State of the Market: Amazing
AmREIT managing VP of development Ron Lindsey best summed it up at our State of the Market event yesterday morning: “This is candy store time!”
We found Ron (right) with Tribble & Stephens’ Van Martin during yesterday's networking. He says he’ll be announcing more details about his Uptown Park redevelopment this year. And he says he could have news for all his Post Oak properties. (Ron knows that if you keep them guessing, you keep them coming back.) That might include some hospitality—he says there are about 10 possible hotel projects floating around Uptown. Ron’s a fan of horizontal rather than vertical mixed-use (he's also a fan of Jimi Hendrix—Ron caught his last tour). One perk: One firm doesn’t have to own the whole thing.
Morgan Group prez Alan Patton (here with Allied Orion’s Ricardo Rivas) has seven multifamily starts this year nationwide; five are in Houston. (That should tell you something about our market.) If you’ve wondered if our development has been a little too heavy on luxury lately, never fear. He says “as product gets nicer, we’re increasing demand” because it lures people (especially empty nesters) from houses. Alan’s favorite concert: Red Hot Chili Peppers with his kids five years ago.
Avison Young principal/managing director Rand Stephens noticed a funny shift—historically people lamented Houston’s urban sprawl, but now they celebrate that we’re “multi-centered.” (Like a deep basketball team.) But Planned Community Developers EVP Don Janssen agrees with the optimistic phrasing; he says having five major nodes means more people can have a live/work/play urban experience. Rand says he’s completely tone deaf and that the only song he knows the words to is the National Anthem, so he claims his favorite concert was Eddie Murphy Raw. Pictured: Our office panel.
Allied Advisors prez Richard Rudd (who loved seeing Aerosmith a decade ago) says we really need to connect those nodes now. He says our light rail expansion is a start, but he believes we really need something that goes all the way down to Sugar Land, up to The Woodlands, and out to Katy. (Not just pigeons.)
But Cousins CIO Colin Connoly says we shouldn’t be too frustrated by our traffic and infrastructure issues; they’re not as bad as cities like Austin and Atlanta, and we have much better coordination across the greater metro than fracturing areas like Dallas and Atlanta. (Atlanta can't catch a break.)
We snapped First American Title’s Elvira Fuentes and our lifestyle panel moderator David Crawford with Ziegler Cooper’s Warren Johnson and our sponsor (and Warren’s wife) Pacific Consulting Group’s Jing Johnson. Jing tells us she did renderings and animation of Petroleum Club of Houston’s new space in Total Plaza. She’s also working with property manager Hines to render the renovation of Energy Tower I, showcasing the new café, fitness center, etc. Jing raffled off Pappas gift cards—Fein's Julie Batche ($25), Avison Young's Monik Hernandez ($50), and ICO Commercial's Donna Sossen ($100) are the lucky winners! David’s best concert ever was Marshall Tucker Band at Armadillo World HQ in Austin.
Our sponsor Cadence McShane’s Bob Bedrich, Aldo Hernandez, and Dave Tague. The team recently delivered Rich’s Food, a $25M project. It was a short timeline—they built 400k SF in seven months. The firm is about to start on high schools for HISD, including the High School for Performing Arts Downtown and Sterling Aviation High School.