Physicians: Best States To Practice 2010

Per Physicians Practice:

So how does Texas add up? For the entire list, click here.

In a separate piece, Forbes released the 25 most profitable hospitals in the United States. The list comes from the American Hospital Directory and is based on operating revenue and expense data found in cost reports that each hospital must give annually to Medicare.

Fortunately, not a single one of our Greater Houston hospitals makes the list.  And, as you will notice, the overwhelming majority of highly profitable hospitals are located in underserved cities and communities.  Competition IS a good thing!

See the Forbes list of the 25 most profitable hospitals, here.

CRExtract: 8.31.2010

Factbox: What ammunition does the Fed have left? – The Fed could open or keep open a lending facility to increase credit availability for any sector of the economy it wants to help, such as  commercial real estate. The Fed would have to argue that crisis conditions exist in order to lend to non-banks, and may be shy about doing so after similar actions were criticized during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Bernanke has made no public mention of this option as a possibility, but some prominent economists have suggested such a facility could be designed to target troubled areas of the economy and thus aid an overall recovery. Reuters

Capital-Freeze Thaws for Real-Estate Funds -  Real-estate funds are a particularly needy bunch. By some estimates, about 80%—or $335 billion—of the $420 billion amassed in the U.S. by real-estate funds since 1999 was raised from 2005 to 2008, the height of the market. And the money was spent quickly. WSJ

Houston Business Headlines – Money Morning

Clearwire brings Rover to Houston

‎Clearwire Corp. has unveiled its pay-as-you-go 4G mobile broadband service in Houston. The Kirkwood, Wash.-based wireless broadband company claims that the

Tenants Concerned After Chase Building Fire

‎HOUSTON – Houston Fire Department arson investigators are trying to determine the cause of Monday night’s fire at the JP Morgan Chase Building.

Power Industry Acquisitions Surge in US as Blackstone, NRG Hunt …

‎Blackstone’s agreement this month to buy Dynegy Inc. of Houston for $4.7 billion, Power producers Mirant Corp. of Atlanta and RRI Energy Inc. of Houston

Endeavour Enters Into Agreement to Sell Cygnus Asset

‎HOUSTON, Aug 31, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Endeavour International Corporation (CONSOLIDATED:END) (LSE: ENDV) today announced it has signed a

New heart-failure treatment employed

‎HOUSTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A new method to treat heart failure is being tried with a device implanted to electrically stimulate parts of a patient’s spinal

Space Planning Technology That is Easy-To-Use…Free!

In my experience, OpenOfficeSpace.com has made producing a floor plan as easy as I have seen, whereby using the latest technology to provide tactical and financial advantage for my clients.  This tool is free to the public and provides a simplistic format for commercial tenants who are looking for additional leverage in their negotiations with a landlord.

The best way to use this technology is via demonstration by your real estate representation, in which they can discuss efficient ways to utilize existing or new space, then simply sketch out your ideal floor plan online.  This drawing should be included with the request for proposal (RFP), a must when approaching a landlord that you are not familiar.  So, essentially, by providing the initial proposal to the landlord, with the ideal floor plan, you are assured of getting the landlord thinking creatively on how to best serve your needs.  After all, it is a tenant’s market.

Here are a few snapshots and a quick video tutorial (click the “Launch Space Planner” button to start sketching):

For those unfamiliar with a Request for Proposal (RFP):

Items in an RFP are similar to that of a 4-6 page Landlord’s Proposal to Lease, provided by the landlord’s broker.  The difference is that this non-binding letter requests items to be clarified by the landlord, necessary for any tenant/landlord relationship to be successful. It also outlines certain requirements of the tenant that are mandatory for any leased premises.

For example:

Premises: Is the landlord using BOMA Standards of Measurement?

Lease Term: Will the landlord propose on two or three separate lease term lengths (3, 5, and 7)?

Rental Rate: Are rates quoted on “Gross” or “Net” basis?

Operating Expenses: Will landlord provide operating expenses? For which years?

Add-On Factor: What is the difference between usable and rentable square feet?

Other items: Latent Defects, Base Building Drawings, SNDA, Building Hours, Connectivity, Relocation, and Preferential Rights, among several others

CRExtract: 8.30.2010

Blackstone Returns Fees in First Clawback Triggered at Firm – Blackstone’s property buyout funds recorded performance fees totaling $1.74 billion, some of which was allocated to the firm’s partners, as the market for office towers, hotels and apartments soared from 2004 to 2007. Prices have slumped about 39 percent since then, leaving New York-based Blackstone and its rivals in a position similar to that of venture capital firms about a decade ago, when the collapse of technology stocks forced them to return profits earned on Internet companies during the 1990s. The acute situation for clawbacks is when you have had a very successful period of gains and then the remaining deals don’t do well,” said Michael Harrell, co-head of the private funds practice at the New York-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. “That is what happened when the Internet bubble burst and there is certainly the potential for that with the sharp downturn in the real estate market.” Bloomberg

Life insurance firms waiting for commercial real estate opportunities – Lincoln National Life, for instance, has put the word out that their goal is to underwrite $750 million in commercial property mortgages this year.  Last year, Lincoln National had the same goal but only scored $165 million in mortgages. “So this year, they are being a little more aggressive. That’s what turns a market,” he said.   A year ago, only eight of the 31 life insurance companies told attendees that they were “open for business, we want to do loans.”  This year, 30 out of 31 are looking for lending opportunities.  They are driven by their beliefs that the commercial real estate market is stabilizing.  The exact timing however, is still uncertain. Current activity is at its lowest point in the last 30 or 35 years. Tuscon Business

Commercial Property Market Shows Signs of Strength - Office cap rates (ration between income and costs) decreased 5bps to 8% in July while the average price per square foot rose to $220 nationally. Cap rates achieved on these premium assets fell below 6% for central business district (CBD) properties and 7% for suburban. 90% of all transactions occurred in the primary market, a trend that has been growing all year. RCA reported that price differences between markets are growing, however, because these transactions are concentrated in only a few of the markets: New York, the District of Columbia, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. Housing Wire

Houston Business Headlines – Money Morning

Fire Brings Potential Havoc to Houston Elections

‎The Houston Tea Party Society (HTPS) is establishing a plan to get out the early vote. According to County Clerk Kaufman, the early vote will be more

Houston’s Harris County Borrows $205 Million as Sales Lowest in …

Harris County Flood Control District, which includes Houston, leads issuers this week with states and \…

Angelika Film Center Closes in Houston

HOUSTON – Thirteen years after its opening in downtown Houston in 1997, the Angelika Film Center & Cafe has closed its doors. The closing of the Angelika

12% of Houston homes underwater

About 12 percent of residential properties in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown are underwater, according to a recent report from financial and real estate

Texas Problem Banks Slowly Climb With 3 Recent Additions

As of 7.25.2010 (Prior Post):

  1. Treaty Oak Bank, Austin
  2. Golden Bank, Houston
  3. Citizens State Bank, Woodville, Cease & Desist – Removed*
  4. Jefferson Bank, Dallas, Cease & Desist
  5. Prosper Bank, Prosper, Cease & Desist
  6. Commercial National Bank of Texarkana, Texarkana
  7. First Community Bank, Sugar Land
  8. Equity Bank, SSB, Dallas, Cease & Desist
  9. Bank of South Texas, McAllen, Cease & Desist
  10. First Bank, Farmersville, Cease & Desist
  11. Oasis Bank, SSB, Houston, Cease & Desist
  12. First National Bank of Jasper, Jasper
  13. Inter National Bank, McAllen
  14. LegacyTexas Bank, Plano
  15. Nexbank, Dallas, Cease & Desist
  16. Metrobank, Houston
  17. Commercial State Bank of El Campo, El Campo, Cease & Desist
  18. Gladewater National Bank, Gladewater
  19. United Community Bank, Highland Village
  20. Tradition Bank, Bellaire, Houston
  21. Texas Community Bank, The Woodlands
  22. Uvalde National Bank, Uvalde
  23. Town Center Bank, Coppell, Cease & Desist – Removed*
  24. Libertad Bank, SSB, Austin, Cease & Desist – Removed*
  25. Texas Republic Bank, Frisco
  26. The First National Bank of Trenton, Trenton
  27. Border Capital Bank, McAllen
  28. First Bank of Snook, Snook
  29. Texas National Bank, Mercedes
  30. First National Bank of the Mid-Cities, Bedford
  31. Woodforest Bank, Refugio, Cease & Desist
  32. First Community Bank, San Benito
  33. First International Bank, Plano
  34. Texas Country Bank, Lakeway
  35. The Mason National Bank, Mason
  36. Brazos Valley Bank, College Station
  37. Incommons Bank, Mexia
  38. Park Cities Bank, Dallas
  39. Southwestern National Bank, Houston
  40. T Bank, Dallas
  41. American Bank of Texas, Marble Falls

Added:

42. Main Street Bank, Kingwood – Website

43. Lone Star Bank, Houston – Website

44. The Bank of Texas, Devine – Website

* (Removed) – Items that have been removed no longer appear on the FDIC list, typically corresponding to a new bank’s purchase of problem bank’s assets

Washington Heights Wal-Mart And The 380 Agreement

The city is negotiating a deal with the developer of Washington Heights — a proposed Wal-Mart-anchored shopping center near Interstate 10 and Yale – that would reimburse the local builder for as much as $6 million in public infrastructure improvements.

If the agreement is approved, developer Ainbinder Co. would widen and repave streets surrounding the project, refurbish bridges near the site, develop a bike and pedestrian trail along a stretch of Heights Boulevard south of I-10 and improve underground drainage, among other upgrades. For complete article, go to Houston Chronicle.


Your link to this week’s Greater Houston real estate and business stories from local, regional and national publications.  —  For a complimentary assessment of your commercial real estate interests, contact Robert S. “Bob” Lowery.

Whitestone REIT Moves Forward With IPO

Whitestone REIT, an internally managed REIT with 36 commercial properties primarily in Houston, raised $26 million on Wednesday by offering 2.2 million shares at $12, below the range of $14-$16, after planning to price the deal the night before. The REIT had originally planned to raise $50 million by offering 3.3 million shares. Whitestone plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol WSR. Wunderlich Securities and Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. acted as lead managers on the deal. For complete article, go to Renaissance Capital.


Your link to this week’s Greater Houston real estate and business stories from local, regional and national publications.

Robert S. “Bob” Lowery

Houston Highest in Hotel Risk Exposure, But Low in Multifamily

Commercial real estate if flourishing in the Austin metro statistical area (MSA) according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW: 22.55 +3.11%), a financial firm that ranked the MSA at the top of three out of six categories in its Equity REITS/Commercial Real Estate MSA Tracker for the second quarter.

The report, released today, said Austin is the No. 1 hotspot in the multifamily property sector, the retail property sector and has the best overall economic conditions. For complete article, go to Housing Wire.


Your link to this week’s Greater Houston’s real estate and business stories from local, regional and national publications.  —  Robert S. “Bob” Lowery