Spring Recreation Area Coming to Life

June 2014 is the expected completion time for the 10-acre Spring Recreational Area, a complex at Rankin and Kuykendhal that will feature a world-class skateboard park on one side and a park without limits for special needs patrons on the other.

The complex is being built by the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority and will be managed by the Greenspoint District.

Currently workers are busy pouring concrete for the different elements of the skate park and the park without limits as well as the parking lots and sidewalks. They are also constructing the building that will house the administrative offices for the complex and installing light fixtures.

Features for the skate park include a competition-scale Texas bowl featuring a full pipe, 12-foot vert ramp, 10-foot bowl, banked walls and speed hips, plus a couple of backyard-style pools and three beginner/intermediate/advanced flow bowls. A section of the park is also being designed to emulate the street-skating experience and will include ledges, rails, benches, banks, quarter pipes and stair obstacles.

The park without limits, named Dylan’s Park in honor of an area child who was severely injured and later died from child abuse, will cater to children who are sight and hearing impaired as well as those who are autistic or wheelchair-bound. The park without limits will also include open grassy fields for free play and will be completely fenced.

For a glimpse of the progress of construction going on at the complex, check out our photo album at www.facebook.com/greenspoint.

For more information on the Spring Recreational Area, contact Sally Bradford, executive director of the Greater Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority, at 281-877-9952.

Greenspoint Honors Partners & Volunteers

The Greenspoint District’s key partners and volunteers were recently recognized at the District’s 21st Annual Partners & Volunteers Appreciation luncheon.

Retiring board of directors Chairman James Curry of Hines was recognized with a mini Roast and Toast by former District President Jack Drake. Curry was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award for his 18 years of service to the board and 15 years as its chairman. Curry resigned as chairman to accept a transfer to Hines’ Dallas office.

Incoming board Chair Michelle Wogan of Transwestern received a 2012 Special Achievement award in recognition of her ongoing service to numerous District efforts. Wogan has served for 15 years as vice chair of the board and 17 years as chair of the District’s Marketing and Public Affairs Committee.

Two individuals and three entities also received accolades at the annual luncheon.

Texas Children’s Health Plan – The Center for Children and Women was named Greenspoint’s 2013 Company of the Year in recognition of its investment in the area. Texas Children’s was a major sponsor of the ground-breaking ceremony for the skate park and park without limits, recently participated in the District’s Health and Safety Fair, has accepted a seat on our board of director, and has built its Center for Children and Women in Greenspoint.

Greenspoint Volunteer of the Year award went to Deborah Howle of Lone Star College System. Program coordinator in the Office of External Affairs at Lone Star College, Howle is the District’s go-to person for information and statistics. Her office has also sponsored numerous events of our Marketing and Economic Development departments. Additionally, she is a member of our Economic Development Committee and a volunteer with our Business Expansion and Retention team.

Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition (GBCC) earned Partner of the Year honors for its help in funding Ida Gaye Gardens, a park designed to aid seniors in maintaining an independent lifestyle. The Coalition is also helping fund Glen Forest Detention Basin, which will begin construction next year, and will include flood remediation as well as recreational benefits. Additionally, GBCC is collaborating with the Greenspoint District on developing another park site on Greens Bayou at Bradfield Road.

Principal of Granite PR in Aberdeen, Scotland, Brett Jackson, was named International Partner of the Year. Jackson has contributed to the fullfillment of the vision of the Greenspoint District as an international business center. He has put us in touch with Scottish media outlets to help us spread the word about Greenspoint, he has introduced us to government and business leaders who help us reach companies looking to expand to the U.S.; and he helps us grow those relationships and expand awareness of Greenspoint in Scotland.

SpawGlass Civil Construction, Inc. received the Parks Partner of the Year award. SpawGlass spearheaded the restoration efforts at the Stovall Middle School SPARK Park on Airline Drive. Volunteers from the company took part in planting trees, installing a pavillion, and a bike rack, among other projects.

Several district board members also received service awards for their years on the board. Recognized for one year of service were: Hosea Jackson of ExxonMobil and Kelly McNeill of Hines. John Ridgway of Celtic Realty Advisors LLC was recognized for having completed 10 years of service. Charles Lopez of Kindred Healthcare and Melody Douglas of Morganti Texas received awards for having completed 15 years of service with the board.

The awards presented to the District’s recipients are replicas of larger pieces of public art commissioned by the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority and displayed throughout the District. The “Of the Year” recipients replicas of a larger sculpture title “Time Piece” located at the corner of Greens Crossing and Greens Parkway. “Time Piece,” and the miniature versions presented to award recipients, was created by Houston artist Eric Ober.

The recognized board members also received replicas of pieces of public art. Ten-year honorees received a miniature of “Body Language,” also located at the corner of Greens Crossing and Greens Parkway and also by Ober. The award presented to the 15-year recipients was inspired by “Blowing Leaves,” located at the intersection of Greens Parkway and Gears. The sculpture and the leaves presented to the recipients were created by artist Kevin Box.

For a photo galley of the event, visit www.facebook.com/greenspoint.

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.

Space is Filling Up in Pinto Business Park

Fort Worth-based electrical supply company, The Reynolds Co., recently bought nine acres at Pinto Business Park in Greenspoint and plans to build a 130,000-square-foot distribution facility there. The building is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2014.

Also at Pinto Business Park, a recent ground-breaking ceremony started construction of a 600,000-square-foot distribution center and two spec buildings totally 120,000 square feet each. A deal has already been inked for the larger building, where HD Supply Facilities Maintenance will claim 500,000 square feet.

Development news travels fast, and both the Houston Business Journal and the Houston Chronicle have run stories about the new developments.

Hines also issues the following press release detailing the HD Supply announcement.

Hines Raises Tiltwall Panels at Pinto Business Park

HD Supply Facilities Management Signs On as Anchor Tenant

11/21/13

(HOUSTON) – Hines, the international real estate firm, and its joint venture partners Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, LP and Pinto Real Estate Development, Inc., announced today that tiltwall panels are raised on a Class A, 840,000-square-foot, multi-building logistics development within Pinto Business Park. The project will consist of one 600,000-square-foot, cross-dock distribution facility and two 120,000-square-foot, rear-load distribution buildings.

The partnership also announced that HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, a national supplier of maintenance, repair and operations products, will anchor the project, and has signed a 500,000-square-foot lease within the cross-dock building. The remaining 100,000 square feet in the cross-dock distribution building, and 240,000 square feet of rear-load space is currently available for lease, with scheduled completions in June 2014, and May 2014, respectively.

HD Supply Facilities Maintenance was represented in lease negotiations by Jim Foreman and Beau Kaleel of Cushman & Wakefield. John Simons and Holden Rushing of Studley represented Hines, the building developer, owner and manager.

The HD Supply Facilities Maintenance building will feature top-of-the-market characteristics including 32’ clear height, 52’ x 55’ column-bay spacing, 130’-180’ truck courts, a fully redundant power supply system, and will be constructed to achieve LEED® certification. The rear-load distribution buildings will feature 28’ clear height, gated 130’ truck courts with multiple ingress/egress points and 52’ x 50’ column spacing, allowing for flexible interior layouts.

Hines Managing Director Palmer Letzerich said, “Pinto Business Park offers a range of industrial product types in a superior location, at a competitive price point. The project will cater to the majority of the user group in the Houston market, and is anchored by a name-brand tenant. We could not be more pleased with HD Supply Facilities Maintenance choosing Pinto Business Park for their new home. They are an outstanding addition to the park, and provide further validation of the project’s relevance as a regional distribution hub in the Houston metropolitan area.”

“HD Supply Facilities Maintenance was concerned with a number of issues relating to their relocation — primarily location, access, price, flexibility and timing,” Foreman added. “The Hines team was able to provide the best option for our client in all categories, all within a master-planned, deed-restricted setting.”

Pinto Business Park is the largest, fully entitled, contiguous tract of land located inside Beltway 8 and outside the 500-year floodplain. The business park will offer manufacturing clients the benefits of a large-scale, controlled business park setting, and distributions clients the benefit of a second-to-none location that has frontage and eight access points to the city’s main connections to Houston and its surrounding markets. 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. When fully built out, the park represents an opportunity of 8,000,000 square feet and a potential investment of more than $900 million.

About HD Supply Facilities Maintenance

HD Supply Facilities Maintenance is a leading supplier of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products to owners and managers of multifamily, hospitality, educational and commercial properties; healthcare providers; and municipal and governmental facilities. HD Supply Facilities Maintenance has 43 distribution centers, a fleet of more than 700 delivery vehicles, 27,000 items in stock, and is a business of HD Supply (hdsupply.com), one of the largest diversified industrial distribution companies in North America.

About KKR

Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with $83.5 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2013. Since launching a dedicated real estate platform in 2011, KKR has committed over $700 million of equity to 12 real estate transactions in the U.S. and Europe. With offices around the world, KKR manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts covering multiple asset classes. KKR seeks to create value by bringing operational expertise to its portfolio companies and through active oversight and monitoring of its investments. KKR compliments its investment expertise and strengthens interactions with fund investors through its client relationships and capital markets platform. KKR & Co L.P. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NUSE: KKR), and “KKR” as used in this release, includes its subsidiaries, their managed investment funds and accounts, and/or their affiliated investment vehicles, as appropriate.

Pinto Real Estate Development, Inc.

Pinto Real Estate Development, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cockrell Interests LLC serves as a diversified real estate investment and development platform that focuses on strategic real estate investment. Currently, Pinto Real Estate Development, Inc. directly owns and manages over $300 million in real estate assets. Its current portfolio includes large urban in-fill land development, a 450-acre deepwater industrial port focused on coal export and crude storage, and numerous other strategic land holdings and cash flow assets. In addition to strategic one-off deals, Pinto Real Estate Development, Inc. seeks exposure to markets it believes are attractive by identifying and forming relationships with talented managers.

About Hines

Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. The firm’s historical and current portfolio of current projects that are underway, completed, acquired and managed for third parties include 1,283 properties representing more than 516 million square feet of office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, hotel, medical and sports facilities, as well as large, master-planned communities and land developments. Currently, Hines manages 378 properties totaling 151.9 million square feet, which includes 84.4 million square feet for third parties. With offices in 111 cities in 18 countries, and controlled assets valued at approximately $25.2 billon, Hines is one of the largest real estate organizations in the world. Hines is also a world leader in sustainable real estate strategies, with extensive experience in LEED®, ENERGY STAR®, BREEAM, Haute Qualité Environnementale and DGNB green building rating systems. Visit www.hines.com for more information.