Bay Plaza Office Complex BayPlaza Office Complex is a 104,091-square-foot building located at711 West Bay Area Blvd. (credit: Richland).

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SAN ANTONIO/HOUSTON—A couple of recent leases and lease renewalsin San Antonio and Houston reflect the pulse of the market.Moreover, being an owner/manager allows the ability to work withtenants on attractive terms, says Edna Meyer-Nelson, president andCEO, The Richland Companies.

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"Because we own and manage all of our buildings, we are able towork with tenants on lease terms that set them up for success, makefast decisions and continue to provide preventative and aestheticmaintenance and improvements to all 37 of our properties,"Meyer-Nelson tells GlobeSt.com. "I believe this approach is whyRichland continues to attract top tenants to each of our assets infive states."

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SA West Loop II is a 170,453-square-foot multi-buildingindustrial and retail center located at 5407 Bandera Rd. in SanAntonio that is owned and managed by The Richland Companies. Itoffers access to Loop 410 and Bandera Road.

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"In addition to being the largest single industrial park in LeonValley, SA West Loop II offers high visibility and accessibilityfor businesses. It is on a major thoroughfare, bounded by BanderaRoad and Loop 410, providing easy entry for tenants and theirclients. Richland recently conducted a large scale traffic studythat we provided to Leon Valley to show that a traffic lightinstallation was needed and the city installed one. Additionally,Richland has just completed a multi-million dollar upgrade of theproperty with a new roof, lighting, landscaping and other majorenhancements, which has helped us maintain a 95% occupancy rate atthis property."

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Bay Plaza Office Complex is a 104,091-square-foot officebuilding with a six-story open atrium located at 711 West Bay AreaBlvd. in Houston, also owned and managed by The Richland Companies.It provides access to Interstate 45 and close proximity to BaybrookMall, downtown Houston, Galveston, Pasadena, Houston Ship Channeland Johnson Space Center. Amenities include a conferencing facilityand card-key access, as well as onsite management andengineering.

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"While the leases at Bay Plaza may not be substantial, theproperty is significant due to the activity at Johnson SpaceCenter, by the government, additional growth in area and theincreased momentum at the private sector level. Additionally, wewere able to get the city to install a traffic light for safety andconvenience at the intersection to enter the building. Bay Plaza isalso one of the few office buildings in the area with the level ofvisibility it has and ease of access it provides to Bay AreaBoulevard and I-45, which is always an incentive for current andprospective tenants."

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She says leasing is particularly active at these two propertiesdue to the preventative maintenance Richland has undertaken.

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"Regarding Bay Plaza and SA West Loop II, both buildings are inhigh demand because they provide great visibility, are situated inhigh-growth locations, have received recent renovations and ourtenant-centric approach to doing business," Meyer-Nelson tellsGlobeSt.com. "We're seeing an uptick in leasing activity at thesetwo properties lately because of the recent building improvementswe've made. These have all been for pre-emptive upkeep and visualenhancements. It's also worth noting that due to all of ourpreventative maintenance, none of our properties flooded duringHarvey or any of the other recent historic floods Houston and SanAntonio have faced."

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The Houston metro created 85,500 jobs, a 2.7% increase, in the12 months ending November 2019, according to the Texas WorkforceCommission. By industry, professional and business services had thelargest year-over-year increase with 26,400 jobs, followed by13,000 jobs in education and health services, and then mining,logging and construction at 10,800 jobs. Houston's unemploymentrate was 3.6% in November, down from 3.8% in November of last year.For comparison, the Texas and US rates were both 3.3%, notseasonally adjusted. The US Energy Information Administrationreported that the closing spot price for a barrel of West TexasIntermediate was $61.14 per barrel as of December 31, 2019, up from$45.15 the same time last year. Baker Hughes reported the US rigcount at 805 as of December 27, 2019, down -279 from a yearago.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of GlobeSt.com. She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.