Monday, October 31, 2011

KUT RADIO INTERVIEW; Austin Retail Space Shrinking


Austin businesses looking to change or expand locations are finding it’s getting harder and more expensive to do so. Cody Lyon of the Austin Business Journal discusses the challenges concerning retail space with KUT’s Ian Crawford.

Vacancy rates have risen to up to 7 percent in some areas, as opposed to 15 percent in parts of Round Rock and Williamson County. Coupled with a decline in retail construction, this is giving landlords more opportunity to be more selective about whom they rent to. In order to develop successful, working relationships with their tenants, landlords want to know the business plan.

Being up front with the landlord is beneficial because oftentimes they’ll work with you, Lyon said. There could be some flexibility in the beginning stages of the lease term, for example. Ultimately, your success is their success as well.

Cody Lyon, on whether Austin should expect to see more retail and office space built anytime soon:

I think we will eventually, but right now the issue is money. The issue is lending. The banks are not necessarily lending. There has been talk and there have been studies of outside money that’s looking to invest and Austin is one of those cities that has moved beyond what most people associate with Middle American cities.

Austin ranked as the number two market to watch in the United States in an Emerging Trends in Real Estate report released last week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

VISA Program Draws Mexican Investors looking to escape Cartel Violence; Link to KUT.ORG

A program that provides U.S. visas for small-business investors from overseas is becoming more attractive to well-to-do Mexicans. Cody Lyon writes about the EB Immigrant Investor program in this week’s Austin Business Journal. He tells KUT Ian Crawford about the effect of drug violence is having on well-to-do Mexicans, and why may are looking north to invest their money..

The types of people that were looking to invest this money are people who are successful in Mexico – they have drivers, they have maids, they have ways of life that they can afford there. But they are targets of cartel violence. As I was told by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce here in Austin, it’s almost impossible to succeed in business in Mexico and not be a target of some sort of retribution.

You can hear the rest of the interview by clicking the audio player above.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Interview on KUT Radio Austin (Cody Lyon)

FROM KUT AUSTIN:</b> Three major hotel development projects are making progress in downtown Austin’s Central Business District. The area lacks a sufficient amount of rooms needed to house convention-goers, but a number of plans to remedy the issue of room stock have already fallen by the wayside.

Cody Lyon of the Austin Business Journal explains:

Smith Travel Research Inc. lists nine hotel projects as active in downtown Austin. If they were all built, they would add 3,219 rooms to the area. But a lack of financing has many experts counting them out of the running.

“I would be very surprised if half the rumored projects in Austin actually get built over the next three years due to on-going difficulties in the debt markets and the increased levels of required equity that many developers are simply not capable of producing or committing to,” Yiankes said.

According to Lyon, the district’s room stock will increase from 7,674 to about 10,000 if the three projects continue as expected.