Monday, June 28, 2010

Central Texas Ashley Furniture frachisee planning six new stores

Austin Business Journal
New Braunfels-based Hill Country Holdings LLC became one of the fastest-growing Ashley Furniture operators last year when it opened six stores, and this year shouldn't be any different.

Company officials said Friday they plan to open four more stores in Houston (including a clearance center), one in the Rio Grande Valley and one in Tukwila, Wash. by the end of 2010.

Hill Country said it netted a $70.8 million increase last year after buying six Ashley Furniture Co. stores in Houston from Finger Furniture Co. Inc. It also opened another location in McAllen.

The company, founded in 2002, opened its first store in Austin. It now operates six in the Austin San Antonio region and 15 others across the United States. The company runs a home office in Washington D.C. and an outlet center in New Braunfels.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 22 NAI RGV Spotlight - Commercial Real Estate News...Check it out!

Click here to read the latest version of our Spotlight!


COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas is coming out of the Great Recession and leading the United States in the current U-shaped economic recovery, according to the Real Estate Center's latest monthly review of the Texas economy.

After 16 months of job losses, the state’s annual employment growth rate turned positive in May 2010 and posted an annual employment growth rate of 0.2 percent for the period from May 2009 to May 2010. The nation’s rate of job losses has decreased from 5 percent in August 2009 to 0.4 percent in May 2010.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 7.5 percent in May 2009 to 8.3 percent in May 2010, while the U.S. rate rose from 9.4 percent to 9.7 percent during that period.

Five Texas industries — education and health services, mining and logging, other services, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services — and the government sector had more jobs in May 2010 than in May 2009. Six other industries had net job losses over the same period.

Thirteen Texas metro areas posted positive employment growth rates from May 2009 to May 2010, up from seven for the period from March 2009 to March 2010. College Station-Bryan ranked first in job creation followed by San Angelo, Waco, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission.

The state’s actual unemployment rate in May 2010 was 8 percent. Amarillo had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Midland, Lubbock, College Station-Bryan and San Angelo.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Buffalo Wings & Rings Announces Expansion in Brownsville

Buffalo Wings & Rings Announces Expansion in the South Texas Market With the Addition of New Franchisee

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A hot new Buffalo Wings & Rings (BWR) restaurant is taking flight in Brownsville, TX thanks to new franchisees Francisco, Juan & Luis Guillermo Cordova.

Family ties run deep for the newest addition to BWR. With relatives owning and operating the Mission, TX BWR franchise, the "Brownsville Boys" know what it takes to run a successful franchise restaurant in an unstable economy. The Cordovas have a strong service industry background and are looking forward to extending the BWR brand in South Texas with the opening of their first location by the end of this year (or early 2011 at the latest).

The state of Texas is an integral component to Buffalo Wings & Rings' overall growth strategy. The chain currently operates 55 locations nationwide, eight of which reside in The Lone Star State. Last year alone, BWR opened two locations in McAllen and one each in the cities of Del Rio, Mission, Round Rock and Weslaco.

"Our goal is ... Click here to read more

Luby’s Inc. to buy Fuddruckers' assets for $61 million

SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – Luby’s Inc. is purchasing all of Fuddruckers’ assets — as well as Fuddruckers parent, Magic Brands LLC — for $61 million.

Houston-based Luby’s and Austin-based Fuddruckers were founded in the Alamo City in 1947 and 1980, respectively.

Magic Brands LLC filed for bankruptcy on April 21 and operates 62 Fuddruckers locations in 11 states. An additional 135 restaurants are operated by franchisees.

The transaction is scheduled to close on or before July 9.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Developer to invest millions in housing infrastructure in Reynosa

June 18, 2010

Reynosa, a city of about 1 million and an industrial hub in Northeast Mexico, will receive a boom in housing thanks to new jobs and a new housing developer.
Uribi, the leading housing developer in Mexico, will expand its operations throughout the state of Tamaulipas and in Reynosa, the state’s largest city. The McAllen Economic Development Corporation works closely with the City of Reynosa to attract industry and manufacturing to both sides of the border.
To read the full release, click here.

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Commercial recovery up ahead, Realtors predict

Commercial recovery up ahead, Realtors predict
ICSC SCTWeek June 18th, 2010

U.S. commercial real estate values could start to recover next year, says the National Association of Realtors. Values will keep declining and vacancies rising across all property types through the rest of this year, though moderating somewhat, the group says.

Multifamily property will lead, the association says, pointing out that the vacancy rate for apartments eased from 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 7.3 percent in this first quarter. The group says this will drop even further in the second quarter, to 6.9 percent. Some 413,000 square feet of retail space will be vacated during the second quarter, the association says, compared to 8.1 million square feet of office space and 30.3 million square feet of industrial properties. In percentage terms, second-quarter vacancy rates will be about 17.3 percent for office space, 14.6 percent for industrial and 12.7 percent for retail.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

McAllen ranks in top 11 cities for beating the recession; longest period of job growth

McAllen ranks in top 11 cities for beating the recession; longest period of job growth
June 17th, 2010
McAllen Economic Corporation Blog

McAllen, TX ranked No. 11 in the United States for beating the recession, according to the June 2010 MetroMonitor released by the Brookings Institute. The report indicates: “Of all the cities in the ranking, McAllen has experienced the longest period of job growth, gaining jobs over the last four quarters.”

Click here to read article.

Officials unite to discuss cross-border development

Officials unite to discuss cross-border development

June 16, 2010 9:56 PM
By ILDEFONSO ORTIZ, The Brownsville Herald

Cameron County officials met with Matamoros city leaders Wednesday to discuss some of the area’s regional development issues.

Officials reviewed a range of projects, including the Brownsville West Rail Relocation Project and the expansion of the Brownsville Veteran’s International Bridge.

“These projects have been around for some time,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos. “We have a great working relationship with our friends in Matamoros and thanks to our combined efforts have been able to close the deal.”

The bridge expansion calls for the addition of lanes to the port of entry that will help ease the flow of traffic to both cities, Matamoros Mayor Erick Silva said.

Cascos said construction for the project is slated to begin ... Click here to read more

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

San Juan breaks ground for Mercedes-Benz dealership

San Juan breaks ground for Mercedes-Benz dealership
June 15, 2010 7:46 PM
Naxiely Lopez - The Monitor

SAN JUAN — A groundbreaking ceremony took place Tuesday morning here for a new Mercedes-Benz dealership.

The business is expected to generate $50,000 in local sales tax each year.

City leaders hope the dealership at 411 Expressway 83 — on the north side of the expressway — will bring new customers to the area.

The San Juan Economic Development Corp. said in 2009 that the business would create ... Click here to read more

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mexico ranked most cost competitive for industry; McAllen takes top spot in the U.S. market

Mexico ranked most cost competitive for industry; McAllen takes top spot in the U.S. market
June 14th, 2010
McAllen Economic Development Corporation Blog

Leave a comment Based on the low costs of doing business and business’ ability to compete on the global scale, Mexico ranked No. 1 in overall competitiveness according to a recent report released by KMPG. This organization is a “global network of professionals in the audit, tax and advisory business. The study found that Mexico represents the lowest cost country for companies. The McAllen Economic Development Corporation has a team of industrial specialists focused on recruiting and expanding manufacturing, warehousing, logistics operations in Mexico, specifically Reynosa.

For the U.S., KMPG ranked McAllen as the most competitive city in the United States and Canada, based on low cost of business. There are hundreds of companies on the U.S. side that supply the manufacturing sector in Reynosa, Mexico. Click here to read the full report.

Monday, June 14, 2010

San Benito to build $7.8M ‘green' elementary

San Benito to build $7.8M ‘green' elementary
June 13, 2010 1:00 AM
By FERNANDO DEL VALLE/Valley Morning Star

LA PALOMA — School’s going green in the fastest growing part of the San Benito school district, officials said.

The district will build a $7.8 million elementary school whose solar panels and “green” design will make it a model campus in the Rio Grande Valley, said Oscar Medrano, the school board’s president.

“This is a first for us,” Medrano said. “It will be a magnet for other districts in the Valley.”

A $37 million bond issue passed in 2007 will pay for construction of the school to be built on FM 732, about three miles north of La Paloma, officials said.

The 70,000-square-foot school will relieve overcrowding at La Paloma Elementary School in the district’s fastest growing area, Medrano said.

“It’s going to be ... Click here to read more

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brownsville Airport expands to meet needs, stimulating jobs

Airport expands to meet needs, stimulating jobs

The Brownsville Herald
June 06, 2010 10:57 PM
By JAZMINE ULLOA, The Brownsville Herald

Airport officials say the future looks promising for Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport.

The federal government has pumped millions of stimulus dollars into the facility’s rehabilitation projects, officials are seeking to add new flights as early as next year, and in perhaps the largest recent development, the airport will soon see cargo operations reopen on its airfield by the beginning of August — an enterprise it lost in the 1950s to Valley International Airport in Harlingen.

"There has definitely been a lot of expansion based on our growth," said Michael D. Jones, business development manager for the Brownsville airport.

The expansion is all part of a ... Click here to read more

Thursday, June 3, 2010

McAllen-Miller Airport Expansion Plans Under Way

McAllen-Miller airport expansion plans under way

The Monitor

Jared Janes

McALLEN — Federal investments to improve runways and expand the terminal at McAllen-Miller International Airport will help the city compete with other regions to draw in businesses, city officials said Wednesday.
The $12 million in federal funding that has gone to the airport in the past year will make travel plans easier for thousands of passengers who use the airport, said Philip Brown, the director of aviation at McAllen’s airport. But the improvements will ... Click here to read more