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Beto O’Rourke Once Supported an El Paso Real Estate Deal. Barrio Residents Remember.

EL PASO — At a special City Council meeting in 2006, a billionaire real estate investor unveiled his vision for redeveloping downtown El Paso. To replace tenements and boarded-up buildings, he proposed restaurants, shops and an arts walk rivaling San Antonio’s River Walk.

Representative Beto O’Rourke, one of hundreds attending, wasn’t exactly a disinterested party.

Not only had he married the investor’s daughter, but as a member of City Council, he represented the targeted area, including a historic Mexican-American neighborhood.

Calling downtown “one piece of El Paso that was missing on the road back to greatness,” Mr. O’Rourke, now a congressman and the Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas, voted to take the first step forward with the plan.

Over the next two years, Mr. O’Rourke would defend the plan before angry barrio residents and vote to advance it. At other times, he would abstain. Business owners who opposed the plan accused Mr. O’Rourke of a conflict, citing the involvement of his father-in-law, the billionaire developer William D. Sanders.

Twelve years later, Mr. O’Rourke is championing progressive causes, attracting millions of dollars from small donors across the country and eschewing political action committee money in what he calls a grass-roots effort to unseat Ted Cruz, the Republican incumbent, in one of the most closely watched Senate races in the midterms. Polls show Mr. Cruz with a modest lead.

Yet, as Mr. O’Rourke’s national popularity grows — there is even speculation that he may run for president in two years — his involvement in the proposed El Paso redevelopment highlights a side of his record that, on its surface, seems to contradict the populist image he has cultivated in Texas and nationally.

Mr. O’Rourke was perceived by many as siding with the moneyed elite against angry barrio residents, small business owners and even the Jesuit priests who ministered to the immigrant community at Sacred Heart Church.

“Mr. O’Rourke was basically the pretty face of this very ugly plan against our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” said David Dorado Romo, a local historian who added that the episode had resurrected longstanding race and class divisions in the city.

Barrio residents feared that they would lose their homes through eminent domain, and a city-funded branding study suggested that the residents of El Paso were perceived as “dirty” and “lazy.’’ Among some constituents, the hurt feelings have lingered.

ImageGuadalupe Ochoa outside of the El Paso home she has lived in since 1973. She was one of the residents who felt Mr. O’Rourke had turned his back on the community.CreditIvan Pierre Aguirre for The New York Times

One of them is Guadalupe Ochoa, 75, who owns a home near the redevelopment area. “We had voted for Mr. Beto, and now that he got to the top, and close to the power, he turned things around on us,” Ms. Ochoa said through an interpreter, Dr. Romo.

Mr. Cruz and the super PAC that supports him have seized on that chapter of Mr. O’Rourke’s career to attack him as elitist, accusing him in ads of “displacing poor families to enrich his own,” something that never happened — the plan itself was ultimately abandoned.

Mr. O’Rourke declined requests to be interviewed for this article. In response to claims that he favored developers over barrio residents, he has said in the past that he never voted for eminent domain, that no property was ever taken by the city through eminent domain and that he had no financial interest in the project.

Despite the resentment among some over the development plan, Mr. O’Rourke has broad support in his home city, where 80 percent of the residents are Hispanic but still regard Mr. O’Rourke, who is white, as a favorite son. “Beto” signs, T-shirts and lapel buttons are everywhere. Even many who objected to Mr. O’Rourke’s support for the redevelopment plan say they will vote for him.

Once a bustling city with 50,000 manufacturing jobs — and nicknamed the jeans capital of the world for its thriving garment industry — El Paso was hit hard by the North American Free Trade Agreement. As jobs moved to Mexico in the 1990s, the city’s strong retail trade also declined.

Mr. O’Rourke’s father-in-law, Mr. Sanders, now 77, had grown up in El Paso, attended Cornell, then started the national real estate company LaSalle Partners, headquartered in Chicago. The firm later merged with another to form Jones Lang LaSalle.

Bloomberg News once called Mr. Sanders the Warren Buffett of the real estate industry and estimated the value of his portfolio at $20 billion. He developed expertise in establishing real estate investment trusts, which pool money from investors to buy and operate real estate developments.

“When I spoke to kids in El Paso, I would tell them that someday you can become Bill Sanders,” said Tanny Berg, an El Paso businessman.

In ruby red Texas, a Democrat hasn’t been elected to a statewide position since 1994. But ahead of this year’s midterm election, a Senate race between an unflinching liberal and a religious conservative is unexpectedly close.Published OnOct. 12, 2018CreditCreditIllustration by Drew Jordan

By the early 2000s, Mr. Sanders had returned to the El Paso area, where he was asked to help redevelop the downtown.

The vehicle for the renewal was the Paso del Norte Group, a nonprofit organization. Made up of more than 300 leaders from both El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, across the river in Mexico, the invitation-only organization received both city funding and a federal grant to devise its plan.

For a time, its membership included Mr. O’Rourke as well as Amy Sanders, Mr. Sanders’s daughter, who had married Mr. O’Rourke in September 2005, just months before the plan was made public.

Mr. Sanders unveiled the proposal, focusing on a 300-acre swath of downtown, in a meeting in March 2006. What might not have been entirely clear to everyone at the meeting was that the plan’s success was largely dependent on the city’s ability to persuade property owners in the most blighted areas to turn over their holdings to the private trust. In the case of recalcitrant owners, eminent domain would be used.

“We don’t want to do that, O.K.?” Mr. Sanders told the gathering, saying the first option was to persuade owners to fold their properties into the trust.

The plan immediately caused controversy.

Much of it involved the proposed demolition of portions of Segundo Barrio, which means Second Ward, near the Rio Grande border crossing to Mexico. The neighborhood has served as the entry point to the United States for generations of Mexican-Americans.

The barrio retains much of its appeal despite efforts to “de-Mexicanize” it. In the early 1880s, many of the adobe buildings were torn down, removing what newspapers called “their bad associations,” an effort Dr. Romo described in his 2005 history, “Ringside Seat to a Revolution.”

ImageA mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Segundo Barrio, El Paso, in 2016.CreditRussell Contreras/Associated Press

Street murals depict colorful scenes evoking Roman Catholicism and the Mexican immigrant experience. Retail strips cater to both the Mexican-American community in El Paso and day trippers who cross the bridge by foot from Mexico.

The plan aimed to relocate the residents of nearly 500 apartments, many of them in the barrio. Even though new housing was to be built, some residents worried they would not be able to find affordable housing.

Outrage in the barrio was heightened with the release in 2006 of a city image study, developed by an outside vendor, apparently intended to set the stage for the redevelopment. The study included head shots of the actors Penélope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey, interpreted by some as the theoretical new faces of El Paso, with notations like “educated” and “bilingual” and “30-40,” a reference to a desired age range.

The old face of El Paso, by contrast, was an older man wearing a cowboy hat along with the notations: “speak Spanish,” “dirty,” “lazy” and “uneducated.”

Barrio residents gave Mr. O’Rourke a piece of their mind in a meeting at Sacred Heart Church.

One of them was Ms. Ochoa. “We used to be happy here in our barrio,” she told him, “even with all its defects.”

“There are a lot of people who are working very hard to frighten the people who live here,” Mr. O’Rourke told the residents, speaking in Spanish, in an effort to reassure them that the results would not be so dire.

ImageA campaign sign for Mr. O’Rourke on the door of a bakery in Segundo Barrio.CreditIvan Pierre Aguirre for The New York Times

Mr. O’Rourke abstained from votes establishing a tax zone that would set the stage for eminent domain and voted for a temporary moratorium; he later voted against an effort to limit its use.

While the branding study inflamed opponents in the barrio, business owners with properties in the redevelopment zone formed an organization called Land Grab Opponents.

In an ethics complaint, they asserted that Mr. O’Rourke’s company, Stanton Street Technology Group, had provided information technology services to the Paso Del Norte Group.

They also questioned whether Mr. Sanders — and by extension Mr. O’Rourke — would be enriched by the plan. Though Mr. Sanders had said he would donate the dividends from his investment to a nonprofit organization, “his financial involvement only crystallizes the conflict of interest for Representative O’Rourke,” the complaint stated.

The city ethics commission rejected the complaint. Stuart Blaugrund, the Dallas lawyer who represented the Land Grab Opponents, said in an interview that Mr. O’Rourke was “tone-deaf” to the appearance of a conflict.

“He ultimately recused himself and did the right thing, but it seemed to me to be unnecessary for us to have to generate such ire among his constituents in the interim period,” Mr. Blaugrund said.

“Even if he didn’t have an actual conflict, the optics were terrible,” he added. According to Mr. Blaugrund, the plan was eventually abandoned, partly because of a state ballot initiative in 2009 prohibiting the use of eminent domain to take property for private use.

In an interview with The New York Times Magazine in 2011, Mr. Sanders said he had intended nothing nefarious in the plan, describing it as an effort to put together “a civic system here that weaves together the whole city.”

ImageDespite resentment over Mr. O’Rourke’s support of the redevelopment plan, many in El Paso say they will vote for him.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Mr. Sanders was among investors in late 2006 who formed Borderplex Community Trust, a trust that was to spearhead the redevelopment by taking control of downtown property.

By February 2007 — before it became clear the plan would fall apart — Borderplex had started buying up major El Paso buildings. Recent documents showed Borderplex’s assets at $82 million, including two major office towers in downtown El Paso, with Mr. Sanders owning 1.7 percent.

“Did he contribute the profits to charity as he pledged?” Mr. Blaugrund wondered.

Mr. Sanders did not respond to requests to be interviewed.

Six years after the redevelopment plan was proposed, Mr. Sanders appeared to step in to help his son-in-law’s first race for Congress. One of his companies contributed $37,500 to a PAC that, in turn, spent $240,000 to defeat Mr. O’Rourke’s opponent, the eight-term Democratic congressman Silvestre Reyes.

Mr. O’Rourke won by 3,000 votes.

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The Best Cities To Own Rental Property In Texas

The Lone Star state is booming, and cities like Fort Worth, Garland and Arlington are turning into excellent markets to own rental property. | Getty Royalty Free

For at least the last decade, if not longer, Texas has been on the up-and-up in terms of population and business prosperity. The demand for single family homes has been on the rise in Texas for quite some time, and despite fairly low housing prices statewide, many home seekers are choosing to rent instead of buy. As a result, rental rates are surging. And Texas has a lot of pull factors luring in American looking to relocate, perhaps the main benefit being no income tax.

Here’s a look at the best places in Texas to own rental property as an investment.

Fort Worth

Fort Worth is one of Texas’s principal twin cities, alongside Dallas, separated by just a few miles of the Trinity River’s course. Fort Worth has many features making it conducive to owning rental property. The population in Fort Worth has grown about 6% from 2010 to 2018, and 48% since the year 2000, when its population stood at just 534,694 compared to 792,700 as of 2018. Plus, the median home price is about $255,000, which is comfortably less than the U.S. average, according to Zillow data.

Another huge benefit for potential Fort Worth rental property owners: It is home to several colleges in the area. College students are lucrative segment for rental property owners especially because their parents — and their much more substantial wealth — pay for their children’s rent. Because of this, property owners can charge higher rents because of the near-insatiable demand for student housing. For example, zip code 76109 in Fort Worth, which surrounded Texas Christian University, has a median rent of $2,874, according to Zillow.

Here’s a breakdown of some important figures if you’re considering buying rental property: Median list price – All Homes: $255,000 Median rent: $1,442 1-year increase in home values: 10% 1-year job growth rate: 3.2%

To get the most comprehensive view of the Fort Worth real estate market, check out this interactive map of the area featuring home prices and rental prices.

Garland

Garland, Texas has several critical factors covered that make a great rental property market: Robust job and population growth as well as great affordability for prospective investment property owners. The population in Garland has grown nearly 5% since 2018 and 10% since the turn of the millennium. Plus, the median home price is $219,999, which is over $50,000 cheaper than the national average, $275,000, and great for potential property owners.

Here’s a breakdown of some important investment property figures:

Median list price – All Homes: $219,999 Median rent: $1,500 1-year increase in home values: 11% 1-year job growth rate: 1.6%

A key factor to keep in mind is that Garland’s median income is less than the U.S. average, according to Census Bureau data. Additionally, in terms of wage distribution, 16% of incomes are between $20,000 and $30,000 — the highest percentage of all income brackets — which could make homeownership much less of an option, while renting becomes even more so. For an even closer look at the Garland rental property market, check out this interactive map of prices in the Garland area.

Arlington

Arlington is also located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. As such, Arlington has been benefiting from the general population and economic surge that the metro area and Texas overall have been experiencing.

Like Fort Worth, Arlington has its share of colleges to lure renters with money. Perhaps most notable is the University of Texas at Arlington, which also boasts a state-of-the-art planetarium. Other geographic bonuses include AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play their home games, as well as Lake Arlington.

Arlington’s population has grown impressively over the years. From a population of 332,969 in 2010, Arlington’s current population in 2018 exceeds 390,000 — a growth rate of 18% over eight years.

Here’s a breakdown of some important figures to consider before you buy property in Arlington:

Median list price – All Homes: $240,000 Median rent: $1,521 1-year increase in home values: 9% 1-year job growth rate: 3.2%

You’ll find that there is plenty of profit to be made owning rental property in Arlington, especially if you take a closer look at the rental market, so check out this interactive map that features current home prices as well as current rental rates.

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Refocused, NFL Week 6: Dallas Cowboys 40, Jacksonville Jaguars 7

Oct 14, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with quarterback Dak Prescott (4) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 40-7, in Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season.

PFF’s ReFocused series this season features immediate takeaways and a key to the victory from two Senior Analysts who graded the performance, watching every player on every play of the game. For more data and analysis from the game, utilize our Premium Stats 2.0 dashboard to expand your knowledge on the key players, signature stats and much more.

FINAL SCORe

Dallas Cowboys 40, Jacksonville Jaguars 7

It’s hard to win a game when you only complete three passes of 10+ yards past the line of scrimmage. Bortles wasn’t helped out by a couple of drops, but he wasn’t finding anything open down the field in their comeback attempt.

After not allowing a single sack a season ago, Andrew Norwell just allowed his second on the season. Maliek Collins toasted him with an inside spin, and the left guard is already over halfway to his pressure total from 2017.

The run fits for Jacksonville were a nightmare at times. Zeke Elliott‘s last touchdown run had nothing to do with the run-blocking and everything to do with Jacksonville’s inability to stay gap-sound.

A.J. Bouye is going to be seeing Cole Beasley in his nightmares tonight. Bouye was following the Cowboys receiver to the slot often, and he allowed three catches from four targets for 31 yards and in an uncharacteristic performance.

Sometimes a little luck can help. This game could have had a much different tune had Dak Prescott‘s two first-half fumbles not bounced immediately back into his lap. He did a fairly good job protecting the ball through the air though, as he ended the game with only one turnover-worthy throw.

The offensive line put together one of it’s best performances on the season. While Dak was sacked three times, not a single one was charged to an offensive lineman.

The pass-rush finally looks to be at full strength and was affecting Bortles all game long. They found pressure on 13 of his 31 dropbacks despite only blitzing six times.

In a battle between two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Byron Jones can say he went toe-to-toe with Jalen Ramsey and didn’t flinch. He was targeted three times, he broke up two of those passes and didn’t allow a single catch.

Keys to the Game:

Jacksonville: The Jaguars run defense has to be more disciplined going forward against run-heavy attacks. They have the talent to stop the run, but there was far too much free-lancing today.

Dallas: With David Irving back and Randy Gregory rounding into form, the Dallas defense is 100% for real.

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Living the high life: Dallas high-rise aims for tip top of rental market

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With more than 35,000 apartments under construction in North Texas, there are a lot to choose from.

But if you are hunting the ultimately luxury living address, look no further than a new building just opening on the eastern edge of Highland Park. Called the McKenzie, the 22-story high-rise just off McKinney Avenue is aimed at the top slice of Dallas’ rental market.

Units in the residential tower start at more than $3,500 a month for the smallest — more than three times the average apartment rent in North Texas. A top floor penthouse will run you $18,500 a month.

For those prices, McKenzie renters will get features and services found in five-star hotels and the priciest custom homes.

"With these residents, we felt rent wasn’t going to be the issue but quality of the units and the services," said Doug Chesnut, one of the founders of project developer StreetLights Residential. "Our average renter here is in their late 50s and 60s.

"They want high-end services like at condominiums."

Residents get to enjoy a rooftop pool deck with views of downtown, a full fitness center, private lounges with several seating areas, entertaining kitchen, private bar and several outdoor seating areas. On the ground floor you’ll find more formal public rooms with multiple lounge and salon spaces, boardroom and private studies and an outdoor walled garden.

"Our residents are treated like this is their home when they walk in," Chesnut said. "We went with the high-quality finish-out and custom construction."

With an average unit size of 1,600 square feet, apartments in the McKenzie are about 50 percent larger than rentals in StreetLights Residential’s other high-rise buildings.

About 25 percent of the 183 apartments at the McKenzie have been leased. The entire building won’t be completed until February.

Carmen Marsh and her husband were one of the first residents to move in this summer.

"We had a big house in Lakewood," Marsh said. "We wanted to downsize. We wanted a lock-and-leave home, and not worry about a pool or yard," she said.

The Marshes rented one of the larger three-bedroom units.

"We have a view of downtown," she said. "And we can walk to Javier’s and Chelsea Corner [restaurants] and basically anything we need."

Moving to the rental building, she said they are saving thousands of dollars a month in property taxes and maintenance of their old home.

"With the new tax laws there’s not a lot of benefit in owning a big house like that anymore," Marsh said.

Since the building won’t rent to tenants below 25 years old, residents don’t have to worry about a party crowd on the pool deck.

"It wasn’t going to be living with a bunch of SMU students here," Marsh said.

When StreetLights first started building high-rise Uptown apartments, the developer was surprised to see a large number of affluent empty nesters at the leasing office.

"We had to rethink things," Chesnut said. "People do this in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles — but in Dallas we don’t build for the more mature renter."

Most of North Texas’ new apartments are being rented by 20-somethings and early 30s residents moving to the area for new jobs.

McKenzie is the first building StreetLights Residential has done that’s aimed specifically at older, more affluent renters.

"We had the right location — if you were going to try it, we felt like this was the place," Chesnut said.

Many of the residents are relocating from large single-family homes.

"We have a lot of folks coming primarily from the Park Cities and North Dallas," said Sanders Avrea with Allie Beth Allman & Associates, which is leasing the building. "We have also seen corporate executives moving to Dallas who don’t know where they want to buy just yet.

"For people renovating their houses in the Park Cities, this gives them someplace to live," he said. "We do offer up to two-year leases, which is extremely unique."

Avrea said some of the new tenants are "upgrading" from other high-rise Dallas apartments.

"We get calls from people interested in this as a second home," Chesnut said. "They have children in Dallas, come see them a lot and don’t want to stay in a hotel."

Chesnut said that his firm may look at doing similar buildings in other select U.S. markets.

"We see in most of the big markets one or two of these buildings that are coming online right now," said Greg Willett, chief economist with Richardson-based RealPage. "The target audience is that downsizing baby boomer group.

"This is still a niche market until it gets proven up a little more."

And that may take a little while.

"Be ready for a long lease up," Willett said. "It takes these households forever to make up their minds.

"They can afford anything they want and will look at everything and take their time."

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Longview, Kilgore apartment complexes sold

Danville Townhouse Longview LP has sold two Longview-area apartment complexes with a total of 101 units to a North Texas private investor, according to Vanguard Real Estate Advisors of Dallas, which handled the sale.

The sale involves the 89-unit Townhouse South Apartments at 5518 W. Loop 281 in Longview and 12-unit The Place on Danville at 2060 Danville Road in Kilgore.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, information from the Gregg County Appraisal District shows Townhouse South with a market value of $547,250 and The Place on Danville valued at $470,210.

The appraisal district shows Norman A. Eastwood of Plano as the representative for Danville Townhouse Longview LP.

The sale was handled by the Vanguard disposition team led by Jordan Cortez.

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Expert Tips For First-Time NYC Apartment Flippers

LifeEdited founder and micro-living guru Graham Hill bought two apartments in SoHo to renovate and resell.

Television shows like “Desert Flippers” and “Flip or Flop” are giving viewers across America a taste of the real estate pie.

In New York City, where the sales market historically prevails, house-flipping can be an exceptionally enticing investment.

While careful not to minimize its difficulty, buying and selling real estate in the Big Apple is not as risky as other ventures, like startups, that lack the same track record of growth, noted Grant Hill, founder of the design firm LifeEdited.

That being said, “you’re not going to lose your shirt,” he warned, “unless you really overextend yourself and lose everything.”

Known for his Ted Talk on micro-living, Hill recently renovated two tiny condos in the trendy downtown neighborhood of SoHo.

He bought two apartments at 150 Sullivan St. in 2009 for around $280,000 each and sold the 450-square-foot unit 33, dubbed LE1, in 2014 for $790,000.

LE2, the building’s 350-square-foot unit 33, is now on the market for $750,000.

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Dealing with such small living spaces can be a challenge, noted Ray Sturm, CEO of the real estate investment firm AlphaFlow, but it can be made up for with their lack of landscaping.

Unlike properties with their own ponds, acres of land, or even driveways and front lawns, apartments “tend to be more cosmetic rehabilitations,” Sturm said.

And the opportunity to resell flats isn’t just in New York – flippers are doing well in downtown Dallas, Texas, Marina del Rey in Los Angeles and Miami Beach in Florida, along with other urban markets, he said.

But before you jump into the deep end of the urban resale pool, here is some advice to help you stay afloat:

Watch your spending. Like any investment, the key focus with buying and selling real estate should be your finances. Aim to earn at least a 15 to 20% return on your investment, Hill said. To do this, avoid spending a lot of money upfront. The labor and materials for a $2 million space will be the equivalent to that for one that cost $500,000, he said.

While planning for a renovation, set money aside for the unexpected, advised Stephen Kliegerman, president of development marketing with the brokerage Halstead. “Even watching the ‘Property Brothers,’ they’re always saying, ‘we thought this was going to cost X, now it’s going to be Y,’ – in New York City it’s usually Y times two,” he said.

And during the renovation, it’s conserving on “the little things that honestly matters,” Sturm added. “Don’t put an $8,000 jacuzzi tub,” in the bathroom, he said, “there’s probably one that’s just as good for $1,200.”

Pick the right neighborhood. When choosing a location to buy property, stick with areas you’re familiar with, Sturm advised. “People get out of their own market and quickly fall on their faces when they get beyond their expertise,” he said. “Invest where you really know the real estate and you understand the customer.”

In New York City, some areas poised for growth include Jamaica, Queens, upper Manhattan and eastern Brooklyn, Kliegerman noted.

Once you do pick a place, invest as much as you can there because, “as soon as people see the value then you’re not going to be able to buy [property] at cheap prices anymore,” in that neighborhood, Hill cautioned. “You have to be gutsy but you have to go in pretty hard.”

Don’t rush to sell. Though flippers on television seem to sell properties before their new coats of paint are dry, our experts said the best way to make money in real estate is to be patient. Wait even a few years for an area to become popular and then sell when the market is hot, Hill said. There are ways to make properties affordable while you wait for a market to appreciate, such as by refinancing or renting them out to cover the mortgage. “If you can hold onto it through a market cycle it’s worth it,” Hill said.

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Top D-FW commercial real estate deals for the week of Aug. 20

Gordon Partners

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Sales

Houston-based Gordon Partners has acquired Green Oaks Plaza, a 100,000 square foot retail center on West Pleasant Ridge Rd. in Arlington. The new owner plans to remodel the shopping center, its eighth acquisition since 2011.

Frontline Holdings has purchased the Westview apartments, a 334-unit apartment community located at 201 W. Southwest Parkway in Lewisville. JLL’s Mark Brandenburg handled the transaction with financing from Voya Financial.

A Texas investor purchased a medical office building at 930 W. Main in Lewisville. The 10,060-square-foot building sold for $3.3 million. Stan Johnson Co’s Tom Georges and Jon Cohen brokered the sale by a New York investor.

An investor has purchased a warehouse at 3640 Marquis Drive in Garland. Matt Spellman of TIG Real Estate Services brokered the sale.

A Texas investor has purchased Pioneer Plaza, a 51,390-square foot shopping center in on East Davis Street in Mesquite. Dallas’ Strive Real Estate brokered the sale of the 85 percent leased retail center by a group of investors.

Leases

Tire Profiles Inc. has expanded its lease to 16,377 square feet of industrial space at 3060 W Story Rd. in Irving. Michael W. Spain of Bradford Commercial Real Estate negotiated the lease.

Obstacle Warrior Kids has leased 15,701 square feet of retail space in the Gateway Plaza shopping center on Southlake Boulevard in Southlake. Chad Albert with NAI Robert Lynn and Josh Beliak of Shop Cos negotiated the lease with David Levinson and Jack Weir of the Retail Connection.

Camp Bow Wow, a dog day care, boarding, training and in-home pet care facility, has leased 12,000 square feet at 1200 Texan Trail in Grapevine. Pete Danna and Layne Mayfield with CBRE negotiated the lease with Matthew Thompson and Phillip Rosenfeld with Lee & Associates.

Rexel USA leased 11,701 square feet of industrial space at 716 S Greenville Avenue in Allen. Brett Lewis and George Tanghongs of Lee & Associates negotiated the lease with CBRE.

Hobart AVL & Event Rentals has leased 10,500 square feet of commercial space at 2840 Guilder Drive in Plano. George Tanghongs and Brett Lewis of Lee & Associates negotiated the lease with Tyler Tillery of NAI Robert Lynn.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has merged three North Texas offices in a new 8,800-square-foot location in Southlake. The new Southlake regional office is at 850 E. State Highway 114 and will support 200 sales agents. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has 14 offices and 920 agents serving Dallas-Fort Worth. Josh Bryan of Tenant Real Estate Advisors and Geoff Shelton and Marshall Mays of Holt Lunsford Commercial negotiated the lease.

M+W Group leased 7,868 square feet of commercial space at 1001 Klein Road in Plano. Brett Lewis & George Tanghongs of Lee & Associates negotiated the lease with Cushman & Wakefield.

Signature Salon Suites leased 6,000 square feet of retail space at 3601 Regent Boulevard in Irving. Thad Beckner from Inroads Realty negotiated the lease.

Mario’s Mexican and El Salvadorian Restaurant has leased 4,376 square feet of retail space at Village at Eldorado at FM 423 in Little Elm. Thad Beckner from Inroads Realty negotiated the lease with Taylor Roberts with CBRE.

Prodapt North America leased 3,634 square feet of office space at 1333 Corporate Drive in Irving. Derek Alexander with Hartman Income REIT negotiated the lease with Cassie Watts with Cresa Partners.

Real estate editor Steve Brown compiles this list.

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Unique homes: These luxury units in Dallas’ Design District are selling for $750,000

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North Texas residents have lots of housing choices.

But finding your dream home in Dallas-Fort Worth doesn’t have to mean a standard 3-bedroom in the ‘burbs or a matchbox-sized apartment in Uptown.

There are as many housing alternatives these days as there are personal tastes in dwelling units. From old warehouses to sleek new high-rises, there’s something for everyone if you are willing to look for it.

One of them is on Vantage Street, an unusual address for a luxury residence.

Instead of the country-club crowd, your neighbors include a hardwood flooring firm, auto repair shop and upholstery shop.

And the Design District building that houses two posh homes that are for sale started out as a sewing factory. Now the old warehouse off Wycliff Avenue near the Hilton Anatole Hotel has two deluxe residential units that each have 2,500 square feet. They are listed for sale at $750,000 and $800,000.

"It was built in 1967 by Trammell Crow," said contractor Jeff Bales who’s selling the properties. "A nut and bolt factory used to be in here and it was probably 20 different businesses over the years.

"The buildings down here are well built and have high ceilings and are wide open."

Bales finished both of the units with bright white and brick walls, stained concrete floors and luxury fixtures in the kitchens and baths. One unit has its own swimming pool and both of them overlook the Trinity Strand Trail, which runs alongside the property.

"I’ve had three showings yesterday and two the day before," said real estate agent Paige Whiteside who’s marketing the two lofts. "There are at least 20 couples living down here and there is a Design District homeowners associations."

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Dallas and other Texas metros make new list of U.S. boomtowns

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With all the construction cranes on the highway and business moves to the area, it’s no surprise that Dallas has ended up on a new list of the country’s biggest boomtowns.

All of Texas’ major metros ended up near the top of the new ranking by Magnify Money.

Dallas ranked in seventh place in the comparison of top U.S. growth cities.

"Americans are flocking to and prospering in Texas," Kali McFadden with Magnify Money, a consumer finance website, said in the report. "Texas metros take up one-third of the top 15 spots."

Austin was rated the top U.S. boomtown in the report. And San Antonio was just after Dallas in ninth place.

Magnify Money ranked cities on factors including population growth, housing and rising employment and incomes.

"The first thing we looked at was how much business and industry has grown locally," McFadden said. "We not only wanted to know how many new businesses there are but also how businesses in general are doing, as measured by their increase in hiring and — for businesses that don’t have employees, known as non-employers — how much revenue has increased."

While Texas towns hogged the beauty contest, cities in the Northeast and Midwest were near dead last in the ratings.

Some cities in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Ohio saw their labor forces and the number of businesses shrink for the 5-year period used in the comparison.

North Texas has been one of America’s fastest growing markets since the Great Recession, leading the county in job gains and population growth.

Source: Magnify Money

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Leasing Begins at Terra Lago Lakefront Apartments in Rowlett, Texas

Terra Lago lakefront apartments in Rowlett, Texas (Photo: Business Wire)

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Abode Properties a subsidiary of Transcontinental Realty Investors Inc., (NYSE: TCI) a Dallas-based real estate investment company, is pleased to announce leasing has begun at its Terra Lago asset. The class A asset will become part of the Southern Properties Capital portfolio.

“Terra Lago is our largest complex built at one time in Texas. The asset is a great achievement for our ever expanding portfolio.”

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“Leasing activity has formally commenced and tenants will start occupancy over the next several weeks,” said Daniel Moos, CEO and President. “Terra Lago is our largest complex built at one time in Texas. The asset is a great achievement for our ever expanding portfolio.”

Terra Lago is a 451 unit Midrise Multi-Family community located along the east line of Scenic Drive in the far eastern portion of Rowlett, Texas. The property has water frontage along Lake Ray Hubbard.

The Class A property is designed with three and four story mid-rise apartment buildings. The Lakeside location will offer one, two, and three bedroom apartments with high-quality amenities and stunning lake views. A structured parking garage with entry at each floor level, temperature controlled corridors and cyber lounges are the comforts and conveniences offered. Interior features will include granite countertops, ceiling fans, 2" faux wood blinds, pendant lighting, kitchen islands, oval garden tubs, walk-in closets, patios and balconies, walk-in pantries, and eat-in kitchen bars. Select units offer double vanities and bath linen closets. Exterior amenities will comprise of resort style pools, decked courtyards with water features, tanning ledges, BBQ grills, fitness centers, business center and a bocce ball court.

Rowlett is just 20 minutes from downtown Dallas north of IH-30, surrounded by more than 30 miles of shoreline on beautiful Lake Ray Hubbard, and home to over 62,000 residents. This Multifamily-friendly setting is conveniently located near all the fine dining, shopping, and entertainment that Rowlett has to offer.

Abode Properties is a subsidiary of Transcontinental Realty Investors Inc., (NYSE: TCI), a Dallas-based real estate investment company. Abode’s investment and strategic focus is to acquire, develop, and operate a portfolio of desirable multifamily residential properties, while capitalizing on our ability to obtain long term and static debt structures. The portfolio stands to benefit from historically established, proven, and successful operational practices, seasoned on-site management, and an experienced leadership team with forward thinking capabilities in order to realize maximum cash flows and consistent returns, while maintaining unequaled resident and customer service. We are disciplined and prudent allocators of capital and we will continue growing our geographically diverse portfolio from the Southwest to the Southeast. These markets are geographically located in areas of the country that correspond with both sustainable and viable economic growth activity. All of Abode Properties means one thing – “Home”.

Transcontinental Realty Investors maintains a strong emphasis on creating greater shareholder value through acquisition, financing, operation, development, and sale of real estate across every geographic region in the United States. A New York Stock Exchange company, Transcontinental is traded under the symbol “TCI”. Transcontinental produces revenue through the ownership and professional management of income producing apartments and office buildings that are “undervalued” or “underperforming” at the time of acquisition. Value is added under Transcontinental ownership, and the properties are repositioned into higher classifications through physical improvements and improved management. Transcontinental has dramatically expanded its development capabilities associated with luxury apartment homes through its wholly owned subsidiary Abode Properties, principally on land it owns or acquires.

Southern Properties Capital operates primarily in Texas and specializes in Class A multifamily assets in emerging markets throughout the Southern United States, corresponding with both sustainable and viable economic growth activity. The issuing entity is backed by over 3,000 multi-family units (out of a total of approximately 8,000 owned and operated by TCI), as well as over 1.5 million square feet of office buildings in Texas. The company has already used funds to acquire additional multi-family assets within its strategic footprint, and expects significant expansion by continuing to utilize the Israeli bond platform.

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