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The 10 Biggest Houston Real Estate Stories Of 2017

This year was a roller coaster for Houston. The city endured some of its biggest losses and most magnificent wins. As the year comes to a close, Bisnow looked back at the top 10 stories (other than the World Series-winning Astros) that had the city talking this year.  

Hurricane Harvey

Harvey Rescue During Flooding
Harvey rescue during flooding

For Houston, 2017 will always be the year of Hurricane Harvey. The record-breaking storm dumped 27 trillion gallons of water on the area in four days, leaving thousands devastated. Houston's commercial real estate sector got lucky. Since the storm, Houston's multifamily and industrial markets have been boosted by increased demand.

Houston-Based Mattress Firm Accuses Real Estate Team Of Fraud

Mattress Firm HQ
Mattress Firm HQ

In October, Mattress Firm sued Colliers Atlanta, Colliers Senior Vice President Alexander Deitch and two of its former in-house real estate execs, Bruce Levy and Ryan Vinson. The accusations focus on inflated store rents, bribes and kickbacks to developers. As the nation's largest mattress company, the suit has brought new scrutiny to how quickly (and often confusingly) the retailer has expanded.

In-N-Out's Houston Expansion 

In-N-Out Burger

Burger lovers were buzzing with news of In-N-Out's Houston expansion. The news was too good to be true. After purchasing land on Westheimer near the Galleria, In-N-Out put plans for the location on hold due to an existing tenant lease. The beloved California burger chain now has no timeline for opening a store in Houston.

Greenspoint Mall Redevelopment

Greenspoint Mall

After years of struggle, things may finally be happening at Greenspoint Mall. Or they may not be. Though news broke of a redevelopment plan in the works for the mall, its tenants have other ideas.

Downtown Houston Revealed Its Latest Vision 

Plan Downtown 2036 Rendering
Plan Downtown 2036 rendering

With the Downtown Living Initiative in its final stages, what is the next chapter for Downtown Houston? Central Houston provided a bold vision for the city's bicentennial. The plan calls for enhancements to Downtown's activity centers, improving the area's connections with a green loop and catalyzing the emerging neighborhoods with an innovation district.  

The Rocket's Two-Billion-Dollar Buyer

Houston Rockets, Tilman Fertitta
Tilman Fertitta, Houston Rockets owner

Houston restaurant magnate and host of CNBC's Billion Dollar Buyer, Tilman Fertitta, purchased the Houston Rockets from Leslie Alexander for $2.2B, an NBA record.  

The Rise Of Boutique Retail

Heights Mercantile Marine Layer
Heights Mercantile Marine Layer

High-profile retail developments, like Heights Mercantile, have brought boutique retail to the forefront of Houston's retail sector. With eclectic tenant mixes and innovative design, placemaking inside the Loop is entering a new paradigm of development.

Houston's Office Investment 

Houston Center at night
Houston Center at night

Some of Houston's largest office assets changed hands this year. Real Capital Analytics data reports year-to-date office sales volume in the Houston area at $3.8B, a year-over-year increase of 137.6%. With Houston's counter-cyclical nature, expect the trend to continue in 2018. 

The Future Of Houston's Parking Garage

The 10 Biggest Houston Real Estate Stories Of 2017

Between ride-sharing, bike-sharing, car-sharing, walkability and automated vehicles, the future of the car and the garages we park them in has never been so uncertain. In Houston, developers are future-proofing the structures to be car-free

Houston Learned To Love Co-Working

Robert Spoden, Leena Mena, TechSpace Houston
Robert Spoden and Leena Mena in TechSpace Houston

With co-working spaces opening up this year and Harvey driving many businesses out of their offices, 2017 is the year necessity taught Houston's oil and gas industry about inventive office space.