Author Archive

Predicting the Super Bowl champ by square feet not yardage!

February 3, 2011

Here’s a little peek at a fun news release that went out yesterday regarding Super Bowl XLV.  Read about our brilliant idea of predicting this Sunday’s champ by looking at historical vacancy rates over the past 10 years in the opposing teams’ hometowns.  It was picked up by the Wall Street Journal in yesterday’s Plots and Ploys. 

Here’s the story as it appeared in the Wall Street Journal 


Wall Street Journal
Plots and Ploys

Reading the CRE Leaves

Like many Americans, Roger Staubach thinks he knows who will win the Super Bowl. Like not so many Americans, Mr. Staubach says his analysis is based on comparative office-building vacancies in Green Bay and Pittsburgh.

“You can mark my word: the Packers will prevail,” says Mr. Staubach, who led the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories in the 1970s and later became a real-estate tycoon.

Mr. Staubach’s word was relayed in a press release by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the commercial-real-estate brokerage where he serves as executive chairman of the Americas. The company says that teams based in cities with a higher percentage of vacant office space have won the Super Bowl “nearly two-thirds of the time since 2000.”

That trend would hand the title to the Packers of Green Bay, Wisc., (office vacancy: 18.9%) over the Steelers of Pittsburgh (office vacancy: 12.1%).

Jeremy Kronman, a broker in Pittsburgh for Jones Lang LaSalle rival CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., wasn’t impressed with his competitor’s forecast. His reasoning for why the Steelers will win: Some of the healthiest office markets in the country—New York City, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh—are also home to three of the most successful Super Bowl teams.

—Anton Troianovski

Steelers vs. Packers at Cowboys Stadium

January 29, 2011
By guest blogger: Cory Mageors – Advocatemag.com Sports Blogger

For any self-respecting Dallas Cowboys fan, the only way this could have been a worse pairing for Super Bowl XLV, would have been if the San Francisco 49ers joined in.   Three of the Cowboys franchise’s most memorable losses came to those teams.  You know them, I won’t rehash.

However, for any true fan of professional football, the 12-time World Champion Green Bay Packers squaring off with the six-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers is a great opportunity.  It’s an opportunity for the old school and the new school to match wits.

Old School – Pittsburgh Steelers
Tough. Defense. Running game. Just finds a way to win.

On the defensive side of the ball Pittsburgh is a solid unit, with a perennial talent in Troy Polamalu.  I am fairly certain I saw Polamalu sack the quarterback on a run play and also get credit for tackling the running back.

Offensively, Ben Roethlisberger leads with his ability to shuck defensive ends like kindergarteners, and make clutch throws downfield. All the while, he finds balance with the running game.

This season alone, the Steelers held opponents to 17 points or less 12 different times, and less than 13 points 10 times. If defense wins championships, then Pittsburgh might be the first to hoist the Lombardi Trophy seven times. 

New School – Green Bay Packers
Yes, the Packers are a team with plenty of history on their side. I say new school because the new era quarterbacks are throwing the ball effectively and often.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 3,922 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, and has more than 180 yards more than any other quarterback this post season.

He is the pulse of this Packers offense, and is just plain fun to watch.

On the other side, the Green Bay defense can force a turnover all over the field. Charles Woodson is an elite defensive back, and did you see 337-lb. B.J. Raji pick off a pass and take it in for a touchdown?

If the big and physical Green Bay receivers make the grabs when it matters, then this Packers offense will make big plays and score against a stingy Pittsburgh defense.

While Cowboys nation will have a tough time watching either team enjoying the post-game confetti shower, professional football fandom should enjoy a treat in Super Bowl XLV.

NFC Championship game

January 22, 2011
Notes from our researcher, Steve Triolet

The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have been in the playoffs together only four times, and this year marks the first time they have met in the playoffs since 1941. Seventy years ago, Chicago beat Green Bay 33-14.

In this seasons finale, the Bears could have knocked the Packers out of the NFC Wild Card spot all together by winning. However, the Packers finished with a 10-3 win and clinched a spot in the playoffs in a game that apparently did not matter to Chicago who had already clinched the NFC North.

Now, the Bears and Packers meet on Sunday for a chance to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLV.

Market expectations and reality

January 14, 2011
Notes from our researcher, Steve Triolet

2010 has come and gone, and like many years, there has been a stark contrast between what we thought was going to happen and what really happened.  This holds true for the Dallas Cowboys 2010 season (with their Super Bowl aspirations before the season began) and for the Dallas office market (which was expected to perform poorly throughout the year).

When I look back at both, there’s one large parallel between the two – they both changed dramatically halfway through.  For the Cowboys, did anyone still have any hope of anything positive happening after a one and seven start?  The coaching change did help, the cowboys didn’t go undefeated thereafter, but they were competitive for the remainder of the season.  For the Dallas office market, things looked relatively bleak at the beginning of 2010.  The recession which, had been slow to hit Dallas in comparison to most parts of the country, was still weighing heavily on the commercial real estate sector. For many in the business world there was a secret fear that the worst for Dallas was still yet to come – that we would be as adversely impacted as the rest of the country, but just at a later date.

Dallas was certainly impacted by the national recession.  At mid-year, the total vacancy rate for Class A & B office product was 24.8 percent and the total net absorption was a negative 914,343 square feet (downsizing by tech companies in the Richardson/Plano area being the largest contributors).  Average asking rental rates were in a steady decline, hovering at $20.72 per square foot (full service gross).

In the second half of the year, however, due to a combination of no new office construction, modest job growth, corporate relocations, and an increase in leasing activity, the market has appeared to have turned the corner.  The total vacancy rate at year-end was 23.6 percent, net absorption for the year was a positive 479,116 square feet and rental rates, though not yet rising on a weighted average basis, have stabilized at $20.34 per square foot.  Rents are actually showing the first signs of increase with a handful of landlords raising their on properties that have seen significant rises in occupancy.  Given all the available facts, things look better for 2011 whether you’re a Cowboys fan or just a member of the Dallas business community.

One month and counting

January 8, 2011

It’s one month and counting until the Big Game, and the activity is already starting to heat up in the new year.  Check back with us on Monday for more news as we take a look back at what happened in real estate in 2010.

And what about that exciting news for the Cowboys announced yesterday?  Maybe 2011 will be their year.

All about the discipline

December 21, 2010

In my 30-plus years in our business, we’ve occasionally seen issues with people who aren’t team players.  In business and in football, success can come down to two things – people that are all on the same page and a leader that’s willing to stand firm. Just like in real estate, when we’re pitching teamwork, we have to make sure that at the end of the day, we have enough of the right people making sure we do the right things. If we don’t, sometimes the coach has to step in. 

Most guys are going to do the right thing, but you can have issues with the 10 % who don’t have good self-discipline.  And the coach needs to deal with those.  Back in Coach Landry’s day, if you were late for a meeting, even if you had a wreck on Central Expressway, you were fined, bottom line. 

Jason Garrett is bringing back the discipline the Cowboys need to be a good team again. It’s obvious that the discipline is translating to results on the field and that’s what’s happening with the Cowboys now.  Kitna has stepped in and has done a nice job, and I can say I’m still a big Tony Romo fan.  It looks like all the momentum is there for next year when Tony comes back.

Heisman talk

December 17, 2010

I voted again for the Heisman this year.  I got to pick the number 1, 2 and 3.  It was definitely up for grabs, but Cam Newton of Auburn was this year’s winner.  I think he’s a great athlete and good kid. 

However, my number one choice was actually Andrew Luck out of Stanford.  This coming season, I think he will be the first quarterback drafted and the number one draft pick.  He is a high draft choice and more of an NFL type.  He’s likely to be the next Troy Aikman.

The ‘Boys are bigger off the field

October 27, 2010

Notes from our researcher, Steve Triolet
The NFL is big business; big names and big plays generate even bigger revenues. The league pulls revenue from numerous sources including television contracts, ticket sales and team merchandising. But, only one team can be “America’s Team” and The Dallas Cowboys have earned the nickname.  The ‘Boys have won five Super Bowl championships, 10 conference championships, 10 division championships and 11 players who have been named to the Pro Bowl Hall of Fame.

However, off the field is where the team truly shines (especially in recent years). In early 2010, Bandera Ventures completed a build-to-suit distribution facility for Dallas Cowboys Merchandising. The consolidation and expansion took them from two facilities to one 400,000 SF location at 2500 Regent Boulevard in Irving. Previously they occupied a 100,000 SF distribution facility and a 44,000 SF headquarters at 4251 W. John Carpenter Freeway.  They were able to complete the expansion because they are the only NFL team to design/market/distribute its own merchandise and their sales are virtually unbeaten.  Since 1979 when the NFL began tracking data, The Dallas Cowboys have consistently been among the fop five teams in merchandise sales. In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated that Tony Romo’s jersey was the most popular jersey in the U.S. with over half a million pieces sold! The Dallas Cowboys are also the only NFL franchise with their own retail chain dedicated exclusively to their own merchandise. Opened in 1996, the mall chain now has 35 retail locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. In addition, the apparel can be purchased at over 700 retail outlets in the U.S., including Dillard’s, JC Penney and Academy Sports.

Timing is everything

August 5, 2010

In the NFL, teams kick off each season with months of practice and an arsenal of plays in hopes of securing a championship ring, but nothing guarantees a win. Eventually, it all comes down to timing – when to call a timeout, when to run the option and when to go long for a Hail Mary and a shot at greatness. Coaches and players alike recognize that the timing of their decisions can influence the outcome of each game. And, just like football, business decisions made in commercial real estate must be made with the same consideration to market timing and bottom-line results.

Last year, when the economy crashed and many companies were downsizing or filing for bankruptcy, some of our clients preferred to observe from the sidelines. They were worried a wrong decision concerning their commercial space in such an unpredictable market could lead to financial issues. I found that when you arm those same clients with market research, a clear understanding of their situation, and the resources to evaluate and execute a plan – confidence returns and they’re ready to get back in the game. It’s our challenge to identify unique options, save money, exceed expectations and drive every transaction to the end zone. To get transactions done today, you truly have to be on the same team with your client.

Where we are 2 years post merger

July 24, 2010

It was two years ago this month that the Staubach Company merged with Jones Lang LaSalle.  Just like in sports, it’s important to put the team agenda ahead of the personal agenda.  Despite our great 30 years as The Staubach Company, I felt we needed a broader global platform to fully service our clients.  We are very fortunate to have made such a good match with Jones Lang LaSalle.  Two years later, I know it was definitely the right decision.  Here in Dallas, we are all together in one office, and so far the two firms have  transitioned smoothly into one team.