What Was The Good News For July?

Mary KayMary Kay Inc. will build a $100 million manufacturing and R&D complex near Lewisville’s Vista Ridge shopping mall. The new plant will start construction in September on 26 acres at the northeast corner of Denton Tap Road and Vista Ridge Mall Drive near State Highway 121.  The project will replace the company’s almost 50-year-old plant in Northwest Dallas.  The 470,000 square foot building will open in the first quarter of 2018.  The manufacturing operation produces up to 1.1 million products per day and more than half of the output of that plant is exported to Mary Kay Inc.’s international markets.


 

Tech Week

Techweek is a week long technology festival for entrepreneurs, tech visionaries and thought leaders to meet and enable the innovation ecosystem across the globe. Techweek was founded 5 years ago in Chicago, and in 2016, will be held in 98 cities in North America.  Toronto and Dallas are two new additional cities for 2016, and the November 14 – 20, 2016 Dallas event is expected to draw 5,000 – 6,000 attendees. Techweek will remain in its current markets of Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Miami and Los Angeles.


Wind Energy

American wind power supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016—an increase of 20% in a year—according to the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report.  The Texas wind power industry currently ranks first for both installed and under-construction capacity and employs almost 25,000 people.   Strong job growth coincided with wind ranking number one as America’s leading source of new generating capacity last year, outpacing solar and natural gas.   Innovative turbine technology has cut the cost of wind energy by two-thirds in just six years, which is leading to continued interest and investment in the wind energy industry.   Texas is home to about 40 wind turbine manufacturers, and the wind industry has a total capital investment of almost $33 billion.  The Department of Energy estimates Texas could produce enough wind energy by 2030 to run about 15 million homes.


Pokemon

Pokemon Go has seen more downloads and more activity than Twitter or Tinder either one since its release on July 6, 2016.  Nintendo is reaping huge rewards from Pokemon Go’s instant success, seeing an amazing 25% increase in stock shares. At $37 or so, the company’s stock price is still well below the high it hit in 2007 when Nintendo was trading in the mid $70 range, however the increase adds somewhere around $9 billion to the company’s market value.  While the game itself is free to play and can easily be used without spending any money, it’s still bringing in somewhere around $1.5 million in revenue each day through in-app purchases. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are finding ways to cash in on the Pokemon Go craze, by having locations called PokeStops and Gyms, that correspond to the business’s real-life locations that players have to go to in order to pick up items or battle other trainers. Unfortunately, most Pokemon Go players are not big spenders, but certain businesses in certain places are seeing a significant impact.  Impressively, over 60% of those who have downloaded the app in the US are using it daily.  Be watching Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality, and what that may mean for the real estate industry and many others.


Condos

The U.S. Senate recently passed H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” by unanimous consent. This legislation includes reforms to current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condominium financing, among other provisions, and is long supported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  Changes include efforts to make FHA’s recertification process “substantially less burdensome,” while lowering FHA’s current owner-occupancy requirement from 50 percent to 35 percent. The bill also requires FHA to replace existing policy on transfer fees with the less-restrictive model already in place at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Condominium sales in Texas’s 4 major metro areas increased in the first half of 2016, according to a report released the Texas Association of REALTORS®.   According to the report, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio all experienced an increase in condo sales between January and May 2016 compared to the same six-month period last year.

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