Tuesday, February 09, 2016

JC Penney looking to sell its 1.8M SF Plano headquarters in a money-saving real estate deal

Plano-based retail giant J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP) plans to sell its North Texas campus with a partial leaseback of its three-story, 1.8 million-square-foot Class A headquarters in a real estate deal, which is expected to reduce outstanding debt and help the retailer manage its expenses.

The deal would be similarly structured to State Farm Insurance's proposed sale-leaseback deal of its massive, newly completed regional hub, which could be sold for upwards of $800 million.

J.C. Penney wanted to hit this hot North Texas real estate market, and the deal will help the retailer deal with about 650,000 contiguous surplus square feet in the building near the Dallas North Tollway and the Sam Rayburn Tollway in Plano.
"With the tremendous growth and development currently taking place within Plano and North Texas, there's no better time to take advantage of this lucrative market by pursuing a sale of our home office real estate," said CEO Marvin Ellison, in a prepared statement.

"Even as we continue to deliver positive financial results across all aspects of our business, including delivering year-over-year gross margin increase in the fourth quarter, this presents an ideal opportunity to reduce outstanding debt and create long-term savings for the company," he added.

Ellison recently spoke at the Dallas Business Journal's Book of Lists reception at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in January. The sit-down interview is featured in today's print edition of the DBJ.

Based upon both J.C. Penney's campus and the opportunity for a new owner to lease about 650,000 square feet of office space immediately, real estate sources estimate the campus could be sold for an estimated $360 million.

Legacy Business Park in Plano is one of the hottest real estate markets in the world, and this deal is expected to garner global attention, especially with J.C. Penney's now-proximity to Toyota's new North American campus site.

Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said city council wasn't surprised that J.C. Penney put its campus on the market and the retailer had been talking about doing it for some time in closed conversations with city staff.

“From a business standpoint, this will give them the ability to leverage their assets better,” he said. “I find it extremely exciting to have more available space in the center of the universe. There continues to be interest from companies wanting to come to the area and having the available footprint means we can bring more people here."

If a deal goes through, J.C. Penney expects the new lease to offset its expected reduction in maintenance costs, interest expense and property taxes. The company also expects to pay down debt with the proceeds of a potential sale.
CBRE's capital markets group has been selected to market the 24-year-old campus.

This real estate decision comes on the heels of J.C. Penney putting 240 acres into a joint venture in 2014 with a team of developers called Team Legacy, which include master developer Fehmi Karahan, Dallas-based KDC and Dallas-based Columbus Realty.

Link to full article and video here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal