 2014, one of the best in Houston’s history.
In one of Houston’s all-time largest land sales, TGS Cedar Port Partners purchased Cedar Crossing, an 11,000-acre industrial park (that’s three-fourths the size of Manhattan) across from the Ship Channel in Bayport. Cushman & Wakefield’s Coe Parker, Kelley Parker, Tim Thomas and John Littman (pictured) repped seller Cedar Crossing LP, a partnership of area investors managed by Charles Iupe. About 65% of the park remains undeveloped.
609 Main at Texas
Hines CalPERS Green’s 609 Main at Texas broke ground this March with projected completion in February 2017. But construction is zipping right along, and that’s been moved up to December 2016. The 1M SF tower was designed by Pickard Chilton. No tenants have been announced yet, but 609 Main is already promising to get very top rents—Hines is asking for more than $55 gross.
In Houston’s largest office sale of the year, AEW Capital purchased 90% ownership of Heritage Plaza in February for $426M. Brookfield bought it in 2010 for $322M, and retains a 10% interest. (It also still leases and manages the building.)
Air Liquide Center
In February, MetroNational broke ground on Air Liquide Center, two office buildings totaling nearly 600k SF. Air Liquide has pre-leased 222k SF for its American HQ (Houston’s biggest pre-lease of the year, and Air Liquide has options to expand). The 20-story tower will complete in May, followed by a 12-story delivery in November.
Aldi broke ground on its 650k SF distribution center and divisional HQ in Rosenberg. It can expand to 1M SF on the site. Construction began in May and should be complete in 2016. Aldi has stated it plans to have 30 stores in the Houston metro by the end of next year, as reported by the Chronicle. (It made a big splash last year by opening its first nine locations in one day.)
Generation Park, a mega 4,000-acre project that could transform Northeast Houston into a business hub, started in earnest with the groundbreaking of FMC Technologies’ campus. Phase 1 is six buildings topping 1M SF across 71 acres. FMC will move about half of its Houston employees into the first phase, and aims to consolidate all 10 of its local buildings into Generation Park in the next 10 years. It still has 100 acres for future development. Pictured: Generation Park developer McCord Development president Ryan McCord with FMC execs at the FMC groundbreaking.
Pinto Business Park
We named Pinto Business Park one of the top deals of 2013, and Hines director Charlie Meyer predicted it’d have a strong 2014. He was right—this year, the 1,000-acre park delivered HD Supply’s 600k SF build-to-suit, sold 160 acres to Grocers Supply for a 1.7M SF warehouse/distribution facility, and leased 103k SF to Alfa Laval. For now, Grocers Supply is consolidating three properties into Pinto, and it plans to eventually bring its HQ to the campus. Cushman & Wakefield’s Dave Cook, Jeff Peden and Will Condrey worked on the Grocers Supply deal. Pinto Realty Partners (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cockrell Interests) handles land sales for Pinto Business Park, and NAI Houston's John Simons and Holden Rushing rep Hines on build-to-suit transactions and spec building leasing.
Read Part 2 of 2014's biggest deals here.