Friday, February 05, 2016

Exclusive: Tech travel giant Sabre Corp. expanding headquarters at Solana Business Park


Solana Business Park is undergoing a $50 million renovation that Equity Office hopes will attract new tenants to the complex.
Technology travel giant Sabre Corp. (Nasdaq: SABR) has decided to expand its headquarters at Solana Business Park in Westlake, signing two real estate deals totaling 196,048 square feet of office space and giving the company the ability to house an additional 400 employees.

The company has extended a lease on some subleased space from Irvine, California-based CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), which is in the process of developing a new 327,183-square-foot regional hub at Cypress Waters in Dallas for its 500 employees in North Texas. The sublease totals 125,000 square feet on the first three floors of Building 3 in The Terrace and the lease extension runs for another nine years.

Sabre also signed a 10-year lease with Equity Office Properties, an affiliate of New York-based Blackstone Group(NYSE: BX), which is the ownership behind Solana Business Park, for the entirety of Building 2 at The Terrace.

Blackstone Group is funding a $65 million redevelopment and capital investment that's underway in the business park located in Westlake and Southlake.

"This is huge; it's exciting and validates what we are doing at Solana," Brian Driesse, director of asset management of Equity Office Properties told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive interview. "This shows a lot of the capital improvements we have been making in Solana are effective and I think this will be the first large deal of many large deals.

"We are seeing a lot of demand increase for large blocks of space," he added.
Ryan Matthews and Cannon Camp of JLL represented Sabre in its headquarters expansion. Chris TaylorRodney Helmand Layne Mayfield of Cushman & Wakefield represented Equity Office in the real estate deal.

JLL's Jeff EckertJay BaileyFrank Turner, Meredith Miner and Blake Shipley have been working on the listing in recent months.

Sabre has a two-building headquarters within the business park totaling an estimated 250,000 square feet of office space, with 3,000 employees in North Texas, according to Dallas Business Journal research. The company's reported revenue in 2014 totaled $2.63 billion.

The company's business has been growing as they support the airline industry, real estate sources said.

The parking ratio at Solana Business Park was an important factor for Sabre, Driesse said. Sabre has a parking ratio of six parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of office space leased.

Sabre has not responded to numerous interview requests.

The deal apparently closed on Dec. 28, and was the largest lease deal closed in Tarrant County in 2015. Those associated with the deal were unable to discuss it until now because of confidentiality agreements.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle at Dallas Business Journal

Construction begins on Midtown Park senior living development in North Dallas


A development group — US Freedom Capital and OnPointe Health Development — started construction Wednesday on a new senior living community in Midtown Park in North Dallas.

The 77,132-square-foot, three-story campus will sit at 8160 Meadow Road near Manderville Lane is in proximity to Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas hospital.

In all, the project, called Adora Midtown Park, will bring 109 skilled nursing and assisted living suites to this part of the city upon completion.

The senior-living community will have hospitality-style facilities that will give discriminating residents an unmatched level of transitional post-acute care and senior living suites, said US Freedom Capital Principal David Gunderson.

Adora Midtown Park was funding by foreign investors from Saudi Arabia, Canada, Brazil and India that are seeking U.S. residency through the EB-5 investor visa program. The new development will create more than 290 jobs.

US Freedom Capital and OnPointe Health provided bridge capital to help the project quickly launch as investors go through the immigration process.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Skanska Awarded $94M Construction Contract for Irving Music Factory

 
The Irving Music Factory will include an indoor/outdoor concert hall called the Pavilion.

LAS COLINAS, TEXAS — Skanska has signed a $94 million contract with the ARK Group of Charlotte, N.C., to build the Irving Music Factory in Las Colinas. Skanska will convert the existing 16.8-acre greenfield site into an entertainment destination. The new project will include an indoor/outdoor concert hall called the Pavilion operated by Live Nation with seating capacity up to 8,000 seats.

The venue includes seven buildings offering more than 250,000 square feet of entertainment, retail and restaurant space and an eight-screen Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Additionally, there will be a four-story, 100,000-square-foot office tower sitting atop a six-level, 1,200-space parking garage.

The project also features a 50,000-square-foot plaza and four outdoors stages. The venue is designed to host a variety of events, including music performances, fashion shows, farmers markets and food festivals throughout the year. Gensler is the architect for the project. Construction for the venue is expected to commence this month and is slated for completion in June 2017.


Texas Real Estate Business 

Is help on way from Irving to lure firms to Verizon's new $1.5B campus?


An aerial of Verizon's Hidden Ridge mixed-use development, which is expected to cost upwards of $1.5 billion.
Verizon's proposed $1.5 billion Hidden Ridge mixed-used development isexpected to become yet another corporate magnet in Dallas-Fort Worth and is being shopped around to some big companies.

And, if a deal with the City of Irving is approved in March's city council meeting, Verizon could soon get underway on a $50 million infrastructure project to ready Hidden Ridge to reel in those company campuses.

"Verizon is fronting the money for the infrastructure and we propose to pay them back — not in a full-blown tax increment financing district — over a 10- to 15-year period through the increase in property tax revenue," Joey Grisham, director of business recruitment at the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, told the Dallas Business Journal.

"This allows the city to help move the project forward," he added. "We hope this will be approved at the city council meeting in March."

Grisham and city officials hope the development of Hidden Ridge will help recruit new companies and retain Irving-based businesses by offering a truly walkable mixed-use development, which is what C-level executives want to recruit and retain within their own businesses.

"Every company wants the amenities and this project will have the DART station and feed off the Music Factory," he told me. "This will be a huge revenue generator."

These projects — such as Legacy West in Plano and CityLine in Richardson— have proved successful among household name companies, such as Toyota, State Farm Insurance, J.P. Morgan Chase and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Verizon unveiled renderings of the Hidden Ridge mixed-use development at last week's State of the City dinner in Irving. Hidden Ridge is expected to cost upwards of $1.5 billion to develop (much like Richardson's CityLine development).

Plans for the project include more than 3.5 million square feet of office development, 85,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, apartments and homes, a 150-room hotel and a village green for community gatherings.

CBRE is marketing Hidden Ridge on behalf of Verizon. Gensler is the project architect. Dallas-based KDC has been contracted to work on Verizon's proposed future expansion of its campus, which is expected to happen in the distant future.
Verizon has 8,100 employees at the company's Irving operations center at 600 Hidden Ridge.

Hidden Ridge could also be further helped by a company shopping under the moniker Project Horseshoe, which is searching for a site to develop an office campus totaling up to 1 million square feet of office space with plans to add hundreds of employees.

Real estate sources say Project Horseshoe is Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD), which wants to build infrastructure that will support the company's business in the long haul.

This real estate move would run counterintuitive to the actions from some Texas companies throughout the energy sector, which have been subleasing their space in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

JC Penney looking to sell its 1.8M SF Plano headquarters in a money-saving real estate deal


Plano-based retail giant J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP) plans to sell its North Texas campus with a partial leaseback of its three-story, 1.8 million-square-foot Class A headquarters in a real estate deal, which is expected to reduce outstanding debt and help the retailer manage its expenses.

The deal would be similarly structured to State Farm Insurance's proposed sale-leaseback deal of its massive, newly completed regional hub, which could be sold for upwards of $800 million.

J.C. Penney wanted to hit the hot North Texas real estate market and the deal will help the retailer deal with about 650,000 square feet of contiguous surplus of square footage in the building near the Dallas North Tollway and the Sam Rayburn Tollway in Plano.

"With the tremendous growth and development currently taking place within Plano and North Texas, there's no better time to take advantage of this lucrative market by pursuing a sale of our home office real estate," said CEO Marvin Ellison, in a prepared statement.

"Even as we continue to deliver positive financial results across all aspects of our business, including delivering year-over-year gross margin increase in the fourth quarter, this presents an ideal opportunity to reduce outstanding debt and create long-term savings for the company," he added.
Ellison recently spoke at the Dallas Business Journal's Book of Lists reception at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The sit-down interview is featured in today's print edition of the DBJ.

Based on J.C. Penney's 24-year-old campus and that a new owner would be walking into the property immediately needing to lease about 650,000 square feet of office space, real estate sources estimate the campus could be sold for an estimated $360 million.

Legacy Business Park in Plano is one of the hottest real estate markets in the world and this deal is expected to garner global attention, especially with J.C. Penney's now-proximity to Toyota's new North American campus site.
If a deal goes through, J.C. Penney expects the new lease to offset its expected reduction in maintenance costs, interest expense and property taxes. The company also expects to pay down debt with the proceeds of a potential sale.
CBRE's capital markets group has been selected to market the 24-year-old campus.

This real estate decision comes on the heels of J.C. Penney putting 240 acres into a joint venture in 2014 with a team of developers called Team Legacy, which include master developer Fehmi Karahan, Dallas-based KDC and Dallas-based Columbus Realty.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Irving Music Factory to move forward on $173M project with new general contractor


Irving's Music Factory is envisioned to have a large open plaza for large concerts and to host major events throughout the region.
Noah Lazes is ready to get back under construction on the $173 million Irving Music Factory development in Irving and expects the project to begin to come out of the ground with the help of hundreds of workers starting Wednesday.

Construction was delayed for months as the developer, the city and the general contractor signed a new contract, which brought international construction firmSkanska in from the wings as Dallas-based Balfour Beatty Construction took its leave, stage left.

Real estate sources said the hot construction market helped drive the general contracting switcheroo, which helped keep the construction costs on budget at $173 million.

"Skanska has a lot of experience with Live Nation venues and we felt good with Skanska," Lazes, president of The Ark Group of North Carolina, told the Dallas Business Journal.

There won't be much impact to the Live Nation-anchored mixed-use development because Irving Music Factory always had a horizontal and vertical phase of development. Balfour Beatty had finished the horizontal phase of development before leaving the project.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Transwestern Negotiates Industrial Lease in Fort Worth

4600-Blue-Mound-fort-worth-texas-anchor-fabricationTranswestern has negotiated a 224,800-square-foot industrial lease for Anchor Fabrication Ltd. at 4600 Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — Transwestern has negotiated a 224,800-square-foot industrial lease for Anchor Fabrication Ltd. at 4600 Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth. The Texas-based metal fabrication company also has a manufacturing facility at 1200 Lawson Road in Fort Worth. Transwestern’s Sarah LanCarte represented the tenant. The city of Fort Worth owns the industrial facility.
REBusinessOnline 

An exclusive look inside 7-Eleven's new Cypress Waters campus


Looking up at a three-dimesional hanging sculpture of 7-Eleven's logo inside their new lobby at Cypress Waters.
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven Inc. has begun moving into its new 325,000-square-foot corporate campus at Cypress Waters in Irving as construction on the project rounds the last lap.

"Before this campus, they were in a multi-tenant building with a lobby that they really couldn't call their own," Emily Strain, one of the Dallas-based CorganAssociates Inc. designers working on the development, told the Dallas Business Journal.

"Branding was very important to them, which is why we created an abstract art installation with their logo for visitors," she added.

About 40 percent of 7-Eleven's 1,200-employee workforce has made the move into the building, with the remainder expected to make the phased transition from the Irving-based company's former location in One Arts Plaza in downtown Dallas to the suburban corporate campus in Irving.

So far, the building is roughly mid-way through its finish-out. The executive floor on the fourth floor of the sprawling mid-rise campus has yet to be finished out for executives, such as Chief Executive Officer Joe DePinto.

The common areas throughout the building are also being completed with electricians and painters working diligently in the midst of the move to get it ready for the full move in mid-February.

Even though the finish-out has yet to be completed, the Dallas Business Journal got an exclusive sneak peek into the retail giant's new operating center and how 7-Eleven employees will work in the future.

Upon arriving in 7-Eleven's visitor lobby and grand entrance in the middle of the new corporate campus, guests are greeted with 7-Eleven signage and televisions that reflect the retailer's digital presence in the building. The central lobby's floor pattern plays off the patios on either side of the building, which also leads guests into the building.

The idea was to create a sense of flow from the outside-inside the building and reflect the outdoors, said Luke Brohmer, who led up the exterior design work with Corgan.

Instead of putting the lobby on one end of the building, 7-Eleven's visitor lobby and grand entrance is in the middle of the expansive campus, with the hopes of creating energy for visitors and 7-Elevn employees.

On one end of the lobby is the elevator bank and on the other end is a 300-person break room and meeting space with a 7-Eleven retail store for employees and guests to the campus. The break room has a large patio off the side of the building with gathering spaces and enough outdoor space to be used for events.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal 

Construction underway on Scott Beck's $4B Dallas Midtown project


The $4 billion project will include a pedestrian friendly esplanade that will connect residents and shoppers with other parts of the mixed-use development.
Dallas developer Scott Beck has begun environmental remediation and pre-demolition work on the $4 billion Dallas Midtown mixed-use development in North Dallas that will make way for a new corporate magnet and entertainment destination.

Beck's Dallas-based Beck Ventures is overseeing the redevelopment immediately surrounding Valley View Center, which is about 17 blocks within a larger 40-block, 430-acre mixed-use development surrounding Valley View Center (an area bounded by the Dallas North Tollway, LBJ Expressway, North Central Expressway and Spring Valley Road) in North Dallas.

"We have been able to move forward with all the pieces it takes to start the project, but we have to go through environmental remediation before we can physically take down the building," Beck told the Dallas Business Journal.

Valley View Center is expected to be taken down brick-by-brick versus an implosion to salvage materials that could ultimately be used in the new development on the site in North Dallas. Beck Ventures also is in the process of creating a tree farm by pruning back the roots of certain trees to ready them for being moved, he said.

The pre-demolition work began in earnest in December. By May 1, Beck said he expects to begin demolition on Valley View Center and have the entire site cleared and ready for vertical construction by the end of the year.

"There's 1.5 million square feet of real estate there today with over 20,000 parking spaces on asphalt; this is a very large-scale project," Beck told me.

The development firm has about six demolition contractors in the running on the project. It has yet to be awarded and Beck said he is in the process of whittling the list down to a final group of three firms.

"There's only a handful of firms that can even do a project of this size," said Beck, who said the selected firm will salvage steel, asphalt and glass to be repurposed in a new function on his project, or elsewhere.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal 

Kick up a fuss if you like, but apartments are a reality


Addison residents protest a planned multi-use development at a former Sam’s Club site.
It may be the first time ever that a neighborhood has protested plans to tear down a derelict big-box store.
But the folks in Addison turned out in droves this week to protest replacing a vacant Sam’s Club on Belt Line Road with a combination of apartments, townhouses, restaurants and shops.
Oh, it wasn’t the townhouses and retail that ticked off the neighbors.
But the prospect of constructing apartments on the property was more than a lot of folks in the neighborhood could bear.
Just the mention of the A-word to many homeowners is enough to send them scrambling to City Hall.
Apartments are still an urban anathema to many North Texas residents.
In Plano, citizens disgruntled over plans to add more rental units are threatening to force a recall election for city leaders.
While I understand why some homeowners bristle at the notion of renters moving into the ’hood, I can’t spare much sympathy.
Link to full article here
By Steve Brown for The Dallas Morning News 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Empty medical building on Gaston Avenue in East Dallas will become Westin hotel project

The former rehab center near Baylor Medical Center would be converted to an Element by Westin Hotel. (Steve Brown)
The former rehab center near Baylor Medical Center would be converted to an Element by Westin Hotel. 
A long vacant East Dallas building is being eyed for a boutique hotel development.
Carrolton-based Atlantic Hotels Ltd. has purchased the vacant Dallas Health & Rehabilitation Center building on Gaston Avenue near Baylor Medical Center.
The 7-story medical building has been empty for years. The 100,000-square-foot former medical building was built in 1964 and is just a block from Baylor’s campus.
Atlantic Hotels has filed permits with the City of Dallas to convert the building into an Element by Westin Hotel. The project will cost about $25 million. Veritex Bank funded the development.
Link to full article here
By Steve Brown for The Dallas Morning News 

JLL Hires Three for DFW Office


The trio had previously worked at Younger Partners.
DALLAS--JLL has announced the firm is bolstering its capital markets expertise with the addition of three industrial investment sales specialists to its Dallas-Fort Worth office. 
Dustin Volz joins as a senior vice president along with vice president Zane Marcell and associate Grant Matthews. The trio will work with a large and growing team of capital markets experts at JLL’s Dallas office, which is led by managing director Tim Jordan. They will broaden the firm’s expertise within both the industrial and office sectors in North Texas.
“Our team is proud to be joining an industry leading capital markets platform,” Volz told GlobeSt.com. “With Texas’ continued in-migration and ever diversified economy, we are excited about the future of the region and growing the Industrial segment of the platform.”
Volz founded the investment services team at Younger Partners in 2013, focusing on industrial and office assets in the North Texas region.  He has more than eight years of experience in commercial real estate, completing more than $375 million in transactions. 
Marcell also joins JLL from Younger Partners, where he helped found the investment services team and specialized in industrial and office assets in the North Texas region. Over the course of his nearly nine-year career in commercial real estate he has completed more than $325 million in transactions. 
Matthews began his commercial real estate career at Younger Partners in 2014. Prior to that, he specialized in transactional law in private legal practice.
By Anna Caplan for GlobeSt.com

Ready Capital Secures $18M Loan for Office Building in Dallas

DALLAS — Ready Capital Structured Finance, a nationwide commercial real estate bridge and mezzanine lender, has closed an $18 million loan for the recapitalization and stabilization of an office building in Dallas. The 18-story, 183,000-square-foot property is located on Ervay Street in downtown Dallas’ central business district. Known locally as Alto 211, the building originally catered to traditional office users but has undergone substantial renovations transforming it into modern, creative office space. The non-recourse, three-year loan features flexible pre-payment options and two one-year extension options, including a facility to provide future funding encompassing tenant improvements, leasing commissions and capital expenditures. 

By Haisten Willis for REBusinessOnline

Mercedes-Benz to Open New Facilities in Metro Dallas

mercedes-benz-usa-grapevine-texasCurrently owned by the city of Grapevine, the site consists of around 31 acres along Lakeside Parkway at Enterprise Road.


GRAPEVINE, TEXAS — Mercedes-Benz plans to open two facilities in Grapevine. The first is a regional parts distribution center (PDC) designed to support the sales and distribution of spare parts to the customers and dealer network of Mercedes. The second is a learning and performance center (LPC). The LPC is relocating from Houston to the Grapevine site and is planned to be a technical facility accommodating on-going training of Mercedes-Benz dealership technicians from around the Southwest region. Currently owned by the city of Grapevine, the site consists of around 31 acres along Lakeside Parkway at Enterprise Road. Once fully operational, both the training facility and parts distribution center will be staffed with 50 employees with the ability to train 150 technicians per week. The PDC is planned to be 254,000 square feet and the LPC is 59,000 square feet. Seefried Industrial Properties, in partnership with a long-time European capital partner, is the purchaser of the land and developer for this project. Mercedes has executed a development agreement with Seefried Properties and will purchase the project upon completion. Design of the two facilities is underway and will be submitted for permitting in February 2016. The initial site work will start this month with a full construction start in March. The target completion and occupancy date is January 2017, with full operations commencing March 1, 2017.
By Haisten Willis for REBusinessOnline

Exclusive: Inside the $2B Legacy West's retail-centric vision taking shape in West Plano


Fehmi Karahan's 300,000 square-feet of mixed use retail at Legacy West rises behind him.
In less than year, Fehmi Karahan's retail-centric vision for the $2 billion, 255-acre Legacy West mixed-use development has begun taking shape, with a number of retailers lined up to set up shop.

At one point, Karahan, president of Plano-based The Karahan Cos., had up to eight construction cranes working on the initial $400 million phase of Legacy West, which will bring about 300,000 square feet of retail space, 800,000 square feet of office space, about 600 apartment homes and four parking decks.

So far, big restaurant and retail names, such as Del Frisco's Double Eagle SteakhouseTrue FoodTommy Bahama Island Store, Blue PlanetSuit Supply, North Italia and Bistro 31, are coming to Legacy West.
Fidelity also plans to put a big bank branch at the northwest corner of Legacy Drive and the Dallas North Tollway in West Plano.

"Looking at it, we are at least 30 percent or so through the project," Karahan told the Dallas Business Journal, after an exclusive hard-hat tour of construction at Legacy West.

"This will be three times bigger than the Shops at Legacy North," he added. "We will have some upper end retail brands at Legacy West — much like the retail found at NorthPark — but I think the ultra luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Christian Doir will be a second generation retailer for us.

"I think after trying these brands at (The Shops at) Willow Bend and they failed; the luxury retailers still have that bitter taste in their mouth," he added. "It will take them awhile and they will have to discover us."

Gensler is the project architect. Rogers-O'Brien Construction is the general contractor on this portion of Legacy West and oversee the logistics of the other construction projects in full swing at the development (i.e. Toyota North America, Liberty Mutual, and the Renaissance hotel).

Construction is underway on a six-story, 1,285-parking space garage adjacent to 250,000 square feet of office and retail space on the west side of the project (west of Windrose Avenue), with apartments and parking underway on the east side of the roadway.

Even though there's been a labor shortage for construction workers in North Texas, especially subcontractors, Rogers-O'Brien Senior Superintendent Steve Pesnell said the firm hasn't had a problem hiring wood framers, concrete mixers and electricians to work on this project.

"We have a loyal sub-base and we have a lot of relationships over the decades," said Pesnell, who has worked on big corporate jobs such as the EDS campus, Cisco offices and many others in North Texas.

For Rogers-O'Brien, the hot Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market has turned into an "all-you-can-eat buffet" for construction companies and the company has had to be selective in accepting new jobs, he said.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

MultiView Renews Headquarters Lease at One Panorama Center in Irving

One-Panorama-Center-MultiView-Irving-Texas
One Panorama Center is located at 7701 Las Colinas Ridge in Irving.

IRVING, TEXAS — Transwestern has represented MultiView Inc. in a 109,610-square-foot lease renewal for the digital marketing company’s corporate headquarters at One Panorama Center, located at 7701 Las Colinas Ridge in Irving. Transwestern’s John Fulton represented MultiView in the transaction, while Duane Henley and Nathan Durham, also of Transwestern, represented the building owner, Regent Properties. One Panorama Center is an eight-story, Class A office tower. The property is 10 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and near MacArthur Boulevard. Regent acquired the property in October 2014 and has implemented interior and exterior improvements since the purchase.

Haisten Willis for REBusiness Online



Hunt Southwest to Build Spec Industrial Building in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — Hunt Southwest Real Estate Development has acquired a 16.7-acre site in the Riverbend West Business Park in northeast Fort Worth and will develop a 301,500-square-foot spec warehouse and distribution facility at the site. Construction on Riverbend West Distribution Center, located at 2101 Reeves Place, will commence immediately with completion expected in the third quarter of 2016. The facility will feature 32-foot clear heights, cross-dock configuration, an ESFR sprinkler system and dedicated trailer parking positions. Holt Lunsford Commercial’s Donnie Rohde, Chance Olin and George Jennings will lease the industrial property to prospective tenants.


Haisten Willis for REBusiness Online

This year's Best Real Estate Deals awards expected to be biggest yet


Dallas Farmers Market was the winner last year for Community Impact.

Dallas-Fort Worth commercial real estate veterans across the board say 2015 was one of the best years yet in their 30-, 40- and sometimes 50-year real estate careers (yes, I'm looking at you, Herb Weitzman).

The activity in the industry has increased as the region has been named one of the top investment markets in the world by the Urban Land Institute andPricewaterhouseCoopers.

There's been a long list of real estate accomplishments in 2015. Here are just a few that closed last year:
The hopping real estate market isn't expected to go away anytime soon, either.
"Dallas is a hot market with a number of investors looking at a number opportunities," said John Crawford, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc., as he was re-capping some of the big deals that have landed in the city's central business district.

Link to full article here

Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Construction begins on multimillion-dollar redo of former Belo Building

The ground floor of 400 Record St. will feature a glass lobby that opens up to the sidewalk in downtown Dallas.

Even though Thomas Hartland-Mackie has been leading City Electric Supply from Dallas for the past decade, the Orlando, Florida-based wholesale electric supply distributor had yet to have a formal headquarters.

That all changed when Hartland-Mackie, the company's CEO, acquired the 17-story former Belo Building at 400 S. Record St. in downtown Dallas in October 2014.

"I came to realize the gained benefits and efficiencies brought by bringing our centralized functions together," Hartland-Mackie told the Dallas Business Journal.
"We started looking for a larger location for our corporate headquarters in Dallas," he added. "A good friend (Grant Pruitt) at Cushman & Wakefield brought this to our attention and I was excited about the potential — not only in the building — but the immediate neighborhood around the Omni."

City Electric Supply currently has offices in Orlando, Boston, Charleston, South Carolina and Dallas. In the next 12 months, City Electric will move about 200 people (the majority relocating employees) within six floors of the 17-story office tower, which is the company's new headquarters.

Construction is underway on the major multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the tower, which is being marketed as 400 Record. Hartland-Mackie is hosting a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday to mark the occasion.

Link to full article here

Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Exclusive: Four Fortune 1000 companies considering headquarters moves to Dallas area

Four major companies are seriously considering relocating their headquarters to Dallas or its surrounding suburbs, a top regional economic development officer told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive interview.

Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, declined to name the companies, but said that the combined total of jobs at play would be several thousand. While none of the moves are a certainty, the Dallas region is on the short list for all four.
Dale Petroskey Photo  
Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of Dallas Regional Chamber

“We’ve made it to the finals with these companies,” he said. “A lot of people want to move here.”

The four are all Fortune 1000 companies, and they have different timeframes for their moves, he said. One is expected to decide whether North Texas makes the cut in the first half of this year. The Fortune list is made up of the 1,000 largest American companies, ranked by revenues.

The Dallas area has attracted 70 corporate headquarters in the past five years, including 35 from California.

When companies do choose North Texas, the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the region’s central geographic location and its reasonable tax and regulatory environment often contribute to the decision, Petroskey said. North Texas’s reputation as a place where employers can find people who aren’t afraid of hard work often seals the deal, he said.

“This is a more traditional workforce than other places, and I think employers like that,” Petroskey said. “Our community is filled with traditional hard-working people.”

Bill Hethcock for Dallas Business Journal

Lakeside mixed-use project coming in Denton County town of Little Elm


The mixed-use development will have 242 apartments and will take 16 to 18 months to build. (Palladium USA)
The mixed-use development will have 242 apartments and will take 16 to 18 months to build. (Palladium USA)
Dallas developer Palladium USA International is building a mixed-use development in the Denton County community of Little Elm.
The project – built in partnership with NE Development – will 6,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 203,090 square feet of apartments homes in 4-story buildings.The 7.4-acre project is at the southeast corner of Eldorado Parkway and Main Street, across from Hydrous Wake Park.
“Our goal is to create high-value, destination developments that build community,” Tom Huth, president and CEO of Palladium USA, said in a statement. “With the tremendous growth in Little Elm and surrounding communities, along with the huge appeal and amenities of the Lakefront District, we see tremendous potential in this new development.”
The mixed-use development will have 242 apartments and will take 16 to 18 months to build.
Humphreys & Partners Architects designed the development.
Palladium USA is the same developer building a 30-story, 312-apartment tower in the $2 billion Legacy West development in West Plano.
The developer has also built high-rise apartments in Far North Dallas and Las Colinas.

Steve Brown for Biz Beat Blog

Mercedes-Benz to develop new regional distribution facility in Grapevine

Mercedes-Benz USA, which is in the process of moving its headquarters to Atlanta, plans to develop a new regional parts distribution warehouse and a new Learning & Performance Center along Lakeside Parkway in Grapevine.

The Learning & Performance Center is relocating from Houston to Grapevine and will accommodate the ongoing training of Mercedes-Benz dealership technicians from throughout the southwestern United States.

MBUSA PDC (1)
The new 254,000-square-foot parts distribution warehouse will sit along Lakeside Parkway in Grapevine

The two facilities are slated to sit on more than 31 acres along Lakeside Parkway at Enterprise Road in Grapevine, which is the northern-most part of a 185-acre tract of land once owned by former Texas Rangers player Rafael Palmeiro.The City of Grapevine purchased the acreage for $29.5 million.

Grapevine is creating a corporate magnet upon the land, which will also house Kubota Tractor Corp. upon completion of the facility. Mayor William D. Tate said the new Mercedes-Benz USA facilities and Kubota Tractor Corp.'s headquarters will boost the community with hundreds of new jobs.

The parts distribution center — which is one of six of its kind in the country — will total about 254,000 square feet of space and will parcel out parts throughout the southwest United States.

Once staffed, the 59,000-square-foot training facility will employ 50 full-time employees and will be able to train 150 to 200 technicians per week.

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Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Texas adds 24,900 jobs in December; DFW jobless rate falls

The state of Texas added 24,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in December, the 10th straight month of job increases in the state, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

That was the good news. The bad news is that the state’s unemployment rate rose to 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in November. That’s still below the national average of 5 percent.

texas flag waving
Texas saw 24,900 jobs added in December.


“Texas finished 2015 on a strong note in December with employers adding 166,900 jobs over the year across a diverse range of industries,” TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said in the news release.

According to the TWC, professional and business services employment saw an additional 12,500 jobs in December, that sector’s largest over-the-month gain since November 2014.

The second largest employment gain over the month was the Education and Health Services industry, which saw 7,400 jobs added.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area recorded an unemployment rate in December of 3.7 percent, which was down from 4 percent in November and in December 2014.

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By Lance Murray for Dallas Business Journal