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    October 2015

Several Companies Have Recently Decided to Call 11811 North Freeway Home 

In the past several months new tenants have occupied over 26,000 square feet of space at 11811 North Freeway.

Below are just a few of the companies located there. 

Two insurance companies have opened offices in the building. Fred Loya leased over 15,000 square feet in the building. Founded in El Paso in 1974, and specializing in providing general automobile insurance at affordable rates, the company has grown and is listed as No. 18 on the Hispanic Top 500 Owned and Operated Companies in the United States list. Eagle American Insurance Agency provides insurance for homeowners, motorcycles, RVs, watercraft, automobiles, private collections, life, and health; the company leased almost 1,000 square feet in the building.  

Dr. Sang Joo, MD leased over 500 square feet. The doctor specializes in addiction psychiatry. 

The AG Doctors Center of Houston took over 1,600 square feet for its family medicine practice. 

Hermes Aviation, which specializes in marketing and sales of air cargo products for airlines, leased almost 800 square feet in 11811 North Freeway. The company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 1991 and currently represents numerous airlines in the U.S. and overseas, providing marketing and sales of their air cargo capacity in key global markets. 

Prospects are Bright in Greenspoint — According to Bisnow's "Future of Greenspoint" Panelists 

Lots of good news was presented at the biannual "Future of Greenspoint" event. 

Greenspoint District's new president, Greg Simpson, began the morning sharing his vision of Greenspoint over the next few years as well as presenting a video highlighting many of the opportunities that exist in Greenspoint, particularly in the office and industrial markets, where space is abundant. 

The morning continued with Reggie Gray, president of the Houston Intercontinental Chamber of Commerce, announcing the purchase of 34 buildings in the Greenspoint area by HPI Holdings. HPI will renovate the buildings, and Caldwell Companies' SVP Bill Ginder will lease the spaces; Caldwell will also be in charge of property management. Reggie says this sale shows confidence in the Greenspoint market and represents a resurgence of investment in the submarket. 

HPI Holdings' news is not the only exciting activity in the area. 

Leasing has picked up speed. 

Colvill Office Properties' Chip Colvill, a panelists at the event, says Greenspoint Place is his most active property portfolio in the Houston Market — he's closed 200,000 square feet of deals in the last year. Not to be outdone, Transwestern's EVP Michelle Wogan, the event's moderator, has finalized 260,000 square feet of deals in the submarket, half of the activity being new tenants to the area. 

Chip views Greenspoint a lot like Westchase a few years ago. Activity to its west caused Westchase to increase in popularity, and he thinks activity in North Houston will be a catalyst for activity to increase in Greenspoint. 

Chip credits Greenspoint's affordable lease rates with the increase in leasing activity. CBRE's Lucian Bukowski, another panelist, says Greenspoint's rental rates are 15 to 20 percent lower than other areas of town and are 30 percent lower than Downtown. 

Another huge asset for the area is George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Houston Airport Systems COO Lance Lyttle said IAH is running out of room to list all of the airlines with service on its signs, adding an unprecedented 11 foreign airlines just in the last two years. In fact, when Air New Zealand begins flying from IAH in December, the airport will be the only airport in the western hemisphere with service to every habitable continent. 

Big things are on the horizon for Greenspoint as companies continue to discover the value of locating in Greenspoint such as, the availability of Class A office space for the first time in over a decade, accessibility to all of the major business centers in Houston within a convenient drive time, and lease rates 22 percent below the Houston average. 

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The ABCs of Successful Business: O is for Office Space 

With office rates 22 percent below the Houston average, the Greenspoint District is a great value for cost-conscious companies looking to expand to the area. Owners with large blocks of space in Greenspoint are preparing for their future tenant base by investing in their properties with attractive amenities including large conference centers, fitness centers, open floor plans, executive suites, co-working offices specifically suited for small businesses and higher parking ratios.

The District's available properties also include LEED® certified buildings. Dedicated to sustainability, the LEED® certification guarantees high standards of design, construction, and functionality. Green buildings also generate a higher return on investment for companies due to the increased efficiency and reduced costs of water and energy bills by as much as 40 percent. 

Another high selling point for national and international companies is the area's prime location near leading global air, sea, roads, and rail transportation. Tenants are connected to millions of consumers via George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and the Port of Houston. In fact, IAH, located just six miles (10 minutes) from the District, serves 38 countries and provides flights to 185 non-stop destinations, including more non-stop flights to Mexican destinations than any other airport in the country. 

It is for these reasons that Greenspoint has successfully retained high-profile businesses in the area. Within Greenspoint Place, American Bureau of Shipping, a marine and offshore energy standards and classification corporation, has expanded its long-term lease to approximately 258,000 square feet; Swift Energy, an independent oil and gas company, renewed its long-term lease of approximately 120,000 square feet, and HealthHelp, a Houston-based provider of technology for educative and collaborative healthcare administration, moved from another Greenspoint office building into a 40,000-square-foot space.  

"Between the services nearby, the newly available office space, and Greenspoint's convenient transportation infrastructure, the District is becoming a competitive choice in today's business community," Greg Simpson, Greenspoint District president said. 

Elsewhere in the District, Nabors Industries, an upstream oil and gas corporation with an international footprint, expanded its operational headquarters occupying over 323,000 square feet at One Commerce Green. Lennar Homes, one of Houston's largest homebuilders, recently moved into its new 70,000-square-foot headquarters facility within Greens Crossing Office Park. 

"The newly available blocks of office space have really put Greenspoint on the radar of both national and international companies who are looking for highly competitive advantages in this market," Simpson said. "The District offers an affordable, convenient location for corporations seeking a new headquarters site, developers looking to build on vacant land, and investors looking to develop in the area."
 

July 2015

Swift Energy Company Stays in Greenspoint, Relocates Headquarters 

Swift Energy Company recently announced its headquarters relocation from Two Greenspoint Place to Five Greenspoint Place where the company leased over 120,000 square feet including the top six floors of the 460,000-square-foot, 19-story building.  

Swift cited the commitment to quality office space showcased by Hines as a primary reason for its decision to stay in the area. 

"The commitment by ownership, such as the addition of some first-class amenity space, was a key factor in our decision to stay here. Our move down the street to Five Greenspoint Place provides more opportunity for future expansion while maintaining the convenience and efficiency of this centrally located complex," said Alton Heckaman, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Swift.

Hines is extremely happy with Swift's decision to remain in Greenspoint and hopes the new improvements to the campus will help attract other Class A occupants. 

"The current renovation of Greenspoint Place is targeted to attract and retain Class A tenants. As a valued anchor tenant for many years, Swift and their employees appreciate the campus setting as well as the on-site hotel and club," said John Mooz, Hines senior managing director. "With the new capital improvements, including more green space, a state-of-the-art conference center, and high-performance fitness center, Greenspoint Place continues to be the top-tier office asset in North Houston." 

The Greenspoint Place campus is a 13.5-acre, mixed-use office and retail development at the intersection of the North Sam Houston Parkway and Greenspoint Drive. The campus includes the Hilton Houston North Hotel, premium Class-A offices, various dining options, executive athletic club and child-care facilities. Hines, the campus' real estate firm, has invested in several upgrades to the campus including a new fitness center and conference facilities for tenant use. Five Greenspoint Place has received the LEED® Gold Certification. 


Legislature Implements Changes to Texas Enterprise Zone Program 

The Texas Enterprise Zone program is an economic development tool for local communities to partner with the state of Texas to promote job creation and significant private investment that will assist economically distressed areas of the state. Approved projects are eligible to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenditures. 

The level and amount of refund is related to the capital investment and jobs created at the qualified business site. In the past, projects classified as "double jumbo" or "triple jumbo," which are projects with $150-250 million invested and over $250 million invested respectively, could be awarded $2.5 million and $3.75 million in maximum refunds. However, under the new changes implemented this legislative session, the amount of maximum refund on projects designed to retain jobs has been reduced to $1.25 million. 

Employers who create or retain permanent jobs, make capital investment, and fill at least 25 percent of new jobs with individuals who are either economically disadvantaged or residents of an enterprise zone can receive a state sales and use tax refund on qualified purchases. Additionally, honorably discharged veterans and transportation workers who live within 50 miles of the business are designated as "qualified employees." 

Other changes instituted in the program include the ability to create a half-designation to promote small businesses' access to participate in the program. This designation only uses half of a single enterprise project designation allowed by counties, cities and school districts in Texas. 

The last new change to the program is a stipulation that an enterprise project may only have one concurrent designation at any given time. For more information about the Texas Enterprise Zone Program. as well as other economic development services, visit texaswideopenforbusiness.com
 

AMPCO Leases Spaces in Four Greenspoint Place 

AMPCO Services LLC, the U.S. affiliate of Atlantic Methanol Production Company LLC, recently signed a lease at Four Greenspoint Place, in the heart of the Greenspoint District. The company, a joint venture with Marathon Oil Corporation, Noble Energy, Inc., and SONOGAS, operates methanol plants in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa, relocated its Houston offices to an almost seven-thousand-square-foot suite earlier this month.

AMPCO cited several amenities as its main reasons for choosing to locate in their new offices, specifically the proximity to the Hilton Houston North hotel as well as several restaurants. 

Proximity and a prompt commute to George Bush Intercontinental Airport are big assets for this international company. 

"We have had guests fly in from Japan to the airport, land at 9:30 a.m. check into their hotel, and be at our office for a meeting by 11 a.m.," said Edson Jones, vice president of marketing for AMPCO.

The company also like the convenient connectivity of the area, since it is located just 15 miles north of downtown Houston and several desirable residential communities. 

Lastly, the superiority and affordability of the office space in Greenspoint compared to other areas made the decision simple when deciding whether or not to relocate. 

"In Greenspoint, we get a quality location at a good value," said Jeff Schultz, vice president of finance and accounting.  
 

The ABCs of Successful Business: N is for New Construction 

Despite a downturn in oil prices, industrial construction in Houston remains fast-paced with 72 buildings, totaling over 10 million square feet, expected to be delivered in 2015. According to CBRE's Second Quarter Industrial Marketview, Houston's industrial new construction pipeline will add much needed supply to very tight submarkets like the North, which includes Greenspoint and everything north of Interstate 610 between U.S. 59 and Texas State Highway 249. Currently, the North industrial submarket has over one million square feet under construction. 

Speculative construction remains strong in Greenspoint. 

Liberty Property Trust announced late last year it is constructing the Central Green Distribution Center, a 650,000-square-foot cross-dock building at 1401 Rankin Road. The building features a 36-foot clear height 65-foot loading bay, 133 nine-by-ten-foot-high dock high doors, four 12-by-14-foot-high drive-in ramps, 185-foot truck courts, additional storage areas, and trailer parking. Liberty anticipates delivery later this year. 

Additionally, Hines and NAI Partners announced construction of two industrial buildings in Pinto Business Park at the end of 2014, Fallbrook 1 and 2. Fallbrook 1 is a 500,000-square-foot, controlled-access, cross-dock building featuring a 32-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 180-foot truck courts, 94 dock high doors, four drive-in ramps with 12-by-14-foot overhead doors, and parking for trailers. Fallbrook 2 is a 193,000-square-foot, rear-load, controlled-access building featuring a 28-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 260-foot truck court, 50 dock high doors, and two drive-in ramps with 12-by-14 foot overhead doors. 

Lastly, KTR Capital Partners is constructing a 213,000-square-foot facility in Greens Commerce Center at the northwest corner of Interstate 45 and Beltway 8 South. 

Several tenants are also building specially-designed spaces for their operations. 

Data Foundry recently opened its new Houston 2 data center in Greenspoint. The facility has the capacity to be 350,000 square feet when completely built out. Houston 2, a 185-mile-per-hour wind-rated structure, has 60 megawatts of power capability, a chilled-water cooling system, and offers carrier-neutral access to more than ten On-Net fiber carriers. 

Lennar Homes of Texas Land and Construction will relocate this year to its new 68,000-square-foot office located at 681 Greens Parkway. The building is scheduled for completion in October 2015 and will house 225 works from Lennar Corporate affiliates - Lennar, Village Builders, Friendswood Development Co., Universal Mortgage Co., and North American Title Co. 

Alfa Laval signed a long-term, build-to-suit lease to consolidate its Houston operations in Pinto Business Park. The new facility includes 25,000 feet of Class A office space to hold 150 employees, and 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Alfa Laval is a manufacturer of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling equipment, systems and technology. 


June 2015

Freedom CNG Joins Long List of Tenants at Greenspoint's Pinto Business Park 

Freedom CNG, whose aim is to encourage the use of clean-fuel vehicles in southeast Texas, will construct its newest fueling station in partnership with CenterPoint Energy Services and the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The new facility will be located at 303 Fallbrook Drive, and its support facility will be at 111 Fallbrook Drive, in Pinto Business Park.    

The new station is scheduled to be open in the third quarter of this year and will provide fuel services to METRO's newest fleet additions - up to 83 transit buses. The station will also serve third-party users from passenger vehicles to tractor trailers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

"Freedom CNG's vision for the future is to provide enough accessible, fast-fill CNG fueling stations in the Houston area for fleets to have the confidence to adopt CNG as their preferred fuel of choice," Bill Winters, managing member of Freedom CNG, said in a press release issued by the company. 

CNG fuel is a substitute for diesel fuel, gasoline or propane, and is the cleanest, least expensive alternative fuel available. Studies done by the Environmental Protection Agency have found that CNG fuel's combustion produced 20 percent less carbon dioxide, 70 percent less carbon monoxide, 89 percent less volatile organic compounds and 87 percent less nitrogen oxide than petroleum-fueled vehicles. Winters said there are approximately 100,000 short-haul diesel vehicles in the eight counties surrounding Houston, and it has been estimated that replacing them with CNG powered-vehicles over time can reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by as much as 50,000 tons per year, leading to greatly improved air quality. 

Welcome, Freedom CNG, to the Greenspoint District. 


Major Improvements Planned for George Bush Intercontinental Airport 

The Greenspoint District's proximity to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is a primary reason the District is home to several international companies. Recent improvements at IAH have broadened the scope of service and amenities offered to commuters taking advantage of IAH's more than 650 daily departures. 

From new carriers offering international flight options, to new restaurants giving travelers more variety in dining options as they wait to  board their flight, IAH is seeing a flurry of activity. 
             
Earlier this year, WestJet unveiled plans for a nonstop daily flight from IAH to Calgary International Airport beginning Sept. 8. The airline also announced plans for a flight to Gander, Newfoundland, but no start date for that service has been determined. WestJet hopes that these new flights will further the strengthening of the North American energy market by connecting Houston, commonly referred to as the "Energy Capital of the World," with the Canadian energy hubs of Calgary and Gander. 

In March, Volaris Airlines began nonstop service between IAH and Guadalajara International Airport in Guadalajara, Mexico on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.  

Spirit Airlines began flying internationally in May when it launched service from IAH to Cancun, Mexico. On June 1 the airline announced its expanded service to Los Cabos, Mexico; Toluca, Mexico; Manague, Nicaragua; San Jose, Costa Rica; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; and San Salvador, El Salvador. 

Furthermore, Interjet also expanded its service from IAH in May offering nonstop service to Mexico City beginning on May 14. 

United Airlines began construction of its new Terminal C North concourse in May with completion expected in early 2017. Plans for the new concourse include 20 new dining and retail options and 11 boarding gates. Once construction of the new Terminal C North concourse is complete, Houston Airport System will demolish the existing Terminal C North in order to utilize that space in the reconstruction of Terminal D into the expanded Mickey Leland International Terminal D. 

Two Asian airlines will begin serving IAH in June. All Nippon Airways will begin nonstop flights between Tokyo and Houston on June 12, and Taiwanese airline EVA Air plans to initiate nonstop flights between Taipei and IAH on June 19. 

In December, Air New Zealand will begin nonstop service from Houston to Auckland, New Zealand up to five times a week. 

To accommodate all of the passengers taking advantage of these new flight options, new parking facilities are planned at IAH. According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston City Council has approved the development of the EcoPark II parking lot, which will increase the number of parking spots available by 2,200 spaces. 

In addition to new international flight options and more available parking, passengers will also have more dining choices to choose from as more restaurants open throughout the remainder of 2015 and all of 2016. 

SSP America Texas, one of six companies awarded contracts for new hospitality offerings at IAH, has announced the restaurants it will be opening at the airport throughout 2016:   
  • The Breakfast Klub (Terminal A North) 
  • Qdoba (Terminal A North and South) 
  • Hubcap Grill (Terminal A South) 
  • Wendy's (Terminal A South) 
  • Subway (Terminal A and C) 
  • Freshii (Terminal B) 
  • Cafe Adobe (Terminal B)
  • Hard Rock Cafe (Terminal B)
  • La Brea (Terminal B)
  • Pink's Pizza (Terminal C South) 
  • Yougurtology (Terminal C South) 
  • Tony's Wine Cellar & Bistro (Terminal D) 
HMSHost will also open 15 new restaurants including Hugo's Cocina, Ray's Real Pit BBQ, The Breakfast Klub Express, Landry's Seafood, Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, Red Mango, Chick-fil-a, and Blaze Pizza at IAH as well as six new Starbucks locations. Most of these locations are part of a joint venture between HMSHost and its long-time partner, The Houston 8 Team LLC. 

GVJ Investments Purchases Northgreen Atrium Building 

GVJ Investments, Ltd. recently purchased the 69,106-square-foot Class B office building, Northgreen Atrium Building from Tarantino Properties, Inc. Tarantino will continue to facilitate leasing and managment of the building while the new owners implement major renovations. 

 

Planned improvements include updates to the building's infrastructure, HVAC enhancements, and modernizing the property's common areas.


The ABCs of Successful Business: M is for Metropolitan Area 

Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, is home to a population of 6.5 million residents. Of those citizens, 35.5 percent of the population over the age of 25 have attained their associate degree or higher. The Greenspoint District's labor pool consists of those people living within a 31-minute drive time. That amounts to a population of 2.6 million potential employees for companies in Greenspoint. 

The Houston region is extremely well interconnected. This is especially true for the Greenspoint District. The District is strategically positioned within Houston at the crossroads of Interstate 45, which heads north to Dallas, and the North Sam Houston Parkway, which makes a 92-mile loop around the City of Houston. The District's location also provides access to three other critical north-south corridors (U.S. 290, Interstate 69 and the Hardy Toll Road.) This connectivity allows those working in Greenspoint to access residential communities in Houston as well as every other business center in the region within a convenient and prompt drive time. The District is close to the major suburban living communities like Kingwood (21 miles), The Woodlands (18 miles), Champions Forest (17 miles), and Atascosita (16 miles). Downtown is also just 13 miles away while first-rate shopping in the Galleria is only 19 miles away. 

Houston also benefits from being the home of the nation's fifth best airport among U.S. airports with scheduled non-stop domestic and international service. IAH is just six miles (a 10-minute drive) from the District. The airport, with more than 650 daily departures, offers nonstop service to 116 U.S. destinations, and nearly 70 direct and nonstop flights to international destinations.    

Shipping is also a big component of the Houston economy and landscape thanks to the Port of Houston, the tenth largest port in the world which ranks first in the U.S. in international waterborne tonnage handled, and second in total cargo tonnage handled.  

Because of the number of people from different backgrounds calling Houston home, the region is also home to world-class medical, cultural and educational facilities. 

The Texas Medical Center (TMC) is the world's largest medical complex. TMC, 18 miles from Greenspoint is currently home to:
  • 21 hospitals 
  • 13 support organizations 
  • eight academic and research institutions 
  • six nursing programs 
  • three public health organizations 
  • three medical schools 
  • two universities 
  • two pharmacy schools 
  • one dental school      
More than seven million patients come to the Center for its services, including 16,000 international patients, per year. 

The Houston Theater District, 15 miles from Greenspoint, is second only to New York City in the number of performing arts theater seats and is home to a symphony, opera and ballet. Over 20 museums and 60 art galleries are located in the region. Nineteen of those museums are located in the Houston Museum District, just 18 miles from the Greenspoint District.  

More than 315,000 students are enrolled in more than 500 degree and certification program at 100-plus colleges, community colleges, technical and trade schools in the Houston region. The greater Houston area has 14 major institutions of higher learning including: 
  • Baylor College of Medicine 
  • Houston Baptist University 
  • Houston Community College System 
  • Lone Star College 
  • Prairie View A&M University 
  • Rice University 
  • Sam Houston State University 
  • San Jacinto College 
  • South Texas College of Law 
  • Texas Southern University 
  • University of Houston 
  • University of Houston - Clear Lake 
  • University of Houston - Downtown 
  • University of St. Thomas 
  • University of Texas Health Science Center 
March 2015

HealthHelp Moves Into 4 Greenspoint Place 

Houston-based HealthHelp has relocated its headquarters from 654 North Sam Houston Parkway in Greenspoint to 16945 Northchase Drive, occupying 40,000 square feet previously occupied by ExxonMobil in 4 Greenspoint Place. The company provides specialty care benefits management services for cardiology, oncology, radiology, emergency medicine and other medical specialties. 

Founded in 1991, the company is an industry leader in care management, helping patients receive maximum benefits under their health plan's coverage. 

HealthHelp chose to stay in Greenspoint for its convenient location and proximity to other business centers in Houston. 

During a recent visit with the company as part of our Business Visit Blitz, HealthHelp's President and Chief Executive Officer Cherrill Farnsworth remarked, "Being halfway to everywhere isn't a bad place to be." 

The area's features also provided incentive for the company's relocation. "We also enjoy the convenient parking and look forward to the amenities that are within walking distance," she said. 

New Holiday Inn Express & Suites Opens in Greenspoint 

A newly constructed Holiday Inn Express & Suites recently opened its doors at 35 Aldine Bender in the Greenspoint District. 

The 90-room hotel features an indoor pool, business center, fitness facility and Market Place where guests can purchase snacks and other small necessities. Each room is equipped with wireless internet access as well as a work station with desk and chair. Meeting space for 24 people is available at the new facility. Daily Express Start Breakfast is offered to guests in addition to shuttle service to the airport and surrounding areas. 

Dalwadi Hospitality Managment (DHM), the hotel's management company, specifically chose to locate in Greenspoint because of its proximity to George Bush Intercontinental Airport. DHM also cited the improvements made under the leadership of Greenspoint District staff and the opportunity to make a contribution to the changing demographics of the neighborhood as key deciding factors in their decision to build in the area. 

Technology Replaces Energy as Most Preferred Sector in Houston Industries 

For the first time, investors are investing in a sector other than energy in Houston - technology. According to a biannual investor survey released by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, technology has outpaced the energy sector as the most favorably viewed sector in which to invest in Houston. 

Of the 1,000 high net worth investors Morgan Stanley polled to measure investment sentiments for 2015, 78 percent of respondents recognized technology as the most favorable sector to place their investments. Energy gained support from 71 percent of those surveyed. In 2013, energy received 77 percent support, outpacing technology which garnered 65 percent support. 

"The slump in oil has caused many Houston investors to look at other investment areas outside of energy, Matt Kabot, managing director at Morgan Stanley's Galleria complex in Houston told the Houston Business Journal. 

Kabot also said that Houston's investment behaviors mirrored the nation, where 87 percent of U.S. respondents said technology was their most preferred sector. 

The graph below breaks down the top sectors that garnered support from Houston-area investors. 



Texas Receives the Governor's Cup for the Second Consecutive Year, Making Six Wins Overall 

Site Selection magazine recently crowned Texas and Kentucky the co-winners of the 2014 Governor's Cup. The two states received the award for having the most new and expanding corporate facilities during the past year. 

Texas saw 689 corporate facility projects completed in 2014, an increase over 657 facilities in 2013. 

Houston also ranked high for corporate expansion with 265 new or expanding facilities recorded over the last year, earning the No. 2 spot of high-performing metropolitan areas. This year marks the fourth year in a row that Houston has either ranked in the No. 1 or No. 2 spot for metropolitan areas for corporate construction activity. 

Site Selection magazine ranks the states and major metropolitan areas using criteria that are considered key factors for job growth and retention. In order to be considered for the rankings, a new corporate facility must amount to over $1 million in capital investment, create more than 20 new jobs, and add at least 20,000 square feet. 

The ABCs of Successful Business: L is for Land Availability 

A recent press release from the Harris County Appraisal District predicts that the demand for raw land in Houston will continue to grow, following a trend of improved sales volume over the past two years. 

This is good news for the Greenspoint District, where there is more than 800 acres of undeveloped land available. 

The District's largest parcels are in Pinto Business Park, located at the southwest corner of Interstate 45 and the North Sam Houston Parkway. When built out, the facility has the capacity to total as much as nine million square feet of industrial, office, flex and some amenities on 971 acres. About 365 shovel-ready acres are still available in the Park. Tenants can purchase land from Hines and build their own facility, or tenants have the option to work with Hines who will assist owner-users with the development, construction management and design-build of a space. 

January 2015

Alfa Laval Adds to Tenant List in Greenspoint's Pinto Business Park 

Dirt continues to fly in Greenspoint as companies choose Pinto Business Park's prime location. The latest tenant to ink a deal in the 900-acre park is Alfa Laval Inc., a U.S.-based subsidiary of the Swedish-based Alfa Laval AB. 

Alfa Laval manufactures equipment, systems and technology specifically designed to handle heat transfer, separation and fluid handling. 

The company's new facility will include 250,000 square feet of Class A office space to house 150 employees, as well as 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space. 

The Pinto Park building, which is expected to be complete in Q2 2015, will allow the company to consolidate its three separate Houston locations into one building. 


KTR Capital Partners Breaks Ground on Industrial Development in Greenspoint 

Greens Commerce Center, a 213,128 square-foot facility, will be located at the northwest corner of I-45 and Beltway 8 South. KTR Capital Partners began construction in November after acquiring the 18.85 acres of lands in July. Plans are for a Class-A, cross-dock building that will feature four separate storefronts, 32-foot clearance height, 155 parking spaces, secured truck courts and adjacent outside storage lots. 

"This acquisition presented a terrific opportunity to acquire a well-located development parcel along the highly-desirable Beltway 8 Corridor in North Houston." Mace McClatchy, vice president of investments for KTR, said. "The proposed flexible building design, which can be demised to accommodate medium and smaller sized users, appeals to the vast majority of tenants seeking modern Class A space in the North and Northwest submarkets of Houston." 

Lennar Homes Locating Headquarters in Greenspoint 

If everything goes according to schedule, Lennar Homes' new 69,000-square-foot build-to-suit headquarters facility in Greens Crossing Office Park will deliver in October of this year. 

KDC and Sarofim Realty Advisors broke ground on the facility last November across the street from the current Lennar offices. The new office space will house 225 employees from Lennar, Village Builders, Friendswood Development Co., Universal American Mortgage Co. and North American Titile Co., according to the Houston Business Journal. 

The company was first looking for space in an already existing property, but decided to build in order to suit its planned 5,000-square-foot design center, which will showcase Village Builders latest home products. 

Other features are being installed in the property to improve the workday of employees. Workers will be able to utilize the walking trail and appreciate the landscaping being installed around the adjacent five-acre detention pond. 

The ABCs of Successful Business: K is for Key Market Sectors 

The Greenspoint District has identified several key market sectors based on the strengths and opportunities the area has to offer. These sectors include: energy; logistics; health care; finance, insurance and real estate; professional services; manufacturing; management; technology and headquarters. 

Greenspoint is home to more than 100 energy-related companies including ExxonMobil, Shell, Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes. QuEST Global, a world-wide engineering services provider, recently opened a new 8,500 square foot engineering center to meet the rising demands for engineering services in the oil and gas industry. 

The Greenspoint District's convenient location with easy access to multiple transportation corridors lends itself to being a perfect location for companies in the logistics industry. Within a one-day drive time, Greenspoint businesses can connect with more than 60 million people in the mid-south United States and northeastern states of Mexico. Hapag-Lloyd, Ceva, DHL, Moran and GAC are just a few companies who use a Greenspoint District location as an easy access point for moving product around the world. 

The area is picking up momentum in the health care sector as availability and convenience become deciding factors for health care selection. In August 2013, Texas Children's Health Plan opened its largest clinic outside of the Medical Center with the Texas Children's Health Plan's The Center for Children and Women at Greenspoint. UT Physicians also will be opening a new clinic in the area in the coming months. Other healthcare-related companies that call Greenspoint home are: HealthHelp, Pinnacle and Epic Medstaff. 

Greenspoint District also has seen an increase in the number of food distribution companies locating here, again citing the area's location and proximity to major thoroughfares as a main advantage. Sysco Food Services is the anchor tenant at Pinto Business Park with a 600,000-square-foot office and distribution center. In addition, Houston's third largest employer, Grocers Supply is currently constructing a 1.2 million-square-foot facility at Pinto. They plan to consolidate some operations including their produce warehouse, meat facility and banana warehouse. The company also will eventually relocate their headquarters to the new facility. 

The Greenspoint District sits at the crossroads of the region's fiber optic infrastructure, making it an ideal location for technology companies. Last April, Data Foundry broke ground on a new 350,000-square-foot data center in Greenspoint. Houston 2 data center will be a purpose-built data center fit with 60 megawatts of power capability. Technology and professional companies such as Jones & Carter, Fibertown, Level 3 and Aster also benefit from a Greenspoint location. 

The District also is home to several companies in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors including CitiFinancial, CIBC World Markets and Hartford Lloyd's. 

November 2014 

Greenspoint District Welcomes Business Delegation From Brazil 

Greenspoint District recently hosted a select group of Brazilian business owners on behalf of the Governor's office which planned the trip in conjunction with the Texas Chamber of Commerce in Brazil. The delegates were visiting Greenspoint to explore business opportunities, and included representatives from several industry sectors, ranging from distribution and logistics to health and beauty supply, as well as investors and educational leaders. 

The visit was a follow up from a recent trade mission to Brazil where Greenspoint District's Chief Development Officer Regina Lindsey presented the advantages of locating a business in Greenspoint. 

Since the trip, Lindsey has actively worked on two proje
cts with contacts in Brazil. Another Brazilian firm also will visit the District in December. 

Greenspoint District Wins Economic Development Awards 

The Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) recently presented the Greenspoint District with an award of merit recognition at the Community Development Awards for outstanding achievement in community economic development. 

The District was recognized for its efforts in attracting QuEST Global Services, a leading global engineering services provider, to locate a facility within the District. The new engineering center will provide engineering services and solutions for the upstream oil industry, equipment manufacturers and other oil and gas companies. In addition, the location will serve as QuEST Global's headquarters for its oil and gas business as it expands its footprint around the globe. 

Greenspoint District's partnership with QuEST Global began with a meeting during a trade mission to Hanover, Germany. Months later, a request came into the District from Governor Perry's office from an unknown company requesting office space. It wasn't until QuEST chose Greenspoint that we learned the connections made by the District's Chief Development Officer Regina Lindsey in Hanover resulted in a new service provider locating in Greenspoint. 

TEDC has not been the only organization to recognize the District's economic development efforts recently. Expansion Solutions magazine recognized the District with two of their Top Five Awards of Excellence. The District earned a designation in the "Logistics and Warehouse Distribution" categoary for the work done to secure Grocers Supply as a new tenant and the "Data Center" category for the attraction of Data Foundry. 

The Top Five Awards of Excellence distinguish economic development organizations that have demonstrated significant progress in the area of development. The recipients are chosen based on the level of support they provide local companies, as well as recent activity and the potential for growth to be created in each area. 

Industry awards are not the only accomplishments the District has had cause to celebrate recently. Our own economic development manager, Toby Stephens, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council. This is a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainments and a commitment to personal and professional growth. Congratulations, Toby!

The District looks forward to ongoing success as we work to attract new companies to the area and continue to develop relationships with those already in Greenspoint. 

Survey Ranks Texas No. 1 in Business Climate

Texas ranked at the top of the Development Counsellors International "Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing" survey for the sixth year in a row. The survey, which has been published every three years since 1996, follows trends in economic development. 

Three hundred and fifty-six people responded to the survey, and of those, 47 percent gave Texas a favorable business climate ranking. 

Executives in the corporate world quoted the tax climate, "pro-business environment," incentives and financial assistance as the key determining factors for the state ranking so positively. 

Furthermore, site selection consultants also ranked the Texas Governor's Office Economic Development organization as the No. 2 "best in class" economic development agency at the state level. 

Houston also ranked high on the list of the best cities for economic development. 

The Greater Houston Partnership ranked as the No. 4 "best in class" economic development organization at the regional level. 


The ABCs of Successful Business: J is for Job Growth 

The Greenspoint District is home to more than 6,000 businesses which employ close to 65,000 people. Many industry sectors are represented by the companies located in the District, including energy, logistics, health care, finance and insurance, professional and technical services, manufacturing and management. 

Several large companies recently announced either moves into the District or an expansion of space already occupied in the District. With a lot of these announcements, came the news that many new jobs were being added. 

In fact, almost 7,500 jobs have been created in the District this year alone. 

The vast majority of these new employment opportunities are attributed to Grocers Supply, who announced in May their plans to build a 1.7 million square foot facility in Pinto Business Park, which will house various operations. The company's produce warehouse, meat facility and banana warehouse will all consolidate within the new campus. 

Another contributor of job growth is QuEST Global Services, which opened a new engineering center in the District. The new office will provide engineering services and solutions for the upstream oil industry, equipment manufacturers and other oil and gas companies. Initially QuEST Global Services will contribute 125 new jobs to the Greenspoint community; however 300 to 400 more jobs are scheduled to come online at this new location as QuEST expands its footprint. 

As the number of jobs increase, the need to identify qualified employees also becomes a top priority. The Greenspoint District works with many partners to help employees develop the necessary skills to fill available jobs. Lone Star College System is a key partner in workforce development offering standard training and degrees, as well as custom programs built to meet companies' specific training needs. In addition, Tulsa Welding School, which just completed the build out of a new campus in the Greenspoint District, will help fill the shortage of skilled laborers in welding, pipefitting, shipfitting and electromechanical careers. 

The Greenspoint District is committed to not only job growth in the area, but also workforce development to fill those positions. Stay tuned for announcements of additional projects supporting these efforts in 2015. 


September 2014 

Greenspoint Companies Shine on Recently Released Lists 

Six businesses located in the Greenspoint area earned a place on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list which ranks the fastest-growing private companies by revenue growth. The magazine based this year's standings on companies' earnings between 2010 and 2013. 

Greenspoint businesses represented on Inc.'s list this year are: Centre Technologies, Crane Worldwide Logistics, HealthHelp, HPI, New Tech Global and Sigma Fasteners. 

The Houston Chronicle also just announced the companies on its Chronicle 100 which lists the city's leading companies according to their total revenue for 2013, revenue growth, earnings per share and total return. 

Exterran Holdings earned the No. 8 spot on the list of city's best public companies, while Grocers Supply Co. came in at No. 6 on the private company list. 

Congratulations to these Greenspoint-area companies on all of their success. 

New Educational Institutions Offer Hands On Training 

The 70,000-square-foot Lone Star Energy and Manufacturing Institute (EMI) located at Lone Star College System's (LSCS) University Park campus recently began offering hands on training for a variety of programs. The center features 28 classrooms and labs as well as industrial training spaces, including one shared with FMC Technologies Inc. 

LSCS engaged partners in the energy and manufacturing industries to ensure that all course content being taught was relevant to current needs within those specific industries. These programs and courses offers students a strong foundation in the concepts of their chosen field and stress exposure to processes and equipment currently being used in the workforce. 

Dr. Steve Head, chancellor of LSCS and long-time District volunteer, hopes that this new facility will help launch many of the nearly 300,000 careers in the oil and gas and manufacturing industries that are expected to come online in the next three years. 

He explained to the Houston Business Journal that most of the students who attend EMI will receive academic training at Lone Star's North Harris and Cy-Fair campuses before completing "higher-level" training at the new facility. 

The Greenspoint District benefits from its proximity to LSC - University Park, where EMI is located. The campus is only 20 miles from Greenspoint and, in addition to the new specialty space, offers junior, senior and graduate level classes through partnerships with several universities. Students enrolled with one of LSCS' partner universities, including Sam Houston State University, University of Houston - Downtown and University of Houston - Northwest, are able to complete a bachelor's or master's degree without stepping on the university's campus. 

LSCS is not the only higher-level learning institution working to fill the workforce gap in the manufacturing sector in the area. 

Tulsa Welding School recently announced a new campus to be located at 243 Greens Road. 

Classes will begin in January 2015 and only 30 seats are available. 

Aleco Babikian, regional campus president at Tulsa Welding School said that the school is excited to be opening their new facility in Houston. 

"Houston employs the largest number of welders and skilled laborers in the country. Currently there is a huge shortage of skilled laborers in the Houston and surrounding areas, and we intend to supply welders and pipefitters to companies," Babikian said. "Our programs in welding and pipefitting will help them gain the fundamental skills to enter the workforce." 

Tulsa Welding School was founded in 1949 by two welders who saw the demand for skilled workers in the industry. The school prepares students with hands-on training programs in several different disciplines including welding, pipefitting, shipfitting and electromechanical careers. 

The ABCs of Successful Business: I is for Infrastructure 

The Greenspoint District is strategically positioned and globally connected. The 12-square mile area sits at the crossroads of seven major thoroughfares, including three interstate highways, two major state highways and two regional loops. District staff work to maximize the existing regional transportation infrastructure and assets in the area. 

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is just at 10-minute (6-mile) drive from the District. IAH serves 38 countries and provides flights to 185 non-stop destinations, as well as more non-stop flights to Mexican destinations than any other airport in the country. In fact, a traveler leaving from IAH can arrive in any Latin American capital within three to eight hours. 

The Port of Houston is just 30 minutes (22 miles) from Greenspoint. Each year, 207 million tons of cargo moves through the port. The Port of Houston has been ranked as the No. 1 U.S. port by foreign tonnage for 18 consecutive years, as well as the No. 2 port by total cargo value. Additionally, three major railroads and 150 trucking lines connect the port to various points throughout the U.S. 

Additional assets for the District are the utilities and broadband infrastructure in the area. Not only is there abundant and affodable power, but the District is located right at the crossroads of the national north/south and east/west fiber feeds. There are over a dozen long haul and last mile carriers that have available fiber optic cable in Greenspoint. 

The various infrastructure assets and resources the Greenspoint area provides allow companies to thrive in a well-connected and supportive location. 


July 2014

Greenspoint District Works to Build Relationship with Chinese Economic Development District

Staff from Greenspoint District recently traveled to China where they met with representatives from TEDA, the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area in Tianjin, China to discuss a possible sister district relationship.

TEDA is the main free market zone in Binhai, Tianjin, China. It was formed in late 1984 with the approval of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the first state-class economic-technological development areas in the country. TEDA borders the Bohai Sea, and is comprised of nearly 13 square miles of planned development area, three subzones and a micro-electronics industrial park. The region contains a port, office buildings, urban residential areas and a large transportation network. Currently, there are more foreign businesses in TEDA than all of Shanghai.  

Greenspoint District and TEDA share the mission of creating economically sustainable development. Additional similarities include comparable affiliations with the various levels of governmental entities in their respective countries, and receiving funding from tax revenue. TEDA is one of China's largest economic and technological development zones as well as the Asia-Pacific region. A colloborative arrangement is a natural fit for both areas. 

Chief Development Officer for Greenspoint District Regina Lindsey hopes the two districts can become allies and work together on foreign direct investment opportunities in both China and the United States. TEDA currently has offices in New York and Chicago. 


ExxonMobil Sells Greenspoint Place 8, Will Retain a Presence in Greenspoint 

Stream and AllianceBernstein recently partnered to purchase the 198,000 square-foot Eight Greenspoint Place high rise from ExxonMobil. The deal however was a sale-leaseback, meaning that ExxonMobil sold the property, but will be leasing it back from the new owners for an extended period of time. 

There have been a lot of questions and rumors circling around the activities of ExxonMobil as its new campus in The Woodlands nears completion. 

One thing is certain. ExxonMobil plans to remain in Greenspoint for the foreseeable future. In addition to continuing to lease Greenspoint Place 8, ExxonMobil also has a contract for 200,00 square feet in Greenspoint Place 3 and 200,000 square feet at 369 West Greens. 

Greenspoint also is benefiting from ExxonMobil's plans to consolidate 8,000 of its 10,000 Houston-area employees just north of the District. Many companies want to be close to ExxonMobil, and a Greenspoint location allows them to do that at a reasonable cost. 


Houston Named Best U.S. City for Manufacturing 

The energy sector is alive and well in Houston, and because of the surge in need for new refineries and pipelines to meet demand, the manufacturing industry has received a boost. 

In fact, according to Forbes magazine, upward of $35 billion of new refineries, chemical plants and factories are planned through the end of 2015 for Houston and the surrounding Gulf Coast. 

The industry has seen such a positive uptick in activity that Forbes recently ranked the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan region as the best city in the country in terms of manufacturing growth. 

Houston manufacturing jobs have grown five percent since 2008 and by more than three percent in 2013 alone. Total jobs in the city's manufacturing sector for 2013 topped out at 255,400.


The ABCs of Successful Business: H is for Healthcare

The Greenspoint District provides access to several local options for healthcare as well as convenient proximity to the Texas Medical Center. 

Texas Children's Health Plan's The Center for Children and Women at Greenspoint opened in 2013. The facility at 700 North Sam Houston Parkway W. has 160 medical professionals on staff and offers state-of-the-art healthcare from obstetrics/gynecology to pediatric services seven days a week with extended hours for Texas Children's Health Plan members. Eye care, dental services and a pharmacy also are available.

UT Physicians leased 7,800 square feet of space at 425 West Greens Road for a new clinic which will offer primary care for all ages, as well as multiple specialty services with extended and weekend hours. Evening appointments will be offered two days a week to allow patients to come in after they get off work. In addition, the clinic will also be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. two Saturdays a month. Patients will be able to schedule same-day appointments or just walk in. Specialty services include: gynecology/obstetrics services, pediatric and family medicine. The facility is expected to open sometime this fall.

The Greenspoint District is just 20 miles (29 minutes) from the Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical complex. The center employees 106,000 and includes 21 hospitals, 13 support organizations, eight academic and research institutions, three public health organizations, three medical schools, two universities, two pharmacy schools and a dental school. More than seven million people visit these facilities for treatment each year. 

The healthcare industry is a key focus area for the District. As part of the strategic plan set out by the District, we seek to attract businesses and to build facilities in this area to enrich the lives of the people who work and live here. 


May 2014


Greenspoint District Hosts Events in Conjunction with Offshore Technology Conference
 

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection held each year at Reliant Park, provided the catalyst for the Greenspoint District to highlight the area for international visitors. 

Events hosted by the District in conjunction with OTC included a dinner for a Chinese delegation of potential investors, a breakfast for Scottish and U.S. energy company representatives and a tour of the Greenspoint District for elected officials from both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, Scotland. 

Sino-U.S. Petroleum Industry Dinner 

Houston City Council member Jerry Davis and Harris County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle were among the many speakers at the Sino-U.S. Petroleum Industry Dinner helping to connect a delegation of 75 Chinese petroleum industry executives with U.S. business and education leaders seeking trade opportunities. 

The event was emceed by JC Yu, president of the United States Great Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and included several speakers. Louis Li from the China Petroluem & Petrochemical Equipment Industry Association welcomed guests, followed by Jianhui Mo, vice president with the China Classification Society who gave an overview of his company and the current state of the oil and gas industry in China. Tazeem Pasha from SelectUSA and Jensen Shen from Greater Houston Partnership shared their insights on foreign investment in Houston and the state of Texas. In addition, attorney Manuel Moctezuma gave an update on energy reform laws in Mexico, while Greenspoint District President Jerry Lowry provided an overview of Greenspoint.

One of the highlights of the evening was Council member Jerry Davis’ twin six-year-old daughters making a presentation in Mandarin, which they are learning while attending the Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School in Bellaire.  

The night concluded with table toasts conducted by JC Yu and Greenspoint District officials. 

U.S./UK Hands Across the Water Breakfast 

Fifty government officials and petroleum industry leaders from the UK and Houston area gathered at the second annual U.S./UK – Hands Across the Water breakfast to discuss business opportunities available on both sides of the Atlantic. Aberdeen and Houston are Sister Cities, with similar economies and industries. The Greenspoint District hosts the annual breakfast to maximize current and potential partnerships by discussing topics affecting both markets. 

The breakfast was emceed by Regina Lindsey, the District's chief development officer who has made several trips to Scotland to meet with industry and government leaders. Presentations began with perspectives from executives with companies that have offices in both Houston and Aberdeen. Graham Elliott, president of Petrasco Services Inc. shared why his company chose Greenspoint when selecting a U.S. location, and Colin Woods from DISA Global Solutions, whose company recently purchased a Scottish firm, spoke about U.S. companies finding value in Aberdeen. Greenspoint District President Jerry Lowry also provided an overview of Greenspoint. 
    The breakfast concluded with a panel discussion on the global challenge of attracting women to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers, specifically in the oil and gas fields. The various panelists shared insights and strategies for overcoming this workforce gap. 

    Panelists included: 
    • Lori Lambropoulous, principal, Energy Institute High School 
    • Mary LeMaster, curriculum manager, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council 
    • Rita Marcella, dean of faculty, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University 
    • Christina Todd, curriculum and instruction, Lonestar College Workforce Council 
      Greenspoint District Tour 

      The Greenspoint District concluded OTC week with a tour of the District for government officials from both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Staff at the District have worked diligently to build relationships with business, government and media leaders in Scotland. The tour was an ideal opportunity to show off and discuss the District with these officials during their time in Houston. Tour particpants included Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam and representatives from the Aberdeen City Economic Development Team, Aberdeenshire, and The Aberdeen Press & Journal

      Data Foundry Breaks Ground on Data Center in Greenspoint 

      The newest data center in Greenspoint, Data Foundry’s Houston 2, will be ready for use in Q1 2015. Data Foundry held their groundbreaking celebration Apr. 10 for the new facility situated on 18 acres at 660 Greens Parkway. Distinguished speakers included Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Welcome Wilson Sr., chairman of GSL Welcome Group; and Fred Welch, vice president of regional development with the Greater Houston Partnership. 

      Houston 2 data center will be a 350,000-square-foot purpose-built data center fit with 60 megawatts of power capacity. This is an increase over the initial announcement of a 250,000 square-foot facility with 50 megawatts of power. Corgan Associates designed the new data center and kW Engineering is providing engineering services for the project. Holder Construction Company is building the facility. 

      The data center is designed with many features to protect customers' data from weather-related situations. The building will be able to withstand winds up to 185 miles per hour and will be topped with an enhanced roof that will be compliant with wind uplift and hail damage resistance requirements. In addition, the new data center location is outside the 500-year floodplain and far enough from the coast to mitigate the threat of hurricanes. 

      The facility will be built with fault tolerant and concurrently manageable design across the infrastructure, featuring entirely underground electrical utility feeds and a chilled water cooling system supporting HPC/high density heat loads up to 50 kilowatts per rack. Safety also is a major feature of the new construction. The foundation is elevated three feet from street level and the building will be constructed with a three-foot depressed slab construction with no ramps or steps anywhere in the data center. 

      Houston 2 will offer carrier neutral network access to more than 10 on-net fiber carriers and feature around-the-clock, 365-days-a-year Network Operations Center and remote hands support. The flexible design of the center will support customers from a single cabinet up to multi-megawatt usage. Houston 2 will have 60,000 square feet of dedicated office space for disaster recovery or other onsite needs for their mission critical personnel. 


      About Data Foundry  
      Data Foundry provides comprehensive wholesale and retail data center outsourcing, colocation, and disaster recovery services. The company provides its customers with secure premium facilities for servers and equipment, emergency workspace and carrier-neutral network accessibility, supported by experienced onsite technicians and customer support 24/7/365. The company supports more than 1,000 enterprise customers across a variety of industries including energy, heathcare and financial services. Founded in 1994, Data Foundry was the first Internet Service Provider in San Antonio and one of the first 50 Internet Service Providers in the United States. Today, Data Foundry operates data centers in Austin and Houston and owns private networks in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. 

      The ABCs of Successful Business: G is for George Bush Intercontinental Airport 

      George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is just a 10-minute drive from the Greenspoint District, which equates to significant cost and convenience advantages for companies located in the area. The largest of three airports in the Houston Airport System, IAH boasts 700 daily departures and is the 11th busiest airport in the U.S. Nonstop service is available to the 116 U.S. and 69 foreign destinations. There are nearly 70 direct international destinations to 38 countries. Millions of passengers are served by 21 airline carriers based around the world annually. 

      IAH offers service to more Mexican destinations than any other airport in the United States. A traveler from IAH can be in any of the Latin American capitals within three to eight hours. 

      The Global Entry program is available at IAH. Through this initiative, pre-approved, low-risk travelers entering the U.S. from any of 37 participating airports receive expedited clearance. 

      The IAH CargoCenter is the largest federal inspection service facility in the U.S., spanning more than 120 acres. It features a one-stop shop for federal inspection services for cargo clearance, including a full-service inspection facility for quick certification of foreign animals, plants and seeds and parking for 20 wide-body freighter aircraft. The IAH CargoCenter is served by 13 all-cargo airlines and more than 900 freight forwarders. Houston is the 10th largest U.S. gateway for international air cargo trade, and the center has land earmarked for future expansion to accommodate more cargo. 

      The Greenspoint District’s proximity to IAH allows companies located here to be globally connected with ease and convenience. For more information about IAH, visit the Houston Airport System's website. 

      March 2014

      Many Companies Looking to Greenspoint for Office Space 

      More than 300,000 square feet of office space has been leased already this year in Greenspoint. Various companies in several industries have taken advantage of the prime office space available in the District. 

      The largest lease so far this year involved not only a renewal, but an expanision as well. American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) renewed its lease of 228,254 square feet of space at 16855 Northchase Drive, while also expanding with an additional 30,481 square feet at 16825 Northchase. ABS oversees the classification system for marine vessels and offshore structures to ensure that those vessels comply with the established guidelines for design and construction. 

      Hapag-Lloyd America, a liner shipping company, also renewed its lease of 33,000 square feet at 11410 Greens Crossing. The company offices 150 employees at this location. 

      Additionally, the Greenspoint District has welcomed several new tenants.
      • Sigma Tube & Bar leased 5,215 square feet at 363 N. Sam Houston Parkway. The company provides tubular and bar products to several companies in the oil and gas sector. 
      • Continental Land & Fur leased 32,175 square feet at 171 N. Sam Houston Parkway East. The company consists of privately-owned entities that own several oil and gas properties along the Gulf Coast and within the interior basins of the United States. The company is involved in the exploration and production of oil and gas within these areas. 
      • A couple of undisclosed companies also leased space in Greenspoint. An oil and gas developer leased 3,900 square feet at 523 N. Sam Houston Parkway East, and a sport injury clinic leased 3,000 square feet at 12941 North Freeway. 
      For a full list of all the leases and development activity that has taken place in the District, visit www.greenspoint.org/DevelopmentUpdates.shtml.

      If you or your company is interested in expanding or moving into the District and would like some assistance on finding a location, visit our Find A Property page at www.greenspoint.org/FindAProperty.shtml or contact Toby Stephens at 281-874-2134 or tstephens@greenspoint.org

      B&G Foods and Sysco Take Advantage of Greenspoint Location for Food Distribution 

      The food distributor market is heating up in Greenspoint. 

      B&G Foods, a New Jersey-based food manufacturer and distributor, recently announced a lease of 267,000 square feet at 14700 North Freeway. The company will be the sole occupant of the DCT Airtex Industrial Center, which was developed by DCT Industrial Trust and completed in October 2013. B&G Foods, founded in 1996, manufactures and distributes several different food brands throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico including Ortega, Mrs. Dash, Cream of Wheat and Emeril's. 

      In addition, Sysco, already a major tenant in Greenspoint's Pinto Business Park, has recently announced a pending merger with US Foods Inc. The $8.2 billion deal is expected to close in Q3 2014. 

      The ABCs of Successful Business: F is for Freeways 

      The Greenspoint District's strategic position at the intersection of Interstate 45 and the North Sam Houston Parkway provides area businesses with a direct route north to Dallas, a 90-mile loop around the City of Houston and convenient access to the other major corridors in the area, including U.S. 290, Hardy Toll Road, U.S. 59 (future I-69) and I-10. 

      These transportation routes connect businesses located in the District with more than 60 million people in the mid-south United States and northeastern states of Mexico. When complete, the future I-69 will connect Mexico to Canada while running along one of the edges of the District's boundaries. 

      For those who transverse the Houston metropolitan area, Greenspoint is accessible to every important business center in the area, including a 13-mile commute to Downtown. The District also is located minutes from The Woodlands, as well as halfway between Downtown and the bedroom communities of north Harris and south Montgomery counties. 

      In addition to providing ease of ground travel, these transportation corridors can be used to access several facilities that offer means to move people and materials by air and sea to anywhere in the world. 

      George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is located just six miles from the Greenspoint District via the Sam Houston Parkway. The airport has 700 daily departures, including more flights to Mexican destinations than any other U.S. airport. In addition, the IAH CargoCenter features a one-stop-shop for federal inspection services for cargo clearance, including a full-service inspection facility for quick certification of foreign animals, plants and seeds. 

      The Port of Houston is just 22 miles away from the Greenspoint District, less than 30 minutes via the Sam Houston Parkway. The port is ranked the No. 1 U.S. port in foreign tonnage, No. 2 U.S. port in total tonnage and the largest Gulf Coast container port, handling 67 percent of U.S. Gulf Coast container traffic in 2012.

      The District's proximity to the various freeways and transportation corridors ensures that companies located here are strategically positioned and globally connected. 

      January 2014

      Data Foundry Develops New Facility 

      Data Foundry Inc. recently purchased 18 acres of land in Greenspoint with plans to build a 250,000-square-foot data center campus. 

      The planned campus will have multiple buildings and will break ground in the first quarter of 2014. The first building in the complex is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014. 

      Data Foundry’s new location will give Houston-based customers who are currently using the company’s data center located in Austin the option to locate their servers closer to their Houston offices. 

      “Data Foundry established its first Internet and data center facility in Houston in 1996, and we’ve continuously expanded our presence and capabilities to meet the demands of our Houston customers,” said Carolyn Yokubaitis, co-CEO of Data Foundry in a press release published on Sept. 4, 2013. “We’re very excited to be further expanding our commitment to Houston and continuing to offer a real choice in premium data center and managed services.” 

      Data Foundry’s roots are in Internet service, which it still provides in addition to data storage. This means that the data stored on the servers located on site are connected to the clients’ offices by inside telecommunications services. However, Data Foundry will also provide other Internet connection services at its new data center. 

      The new data center will also act as both a wholesale and retail data center provider. Wholesale providers sell space to large clients that can take up entire floors of server space, while retail providers lease out a large space and then sell smaller bits and often manage the servers of smaller companies with that space. Data Foundry also offers managed services to clients who do not want to manage their own data centers. 

      According to a May 29, 2013 HBJ article, Texas has long been a desired location for large data centers because of its central location, economic climate, reliable electric grid, historically low occurrences of natural disasters, educated workforce and pro-business environment. 

      However, Texas began to slip in number of data centers located here when other states began offering aggressive tax packages for data centers. 

      To combat this, the state legislature recently passed the state’s first tax incentive to be offered for new data center business. The new data center tax incentive bill went into effect on Sept. 1, 2013. The law provides a sales tax exemption for electricity consumption and equipment purchases for things like servers, generators, storage devices, software and other systems required for data center operations for new data centers that take up more than 100,000 square feet of space and require at least a $200 million investment. 

      Data Foundry will be among the beneficiaries of the new bill. 

      “We are a very competitive state for large data centers in terms of our economy, geography and climate, but we haven’t been in terms of our tax code,” Representative Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, told HBJ in the May 29, 2013 article. Hilderbran authored House Bill 1223 which created the incentives.

      In addition to being located in Houston, Data Foundry specifically selected the Greenspoint area for its fiber connectivity. 

      “The Greenspoint area is a great area for networks, and it’s got good power availability,” Data Foundry president and CEO Shane Menking told HBJ in a Sept. 6, 2013 article. “The marketplace lends itself to customers wanting to be here.”  

      Greenspoint Industrial Market Heating Up 

      In 2013, Greenspoint saw a tremendous amount of leasing and development activity. The numbers speak for themselves:
      • 71,376 square feet of lease expansions
      • 770,064 square feet in new leases 
      • 1,093,918 square feet in lease renewals 
      • 2,571,225 square feet of new construction
        Three industrial development projects are currently underway in Greenspoint, the largest being Pinto Business Park on the Sam Houston Parkway west of I-45. Two spec buildings at 120,159 square feet each are currently under construction, as well as a 600,000 square foot build-to-suit facility. HD Supply, an Atlanta-based industrial distribution company, was announced as the anchor tenant for the build-to-suit facility, leasing 500,000 square feet. 

        Additionally, The Reynolds Company, a Fort Worth-based electrical distribution company, has purchased nine acres in Pinto Business Park to build a 130,000-square-foot distribution facility. 

        East of I-45, development is underway at IDI’s Greenspoint Business Center, where two buildings totaling 350,000 square feet are under construction. The buildings are expected to deliver in Q1 and Q2 2014, respectively. The three existing buildings in Greenspoint Business Park are 93 percent occupied. 

        Northwest of I-45 and Beltway 8, in the Greens Crossing Business Center, Liberty Property Trust is currently constructing two buildings that will total 230,000 square feet. The new buildings will bring the center’s total to 800,000 square feet.

        For more information on all of the activity going on in Greenspoint visit our website at www.greenspoint.org/DevelopmentUpdates

        Company Spotlight: CompQSoft 

        For the first time, Greenspoint company CompQSoft, an IT consulting services firm, has earned a place on Houston Business Journal’s (HBJ) Houston Fast 100, coming in at No. 90. The ranking was based on the private revenue growth of the company from 2010 to 2012. CompQSoft reported a 62.79 percent growth, from $4.3 million in revenue in 2010 to $7 million in 2012, according to HBJ. 

        CompQSoft told HBJ in a Sept. 4, 2013 article that it credits long-term clients such as IBM Corp. and partnerships with government contractors like the U.S. Army as the reason for its exponential growth since it was founded in 1997.  

        CompQSoft is an IT solution provider that assists federal, state and local government agencies to revolutionize the way those agencies deliver their services to citizens as well as personnel. The company has 50 employees. 
         

        November 2013

        The ABCs of Successful Business: E is for Engineers (and Energy). Houston Has Plenty of Both. 

        As the energy capital of the world, Houston predictably has one of the highest concentrations of engineers in the nation. As home to more than 100 energy-related businesses, Houston’s Greenspoint District works to ensure the engineering talent pool doesn’t dry up.

        Forbes magazine reported in July that Houston has 22.4 engineers per 1,000 employees, for a total engineering workforce of 59,000 engineers. 

        “Houston’s depth in engineering talent has attracted renewable energy research and development to the region by traditional energy companies including Shell, BP, Chevron, Dow and GE, among many others,” according to the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). 

        Feeding the engineering talent pool are reports such as recent ones by Monster.com and NerdScholar proclaiming, respectively, that Houston “has the nation’s highest demand for engineering jobs in 2013” and “is a top city for engineers.” Such reports are like piper’s calls for recent college graduates seeking employment, particularly those near Houston.

        Fifteen universities within a 500-mile radius of Houston offer engineering programs. These programs have 42,800 students enrolled in their undergraduate programs with another 2,296 students enrolled in graduate level programs. Furthermore, in 2012, these engineering programs awarded bachelor’s degrees to over 6,000 students and post-graduate degrees to another 3,600 students. 

        Filling the demand for future engineers begins at the high school level and continues with community colleges in Houston. Many area school districts and community colleges offer programs designed specifically to ready students for the demands of engineering-based curricula at surrounding universities. The Greenspoint District works with the Lone Star College System (LSCS) to represent the workforce needs of area industries. LSCS, in return, develops programs to meet those needs. LSCS also works with area companies to develop training specific to that company’s needs.

        The Greenspoint District has even reached across the pond to exchange workforce readiness ideas with oil and gas industry leaders in Aberdeen, Scotland. 

        “During the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, we hosted panel discussions exploring how each of our regions is addressing the demand for engineers,” said Greenspoint District Economic Development Director Regina Lindsey. “We brought in speakers from Houston’s Lone Star College System and Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University, as well as energy industry professionals, to exchange information and ideas. It was a great success.”

        Between the educational opportunities offered here and the firms with jobs available, Houston, and the Greenspoint District, provide great opportunities for those in several different engineering specialties. 

        Additionally, because young engineers see Houston as a city of opportunity, energy related businesses have a large and diverse talent pool from which to choose. The formula inures to the benefit of the city and its energy industry, helping Houston maintain its credentials as world energy capital. 

        EB-5 Helps Foreign Investors Gain Citizenship 

        Houston Council District B, which includes the Greenspoint District, was recently declared a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, becoming the only council district in the city to have the TEA designation. This creates significant savings for foreign investors interested in the EB-5 program.

        In 1990, the United States government developed the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to create a faster path to citizenship for foreigners investing in U.S. projects that create jobs for U.S. citizens. The program offers investors and their immediate families, including spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, a way to obtain a green card for permanent residence, with the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years.

        In most areas, the required investment into a commercial enterprise is $1 million, but in areas designated as TEAs, such as the Greenspoint District, the investment requirement is reduced to $500,000. 

        “The purpose of a TEA is to focus larger investments to spur job creation in areas of high unemployment,” said Massey Villarreal, principal of Lone Star Regional Centers, an entity that manages EB-5 projects. 

        “Through the Greenspoint District’s full TEA status, EB-5 investments in the area will directly lead to more job creation, improved regional productivity and a greater opportunity,” Villarreal added. 

        There are two ways for investors to use the EB-5 program. They can either invest with someone who is managing a single project or invest with a regional center, which is an entity that has been approved by the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) to facilitate the sourcing of capital by multiple EB-5 investors. Each regional center focuses on specific geographic areas and seeks to promote economic growth and creation of new jobs in that specific area.

        Houston City Council Member Jerry Davis was instrumental in having Council District B classified as a TEA. He is excited about what the TEA classification means for the future of District B. 

        “I believe these projects, which include a mix of market rate and affordable housing units, will bring many jobs and commercial development which will help revitalize many parts of my Council District,” Davis said. 

        Housing construction is one of a myriad of development types which can be done with EB-5 investments. The key is job creation. All investments, whether single project or with a regional center, are required to generate at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens over a two-year period. However, when investing with a regional center, it is the responsibility of the center to create the minimum amount of jobs required. For example, if three investors invest in a regional center, that center’s projects must create 30 jobs. 

        “One of the benefits of investing with a regional center is that it is a more expedient and non-employment-related pathway to citizenship for the investors and their families,” said Villarreal. 

        His Lone Star Regional Centers, which was approved by USCIS in April 2012, encompasses the 10-county region surrounding the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area. Villarreal is eager to see what the future holds for Lone Star Regional Centers, noting that the EB-5 Regional Center program has put more than $3 billion of foreign capital investment into the U.S. economy and has created at least 65,000 jobs since 2003. 

        Company Spotlight: HealthHelp 

        For the seventh consecutive year, Greenspoint District-based HealthHelp LLC has earned a place on two different publications’ lists ranking the city’s fastest-growing private companies. Both lists based their rankings on the private revenue growth of the company from 2010 to 2012. HealthHelp reported a 120 percent growth, from $17.4 million in revenue in 2009 to $38.2 million in 2012, according to Inc. magazine.

        HealthHelp ranked number 75 on the Houston Business Journal’s (HBJ) Fast 100 list. Inc. placed the company No. 2,862 of 5,000 overall, No. 217 in the health category and No. 59 in the Houston metro area. 

        HealthHelp President and Chief Operating Officer Cherrill Farnsworth also recently received honors. Earlier this year, she accepted the 4th Annual Most Influential in Specialty Health Award. The National Association of Specialty Health Organizations gives the award each year in recognition of distinguished industry leaders who work to both raise the profile of high-quality health specialty services and ease access to those services. The winner is chosen based on the votes of those who purchase specialty health services. 

        Founded in 1999, the company provides specialty care benefits management services for cardiology, oncology, radiology, emergency medicine and numerous other medical specialties. In addition to its Greenspoint headquarters, HealthHelp has a location in Annapolis, Md. and call centers in Houston and Albany, N.Y. The company has over 100 employees at its Greenspoint location and 350-400 in total. HealthHelp manages the specialty care benefits for 15.5 million Americans. 

        Like many other Greenspoint District-based companies, HealthHelp chose to locate here for the benefits the area provides, namely the proximity to Bush Intercontinental Airport, workforce access due to the interconnectivity of the roadways and the location being at the crossroads of fiber activity for the region.  

        Additionally, the cost of doing business in the District, averaging $28.44 per square foot for Class A office space, is more cost-effective compared to similar areas. 

         “The Greenspoint District is a great deal for a private equity company,” Farnsworth said.  

        February 2013

        ABC’s of Successful Business: C is for Cost of Occupancy

        In a December 2012 report, international real estate firm CBRE found that global office occupancy costs increased 2.1 percent over the past year, due in part to increases in the Americas and Asia Pacific.  Hong Kong topped the list as the most expensive office market in the world.  Despite European economic concerns, London was second on the list with relatively low vacancies and tight market conditions.



        The United States continues to be the best bet for growing companies looking to relocate or expand businesses, as class A office space is available at below world average occupancy rates of $65.51 per square foot.  Among U.S global cities, sharp differences for class A office space exist with a range of $114.30 per square foot in Midtown Manhattan to $27.25 per square foot in suburban Chicago.



        “When we looked closely at CBRE’s report, we found that the Greenspoint District of Houston, at $28.44 per square foot, is more cost effective than any comparable area,” said District Economic Development Manager Toby Stephens.  

        Stephens arrived at that conclusion by drilling down into the two markets with office costs that appeared, at first glance, to be lower than Greenspoint. He looked first to see if there were submarkets in Atlanta (Suburban) and Chicago (Suburban) that were similar to Greenspoint, which is close to an international airport and has available class A commercial office space. While Atlanta’s Airport South submarket and Chicago’s South Suburb submarket contain international airports, both are primarily industrial areas with little-to-no class A office space. That left only Chicago (O’Hare) as a viable comparable. 

        Stephens then determined occupancy cost for O’Hare and Greenspoint by multiplying the gross asking lease rate by each city’s average occupancy percentage increase as indicated in the CBRE report. (See detailed examples in the chart below.)  On average, O’Hare’s occupancy cost was found to be $20 per square foot higher than Greenspoint’s.

        Currently, the Greenspoint District has over 500,000 square feet of prime office space available with anticipated lease opportunities of over 660,000 square feet in the next 12 months. For more information about the available space, visit Greenspoint.org/FindAProperty



        Greenspoint District Launches Property Search Web Tool 

        The Greenspoint District today launched, www.GREENSPOINT.ORG/FindAProperty, a new website tool making access to powerful business information research only a mouse-click away. 

        Using Geographic Information System (GIS) software, the website provides immediate access to in-depth information that previously took weeks to research. Now, data including dynamic real estate, demographic, workforce and industry reports are available free and instantly for the Greenspoint District. The website also includes a database of available properties in the district. 

        Over 97 percent of initial site selection screening is now done online, according to research by Wadley-Donovan Group, a leading corporate location and economic development consulting firm. Greenspoint’s new Web tool provides immediate access to critical business intelligence that decision-makers need to make an informed decision. Greenspoint’s website reduces research time from weeks to minutes. 

        “Find A Property goes far beyond a simple database of available sites and buildings. The Web tool also provides dynamic mapping capabilities including the ability to view geographic layers of information such as hospitals, schools and transportation features,” said Regina Lindsey, Economic Development director for the Greenspoint District.

        Website visitors can view available properties, along with size, use and cost. Corresponding demographic reports such as labor force, education levels, consumer spending, and age can be created. In addition, businesses are mapped by industry showing their distribution and concentrations throughout the area. 

        According to Transwestern’s Michelle Wogan, “This website gathers economic, planning, infrastructure, geographic, and demographic information often sought by businesses looking to relocate or expand. It’s virtually a 'one-stop-shop' business portal on the Web. It allows users to view, create, and print maps, as well as find available commercial or business property, and develop custom demographic radius reports.  The ease and efficiency of using this website saves the client time in determining which site will best suit its needs.” 

        The GIS-powered Web tool is built upon Google Maps technology, and offers state-of-the-art site selection mapping capabilities. It is also integrated with GIS Planning’s national site selection search engine, http://www.zoomprospector.com, and is directly connected to Texas Wide Open for Business, the state’s available site inventory.

        Construction to Begin on Leed Industrial Building in Central Green 

        Liberty Property Trust’s build-to-suit facility for GAC Energy & Marine Services LLC will be a cross-dock industrial building in Central Green Business Park, near the Greenspoint District of Houston, Texas.

        “We are excited to have the opportunity to expand our portfolio of sustainable buildings in Houston, while also accommodating the growth needs for GAC Energy & Marine Services,” said Jay Kraft, vice president and city manager for Liberty’s Houston region. “The company will continue to enjoy excellent access to Bush Intercontinental Airport, as well as Beltway 8. In addition, GAC Energy & Marine Services will be able to take advantage of this property’s Foreign Trade Zone designation.”

        GAC Energy & Marine Services LLC (GEMS) provides specialized logistics, maritime and support services to businesses within the energy sector of the Americas.  The company offers an extensive portfolio of services for the oil and gas, marine and mining industries throughout the Americas including: in-house case packing, international and domestic air and ocean freight management, charter and project logistics services.

        To achieve LEED® certification, the building will be registered with the US Green Building Council and is designed to include construction features that positively impact the project and the broader community. The design and construction team for Central Green 11 includes Ken Chang, project manager for Liberty Property Trust; designer Seeberger Architect; Ward, Getz & Associates performing civil engineering; and general contractor Candence McShane.

        Houston Industrial broker Derrick Jones and Bob Bandos, CEO, GAC Energy & Marine Services, negotiated the transaction with Liberty.

        Texas Children to Open Health Center in Greenspoint 

        Construction is currently under way on Texas Children’s Health Plan Center at Greenspoint, a $13 million state-of-the-art medical facility. When it opens in August, the center will employ 160 doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals at the 700 North Sam Houston Parkway West location.

        “Greenspoint is ideal, because over 100,000 of our members live within 15-minutes,” said Chris Born, president of Texas Children’s Health Plan. The organization serves children, pregnant women and some adults in 20 counties throughout the Houston region. It has been providing health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to low-income families since 1996.
         
        Born said the Center at Greenspoint will be the primary care provider for Texas Children’s Health Plan members who live in Greenspoint and the surrounding area. In addition to pediatrics, the center will encompass obstetrics, behavioral health, pharmacy, laboratory, dental and vision services. To accommodate working parents, the Center at Greenspoint will be open six days a week with full services and seven days a week with limited services.

        Texas Children’s Health Plan is partnering with the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority, developer of the Spring Recreational Area, to promote a healthy, active lifestyle for children. Born announced the opening of the new health center at a recent groundbreaking for the recreational area, a 10-acre complex to include a park without limits for children with disabilities and a world-class skate park.

        To learn more about Texas Children’s Health Plan, visit www.TexasChildrensHealthPlan.org

        November 2012

        The ABCs of Successful Business: B is for BIG Data 

        An IDC Digital Universe survey last year reported that more than 1.8 zettabytes of digital information exists and is growing at an exponential pace.  A quick Google search reveals that a zettabyte is really big—one trillion gigabytes and is expressed as 1021 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 gigabytes.

        While corporate information officers and IT professionals are doing their best to manage this glut of digital information, one thing is clear—company site location decisions must include consideration of current and future data storage needs. 

        International consultancies, Cushman & Wakefield and hurleypalmerflatt, in 2011 developed a Data Centre Risk Index which evaluates countries around the world in such criteria as energy cost, international bandwidth and susceptibility to natural disasters, among others.  The United States was ranked the least risky country to build and operate a data center.  

        In the September issue of Site Selection magazine, Adam Bruns discussed data center location drivers.  From January 2010 to March 2012, Bruns revealed that Texas was selected the Top State for Data Centers, and that Houston and San Antonio tied for fifth place among Top US Metros for Data Centers.

        That’s not news to Digital Realty Trust, a worldwide data center developer. Digital Realty is currently expanding its Houston DataCampus in the Greenspoint District to accommodate a major new tenant needing three megawatts of IT load for its technology-focused seismic solutions operation serving the global energy industry. The new tenant will be housed in a 44,000 square-foot stand-alone secured facility, including 28,000 square-feet of raised floor data center space. 
         
        What factors influenced this company’s location decision? 

        Reliability is key, and Digital Realty’s data campus is bolstered by redundant primary power.

        “Our 99.999 percent record of reliability is especially suited to meet the mission critical needs of the energy industry,” said Digital Realty Vice President Andrew Schaap.  

        Reliability is key, and at Digital Realty’s Greenspoint data campus, it is bolstered by redundant primary electrical power and protected by an uninterrupted power supply and secondary power from an on-site generator.  

        In 2005, HP Laboratories published a technical report, “Cost Model for Planning, Development and Operation of a Data Center,” that outlined real estate, power, maintenance and utilization as key cost centers.  It is widely recognized that reliable power is critical to data center operations since electricity used to power and cool the equipment accounts for almost 35 percent of total operations, according to Microsoft and Intel research.  

        However, it is equally important for site selectors to consider the speed and capacity of a location’s Internet or network connection, commonly referred to as latency and bandwidth. Digital Realty’s data campus has diverse underground entry points and is located along the primary fiber route between Houston and Dallas. 

        Access to the fiber optic backbone and diversified power allows Fibertown to provide redundant and secure network connections.

        These factors were key in Fibertown’s decision to locate in Greenspoint a year ago. A data storage and disaster recovery company that provides high-availability corporate collocation and business continuity office space, Fibertown support the critical IT systems of Fortune 500 and mid-size organizations along the Gulf Coast. Greenspoint is the second location for this Bryan, Texas company.
          
        “The robust fiber backbone and access to diversified city power and infrastructure allow us to provide redundant and highly available power and network connections,” Fibertown Senior Vice President Bandon Perryman said of the Greenspoint location. These are the factors critical to Fibertown’s success, and something is obviously working. The company was recently ranked in the top 100 fastest growing companies in Texas and number 1,134 in the nation. Fibertown achieved 277 percent growth over the past three years.


        Developer Builds Team for Houston's Largest Business Park 

        Pinto Realty Partners, a diversified real estate investment and development firm, recently announced joint ventures with Hines and KKR affiliate Studley to represent Pinto Business Park.  The development is a 971-acre master-planned business park located in the Greenspoint District of Houston at the southwest corner of Beltway 8 and I-45.

        "We are looking forward to leveraging Hines’ development capability on a site that we have owned for over 20 years,” said Ernie D. Cockrell, managing director of Pinto Realty Partners.  "With entitlements and development capital in place, now is the time to transform a best-in-class site into a best-in-class development." 

        The joint venture between Pinto and Hines gives Hines exclusive development rights.  The development program includes an immediate focus on build-to-suit transactions and individual land sales to corporate end-users, and afterwards, an expansion into the development of inventory for-lease buildings.  The joint venture also announced that an affiliate of KKR, a leading global investment firm, has agreed to join Hines in investing in and developing the park.

        Pinto Business Park is located in the heart of Houston’s north/northwest submarkets, where industry vacancy rates are some of the lowest in the country.  This site is the largest, fully entitled, contiguous tract of land located inside Beltway 8 and outside the 500-year floodplain.  With drainage, detention, roads and infrastructure already designed, the site is shovel-ready, with tracts available for immediate construction and delivery.  Additionally, with contracted water capacity of over two million gallons per day and two operational commercial Municipal Utility Districts in place, the site offers corporate clients the benefit of over two years of completed entitlement work.

        “Pinto Business Park will offer manufacturing clients the benefits of a large-scale, controlled business park setting, and distribution clients the benefit of a second-to-none location that has frontage and eight access points on the city's main connections to Houston and its surrounding markets,” said Palmer Letzerich, managing director at Hines.  "When fully built out, the park represents an opportunity of nine million square feet and a potential investment of more than $900 million.  Our flexibility to immediately develop build-to-suits and for-lease inventory product, as well our ability to perform construction management services or sell land to user-owners is already creating a significant activity level in the market.”

        According to Studley’s national Industrial Services Group, the Houston industrial real estate market continues to be one of the strongest in the country with vacancy rates at a 35-year low of five percent, ongoing positive absorption, increasing values and moderate new construction.  

        “Given the geographic location, Hines’ development capabilities, and the unrivaled flexibility to address corporate purchase and lease requirements that we can offer, Pinto Business Park is well-positioned to be the premier destination for any light manufacturing, warehouse, supply chain distribution or corporate consolidation requirement in the region,” said John Simmons, Studley corporate managing director.  “Tenants will be five minutes from Bush Intercontinental Airport and 12 minutes from downtown.  Distribution clients will be only 30 minutes from the Port of Houston and most importantly, able to make same day, up and back deliveries to all of the major metropolitan centers of Texas.”  

        Pinto Business Park is anchored by a Sysco Food Services 600,000 square-foot office and distribution center.

        August 2012

        The ABCs of Successful Business: A is for Access 

        Market access is a company’s ability to get supplies and services to its business, and to get its products and services to consumers. This type of access is among the most desired site selection criteria to successful businesses looking to expand or relocate, and the Greenspoint District’s ability to deliver this access is key to its success.

        “Houston is a strategic gateway for cargo from around the world,” says Greenspoint District President Jack Drake. “And Greenspoint’s access to our city’s port and major airport are key drivers to our growth.”

        Centrally located on the U.S. Gulf Coast, Houston is an entry point for cargo originating in or destined for the U.S. West and Midwest. The city lies within close reach of one of the nation’s largest concentrations of consumers. More than 17 million people live within 300 miles of the city and approximately 60 million live within 700 miles. Ample truck, rail and air connections allow shippers to economically transport their goods between Houston and inland points. The Greenspoint District is on the city’s northern edge, crossed and bounded by major freeways, Interstate 45 and the Sam Houston Parkway, providing 360-degree access to critical U.S. markets.

        Companies doing business internationally will find Houston attractive for its port, which is ranked first in the U.S. in foreign waterborne tonnage and is within 30 minutes of Greenspoint via the Sam Houston Parkway, a 90-mile freeway encircling the city. The George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), tenth busiest in North America, is a mere six miles east of Greenspoint. Bush’s 61,000 square-foot fresh air cargo center is a distribution point for flowers, produce, fish and other fresh cargo destined for markets across the U.S.

        Houston has the nation's third largest consular corps with more than 90 nations represented.  Additionally, we have 22 foreign banks from 12 nations, 30 active international chambers of commerce and trade associations, and numerous Houston operations of foreign-owned companies. Houston is one of only eight U.S. cities to have a regional office of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.  If a company is looking for global connections to remain successful in today’s global market, then Greenspoint is an ideal location to consider.

        Life after ExxonMobil? 

        ExxonMobil’s announcement last year that it would consolidate most Houston offices to a 385-acre campus in North Harris County has created a wellspring of opinions regarding the north Houston business community.  Some brokers have speculated doomsday scenarios while academics have projected the campus will spark growth of more than 13 percent over the next decade for the Greenspoint District and northwest Houston as a whole.

        Currently, ExxonMobil occupies 2.3 million square feet of Class A office space in the Greenspoint District and has intimated it will maintain 500,000 square feet within the District after the new campus is completed.  Officials have emphasized that the company does not have a problem with Greenspoint, but the move is based on the economies and efficiencies of consolidating since they are spread across the Houston region.

        “I think Greenspoint will be fine,” said Bob Cromwell, managing director of Moody Rambin Interests, Houston’s largest locally owned commercial real estate brokerage.  “It’s mostly Class A office space (being vacated by ExxonMobil), and the location at the Sam Houston Parkway and Interstate 45 makes it ideal for people who live in other parts of Houston.”

        The Greenspoint District is home to over 4,000 businesses, 106,000 residents and 66,000 employees.  Located at Sam Houston Parkway and Interstate 45 North, Greenspoint is a dynamic market with a diverse mix of available office, industrial and retail properties, as well as hundreds of acres of raw land. 

        “Most of the Class A office space being freed is designated LEED Gold or Silver and is part of the Hines complex,” said Regina Lindsey, economic development manager for the Greenspoint District. This is a coveted location by companies seeking exceptional airport and freeway access. Greenspoint will definitely survive and thrive.” 

        Greenspoint Scores a Double 

        Last year, Mazak, the North American sales and support arm of Yamazaki Mazak Corporation, unveiled its regional headquarters and Southwest Technology Center to provide machine tool technologies to manufacturers in the energy industry and other sectors.   Located on Greenbend Boulevard in Greenspoint, the facility services customers in the United States, Mexico, Canada, South America, Malaysia, Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

        “When we began searching for a new location in 2008, there were several key objectives,” said Dana Scott, general manager of Mazak USA.  “First was finding the necessary acreage to build a state-of-the-art facility with easy, quick access to Bush Intercontinental Airport, and the site had to front the Sam Houston Parkway for the best visibility and customer access.  We wanted to stay in the Greenspoint District because over the years, we have seen first-hand how this area has grown and developed due to enhanced infrastructure, which is necessary to support a multi-national business such as ours,” Scott explained.  

        Mazak had occupied its former Greenspoint facility since 1982, when the company entered the Houston market. Company officials indicated that similar deciding factors were at play in both site searches: they liked the airport proximity, as well as information suggesting Greenspoint would develop into the high-tech center it is becoming today.

        And Greenspoint’s newest multi-national partner in the former Mazak location? Unitech Offshore, designer and manufacturer of oil and gas subsea connector products.  It seems that Greenspoint has a way of attracting pinch hitters who can easily knock it out of the park.

        Greenspoint District Launches Property Search Web Tool 

        The Greenspoint District today launched, www.GREENSPOINT.ORG/FindAProperty, a new website tool making access to powerful business information research only a mouse-click away. 

        Using Geographic Information System (GIS) software, the website provides immediate access to in-depth information that previously took weeks to research. Now, data including dynamic real estate, demographic, workforce and industry reports are available free and instantly for the Greenspoint District. The website also includes a database of available properties in the district. 

        Over 97 percent of initial site selection screening is now done online, according to research by Wadley-Donovan Group, a leading corporate location and economic development consulting firm. Greenspoint’s new Web tool provides immediate access to critical business intelligence that decision-makers need to make an informed decision. Greenspoint’s website reduces research time from weeks to minutes. 

        “Find A Property goes far beyond a simple database of available sites and buildings. The Web tool also provides dynamic mapping capabilities including the ability to view geographic layers of information such as hospitals, schools and transportation features,” said Regina Lindsey, Economic Development director for the Greenspoint District.

        Website visitors can view available properties, along with size, use and cost. Corresponding demographic reports such as labor force, education levels, consumer spending, and age can be created. In addition, businesses are mapped by industry showing their distribution and concentrations throughout the area. 

        According to Transwestern’s Michelle Wogan, “This website gathers economic, planning, infrastructure, geographic, and demographic information often sought by businesses looking to relocate or expand. It’s virtually a 'one-stop-shop' business portal on the Web. It allows users to view, create, and print maps, as well as find available commercial or business property, and develop custom demographic radius reports.  The ease and efficiency of using this website saves the client time in determining which site will best suit its needs.” 

        The GIS-powered Web tool is built upon Google Maps technology, and offers state-of-the-art site selection mapping capabilities. It is also integrated with GIS Planning’s national site selection search engine, http://www.zoomprospector.com, and is directly connected to Texas Wide Open for Business, the state’s available site inventory.
          The ABCs of Successful Business: N is for New Construction 

        Despite a downturn in oil prices, industrial construction in Houston remains fast-paced with 72 buildings, totaling over 10 million square feet, expected to be delivered in 2015. According to CBRE's Second Quarter Industrial Marketview, Houston's industrial new construction pipeline will add much needed supply to very tight submarkets like the North, which includes Greenspoint and everything north of Interstate 610 between U.S. 59 and Texas State Highway 249. Currently, the North industrial submarket has over one million square feet under construction. 

        Speculative construction remains strong in Greenspoint. 

        Liberty Property Trust announced late last year it is constructing the Central Green Distribution Center, a 650,000-square-foot cross-dock building at 1401 Rankin Road. The building features a 36-foot clear height 65-foot loading bay, 133 nine-by-ten-foot-high dock high doors, four 12-by-14-foot-high drive-in ramps, 185-foot truck courts, additional storage areas, and trailer parking. Liberty anticipates delivery later this year. 

        Additionally, Hines and NAI Partners announced construction of two industrial buildings in Pinto Business Park at the end of 2014, Fallbrook 1 and 2. Fallbrook 1 is a 500,000-square-foot, controlled-access, cross-dock building featuring a 32-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 180-foot truck courts, 94 dock high doors, four drive-in ramps with 12-by-14-foot overhead doors, and parking for trailers. Fallbrook 2 is a 193,000-square-foot, rear-load, controlled-access building featuring a 28-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 260-foot truck court, 50 dock high doors, and two drive-in ramps with 12-by-14 foot overhead doors. 

        Lastly, KTR Capital Partners is constructing a 213,000-square-foot facility in Greens Commerce Center at the northwest corner of Interstate 45 and Beltway 8 South. 

        Several tenants are also building specially-designed spaces for their operations. 

        Data Foundry recently opened its new Houston 2 data center in Greenspoint. The facility has the capacity to be 350,000 square feet when completely built out. Houston 2, a 185-mile-per-hour wind-rated structure, has 60 megawatts of power capability, a chilled-water cooling system, and offers carrier-neutral access to more than ten On-Net fiber carriers. 

        Lennar Homes of Texas Land and Construction will relocate this year to its new 68,000-square-foot office located at 681 Greens Parkway. The building is scheduled for completion in October 2015 and will house 225 works from Lennar Corporate affiliates - Lennar, Village Builders, Friendswood Development Co., Universal Mortgage Co., and North American Title Co. 

        Alfa Laval signed a long-term, build-to-suit lease to consolidate its Houston operations in Pinto Business Park. The new facility includes 25,000 feet of Class A office space to hold 150 employees, and 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Alfa Laval is a manufacturer of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling equipment, systems and technology. 
          The ABCs of Successful Business: N is for New Construction 

        Despite a downturn in oil prices, industrial construction in Houston remains fast-paced with 72 buildings, totaling over 10 million square feet, expected to be delivered in 2015. According to CBRE's Second Quarter Industrial Marketview, Houston's industrial new construction pipeline will add much needed supply to very tight submarkets like the North, which includes Greenspoint and everything north of Interstate 610 between U.S. 59 and Texas State Highway 249. Currently, the North industrial submarket has over one million square feet under construction. 

        Speculative construction remains strong in Greenspoint. 

        Liberty Property Trust announced late last year it is constructing the Central Green Distribution Center, a 650,000-square-foot cross-dock building at 1401 Rankin Road. The building features a 36-foot clear height 65-foot loading bay, 133 nine-by-ten-foot-high dock high doors, four 12-by-14-foot-high drive-in ramps, 185-foot truck courts, additional storage areas, and trailer parking. Liberty anticipates delivery later this year. 

        Additionally, Hines and NAI Partners announced construction of two industrial buildings in Pinto Business Park at the end of 2014, Fallbrook 1 and 2. Fallbrook 1 is a 500,000-square-foot, controlled-access, cross-dock building featuring a 32-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 180-foot truck courts, 94 dock high doors, four drive-in ramps with 12-by-14-foot overhead doors, and parking for trailers. Fallbrook 2 is a 193,000-square-foot, rear-load, controlled-access building featuring a 28-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 260-foot truck court, 50 dock high doors, and two drive-in ramps with 12-by-14 foot overhead doors. 

        Lastly, KTR Capital Partners is constructing a 213,000-square-foot facility in Greens Commerce Center at the northwest corner of Interstate 45 and Beltway 8 South. 

        Several tenants are also building specially-designed spaces for their operations. 

        Data Foundry recently opened its new Houston 2 data center in Greenspoint. The facility has the capacity to be 350,000 square feet when completely built out. Houston 2, a 185-mile-per-hour wind-rated structure, has 60 megawatts of power capability, a chilled-water cooling system, and offers carrier-neutral access to more than ten On-Net fiber carriers. 

        Lennar Homes of Texas Land and Construction will relocate this year to its new 68,000-square-foot office located at 681 Greens Parkway. The building is scheduled for completion in October 2015 and will house 225 works from Lennar Corporate affiliates - Lennar, Village Builders, Friendswood Development Co., Universal Mortgage Co., and North American Title Co. 

        Alfa Laval signed a long-term, build-to-suit lease to consolidate its Houston operations in Pinto Business Park. The new facility includes 25,000 feet of Class A office space to hold 150 employees, and 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Alfa Laval is a manufacturer of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling equipment, systems and technology. 
          The ABCs of Successful Business: N is for New Construction 

        Despite a downturn in oil prices, industrial construction in Houston remains fast-paced with 72 buildings, totaling over 10 million square feet, expected to be delivered in 2015. According to CBRE's Second Quarter Industrial Marketview, Houston's industrial new construction pipeline will add much needed supply to very tight submarkets like the North, which includes Greenspoint and everything north of Interstate 610 between U.S. 59 and Texas State Highway 249. Currently, the North industrial submarket has over one million square feet under construction. 

        Speculative construction remains strong in Greenspoint. 

        Liberty Property Trust announced late last year it is constructing the Central Green Distribution Center, a 650,000-square-foot cross-dock building at 1401 Rankin Road. The building features a 36-foot clear height 65-foot loading bay, 133 nine-by-ten-foot-high dock high doors, four 12-by-14-foot-high drive-in ramps, 185-foot truck courts, additional storage areas, and trailer parking. Liberty anticipates delivery later this year. 

        Additionally, Hines and NAI Partners announced construction of two industrial buildings in Pinto Business Park at the end of 2014, Fallbrook 1 and 2. Fallbrook 1 is a 500,000-square-foot, controlled-access, cross-dock building featuring a 32-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 180-foot truck courts, 94 dock high doors, four drive-in ramps with 12-by-14-foot overhead doors, and parking for trailers. Fallbrook 2 is a 193,000-square-foot, rear-load, controlled-access building featuring a 28-foot clear height 60-foot speed bay, 260-foot truck court, 50 dock high doors, and two drive-in ramps with 12-by-14 foot overhead doors. 

        Lastly, KTR Capital Partners is constructing a 213,000-square-foot facility in Greens Commerce Center at the northwest corner of Interstate 45 and Beltway 8 South. 

        Several tenants are also building specially-designed spaces for their operations. 

        Data Foundry recently opened its new Houston 2 data center in Greenspoint. The facility has the capacity to be 350,000 square feet when completely built out. Houston 2, a 185-mile-per-hour wind-rated structure, has 60 megawatts of power capability, a chilled-water cooling system, and offers carrier-neutral access to more than ten On-Net fiber carriers. 

        Lennar Homes of Texas Land and Construction will relocate this year to its new 68,000-square-foot office located at 681 Greens Parkway. The building is scheduled for completion in October 2015 and will house 225 works from Lennar Corporate affiliates - Lennar, Village Builders, Friendswood Development Co., Universal Mortgage Co., and North American Title Co. 

        Alfa Laval signed a long-term, build-to-suit lease to consolidate its Houston operations in Pinto Business Park. The new facility includes 25,000 feet of Class A office space to hold 150 employees, and 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Alfa Laval is a manufacturer of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling equipment, systems and technology. 


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