Houston Chronicle / Business

Thursday, Aug 16


Kroger rolls out driverless cars for grocery deliveries


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — At a time when big-box retailers are trying to offer the same conveniences as their online competitors, the biggest U.S. grocery chain is testing the use of driverless cars to deliver groceries in a Phoenix suburb.


Retail wrap: Buff Burger, Sweet Paris, Russo’s NY Pizzeria, Zero Degrees get new locations


A roundup of retail real estate activity in the Houston area.

Real estate briefs: Online retailer Wayfair relocates Houston facility; Mercer Advisors inks Marathon Oil Tower lease


A collection of commercial real estate leases, sales and other activity in the Houston area.


Houston Exponential to launch inaugural Growth Summit


Houston Exponential, a nonprofit tasked with marketing and connecting Houston's various innovation initiatives, is going to hold its inaugural Growth Summit conference on Oct. 10 at the University of Houston's University Center.


Surge of drilling fluid preceded fatal Oklahoma rig explosion, say investigators


More than a hundred barrels of drilling fluid poured out of a natural gas well before it ignited and killed five people, a new report from the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Amazon vying to acquire parent company of River Oaks Theatre

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation, reported Wednesday that Amazon is in the running to acquire Landmark Theatres. Landmark owns 52 theaters, including River Oaks Theatre, and 252 screens across 27 markets.

Sempra Energy creates North America energy pipeline and storage division


Sempra Energy has created a separate division for its growing North American pipeline and storage business.


Oil edges higher on anticipated U.S.-China trade talks


Signs of easing tensions between the world’s two largest economies have done little to lift oil as surging U.S. stockpiles offset potential gains in crude futures.


People in business


A listing of promotions and appointments of business executives in Houston.

Q&A: Wealth manager banks on Gulf Coast

Hancock Whitney recently acquired Capital One’s trust and asset management business, establishing itself as a top 50 wealth management provider across the Gulf South region.

W Hotel deal proposed for downtown Houston goes to a vote

Houston First is expected to vote today on deal that could bring a W hotel to downtown Houston.

Drees Custom Homes debuts Elyson gated neighborhood

Drees Custom Homes has opened a model home in the first gated neighborhood of Elyson, a master-planned development of Newland Communities off the Grand Parkway and FM 529 in the Katy area.


Has ethanol hit its peak?

With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now exempting smaller refineries from the federal mandate they blend ethanol into the fuel supply, farmers and ethanol producers are worried ethanol demand could be in decline.


After Alex Jones timeout, Twitter CEO mulls deeper changes


NEW YORK (AP) — A day after Twitter gave right-wing conspiratorialist Alex Jones a weeklong timeout, CEO Jack Dorsey is mulling deeper changes to the social media service that might limit the spread of fake news, misinformation and hate…

Wednesday, Aug 15


Island with 18-room mansion in Long Island Sound sells for $21.5M


BRANFORD — A historic 18-room mansion on Rogers Island was sold this week for $21.5 million, which the listing real estate agent said is the largest residential Multiple Listing Service sale in the history of New Haven County and one of…


WorkSuites launches new brand, Houston expansion

Meridian Business Centers, a Texas-based provider of shared office space, has changed its name to Worksuites and will be expanding in the Houston market.

Online home furnishings giant Wayfair leases industrial space in NW Houston

Wayfair, an online home furnishings and decor retailer, has leased the final space in Duke Realty's Gateway Northwest industrial park in northwest Houston.


Gulf lease sale generates $178 million

A federal lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday generated $178 million in winning bids, raising expectations that drillers' confidence in the region is rising.


TechnipFMC sues McDermott for trade secret theft

TechnipFMC is suing rival McDermott International and its new chief operating officer for the alleged theft of trade secrets that Samik Mukherjee brought with him when he switched companies.


Aldi sets opening for Clear Lake store

Aldi will open a store at 16701 El Camino Real in the Clear Lake area Thursday.

Texas gets top rating for small business friendliness

Thumbtack, a San Francisco-based startup, gave Texas an A rating for small business friendliness based on a survey of more than 7,500 small business owners in the state.

Houston's new apartment explosion

Apartment development is booming again with 40 new projects under construction and 68 more proposed.

Texas oilfield services companies file more than half of US oilfield bankruptcies

More than half of the oilfield services companies that sought bankruptcy protection in the United States over the past three years filed their petitions in Texas.


U.S. oil inventories jump, crude prices fall

U.S. crude oil inventories grew by 6.8 million barrels in the week ending Aug. 10 even as refineries consumed 18 million barrels of oil a day.

JetBlue Airways has the best loyalty program, if travelers know how to use it

Survey respondents in the J.D. Power 2018 Airline Loyalty Program Satisfaction Study ranked JetBlue Airways as having the best loyalty program. Southwest Airlines, the dominant airline at Hobby Airport, ranked second. United Airlines, with…

Local economists declare the end of Houston's oil bust

The Greater Houston Partnership has declared the end of the oil bust. The majority of Houston's largest energy companies reported profits in the second quarter as U.S. crude oil prices topped $70 a barrel, the organization reported, and…


Greater Houston Partnership hires new chief economic development officer

Susan Davenport, president and CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber in Florida, will serve as the new chief economic development officer at the Greater Houston Partnership.


Report: EPA readies Clean Power Plan replacement

The Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to replace the Obama administration's program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions coming from power plants, Politico is reporting.

Carrizo buys Permian land from Devon in $215 million deal

Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas said it's growing in the booming Permian Basin by paying $215 million to acquire about 10,000 net acres from Oklahoma's Devon Energy.


Oil slides with metals on demand concern while stockpiles rise

Oil slid for a third day as copper and other metals tumbled on concern the Turkish crisis will spill over into emerging markets, and as an industry report was said to show a gain in U.S. crude inventories.