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Heyco Energy Group Invests in Gas Converting Plant for Eagle Ford Shale Area

2 May 2014, 6:52 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Dallas-based Heyco Energy Group is developing a new plant about an hour-and-a-half east of San Antonio, in Lavaca County on alternate U.S. Highway 77. It will produce liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will be sold to fuel distributors in the Eagle Ford Shale area, but not directly to the public or LNG users.

The project is estimated to cost around $91 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in May or June and should be finalized within eight to 11 months. The facility, the company’s first of this kind, will convert natural gas extracted from the shale into LNG, used to fuel drilling rigs and hydraulic fracturing equipment used in the area. Enterprise Products Partners will provide Heyco with gas.

“Producers have figured out that it takes a lot of energy to find and produce energy,” Heyco President Chris Coleman reported to the San Antonio Business Journal. “They’re recognizing that LNG is less expensive than diesel fuel and has lower emissions.” An ever-increasing number of oil and gas producers are using cleaner fuels, this way solving two problems with one solution: reducing the creation of greenhouse gas and cutting costs.

Construction Progresses at Candlewood Suites in San Antonio

17 Apr 2014, 10:35 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

What is to become the “largest Candlewood Suites hotel” in the world is progressing toward a scheduled open date in July 2014. Cleveland Construction Inc., the current general contractor for the Fort Sam Houston Candlewood Suites hotel, located in Joint Base San Antonio, shared updates about the massive development, designed by EDI International.

The expansive project will be built on five stories of pre-fabricated cold-formed metal panel structure, encompassing 153,685 square feet that will turn into 310 studio and one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and generous work areas in each room. Hotel amenities will include a swimming pool with patio pavilion, business and fitness centers, guest laundry facilities, a breakfast bar and on-post shuttle service. The exterior consists of gypsum board sheathing, a fluid applied barrier, an exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS), a TPO roofing system and blast-resistant windows and storefront systems.

Work is underway on the concrete sidewalks and EIFS; the swimming pool area is prepared, as is the final site grading. On the interior, work is done on the drywall, ceramic tile installation, vinyl flooring, interior doors and hardware, toilet and bath accessories, electrical wiring, HVAC devices and trim, and installation of the elevator systems.

The hotel development is part of Privatization of Army Lodging, an Army-led program established to revitalize on-post lodging facilities for service members, their families and all government travelers. “Breaking ground on the first Candlewood Suites hotel is a major milestone for the PAL program,” said Charlie Smith, senior vice president & general manager of portfolio operations – lodging for Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships, during the groundbreaking event.

San Antonio’s Shavano Centre III Listed For Sale Through Marcus & Millichap

7 Apr 2014, 2:21 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Marcus & Millichap recently announced it has been chosen by a San Antonio developer to market for sale the office building known as Shavano Center III. Scott Ryan, an associate vice president for investment, is heading the effort. The property is listed for $12.5 million, or $197 per square foot.

“Shavano Center III is stabilized at 100 percent occupancy,” said Ryan in a news release. “The property is an attractive, well-placed asset with a varied tenant mix and staggered rollover.”

The asset is located in the Far North submarket, at 3619 Paesanos Parkway, between Interstate Highway 10 and U.S. Highway 281. Built in 2007, it totals 63,501 square feet on three stories. The 3.29-acre, park-like property features mature oak trees; the building is constructed from concrete tilt wall panels with stone veneer, encasing a steel frame. Shavano Center III features a security surveillance system with 24-hour card key access, and tenants have control of HVAC and electricity. Surrounding retail and entertainment establishments include The Shops at La Cantera, The Westin Resort, The Rim and the Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

According to Marcus & Millichap, San Antonio’s office market will go through some positive changes throughout 2014. Vacancy will fall to 13.8 percent, as a sign of employment growth and consequently of additional investor interest. Rents will go up 2.7 percent, following last year’s increase of 0.3 percent. Sales are also looking up, as institutional investors and REITs gain interest in newer, multi-tenant and sale-leaseback opportunities.

Presidium Group Acquires Villages of Cinnamon Creek

1 Apr 2014, 1:33 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Dallas-based Presidium Group L.L.C. announced its fourth acquisition of a residential property in the San Antonio area over the past six months. The other three apartment complexes are the 252-unit Oakwell Springs, the 81-unit Hunter’s Ridge Apartments and the 123-unit Towne Oaks apartments.

The Villages of Cinnamon Creek is a 348-unit multifamily community located on the Northwest Side, at 8722 Cinnamon Creek Drive. In close proximity are the University of Texas Health Science Center, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the national headquarters of USAA.

Transaction details have not been made public, but last year the property was assessed at $21 million. According to the Bexar Appraisal District, the previous owner of the community was F&F International Associates L.P. Presidium plans to rebrand and renovate the community in the coming months, having allocated $3 million for capital improvements. Work includes upgrades to the units’ interior hardware, plumbing, lighting fixtures and appliances. Exterior work will consist of improvements to the building exteriors, amenities and common areas.

“The Villages of Cinnamon Creek is an outstanding asset in good physical condition in one of the most desirable San Antonio submarkets,” said Presidium co-CEO Cross Moceri in a press statement. “The community is well located and performing at strong levels, with upside potential to significantly increase rental income through value-add renovations.”

San Antonio City Council Selects Gustafson Guthrie Nichol to Design Hemisfair’s Civic Park

25 Mar 2014, 1:39 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The San Antonio City Council has selected a firm to design and arrange the landscape architecture for the Hemisfair Park. The winner is Seattle-based Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). The project is part of a series of three parks on the Hemisfair site.

The downtown site is located at one of the most vibrant pedestrian intersections of the city – Market Street and Alamo Street – and it spreads across more than eight acres. Plans are for a beautiful urban green space embraced by a lively, walkable district, with the design based on the community’s vision for the park. Completion and availability to the public are set for 2018, just in time for San Antonio’s Tercentennial and the 50th Anniversary of the World’s Fair.

The transformation of the Hemisfair site is being led by the non-profit Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp. (HPARC). GGN will collaborate with San Antonio-based Alamo Architects and a team of local and national design and engineering experts. Kathryn Gustafson, founding principal of GGN, and principal Keith McPeters will lead the design team. Project consultants are Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Vickrey & Associates, CHG Engineering, Ximenes & Associates, Jaster-Quintanilla, Tillett Lighting Design, Drew Collaborative Works, Toole Design Group, CMS Collaborative, Theatre Projects Consultants and ETM Consultants.

GGN’s other projects in the U.S. and Europe include the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago; the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial at Hyde Park in London; Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam; Seattle City Hall Plaza; Valencia Parque Central in Spain; and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

“We were immediately drawn to the Hemisfair project as a rare opportunity to create one of the world’s great public spaces,” said Kathryn Gustafson in a news statement. “We are excited by the design potential inherent in the cross-cultural influences that define and propel San Antonio – a city with a rich history and a growing urban population,” she added.

Photos courtesy of Hemisfair 

KB Home Announces New Community of Built-to-Order Homes in New Braunfels

18 Mar 2014, 3:49 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

This summer, New Braunfels will make room for a new construction site that will offer to homebuyers 469 Built to Order homes in a new community called West Village at Creekside. The grand opening is scheduled for January 2015.

The developer is KB Home, which recently announced acquisition of land where future residents will have the option to choose from two collections. Amenities will include a private swimming pool, a picnic pavilion, walking trails and a playscape for children. The surrounding areas offer rapid access to retail shopping, Comal ISD schools, a Buc-ee’s convenience store and The Village at Creekside, known as the largest healthcare hub between San Antonio and Austin.

“The Village at Creekside includes a hospital, labs, medical offices, fitness facilities and serves as a lifestyle center for the local area,” said Brett Dietz, president of KB Home’s San Antonio division, in a press statement. “We are excited to offer our beautiful, new energy-efficient homes to those who want to call this growing part of New Braunfels home.”

All homes will be built with energy efficiency in mind to help residents save on utility bills. WaterSense-labeled faucets and fixtures will be incorporated in each home to conserve natural resources. Those interested can opt for solar panels, which help lower energy bills further.

This is KB Home’s third New Braunfels community and joins 23 other communities in San Antonio. The newest ones on the market are Park Vista, CrossCreek and Esperanza, and the plans for further growth in the area don’t stop there.

“In addition to being one of San Antonio’s premier homebuilders, we pride ourselves on being one of the area’s first-choice land buyers,” added Dietz. “KB Home’s extensive market knowledge and strong relationships with local land sellers enable us to identify and quickly secure exceptional opportunities to offer our homes in highly attractive locations, including in New Braunfels, where West Village at Creekside will be built.”

New Development Breaks Ground in Historic Leon Springs

10 Mar 2014, 9:13 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Three firms have joined forces to keep a promise to “do something special” between Leon Creek and historic Leon Springs, fronting Interstate Highway 10. San Antonio-based Embrey Partners, New York City-based Case Pomeroy Properties and San Antonio-based Leon Creek Ltd. have broken ground on a 15-acre, 320-unit multi-family community as part of a larger mixed-use development.

The community is designed to pay tribute to the local history and to the Old Spanish Trail that in the late 1800s passed across the front of the property, at the same time reflecting an upscale, eclectic and pedestrian-friendly environment. Financing for the project comes from JP Morgan, and first occupancy is scheduled for February 2015.

The area offers magnificent hill country views, with walkable access to retail and popular local restaurants like Rudy’s and The Grill. “We’ve worked with other landowners to create a place with improved access that offers the ability to drive into the area and safely walk around; read the signage commemorating the historic nature of the area; visit the Aue homestead, old depot and hotel; and really get a sense of the historical significance of the area,” said Jeff Booth, Embrey’s senior managing partner on the project, in a press statement.

The Dallas-based BGO Architects chose a “Texas Country French” theme, utilizing native limestone. The development will include a 6,397-square-foot, two-story clubhouse featuring a business office, catering kitchen, dining room, fitness center and indoor golf simulator. Outdoor amenities will consist of a luxury pool with cabanas, cooking areas, a trellis-covered outdoor fireplace and green gathering areas. “We’ve designed this as an executive-class lifestyle experience and have made it flexible enough for empty nesters, singles and couples,” added Booth.

The apartments will include one-, two- and three-bedroom options, as well as carriage house units and townhomes; they will range in size from 608 square feet to 1,409 square feet. Residents will be able to choose from three interior design finish packages including high-quality granite countertops and custom wood cabinets. They will also be able to upgrade to packages normally found only in custom, single-family homes, such as designer hardware and lighting, stainless steel appliances and attached private garages.

The east side of the development overlooks homes in the Dominion, one of San Antonio’s most exclusive, Hill Country neighborhoods. Two premier residential buildings will offer elevators, one overlooking the pool and the other flanking the amenity center. “We’re very excited about developing it in a way that will reflect the quality and timeless architectural appeal the Dominion is known for,” said Booth.

Photo courtesy of Embrey Partners.

Canyon Realty Funds $55.2M Senior Loan for Final Phase of Retail Center The Rim

4 Mar 2014, 2:58 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The prosperous North San Antonio market keeps on flourishing, especially the Northwest Corridor. Following investment led by Hines Global REIT in massive retail center The Rim, the final phase of construction is about to commence. Canyon Capital Realty Advisors announced its involvement in the financing for the fifth phase with a $55.2 million senior loan to an affiliate of Thomas Land and Development L.L.C. RIM V adds 254,606 square feet of retail space to the existing construction, and 91 percent of it is already pre-leased to retail tenants.

This transaction is the second investment Canyon Realty has made in the Northwest submarket of San Antonio in the past three years. “RIM V is a compelling investment opportunity for Canyon Realty, given the project’s thriving trade area, with affluent demographics, excellent visibility and access, and a diverse tenant mix of national and local retailers,” said Robin Potts, director of Canyon Realty, in a press statement. “Thomas developed the first four phases of the RIM, which have become San Antonio’s premier power center, and we look forward to building on that success with the fifth phase of the center.”

RIM V is ideally located in the middle of the first four phases, which are 100 percent occupied. Scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2014, it includes among its tenants Hobby Lobby, PetSmart, Total Wine & More, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and Bowl & Barrel.

“We are excited that Canyon Realty’s loan enables us to complete the vision of adding new top-tier retail tenants to the project,” stated Stan Thomas, founder, chairman & CEO of Thomas Land and Development. “Canyon Realty brought significant value to the project by moving quickly to structure and to execute the construction loan in a short timeframe to meet the needs of the transaction.”

Photo courtesy of The Rim.

Hines Acquires a Portion of The Rim Outdoor Retail Center

25 Feb 2014, 2:38 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Northwest San Antonio is developing at very high speed. The latest acquisition is evidence of high interest coming from the investors: Hines Global REIT Inc. announced it purchased the retail interest of Georgia-based Thomas Land & Development in The Rim, the largest outdoor retail center in Texas.

The Rim has been designed to be constructed in five phases: The first four were completed between 2006 and 2008, and the last phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015. The complex, which encompasses 1.8 million square feet located at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Highway 1604, is currently 99.5 percent leased to popular brands including Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JC Penney, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and TJ Maxx.

“We were attracted to this property due to the desirable location in one of the strongest growth markets in the U.S. The strong tenant base, which has historically exceeded 98 percent occupancy since opening in 2006, proves it’s one of the best centers in Texas,” said Sherri Schugart, president & CEO of Hines Global REIT, in a press statement.

Hines Global REIT invested in the acquisition of 796,445 square feet of The Rim, plus rights to 259,656 square feet currently under construction, with completion set for Dec. 31, 2014, as well as the right to purchase an additional 97,000 square feet expected to be built by Dec. 31, 2015. The parcels left out of the transaction entitle 647,174 square feet and comprise a few other tenants, plus some that are individually owned by Bass Pro Shops, Lowe’s, Santikos Palladium Theatres and Target.

The seller was represented by Eastdil Secured. The purchase price has not been revealed by the buyer; however, Hines reported it in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission as $176.4 million. The property manager of the newly acquired retail space will be Hines’ Southwest regional office.

“The Rim is the fourth retail asset acquired by Hines Global REIT and is the largest to date. This acquisition is a great accomplishment and a great addition to our quality portfolio of retail centers.  We are grateful to Thomas Land & Development and Eastdil for their efforts in bringing this transaction to a close,” added Kenton McKeehan, managing director at Hines.

Photo courtesy of Hines

Embrey Partners Receives Approval for M-U Development

19 Feb 2014, 7:47 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The border delimitating the urban and suburban areas of San Antonio started fading away when Embrey Partners announced it had received zoning approval to turn 8.2 acres of commercial space in the Legacy Shopping Center into an apartment development with 289 units. The property is located at Loop 1604 and Highway 281 in northern San Antonio and will be the third mixed-use community the company has built along the 281 corridor.

“This is very unique for the area. We’re urbanizing the suburbs. There’s no longer this line drawn in the sand between city and suburb. People can have that urban, walkable experience they want with a suburban location,” said John Kirk, executive vice president of development for Embrey Partners. “Embrey has had success with similar mixed-use projects, like the one at the Quarry with Artessa, and is now bringing it further north to Legacy,” he added.

The multifamily development is part of the Santikos Legacy master plan; construction on the Legacy apartments could start toward the end of this spring. The construction plan consists of three- and four-story buildings with parking both underground and on the surface, private garages, elevators, a two-level fitness facility, a resort-style infinity pool with private cabanas and views of the Hill Country to the north, and a dog park, all in a walkable area that is close to retail and restaurants.

The size of the Class A apartments starts from 550 square feet for a one-bedroom unit and goes up to 1,200 square feet for a two-bedroom unit. Their design will be all about Generation Y: in an urban environment with convenience and choices specific to it, but outside the city center. “The design is Texas contemporary. We’ve taken great care to complement the Texas Hill Country and the existing retail,” said Kirk.

“We are excited about the addition of an urban residential development to the existing restaurant, entertainment, shops, services and loft-style offices of the Legacy. Embrey Partners has been very successful with its multifamily developments in San Antonio, and we are pleased they have chosen Legacy for their next local project,” stated John Santikos, president & owner of Santikos Real Estate Services.

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