Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lincoln Property buying Turtle Creek Village

Dallas’ Turtle Creek Village has attracted the attention of one of the area’s most experienced developers.
Lincoln Property Co. has contracted to purchase the landmark 9-acre Oak Lawn complex.
Lincoln is buying the property from investors who foreclosed on the retail and office project early this year.
Started in 1969, Turtle Creek Village was one of Dallas’ first such urban developments.
Turtle Creek Village includes a just-renovated 18-story office tower, a six-story office building and three retail buildings connected to the offices.
A redevelopment of the property at Oak Lawn Avenue and Blackburn Street could include as much as 1.48 million square feet of commercial and residential space, according to brokers at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which has been marketing the property for sale.
“The acquisition of Turtle Creek Village represents one of the premier redevelopment opportunities in the United States,” Holiday Fenoglio Fowler said in its marketing brochure for the property.
Lincoln Property executive vice president Robert Dozier confirmed Thursday that his company has Turtle Creek Village under contract but said it’s too early to talk about its plans for the project.
Previously, developers have looked at putting residential high-rises and more retail on the property near the Park Cities and Turtle Creek.
Shopping center brokers say specialty grocers including Central Market and Trader Joe’s are also interested in the property.
Dallas-based Lone Star Funds is selling Turtle Creek Village. The investor bought a distressed $63 million loan on the property and took ownership through foreclosure.
If Lincoln Property goes ahead with the purchase, it would make the Dallas commercial property company the biggest redeveloper of urban retail space in North Texas.
Lincoln Property is a partner in the reconstruction of the 30-acre Village on the Parkway shopping center on the Dallas North Tollway.
And Lincoln has purchased the largest chunk of Dallas’ historic Lakewood shopping center, with plans for remodeling.
Also in East Dallas, Lincoln has acquired retail properties at two corners of Gaston Avenue and Garland Road, where it is planning a shopping district.
Turtle Creek Village would represent something of a homecoming for Lincoln Property. For many years, the developer had its headquarters in the largest office building in the project.
And Lincoln developed the adjoining Turtle Creek Centre office tower and was a partner in the development of the Warrington condo tower next door.
Full article at:

office building sell on low end, high end

You won’t see any “SOLD” signs out front.
But a growing number of North Texas office buildings have either just changed hands or are about to be sold.
Within the last two weeks, more than $100 million in Dallas-Fort Worth office buildings have been purchased by investors.
In some cases, the buildings have been bought on the cheap.
Los Angeles-based Regent Properties paid about $9.4 million, or $57 per square foot, for the eight-story Bent Tree Tower II in Addison. That’s less than half what a building that size would cost to build.
The 30-year-old office high-rise has a high-profile location on the Dallas North Tollway. But alas, it’s only 25 percent leased.
“General Electric used to be a major tenant, and they moved out in December,” said Regent Properties senior vice president Matthew Benbassat. “The property is looking for new life and repositioning.
“We are doing a $2 million to $2.5 million overhaul to the property,” Benbassat said. “It needs a new developer to bring the building to life.”
Regent Properties recently bought more than 1 million square feet of similar office projects.
“In the last year and a half, we have focused primarily on buying office projects that need repositioning,” Benbassat said. “We’ve bought similar properties in Phoenix — buildings in Class A locations that need some work.
“These are the types of projects we love.”
And Regent is not alone.
On Thursday, another California buyer, Adler Realty Investments, paid $23 million for the 400,000-square-foot Four Forest Plaza building in North Dallas.
The 19-story tower near North Central Expressway and LBJ Freeway is only about half full.
That’s why Adler Realty was able to snap up the property for about $60 per square foot.
Four Forest Plaza’s previous owner, Younan Properties, paid more than $33 million, or more than $80 per square foot, for the building in 2005.
Younan has been selling its Dallas-area holdings. The investor also has lost properties here to foreclosure.
Of course, how much an investor is willing to pay for a North Texas office building is based in large part on how much rent the property is generating.
New York investor CapLease Inc. just paid $144 per square foot, or $46 million, for the two Lakeside Centre office buildings in Richardson’s Telecom Corridor.
Those buildings fetched more than twice as much as the Four Forest Plaza and Bent Tree Tower II properties.
But they are also fully leased to high-quality tenants: telecom firms Metro PCS and AT&T.
Real estate brokers say investor demand for office buildings these days is split between the buildings with lots of dings and the prime properties.
“We call them the trophies and the traumas,” said John Alvarado, senior vice president at CBRE Group.
It’s the middle-of-the-road properties that are slower to sell, Alvarado said.
“There’s not a big appetite for the tweeners in the marketplace today,” he said. “There is a great amount of dollars slated for value investments — properties that can be purchased for low prices per square foot.”
Alvarado credits North Texas’ improving economy and strong real estate fundamentals with bringing buyers to the closing table.
“The market is much healthier than it was last year and continues to get better,” he said. “We have had consecutive quarters of economic growth, and now we are seeing a rush of investment capital.”
Full article at:

Medical district apartments changing hands

An Ohio-based investor is buying a Dallas apartment community across the street from the new Parkland Memorial Hospital.
The 396-unit Alexan Southwestern apartments are on Medical District Drive near Maple Avenue. The 3-year-old rental project is also just south of DART’s medical district light-rail station.
Associated Estates Realty Corp. — a real estate investment trust — said in securities filings that the average rent in the Dallas project it is buying is $1,346 a month. The occupancy in the complex is more than 96 percent.
The Alexan Southwestern apartments were built by Trammell Crow Residential.
The purchase is planned to close in the third quarter. The apartments are valued for taxes at more than $33 million.
The $1.27 billion Parkland hospital project next door is scheduled to open in early 2015.
Construction of the new hospital and expansion of DART’s light-rail service to the area has prompted a boom in apartment construction. Several projects are in the works.
Associated Estates is based in the Cleveland area and owns 13,835 apartment units in eight states.
The Ohio firm is developing a 2.4-acre apartment project in Dallas’ Turtle Creek neighborhood near the Rosewood Mansion hotel. Associated Estates also owns two Dallas-area apartment projects north of LBJ Freeway.
Full article at:

Developers buy Las Colinas property with plans for apartments, townhomes on DART’s Orange Line

One of the largest development sites in Las Colinas along the new DART light rail line has been purchased by a Chicago apartment builder.
Amli Residential bought the almost 9-acre tract on Lake Carolyn Parkway from Park Cities Bank.
The vacant property also fronts Riverside Drive and is near DART’s Las Colinas Urban Center Station.
Park Cities Bank foreclosed on 16.8 acres at that location last year when a development partnership defaulted on more than $6.7 million in debts.
The property had been planned for a high-rise development.
Broker Bobby Stewart of CSE Commercial Real Estate said Amli had the land under contract for a long time and went through rezoning.
“By the time the apartment market cranked up and everybody was looking for multifamily sites, Amli already had it,” Stewart said.
The developer plans to build 479 apartments on the property at Lake Carolyn and California Crossing.
At the other end of the big block, builder In Town Homes will construct a townhouse community on about 7 acres at Colorado Drive.
“They will be bringing the first brownstone townhome project to the Urban Center,” Stewart said.
In Town Homes is already building a two-block home community in downtown Dallas near the Farmers Market.
Amli Residential is one of the country’s largest apartment developers and owners, with more than a dozen rental communities in North Texas.
The developer is building a 330-unit Las Colinas apartment project at 6401 Escena Blvd., and it owns the Amli Las Colinas apartments on Lake Carolyn Parkway, northwest of the new land purchase.
Almost 1,200 apartments are under construction in Las Colinas, most of them in the Urban Center near DART’s new Orange Line, which opens at the end of the month.
The completion of the light-rail line from downtown Dallas to Las Colinas and the continuing extension to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is expected to further boost building along the railway.
Full article at:

Dallas’ historic Federal Reserve building sold

Downtown Dallas’ historic Federal Reserve Bank building has changed hands.
The 91-year-old Akard Street landmark was converted to a data center building in 1999 and had recently been for sale.
San Francisco-based Digital Realty Trust Inc. said Thursday that it purchased the 269,600-square-foot building to add to its North Texas holdings.
“This highly strategic building features large floor-plates, high ceilings and robust floor loading, making it an attractive alternative for customers in the Dallas area looking for high-quality data center space in the downtown Dallas market,” Michael Foust, CEO of Digital Realty, said in a prepared statement.
The property is 85 percent leased to eight tenants, according to Digital Realty.
The Dallas office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP arranged the sale. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Digital Realty has another downtown facility at 2323 Bryan St.
Earlier this month, the high-tech real estate firm announced it would build a data center in Richardson.
Digital Realty Trust is one of the largest developers of data center projects, with 103 properties in 31 markets worldwide.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas moved in 1992 from Akard to a new complex on Pearl Street in Uptown.
The classical-style building is constructed of limestone with large columns and carved eagles on the exterior. There’s a 1950s addition on the east side.
The building has been designated a Dallas landmark.
The 1914 decision to locate the regional Federal Reserve bank in Dallas is considered one of the most important economic events in the history of North Texas.
Dallas won out over Houston, New Orleans and Austin in its selection as the site of the new 11th district bank. The move solidified the city’s key role as a financial and business hub for the region.
Dallas Morning News publisher George B. Dealey is widely credited with having led the effort to secure the new Fed bank for Dallas.
After some arm-twisting by Dealey and other local business interests, the Federal Reserve said it picked Dallas over New Orleans because “banking business in Dallas had more than doubled in the past decade while that in New Orleans had remained stable.”
The new Dallas Fed met for six years in local bank offices downtown until its building on Akard Street opened.
Full article at:

Hotel Lumen breathes new life into property by SMU

For years, Park Cities residents have largely regarded the Hotel Lumen on Hillcrest Avenue as a nice place to house Aunt Roz during family gatherings.
The former hotel restaurant, poorly lit and tucked into the back of the property, built a local following that was consistently described as loyal but small.
These days, the hotel is introducing its neighbors to the fruits of a multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion. The project, which included a three-story addition, brought the hotel kitchen to the forefront of the footprint, boosted the room count and expanded the public schmooze spaces.
The hotel’s owners hope the moves, along with increased marketing and outreach, will persuade more locals to drop by.
“We’ve expanded food and beverage, we’ve expanded event space, we’ve expanded areas that are great places to hang out and relax,” said Michael Tregoning, chief financial officer of the Headington Cos., which owns the hotel.
He said early indications are that area residents are showing more interest in the property.
Tregoning works for billionaire Tim Headington, the oil and gas man/movie producer whose company also owns the Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas. (It, too, is expanding.)
Tregoning described the Hotel Lumen’s upgrade, which was largely finished over the summer but had its official unveiling last month, as part of a long-standing plan to “correct elements that were either shortcomings or weren’t as good as they could or should be. Food and beverage was one of those.”
Hotel Lumen, across the street from Southern Methodist University, was previously a Ramada Limited hotel. Tregoning described the predecessor property as “old and, by any measure, past its prime.” It had the distinction of being the only hotel within the city limits of University Park. (The Hilton Dallas Park Cities is just across the border.)
Headington purchased the site in 2003 and upgraded it to a 52-room boutique hotel.
Soon after the Hotel Lumen opened, Headington bought an adjacent Shell gasoline station, which made way for three-story addition.
The expansion and renovation project began in winter 2010 and was completed in August. The project created a living room-style lounge and conversation pit in the lobby, a courtyard pool, a rooftop terrace with views of downtown and 34 more guest rooms.
The addition boosted the staff count from 40 to 100.
A larger kitchen allows the hotel to serve an expanded menu at the new restaurant, called the Front Room: A Park Cities Diner. Nick Amoriello, formerly of the Meddlesome Moth, was recently named executive chef.
The bigger kitchen also allows the hotel to serve much larger banquets and expand its catering business. That’s expected to boost food and beverage revenue as a percentage of total sales. There is also a new business center that doubles as a private dining room.
“We added a pool, which can be a gathering spot,” Tregoning added. “It’s really to provide a communal area, a fun place that has food and beverage service.
“We look at the hotel as an amenity for all of the UP residents and stakeholders, certainly SMU, Highland Park, University Park residents and Dallas generally,” he added. “We think it’ll be a great place for events.”
A tax benefit
Collector-quality art by local artists and a Brad Oldham sculpture help the hotel achieve its goal of being fun and casual with a bit of attitude.
Hotel officials have routinely declined to reveal the construction cost. A construction permit from University Park puts the value of the new building at $6.5 million.
For University Park, a city of about 23,000 with a median household income of about $143,000, the hotel expansion means additional tax dollars.
“If their restaurant is more successful and more people use it, then our sales tax would go up,” said Robbie Corder, University Park’s director of community development.
“Certainly the value of the expanded part of the hotel is going to be higher, so the property taxes will be greater,” he added. “So the city will see a benefit there.”
University Park does not levy a hotel occupancy tax. That’s because revenue from the tax must be used for economic development. Given the low priority and limited opportunity for commercial development, the city opted to pass on that tax.
When construction began on the project, Corder said, his office fielded a few calls from residents wondering more about the neighborhood impact than the economic impact.
“The developers of the hotel were very conscious of the neighborhood,” he said. “They tried to minimize windows that looked out over onto the west, the residential area behind Hillcrest.”
Asked about the economic impact, Corder paused.
“Unlike other cities, we don’t have a focus on economic development,” he said, noting that only 4 percent of the 8,279 utility accounts in the city are commercial accounts.
“It’s not something where we said, ‘Hotel Lumen needs to expand so we’ll have greater economic development.’ That’s not something that’s on our radar.”
Luring locals
But the upgrade is putting the hotel on the radar of residents like Amy Camillo, 37, and her husband, Chris Camillo, 38, who’ve been University Park residents for about two years.
They moved from Uptown, where they had a variety of places to go, Amy Camillo said, as servers passed out deviled eggs with ham and fried chicken at a recent hotel reception.
“There wasn’t an Uptown-feeling place in University Park,” she said.
Chris Camillo had breakfast in the hotel restaurant recently, ordering a frittata with Jimmy’s Italian sausage. He deemed it “phenomenal.”
The couple has toddler twins. Amy Camillo is a member of the University Park Preschool Association, which has been scouting locations for a silent auction to be held in March.
She said the new and improved Lumen is her first choice.
“We want to keep it in the neighborhood but have a fun, trendy place,” she said.
“We’ve been talking about [the hotel] a lot. We don’t want to go to a run-of-the-mill place,” she said. “We’re very excited about the expansion. It’s so unique for University Park.”
Jim Larkin and Cindy Schuermann, a couple for nearly 30 years, live about five minutes from the hotel.
“We were aware that the hotel was here but never thought much about it,” said Larkin, who recalls staying in the hotel years ago. “Now we would look at this property differently. I think it’s making a different impression.
“They’re doing all the right things so far,” Larkin said, as a server offered up honeycomb-topped jalapeƱo corn bread.

South Dallas County’s I-20 corridor sees boom in industrial market

With the turnaround in the economy and companies looking to expand their warehousing and distribution space, the Interstate 20 corridor in south Dallas County is becoming ground zero for the next building boom.
Earthmovers were busy at work this week on land on Danieldale Road just south of Interstate 20.
Prologis, one of the country’s largest industrial building developers and investors, has broken ground there on the next phase of its Prologis Park 20/35 business park in Lancaster.
Prologis is already building one large speculative warehouse.
And construction is expected to start soon on two neighboring industrial buildings that could house major distribution centers for food giant Quaker Oats Co. and luxury automaker BMW, real estate brokers say.
Altogether these projects will total more than 2 million square feet of construction. Prologis representatives did not provide details about the development.
“The market down here is really heating up,” said Ed Brady, economic development director for the city of Lancaster. “There’s nothing like having affordable land and good highway access for industrial development.”
L’Oreal plans
The Prologis project is a stone’s throw from where cosmetics firm L’Oreal Group is planning a 513,000-square-foot distribution center in far south Dallas.
Developers and brokers are betting that south Dallas County will see a steady stream of industrial projects for the next few years.
“That southern sector is going to be a very busy spot,” said Jeff Turner, regional executive vice president for Indiana-based Duke Realty. “You are going to see some very large boxes built south.”
Affordable, accessible
In recent years, Duke Realty has done three large warehouse deals in the Interstate 20 and Interstate 45 corridors in south Dallas County. And the big development firm has more land for additional buildings.
“We have three really nice sites in the southern sector and a lot of good interest,” Turner said. “The land down there right now is pretty well priced compared to the other locations where there isn’t much left and there is a big premium.
“As this business cycle improves, you will continue to see buildings getting done and a lot of them will be in this sector.”
Last year, Duke Realty completed Whirlpool Corp.’s 1 million-square-foot distribution center west of Interstate 45 in Wilmer.
And Home Depot has just finished its expansion into its huge new warehouse on Beckleymeade Avenue in Dallas. Home Depot last year more than doubled the size of its regional distribution center south of Interstate 20.
Earlier this year in the same area, Mobis, a Korean auto parts manufacturer, bought a 442,000-square-foot Lancaster industrial building that it is using for a regional warehouse.
“It’s just about to open,” Brady said. “It will be a parts distribution and training center.”
Shrinking space
Brady said that the warehouse market along I-20 has gotten so tight that some of the big owners in the area can no longer accommodate large tenants who needed immediate space.
“They’ve probably had to walk away from a deal or two because they didn’t have space,” he said.
So far this year, expanding or relocating businesses have occupied more than 1.6 million square feet of warehouse space in the I-20 and southern I-45 corridors, according to commercial property firm Cushman & Wakefield.
And the percentage of vacant warehouse space in the area has been cut more than half in the last year.
L’Oreal Group plans to move into a building that will be constructed in Ridge Property Trust’s Ridge Logistics Center on Lancaster Road in far south Dallas.
The city of Dallas is providing more than $4 million in economic incentives to get the $20 million-plus deal going.
Officials with Ridge Property Trust still won’t talk about the project, even though Dallas officials have widely discussed the development.
The project is expected to kick off in the first quarter.
“The Home Depot deal was a real catalyst for that area,” said Karl Zavitkovsky, director of the Dallas economic development office. “You have big players looking for large distribution sites.
“That’s why we are investing sign money in infrastructure and getting sites shovel-ready,” Zavitkovsky said. “I think we’ll continue to see a lot of action there.”
Others follow
And there’s no doubt that when a couple of big industrial deals land in a certain area of town, more large companies start looking at potential projects in the same neighborhood, he said.
“People get comfortable when other people have already done the due diligence,” Zavitkovsky said. “Our phones I wouldn’t say have been ringing off the hook, but we have been very busy.”
Longtime North Texas industrial market reps say they anticipate a surge in construction over the next year.
The Dallas area has about a 12 percent vacancy in industrial buildings, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
So far this year, expanding and relocating businesses have leased almost 6 million square feet of warehouse and industrial space, almost double the net leasing of a year ago.
“Everybody has been talking about this boom in the market happening and, all of a sudden, bingo,” said Terry Darrow, managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle. “It’s what we’ve all been looking for, and now we have got it.
“Every piece of dirt I have has at least eight companies looking at it.”
Full article at:

Architect announces project to convert downtown Dallas warehouse into Hilton hotel and more

The massive old Butler Brothers building at 500 S. Ervay could become the latest piece of downtown Dallas’ renaissance.
After years of decline and decay, the building will undergo a restoration, kicking off with a groundbreaking Wednesday. It will be converted into a 200-room Hilton Hotel, along with 250 residential units and 21,000 square feet of retail space, according to a notice released Thursday by Merriman Associates/Architects.
Few other details were available from the building’s owner, Mike Sarimsakci of the development group Alterra. Neither Sarimsakci nor a representative returned calls for comment. Nor did anyone at Merriman. Among the undisclosed details is the potential cost of the project.
If the restoration came to fruition, it would mark a major turnaround for the eastern edge of downtown and a huge boost for the central city in general. The 650,000-square-foot building, directly east of City Hall, sits vacant and has been a drag on the area.
Downtown Dallas chief executive John Crawford said the development plan shows just how strong interest in downtown is becoming.
“It’s an enormous new opportunity for downtown from both the residential and entertainment point of view,” he said.
Built in 1910, the Butler Brothers building was once a handsome, brick-faced warehouse named for a Chicago-based wholesaler. In 1932, it was renamed the Merchandise Mart. In later years, a series of remodelings ensued under various owners, according to Dallas Public Library archives.
Today, the building is a fake-stucco eyesore, with the old brick exterior raggedly exposed in a few areas. Its sheer size has made it difficult to restore.
Many plans have come and gone over the years to turn it into something useful — and hopefully beautiful — for downtown. Sarimsakci first revealed his plan in January, although at the time it seemed like it might be just another dream.
Crawford said he feels confident the deal will go forward, but added that he is still confirming details about it.
Sarimsakci has been in talks with City Hall about the prospect for subsidies.
“Those discussions are still in process. I don’t think anything has been committed,” Crawford said.
Sarimsakci also owns 211 N. Ervay, a mostly vacant high-rise that has seen better days.
Full article at:

Crescent has designs on Uptown Dallas with eye-catching tower

To lure top-of-the-market business tenants to its planned Uptown office tower, the folks at Crescent Real Estate Holdings needed something better than just another out-of-the-box building.
What architect Pelli Clarke Pelli came up with is a block of one-of-a-kind structures that will be a dramatic addition to the Dallas urban district.
“We didn’t want it to look like just another suburban building that you’d plopped down in Uptown,” said Crescent CEO John Goff. “Rectangles are boring, and we have a building that is much more interesting.”
There’s not much chance Crescent’s proposed project would be mistaken for anything sprouting along the Dallas North Tollway.
The 20-story office tower design juts from the corner of McKinney Avenue and Olive Street like a soaring glass sail or the prow of a ship.
The high-rise portion of the project will slant nine degrees over the lower levels of shops, restaurants and a parking garage that will stretch down Olive across from the Ritz-Carlton.
The two-level retail and restaurant complex — planned to be the one of the largest in the neighborhood — will have a sinuous wall of glass facing a new street-side park.
“It will have a big impact,” Goff said. “We want it to be alive and bring energy to the street.”
Goff describes the development as “sexy, elegant and yet very functional.”
The more than $200 million project will be the most elaborate such development built in Uptown since the Crescent project went up in the 1980s.
You couldn’t find two buildings that are more different.
While Crescent architect Philip Johnson dipped into the past for inspiration, Cesar Pelli and his team were looking to the future.
“Buildings have changed, and the technology has improved dramatically,” said Crescent senior vice president Joseph Pitchford. “This will be a more contemporary expression than you see in Uptown.”
Most of the building will be clad in glass and metal. But plans also call for a multilevel parking structure covered in masonry panels that will be heavily landscaped.
The top floor of the garage will be used for a park and will have access to a fitness center.
Uptown residents will be most interested in the lower-level retail pavilion, which is to have at least three restaurants, shops and a gourmet food market.
“We want to be able to address a lot of needs in the market in retail,” said Crescent managing director John Zogg. “This is going to be the most expensive building in the market.
“And it is going to offer more amenities than we would have considered just five years ago.”
Crescent has owned the Uptown building site for its project for almost 15 years. The 3-acre tract — now a grassy lot — is the largest vacant property along south McKinney Avenue.
Last December, Fort Worth-based Crescent announced that it had picked Pelli Clarke Pelli to come up with a plan for the block.
Cesar Pelli and his partners have designed some of the world’s tallest buildings and have worked on projects as varied as concert halls and airport terminals.
But the firm has never done a major development in Dallas.
“We found Pelli had the most expertise in these types of mixed-use developments,” Goff said. “You have to create something here that complements the neighborhood around you.”
AT A GLANCE: The project
•McKinney Avenue and Olive Street
•3.1-acre tract
•20 stories, 470,000 square feet of office space
•60,000 square feet of retail in two stories
•Construction starts 2013, completion 2015
•Architect Pelli Clarke Pelli of New Haven, Conn.
Full article at:

Addison office tower sold to investors

Dallas-based real estate firm Cawley Partners said Tuesday that it has purchased an Addison office building in partnership with a California investor.
The One Hanover Park building is located on the west side of the Dallas North Tollway north of Westgrove Drive.

Built in 1999, the 8-story office building contains almost 200,000 square feet and is about 80 percent leased.
Cawley said it bought the building in a joint venture with San Francisco-based Stockbridge Capital Group.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The building was purchased from an affiliate of Miami-based Lennar Partners which represented the debt holders on the property.

Full article at:

Homebuilder starting more townhouses near downtown Dallas’ Farmers Market

A Houston builder that has been constructing townhouses near downtown Dallas’ Farmers Market is landing a steady string of sales with its next phase.
InTown Homes has been building its townhouses on the southeast side of downtown since 2010. The developer has now started its largest project yet — a 108-unit residential community at Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Marilla Street.
The new units will start at more than $300,000.
“We were excited to break ground four to five weeks ago on the first seven homes — of which all are sold,” said sales manager Dana Green. “And last week we broke ground on the next five townhomes, of which all are sold.
“Within weeks we will start the next six homes,” Green said. “We could not be more thrilled to be in such a vibrant area of downtown, and our buyers are just as excited as we are.”
The three-story homes will have garages in the rear and rooftop decks.
InTown Homes also has projects under way in Oak Lawn.
Full article at:

Construction starts in Dallas’ Cityplace on apartment and retail tower

Construction has started on the next phase of Dallas’ popular Cityplace project.
Developer Forest City Enterprises is building the 21-story apartment and retail tower at McKinney Avenue and Blackburn Street.
The new mixed-use project is across the street from the West Village on the site of the old Hank Haney Golf Center.
The development will contain 381 apartments and 37,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
Forest City – already a major Dallas apartment developer – will own the rental units and Cityplace Co. will have the retail.
“The project we are commencing with Forest City is extremely important to the West Village district,” Cityplace president Neal Sleeper said in a statement. “The addition of 37,000 square feet of retail brings our total retail in the district to over 260,000 square feet.”
Construction on the building is set for finish in late 2014.
Civitas Capital Group and the City of Dallas are providing financing for the development.
Good Fulton & Farrell and Zeigler Cooper Architect designed the building.
Rogers O’Brien Construction Co. is the general contractor.
Forest City redeveloped downtown Dallas’ Mercantile National Bank Tower into apartments.
And the developer built the 15-story Element apartment tower on Main Street.
Forest City is currently converting the former Mercantile Continental office building on Commerce Street into 203 apartments.
The Cityplace project is the firm’s first development in Uptown.
“We are seeing greater demand for innovative, mixed-use development in Uptown,” Forest City-Texas president Brian Ratner said.
Full article at;

Uptown Dallas office tower fronting new deck park is sold to investors

A West Texas investment group has purchased an Uptown Dallas office tower that fronts on the new Woodall Rodgers Freeway deck park.
Dallas-based Charter Holdings sold the 17-story Advancial Tower, at Woodall Rodgers and St. Paul Street, to a real estate investment firm owned by businessmen Dan and Farris Wilks.
The 148,000-square-foot office high-rise was built in 1984 and is almost fully leased. Major tenants include Omniplan and Savoya.
Charter Holdings had owned the property for more than a decade.
“I’m having a little bit of seller’s remorse,” said Charter CEO Ray Washburne. “But it was time to sell.
“When I bought the building in 2002, none of the new development had taken place in the area,” he said.
Since then, the Uptown area has boomed.
In October, the 5.2-acre Klyde Warren Park opened across the street from Advancial Tower.
HFF LP’s Andrew Levy, Todd Savage, Elizabeth Malone and Nick Cassavechia marketed the building for sale in negotiations with Colliers International.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The buyers — two brothers who are from Cisco, west of Fort Worth — founded Fort Worth-based FTS International, an oil and gas well services firm.
The Wilkses sold out of FTS in 2011.
Washburne originally paid less than $15 million for the high-rise and immediately signed a large office lease with Advancial Federal Credit Union.
Washburne said he has moved his offices from Advancial Tower to Highland Park Village shopping center, which he bought with partners in 2009.
Full article at:

Cityplace's next phase under way

Construction has started on the next phase of Dallas’ popular Cityplace project.
Developer Forest City Enterprises is building the 21-story apartment and retail tower at McKinney Avenue and Blackburn Street.
The new mixed-use project is across the street from the West Village on the site of the old Hank Haney Golf Center.
The development will contain 381 apartments and 37,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
Forest City – already a major Dallas apartment developer – will own the rental units and Cityplace Co. will have the retail.
“The project we are commencing with Forest City is extremely important to the West Village district,” Cityplace president Neal Sleeper said in a statement. “The addition of 37,000 square feet of retail brings our total retail in the district to over 260,000 square feet.”
Construction on the building is set for finish in late 2014.
Civitas Capital Group and the City of Dallas are providing financing for the development.
Good Fulton & Farrell and Zeigler Cooper Architect designed the building.
Rogers O’Brien Construction Co. is the general contractor.
Forest City redeveloped downtown Dallas’ Mercantile National Bank Tower into apartments.
And the developer built the 15-story Element apartment tower on Main Street.
Forest City is currently converting the former Mercantile Continental office building on Commerce Street into 203 apartments.
The Cityplace project is the firm’s first development in Uptown.
“We are seeing greater demand for innovative, mixed-use development in Uptown,” Forest City-Texas president Brian Ratner said.