Patience pays off as land values boom in inner Houston area.

October 2, 2014 | Updated: October 4, 2014 8:27pm

Patience can be profitable.

At the end of 2011, commercial real estate firm CBRE began marketing portions of the Westcreek apartment complex near the Galleria after selling a larger piece of it for a high-end mixed-use district several years earlier.

None of the offers matched the seller’s expectations, so the owner decided to wait.

“Their patience paid off,” said Brendan Lynch, senior vice president with CBRE. When the properties did sell a couple years later, “the sales prices were anywhere from 40 percent to 100 percent more than what those initial offers were.”

Land in Uptown, The Woodlands, the Medical Center and downtown have seen some of the strongest price increases in Houston’s real estate boom.

Land values in and around the 610 Loop are reaching new highs as the local economy grows and more people relocate to Houston and move to the center of the city.

Sales prices for land in the Uptown/Galleria area ranged from $125 to $315 per square foot during the second quarter, according to CBRE research.

Downtown had the next highest range from between $105 and $275 per square foot. Prices in Greenway Plaza ranged from $60 to $250 per square foot.

Land use often dictates how much a buyer will pay, Lynch said. An apartment developer, for example, can usually pay more than a grocer or another retailer.

Homebuilders are also paying more for close-in land as they’ve been filling smaller tracts with more houses.

There are several examples in the Spring Branch area, where big builders like KB Home and David Weekley are developing residential projects.

“Land in that Long Point corridor is selling in the $40 per foot range, which was unheard-of a couple years ago,” Lynch said.

Change of name

The developer of 75 acres just outside The Woodlands has changed the name of its project from Woodland Creek to Woodmill Creek, an adjustment the company said was made to give it a “more distinctive name.”

“It was the best way to go to distinguish ourselves in the area and not be confused with any other development,” said David Toone, principal of PinPoint Commercial, which is developing the land to hold high-end housing, office buildings and shops.

PinPoint announced the name change last week. Toone declined to detail what caused the company to pick a new name.