Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Redevelopment Moves Ahead at Former Lovers Apartment Site

The Signature Pointe apartments on Lovers Lane were demolished last year after another developer’s plans were delayed and the 13-acre property was foreclosed on.

A northeast Dallas redevelopment that’s been in the works for more than five years is finally moving forward.
The site of the old Signature Pointe apartments on Lovers Lane just east of Greenville will soon be developed into two apartment communities and a small retail and office building.
Builders Carbon Landmark Development and Tradition Senior Living are splitting up the almost 13-acre development site at Lovers and Matilda Street.
“We are selling the eastern 4.2 acres to Carbon, and they are gong to build a very nice high-end multifamily development,” said Tradition CEO Jonathan Perlman. His company will keep the rest to develop as a senior living community.
Perlman said Carbo could break ground for its 336 unit project in the next 45 days. “And we would hope to be about 60 days behind them,” constructing a senior housing project with about 300 units, he said.
Perlman said the retail and commercial part of the project has been reduced to a small tract at the corner of Lovers and Matilda. The developers have filed development plans with the city and are working through some final changes. They’ve already received the zoning needed for the project.
Carbon is an experienced apartment builder that has done projects in Texas, Virginia, Colorado, Alabama and North Carolina. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Richardson developer has built in Lewisville, Las Colinas and Richardson. Its Lovers Lane rental community will be at Amesbury Drive, about two blocks east of Central Market. Redevelopment of the Signature Pointe property has been a long time coming.
Developers lined up in 2006 to buy the old apartments, which were built in 1973. Builder Fairfield Residential acquired the block of rental units and proposed replacing it with a combination of apartments and retail space. But the development faced strong zoning opposition from nearby residents, and Fairfield was delayed in redesigns for the complex. By the time developers were ready to move ahead with the project, the recession and credit crunch derailed the deal. Lenders foreclosed on the vacant Signature Pointe apartments in 2009. Tradition bought the property in 2010.
Demolition of the vacant apartments finally began last year. A fire destroyed part of the complex while demolition was under way.

Story By: Steve Brown
Dallas Morning News
Published 7/17/2012

Trammell Crow Unveils Plans for Goat Hill

Dallas’ storied Goat Hill, best known for its big waterfall beer sign and long-gone Baby Doe’s restaurant, may soon be developed for apartments: Trammell Crow Residential is seeking city approval to build 385 apartments and a restaurant on the vacant property that runs along the Katy Trail.
The almost five-acre site between Houston Street and Harry Hines Boulevard has one of the best views in central Dallas, overlooking Reverchon Park and the design and market center districts. Crow Holdings has owned the property since 2008. The Dallas firm is the equity investor in Trammell Crow Residential, one of the country’s most experienced apartment developers.
Crow Residential already has two apartment projects in the works in the Maple Avenue corridor and recently broke ground for a rental community in Las Colinas.This project is just the latest in a string of developments that have looked at Goat Hill, a rocky outcropping just north of downtown that’s bracketed by roadways.
The property was carved up for railway lines in the early 20th century. And in 1962, Pearl Beer constructed its landmark waterfall sign just below the hilltop, overlooking Stemmons Freeway. The sign was rebuilt just a few years ago. The Baby Doe’s Matchless Mine restaurant was built above the sign in the 1970s. But the restaurant became vacant and was knocked down more than five years ago.
With the popularity of the Katy Trail and development of nearby Victory Park, Goat Hill’s appeal with potential builders has increased. Crow Residential is calling the project “Skyline Apartments” in its filing with the city plan commission.
By: Steve Brown
From the Dallas Morning News

Uptown, Downtown Enjoy Growth Boom According to 2010 Census Data

Largely landlocked and mostly built out, Dallas couldn’t keep up with other Texas cities over the last 10 years, its population growing less than 1 percent between 2000 and 2010. But that doesn’t mean some parts of town weren’t booming.
Uptown, downtown and the Victory Park area saw surging growth over the decade, largely white and much of it from young, college-educated professionals.
The downtown population almost tripled, from 2,198 in 2000 to 6,069 in 2010. Uptown was up 80 percent, from 7,257 to 13,070; and Victory Park grew 60 percent, from 1,065 to 1,700.
But the lure of urban life drew people of all ages — professionals tired of commuting, families and empty nesters looking for a change from their suburban lifestyles.
“We’ve got empty nesters to people pushing baby carriages — families, singles, married couples and their pets, too,” said Patty Appleby of Classic Lofts and Spaces, which specializes in the growing Uptown-downtown real estate market.
“People like to be where they can be in a pedestrian-friendly environment,” Appleby said. “We have people moving downtown who don’t have cars. I never thought I’d see the day when that happened in Dallas.”
In some ways, the growing populations foreshadow the hopes of “Downtown Dallas 360 — A Pathway to the Future,” the city’s 116-page blueprint for rebuilding downtown.
The plan envisions a densely populated area of seven distinct neighborhoods, each pedestrian-friendly, fed by light rail and linked by streetcar, their streets alive with restaurants and stores.
Living units probably would be significantly smaller than the current suburban standard, but the plan’s proponents say the urban lifestyle and “changed expectations” among the new residents can overcome the obstacles.
Sure enough, some of the new arrivals to downtown, Uptown and Victory Park have abandoned the suburbs, tired of living behind privacy fences with little interaction with neighbors.
“I never lived downtown in any city before and wanted to see what it was like,” said Pat McAfee, a 50-something grandmother who was “tired of the conformity of the suburbs.”
“And the idea of living in a loft was really cool,” she added.
Plus, the people she meets downtown are much more outgoing than her suburban neighbors were, “more open, more welcoming.”
“This sounds really ’60s-ish,” she said, “but they’re just not as uptight downtown.”
Angelia Fuller, a single mom at 41 with a 19-month-old son, used to live in Plano. Now she’s at home in the heart of Uptown.
“Time is a commodity, and I was spending an hour to an hour and 15 minutes just driving from North Dallas to downtown,” said Fuller, who works in real estate and helps guide many of these newcomers to a new urban home. “I’m busy and, like so many other people, really like the idea of being able to walk out my front door and up the street to restaurants, to shops.”... Story Continued Here
From the Dallas Morning News:
Staff Writers
Published: 26 April 2011 11:28 PM

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Canadian Investor Buys Large Irving Office Complex

By: Steve Brown The Dallas Morning News
One of the largest blocks of empty office space in suburban Dallas has been snapped up by a Toronto investor.
A fund created by Brookfield Asset Management has purchased Citigroup’s three-building, 620,000-square-foot office campus in Las Colinas.
The 52-acre, four-story complex on Regent Drive opened in 2006 and once housed thousands of Citigroup workers in one of the financial firm’s largest regional office centers.
But with cutbacks that came with the financial crisis and recession, Citigroup now occupies only about a third of the buildings.
Brookfield plans to rent out the rest of the project to other businesses. The property is just south of LBJ Freeway.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bent Tree a First for California Firm

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – A Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm acquired a Far North Dallas office tower.
Regent Properties bought the eight-story, 166,023-sf Bent Tree Tower II at 16479 Dallas Pkwy. after LNR Partners took over the building from foreclosure in 2010. The tower was built in 1982.
Although Regent also owns the 1,050-acre Post Oaks residential community in Frisco, this is the company’s first office acquisition in Texas.
Regent Properties has hired Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate Services to manage the office building.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Investor's Future East of Dallas

TERRELL (Dallas Business Journal) – An undisclosed investor has purchased 1,123 acres in Terrell, about 25 miles east of Dallas.
Terrell 1132 LLC purchased the property near I-20 and FM 148 from Fortress Investments for an undisclosed sum. The investor plans to hold the land for future development.
Henry S. Miller Brokerage represented the seller. Robbie Patterson represented the buyer.

Texas Leads Nation in New Home Construction

WASHINGTON, D.C. (The AtlanticNAHB) – Talk about raising the roof.
According to the latest Census data, Texas gets credit for 20 percent of the increase in new homes built in the United States between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011.

Nationally, the number of new homes built during that period increased by 607,000. Texas accounted for 121,000 of those. That's three times as many as California, which came in second in the number of new homes built.
And that's not all.
The Atlantic reported that one-fifth of the 100 counties with the highest rate of growth in new housing are in Texas. Among those are Fort Bend, Rockwall, Hays, Wilson, Guadalupe, Williamson, Blanco and Parker, all of which landed in the top 25 in terms of growth rate.

Texas Tops Rest of Nation in Job Growth

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy gained 228,500 nonagricultural jobs from May 2011 to May 2012, an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent compared with 1.4 percent for the United States, according to the Real Estate Center’s latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy.
The state’s private (nongovernment) sector gained 279,800 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent compared with 1.8 percent for the nation’s private sector.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in May 2012 from 8.1 percent in May 2011. The nation’s rate decreased from 9 to 8.2 percent. The state’s actual unemployment rate in May 2012 was 6.5 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Odessa, Amarillo, Lubbock, San Angelo and Abilene.

Digital Realty Banks on Dallas Landmark

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – A landmark Dallas bank has been sold.
San Francisco-based Digital Realty Trust Inc. purchased the 91-year-old Federal Reserve Bank at Akard St. in downtown Dallas. The 269,600-sf historic building was converted to a data center in 1999 and is currently 85 percent leased.
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP arranged the sale to the datacenter developer, which owns 103 properties in 31 markets.

Texas Cities Among Nation's Most Business Friendly

ATLANTA (CNN Money) – Three Texas metros landed on CNN Money's list of seven most business-friendly U.S. cities.
Dallas-Fort Worth ranked second, San Antonio third and Austin fourth.
CNN Money said all three cities benefit from the "pro-business Texas atmosphere," including low taxes and tort reform measures that help shield companies from lawsuits.
Nabbing the top spot was Oklahoma City.
The rankings are based on responses from more than 6,000 small businesses that weighed in on a recent Thumbtack survey of the nation's 40 largest metro areas. The seven top cities rated highest on hiring, licensing, regulation, zoning and more.
To learn more about DFW, San Antonio, Austin and other Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas, check out our Market Reports. The reports are free, and each covers Census data, employment and unemployment, major industries, business climate, education, transportation and infrastructure issues, growth patterns and more.

Twin Forth Worth Towers Sold

FORT WORTH (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) – A San Diego real estate investment firm has picked up a pair of office towers in Fort Worth.
American Recovery Property Trust acquired the Western Place office complex on West Freeway from G REIT Liquidating Trust and NNN Realty Advisors for $32 million.
The two ten-story office buildings are on about 13 acres and were built in 1978.

Partners Pick Up Tower in Planned Land Grab

DALLAS (GlobeSt.com) – As part of its plan to add more than a million sf to its investment portfolio in Texas, JP Realty Partners snapped up a North Dallas office tower. The Dallas-based investment fund acquired the 353,996-sf North Central Plaza III at 12801 N. Central Expressway. The 17-story tower, with its eight-level parking garage, was 45 percent occupied at closing. CBRE represented Los Angeles-based Younan Properties Inc. in the sale of the building.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Development in the works along Dallas transit’s Green Line

By: Steve Brown The Dallas Morning News
Commuters riding DART’s Green Line have watched for months as work crews build the first apartments next to downtown Carrollton’s transit center.
And in just weeks, the tenants will start arriving at the 179-unit project on Main Street south of Belt Line Road.
“There will be residents moving in at the end of July — it’s coming up quick,” said Joel Behrens, senior vice president of developer High Street Residential. “We’ll have the whole thing finished up by the end of October.”
And the developer has already signed leases on the rental units, before completion.
“We are definitely looking at building more apartments in another phase,” Behrens said.
Eighteen months after the light-rail line linking Carrollton and Farmers Branch to Dallas opened, development along the rail corridor is picking up.

D-FW apartment leasing increases drastically in second quarter

Demand for Dallas-Fort Worth apartments surged in the second quarter.
Net leasing totaled more than 8,000 units — more than five times the number of new rental units completed in the area during the same period, or 1,563 apartments.
“Substantial job growth in North Texas is keeping apartment demand robust,” said Greg Willett, vice president of MPF Research, which released its latest apartment report Thursday. “These are the kind of housing demand numbers we were hoping for and expecting to see.” 
With the second quarter’s jump, net leasing in the D-FW area has increased by more than 14,000 apartments in the last 12 months, researchers at the Carrollton-based apartment analysts said.
Along with job openings that lure newcomers to North Texas, the rise in apartment demand probably reflects optimism about the overall economy.
“We may be seeing early signs — very early signs — of some release of pent-up demand that has been suppressed for the past two to three years,” said James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
“This may be especially true in the rental market — kids leaving parents, college grads coming to town with jobs, individuals leaving roommates to rent their own units.”
The increase in rentals in the second quarter was enough to boost overall apartment occupancy in the area to more than 94 percent.
And rents were up more than 4 percent from mid-2011 levels to an average of $819 a month, MPF Research reports.
Rents are rising even faster in popular, close-in Dallas neighborhoods in Uptown and Oak Lawn — up 7 percent to 8 percent in the last year.

North Dallas office tower changes hands

By: Steve Brown The Dallas Morning News
Dallas' JP Realty Partners has purchased a large office building overlooking the High Five freeway exchange in North Dallas.
The Dallas-based real estate investor acquired the 16-story North Central Plaza tower from California-based Younan Properties. It's just the latest in a series of building sales by Younan.
Built in the 1980s, the black and red glass tower at 12801 North Central Expy. contains more than 350,000 square feet of space.
JP Realty is a private real estate investor that controls more than 2 million square feet of properties – mostly office buildings in Texas, Alabama and Tennessee.
North Central Plaza will be its largest North Texas asset.

Construction starts on Uptown apartment community

By: Steve Brown The Dallas Morning News
Developer Robert Shaw kicked off the Uptown apartment building boom in the early 1990s with his first project near McKinney Avenue.
But in recent years, Shaw has been busy building apartments in northern suburbs, including Plano and Frisco.
Shaw has returned to the central city with his newest project.
The developer has broken ground for a 347-unit rental complex at Sale Street and Cedar Springs Road, up the hill from Turtle Creek.
“We are moving full speed ahead,” Shaw said Monday, standing on the development site as construction equipment rumbled across the block.
The tract has been vacant since the 1980s, when builders knocked down offices on the property to make way for a 30-story office tower complex.
But a real estate bust killed those plans.
Later, the property was eyed for a Ritz-Carlton hotel, but that deal fell through, too.
Since then, the property has been idle. It’s owned by investor General Electric Pension Trust.
Shaw’s Columbus Realty Partners is teaming up with GE to build two buildings.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Downtown’s grand Adolphus Hotel may be sold

By STEVE BROWN The Dallas Morning News
Downtown Dallas’ venerable Adolphus Hotel turns 100 this year. And the grand old lady may celebrate her birthday with a new owner.
An Ohio-based hotel investor — RockBridge Capital — is looking at buying the 20-story landmark at Commerce and Akard streets.
The new owners would need to make substantial improvements to the 440-room building, which was last gutted and rebuilt in 1980 during a $45 million renovation.
Built by a beer baron and expanded multiple times over the years, the hotel — while showing her age — is one of Dallas’ most cherished historic buildings.
Real estate brokers say that Columbus-based RockBridge is in talks to purchase the Adolphus from its owner, a Boston partnership that has controlled the property since early this year, county deed records show.
Officials with Adolphus’ potential buyers have recently met with Dallas city officials and downtown Dallas business leaders.
RockBridge representatives would not respond to requests for information about their plans for the Adolphus.
And the Adolphus’ manager did not return phone calls.