Friday, March 30, 2012

Trammell Crow working on Legacy office tower

Steve Brown
Developer Trammell Crow and the owner of the former Robb & Stucky furniture store on the Dallas North Tollway in Plano are planning an office project on the property.
Developer Trammell Crow Co. is preparing to enter the hot tollway office market with a new project in Legacy Business Park.
Crow has formed a partnership with the owner of the former Robb & Stucky furniture store at the tollway and Legacy Drive.
“The venture contemplates redeveloping the property, which is located on a 6.2-acre site in Plano, Texas, into up to two class A office buildings,” property owner One Liberty Properties Inc. said this month in a financial filing.
Crow officials said Wednesday that it is too early to talk about the project.
But real estate brokers said that Crow is proposing to build a tower with as much as 500,000 square feet on the property in the Legacy Town Center development.
Crow has filed with the state to set up a partnership called TC Legacy Tower, records show...
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Dallas-area office development ready for restart

Hall Arts Center: The 17-story, 500,000-square-foot office tower is planned on Flora Street across from the Meyerson Symphony Center. A project of Hall Financial Group, the building was designed by HKS Architects.
Forecasts are calling for an end to the drought in North Texas office construction.
But will a potential deluge in office developments turn out to be just a trickle?
Almost a dozen multitenant office projects are on the drawing boards for the Dallas area, planned mostly for Uptown, downtown and along the Dallas North Tollway in Plano and Frisco.
With the Dallas area at the top of the list of the country’s fastest-growing economies and employment centers, office demand is likely to jump during the next couple of years.
But getting money to construct buildings is still tough, developers say.
“It’s still very difficult to get any kind of speculative office financing,” said developer Randy Heady, who’s building a six-story multitenant building in Legacy Business Park in West Plano. “Most developers can’t make the numbers work yet.”
Without a large amount of leasing from business tenants, Heady said, developers will have to put up a chunk of cash before an office groundbreaking.
“You have to put in 40 or 50 percent equity,” he said. “And you have to have a really great site.”
Other developers scrambling to get projects under way in the tollway corridor include Trammell Crow Co., Hines and Granite Properties.
Granite is marketing a fourth building in its Granite Park project at the tollway and State Highway 121.
Granite chief operating officer Greg Fuller said only some of the office buildings being talked about will actually be started.
“About half of the smaller projects and maybe one of the larger projects, if pre-leased in 2012,” Fuller said. “Who knows what 2013 will bring?”
Ran Holman of Hines is more optimistic. He predicts about half of the office buildings now being pondered in the Dallas area will make it to groundbreaking.
But rents have to come up, he said...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Recent Commercial Transactions

An investor has purchased from KTR Capital Partners a 450,000-square-foot industrial building at 2301 SouthPointe in Lancaster. Cannon Green and Bob Hagewood of Stream Realty Partners brokered the sale.
Raymond Berry sold 28 acres of land to the city of Dallas on Berry Road in Mesquite. The property will be used for a new water line. David Little was the broker.
A Fort Worth investor has purchased a 6,768-square-foot restaurant building at 1623 W. Henderson Drive in Cleburne. Elizabeth Allen and Megan Nabholtz with The Weitzman Group brokered the sale with Glenn A. Hodge.
A New Orleans investor, Dallas LLC, purchased the 360-unit Cliff Park Village apartments at 220 East Overton Road in Dallas. Peter Hartnett of the Dallas office of Hendricks & Partners brokered the sale.
A local investor has purchased the 164-unit Lexington Apartments at 201 W. Tarrant Road in Grand Prairie. Sam Pettigrew with The Cantrell Co. & Partners brokered the sale
Fine Line Diversified Realty has purchased 4.5 acres of land at 8640 N. Beach Street north of Fort Worth. The property will be held for future development. Pat Patman of Patman Realty Co. negotiated the sale for Sterling Bank.
Auto Parts Distribution International LLC has leased 310,000 square feet of industrial space at Pioneer 360 Business Center on State Highway 360 in Arlington. Cannon Green and Bates Arnot with Stream Realty Partners negotiated the lease with Craig Jones with NAI Robert Lynn Co.
U.T.U. Wholesale Inc.  has leased 61,084 square feet of office-warehouse space at 12018 Corporate Drive in Dallas. Dan Lawson with Proterra Properties Inc. negotiated the lease with Sandy Kee of Kee Commercial Realty.  
Arbor Contract Carpet Inc. has leased 54,047 square feet of office-warehouse space at 2205 E. Pioneer Drive in Irving.  Robert Blankinship and Jim Svidron of NAI Robert Lynn Co. negotiated the lease with Chris Bly with Proterra Properties.
Shivan Ibrahim has leased 24,516 square feet of retail space at 3347-3415 W. Walnut in Garland.  Tom Heraty of NAI Robert Lynn Co. negotiated the lease with Austin Schenkel of The Weitzman Group.
Prism Microwave leased 12,294 square feet at 440 Wrangler in Coppell. Blake Kendrick with Stream Realty Trust negotiated the lease with Alex Payne with Axis Realty.
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Denver investor forecloses on Comerica Bank Tower

 Denver investor forecloses on Comerica Bank Tower

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An investor has foreclosed on part of the debt on Dallas' Comercia Bank Tower.

A Denver real estate investor said Wednesday that it has foreclosed on part of the debt on one of Dallas’ biggest office towers.
Dividend Capital Total Realty Trust said that it has foreclosed on a $20 million loan it held on the 60-storyComerica Bank Tower at 1717 Main St.
The primary mortgage on the 1.5 million-square-foot skyscraper has been handled by special debt servicers since last spring.
Dividend Capital said that it is the 100 percent owner of the titleholder of the office tower since it foreclosed on its nonperforming mezzanine loan.
“We intend to engage the mortgage note lender in negotiations to modify the terms of the senior loan agreement,” Dividend Capital said in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “The results of such negotiations with the senior lender will materially impact our ability to own and operate Comerica Bank Tower.”
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dallas' Mill Creek tops in apartment starts in 2012

A Dallas-based apartment developer tops the list of busiest nationwide builders.
Mill Creek Residential Trust is ranked as the number one apartment unit builder for 2012 by MultiFamily Executive magazine.
With a planned 6,900 units for this year, Mill Creek edges out Atlanta-based Wood Partners for planned apartment starts this year, the apartment industry trade publication says.
Mill Creek - which was formed in 2010 by former top officers of Trammell Crow Residential - is the only Texas apartment builder on the list.
In the Dallas area, Mill Creek is working on a 378-unit rental home community in the Victory Park project northwest of downtown Dallas.
Mill Creek did about 2,662 units in 2011, according to MultiFamily Executive.
And the developer has almost $1 billion in deals in the works, company CEO Charles Brindell said at the National Association of Home Builders conference in January.

Real Estate Editor

Dallas-Fort Worth home foreclosure filings for April are down 22 percent

Foreclosure filings are down by more than 20 percent this year in North Texas.
Home foreclosure filings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are down 22 percent for April from a year ago.
And so far there is no sign of an expected bump in home foreclosure postings.
Lenders have posted 4,013 D-FW homes for forced sale at next month’s auction, according to data from Foreclosure Listing Service Inc. It’s the 14th consecutive month that foreclosure filings in North Texas have declined from year-ago levels.
So far in 2012, foreclosure filings are 21 percent lower than in the first four months of 2011.
Analysts have been expecting a jump in foreclosure postings since lenders reached a settlement with state attorneys general earlier this year that allows them to move ahead with some foreclosures that were delayed.
“I thought we would see the increase this month,” said George Roddy, president of Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service, which tracks the filings. “From stories I hear, there are still lots of properties out there that haven’t been touched yet by the lenders...

Fairfield Residential plans West End apartment project

An apartment project is being planned for a vacant block in downtown Dallas’ West End district.
Construction of the rental community could be a big boost for the entertainment district in the northwest corner of downtown.
Developer Fairfield Residential has contracted to purchase the lot of nearly 3 acres at Houston Street and Ross Avenue.
The property is now used for parking and previously was the site of a railway freight depot.
The 2006 demolition of the depot resulted in ongoing litigation by the city of Dallas with former owners.
“At this point, the city would like to see the site developed,” said Dallas real estate broker Newt Walker, who has been marketing the block for sale.
Walker said since the litigation is with a previous owner of the property, TCI West End Inc., it doesn’t prevent Fairfield Residential from purchasing and developing the property.
“They are doing design studies to determine what they are going to put on the site,” Walker said.
The planning, purchase and city approvals for the project will still take several months.
Fairfield Residential’s Scott Jackson said his firm plans to complete its purchase of the land “hopefully in the fall.”
“However, there are several issues that must be resolved first,” Jackson said...

Real Estate Editor

Uplift Education buys Deep Ellum building for Dallas charter school

Hudson Peters
The building at 2625 Elm St. has housed a warehouse, nightclub and office space and now will be a school.

A Deep Ellum building that started life as a manufacturing complex, then housed a nightclub and offices, has just been purchased for a school.
Real estate broker Hudson Peters Commercial LLC spent more than a year seeking a buyer for the two-story brick building at 2625 Elm St. just east of downtown Dallas.
After a zoning challenge and meetings with neighborhood groups, charter school Uplift Education has finally completed its purchase of the property, according to Hudson Peter’s vice president Cincha Kostman.
“We showed it to a lot of people,” Kostman said Monday. “We had law firms and advertising companies look at it.
“We had one potential buyer look at it for a boutique hotel,” she said. “We think the planned school will be a great use for the building and for the entire neighborhood.”
The city of Dallas recently approved the charter school’s use of the 85,000-square-foot building after reassuring Deep Ellum property owners and businesses that were concerned about locating the educational facility there.
The building was most recently used by Baylor Healthcare System, which acquired the old warehouse in 1988 and remodeled it for general office use...

Camden Property to build Victory Park apartments

Camden Property's Farmers Market apartments are downtown Dallas' largest residential community.
A Houston-based apartment builder that constructed downtown Dallas’ largest rental housing community is working on a project in Victory Park.
Camden Property Trust is negotiating to purchase the 6-acre parking lot just north of American Airlines Center, property brokers say.
The property owner, Hillwood Investments, said last week that it will soon move the parking there to make way for the apartment construction.
Hillwood so far has not identified the apartment builder in talks to purchase the land on Houston Street northwest of downtown Dallas.
But Dallas property brokers familiar with the deal say Camden Property is the company that hopes to build the Victory Park project.
Camden Property, a real estate investment trust that owns and operates almost 70,000 apartments across the country, built the Camden Farmers Market apartments on the southeast corner of downtown. With more than 900 units, the rental community is the largest single housing complex in the central business district and cost more than $100 million.
Camden officials would not discuss their plans for Victory Park or confirm the pending purchase.
“Unfortunately, we can’t comment on transactions which have not already closed,” Camden vice president Kim Callahan said Tuesday in an email. “If we do acquire that land parcel, I will certainly let you know.”
Camden owns more than a dozen apartment communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including projects it acquired last year in the Dallas Design District, in Frisco and in Grapevine.
The Victory Park purchase still must be finalized with Hillwood, and it will require city of Dallas approvals to construct the apartments on the block.
In preparation for the project, Hillwood has notified the operators of the American Airlines Center that it plans to relocate parking on the tract to other Victory Park locations.
The arena operators have asked for the move to be delayed until after the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars’ seasons conclude this summer.

Downtown Dallas medical services firm leases big Galleria office

DMN files
EmCare has rented more than 80,000 square feet in the Galleria North office complex in Far North Dallas.
A medical service firm based in downtown Dallas is moving north to the Galleria area.
EmCare Inc. — now located in the Comerica Bank Tower on Main Street — has rented more than 80,000 square feet of office space in the Galleria North Tower I building just east of the Dallas North Tollway.
The 16-story office tower at 13737 Noel Road is next to the Dallas Galleria shopping mall.
Building owner Franklin Street Properties Corp. in financial filings this week said that the multifloor lease in the office high-rise will start in August.
First EmCare will occupy 45,440 square feet in the building, and it will add an additional 37,532 square feet of office space in the Galleria North Tower 18 months later. The lease runs through 2024.
EmCare spokeswoman Jennifer Whitus said the company will shift its offices from downtown Dallas to the building this summer. “Yes, we are planning to move in August,” Whitus said Tuesday.
About 140 EmCare workers will be making the move from downtown.
When fully occupied, EmCare will be leasing more than 30 percent of the building, which was constructed in 1999. Franklin Street — a real estate investment trust — has owned the property since 2004.
EmCare will receive almost $3 million from the landlord to remodel the office space...

Downtown Dallas' decaying Statler Hilton may be in for a bright future

FILE 2008/Staff photo
The Statler Hilton has floors and walls made from poured concrete - which will be a challenge in its redo.
More than any other building, the historic but decaying Statler Hilton on Commerce Street has symbolized downtown's longtime stagnation and the enormous challenge of turning it into the vibrant heart the city needs.
Now, after years of inaction, there is new hope the Statler may be restored - perhaps sooner than anyone thought possible.
Mayor Tom Leppert and council member Ron Natinsky confirmed that the Statler's owners have approached City Hall about drawing up a restoration plan that would preserve the building's well-known facade.
Leppert said engineers and architects are looking at scenarios for the building, and City Hall expects to see plans in early 2010.
The scenarios being discussed include some mix of retail, residential and hotel space. But Leppert said he expects the project to lean heavily toward residential.
Richard Chiu, president of Warwick International Hotels, holds the building along with family members in Hong Kong.
According to Leppert and Natinsky, Chiu, who lives in Paris, is expected to take over full control of the building soon.
Ending inertia
At City Hall, there is hope that shift could help shake the torpor that...