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

Texas A&M site copy

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

Far North Dallas office project sells with remodeling planned

A Far North Dallas office building has changed plans and the new owners plan $2 million in upgrades.
Dallas-based Prattco International LP said Wednesday it has acquired Prestonwood Place, a 96,100-square-foot, 5-story office project at 15400 Knoll Trail near the Dallas North Tollway.
Built in 1983, the metal and glass office building will be renamed Knoll Trail Crossing.
Prattco said it plans to update the exterior and outside of the building and do new landscaping.
“This transaction is an ideal acquisition for Prattco International LP and an opportunity to return an older asset back into the class A product sector,” Prattco Partner Lance Bozman said in a statement.
Prattco has hired O’Brien Architects to handle the redesign and renovations and work will start in September.
The building was originally constructed by Hines and is 56 percent leased.
CASE Commercial Real Estate Partners has been hired to lease and manage the property.

Prattco has been in business since 2007 and owns apartments and commercial properties.

Steve Brown- Dallas News