Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bowles High on Design District

An office-retail project and town homes are coming soon to a Design District site where a rundown, vacant warehouse now stands.
The John Bowles Co. is set to break ground in June on a $3 million, 28,000-square-foot building at 921 Industrial Blvd., southwest of Industrial and Payne Street. It will be ready for occupancy by Dec. 1, said John Bowles, the firm's president and founder.
Bowles expects about half of the initial building to be office space and half to be retail. He also plans to build eight townhomes on a 1.5-acre site along Payne Street, but the timing on the residential component will depend on demand, he said.
The architect on the project is Dallas-based Carrell, Poole & Yost; the development is out to bid for a general contractor, Bowles said.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Great Gulf Group of Toronto Plans Hotel and Residence High-Rise on Turtle Creek

A Canadian developer is working on plans for a new high-rise on Turtle Creek.
Toronto-based Great Gulf Group has tied up property at the corner of Fairmount Street and Turtle Creek Boulevard, where it hopes to build a combination residential and hotel building.
The prime corner lot is now occupied by a low-rise office complex.
"We are selling that property to a Canadian group that is going through the zoning process," said Dallas real estate broker Newt Walker. "They plan on doing a small hotel with residences on top."
Great Gulf Group is one of Canada's largest housing firms and is building condominiums in several locations in North America. The company has a $165 million condo project going up in Denver.
A spokeswoman in Great Gulf's Toronto office did not return phone calls seeking details about the Dallas project.
Great Gulf Group also owns Ashton Woods Homes, which builds houses in the Dallas area and other major U.S. markets.
The new tower is the latest such development planned along Turtle Creek near Uptown.
The office complex it will replace was built in 1959 as the regional office of Mutual of New York. By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Criterion Property Company Announces Prototype Apartment Community in Uptown Dallas

Criterion Property Company announced today the groundbreaking of the company's first development of its prototype Resort Living Series in the Dallas market. The Monterey-Uptown Resort Living™ is comprised of 371 apartment homes located on 3.5 acres just north of West Village on McKinney Avenue. This community is ideally located within walking distance of shopping, dining and employment venues as well as the DART Cityplace light rail station. Criterion's President, Pretlow Riddick, explained the prototype launch: "We vacation at resorts for the feeling of an escape and to enjoy the varied settings and amenities offered. We're applying that concept to our business by creating a Resort Living Series where our apartment residents can enjoy these attributes on a daily basis."
The Monterey is a five- and six-story midrise building over two levels of concrete parking. The architectural style of the building was influenced by iconic cities on the West Coast. "Our main goal for each aspect of the design was to create a resort-like environment for our apartment residents," stated Jason Leeds, Vice President - Texas Region Partner. Some of the amenities at The Monterey include: free Wi-Fi Internet access in public amenity areas, an outdoor kitchen overlooking a waterfall pool and Acapulco wading lounge, a multi-leveled wood deck with organic-shaped arbors offering collective and individual outdoor seating, extensive landscaping, outdoor fireplace, outdoor grilling centers, "the cave" -- a covered outdoor living space with plasma TVs overlooking two courtyards with fountains, gardens and seating areas.
Project interior finishes and features include distinctive one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans, custom millwork designs at each entry door, interior arches, contemporary custom millwork and cabinetry, spacious nine- and ten-foot ceilings, wood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, spacious walk-in closets and Berber carpet in all bedrooms.
Key Bank Real Estate Capital provided debt financing for the development.
Criterion's investment plans center in the cities surrounding areas of Dallas, Austin, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, New York metro area, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. In these areas, Criterion will seek to identify multifamily development opportunities in "smart growth" areas, which are mixed-use areas of residential, retail and office space already served by key infrastructure components such as mass transit systems.
About Criterion: Criterion Property Company (http://www.criteriondp.com/) is a real estate operating company specializing in the development, construction management, asset management and disposition of multifamily communities. Dedicated to conducting all business with the utmost honesty and integrity, Criterion's mission is to enhance and maximize the value of its assets for partners, lenders, investors, and employees. With offices in Dallas and Boston, Criterion is actively seeking multifamily investment opportunities in the Northeast, Southeast and Texas.
Criterion Development Partners, through a partnership with The General Investment & Development Companies (http://generalinvestment.com/) (GID), also operates Criterion Property Company, L.P. Criterion Development Partners contributes to the partnership's expertise in development, construction management, asset management and disposition of assets. GID, a privately held pension fund advisor based in Boston, serves as Criterion Property Company's primary investment and financial partner, with and on behalf of its pension fund clients.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clark Consulting Bumps HQ Office to 75,000 SF


Clark Consulting Inc. has bumped its headquarters office to 75,000 sf in Downtown Dallas, adding 16,511 sf in a temporary lease to accommodate the shutdown of a 100-employee service center in Bloomington, MN. The class A space will house 75 to 90 employees, a mix of relocations and new tenants.
"This was a quick deal and it's great to be working on a deal that increases jobs in Downtown Dallas," says John Amend of locally based Amend Group, who represented Clark Consulting in its search for the extra room. He tells GlobeSt.com that Clark Consulting got its wish to expand at the 843,728-sf high rise at 2100 Ross Ave., but "we looked around at some other buildings because 2100 Ross was very, very short on available space."
Clark has 190 employees in its Dallas headquarters on floors 22 and 23 of the 33-story building. The new office will take up part of the 26th floor while Clark Consulting's team patiently waits and negotiates for another full floor or more, Amend says.
Chris Mitchell, senior vice president of Clark Consulting, says it was planned from the onset that the service center consolidation would land in Dallas. "The Dallas office is clearly larger," he explains. "We've had a long presence in Dallas and have key employees in Dallas that we wanted to retain so the most cost efficient move for us was to consolidate into the Dallas office."
Mitchell says Clark Consulting has been at 2100 Ross Ave. since 1994, with its existing headquarters lease good until 2016. "It's our home. Our main concern was to get the temporary space as quickly as possible, which is what we've done," he says, confirming talks are ongoing for additional space in the high rise. "This will do us for awhile, but we've got to look at our long-term needs and decide what's best for us." The 41-year-old company has had an office in Dallas since the late 1970s or early 1980s.
Celeste Fowden, vice president of CB Richard Ellis, represents the high rise's New York City-based owners, SMA Equities and Moinian Group, who will have nearly 200,000 sf open up in July 2009 when Ernst & Young LLP relocates to One Victory Park. Mitchell says "there are various options" in play for Clark Consulting's future at 2100 Ross Ave. And, part of the E&Y space, undoubtedly, is on the watch list.
Clark Consulting's new service center will go live May 1, thanks to an 18-month lease. The phased-in transition is expected to continue through year's end. The company's Bloomington service center is located at 3600 American Blvd. West, about five miles from the Mall of the Americas. The firm has 10 other offices in the US and will keep a location in Bloomington. Owned by Netherlands-based Aegon Co., Clark Consulting is a leading company for strategic financing and investment solutions for unfunded liabilities of executive and employee benefits.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dallas' Turtle Creek area to get St. Regis hotel

Dallas will get another luxury hotel and condo tower – a $200 million St. Regis Hotel & Residences in the Turtle Creek area, the developer said Friday.

Los Angeles-based Foch Investments/Development plans a 150-room hotel and 70 to 80 condos at Cedar Springs Road and Carlisle Street between the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and the Rosewood Crescent Hotel, said principal David Thurman.

It's the site of an unbuilt Sofitel hotel, one of several local hotel plans that languished after the 9/11 attacks. Foch bought the land in 2005.

The question is whether the St. Regis will be 15 stories or up to 24 stories tall. Foch has asked the city to increase the entire size of the building and its height to 299 feet from 196 feet, Mr. Thurman said.

On April 3, the City Plan Commission denied the rezoning request. Some nearby property owners opposed the hotel's extended height, said David Cossum, the city's assistant director of planning.

In May, Foch will seek approval for its request from the Dallas City Council.

No matter what, "we're building the hotel. We have signed agreements and our financing is in place," Mr. Thurman said. It will be the eighth U.S. hotel of the exclusive St. Regis brand, he said.

Rooms will cost upward of $375 a night, making the St. Regis one of the priciest hotels in the city. Amenities will include a spa and a signature restaurant like Adour, the Alain Ducasse restaurant at the St. Regis New York.

Foch hopes to start construction by the end of the year or in early 2009, he said. He wants the hotel to open in late 2010 or early 2011.

Dallas is seeing a surge of luxury lodgings. The 129-room Joule hotel will open this summer, and a 150-room Mandarin Oriental is planned for Victory Park. The 170-room Stoneleigh Hotel reopened last month, the 218-room Ritz-Carlton Dallas opened last summer, and the 252-room W Dallas Victory opened in 2006.

Some observers are anxious about adding so many rooms so fast. Dallas hotel occupancy has fallen to 61 percent from 65 percent in the past year, according to PKF Consulting.

"If you talk to hoteliers in the market, they'll tell you that they're struggling with what they have and they don't need competition," said Jeremy Stone, the Dallas hotel consultant for PKF. But the St. Regis could give Dallas more exposure, he said.

Foch principal Richard Doherty doesn't think Dallas needs several luxury hotels to become a luxury market. "We're not oversupplied in Dallas yet," he said. "I think you have a good critical mass building. That will put Dallas on the map, and it will bring a lot more convention business back to Dallas."

Patton Boggs Finalizes 114,000-SF Relo Deal

After spending more than two years shopping the deal, Patton Boggs LLP has signed a 114,000-sf lease for the under-construction 2000 McKinney in Uptown. Sources say the move-in date of January 2010 coincides with the firm's lease expiration for 104,000 sf in Trammell Crow Center.
The law firm's brokerage team from Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. is out of the country and unavailable for comment on the 4.5-floor deal. Industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that the class AA lease's term is 10 years, possibly as much as 15, with signing incentives most likely coming from the rate and tenant improvements rather than months of free rent. Law firm finish-outs typically cost $70 per sf to $100 per sf, excluding furniture and fixtures. In terms of rate, Uptown's new buildings are hovering $35 per sf.
The deal is one of, if not the, largest signings to date this year in the Downtown-Uptown marketplace. C&W's executive directors Greg Biggs, Randy Cooper and Rick Hughes and associate Travis Young were the tenant reps. Lincoln Property Co. senior vice president Elliot Prieur and vice president Jeff Montgomery are the point men for the Uptown project, being developed by Dallas-based partners, Lincoln and Corrigan Properties Inc. The 442,355-sf, 21-story office tower is slated to deliver in September.
The Patton Boggs deal has been kept relatively quiet despite the fierce competition to land the prestigious law firm. Sources speculate the length of time invested into the decision-making process simply wore down brokers. The irony is Downtown and Uptown rates have gone up since the process began, with the gap narrowing to just a few dollars' difference. Trammell Crow Center's quoted rate is $32 per sf plus electric, according to the North Texas Data Exchange.
It's a given that Trammell Crow Center's team tried to hold onto the law firm, but the 1.1-million-sf, 50-story high rise is 98% leased so expansion options were limited. Patton Boggs landed in the high rise in 2000, starting out with sublease space and expanding to floors 28, 29, 30 and 32. With 22 months before the floors go dark, it's a safe conclusion that the trophy space's remarketing will begin ASAP. CB Richard Ellis' senior vice president Dennis Barnes, vice president Worthey Wiles III and associate David Liggett hold the third-party assignment for the owner.
"Patton Boggs' growth in Dallas during the past 10 years created the need to consider a new location, which drew significant interest from the Downtown and Uptown real estate communities," Biggs says in a press release issued last night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Callison Takes One Floor With 12-Year Lease

Design firm Callison will shift from Uptown to Downtown in mid-June, signing a 12-year lease for a 23,177-sf floor in the 1.2-million-sf Fountain Place. The deal has gone full circle in three months.
Callison initially looked only at Uptown, but then turned its sights to Downtown too, pitting new buildings against existing and finally giving the nod to the 26th floor of the 60-story landmark at 1445 Ross Ave., according to John Amend, owner of Dallas-based Amend Group. He teamed with J.W. Amend to represent. Callison, which be doubling its office with the move from 2325 N. Akard St.
Amend says the dealmakers were the high rise's quality, location and amenities like plentiful parking. "They ended up liking Fountain Place better than any place," he says.
Amend tells GlobeSt.com that Callison got "a healthy allowance" to retool its floor, one of three under consideration. "It was a market deal," he says, adding the confidentiality pact bars him from discussing financials. He acknowledges the signed deal does have bumps in the rate, which would be expected due to the length of the lease. In addition, Callison will take charge of its own space planning and construction management. The building's quoted rate is $24 per sf to $30 per sf plus electric.
Kirby White, leasing director for Crescent Real Estate Equities LP, says the floor is part of the 300,000 sf that locally based Hunt Co. vacated in December 2007, creating the trophy's largest opening in decades. And, he adds, Callison is the first architectural firm to set up shot in the building since shortly after it opened in 1984.
With Hunt at its new Downtown headquarters, White has a 215,000-sf contiguous block in the mid-rise elevator bank and another 35,000 sf scattered on other floors, also mid-rise space. He says the pipeline is holding two expansions for 5,000 sf and 8,500 sf and two more deals that would push the in-play total to 20,000 sf. The Callison signing took occupancy to 68%.
White says there are no renewals for four years. "That's a good thing because every lease will be net positive absorption," he points out. "We have good activity, but it's not likely to be all one deal. We're optimistic there's one deal out there that will make a significant difference and we'll fill in with others around it."
White credits IM Pei's iconic design, his only one in the Downtown, and the 1,000-space, underground three-level parking area and 343-spot surface lot as playing integral roles in Callison's decision. "An architectural firm appreciates good architecture," he says. Callison, totaling 800 professionals, also has offices in Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles, Shanghai, London and Mexico City.
White says Fountain Place has weathered similar, if not worse, economic storms in the past. It was 76% leased in 1990 and it hit 95% by 1995, staying at that level and sometimes pushing 99% occupancy in the past 12 years. "The comfort level I have is it's fared well in a much more difficult time," he says. "It has a good track record."