Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anzalduas Bridge Board Launches Program to Assist International Travelers

The Anzalduas International Bridge Board has launched a new program to assist travelers entering the United States at the Anzalduas International Bridge.
Starting March 14, 2011 and just in time for Spring Break, the City of McAllen will place at least six additional city employees at the Anzalduas Port of Entry to greet visitors as they approach the United States.
“We are hopeful that this program will expedite wait times and warmly welcome our international guests,” said McAllen Mayor Richard F. Cortez.
Superintendent of Bridges Rigo Villareal said the new greeters will not only make the guests feel welcome, they will also help international travelers have required documents ready and organized for inspection by a CBP agent.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Villarreal said. “Hopefully we can shorten the wait time for any individual who wants to legally enter the US via the Anzalduas Bridge. And as a result, we can assist our CBP agents by having the required documents in order for their inspection. This is one less thing for the agents to worry about, so they can concentrate on other details.”
This greeter system is a new program for the Anzalduas Bridge, in conjunction with Customs and Border Protection. The greeters hired by the City of McAllen will complete orientation sessions.
Roy Cantu, City of McAllen Public Information Office, 956-792-7779
Rigo Villareal, Superintendent of Bridges, 956-681-1824

Longhorn Steak House Now Open in McAllen, TX

LongHorn Steakhouse opened its first location in McAllen, Texas. The restaurant, best known for its atmosphere and flavor of the American West, is located at 3600 Expressway 83 in McAllen. As part of its pre-opening training period, the restaurant recently hosted a Friends and Family night which helped raise more than $1,500 for the Easter Seals of the Rio Grande Valley.

The 6,300-square foot restaurant will employ more than 80 team members and seat more than 240 guests. Angel Rodriguez, a restaurant industry veteran of 19 years, will serve as managing partner.

“LongHorn Steakhouse has been looking to bring its tradition of Western hospitality to McAllen for some time and we are excited about the warm welcome we have received from the local community,” said Rodriguez. “We look forward to helping our guests relax and unwind in an inviting atmosphere while savoring a great steakhouse meal served with genuine Western hospitality. We’re also pleased we could help support the Easter Seals and look forward to making more contributions to the local community for many years to come.”
LongHorn opened its first restaurant in Atlanta 29 years ago and has grown steadily – becoming known for its passion for grilling fresh, never frozen, steaks served in a relaxed, comfortable steakhouse atmosphere. LongHorn is known for more than its signature hand-seasoned Flo’s Filet and the bone-in Outlaw Ribeye. LongHorn chefs love to grill fresh fish and chicken in addition to steak. Items such as LongHorn Salmon, a fresh, hand-cut salmon fillet seasoned with a bourbon marinade; fall-off-the-bone tender Baby Back Ribs; and Parmesan Crusted Chicken, two juicy chicken breasts grilled and topped with a parmesan cheese and garlic crust, are just some of the other specialties guests will find on the menu.
The restaurant opens daily at 11 a.m. for lunch. It is open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

More than 29 years after opening its first restaurant in Atlanta, today LongHorn Steakhouse operates 350 restaurants in 33 states. LongHorn is a division of Darden Restaurants, the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company.

Trophies vs. Trash – Finding the Best Deals in Today’s Distressed Commercial Real Estate Markets

Trophies vs. Trash – it’s just one way to explain what is happening in today’s commercial real estate market.  The Trophies are those main-and-main, big city stabilized assets that are the envy of every serious institutional owner.  And because the number of those assets is finite and the capital chasing them seemingly endless, prices–believe it or not–are going up and cap rats are being compressed.
The sales of those few Trophy assets are also the ones that major publications report on when they declare that the worst is over.  The recent sale of the Pritzker/Hyatt Office Building in downtown Chicago is an example of a trophy selling to California-based The Irvine Company for $625 million,  or $420 per SF. 
The divide between Trophies and Trash is also tracked by two diverging indexes.  The Green Street Advisors’ Commercial Property Index tracks 47 REITs, which in summary didn’t report the low as low and the rebound bigger than the Moody’s/Real All Property Type Aggregate Index, which tracks all same asset sales over $2.5 million. The Moody’s index, not surprisingly, reported a lower low and a much more modest rebound. 
The trash is obviously the other assets,  the dime-a-dozen suburban office buildings that are trading at per pound value and sometimes not more than dirt price, and non-anchored retail centers that were built ahead of the rooftops and now sit next to corn fields in the Chicago collar counties and next to cactus-filled deserts in Phoenix.  The retail properties are oftentimes half empty and with little hope of attracting  tenants that can afford to pay anywhere near the rental rates that justify their one-time value of $300 per SF.  The challenge as a buyer is to determine what type of property you are buying, not be teased by the notion of comparison to buildings that are defined as the other and pay accordingly.  There are markets for both, but the prices differ as much as corn does from cactus.
This entry was posted by Tim Buss on March 22, 2011 
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