Call Out the Cavalry
Troops returning to Fort Hood, Texas, have boosted central Texas’ multifamily market, according to a survey by Apartment Realty Advisors in Austin. Occupancy in the Killeen-Fort Hood metro averages close to 92 percent and a recent survey of 12,000 area apartment properties showed a 2.4 percent jump in occupancy since September 2009. Overall rents have risen 1.6 percent since the return of 17,000 1st Cavalry Division soldiers.
In contrast, Houston’s multifamily occupancy has fallen to around 84 percent due in part to a glut of new units entering the market, according to Apartment Data Services. More than 36,000 apartments were added in the last two years, bringing the market’s total to around 570,000 units. Effective rents are expected to fall 2.7 percent this year according to Marcus & Millichap. This year developers are adding about 5,000 new units, the lowest amount built in Houston since the late 1990s.
Indy Industrial Goes Positive
“Year-to-date activity indicates we may be heading in the right direction — a slow steady rebound,” says Brad Williams, director of industrial advisory services for Summit Realty Group in Indianapolis. In 1Q10, 2.5 million sf was leased, more than half of 2009’s 4.4 million sf total leasing activity. More than 92 percent of 1Q10 leasing activity was in warehouse/distribution.
One American Row in Hartford, Conn., recently obtained Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings Silver status, making it one of the few LEED-EB certified buildings also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Completed in 1963 and known locally as the “Boat Building,” the 13-story office tower, designed by Max Abramovitz, is an example of the modernist style of architecture.
A high-end net lease transaction took place in New York when 407 Park Ave. was sold for $8.7 million or $2,023 psf. The building is fully leased to Stefano Ricci, an upscale men’s clothing store. The property, including 29,450 sf of air rights, was purchased by Land Finance Corp.
Dollar Tree Grows
In the past six months, Dollar Tree has signed leases for 13 Southern California locations. Most recently it negotiated six five-year leases for stores ranging in size from 8,000 sf to 15,000 sf, according to Studley, which handled negotiations. The discounter saw 1Q10 net sales increase 12.6 percent from 1Q09. With 3,800 locations, it plans to open 200 more nationally this year. The company also is testing 23,000-sf grocery store concept, Dollar Tree Market, in Chesapeake, Md.
“The shape of the next American economy must be export-oriented, low carbon, and innovation-fueled. … Southern Nevada can play in the next economy, but this will require hard choices and a deliberate decision to move beyond an economy fueled by real estate consumption.”
— Bruce Katz, Director, Metropolitan Policy program, Brookings Institution