Friday, February 27, 2015

Cushman & Wakefield sale could bring new player into DFW market

The potential sale of Cushman & Wakefield could bring a new player, such as a private equity firm, into the Dallas-Fort Worth market, which is one of the fastest-growing metros in the United States.

The real estate brokerage has been put up for sale by Cushman & Wakefield as approved by the Agnelli family's investment arm ExorSpA, which has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley to market the firm, according to the Wall Street Journal. The firm could garner as much as $2 billion.

In a written statement, a Cushman & Wakefield spokesman said, "As is the normal course of business, both Cushman & Wakefield and EXOR continually seek ways to further enhance the businesses, create value and further accelerate their plans.

"There is currently no transaction to disclose, nor guarantee that such a review may result in any transaction involving Cushman & Wakefield," he added.

This deal could be a big opportunity for a private investment group to gain an important foothold in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Hunter Blanks, an executive vice president with Colliers International's Dallas office, told the Dallas Business Journal.

"If a group tries to build up an operation like this, they could miss the market," Blanks said. "Cushman & Wakefield is already a group making money and they have a presence in most places."
Cushman & Wakefield's potential buyer could be a consortium, like the one backed by Fort Worth-based private equity firm TPG, which acquired Cassidy Turley earlier this year and merged the firm with DTZ.

A private investment group, much like the group backed by Fort Worth-based TPG that acquired Cassidy Turley and merged the company with DTZ earlier this year. The deal brought in much-needed capital to Cassidy Turley, now DTZ, at an important time in the real estate cycle.

If the brokerage is purchased by a competitor, there could be some consolidation in North Texas' real estate community, Blanks said. Cushman & Wakefield market leader Steve Everbach did not immediately return a request for an interview.

The news of Cushman & Wakefield being put on the market wasn't a surprise, said Mitchell Wolff, executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

"I've heard rumors of this for years," Wolff told the Dallas Business Journal."They will be able to sell it at a premium over what is was worth in 2009.

"There are a ton of players looking at it as a potential investment," he added.

Wolff said he believes the acquisition would have little impact on North Texas' real estate community.

Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal

J.P. Morgan Chase looking for new DFW home for its 6,000 employees

chase tower building
Financial services firm J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is shopping for up to 75 acres of land to build a new home for 6,000 of its Dallas-Fort Worth employees.

The real estate group leading the bank's real estate search has received a number of request-for-proposals from landowners with 50 acres to 75 acres of land from Las Colinas to McKinney to the north end of the Dallas North Tollway, Paul Whitman, JLL's managing director told the Dallas Business Journal.

"We have gone out to the market looking for land to possibly build a 1 million-square-foot campus," Whitman told me. "We are also looking at existing buildings."

Whitman, Russell Cosby and Torrey Littlejohn of JLL, along with Jeff Ellerman, Scott Hobbs and John Ellerman of CBRE, are helping J.P. Morgan Chase with the real estate search.

Whitman said the bank's real estate team has received a number of proposals and plans to sift them in the next few weeks. J.P. Morgan Chase could make a decision in the next four to six months on a site, he said.

J.P. Morgan Chase has more than 12,000 employes in North Texas, which means this location would only house about half of the employees in the region. The bank currently has a major operation south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

"It's not the intention for them to get all their employees under one roof," Whitman said, adding the decision on land will likely happen sooner than later.

"They are always looking at their real estate costs and want to control them," he said. "That's it. It comes down to real estate costs and their ability to control their long-term destiny."

J.P. Morgan Chase's real estate team plans to whittle the proposals down later this week, he added. The bank has yet to hire a developer or architect for the potential new build-to-suit campus.

J.P. Morgan Chase spokesman Greg Hassell declined to comment on the bank's real estate search, but said, "Dallas-Fort Worth is, and will remain, a place of vital importance for Chase."

Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal

Encore Hospitality Acquires McAllen Hotel

Encore Hospitality LLC, a subsidiary of Encore Enterprises Inc., has purchased a Residence Inn hotel in McAllen. The property was previously owned by Encore Hospitality and sold in 2007.

“We are excited once again to own and manage the Residence Inn by Marriott hotel in McAllen,” Glenn Pedersen, president of Encore Hospitality LLC, told “Our excitement stems from the diversity of the market demand generators to the availability of quality associates and a best in brand hotel in the extended-stay segment. We plan on investing over $2.3 million in the renovation of the hotel and our goal is to complete the renovation by January 2016.”

The McAllen Residence Inn features 78 rooms and amenities such as an outdoor pool, a business center, free breakfast, 350 square feet of meeting space and high speed Internet. In the next 12 months, Encore Hospitality will renovate the hotel to the tune of $30,000 per room.

“Business and leisure travelers alike are increasingly looking for best-in-class amenities during their stays at limited-service hotels,” says Bharat Sangani, chairman of Encore Enterprises. “Residence Inn has consistently been recognized as the best extended-stay brand.”

Anna Caplan,

Granite Properties to double the size of Granite Park with 3 new towers

Granite Park Six rendering
Plano-based developer Granite Properties plans to double the size of its Granite Park mixed-use corporate magnet with three new office towers.

The 90-acre development at the southeast corner of the Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121 is expected to get three Class AA office towers known as Granite Park Six, Granite Park Seven and Granite Park Eight.

Granite Properties' three proposed towers, and the respective parking, are expected to cost $405 million to $450 million to build.

The three new proposed towers are expected to be developed to meet the growing demands of customers and clients relocating to the West Plano submarket. Each tower will be 20 stories with 500,000 square feet of office space.

"Customers are out in the market looking for large blocks of contiguous space," said COO Greg Fuller. "With Plano still in an upswing, we're positioned to meet the growing demands for Class A office space here."

The towers will join the newly completed Granite Park Four, the new 299-room Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park conference hotel and Granite Park Five, which is under construction.

Granite Park is also getting ready to build 25,000 square feet of retail space, known as The Boardwalk, surrounding its water feature fronting 121.

So far, Granite Park Four is 80 percent leased since its completion last summer, and two floors have been pre-leased at Granite Park Five. Fuller declined to disclose the newly signed tenants.

"We are marketing the buildings to several large users that could take one or more of the buildings," he said.

There's been a spike of demand for office space in the West Plano area since Toyota decided to put its North American campus in Legacy West, which sits west of the Dallas North Tollway at Legacy.
The $2 billion corporate magnet has lured Toyota, FedEx Office and, reportedly, Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Granite Park Seven and Eight will have sky bridge connections on the 10th and 18th floors. The project is designed by Dallas-based BOKA Powell.

The building's will feature conference centers, corporate living rooms, fitness centers and an on-site deli cafe.

Fuller said Granite Properties plans to break ground on the towers after landing tenants. The developer could begin developing the towers on a speculative basis in the future.

Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal

Galleria office towers on LBJ Freeway are under contract to Florida buyer

DMN files
The three Galleria office towers contain more than 1 million square feet.
One of North Dallas’ largest office tower complexes could be changing hands.
The 3-building Galleria Towers at LBJ Freeway and Noel Road contain almost 1.4 million square feet of office space and are connected to the landmark shopping mall.
Florida-based Parmenter Realty Partners has contracted to buy the high-rises in what would be one of the largest such recent real estate transactions in North Texas.
Managers of the towers have notified tenants in the buildings that Parmenter has a purchase agreement for the properties.
Parmenter officials declined to comment on the pending transaction.
Since 2008 the buildings have been owned by California-based investor Cannon Commercial.
The towers – constructed between 1981 and 1990 –fetched more than $300 million when they last changed hands.
If completed, the purchase would be the second large acquisition in Dallas for Parmenter.
Last year the Miami-based company bought the 1.35 million-square-foot Cityplace Tower north of downtown Dallas for more than $130 million. The commercial real estate investor plans to develop new projects around the 42-story tower.
One of the Galleria Towers’ largest tenants – FedEx Office – will be leaving the project later this year when its new headquarters in West Plano is finished.
But demand for office space in the LBJ Freeway corridor has jumped in the last year as construction on the highway expansion has progressed. In 2014 expanding and relocating tenants leased more offices in the LBJ Freeway market than any other suburban Dallas business district.
Steve Brown,The Dallas Morning News

New residential tower project eyed for Uptown tract near Cityplace

Google Maps
The property StreetLights Residential is looking at is occupied by small homes.
Dallas’ StreetLights residential is one of the busiest luxury apartment builders in Uptown.

The developer is constructing its 23-story Uptown Plaza residential tower next door to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

And StreetLights has another 20-story residential tower on the way at the Akard Place mixed-use development at Field Street and Cedar Springs Road.

It just sold its Taylor building on Carlisle Street.

Now StreetLights is looking at another Uptown tower site off Hall Street near Cityplace.

The developer has held meetings with neighbors in the area about constructing an apartment tower at Hall and Howell Street next to the Emanu-El Cemetery. The property is now occupied by small houses.

Cemeteries are on three sides of the tract.

StreetLights officials confirm they’re interested in the site but have bought the land yet.

The developer is also working on another apartment deal in Deep Ellum.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

D-FW has one of the country's lowest homeownership rates

Dallas-Fort Worth is on its way to becoming a city of renters. 
The D-FW area is among the major U.S. cities with the lowest percentage of homeowners, according to a new report by the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau.
Only 56.3 percent of D-FW residents were homeowners in the fourth quarter of 2014. That compares with a nationwide homeownership rate of 64 percent.
D-FW’s homeownership rate has fallen sharply since a peak of 65.2 percent in mid-2010, according to the Census Bureau.
The D-FW area ranked as the eighth-lowest homeownership market among the 75 major metro areas included in the census survey.
Los Angeles had the lowest homeownership at 47.6 percent.
And Richmond, Va., had the highest ratio of homeowners — 75.5 percent.
D-FW also had the lowest homeownership of the Texas cities included in the census report.
The highest homeownership rate was in San Antonio — 71.3 percent.
North Texas has the fastest-growing apartment market in the country with about 30,000 rental units under construction.
The D-FW area also has one of the fastest-growing populations, fueled by thousands of people moving to the area each year. Many of those new residents choose to be renters.
The supply of houses for sale in the area is at a more than 10-year low.
Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

North Dallas Westin hotel sold to New York investor

One of North Dallas’ largest hotels has sold to a New York-based hotel firm.
AWH Partners LLC bought the 536-room Westin Dallas Park Center on LBJ Freeway near North Central Expressway.
The company said it plans to spend more than $20 million to remodel and update the hotel, which was built in 1982.
“Growing our presence in major markets like Dallas is very much in line with our overall strategy of occupying strong markets by investing in large hotels with big meeting space that offer an opportunity for value-add through renovation,” Bernard Michael, principal of AWH Partners, said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased with the outlook for this investment.”
The 20-story hotel has 42,000 square feet of meeting space, fitness center and outdoor pool.
HFF marketed the property for sale. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Spire Hospitality will direct the reinvention and manage the property, according to AWH Partners.
AWH Partners is a 5-year-old company that owns almost two dozen hotels across the country.
Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Sale of Brinkmann Ranch tract will bring hundreds of new homes to Frisco

Google Maps Streetview
The sale of a key Frisco property will bring a new neighborhood with hundreds of homes.
Plano-based homebuilder John Landon said Monday that he has bought part of the 3,500-acre Brinkmann Ranch – one of the largest undeveloped properties in Frisco.
Landon bought about 200 acres on the east side of the ranch on Coit Road.
His Landon Homes plans to begin construction soon on the new neighborhood.
“Yes we bought the land and plan on opening it in 2016,” Landon said.  “We believe it will be a great project for us.”
Landon also has an option to buy more property at Brinkmann Ranch.
The sprawling property located between Preston and Coit roads has for years been one of the most sought after development sites in Collin County.
Owner Baxter Brinkmann has been working with the City of Frisco to plan the property for multiple uses.
Landon Homes is an independent builder that sells houses in a half dozen locations in Frisco, Plano, McKinney and Little Elm. The company’s houses are priced at more than $300,000.
One of its largest and most successful projects is the more than 500-acre Richwoods community located on Independence Parkway north of State Highway 121 in Frisco.
Landon said he’s still working on plans for the new Brinkmann Ranch project.
“We have not finalized the number of lots,” he said.
The ranch and Preston and Main Street in Frisco was originally an estate built for Dallas businessman Cloyce Box. The property was used in filming early shows of the Dallastelevision series.
The big colonial-style home on the farm burned down in 1987. 

And the land was sold to Brinkmann after Box’s death in 1993.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

New forecast: D-FW will be one of the country’s top office building and leasing markets this year

Marcus & Millichap
Only Houston will top D-FW in office building completions in 2015, according to Marcus & Millichap.
Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth will lead the U.S. in new office building completions this year.
And both Texas cities are also at the top of the list of the greatest office leasing markets for 2015, according to a new forecast from Marcus & Millichap.
The commercial real estate firm predicts that Houston will see 11.5 million square feet of office building openings this year followed by the D-FW area with 6 million square feet.
“Corporate expansion abounds in the Metroplex, driving well-above-average job creation and a sizable increase in office development,” Marcus & Millichap said in the new report. “Collectively, State Farm and Raytheon’s campuses in Richardson, coupled with FedEx’s Plano headquarters and the FAA’s Fort Worth facility, will account for half of 2015’s new supply.
“While these projects are entirely spoken for, their delivery will spark some sizable move outs, causing fluctuations in vacancy,” the forecast said. “State Farm, for example, will vacate 1 million square feet of temporary office space in Richardson, while FedEx will leave behind 200,000 square feet in the East LBJ Freeway submarket.”
Marcus & Millichap is predicting that net D-FW office leasing will come in at close to 6 million square feet this year, behind only Houston and New York City for 2015.
Marcus & Millichap
D-FW is forecast to rank third in the country in net office leasing this year.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Las Colinas office tower purchased by New York investor

Greenway Tower was built in 1981.
A New York investor has purchased a Las Colinas office tower.
The 10-story Greenway Tower at 1231 Greenway Drive in Irving was sold to a fund represented by New York-based HighBrook Investment.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The 193,000-square-foot office tower is located near State Highway 114 and was built in 1981.
Tenants in the building include Optimal Solutions Integration LLC, America Cash Express and Foru International.
Jay Nelson of North Preston Properties brokered the sale.
HighBrook owns the nearby 122 W. John Carpenter Freeway building in Las Colinas. And the investor has TriWest Plaza on LBJ Freeway in Dallas.
The purchase is the latest in a series of recent office property trades in Irving.
California-based Libitzky Property Companies and Sunwest Real Estate Group of Dallas just acquired the 10-story Canal Centre office building in the Las Colinas Urban Center.
Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Friday, February 20, 2015

Arlington Retail Asset Sells for $13M

ARLINGTON, Tex.– CBRE Group Inc. has arranged the sale of 459 East Interstate 20 in Arlington for approximately $13 million. The 52,000-square-foot retail space is occupied by Gander Mountain under an absolute triple-net lease with a 15-year term.

“This transaction is a prime example of how New York City buyers are more than willing to put their money into out-of-state NNN-leased properties in exchange for guaranteed positive returns," Elli Klapper, with CBRE's New York Tri-State Investment Properties team, told

CBRE’s Maurice Nieman and Ian Schroeder of the Newport Beach, Calif. office represented the seller, and along with Charles Berger and Klapper of CBRE’s New York Tri-State Investment Properties, procured the buyer in the 1031 exchange transaction. In addition, CBRE’s Debt & Structured Finance team was able to finance the transaction.

“Our buyer had recently sold a large, management intensive multifamily property and we were able to secure a NNN-leased space,” says Klapper. “This gave the buyer a higher cash flow with none of the management headaches, which they were very happy with. Our Investment Properties team is continually doing this type of work for clients across the nation.”  

Located on a key artery, 459 East Interstate 20 is easily accessible, just east of Fort Worth and due west of south Dallas. The property is located in close proximity to a number of retailers and restaurants, including The Parks at Arlington mall, Old Navy, Red Robin and an AMC movie theater.

Anna Caplan,

Granite Properties to Develop Office Building at Southlake Town Square

Southlake Town Square, one of the most successful retail and entertainment districts in the region, is getting multitenant office space.

Developed by Cooper and Stebbins, the sprawling district sits along State Highway 114 near Carroll Boulevard. It includes nearly 500,000 square feet of retail space, 90,000 square feet of restaurants, a Hilton hotel, a Harkins movie theater, residential brownstones, and about 250,000 square feet of second-story office space.

A new seven-story building developed by Granite Properties will add about 160,700 square feet. The project will include an attached parking garage, on-site fitness center, and meeting and restaurant space. Beck Architecture is overseeing design; a general contractor is expected to be named sometime this summer.

Granite has been interested in developing office space in Southlake for a number of years, said David Cunningham, director of development and construction. “We plan to break ground on phase one this fall and as the market allows, build out remaining office space, which could total over half a million square feet,” he said. “The highly popular Town Square is well-leased, but lacks available large blocks office space. The rich amenity base … gives us the confidence to move forward with a new project in this highly sought-after area.”

Granite Place at Southlake Town Square is expected to be ready for occupancy by late 2016.

Christine Prez, Real Estate Daily

$500M CityLine-Adjacent Center Planned

DALLAS—Richardson has landed yet another multimillion-dollar mixed-use project.

BC Station Partners LLC has acquired 54 acres at the southeast corner of Central Expressway and the President George Bush Turnpike from the W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas for a $500-million “transit-oriented development.” The site is due west of KDC's CityLine project and adjacent to DART’s Bush Turnpike light rail station, and will include office, retail, residential and hotel components.

Upon completion, the project is expected to have more than 1.35 million square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail, 1,250 multifamily units and two hotels.

“Our project is an extension of CityLine,” Joe Altemore, principal with BC Station Partners, told “It will provide the ‘front door’ to CityLine from Central. The balance of uses will be very similar, in fact the development code for both projects is much the same, a hybrid form base zoning. Our project will essentially be the west bookend of what will be a 250-acre urban, TOD development.”

Trammell Crow Residential (TCR) is scheduled to break ground on the first phase of the multifamily and retail section at the site next month. The Alexan CityLine development is the first of four communities totaling 1,250 units that TCR will complete adjacent to the State Farm and Raytheon campuses in the next several years.

The first phase directly across the DART rail station from State Farm will total 351 units with 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; they are scheduled to be delivered in late summer of 2016. Alexan CityLine will offer residents top-of-the-line finishes and luxury amenities including resort-style pools, state-of-the-art fitness center, a dog park and a pet spa.

Transwestern Development Co. is also in the planning phase for the site’s office component, which would be located at the northeast corner of Central and Renner Road.

“We are excited to be involved in the further expansion of the new urban hub and we expect to receive significant interest from a diverse group of tenants,” says Reid Caldwell, Transwestern managing director, who leads the office development team. “The Dallas-Fort Worth office market is in a major expansion mode driven by job growth, and we expect this to continue.”

Anna Caplan,

Bascom/Oaktree Venture Buys Denton Apts

DENTON, Tex.--The Timber Links, a 480-unit apartment community located in Denton, has been acquired by the Irvine, Calif.-based The Bascom Group LLC and Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management LP’s $250-million venture. The sale closed on January 30. 

GE Capital Bank provided financing to acquire the property. The debt financing was sourced by John Brownlee and De’on Collins of HFF and Roberto Casas of HFF represented the seller on the transaction.

“We feel good about our cost basis for a 2004 vintage asset in a growing submarket,” James D. D'Argenio, principal at The Bascom Group, told “We also see the underlying value in the 80 acres underneath the apartments and [nine-hole] golf course that came with the sale.”

The sixth multifamily acquisition for the Bascom/Oaktree Venture, the property will be managed by Entrada Partners. The Venture was launched in June 2014 and has made acquisitions in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Texas.

Built in 2004, Timber Links consists of 41 buildings on 58.9 acres of land. The asset is comprised of 33 percent one-bedroom units and 67 percent two-bedroom units. Timber Links is nearby The University of North Texas, Texas Women’s University and the Denton Regional Medical Center. 

“Timber Links is a high-quality community…We have a renovation planned for the property that will allow it to compete with other best-in-class assets,” says Tony Ferrell, director of portfolio operations for Bascom.

Anna Caplan,

Granite Tower on LBJ Freeway sold to California investor

An LBJ Freeway office tower has a new owner.

The 10-story Granite Tower on Valley View Lane at LBJ Freeway was purchased by California-based Buchanan Street Partners.

The 240,000-square-foot high-rise was built in 1999 by Granite Properties.

HFF negotiated the sale.

Granite Tower is the latest in a string of office building sales along LBJ Freeway.

Construction to expand the freeway has been underway for several years and until recently slowed office leasing and investment in the area.

But with the freeway expansion more than half complete, both building buyers and office tenants are returning to the LBJ market.

Last year the LBJ Freeway corridor had more suburban net office leasing than any other Dallas-area business district.

Granite Tower’s new owner Buchanan Street Partners is a real estate investment management firm based in Newport Beach.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

North Dallas office building now owned by Addison real estate investment trust

A North Dallas office building has quietly changed hands.

Addison-based Tier REIT Inc. has purchased the 9-story 5950 Sherry Lane building in Preston Center.

Built in 1999, the building contains almost 200,000 square feet and is located on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway and Sherry Lane.

Tenants in the building include Virginia Cook Realtors, Amadeus Technology  and Caliber Home Loans.

The building was acquired in a transaction with RREEF.

Preston Center is one of Dallas’ hottest office markets, with low vacancy rates and some of the highest rents in the city.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Developer Alamo Manhattan is ready to start its next Uptown Dallas apartment block

Alamo Manhattan
The new rental community is being built just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway on Boll Street.
Developer Alamo Manhattan Corp. is ready to start work on its next Uptown apartment project.
The Dallas builder has scheduled a Feb. 25 groundbreaking for the  6-story apartment development which will be constructed on Boll Street just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
The 210-unit rental community is being built on the site of the old Mason Bar in the State-Thomas neighborhood.  Addison-based Hensley Lamkin Rachel designed the project.
“We consider State Thomas to be Dallas’s best urban neighborhood,” said developer Matt Segrest who heads the company. “The area is evolving into Dallas’ version of New York’s Upper East Side.
“It is an upscale enclave with median annual income that is $10,000 higher than the rest of Uptown,” he said. “We are designing to that demographic. Our project will be a worthy addition to this exceptional area.”
Alamo is currently constructing a 208-unit apartment block near Cedar Springs Road and Turtle Creek called Routh Street Flats.
And the developer built the Moda apartments at Victory Park and Monaco on Carlisle Street.
Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

West Plano office site hits the market in booming Legacy business park

The vacant property for sale is just east of where construction has started on the $400 million Legacy West urban village.

With the development boom underway in West Plano, the owners of a Legacy business park building have decided to sell two adjacent construction sites.

JLL is marketing what is the last large development tract in the Legacy Town Center project.

The almost 4-acre vacant tract surrounds the former Encana Oil & Gas tower, which is located on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway and north of Legacy Drive.

The property – which is large enough for two office buildings and a parking garage – was originally part of the planned Encana campus.

The Canada-base energy firm pulled out of the project in late 2013.

Since then JLL has been leasing the empty office tower.

And now property owner Cole Real Estate Investments has hired the commercial real estate firm to sell the land.

“It’s right in the heart of Legacy Town Center,” said JLL’s Greg Biggs. “With amount of activity around there we think there will be a lot of interest in these sites.”

The land that’s for sale is just east of where construction is starting on the $400 million Legacy West urban village with hundreds of apartments, shopping, offices and hotel. Toyota Motors’ new North American headquarters site is also nearby.

Biggs said the property could accommodate about 600,000 square feet of office space in two towers.

“We’ve had a number of inquiries about it already,” he said.

JLL is taking bids on the land from interested buyers.

The property was originally planned for three towers. Only one was built.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

$50 million redo in the works for Solana business park near D/FW Airport

The Solana office park buildings in Westlake which have been leased to First American Corp.

Solana Business Park located northwest of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is launching a major renovation of the 230-acre mixed-use project.

The plan is to spend more than $50 million in upgrades to the office park, which is located on State Highway 114.

Turner Construction is the general contractor and commercial real estate firm DTZ is marketing and managing the property.

Construction will include a exterior and interior renovations of the existing buildings, improvements to the retail space, a new parking garage and new landscaping.

“The redevelopment of Solana Business Park will lend further appeal to regional, national, and international companies looking to relocate operations in Texas.” Brian Driesse, director of asset management for Equity Office Properties, said in a statement.

Blackstone bought the office park, which was about 50 percent occupied, in September for a reported $180 million following a foreclosure.

The development includes almost 2 million square feet of office space, a hotel, fitness center, retail and about 70 acres of undeveloped land.

Blackstone – which owns Equity Office – also last year acquired the Four Seasons Resort and Hotel in Las Colinas.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Perot will tap top talent for downtown Dallas skyscraper project

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked these days is when will Dallas get another skyscraper?

Not since the 1980s has Big D seen a truly tall office building constructed downtown.

Most of the current crop of buildings range in height from 15 to 25 floors.

DMN File Photo
Chase Tower in Downtown Dallas
The last true downtown skyscraper was the 55-story Chase Tower, which opened in Ross Avenue in 1987.

Dallas’ tallest building – the 72-story Bank of America Plaza – turns 30 this year.

The best chance for a real skyline changing building downtown could be a site on Woodall Rodgers at Field Street.

Ross Perot Jr. bought the 1.75-acre Bank of America motorbank on the corner back in 2013.

Since then the businessman and developer has done preliminary planning for the property with architect HOK.

Zoning on the corner allows construction of a more than 1.5 million-square-foot skyscraper with no height restrictions.

So Perot has decided to think big with the property.

“We are going to have a competition to design a building and bring top architects from across the world,” he said. “We need to get these great architects in the city.”

The Perot family picked award-winning Seattle architect Mithun Inc. to do its new campus on Turtle Creek.

And the namesake Perot Museum of Nature and Science was designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Thom Mayne.

Perot said he wants a landmark building to attract a major business tenant to downtown Dallas.

“That site is totally tied to an anchor tenant,” he said. “And there are three or four million square feet of major tenants whose leases are coming due soon.”

With a high-style building as bait and a prime location, Perot’s planned project could land a whopper of an office lease deal – at least he hopes so.

Ross Perot Jr. bought the Bank of America motorbank on Woodall Rodgers in 2013 with plans for a new tower.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Uptown Dallas apartment tower changes hands

Investor Heitman LLC has completed its purchase of an Uptown apartment tower.

A new Uptown tower that’s on the market could fetch

The 308-unit, 17-story Taylor apartment high-rise on Carlisle at Bowen Street near Turtle Creek was expected to sell for one of the highest prices ever paid for a Dallas apartment community.

Real estate brokers estimated the deal would top $100 million. Terms of the sale to the Chicago-based investor were not disclosed.

The luxury rental project was built and sold by Dallas’ StreetLights Residential.

CBRE Group’s Ryan Reid and Dick Goris marketed the Taylor for sale.

Rents in the building average more than $2,300 a month and are as high as $9,620 for the largest unit.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Crow Holdings starting Maple Avenue restaurant park

Steve Brown
Crow Holdings has built one Maple Avenue restaurant styled after an historic home and three more are coming.
Crow Holdings is ready to start work on its Oak Lawn restaurant park.

The development will include three restaurant buildings – one of which is already completed at the corner of Throckmorton Street.
The new project is located on Maple Avenue just across the street from Crow Holding’s Old Parkland office campus.
Buildings in the $3.5 million project will resemble craftsman style and Victorian homes from the early 20th century.
“The idea of trying to have everything over there look like Old Parkland is crazy,” said Crow Holdings CEO Harlan Crow. “But we are trying to do it in a nice way.”
Two of the restaurant buildings have already been leased to 18th & Vine, a Kansas City-style barbeque eatery and a Roman tavern.
Architexas designed the buildings. And The Shop Cos. Is handling the leasing.
Crow Holdings
Three restaurant buildings are planned in the project on Maple Avenue north of Oak Lawn Avenue.

Dallas developer eyes Oak Lawn apartment project

Steve Brown
The property Mill Creek Residential Trust is looking at is on Cedar Springs Road just south of Oak Lawn Avenue.
A busy Dallas apartment builder has zeroed in on a choice Oak Lawn development site.
Mill Creek Residential Trust is negotiating to buy a vacant half block near the intersection of Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road for a new rental community, according to filings with the City of Dallas.
The more than one-acre site is next door to the Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, which owns the tract and uses part of it for parking. The development site has been for sale for several months, with HFF marketing the property.
The same property previously attracted the attention of Atlanta-based Novare Group which wanted to do a more than 20-story tower.
But the property has height restrictions due to Love Field.
Mill Creek has several Dallas-area apartment communities. The builder recently finished projects in Dallas’ Victory Park and just east of Highland Park near Knox Street.
Mill Creek is also building a 179-unit apartment community on North Central Expressway near Fitzhugh Avenue.
HFF has been marketing the property for sale.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

A new Uptown grocery store may be in the works near Victory Park

A grocer may be shopping for a location in a new Uptown’s real estate project

Real estate brokers say that a grocer will be announced soon for the Akard Place development located next door to Victory Park.

RED Development of Phoenix and Dallas’ StreetLights plan to build the $200 million mixed-use project at Field Street and Cedar Springs Road just north of downtown.

As part of the project, a 40,000-square-foot grocery store is being planned.

Tom Thumb is in talks to operate the store, downtown and Uptown real estate brokers say.

A spokesman for Tom Thumb said that the Texas supermarket chain which was just acquired by Albertsons has “no information to share at this time” about an Uptown store.

Albertson’s just gave up its location on McKinney Avenue next door to the Cityplace project as part of the purchase of Tom Thumb. A new store at Akard Place would give the grocer a new flag in Uptown.

A representative for RED Development said there was no information available now about a grocery store in the project.

A 16-story office tower, 20-story residential building and retail space are planned with Akard Place for the two vacant blocks just east of Victory Park and near the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

The grocery store would occupy the lower level of the project.

Whole Foods Market is now building the only Uptown grocery store on McKinney Avenue at Routh Street. That store in the ground floor of a new apartment block won’t open until later this year.

Other grocers including Kroger and Central Market have also looked at spots in Uptown and downtown but so far haven’t done a deal.

Dallas developer will kick off construction of 7,200-acre Fort Worth residential community

Dallas-based Republic Property Group has landed the job to build one of the largest new residential communities in North Texas.

Republic has been selected as the developer of the 7,200-acre Walsh Ranch on Interstate-20 about 14 miles west of downtown Fort Worth, which eventually could have more than 15,000 homes.

Republic – which is developing the Lantana community near Flower Mound and Light Farms in Celina – was chosen in a competition with developers.

“The Walsh family did a national search to find a development partner,” said Republic co-president Jake Wagner. “They sent the request for proposals to 40 development firms around the country.

“We have been working with them since last year to finalize all of our partnership documents and begin to developing the vision for this community,” Wagner said.

The ranchland, which is located at the intersections of Interstates 20 and 30, has been owned by the F. Howard Walsh family since the 1930s and has been headquarters of their cattle ranching operations.

Starting in the early 2000s the family began long-term planning with the city of Fort Worth for eventual development of the rolling ranchland, Wagner said. The property totals more than 11 square miles.

“This is the largest piece of land within 10 minutes of a major central business district in the whole county,” he said. “For us this tract of land is the ideal landscape for a really unique community.

“It has great highway access and schools.”

Republic’s agreement with the Walsh’s calls for starting development on the first 1,700 acres of the property located along the north side of I-30.

“We are anticipating breaking ground in the late fall or early winter,” said Republic co-president Tony Ruggeri. “We should see homes going up at the end of next year.”

The first phase will include 300 to 500 home sites.

Along with land for single-family home neighborhoods, Walsh Ranch has potential sites for commercial development and apartments. Ultimately the development could total more than $5 billion in value.

“Currently today there are 100,000 cars a day that drive though the site on the interstates,” Ruggeri said.

Republic is working with Austin-based RVI Planning and Landscape Architecture to design the community.

“In Republic Property group we have found a partner who shares our passion and vision,” Malcolm

Louden, president of Walsh Holdings said in a statement. “They are legacy minded in their desire to create a world-class community which will have a positive, lasting impact on the region.”

Walsh Ranch will be the largest development ever by Republic, which has been in business for more than 30 years.

The company built the Stonebridge Ranch community in McKinney.

And Republic is currently developing the Phillips Creek Ranch in Frisco.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Uptown Citymark office tower has new owner

Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services has purchased an Uptown office tower.

The 11-story Citymark tower is located at the entrance to the Dallas North Tollway at 3100 McKinnon St.

Hines Real Estate Investment Trust sold the 218,926-square-foot building, which is about 74 percent leased.

The purchase includes a half-acre of land for future development.

CBRE’s Gary Carr, John Alvarado, Eric Mackey and Robert Hill brokered the sale by Hines.

“Investors were attracted to Citymark for its tremendous upside potential and compelling economic profile,” Alvarado said in a statement.

Citymark’s largest tenant is Balfour Beatty Construction.

Citymark was built in the 1980s and has been owned by Hines since 2009.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Downtown Dallas rebound brings most office leasing since 1980s

Last year there was more office leasing in downtown Dallas than in any of the area’s suburban business districts.

That’s the first time in more than 20 years that downtown has been the top office leasing market in North Texas.

Downtown property owners and economic development officials see the surge in office demand as payoff for years of reinvestment in the central business district.

The downtown turnaround is bringing more residents and retail shoppers back to the city’s core, stakeholders say.

“I started my career in the central business district in 1987,” said Johnny Johnson, executive managing director with commercial real estate firm DTZ. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time since then when things have been as strong.

“With the continued success and growth of Uptown, the whole financial district has been affirmed and repositioned,” Johnson said. “New owners are coming in and making significant investments — and not just in office but in retail and residential.”

Office leasing was the big story downtown in 2014.

Net leasing downtown totaled almost 830,000 square feet, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield Inc. The central business district saw a bigger jump in office tenants than along LBJ Freeway (760,000 square feet), the Telecom Corridor (620,000 square feet), Las Colinas (550,000), or West Plano and Frisco (530,000).

In 2014, more than 80 businesses either entered new office leases downtown or renewed their current leases, said Phil Puckett, executive vice president with CBRE.

“There were over 1 million square feet of new tenants,” Puckett said. “I think it’s one of the best years I’ve ever seen in the central business district.”

Puckett said the largest office leases downtown in 2014 were by Santander Consumer USA Inc. (375,000 square feet), Omnitrac (325,000 square feet), EnLink Midstream Partners (157,000 square feet) and Invesco (50,000 square feet).

Skyscraper makeovers

The sale and renovation of several skyscrapers has fueled the jump in leasing, he said.

“The new ownership that’s coming into downtown has been tremendous,” Puckett said. “That’s changed perspectives.”

M-M Properties, new owner of the 60-story Comerica Bank Tower, has signed 390,000 square feet of leases in the Main Street skyscraper, said CEO Ken Moczulski.

“New leases total approximately 100,000 square feet and include Preston Hollow, Southcross Energy, Quincy Biosciences and Hoque Global,” Moczulski said. “Comerica is taking another 25,000 square feet; they are continuing to expand.”

With new Uptown buildings charging more than $40 per square foot for office rent, downtown’s renovated properties are becoming more affordable in comparison, he said.

“There are a lot of people in Uptown that did leases eight or 10 years ago that are going to be in sticker shock when they go back out into that market,” Moczulski said.

Downtown already has a price edge for new apartments, said Jim Truitt, Forest City senior vice president.

“A new building in Uptown is $2.50 a foot, and downtown you can lease for $1.60 or $1.65,” said Truitt, whose firm owns four downtown apartment buildings. “A lot of people have gone downtown as a result of that.”

Truitt said about 500 residential units opened downtown in 2014 and 2,000 are in the development pipeline.

“All the buildings vacant downtown but one have a deal working for conversion to residential or hotel,” he said.

The best potential now is for retail and other uses that generate pedestrian traffic, Truitt said.

“That is the big opportunity for downtown — getting people on the street,” he said. “That’s what is important.”

Investor and developer Headington Cos. has almost single-handedly tackled the street life on Main Street with development of the Joule hotel, restaurants and new retail.

Headington is about to start construction on a retail building of almost 30,000 square feet at Main and Stone Place near Neiman Marcus.

“It will be a nice addition to the neighborhood,” said president Michael Tregoning. “If we can create the right kind of experience, you can get people down here.”

Changing environment

Tregoning said investments in projects like Klyde Warren Park and increased retail and restaurant offerings downtown are changing the environment.

“For a long time, the central business district was dominated by office space,” he said. “That creates a daytime environment but a very sterile nighttime environment.”

The influx of workers, apartment residents and shoppers brings new demands, Tregoning said.

“We need a coordinated and thoughtful traffic plan, and we need more parking,” he said. “Another limiter is the utility grid.

“On Main, Commerce and Elm streets, there has been so much more load added on the water and electricity that it’s going to be hard to keep up.”

Of course, downtown problems created by more workers, residents and visitors are good problems, according to John Crawford, CEO of the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc.

“Downtown is becoming much less of a one-dimensional office center,” he said. “And I think that’s going to continue for the next few years at least.”

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

D-FW apartment residents are paying more than ever in rent

Dallas-Fort Worth apartment renters just can’t catch a break.

In January average rents in the area jumped by more than 5 percent from a year ago, according to a new report from Axiometrics Inc.

The rent hikes in the Fort Worth area were even larger – up 6.4 percent on an annualized basis.

“What’s amazing about these figures is that they’re occurring with a continued stream of new supply,” Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics vice president of research, said in a new report. “These numbers speak to the continued strong job growth throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metro.”

The D-FW area led the country last year with almost 140,000 new jobs – a record annual employment gain for North Texas.

And population in the area is rising at more than 100,000 a year.

That’s fueled demand for apartments.

Renters are paying dearly to keep a roof over their heads.

In the Dallas area average rents were just under $1,000 a month, according to Axiometrics. In Fort Worth renters are paying an average of $891.70 a month. That’s a record for both markets.

Only about 5 percent of apartments in North Texas are vacant.

Almost 13,000 new apartments opened their doors in the D-FW area last year, according to Axiometrics. And another 15,901 rental units are scheduled for completion here this year.

“Given the bump-up in supply, we’ll likely continue to see rent growth and occupancy moderate, as both metropolitan districts absorb the new units,” McCleskey said.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Friday, February 13, 2015

TD Ameritrade scouting North Texas for large office block

Along with State Farm Insurance and Liberty Mutual, another major financial services company is looking for a large block of office space in North Texas.

TD Ameritrade, based in Omaha, Neb., is in the market for more than a half-million square feet, say real estate brokers tracking the deal.

The securities brokerage and investment firm is scouting for office locations near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where it would locate a large operations center, leasing agents say.

TD Ameritrade has an office in North Fort Worth, where it handles technology, client services, investment consulting, brokerage operations and support for its institutional business.

The company has almost 200,000 square feet in the Alliance Gateway. In 2011, TD Ameritrade expanded the facility, saying it was adding almost 500 new jobs.

Real estate brokers say that if TD Ameritrade is successful with its office hunt, the operation would grow even larger with more employees.

Officials in the company’s headquarters could not provide details about the project but confirmed the need for larger facilities.

“As we continue to grow, there is a need to look for additional office space in the Dallas area,” said TD Ameritrade spokesman Brendan McManus. “No decisions have been made; we’re just exploring options at this time.”

In 2013, TD Ameritrade opened a $250 million headquarters in Omaha with 1,200 workers.

The company just bought a large data center complex in Richardson, which adds significantly to its potential in the area.

An affiliate of TD Ameritrade purchased the Stream Private Data Center at 1811 E. Renner Road, just east of State Farm Insurance’s new corporate campus.

The 73,320-square-foot project, just south of Bush Turnpike, was built in 2012 by Dallas-based Stream.

If TD Ameritrade moves ahead with its office plans, it would be the latest major firm to expand its footprint in North Texas.

State Farm Insurance is already moving into its huge, four-building campus in Richardson.

And Toyota Motor Co. is about to start construction on its $350 million North American headquarters in West Plano.

Boston-based Liberty Mutual zeroed in on a location near Toyota in West Plano, where it would locate more than 4,000 workers in two office towers, real estate brokers say.

And rumors in the real estate market continue about California-based Charles Schwab Corp. looking at the Dallas area for a large office.

Last summer, Schwab said it was expanding operations in Austin and adding office workers in El Paso.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Dallas' Gaedeke Group buys Legacy West tract near Toyota's new headquarters

  • Legacy West 2
    The $2 billion Legacy West project will also include a luxury walkable community that will rival the nearby Shops of Legacy to the east.

A Dallas-based real estate investor has bought an 11-acre tract near Toyota's new North American headquarters to build an office building within the $2 billion Legacy West project.

The tract at the corner of Legacy Drive and State Highway 121 is adjacent to Toyota's new campus, as well as the rumored site of Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance's new service center.

Terms of the off-market deal were undisclosed. Glenn Lickstein of Gaedeke Group represented the buyer. Jim Judge of Wicker & Associates represented the seller, SWC Tollway & 121 LLC.

CEO Sabine Gaedeke Stener said she's excited her investment group will play a part of the larger Legacy West development and be located in close proximity to prestigious companies.

Stener is finalizing plans to deliver a Class AA multitenant office building at the end of 2016. Toyota plans to open its new North American campus in 2018.

The new building is expected to give companies another leasing option in the Legacy Business Park market, while being located near some major corporate hubs.

Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal

Quadrant Investment Buys The Centrum

Quadrant Investment Properties (QIP) has announced that it has purchased The Centrum, located at 3102 Oak Lawn Ave.

Situated in the Uptown/Turtle Creek submarket, the class A, 392,473-square-foot office and retail project is currently 73 percent occupied, anchored by tenants such as Compass Health, Baron & Budd, First Service, Lackey Hershman, Steel and Mattito's Tex-Mex.

"We are extremely excited about the acquisition of The Centrum," says Chad Cook, QIP founder. "It is rare to find a project of this significance that offers a repositioning opportunity of this magnitude in such an incredible location. Once the renovations are complete, we hope to offer a workplace environment unlike any in the market, specifically targeting tenants seeking a more collaborative office experience. The building was designed with deep floor plates and high ceilings as well as multiple on-site amenities, all of which are ideal for creative office space users."

In addition, "QIP was attracted to the repositioning opportunity, combined with the great location of The Centrum," Kimberley Brooks, principal with Transwestern, told

Renovations for the project will begin later this year, including a redesigned lobby, outdoor courtyards and rooftop decks, and the addition of multiple food concepts. The renovations will also include updates to the common areas and parking garage, in addition to a spec suite program. QIP has hired Transwestern to lease the asset; CBRE will manage.

Reps with Transwestern were unable to offer more details by press time.

Anna Caplan, GlobeSt

North Texas home prices jumped 12 percent in January

North Texas’ home market started the new year with another big jump in prices.

Median home sales prices rose 12 percent last month from a year ago.

That continues the much-higher-than-normal home price increases that have dominated the local residential market for months. Typically home values in North Texas grow by 3 to 5 percent a year.

Prices were up 7 percent for all of 2014 compared with 2013 levels, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

Dallas housing analyst Ted Wilson with Residential Strategies Inc. said the “lack of balance between supply and demand continues to add upward price pressure on houses.”

“And there does not appear to be any near-term changes in this condition,” he said.

January sales of preowned single-family homes were 3 percent higher than a year earlier, with 4,852 homes sold by real estate agents through their multiple listing service.

The number of homes listed for sale in North Texas fell to 16,358 last month — the lowest total in more than a decade. The area had only a 2.2-month supply of houses for sale.

“Housing inventory levels have been running at a level that is about one-third of the amount considered to be theoretical equilibrium,” Wilson said.

Some real estate analysts have predicted a slower Texas housing market this year because of the decline in oil and gas industry employment and forecasts of slower economic growth for the state.

But so far there’s no sign that the Dallas-Fort Worth home market is cooling.

“If sales and activity start to fall off from lower oil prices — a possibility, although generally not felt to be as significant in D-FW as in other markets — then it might give the market a chance to get back into better balance between demand and supply,” said Dr. James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M.

Last year, sales of preowned homes in North Texas rose only 1 percent from 2013 levels. Analysts said the lack of housing inventory depressed purchases in the area.

On average, it takes only about 60 days to sell a house in the more than two dozen North Texas counties included in the monthly housing survey.

Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News

Monday, February 09, 2015

Stream Breaks Ground on Connection Park

Stream Realty Partners has announced the groundbreaking of the first phase of its latest office development, Connection Park.

Situated at the intersection of Freeport Parkway and LBJ Freeway in Irving, Connection Park will comprise over 300,000 square feet of office space across two interconnected buildings. Stream is partnering with Alex Brown Realty on the project and DFW-based American Bank of Texas is providing construction financing.

Phase I of the 18.3 acre campus includes a 3.5 story building and 141,219 square feet of class A office space. The top floor will feature a patio-ready rooftop, which tenants can convert to an indoor/outdoor cafe or executive amenity.

Design firm Powers Brown, a leader in tilt-wall design, is the project’s architect and EMJ Corp. is the general contractor for Phase I.

"EMJ was actually on the site and under way the first week of January, so we are on schedule for a November delivery,” Ramsey March, managing director at Stream, told “We've seen a significant pickup in leasing interest since that time and expect to break ground on the second phase later this year."

Adds March: “The buildings will include more restrooms, more glass and better curb-appeal than a typical value-office building while providing the efficiency and 6:1000 parking ratio the market demands.”

Construction on the 160,000-square-foot second phase of Connection Park will commence later this year.

“There is persistent under supply of high-quality, large blocks of space throughout DFW for tenants demanding 6:1000 parking or better,” says Tim Terrell, the executive vice president at Stream leading the leasing efforts. “We are targeting lead tenants anywhere from 20,000 to 140,000 square feet and are willing to break up the building for the right situation.”

Anna Caplan, GlobeSt.