How Commercial Real Estate Firms Are Contributing To Houston Storm Relief
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This story is being updated as we hear about more firms donating to Harvey relief.
The country has banded together to aid residents in Houston and other areas in Texas whose homes and lives have been devastated by the largest hurricane to hit Texas’ shore in half a century.
Thousands have been uprooted from their homes and billions of dollars worth of property has been damaged.
Commercial real estate firms across the nation are pursuing relief efforts to support those impacted by the storm and rescue workers, law enforcement officials and volunteers on the ground. From financial donations to providing temporary housing and offices for those displaced by floods, here are 40-plus commercial real estate firms that have joined the fight against this natural disaster:
Company: Venture X
Location: San Antonio
Venture X, a flexible workspace provider, is offering a week of free office space for residents based in areas affected by the storm (valid ID required). The firm is providing space in its new, 20K SF workspace in San Antonio at 18911 Hardy Oak Blvd. Venture X is waiving the usual fee for one week and is offering 50% off its standard rates for anyone who needs additional time through the end of September.
“While we have only been open in this location since May, the San Antonio business community has been extremely supportive of our efforts, and this is an opportunity for us to give back,” Venture X San Antonio Business Manager Michelle Solis said in a statement. “Particularly for individuals, entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses, continuing your business operations can be even more crucial for continued income during a disaster like Hurricane Harvey. We are glad to be able to help facilitate the ability to conduct business as normally as possible to avoid significant loss of income.”
Location: San Francisco
Home-sharing behemoth Airbnb is waiving service charges for Hurricane Harvey evacuees and is requesting local hosts to provide accommodations for free through Sept. 25. More than 500 homes have been offered up so far. More information can be found here.
Location: The Americas
Global commercial real estate brokerage CBRE has initiated a fundraising campaign for its employees in the Americas through its CBRE Disaster Relief Foundation. The foundation will match $0.50 for every dollar contributed by CBRE employees up to $150K. Funds raised will go toward assisting CBRE employees who have been impacted by Harvey and remaining funds will be donated to the American Red Cross.
Company: Equitable Commercial Realty
ECR is matching donations of up to $3K to any charity providing support services to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The firm is asking donors to email their donation information to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Harvey Disaster Relief.”
Update: ECR exceeded its $3K goal in less than 24 hours, and contributed an additional $1K donation.
Company: The Howard Hughes Corp.
The Howard Hughes Corp. is partnering with United Way to create a disaster relief fund. All funds donated by HHC employees will be met with a two times match by The Howard Hughes Corp.
HHC and its local properties are also working with area shelters to provide donations (i.e., towels, blankets, bedding, toiletries, clothing, food) and volunteer hours to help those in immediate need. HHC will provide volunteer service for the long term to help the Houston community in its long road toward recovery.
“This is the time to take care of people as we continue our unified efforts to help the entire Houston community,” HHC Executive Vice President of Master Planned Communities Paul Layne said.
Company: NAI Partners
Houston-based commercial real estate brokerage NAI Partners’ employees have spent much of the week helping family, friends and clients recover with home repairs, shelter, food, donations and more. The company’s landlord services division is working with one of its healthcare clients by offering vacant space for overflow nursing teams working around the clock, and the organization has mobilized its relief efforts around the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Fund.
Office space provider Regus is taking a collection of items in all of its Boston properties as part of the City of Boston’s “Help for Houston” drive. Items needed include toiletries, diapers, baby formula, nonperishable food, and new clothing and blankets.
Company: Lassiter Industries
Lassiter, a commercial sign manufacturer, is offering free or reduced-cost temporary signage for fundraising events and shelters and offering reduced prices on temporary and replacement signage for affected businesses. It is including a 30% discount off any sign company invoice for original signage being replaced, or any sign company’s quote for replacements. It is also giving 10% of all profits to Houston rebuild efforts.
CEO Jennifer Longmore said her company was inspired by news of commercial property management companies opening their doors and offering temporary office space for displaced businesses.
"Temporary office space needs at least temporary signage and we want to help," Longmore said. "We will leave these offers in place for as long as people need help."
Company: Yardi Matrix
To help the tens of thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey and to assist its multifamily clients in the region, Yardi has leveraged its RENTCafé property marketing and leasing platform to create a housing registry website that will help displaced residents find temporary and permanent homes.
The website (RENTCafe.com/HurricaneHarvey) allows housing providers to post available units along with special concessions and for displaced residents to search for housing. There is no charge for housing providers to list their properties on the website or for residents to use it. Yardi has also launched a hotline that evacuees looking for housing can call for housing assistance. The toll-free number is (844) 363-6317.
Additionally, Yardi is offering disaster response assistance for clients on the RENTCafé platform, including nudge messaging, voice messaging and call automation to help clients communicate with their residents during the aftermath. Yardi representatives are reaching out to clients in the affected area to explain and offer these and other services at no charge.
“We have many valued clients in the affected area, and it is important to us to assist those clients as well as their residents who may have been displaced. Thousands of people have lost their housing due to this devastating natural disaster, and we want to help in any way we can,” Yardi President and founder Anant Yardi said in a statement.
Yardi has also created a $1M fund to support nonprofit organizations in the rebuilding of the areas affected by the hurricane. In addition to the $1M pledge, Yardi is matching employee donations to the fund.
Company: Energy Architecture
Several of the Houston-based architecture firm's employees are donating funds and volunteering their time to aid displaced residents, according to Energy Architecture principal Justin Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck said one team member in particular, Senior Property Manager Alan Creech, and his family are putting in time at the George R. Brown Convention Center, which is sheltering 9,000 evacuees.
Company: Leon Capital Group
Leon Capital Group has offered one of its commercial properties in Houston to the American Red Cross to be used as a rescue or distribution center.
Company: The Chicago Association of Realtors
The association is donating $10K to the Realtors Relief Foundation, which is distributing 100% of the donations directly to those in need.
Transwestern has set up a special fund called Together for Transwestern. The contributions will go directly toward assisting Transwestern team members who have been displaced or otherwise affected by Harvey.
Company: Bell Partners
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Real estate investment and management firm Bell Partners will make a donation to the American Red Cross earmarked for Hurricane Harvey relief. The firm is encouraging others to do so as well by visiting www.redcross.org to show solidarity with the victims of the storm.
Company: Bull Realty Inc.
Bull Realty Senior Vice President Eric Harris said the firm is assisting a Federal Emergency Management Agency contractor to secure short-term flex space to support its meal kit operations.
Company: Morning Calm Management
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
The property management firm has donated an undisclosed amount to the American Red Cross, according to CEO Mukang Cho.
Company: MRP Realty
Location: Washington, D.C.
The developer is organizing a fundraiser that will donate funds either to the American Red Cross or to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
Company: Atlanta Peach Movers
The packing and storage company is partnering with WSB-TV Channel 2 in Atlanta for the Convoy of Care — an effort launched by the local news station to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The group is accepting donations of bottled water from the public at Channel 2’s Midtown studio by Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 9 p.m. Atlanta Peach Movers will deliver the water to victims of Houston’s flood by Sept. 1.
Company: Quantum Real Estate Advisers
The advisory firm took up a collection of individual donations to give to the American Red Cross in the firm’s name.
Company: Cushman & Wakefield
Location: The Americas
Cushman & Wakefield will be making a corporate donation to the American Red Cross, and will also match employee contributions (up to a certain amount that has yet to be determined). The company is also establishing a separate fund specifically for employees who have been adversely impacted by the storm.
Company: PN Hoffman
Location: Washington, D.C.
The developer of The Wharf is donating an undisclosed amount to the American Red Cross.
Company: Corporate Housing Associates
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
The firm, which is based just north of Houston, has been working diligently since Thursday to safely accommodate as many families as possible in the devastated areas of Corpus Christi, Katy and Houston, and will continue to do so.
Company: Merit Partners
Managing Broker David Liebman said the firm is donating to the American Red Cross.
Company: CORFAC International
Location: Des Plaines, Illinois
President Ray Lyons said the national office has made a contribution to the American Red Cross to aid in the relief efforts.
Company: CCIM Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter
CCIM's Houston chapter is helping connect those in need with those who can help. It is providing those who flooded with resources to apply for disaster relief from the Texas Association of Realtors, and is compiling a list of volunteers able to assist those in the real estate industry who have been impacted by the storm.
More than a dozen venues have joined LiquidSpace to offer free workspace to anyone affected in the Houston area. It created a collection of all participating venues. Those affected by the storm can use code HARVEYRELIEF for free workspace until Sept. 8 and may extend it further if there is need.
Company: Architectural Ceramics
Location: Rockville, Maryland
Architectural Ceramics packed a truck with $20K in supplies and six staff members and friends are driving down to Houston to deliver the supplies and help in rescue efforts.
Company: MB Real Estate
MB Real Estate plans to jump in to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey by donating to the American Red Cross and encouraging the tenants in all of its buildings to participate by providing links to the Red Cross and organizing a blood drive.
Company: PenFed Credit Union
Location: Tysons, Virginia
PenFed Credit Union donated $50K to the American Red Cross Corpus Christi and Houston chapters.
Company: Fairview Town Center
Fairview Town Center is collecting donations for Hurricane Harvey victims who will be coming to Dallas. Donations can be dropped off at the Fairview Town Center Security Office, at 329 Town Place, Fairview, Texas. Requested items include new underwear and socks for men, women, children and infants (all sizes), new warmups/sweats for men, women, children and infants (all sizes), toiletries, hygiene products, and baby formula, diapers and wipes. Portable cribs such as Pack 'N Plays are also needed. All items must be new, and donations will be delivered to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas by Fairview Town Center team members.
Company: Draper and Kramer
Location: Headquartered in Chicago, with offices in San Antonio, Minneapolis and St. Louis
Donations are being made by individual Draper and Kramer employees companywide on a volunteer basis. Those donations will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the firm and earmarked for the Salvation Army to provide physical, spiritual and emotional care for survivors and relief workers.
Company: Avison Young
Location: U.S., U.K., Canada and Europe
Global commercial brokerage Avison Young is matching all of its employees' donations to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, according to Avison Young Atlanta head Steve Dils.
Company: Wells Fargo
The bank is donating a total of $1M toward Hurricane Harvey relief support — $500K to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and $500K to local nonprofits focused on recovery and relief efforts in Texas.
“Wells Fargo is deeply concerned for all of those affected by the devastating flooding in Texas, and we’re committed to helping our customers, neighbors, team members and communities get through this,” Wells Fargo Lead Region Bank President David Miree said.
Company: Levy Architects
Levy Architects President Stephen Levy is leading the architecture firm's effort to offer support and relief to Hurricane Harvey victims. The firm is collecting goods for Rockport, where Harvey directly came on land. The items can be dropped off at Levy Architects' office at 2438 West Anderson Lane B-2.
Company: John Hay of Hay Legal Group
Hay Legal Group, led by John Hay, has launched a Crowdrise campaign with plans to match up to $10K in donations.
Weitzman Group, a real estate consultancy, is holding fundraisers and donation drives, based on what city officials said is most needed. The drives underway are collecting new underwear, new socks, new warmups for men, women, children and infants, toiletries and hygiene products, baby formula and baby wipes, bottles, diapers and Graco Pac n’ Plays for babies to sleep in.
The firm's donations are being collected by nonprofit Trusted World Center at 15660 North Dallas Parkway in Dallas. As for monetary donations, Weitzman plans to make a corporate donation to go along with the donations from employees to the Red Cross, United Way and the Salvation Army.
Company: Bohler Engineering
Location: Warren, New Jersey
Bohler is doing a 100% employee match to the Red Cross with a goal of a $20K pledge.
Company: Colliers International
Colliers International is engaged in a number of efforts to aid in recovery following Hurricane Harvey. The firm has several of its professionals uprooted from their homes and others who are actively helping the community with boat rescues and truck hauls. Fundraising is underway globally through Colliers USA Foundation, paired with a local grassroots fundraising effort through GoFundMe. As an organization, Colliers is committed to supporting the communities in which they operate — including their employees, friends and family, customers, neighbors and community at large.
Location: The Americas
To help those in need, JLL is encouraging staff to take advantage of the donation matching program, and give to disaster relief charities such as the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Additionally, to enable employees to make contributions directly to JLL colleagues in need, a special fund has been created for hurricane relief as part of JLL Charities, to which the company has also contributed. Local teams are also running donation drives benefiting those staying in shelters.
Cantor and its affiliated companies (BGC, Amerex, GFI, NKF and ARA) have offices and homes in the impacted areas. It is accepting donations to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey and their families. One hundred percent of every dollar raised will be distributed to those in need in the form of direct financial aid. All donations to the Relief Fund will be matched by Cantor Fitzgerald. You can donate by visiting www.cantorrelief.org or by calling them at 212-829-4770.
Company: Moody Rambin/TCN Worldwide
TCN set up a GoFundMe page and shared it with its branches around the globe — all donations collected will go to Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery relief to help the employees, brokers and agents of TCN’s Houston affiliate, Moody Rambin.