Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just South of Downtown Dallas - Jefferson Tower, Small Brewpub, apartments coming soon

00F0F 5YKuLNvx0x4 600x450 At Jefferson Tower, Small Brewpub, apartments coming soon
Chef Misti Norris, formerly of FT33, is working on “lots of charcuterie” for the opening of Small Brewpub at Jefferson Tower, which could be as soon as this month, according to Escape Hatch Dallas.
The space is still under construction, and Escape Hatch didn’t have many details and didn’t name a source. But we also have heard that Norris will be the chef and that the brewery will serve a full menu to compliment its beer.
Apartments, the Lofts at Jefferson Tower, are pre-leasing, according to this Craigslist ad. A one-bedroom apartment comprising 688 square feet is available for $995 a month. A 944-square-foot apartment is going for $1,465, according to the ad. That’s about $1.44 and $1.55 per square foot, respectively, priced similarly to the Lofts at Sylvan Thirty.
The units will have 11-foot ceilings, views of downtown, concrete floors, stainless steel appliances, a dog park and a roof deck, according to the Jefferson Tower website.
- See more at:
by Rachel Stone

Friday, August 22, 2014

Medical software firm moving HQ to Dallas North Tollway building

A high-tech company that serves the medical industry is moving its headquarters from northeast Dallas to the Dallas North Tollway.

Axxess Technology Solutions Inc. has rented 25,000 square-feet in the Tollway Plaza office complex on the tollway near Keller Springs Road.

The company plans to move into its new offices at 16000 North Dallas Parkway this fall.

Founded in 2007, Axxess Technology is now located at 9535 Forest Lane near LBJ Freeway.

The company – which provides software products for health care organizations – plans to add more than 100 jobs in the next year.

John Olajide, Axxess CEO, said the new space was required for “our explosive growth and need for flexible expansion options.”

“They met all of our goals while maintaining costs and represented us extremely well throughout the entire process.”
Brant Landry, Sharon Morrison and Damian Rivera of E Smith Realty Partners negotiated the office lease with Shannon Brown with CBRE Group.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Austin real estate investor is shopping Uptown Dallas property for project

“Now it’s all dark granite and gray,” Dabliz said. “It’s going to be white and bright and crisp.”

Gaedeke Group plans to begin work on the construction project in October and plans a completion in mid-2015.

The building owner has hired award-winning Dallas-architect Morrison, Dilworth + Walls to redesign the property.

“It seemed pretty clear to me from the beginning that I needed to simplify and open up the lobby,” architect Mark Dilworth said.

An Austin real estate firm that’s already made a major investment in Dallas is eyeing another deal.
World Class Capital earlier this year bought the 34-story KPMG Centre at 717 N. Harwood Street.
The private commercial real estate is about to start renovations to the 1980s skyscraper to accommodate new business tenants.

At the same time the company is shopping a unique development site in Uptown with plans for a new building.

In 2001 developers proposed a 10-story condo tower for the same property. (DMN files)
Real estate brokers say that World Class Capital is in talks to buy the 1899 McKinney Avenue building at McKinney and Akard Street.

The commercial building – which formerly housed a nightclub – occupies all of a triangular block that extends north to Cedar Springs Road.

The property is across the street from the Park 17 apartment tower.

World Class Capital is considering a residential tower for the roughly half-acre tract.

Back in 2001 another developer proposed building a 10-story tower on the site that would house luxury residential units. But the project failed to take off during the economic downturn.

World Class Capital is an opportunistic real estate investor headed by businessman Nate Paul. The company makes purchases of office, retail, industrial and apartment properties.

Since buying the KPMG Centre tower in downtown Dallas, World Class Capital has signed major office leases with Active Network and Omnitracs, which are relocating to Dallas from California.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Maple Avenue office tower getting $4 million makeover as part of neighborhood turnaround

The transformation taking place on Dallas’ Maple Avenue is ramping up with a major building overhaul.

Owners of the Oak Lawn Plaza office tower at Maple and Oak Lawn Avenue are going to spend almost $4 million revamping the property.

The office high-rise is right across the street from the landmark Old Parkland campus – a redevelopment where Crow Holdings has spent millions in construction. And the surrounding neighborhood is seeing a building boom with new apartments and townhouses.

And addition will expand the lobby. (Gaedeke Group)

“We think the timing is perfect for our renovation,” said Belinda Dabliz, vice president of leasing for building owner Gaedeke Group LLC. “There are a lot of positive changes happening in that area and it’s time for us to update our property.”

Built in 1983, the 8-story, 130,000-square-foot building has been owned by Gaedeke Group since 1998.
“Now it’s all dark granite and gray,” Dabliz said. “It’s going to be white and bright and crisp.”
Gaedeke Group plans to begin work on the construction project in October and plans a completion in mid-2015.

The building owner has hired award-winning Dallas-architect Morrison, Dilworth + Walls to redesign the property.

“It seemed pretty clear to me from the beginning that I needed to simplify and open up the lobby,” architect Mark Dilworth said.

Dallas News- Steve Brown

Parking pinch means more garages coming to downtown Dallas

A new wave of construction is coming in downtown Dallas.

Don’t expect more shiny office towers, trendy loft apartments or retail space. Oh, there’ll be some of that.

But what’s really in demand now is parking.

With downtown’s worker population on the rise, developers and building investors are trying to figure out where to put all the cars.

For decades that wasn’t much of an issue: Dallas’ central business district has had acres of ugly surface parking lots.

Now some of the lots closest to downtown’s biggest office skyscrapers are starting to vanish thanks to new developments and public projects.

That’s put a pinch on parking.

“It’s a double whammy,” said Steve McCoy, principal with commercial real estate firm Transwestern. “More people are coming downtown at the same time we have fewer places to park.”

McCoy said while mass transit plays an important roll getting workers to the central city, there’s still a need for parking.

“It’s one of the top negotiating points for companies that lease office space,” he said. “They want to make sure their people have a convenient place to park and it is secured.”

Many of the office towers built downtown in the 1980s weren’t designed for the number of workers they now house.

“We are cramming more people into less space,” McCoy said. “You are seeing the densities go way up.”

And it wasn’t uncommon for the towers to provide about one parking spot for every 1,000 square feet of workspace.

Most companies now want at least twice that much parking.

Building new parking garages isn’t cheap.

The 1,271-space, seven-level parking garage that’s under construction next door to American Airlines Center in Victory Park costs more than $30 million. That works out to about $24,000 a space.

Garages inside Dallas’ core could cost even more depending on the land value and other factors.

An eight-story garage and retail building planned on Pacific Avenue in the heart of downtown is expected to run as much as $100 million.

That’s a lot of money just to park a bunch of Hondas and Chevys.

The new owners of the 60-story Fountain Place tower on Ross Avenue say they plan to build a huge parking garage on the north side of the skyscraper.

And other investors who have the landmark Trammell Crow Center on Ross are eyeing a surface parking lot across the street for developing another garage.

And that’s only the beginning.

Several more of these large parking structures will be needed to keep up with downtown’s growing population.

“We are going to need it, not just for the office tenants but also retail and more,” McCoy said.
Karl Zavitkovsky, who heads the city of Dallas’ economic development office, says parking is a problem, but it’s a good one to have — meaning more people are coming downtown.

“It’s one of the major challenges we are going to face going forward,” Zavitkovsky said. “The city is taking a long look at this to see what kind of involvement we should have.”

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Cash is still king for a large share of homebuyers

Tougher mortgage application standards and slowly rising interest rates aren’t a challenge for a large segment of the housing market.

More than a third of homebuyers these days are paying cash.

And it’s also a large part of the market in North Texas, the latest surveys show.

Cash sales began to account for a greater share of the housing market a few years ago when investors were buying large volumes of previously foreclosed and distressed properties. Back then almost 46 percent of U.S. home purchases were made without financing.

While distressed property buys have fallen, cash purchases still remain relatively high — 34.4 percent in May, according to CoreLogic.

“Nationally, prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share was 25 percent,” said CoreLogic senior economist Molly Boesel.

More than 10 percent of Dallas-area homes sold go to investors — many of them major national buyers.

In May, 30 percent of Texas home purchases and 29 percent of buys in Dallas-Fort Worth were made with cash, CoreLogic says.

In the D-FW area, the average preowned single-family home goes for more than $250,000 — a lot of money to hand over in one payment.

The MetroTex Association of Realtors says that 21 percent of D-FW second-quarter home sales through the Realtors’ multiple listing service were all cash. In the first quarter it was 27 percent.
Cash sales are even higher around the country in the states with more distressed property sales. And states with lots of retiring baby boomers see a large number of cash transactions.

CoreLogic estimates that more than half of purchases of foreclosed houses are still made with cash. Often these properties go to investors who have accumulated thousands of houses around the country in the last five years.

Only 0.7 percent of Texas homes were in foreclosure in June, one of the lowest rates in the country, according to CoreLogic.

Nationwide, distressed sales accounted for about 12 percent of home purchases in the second quarter, Realtors say.

Longtime Dallas home sales agent Barry Hoffer said Thursday that he doesn’t see that many all-cash purchases, but some buyers keep it as an option.

“Many of my buyers this year are indicating that their offer is not contingent upon credit approval,” said Hoffer, who is with Ebby Halliday Realtors. “This is basically the next best thing to a true cash offer and strengthens my client's offer in the eyes of the seller since the seller does not need to worry about my buyer being able to qualify for a mortgage.

“In a multiple-offer situation, this is a valuable tool.”

He said some sellers will move a cash buyer to the head of the line for contracts on the property.
“I represented a young couple earlier this year who tried to make an offer on a redo property in Lake Highlands,” Hoffer said. “This was a multiple-offer situation, and one of the other buyers was an investor group who wanted to fix the house up to flip.

“Their all-cash offer was accepted even though my client’s offer was tens of thousands of dollars higher.”

Jed Kolko, top economist with Trulia Inc., said cash sales are declining but remain high.
“Investors are still an important part of many local markets,” Kolko said. “Plus, the difficulty in getting a mortgage and other barriers to first-time homeownership have held back some buyers who would rely on mortgage financing.

“The high all-cash share reflects both the continued role of all-cash buyers as well as the relative lack of mortgage-financed buyers.”

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Commercial real estate transactions


Eagle Property Capital purchased a 184-unit apartment community at 1319 N. Nursery Road in Irving. Chris Deuillet of CBRE Group brokered the sale.

A private investor bought a building at 500 Lookout Drive in Richardson. Scott Rose of the Retail Connection brokered the sale.

A California investor purchased a 14,550-square-foot Walgreens building at 6324 Custer Road in Plano. Patrick McCaughey and Ted Gallagher of Cassidy Turley brokered the sale with Brad Cruickshank and Randy Bell of Woodmont Co.

Trillium Construction bought a 10,276-square-foot industrial property at 402 Forest Gate Drive in Garland. Jeremy Steenerson of Fore Commercial brokered the sale with Matt Spellman of Mercer Co.

An out-of-state investor bought a 9,062-square-foot retail property at 3315 N. George Bush Highway in Garland. Blake Burnett of Marcus & Millichap brokered the sale.

Driver’s Edge auto repair purchased a 1-acre site at Alma Road and Eldorado Parkway in McKinney. Venture Commercial’s David Davidson Jr. brokered the sale with Jack Burgher and Carter Kendall.

Ace Hardware leased 16,000 square feet of retail space at Spring Creek Village at 7989 Belt Line Road in Dallas. Chris Corbin and Bob Moore of Venture Commercial negotiated the lease with JAH Realty LP.

EquityMetrix leased more than 15,000 square feet of office space in Galleria North Tower II at 13727 Noel Road in Dallas. Scott Morse of Citadel Partners negotiated the lease with Dennis Barnes, Celeste Fowden and Hunter Lee of CBRE Group.

National Center for Policy Analysis leased 8,907 square feet of office space at 14180 Dallas Parkway in Dallas. Taylor Dickerson and Scott Morse of Citadel Partners negotiated the lease with Cassidy Turley.

XACT Data Discovery leased 7,341 square feet of office space at 12801 N. Central Expressway in Dallas. Kent Smith of NAI Robert Lynn negotiated the lease with Sarah Catherine Norris and Ben Jones of Sooner Management.

Real estate editor Steve Brown compiles this list.

New York real estate firm starting Southlake industrial project

New York-based KTR Capital Partners is developing a 2-building industrial project in Southlake.

MYCON General Contractors Inc. said Tuesday that it has been selected as the contractor for Heritage Business Park, located at S. Kimball Avenue and State Highway 26, across from Dragon Stadium.

The project will contain two office and warehouse buildings with 335,000 square feet.

Alliance Architects designed the development.

The project is scheduled to open in May 2015.

KTR is also building a half million square-foot industrial development in North Fort Worth that’s scheduled to open at the end of this year.

And the real estate firm bought another project in Arlington.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Monday, August 11, 2014

Atlanta development firm working on mixed-use projects in Rowlett and Arlington

An Atlanta commercial real estate firm that’s ramping up in North Texas has hit the ground with two projects.

Integral Group is working on mixed-use developments in Rowlett and Arlington.

“We are going to be focused on reinvention of downtowns, transit oriented developments and adaptive reuse,” said Art Lomenick, Integral’s president of development. “ And Dallas is an important market to us.”

Lomenick is a familiar player in the Dallas real estate business. Previously he worked here with Trammell Crow Co., the Staubach Co. and Columbus Realty. He’s been at Integral since 2012.

The two new  deals Integral is doing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area both include apartments and retail.

Integral is working on a mixed-use redevelopment in downtown Arlington. (Integral)
In Rowlett, the developer is building a $30 million urban village with 254 residential units, shops and a new public library. A network of pedestrian trails links the project, which is set to begin early next year.
“This development culminates a vision created for downtown by Rowlett citizens 30 years in the making,” Mayor Todd Gottell said in a statement. “The Village of Rowlett will open the door to additional private investment by carrying forward the city’s new urban energy to downtown’s edges at Highway 66 and the President George Bush Turnpike.”

Integral is doing the Rowlett project in partnership with local firm Catalyst Urban Development.

In downtown Arlington, Integral is working on a high-density complex with retail, office and apartments. There are also plans for a new library, park and city council meeting space.

The project – also with Catalyst Urban Development – is in the planning stages.

Integral specializes in urban redevelopments. The company has offices in New York, San Francisco, Denver and, now, Dallas.

Steve Brown- Dallas news

Sneak peek at Uptown Dallas’ next office tower project that’s starting soon

The plans for Uptown’s next office tower are starting to make the rounds, even if the builders haven’t formally unveiled the project yet.

Developer KDC is teaming up with Invesco Real Estate to build the 11-story office and retail building on the last vacant corner at McKinney Avenue and Harwood Street.

The development site is less than a block north of the popular Klyde Warren Park.

KDC – the same company that’s been working on the huge CityLine project up in Richardson – has been working with Invesco on the Uptown office deal since last year.

The building has been designed by Dallas architects BOKA Powell – the same firm that did some of Victory Park’s projects.

Real estate brokers say that the developer and Invesco are negotiating a lease with the Employees Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas to occupy a chunk of the planned office space.

The Retail Connection has been hired to find tenants for about 8,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space planned on the ground floor of the building.

Expect a groundbreaking in the coming months.

The development site is just across the street from where Crescent Real Estate has started construction on its 20-story McKinney & Olive office and retail project.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Friday, August 08, 2014

After May stalemate over fate of Pacific Plaza, Dallas’ park department will ask developers for proposals

At the moment there are just two proposals for Pacific Plaza in downtown Dallas, the 3.5-acre patch of green space that’s been on the city’s wish list since 2004. The Park and Recreation Board decided on Thursday that’s just not good enough.

With eight members voting “aye,” the board decided — just barely — to solicit proposals from private developers who just might be able to develop the park guesstimated to cost $10 million, a small fortune the city doesn’t have in its back pocket and doesn’t expect to find under a couch cushion any time soon. But there will be caveats contained within that request for proposals (or RFP), chief among them: There can’t be an above-ground parking garage at Pacific Plaza. If a developer wants to plant parking on the spot bound by North St. Paul, Live Oak and North Harwood, it will have to be below-ground.

But the parks department is in no rush to look for takers: Willis Winters, direct of the Park and Recreation Department, says the RFP will be issued “at some point,” but that “we’re not in a big hurry to get it out.” For one thing, he says, the city needs to “make sure we have a legitimate need for parking at that location before we issue the RFP.”

Of the two existing proposals, following Shawn Todd’s withdrawal of his $100-million proposal earlier this week, only one, from former council member Ron Natinsky and 4P Partners, has below-ground parking — specifically, an automated parking garage. Mukemmel “Mike” Sarimsakci’s ambitious $600-million proposal features a number of structures on the proposed park, including two residential skyscrapers at least 70 stories tall.

In May the board parked a decision on how to proceed with a 6-6 stalemate. Thursday’s vote was close too, a sign that the board’s not eager to let someone else build a park — or put a garage on that property, which, even if underground, would require room for entrance and exit ramps, elevator shafts, stairwells and ventilation. But board member Rodney Schlosser called the decision to issue a request for proposals the “no-regrets move,” since the city doesn’t have to accept any of them. “We’re not being asked to do anything other than put out an RFP and see what developers have to say,” says Schlosser.

And this is how former council member Ron Natinsky intends to bury the parking at Pacific Plaza.
In the end, he noted, the Park Board can decide to fund the park with bond funds. Or, it was suggested, maybe the city can pull off a private-public partnership, a la the Klyde Warren. Winters hints that’s a very real possibility “at some point in the future,” pointing to the possible formation of a “non-profit ‘friends’ group” that could help raise money to build and operate Pacific Plaza.

Park Board member Larry Jones concurred with Schlosser and parks staff: Issuing an RFP, he said, is a “no-brainer, a no-lose situation.”

But after the board voted to proceed with the RFP, board president Max Wells warned his colleagues that this could be a very slippery slope, a way for a private developer to get their claws into a public park. The city, with the help of the The Trust for Public Land, spent $9 million in land acquisition over several years — a process made especially difficult when the city ran into parcels with multiple owners whose claims dated back decades. And turning it over to a private developer doesn’t sit well with Wells.

Wells pointed out that Pacific Plaza sits in the Downtown Connection TIF, and said he’s terrified of someone using city money to eat into green space that’s been part of the city’s to-do list since it was part of the original Downtown Parks Master Plan in 2004. He made it clear that he “violently” objects to a developer trying to use city money to build a garage beneath a park. Adds Winters, “My goal is to build as much of the park without it being on the city’s ledger.” Natinsky and his partners haven’t yet explained how much their proposal will cost.

“We do feel good about” the board’s decision, says architect Scott Lowe at 5G Studio Collaborative, who’s been working with Natinsky. “It was a no-brainer decision in my option for the city — a no-lose. They get to explore their options. And a joint venture makes sense. City’s budgets are thinner and thinner, and this could be the way the city makes a little money on a ground lease and builds the park too. I feel pretty good today. The 8-7 vote was a little surprising for me because I didn’t think they had anything to lose by going with the RFP option. I also understand the perception that private developers are out for themselves. They are. But a good joint venture is when both parties get something out of it. That’s what we’re proposing in this deal.”

Robert Wilonsky- Dallas News

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Trammell Crow pondering major mixed-use project near Love Field

Developers are quietly working on a major project on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas that would bring big changes to the area near UT Southwestern Medical Center and Love Field.

Trammell Crow Co. is in the planning stages for the large mixed-use development that will include hundreds of new apartments and retail space, real estate brokers say.

The project at Mockingbird and Forest Park Road is being considered for land that’s owned by a California firm.

Balcones Realty Partners – a company that includes championship boxer Oscar de la Hoya – bought the land in 2009 with plans to do a major mixed-use development.

Of course that was just as the recession was taking hold and the deal never moved ahead.

The more than 30-acre property is along a creek, which is currently being rechanneled in a city flood control project.

Brokers who work in the area say that Crow’s High Street Residential is planning the project to take advantage of redevelopment of the old commercial district.

Apartment builders have in the last five years completed more than 2,000 new rental units in the area along Maple Avenue and Inwood Road near UT Southwestern.

And the expansion of nearby Love Field is causing a renewed focus on the area.

High Street Residential is Crow’s urban apartment and condominium development company.

Since 2000, High Street has developed more $1 billion in projects, comprising with more than 4,100 housing units.

High Street built the transit-oriented apartment and retail project in downtown Carrollton.

And it’s a partner in the 5th Street Crossing project in downtown Garland and developer of DeSoto Town Center.

A Trammell Crow spokesperson said Thursday that it would be premature for the company to comment.

The Mockingbird land is owned by a company set up by Balcones Realty Partners and De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Partners.

The El Segundo-based company was formed in 2005 to invest in real estate projects that would support community redevelopment.

Golden Boy has done a theater, retail and office project in Daly City, Calif. And the company has invested in office buildings in Oakland and Anaheim.

When the investors bought the Mockingbird Lane property back in 2009, they were planning a plant a $90-million retail, restaurant and residential village to be built in Spanish Mission style with a large central park.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Are Millennials Cheating Themselves by Buying Homes Later?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Millennials, the generation born from the early '80s to early '00s, have been starting families and buying homes later than their predecessors, thanks to the Great Recession and its ripple effects. Many experts have assumed this is temporary. But what if it isn't? Are these young folks cheating themselves?

A survey by Zillow, the online home marketplace, suggests this pattern could have legs, with first-homebuyers' average age rising to 32 over the next 10 years, from 31 last year and 30 in the years before the housing collapse of the mid-2000s. 

The survey of housing experts looks only at millennials who do buy, while many others are just continuing to rent or live with parents. Nationally, the homeownership rate has fallen to less than 65%, from 69% just before the housing collapse.

"The national homeownership rate fell in the second quarter, and a majority of experts said they expect it to fall further in coming years as the millennial generation delays home purchases and the age of typical first-time homebuyers rises," Zillow says.

This can be sobering news for homebuilders and companies that sell home furnishings. Because those are big industries, a slowdown in household formation is not good for the economy.

But it doesn't necessarily mean millennials are on the road to financial ruin. 

On the downside, home prices will probably rise over the next decade, so folks who postpone a first purchase will miss some appreciation and pay more. Interest rates are also likely to rise, pushing up the cost of that first home even more. Buying later rather than sooner also means missing out on benefits such as the federal tax deduction for mortgage interest.

On the other hand, there's a strong case that in the past many young people leapt into home ownership too young. During the housing bubble of the early '00s, many renters borrowed to buy because, even though they knew homes were overpriced, they thought they had to get in before prices climbed out of reach forever. They were among those left owing more than their homes were worth  after prices collapsed.

So a little more caution is not a bad thing. 

The job market for young people is weak, and those who do find work are likely to switch jobs more often  in the future, so locking into a first mortgage can be pretty risky. Those who will have to move for a new job within four or five years of buying a home could lose money.

Experts have long known that homes are, on average, not the great investments  the real estate industry says they are. Annual appreciation averages only 3% of 4%, and mortgage interest, taxes and upkeep can wipe out those gains. Many millennials have better profit potential in their 401(k)s, and with ordinary taxable investment accounts, which allow quick access to money in an emergency.

Over the long term, owning is better financially than renting, so long as the owner can stay put for a number of years and does not buy a pricy home when a cheaper one will do. The "profit" in owning a home comes from the lower long-term expenses compared to renting. But real investment gains are easier to come by with holdings that don't have big carrying costs such as taxes and maintenance -- things such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

So millennials who are postponing home purchases may not be doing the economy any favors, but they're probably not hurting themselves, either.

Written by: Jeff Brown

New home and retail community in the works in Oak Cliff

A property long considered one of the most important development sites in north Oak Cliff could soon become a new home community.

Developers have eyed the vacant Colorado Place apartment land on Fort Worth Avenue at Colorado Boulevard for years.

The complex of 1940s apartments that occupied the land was torn down in 2009.

Developers planned to build a high-density apartment complex, condominiums and retail space on the property that’s just west of Oak Cliff’s popular Kessler Park and Stevens Park neighborhoods. But the recession hit, and not much has happened there since then.

The land wound up in the hands of lenders.

Now property brokers say that Houston-based Texas InTown Homes is in talks to buy the land and build on the almost 20 acres.

Texas InTown Homes is headed by businessman Frank Liu and has built a series of urban-style townhouse projects.

The largest in the Dallas area is next door to the downtown Farmers Market and contains more than 100 townhomes.

InTown Homes also has smaller projects in Dallas’ Oak Lawn area and a large community in the works off Maple Avenue near UT Southwestern Medical Center.

There’s a need for more new homes in the area, Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs said Wednesday.
“In north Oak Cliff, we are seeing a lot of demand for owner-occupied housing — much more than the supply,” Griggs said. “I am looking for every opportunity possible to bring in more.

“Oftentimes it’s difficult to find locations in the city, and this is a great opportunity.”

Griggs said the project will include an undetermined amount of retail space.

“The plans are still being worked out on the mix,” he said.

InTown Homes has the experience to build the project, Griggs said.

“He has a great track record, and that’s important to me for this location,” he said of Liu. “We have seen a number of runs at projects on this site going back to 2005 and 2006.”

Officials with Texas InTown Homes said it would be premature to provide details of the pending project.
The Colorado Place apartments were built by Dallas developer Leo F. Corrigan between 1940 and 1949.

The property is part of the original 2,000-acre site of a historic French settlement built in the 1800s called La Reunion.

By the early 2000s, the apartments had deteriorated, which led to calls for new use of the prime real estate.

Since then, redevelopment along Fort Worth Avenue and Singleton Boulevard in nearby West Dallas has put new emphasis on real estate projects in that area.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Dallas Parks says Pacific Plaza going out to bid with strict requirements

Pacific Park is a city-owned 3.5-acre park in the middle of downtown Dallas. The City of Dallas currently doesn't have any money to transform the surface level parking lot into a lush garden, but some Dallas developers hope to help make the site a profitable venture. Photo courtesy of Michael-Chase Eaton of Aerial Photography Inc.

The Dallas Parks Department met Thursday to discuss the development of Pacific Plaza, a city-owned 3.5-acre site that's currently being used as a surface parking lot and is earmarked to become a city park.

Despite the two remaining development proposals on the board to turn the parking lot into a lush park, the parks board has decided to take the project to a full bidding process.

"They don't want any structures on the surface of the park, but they want to see underground parking underneath the park," Turkish developer Mike Sarimsakci told the Dallas Business Journal."People will need to sit back and do a financial analysis and see if it's feasible.

"We need to seriously look at how much it will cost to build, how much revenue you could generate from parking and crank out the numbers," he added.

Originally, Sarimsakci put together a proposal to help pay the $11 million to $12 million to convert the surface parking lot into a park, which includes two high-rise office towers and retail space.

He was one of three developers and development groups that proposed plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create a much larger vision for the park space to attract residents and office tenants to downtown Dallas.

Pacific Plaza has become ground zero for a debate on the city's green spaces and parking places.

As part of the bid process, the Dallas Parks Department wants to maximize the amount of greenery on the Pacific Plaza park. The details of the developing request for proposal haven't been outlined yet.

Sarimsakci says he'll look at the request for proposal carefully as his property at 211 N. Ervay and the neighborhood could benefit from more parking.

"If it works out, a parking garage would help all the buildings around that park," he told me.

Candace Carlisle- Dallas Business Journal

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Exxon Mobil puts Dallas office campus on the market


Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the world's largest oil and gas company, has put its 23-acre office campus off Stemmons Freeway in Dallas on the market.

The Dallas office campus was placed on the market, along with a Houston property, said a source with JLL, which is marketing the Exxon Mobil portfolio.

The Dallas facility, named Pegasus Place, is at 3000 Pegasus Park Drive in Dallas along Interstate 35E. The office campus has a number of buildings and includes a 17-story, 594,000-square-foot office building; a two-story, 67,000-square-foot office building and three auxiliary buildings.

Based on the size of the campus, JLL officials say the property could be redeveloped or repurposed into another corporate use.

JLL's Ronnie Deyo, Paul Whitman and Doug Carignan are leading the marketing efforts on behalf of Exxon Mobil, which iscurrently building a massive office campus in Houston. 

Candace Carlisle- Dallas Business Journal

CoreLogic: DFW home prices expected to rise into next year

Home for sale copy

Dallas-Fort Worth home prices have continued to rise year-over-year by 8 percent in June, with forecasts expecting the trend to continue into next year.

From the previous month, North Texas home prices rose 1.6 percent, according to the Home Price Index report released Tuesday by Irvine, Calif.-based CoreLogic(NYSE: CLGX), which has an office in Westlake.

Nationally, home prices increased 7.5 percent year-over-year in June, with prices increasing 1 percent from May to June.

Texas, along with a number of other states, reached new Home Price Index highs that date back to the origination of the index in January 1976.

"Home price appreciation continued moderating in June with its slight month-over-month increase," said Mark Fleming, chief economic for CoreLogic, in a statement.

The return to moderation is expected to continue throughout the United States and Fleming said it could alleviate concerns over diminishing affordability of homes and the risk of another asset bubble.

Even with the moderation, CoreLogic forecasts home prices will to continue to rise in the future, with projections estimating national home prices will increase 5.7 percent from June 2014 to June 2015.

Candace Carlisle- Dallas Business Journal

Texas A&M to sell 163 acres of Richardson farmland to Centurion Development

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The Texas A&M University System is selling its biggest tract of farmland in Dallas-Fort Worth, which could bring hundreds of homes to northern Dallas County.

Though the deal isn't scheduled to close until Sept. 1, the university system is under contract to sell 163 acres of farmland north of Campbell Road on Coit Road in Richardson that is adjacent to the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center to Dallas-based Centurion American Development.

Centurion is one of the largest home developers in Texas. It also has plans to spend $175 million redeveloping the Statler Hilton into an apartment community in downtown Dallas, and is building high-end custom homes at the Stoneleigh in Uptown.

"Last spring, we explored opportunities for the property, which we've owned since the mid-1970s, and we went through a very competitive process to sell this land," Texas A&M System Chief Business Officer Phillip Ray told the Dallas Business Journal."We worked through several proposals this summer and we are under contract with a potential development partner. We hope to close in the next 30 days."

The sale of the acreage would help Texas A&M AgriLife kick off plans for a new state-of-the-art research center on the school's remaining 80 acres of land in northern Dallas County. The details of the massive university project are still being developed, Ray told me.

Centurion Development's proposed plan for the larger tract of land includes 720 single-family homes and 180 townhomes, according to the city's planning and zoning department. If the deal falls apart, Texas A&M System has five other back-up buyers for the property, Ray told me.

"The deal is still fluid and if it falls apart, we plan to negotiate with the next line of proposals," he told me.

Centurion Development was the top-ranked proposal and unanimous choice of Texas A&M System officials working the deal, which wanted to find funding for the soon-to-be conceived Texas A&M AgriLife research center.

"Our No. 1 mission was to help AgriLife research the urban environment, and No. 2 was to upgrade the facility," Ray told me. "This deal gave us a way to accomplish both goals."

Ray declined to share the financial details of the deal until it closes next month. The funds are earmarked for Texas A&M's AgriLife program, which plans to spend a portion of the proceeds of the land sale to fund the new research center.

In 2011, there was chatter the site would be used for an Urban Living Laboratory, which would bring in partners from throughout the corporate world to sponsor urban living research for Texas A&M university. That plan would have cost $128 million.

Candace Carlisle- Dallas Business Journal

D-FW far outpaces the rest of the state in industrial building

Almost twice as much industrial space is under construction in North Texas as there is being built in the other top Texas markets combined, according to a new report by CBRE Group.

More than 18.5 million square feet of warehouse space is being built in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, CBRE estimates.

The other top Texas industrial building markets – Houston, Austin and San Antonio – together have only about 10.5 million square feet of industrial space being built, according to the commercial real estate firm.

Most of the warehouse construction underway in the D-FW area is in southern Dallas County, in North Fort Worth and near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

A majority of the local industrial space started to far in 2014 has been speculative with no tenants signed to leases.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Work starts on more than 500 apartments in Richardson’s CityLine project

Developers have broken ground on 532 apartments next to State Farm Insurance’s huge regional campus in Richardson.

KDC and JLB Partners are building the apartments on Plano Road south of Bush Turnpike in KDC’s 186-acre CityLine mixed-use development next to a DART station.

The first units will be ready next summer.

Construction just started on the four-story apartment complex that will have 233 apartments built on top of 20,000 square feet of retail space.

Farther south at CityLine Drive, a five-story rental project will have 299 units.

“The apartment homes at CityLine are a big part of the overall vision we have for the high energy, walkable CityLine development,” KDC’s Walt Mountford said in a statement.

The $1.5 billion CityLine project is the largest real estate development in North Texas. More than 8,000 State Farm workers and almost 1,700 employees of Raytheon Co. will work in two large office campuses.

A 250-room Aloft Hotel and shopping center anchored by a Whole Foods Market are also part of the project, which has been under construction for more than a year.

JLB Partners’ new apartments will range from 573 to 1,550 square feet of space. Another 300 rental units are planned in a second phase of development.

Regions Bank and Capital One provided financing for the project.

KDC says that by September of next year, CityLine will have a daytime population of 10,000.

Plans for the development include 6 million square feet of office space, two hotels, 3,925 apartments, 300,000 square feet of retail space and three parks.

The first State Farm workers will begin moving into three new office towers at the end of this year. A fourth State Farm building is planned across the street.

Raytheon broke ground on its three-building campus in the same development last month.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

2 California firms to get $14M in incentives for Dallas move

Two companies bringing 1,450 jobs to downtown Dallas will get almost $14 million in incentives from the city and state.

That works out to more than $9,600 per job.

The two firms moving here from San Diego — software company Active Network and fleet management company Omnitracs — will occupy about 300,000 square feet in downtown’s KPMG Centre.

Both companies are owned by investment firm Vista Equity Partners, which has offices in San Francisco and Austin.

On Monday morning, the city of Dallas’ Economic Development Committee agreed to give the companies $1.45 million in economic development grants
Several council members have voiced support for the incentives, and the full council will take up the measures next week.

City staff cheered the moves to fill space at 717 Harwood St., touting a return on investment of millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs.

Hammond Perot, assistant director of the city’s economic development office, said it marked one of the best days in his nearly 20 years on the job.

“It’s a banner day for us,” he said.

The 850,000-square-foot KPMG Centre has suffered from plunging office occupancies and was in the hands of lenders before it sold earlier this year. The new owner, Austin-based World Class Capital, plans major upgrades to the lobby and public spaces as part of a plan to attract new tenants to the building, which was constructed in the 1980s.

Council member Scott Griggs said the incentives are too high. He wondered why the city’s $1 million was needed for one of the deals, for instance, when the state is giving that company $8.6 million to make the move to Texas.

“I don’t want to rain on your parade,” he said. “But we don’t want incentives to cross over into corporate welfare.”

Karl Zavitkovsky, director of the city’s economic development office, said there was lots of competition to attract the companies. He also said the city’s investment was necessary to get the state to jump on board.

“The state enterprise fund would not be making the investment without skin in the game from the local municipality,” he said.

The Texas Enterprise Fund is giving more than $12 million in incentives to lure the two companies from Southern California.

Vista Equity Partners is moving the two subsidiaries to Texas to take advantage of more beneficial business conditions.

Active Network and Omnitracs will sign 10-year office leases in the 34-story high-rise and start occupying the space in September.

Active Network’s 1,000 downtown employees will have an average salary of $60,000, and the company will make a minimum investment of $3 million in the office space, according to city filings.
The city says Omnitracs will also invest $3 million in its new offices and pay $50,000 average salaries to its 450 workers.

The Active Network and Omnitracs office leases are two of the largest commercial real estate transactions in downtown Dallas so far this year.

Finance firm Santander Consumer USA is also renting more than 370,000 square feet in downtown’s Thanksgiving Tower for a consolidation of its operations. The company has already started moving in.

Santander got a $1 million economic development grant from the city for its operations, which encompass 1,400 jobs.

Steve Brown and Tom Benning- Dallas News

Saturday, August 02, 2014


DALLAS  – Crow Holdings Capital Partners LLC announced this week the development of Mountain Creek, an industrial park that will be built along I-20 and Grady Niblo Rd.

Located within the South Dallas submarket, the 87-acre development will include two buildings totaling 1.3 million sf of new distribution and warehouse space.

The first phase, a 630,000-sf building, is slated to break ground sometime this quarter.

Crow Holdings Capital Partners has hired McFadden & Miller as contractor, and Azimuth Architecture as architect.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

New garage, brand name in works for downtown Dallas’ historic Hotel Lawrence

Owners of a downtown Dallas hotel are buying an adjoining parking garage and plan to rebrand the property.
The 10-story Hotel Lawrence on Houston Street was purchased last summer by an investment company owned by hotel operator Mehul Patel.
Back then the new owners announced plans to remodel the 89-year-old hotel, which is located across from Union Station.
Real estate brokers say that the hotel investors are now buying an adjoining parking garage at Jackson and Record streets, which has been used for courthouse parking.
The garage has recently been marketed for sale by broker Newt Walker.
The Hotel Lawrence owners plan to refurbish the garage and convert the hotel to a La Quinta flagged property, downtown property agents say.
The Lawrence has been renovated multiple times over the decades and has had several name changes.

The current owners have more than two dozen Dallas-area hospitability properties.

Steve Brown- Dallas News

Developer Jack Matthews is eyeing a redo of downtown’s landmark Dallas High School

A languishing downtown Dallas landmark may get another chance at redevelopment.

The more than century old Dallas High School at Pearl and Bryan streets has been empty since the 1990s.

Several attempts to restore the downtown landmark as part of a larger development have failed.

But now one of the Dallas area’s most successful real estate developers is taking a swing at that ball, according to property brokers.

Jack Matthews – who built downtown’s new Omni Hotel and developed the thriving South Side neighborhood – is in talks to acquire the historic school complex, real estate agents say.

The six-acre property with its historic building has been offered for sale for more than a year by a California investor, which has owned the property since the late 1990s.

A development group that included developer Trammell Crow Co. had planned on turning the derelict school buildings into an apartment community with more than 500 units. But that deal fell apart months ago.

Since then the owner has been working to resolve environmental problems with the property, which is across the street from a DART light rail station.

The Old Dallas High School has long been considered one of the most threatened landmarks in downtown Dallas. It’s also one of the few historic, vacant properties in the center city that hasn’t already been converted into a new use.

Matthews of course knows all about reusing old buildings.

In the late 1990 he and his partners acquired the mammoth Sears, Roebuck & Co. buildings just south of downtown and converted them into loft apartments.

He’s also renovated other historic buildings in the same area, which is called South Side.

So far Matthews is being mum about his plans for the Old Dallas High School and there’s a lot left to be done.

He’s first go to buy the building, come up with a redevelopment design and work with the City of Dallas to make it happen.

But his track record in Dallas already gives him an edge in the game.

Steve Brown- Dallas News