Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CoreLogic: Houston First, Dallas Fifth in Home Price Increases

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – CoreLogic's latest home price report shows that the Houston area had the highest price gain in the country.

Single-family home prices there were up 11.4 percent in August from a year earlier. Nationally, prices were up 6.4 percent.

Dallas, meanwhile, had the fifth highest price gain, up 9 percent from a year ago.

Home prices are now at record levels in Texas and eight other states, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Dallas-Fort Worth apartment developers riding boom even as rents grow


Apartment developers, riding the biggest Dallas-Fort Worth building boom in decades, are betting that construction will continue a few more years.
“We have about a half-billion [dollars] in projects in the development pipeline, and we are not slowing down yet,” said Matt Segrest, chief executive of Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan Corp.
Alamo has several apartment projects underway in Uptown and other markets.
“A few months ago, I would have thought we were in the fourth quarter of this cycle, but now I think we have several years to run,” Segrest said Tuesday at an apartment industry conference in downtown Dallas. “New developments are going forward, and there is no shortage of capital.
“We’ve got another three or four years, I think.”
With about 28,000 rental units under construction in North Texas, D-FW has the fastest-growing apartment market in the country.
Strong job growth and population gains are keeping demand high. Also, young Americans are waiting later to buy homes.
“People are waiting to get married; they are waiting to have children,” said Stephen Meek, senior vice president with Dallas-based apartment developer StreetLights Residential. “We can’t be developing in a better place in the country. The fundamentals are still there.”
Although developers have built almost 50,000 apartments in the D-FW area in the last four years, vacancy rates at the end of the third quarter were only about 5 percent.
And rents were up almost 4 percent from a year earlier to a record $903 a month in North Texas, according to the latest data from MPF Research.
The newest apartments in Dallas’ popular Uptown and downtown neighborhoods now fetch $1,800 to $2,000 a month.
And the just-built suburban apartments in places like Frisco, Plano and Lewisville go for an average of $1,200 to $1,300, according to MPF Research.
Net apartment leasing totaled almost 5,900 units in the third quarter.
“So far in this cycle, D-FW has been the dominant construction center,” said Greg Willett, vice president of Carrollton-based MPF Research. “If you are going to deliver that much product, we better have some pretty strong demand.
“And during the last few years, demand for apartments has been well above unit completion volumes.”
Filling up
Willett said apartment complexes in North Texas have the lowest vacancy rates in 13 years.
He predicts that annual average rent increases will continue in the 3 percent to 4 percent range.
“The annual rent growth pace has been accelerating even at the time we are accelerating the volume of new construction coming on line,” Willett said. “We think the occupancy rate over the next two or three years holds pretty close to what it is now — essentially full.”
The largest chunk of apartment construction, about 8,000 units, is in central Dallas, including Uptown, downtown, the Design District and West Dallas.
“The urban core in Dallas has historically been underserved, but you do have to ask how much is too much,” Willett said.
Builders say they would break ground on even more apartments if they could find good construction sites and enough workers to build them.
“We are seeing the starts kind of level out, and that’s due to the fact a lot of the easy building sites have been taken,” said Dirik Oudt, president of developer Lang Partners. “We are having to work harder to make the sites left work.”
A shortage of construction workers is also holding back building.
“Certainly the labor is the most expensive part,” Oudt said. “That’s what is really causing a lot of the price increases.”
Rents accelerate
Some of the newest projects have gotten higher rents than expected.
“Rents have inflated faster than costs — we’ve exceeded our expectations,” said Meek, whose firm just finished the Taylor high-rise apartment project in Uptown. “Our average income at the Taylor is strong six figures.
“We have trust fund kids,” he said. “We have some empty-nesters.”
Brad Miller, president of Dallas’ Encore Multi-Family, worries that rents are getting too high.
“The increase in costs is doing our renter base a great disservice,” Miller said. “We are all being driven to service the 1 percent of the market that can afford $3,000-a-month rent.”
Longtime apartment builders and industry experts expect that the building cycle will end at some point.
Nationwide apartment construction should total more than 220,000 units this year, up more than a quarter from 2013 totals, said John Sebree of Marcus & Millichap, the lead sponsor of the annual apartment conference.
“Are multifamily developers going to overbuild? Of course they are going to overbuild; that’s what they do,” Sebree said. “But I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.”

Commercial real estate transactions

Sales
An affiliate of Fidelis Realty Partners Ltd. purchased the Eldorado Market Place shopping center at the northwest corner of the Eldorado Parkway and the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco. The 162,331-square-foot grocery-anchored retail center is 99 percent leased. Doug Hazelbaker and Ryan Shore of HFF brokered the sale.
Rosebriar Properties sold the restaurant property it occupies at Caruth Haven Lane and Central Expressway in Dallas to In-N-Out Burger. Bill Hanks and Ryan Stewart of Rosebriar negotiated the transaction.
The former Sullivan’s Steakhouse at 17795 Dallas Parkway in Dallas sold to Hancoop Dallas. Eric Deuillet of Structure Commercial and Nathan Denton of Lee & Associates brokered the sale. The deal includes a 3-story parking garage behind the 11,268-square-foot restaurant building.
Addison-based Fourth Score LLC purchased the 68-unit Hondo Park Apartments at 2544 Hondo Ave. in Dallas. CBRE Capital Markets’ Chris Deuillet brokered the sale. The new owner has other properties in the neighborhood.
Alibaba Investments purchased the 40,027-square-foot shopping center at 2851 Matlock Road in Arlington. Bob Kent of Structure Commercial negotiated the sale.
AADFW Properties LLC purchased a 26,725-square-foot building at 1350 Westpark Way in Euless. Michael Newsome of NAI Robert Lynn brokered the sale with Kevin Archer of Providential Realty Partners.
Leases
General Motors Corp. leased 22,059 square feet of office space at the Summit at Las Colinas, 545 E. John Carpenter Freeway in Irving. JLL’s Alan Wood and Larry Toon negotiated the lease with Kirby White of Rosemont Realty Services.
TekVizion PVS Inc. leased 10,643 square feet of office space at 3701 Plano Parkway in Plano. Kent Smith of NAI Robert Lynn negotiated the lease with Michael Carmichael and Chris Lipscomb of Colliers International.
Premier Trailer Leasing Inc. leased 8,343 square feet in Corporate Point at 401 E. Corporate Drive in Lewisville. Michael Bowles and Colin Merritt with CASE Commercial Real Estate Partners negotiated the lease with Jeremy McGown & Alan Wood with JLL.
Keish Risk Management Inc. leased 8,381 square feet of office-warehouse space at 2600 Technology Drive in Plano. Dave Peterson of NAI Robert Lynn negotiated the lease.
MDA Inc. leased 5,530 square feet in Crosspoint Atrium at 8131 LBJ Freeway in Dallas. Michael Bowles of CASE Commercial Real Estate Partners negotiated the lease with Brian Whittington with Avison Young.
Copper Cup Grille and Bar rented 5,415 square feet of restaurant space at 3937 N. Central Expressway in Plano. Dennis Leibovitz of the Retail Connection negotiated the lease with Mike Smith of NAI Robert Lynn Co.
Munilla Construction Management LLC leased 2.4 acres of land at 26790 E. U.S. Highway 380 in Little Elm. Cincha Kostman of Hudson Peters Commercial negotiated the lease.
Real estate editor Steve Brown

Land Purchased for $43 Million CliffView Project

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – The locally based development arm of Henry S. Miller Companies has purchased a little more than four acres on the city's west side for its planned $43 million apartment development, CliffView.

Henry S. Miller is teaming up with Dallas-based Good Fulton & Farrell on an apartment project at the northwest corner of Sylvan and Fort Worth Avenues near the Belmont Hotel.

In May, the two firms unveiled plans for the 318-unit, 250,000-sf residential building with amenities such as a deck pool, outdoor lounging areas and green spaces.

The land was purchased from Dr. B.A. Badie.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2016.

Cypress Equities plans makeover of North Dallas shopping center

Dallas developer Cypress Equities said Thursday that it has completed the purchase of a key North Dallas property with plans to redevelop the site.
For several months Cypress Equities has been negotiating to buy the Corner Shopping Center at the northeast corner of North Central Expressway and Walnut Hill Lane.
The 236,050-square foot retail and office center is across the street from DART’s Walnut Hill/Presbyterian Hospital rail station.
Cypress Equities said it will detail plans for the property “in the coming months.”
“The property will be repositioned to meet the growing demand for retail and restaurant experiences,” Cypress said.
The commercial developer has been in business since 1995 and has a portfolio of almost 10 million square feet of projects across the country. It has a track record with urban, mixed-use development.
Cypress Equities was one of several developers that looked at the Corner Shopping Center site, real estate brokers say. The property was purchased by the Cypress Acquisition Partners Retail Fund.
“This center has remained basically unchanged since its original development in 1977,” Chris Maguire, chief executive officer for Cypress Equities, said in a statement. “Cypress is fortunate to now have the opportunity to lead the value enhancement, redevelopment, and repositioning of this prime urban Dallas property.”
Corner Shopping Center is right across the highway from where Provident Realty Advisors and Kroenke Holdings are building their huge Preston Hollow Village mixed-use project.

Tower complex planned near Klyde Warren Park

Metropolitan Life Insurance and developer Trammell Crow Co. have disclosed details for a planned tower complex overlooking Klyde Warren Park.
MetLife and Crow intend to build an almost-30-story residential tower and a 20-story office building at the northwest corner of Pearl Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway at the entrance to Uptown, according to plans filed with the city of Dallas.
The development will occupy the site of the Chase motor bank across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Crow bought the bank property in June from JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Architect HKS Inc. is designing the project, which will have 513,000 square feet of office space, 275 luxury residential units and 20,900 square feet of restaurant space, Crow and MetLife said in the filings with the city.
The developers describe the project as a “high-quality, well-designed vertical mixed-use development.”
“The office tower will be sited closer to Woodall Rodgers, with the taller residential tower set further back,” the filings say. “The heights will be comparable to others in the area and will be in context with the surrounding development and will be designed so as to preserve views from outside of the site.”
Three restaurants and a bank will be on the ground floor of the project facing Klyde Warren Park, the plans show.
The office tower will be on the corner of Pearl and Woodall Rodgers, and the residential high-rise will be on Olive Street at the back of the property.
Crow and MetLife have been working on the project since early this year. They are seeking a planned development district designation from the city for the complex.
Early designs for the development that were leaked to architectural blogs show sleek glass towers with low glass restaurant and retail buildings in front. A spokeswoman for Crow was unable to provide more up-to-date photos of what the project will look like.
The addition of more than 20,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space right on the park will be a big plus for the area, said John Crawford, CEO of the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc.
“This will be a major added ingredient to provide that kind of amenities around Klyde Warren Park,” Crawford said. “There will be more to do around the park.”
Crawford said the construction of the two-tower project shows how the deck park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway has added to the entire downtown and Uptown area.
“All the blocks will begin to fill in around the park,” he said. “This is going to be a really first-class project all around.”

Cityplace Co. files hotel, retail and apartment tower plans near West Village

West Village email
The Dallas-based development firm behind the West Village has filed plans with the city for its proposed hotel, grocery-anchored retail and residential tower project, which will be an extension of the Uptown neighborhood.

Earlier this month, Cityplace Co. President Neal Sleeper told the Dallas Business Journal about the proposed project on Blackburn Street between The Richards Group new headquarters building and 3700M— a luxury apartment community that recently opened.
"We are working on a deal right now with a grocery store and another high-rise tower of apartments, which would be the size of 3700M or a bit bigger" Sleeper told me during a previous interview. "We would do a hotel and additional retail, too."

Plans filed with the city's planning department call for a mixed-use district, which would include retail, lodging and multifamily uses on the 2.5-acre tract of land bound by Blackburn Street, Oak Grove Avenue, Cityplace West Boulevard and Noble Avenue, which is currently a construction staging site for the two adjacent developments currently underway.

There's a need for these type of urban neighborhoods near the West Village and the new zoning will help extend the West Village neighborhood along Blackburn Avenue, according to the plans filed with the city.

If the planning department changes the zoning on the site, the new zoning would allow developers to build additional retail space and help secure a grocery anchor to the project.
Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal

North Central Expressway office project bought by Caddo Holdings


Dallas-based property investor Caddo Holdings LLC is adding to its holdings with a North Central Expressway office building.
An affiliate of Caddo Holdings bought the 4228 North Central Expressway building, which is located between Fitzhugh and Henderson avenues.
The 52,000 square foot building was developed in 2000.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed. American Bank of Texas provided the financing.
Caddo plans to spend more than $1 million in upgrades on the property.
“The quality of the building and strong demographics around the intersections of Knox-Henderson, Fitzhugh and Central attracted us to this property,” Tim Slaughter, President of Caddo Holdings said in a statement.
Nathan Denton of Lee & Associates negotiated the purchase.
JLL has been hired to lease the buildings.
Meridian Bank of Texas is a major tenant in the property.
With its latest purchase, Caddo has acquired nine buildings with 950,000 square feet since the company was formed in 2009.
In February, Caddo purchased the 10-story Preston Plaza office building in Far North Dallas
in partnership with AFO Capital.
 Caddo recently sold two Uptown buildings to Investcorp.
The company sold its Crosstex Energy building on Cedar Springs Road to Mexican investor Grupo Haddad.

HFF Gets Financing for Two Tarrant Properties

DALLAS--HFF has arranged financing totaling $46.7 million for two multi-housing properties: The Bluffs at Ironhorse, a two-phase, 490-unit multi-housing community in North Richland Hills, and Stone Villas, a two-phase, 396-unit multi-housing community in northwest Fort Worth.
HFF worked exclusively on behalf of the borrower, Oxford Enterprises Inc., to secure financing for the properties in two separate transactions. The Bluffs at Ironhorse was financed with a $34.7 million, 10-year, fixed-rate Fannie Mae loan through M&T Realty Capital Corp.  The $12 million balance sheet loan for Stone Villas was placed with M&T Bank. 
The Bluffs at Ironhorse is located in North Richland Hills near the intersection of Rufe Snow Drive and Northeast Loop 820, approximately 20 minutes northeast of downtown Fort Worth. Completed in two phases between 2002 and 2013, the property includes one-, two- and three-bedroom units that are a combined 96 percent leased. Community amenities include a swimming pool, heated spas, gas grills, a sand volleyball court, basketball court, billiards room, media room, dog park, business center and a clubhouse.  
Stone Villas is located in northwest Fort Worth along Loop 820. The borrower is in the process of delivering 200 units in its Phase II addition to the property and is utilizing loan proceeds to refinance Phase I while Phase II stabilizes. 
The HFF debt placement team was led by director Adam Herrin.
Reps for HFF were not able to return a request for more information about the transaction by press time.

Dallas real estate investor buys Turtle Creek building; plans massive renovation


3131 Turtle Creek Blvd copyA Dallas-based real estate investment firm has bought a Turtle Creek office building, with plans to spend a significant amount of capital renovating the property.

Cardinal Capital Partners Inc. has acquired 3131 Turtle Creek Blvd. at the intersection of Turtle Creek and Cedar Springs Road near Uptown and Highland Park.
"3131 Turtle Creek is one of the premier office locations in Uptown that has gone somewhat unnoticed during the past cycle," Cardinal President Gil Besing said in a statement. "The building has a timeless mid-century design and we intend to introduce modern elements while preserving the classical aesthetic of the building."
The property, developed by J.L. Williams, has only had one owner in the past three decades, which helped make it attractive to the new investment group.

Plans for the redevelopment include renovations to the lobby, adding monument signage, new landscaping, and heating and air-conditioning upgrades, enhanced elevator systems and modifications to the exterior.

Cardinal has hired Dallas-based Staffelbach for the design and development of the project.

Lincoln Property Co. has been named the leasing agent for the property. PHI Property Management Inc. was selected to manage the property.
Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal

Stream Realty starting construction next month on Plano office building


West Plano’s office building boom continues to gain steam.
This time its Stream Realty Partners that is marketing a new office project just west of the Dallas North Tollway in Legacy business park.
Stream is hunting tenants for a 5-story, 166,000-square-foot office building planned for the southwest corner of Tennyson Parkway and Communications Drive.
The development site is behind the Aloft Hotel and right across the street from Ericsson’s Legacy office campus.
Called Platinum Park, the building is being marketed by Stream’s Ryan Evanich and Matt Wieser.
“We are breaking ground spec in November and have plans for a phase two,” Wieser said.
Stream’s project is one of several new office deals in the works in West Plano.
Developer Granite Properties has broken ground on 12-story office building in its Granite Park project on the tollway.
And Cawley Partners is building a 4-story, 175,000-square-foot office building in Legacy.
Lincoln Property Co. is also building a 3-building office project with about 240,000 square feet on the north side to Tennyson Parkway west of Preston Road.

Dallas home prices continued to rise moderately in August

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Home prices in the Dallas area continued to rise in August — increasing 7.3 percent year-over-year — becoming one of the cities with the top gains in the country, according to CoreLogic's Home Price Index report released Tuesday morning.


The Dallas area home prices have climbed throughout the year, bolstered by an improving economy, but economists warn the momentum of rising home prices has slowed.
Mediterranean design. Lavish amenities. Cowboys History.
"The deceleration in home prices continues," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement. "Despite the weaker year-over-year numbers, home prices are still showing an overall increase, as the national index increased for its eight consecutive month."

Nationally, home prices grew 5.1 percent. The Sun Belt region reported the worst annual returns since 2012, led by weaknesses in three California cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

Compared to last month's index report, Dallas area home prices grew 0.5 percent, according to the report. Last month, the year-over-year home prices in Dallas rose 9 percent.

Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal

Case-Shiller: Dallas among top home price gainers in August

The Dallas-area continued to see substantial home price increases while the rate of home value growth declined across the country.
Home prices in Dallas in August were up 7.3 percent from a year ago – one of the highest increases in the country according to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
Nationwide home prices rose by 5.5 percent in August.
“The deceleration in home prices continues,” S&P’s David M. Blitzer said in the report. “The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012.”
The largest year-over-year price gains were in Miami, 10.5 percent, and Las Vegas, 10.1 percent.
Dallas-area home prices are now about 12 percent higher than they were before the recession and at a record level in the Case-Shiller index. Prices in the area are now almost 30 percent ahead of where they were at the worst of the housing bust in early 2009.
But the rate of increase is slowing. Dallas’ August increase was the smallest annual gain since March 2013 and down from 10.2 percent in December.
Case-Shiller’s index tracks over time the prices of specific single-family homes located in each metropolitan area. The index survey does not include condominiums and townhouses. It only covers pre-owned properties — not new construction.
So far in 2014, the median price of preowned single-family homes sold by real estate agents in North Texas is 7 percent higher than in the first nine months of last year.


Cardinal Swoops On Turtle Creek Office Property

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Another Turtle Creek office tower has been acquired by a company that has plans to redevelop it.

Cardinal Capital Partners Inc. bought the 140,000-sf 3131 Turtle Creek.

The new owner plans to fully renovate the building, which was built in 1972. Updates will include new lobby, signs, exterior landscaping and mechanical upgrades.

Staffelbach has been hired to plan the redo. Lincoln Property will oversee leasing.

Colliers International partners with Richardson project management firm

The Dallas office of commercial real estate firm Colliers International is expanding its operations through a partnership with another firm.
Colliers has reached a joint operating agreement with Richardson-based project management company Charter Acquisitions LLC.
Charter will locate professionals in Colliers Uptown Dallas office to provide in-house project management services for multiple property types.
“Partnering with them not only improves our capability, but also allows us to scale as our clients’ demands require,” David Pinsel, managing director of Colliers International, said in a statement.
Charter Acquisitions bills itself as a tenant services company and is headed by Randy Gerdes, Warren Lynch, Noel Ragin and Carolyn Norman.

Dallas Retail Getting Global Attention

Forget New York City. Dallas has moved ahead of most of the nation’s biggest cities as a retail destination, we learned Tuesday at Bisnow’s DFW Real Estate Summit. The newest chi-chi retailer coming to Dallas: Mulberry of London.

About 300 gathered at the Westin Galleria where NorthPark Center director Derek Wood tells us the shopping center landed Mulberry for the newest exclusive store over Las Vegas as well as the big cities in Germany and Asia. NorthPark is set for its best year yet, trending toward $1.2B in sales for 2014, Derek says.


Henry S. Miller Brokerage retail division prez Michael Dee says leasing is strong and should continue that way into next year. He says restaurants are leading the way in retail. About three out of every five calls his team receives is about food operators, he says. Shopping centers are evolving to provide more than quality retailers, but also bringing in entertainment and ways to keep shoppers there longer, he says.


We found one of the panel moderators, Retail Solutions founder David Simmonds (right, with Marvin F Poer & Co’s Justin Goertz and Retail Solutions’ AJ Aguire). David started the company in 2009 and has grown it to cover all of Texas with offices in DFW, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, McAllen, Harlingen, Laredo, and Uvalde. A David fun fact: his favorite song is Kidd Rock’s Bawitdaba.


Panelist Peak Franchise Capital managing partner Mike Elliott (right, with a panel moderator, Holmes Firm’s Ron Holmes) says consumers are eating up fast casual restaurants like Mooyah, Five Guys, Snappy Salads, and Panera. Consumers are looking for healthier/better-prepared options than fast-food. The costs of starting a fast casual place can range from $400k to $800k, he says. The way to make money is to have about 2 ½ to 3 times the investment ratio and have good margins despite the higher costs of construction and land.


Chipotle real estate manager Lisa Burbey says fast casual is still in its infancy. The food is often better because they’re chef-driven concepts. Chefs aren’t opening the large sit-down restaurants, but finding vehicles for their concepts to serve their food, hopefully in a more profitable way with less risk, she says. Other chains are looking at the Chipotle model with foods from salads to baked potatoes, she says. Lisa teased our taste buds by revealing that Chipotle is testing two new concepts right now.


Panelist BKM Sowan Horan partner Rick Sowan (right, with his team Aaron McPhie, Daniele Cunningham, and Jessica Honey) says restaurants like IHOP and Applebee’s are mitigating costs by doing sale-leasebacks. That market was dead three to four years ago, but now it's the first place large franchisees look, he says.


We gathered up the team for event sponsor Ridgemont Commercial Construction: Sam Balunda, Jeff Stucker, Joey Johnson, Micah Cunningham, Tabette Stewart, Jason Lillard, and Tim Smith. Jeff tells us Ridgemont was established in 1976 and handles retail, healthcare, industrial, office, and institutional projects. The firm is working on multiple projects for Sprouts Farmers Markets and Whole Foods. Ridgemont is also nearing the final phases on the THR Integrated Health Campus in Willow Park and the 600k SF City of Fort Worth Police and Fire Training Complex. Ridgemont was also awarded the 350k SF Wildlife Commerce Park II industrial project in Grand Prairie.


Event sponsor WLS Lighting's Ken Bronstad (left, with Venture’s Wes Bowen) tells us the firm has been manufacturing site lighting products since 1969 and provides free lighting design and budgets direct to owners, designers, consultants, and contractors. WLS recently re-illuminated Dallas' W Hotel garage with LEDs, which included a $39k rebate from Oncor.


The Gates of Prosper just finished an agreement with the City and event sponsor Prosper Economic Development Corp to start on the next phase of infrastructure to prepare for the 600-acre project, we learned from event sponsor Prosper EDC’s Garrett Weaver and Sam Blatt. Garrett tells us the first phase of the project will be a 300k SF power center in the project, which is on the north side of Hwy 380 and Preston Road. A groundbreaking could occur next year on the project, he says.



We found Mark One Capital’s Chris Parker with event sponsor VCC’s Derek Alley. Derek tells us Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas opened Oct. 9. VCC was the GC for the project, which is the largest retail development to open in the US since the downturn. The 1.6M SF project was developed by the Howard Hughes Corp.

Monday, October 27, 2014

17-story Belo Building in downtown Dallas is sold

belo3The 17-story Belo Building in downtown Dallas has been sold to an international business and investment group after being on the market for several months.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the building at 400 S. Record St., across from Union Station, could be in for a major upgrade.
The building has 235,303 square feet of space and was built in 1985. Previously, itwas the home of Belo Corp. and other tenants, the newspaper said.
The building was put on the market after Belo was bought by Virginia-based GannettCo. in December. It was put on the market this year.
The Morning News said that brokers who handled the sale would not identify the buyers or talk about their plans for the building.

Digital Content Producer-Dallas Business Journal

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dallas’ Trinity Lakes project regains its mojo

 
A rendering released by Dallas’ Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee shows a portion of the proposed Trinity Lakes area.
A zip line over the Trinity River. Spray parks. A bicycle motocross track. A climbing wall on one of the support piers of the Commerce Street bridge.
Jugglers. Kayak rentals. Trails. An 18-hole, lighted disc golf course.
Months after endorsing a scaled-down — and seemingly more realistic — version of the Trinity Lakes, Dallas officials and key Trinity boosters are once again dreaming big, with an unfunded, $76 million list of possible amenities.
Despite attempts to temper expectations, despite cautions that the veritable theme park between the levees is what could be and not necessarily what will be, the grandiose vision behind them proved irresistible for some.
“So many things in the corridor are possible once we allow our imagination to go there,” said Gail Thomas, director of The Trinity Trust, the nonprofit that’s pledging to raise all the funds to build the improvements.
Dallas City Council members briefed on the concept Monday were split in their opinions. The open-ended presentation provided fodder for both sides.
And now the public, as is often the case with the Trinity, will have to wait and see what’s real and what’s not.
Will an additional lake be built under the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, or will engineering studies show that it’s not feasible? Will the lakes’ parking lots and access road remain, or will they be bulldozed to make way for the Trinity toll road?
Will the plan be even partially realized, or will it join other fanciful Trinity proposals that are collecting dust on shelves at City Hall?
“We’ve got to get realistic about what it’s going to look like down there,” council member Scott Griggs said. “We need to get the mythology out of this.”
Though the city’s Trinity River Corridor Project is perhaps most closely associated with the controversial — and largely unfunded — Trinity Parkway, the proposed toll road between the levees, the lakes have been a central component of the plan for years.
The lake idea well predates 1998, when voters approved a $246 million bond program that set into motion what’s commonly known as the Trinity project.
So it was no small deal that the council last February voted to approve a $737,000 design contract for two smaller versions of the planned lakes. That action set the stage for the council to vote in coming months on spending $44 million to actually construct the lakes.
The 30-plus acres of starter lakes was not what officials promised in years past: a 90-acre Urban Lake, a 56-acre Natural Lake and a 128-acre West Dallas Lake. But construction could begin next spring and finish, at long last, in 2016.
The slimmed-down plan — cheered by some as long overdue and derided by others as nothing more than “puddles” — also appeared to acknowledge that the grand plans pitched to the public over the years were really just pretty drawings.
That the big lakes, broad promenades and futuristic amenities — think solar-powered water taxis — were unrealistic. That all the Trinity bond money was going to buy was a small lake that could maybe be expanded.
Until Monday.
The drawings that accompanied the council briefing echoed the extravagance of past Trinity plans. The broad expanses of grass and weeds that today flank the narrow river channel through downtown Dallas were virtually invisible, so jampacked were those drawings with one attraction after another.
Even as officials stressed that the plans would evolve, and that everything probably wouldn’t get built, the details seemed, at times, to have little regard for that possibility.
The presentation gave the same weight — a “note” in small font — to pointing out that a zip line over the Trinity would have to be operated by a concessionaire as it did to observing that the toll road would eliminate parking and access roads to the river park. (Explaining how people would get to the lakes if there were no parking lots or access roads, Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan said officials would “have to figure out some other arrangement.”)
Predictably, the presentation stirred a proxy argument among council members over the merits of the toll road.
Sandy Greyson criticized the drawings for playing down the impact of the toll road on the park, even as she praised the lake proposal’s “aspirational” approach. Sheffie Kadane said opponents of the toll road need to get on board.
Vonciel Jones Hill said she saw no reason why an amenity-filled park couldn’t coexist with the roadway.
As for the notion that the lake proposal might be unrealistic, she didn’t deny that possibility.
“It is clearly dreaming,” said Hill, who chairs the transportation and Trinity River project committee. “But Dallas gets reality by dreaming.”