Friday, January 29, 2016

Transwestern Negotiates Industrial Lease in Fort Worth

4600-Blue-Mound-fort-worth-texas-anchor-fabricationTranswestern has negotiated a 224,800-square-foot industrial lease for Anchor Fabrication Ltd. at 4600 Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — Transwestern has negotiated a 224,800-square-foot industrial lease for Anchor Fabrication Ltd. at 4600 Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth. The Texas-based metal fabrication company also has a manufacturing facility at 1200 Lawson Road in Fort Worth. Transwestern’s Sarah LanCarte represented the tenant. The city of Fort Worth owns the industrial facility.

Construction underway on Scott Beck's $4B Dallas Midtown project

The $4 billion project will include a pedestrian friendly esplanade that will connect residents and shoppers with other parts of the mixed-use development.
Dallas developer Scott Beck has begun environmental remediation and pre-demolition work on the $4 billion Dallas Midtown mixed-use development in North Dallas that will make way for a new corporate magnet and entertainment destination.

Beck's Dallas-based Beck Ventures is overseeing the redevelopment immediately surrounding Valley View Center, which is about 17 blocks within a larger 40-block, 430-acre mixed-use development surrounding Valley View Center (an area bounded by the Dallas North Tollway, LBJ Expressway, North Central Expressway and Spring Valley Road) in North Dallas.

"We have been able to move forward with all the pieces it takes to start the project, but we have to go through environmental remediation before we can physically take down the building," Beck told the Dallas Business Journal.

Valley View Center is expected to be taken down brick-by-brick versus an implosion to salvage materials that could ultimately be used in the new development on the site in North Dallas. Beck Ventures also is in the process of creating a tree farm by pruning back the roots of certain trees to ready them for being moved, he said.

The pre-demolition work began in earnest in December. By May 1, Beck said he expects to begin demolition on Valley View Center and have the entire site cleared and ready for vertical construction by the end of the year.

"There's 1.5 million square feet of real estate there today with over 20,000 parking spaces on asphalt; this is a very large-scale project," Beck told me.

The development firm has about six demolition contractors in the running on the project. It has yet to be awarded and Beck said he is in the process of whittling the list down to a final group of three firms.

"There's only a handful of firms that can even do a project of this size," said Beck, who said the selected firm will salvage steel, asphalt and glass to be repurposed in a new function on his project, or elsewhere.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

JLL Hires Three for DFW Office

The trio had previously worked at Younger Partners.
DALLAS--JLL has announced the firm is bolstering its capital markets expertise with the addition of three industrial investment sales specialists to its Dallas-Fort Worth office. 
Dustin Volz joins as a senior vice president along with vice president Zane Marcell and associate Grant Matthews. The trio will work with a large and growing team of capital markets experts at JLL’s Dallas office, which is led by managing director Tim Jordan. They will broaden the firm’s expertise within both the industrial and office sectors in North Texas.
“Our team is proud to be joining an industry leading capital markets platform,” Volz told “With Texas’ continued in-migration and ever diversified economy, we are excited about the future of the region and growing the Industrial segment of the platform.”
Volz founded the investment services team at Younger Partners in 2013, focusing on industrial and office assets in the North Texas region.  He has more than eight years of experience in commercial real estate, completing more than $375 million in transactions. 
Marcell also joins JLL from Younger Partners, where he helped found the investment services team and specialized in industrial and office assets in the North Texas region. Over the course of his nearly nine-year career in commercial real estate he has completed more than $325 million in transactions. 
Matthews began his commercial real estate career at Younger Partners in 2014. Prior to that, he specialized in transactional law in private legal practice.
By Anna Caplan for

Ready Capital Secures $18M Loan for Office Building in Dallas

DALLAS — Ready Capital Structured Finance, a nationwide commercial real estate bridge and mezzanine lender, has closed an $18 million loan for the recapitalization and stabilization of an office building in Dallas. The 18-story, 183,000-square-foot property is located on Ervay Street in downtown Dallas’ central business district. Known locally as Alto 211, the building originally catered to traditional office users but has undergone substantial renovations transforming it into modern, creative office space. The non-recourse, three-year loan features flexible pre-payment options and two one-year extension options, including a facility to provide future funding encompassing tenant improvements, leasing commissions and capital expenditures. 

By Haisten Willis for REBusinessOnline

Mercedes-Benz to Open New Facilities in Metro Dallas

mercedes-benz-usa-grapevine-texasCurrently owned by the city of Grapevine, the site consists of around 31 acres along Lakeside Parkway at Enterprise Road.

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS — Mercedes-Benz plans to open two facilities in Grapevine. The first is a regional parts distribution center (PDC) designed to support the sales and distribution of spare parts to the customers and dealer network of Mercedes. The second is a learning and performance center (LPC). The LPC is relocating from Houston to the Grapevine site and is planned to be a technical facility accommodating on-going training of Mercedes-Benz dealership technicians from around the Southwest region. Currently owned by the city of Grapevine, the site consists of around 31 acres along Lakeside Parkway at Enterprise Road. Once fully operational, both the training facility and parts distribution center will be staffed with 50 employees with the ability to train 150 technicians per week. The PDC is planned to be 254,000 square feet and the LPC is 59,000 square feet. Seefried Industrial Properties, in partnership with a long-time European capital partner, is the purchaser of the land and developer for this project. Mercedes has executed a development agreement with Seefried Properties and will purchase the project upon completion. Design of the two facilities is underway and will be submitted for permitting in February 2016. The initial site work will start this month with a full construction start in March. The target completion and occupancy date is January 2017, with full operations commencing March 1, 2017.
By Haisten Willis for REBusinessOnline

Exclusive: Inside the $2B Legacy West's retail-centric vision taking shape in West Plano

Fehmi Karahan's 300,000 square-feet of mixed use retail at Legacy West rises behind him.
In less than year, Fehmi Karahan's retail-centric vision for the $2 billion, 255-acre Legacy West mixed-use development has begun taking shape, with a number of retailers lined up to set up shop.

At one point, Karahan, president of Plano-based The Karahan Cos., had up to eight construction cranes working on the initial $400 million phase of Legacy West, which will bring about 300,000 square feet of retail space, 800,000 square feet of office space, about 600 apartment homes and four parking decks.

So far, big restaurant and retail names, such as Del Frisco's Double Eagle SteakhouseTrue FoodTommy Bahama Island Store, Blue PlanetSuit Supply, North Italia and Bistro 31, are coming to Legacy West.
Fidelity also plans to put a big bank branch at the northwest corner of Legacy Drive and the Dallas North Tollway in West Plano.

"Looking at it, we are at least 30 percent or so through the project," Karahan told the Dallas Business Journal, after an exclusive hard-hat tour of construction at Legacy West.

"This will be three times bigger than the Shops at Legacy North," he added. "We will have some upper end retail brands at Legacy West — much like the retail found at NorthPark — but I think the ultra luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Christian Doir will be a second generation retailer for us.

"I think after trying these brands at (The Shops at) Willow Bend and they failed; the luxury retailers still have that bitter taste in their mouth," he added. "It will take them awhile and they will have to discover us."

Gensler is the project architect. Rogers-O'Brien Construction is the general contractor on this portion of Legacy West and oversee the logistics of the other construction projects in full swing at the development (i.e. Toyota North America, Liberty Mutual, and the Renaissance hotel).

Construction is underway on a six-story, 1,285-parking space garage adjacent to 250,000 square feet of office and retail space on the west side of the project (west of Windrose Avenue), with apartments and parking underway on the east side of the roadway.

Even though there's been a labor shortage for construction workers in North Texas, especially subcontractors, Rogers-O'Brien Senior Superintendent Steve Pesnell said the firm hasn't had a problem hiring wood framers, concrete mixers and electricians to work on this project.

"We have a loyal sub-base and we have a lot of relationships over the decades," said Pesnell, who has worked on big corporate jobs such as the EDS campus, Cisco offices and many others in North Texas.

For Rogers-O'Brien, the hot Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market has turned into an "all-you-can-eat buffet" for construction companies and the company has had to be selective in accepting new jobs, he said.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

MultiView Renews Headquarters Lease at One Panorama Center in Irving

One Panorama Center is located at 7701 Las Colinas Ridge in Irving.

IRVING, TEXAS — Transwestern has represented MultiView Inc. in a 109,610-square-foot lease renewal for the digital marketing company’s corporate headquarters at One Panorama Center, located at 7701 Las Colinas Ridge in Irving. Transwestern’s John Fulton represented MultiView in the transaction, while Duane Henley and Nathan Durham, also of Transwestern, represented the building owner, Regent Properties. One Panorama Center is an eight-story, Class A office tower. The property is 10 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and near MacArthur Boulevard. Regent acquired the property in October 2014 and has implemented interior and exterior improvements since the purchase.

Haisten Willis for REBusiness Online

Hunt Southwest to Build Spec Industrial Building in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — Hunt Southwest Real Estate Development has acquired a 16.7-acre site in the Riverbend West Business Park in northeast Fort Worth and will develop a 301,500-square-foot spec warehouse and distribution facility at the site. Construction on Riverbend West Distribution Center, located at 2101 Reeves Place, will commence immediately with completion expected in the third quarter of 2016. The facility will feature 32-foot clear heights, cross-dock configuration, an ESFR sprinkler system and dedicated trailer parking positions. Holt Lunsford Commercial’s Donnie Rohde, Chance Olin and George Jennings will lease the industrial property to prospective tenants.

Haisten Willis for REBusiness Online

This year's Best Real Estate Deals awards expected to be biggest yet

Dallas Farmers Market was the winner last year for Community Impact.

Dallas-Fort Worth commercial real estate veterans across the board say 2015 was one of the best years yet in their 30-, 40- and sometimes 50-year real estate careers (yes, I'm looking at you, Herb Weitzman).

The activity in the industry has increased as the region has been named one of the top investment markets in the world by the Urban Land Institute andPricewaterhouseCoopers.

There's been a long list of real estate accomplishments in 2015. Here are just a few that closed last year:
The hopping real estate market isn't expected to go away anytime soon, either.
"Dallas is a hot market with a number of investors looking at a number opportunities," said John Crawford, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc., as he was re-capping some of the big deals that have landed in the city's central business district.

Link to full article here

Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Construction begins on multimillion-dollar redo of former Belo Building

The ground floor of 400 Record St. will feature a glass lobby that opens up to the sidewalk in downtown Dallas.

Even though Thomas Hartland-Mackie has been leading City Electric Supply from Dallas for the past decade, the Orlando, Florida-based wholesale electric supply distributor had yet to have a formal headquarters.

That all changed when Hartland-Mackie, the company's CEO, acquired the 17-story former Belo Building at 400 S. Record St. in downtown Dallas in October 2014.

"I came to realize the gained benefits and efficiencies brought by bringing our centralized functions together," Hartland-Mackie told the Dallas Business Journal.
"We started looking for a larger location for our corporate headquarters in Dallas," he added. "A good friend (Grant Pruitt) at Cushman & Wakefield brought this to our attention and I was excited about the potential — not only in the building — but the immediate neighborhood around the Omni."

City Electric Supply currently has offices in Orlando, Boston, Charleston, South Carolina and Dallas. In the next 12 months, City Electric will move about 200 people (the majority relocating employees) within six floors of the 17-story office tower, which is the company's new headquarters.

Construction is underway on the major multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the tower, which is being marketed as 400 Record. Hartland-Mackie is hosting a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday to mark the occasion.

Link to full article here

Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Exclusive: Four Fortune 1000 companies considering headquarters moves to Dallas area

Four major companies are seriously considering relocating their headquarters to Dallas or its surrounding suburbs, a top regional economic development officer told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive interview.

Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, declined to name the companies, but said that the combined total of jobs at play would be several thousand. While none of the moves are a certainty, the Dallas region is on the short list for all four.
Dale Petroskey Photo  
Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of Dallas Regional Chamber

“We’ve made it to the finals with these companies,” he said. “A lot of people want to move here.”

The four are all Fortune 1000 companies, and they have different timeframes for their moves, he said. One is expected to decide whether North Texas makes the cut in the first half of this year. The Fortune list is made up of the 1,000 largest American companies, ranked by revenues.

The Dallas area has attracted 70 corporate headquarters in the past five years, including 35 from California.

When companies do choose North Texas, the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the region’s central geographic location and its reasonable tax and regulatory environment often contribute to the decision, Petroskey said. North Texas’s reputation as a place where employers can find people who aren’t afraid of hard work often seals the deal, he said.

“This is a more traditional workforce than other places, and I think employers like that,” Petroskey said. “Our community is filled with traditional hard-working people.”

Bill Hethcock for Dallas Business Journal

Lakeside mixed-use project coming in Denton County town of Little Elm

The mixed-use development will have 242 apartments and will take 16 to 18 months to build. (Palladium USA)
The mixed-use development will have 242 apartments and will take 16 to 18 months to build. (Palladium USA)
Dallas developer Palladium USA International is building a mixed-use development in the Denton County community of Little Elm.
The project – built in partnership with NE Development – will 6,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 203,090 square feet of apartments homes in 4-story buildings.The 7.4-acre project is at the southeast corner of Eldorado Parkway and Main Street, across from Hydrous Wake Park.
“Our goal is to create high-value, destination developments that build community,” Tom Huth, president and CEO of Palladium USA, said in a statement. “With the tremendous growth in Little Elm and surrounding communities, along with the huge appeal and amenities of the Lakefront District, we see tremendous potential in this new development.”
The mixed-use development will have 242 apartments and will take 16 to 18 months to build.
Humphreys & Partners Architects designed the development.
Palladium USA is the same developer building a 30-story, 312-apartment tower in the $2 billion Legacy West development in West Plano.
The developer has also built high-rise apartments in Far North Dallas and Las Colinas.

Steve Brown for Biz Beat Blog

Mercedes-Benz to develop new regional distribution facility in Grapevine

Mercedes-Benz USA, which is in the process of moving its headquarters to Atlanta, plans to develop a new regional parts distribution warehouse and a new Learning & Performance Center along Lakeside Parkway in Grapevine.

The Learning & Performance Center is relocating from Houston to Grapevine and will accommodate the ongoing training of Mercedes-Benz dealership technicians from throughout the southwestern United States.

The new 254,000-square-foot parts distribution warehouse will sit along Lakeside Parkway in Grapevine

The two facilities are slated to sit on more than 31 acres along Lakeside Parkway at Enterprise Road in Grapevine, which is the northern-most part of a 185-acre tract of land once owned by former Texas Rangers player Rafael Palmeiro.The City of Grapevine purchased the acreage for $29.5 million.

Grapevine is creating a corporate magnet upon the land, which will also house Kubota Tractor Corp. upon completion of the facility. Mayor William D. Tate said the new Mercedes-Benz USA facilities and Kubota Tractor Corp.'s headquarters will boost the community with hundreds of new jobs.

The parts distribution center — which is one of six of its kind in the country — will total about 254,000 square feet of space and will parcel out parts throughout the southwest United States.

Once staffed, the 59,000-square-foot training facility will employ 50 full-time employees and will be able to train 150 to 200 technicians per week.

Link to full article here

Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Texas adds 24,900 jobs in December; DFW jobless rate falls

The state of Texas added 24,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in December, the 10th straight month of job increases in the state, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

That was the good news. The bad news is that the state’s unemployment rate rose to 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in November. That’s still below the national average of 5 percent.

texas flag waving
Texas saw 24,900 jobs added in December.

“Texas finished 2015 on a strong note in December with employers adding 166,900 jobs over the year across a diverse range of industries,” TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said in the news release.

According to the TWC, professional and business services employment saw an additional 12,500 jobs in December, that sector’s largest over-the-month gain since November 2014.

The second largest employment gain over the month was the Education and Health Services industry, which saw 7,400 jobs added.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area recorded an unemployment rate in December of 3.7 percent, which was down from 4 percent in November and in December 2014.

Link to article here

By Lance Murray for Dallas Business Journal 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Henry Schein Expands at Heritage Business Park in Metro Dallas

Heritage Business Park is a 1.5 million-square-foot
industrial project in Southlake.

SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS — New York-based Henry Schein Inc. has expanded its footprint in Heritage Business Park, becoming the first tenant for a six-month-old industrial building in the 1.5 million-square-foot project in Tarrant County. The Fortune 500 company has signed a long-term lease for a 17,888-square-foot end cap in a 134,160-square-foot warehouse located at 1080 S. Kimball Ave. in Southlake.

The tenant plans to relocate an existing division from Heritage Business Park 2, where it leases 241,000 square feet, to the new building, one of two that former owner KTR Capital Partners completed last summer. Michael Spain and Nick Talley of Dallas-based Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services represented the landlord in the lease deal.

The plan calls for a second-quarter move-in to Heritage Business Park 8, the smaller of the two new buildings. Jeremy Halback of USI Real Estate Brokerage Services represented the tenant in its expansion at the nine-building Heritage Business Park. Henry Schein is a provider of healthcare products and services for dental, animal health and medical practitioners. 

Texas Real Estate Business 

Trammell Crow, MetLife Break Ground on Park District in Dallas

Park District will be located in downtown Dallas.
DALLAS — Trammell Crow Co. and MetLife have begun construction on Park District in the heart of downtown Dallas, the Arts District, Uptown and Klyde Warren Park. The two-tower mixed-use development spans more than 900,000 square feet of Class A office space, restaurants and residences. The 20-story office tower, PwC Tower at Park District, will feature 500,000 square feet of Class A office space with 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional services firm providing assurance, tax and advisory services, is the building’s anchor tenant, occupying 200,000 square feet on floors 12-19. The tower features fitness facilities, outdoor common spaces, on-site banking and a valet. The lobby will include a conference center, executive lounge and a “great room” for tenants to use as an alternative workspace. Trammell Crow’s residential subsidiary, High Street Residential, is developing the 33-story Residences at Park District, which will feature 253 units and 13,000 square feet of retail space fronting Klyde Warren Park.

Residents will have access to an amenity deck with a pool overlooking the park and the Dallas skyline, a fitness center, valet and concierge services. The retail space will have 20-foot floor-to-floor glass on two levels providing the second level with views of Klyde Warren Park. The two buildings will be connected via a plaza, which was designed by The Office of James Burnett. The vast majority of parking will be located in a sub-grade, four-level garage accessible from both Pearl and Olive streets. Scott Krikorian, Joel Behrens and K.C. Bills with Trammell Crow are leading the development team.

Balfour Beatty is the general contractor and HKS is the project architect. The development team is seeking LEED Gold certification for PwC Tower at Park District and LEED Silver certification for The Residences at Park District. JP Morgan Chase led financing for the project. Dennis Barnes, Celeste Fowden and Clay Gilbert with CBRE Dallas are leasing and marketing PwC Tower at Park District. Phil Puckett with CBRE Dallas represented PwC in its lease transaction.

Texas Real Estate Business 

Stream to Develop Data Center in Plano

The new data center will be a 210,000-square-foot, ground-up development.

PLANO, TEXAS — Stream Data Centers has acquired 16 acres at Legacy Business Park, a master-planned, mixed-use development in Plano, to build a data center. The new data center will be a 210,000-square-foot, ground-up development. Additionally, Stream plans to build the data center to LEED Silver standards. This will be Stream’s second data center in Legacy and its fourth development in the Dallas market in the last four years. Stream Data Centers will break ground on the Plano data center in the second quarter of 2016, and the facility will be ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2017. 

Link to full article here

By Haisten Willis for REBusinessOnline

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ross Perot Jr.'s Hillwood Properties to put up nearly 2M square feet of development

Hillwood Properties — Ross Perot's force behind the 18,000-acre master-planned AllianceTexas mixed-use development in north Fort Worth — has begun 2016 with the construction of more than 1.75 million square feet of speculative industrial space.

The new construction includes two industrial buildings in Alliance Westport and a third building in Alliance Center North. The spec space is part of the Fort Worth-based firm's strategy to cater to the needs of a wide range of companies.

Transportation accounts for about half of the total logistical costs for distributors today, which is why the developer wants to put the three buildings next to the BNSF Alliance Intermodal Facility and Interstate 35W, said Tony Creme, vice president of Hillwood Properties.

"Hillwood Properties believes in the fundamentals of the North Texas industrial market, especially at AllianceTexas," Creme said.
Recently, AllianceTexas has added LG Electronics and to the client roster within Alliance Center North. Creme said he expects to add some new clients to the master-planned development with these three buildings.

Two of the buildings — Alliance Westport 18 and 19 — are located at the entrance of the BNSF Railway Intermodal Facility at FM 156 and Intermodal Parkway.

Westport 18 is being built to an initial total of 800,000 square feet of industrial space with the ability to expand to 1.3 million square feet. Westport 19 will total 360,000 square feet of industrial space.

The third building — Alliance Center North 15 — will total 588,000 square feet of industrial space and is located at Interstate 35W and Eagle Parkway.
Construction on the three industrial buildings is slated for completion in the second quarter of 2016.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

Frisco's proposed $1.6B Wade Park development adds more restaurants, retailers

Construction has been underway on Frisco's proposed $1.6 billion, 175-acre Wade Park development along the Dallas North Tollway for some time, but Atlanta-based developer Thomas Land & Development unleashed a new round of restaurants and retailers to join this vision.

Thomas Land & Development has signed five new restaurant and retail tenants, including Luna Grill, Sur La Table, Yard House, Paper Source and Blo Blow Dry Bar.

And Stan Thomas, president and CEO of Thomas Land & Development, said he's getting ready to announce more tenants in the coming weeks and months.
"From luxury hotels, to the most sought-after shopping, dining and entertainment, to unique high-end offices and residential living, people will be wowed by the one-of-a-kind experience that we're creating at Wade Park," said Thomas, in a statement.

The initial phase of Wade Park is slated to open in 2017. That includes the new Whole Foods Market, The Rustic and Steel City Pops, among many others.
For more details on restaurants and retail tenants coming to Wade Park, keep an eye out for the Dallas Business Journal Restaurant Round-up on Friday.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle at Dallas Business Journal 

Texas economic boom about to lose lots of sizzle

Texas will be marked by significantly slower rates of economic growth and jobs that will put the brakes on soaring home prices, economist said.

The boom is over.
So says Jim Gaines, chief economist at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, referring to the strong job growth and sizzling home prices that have buttressed the North Texas economy over the last few years.
n a phone interview, Gaines told us that 2016 will be “our transition year in Texas,” marked by significantly slower growth in the economy and jobs that will put the brakes on soaring home prices. He foresees growth in statewide gross domestic product of less than 1 percent, while home price gains could halve.
“The feeling of a boom economy is going to leave,” he said. “The question is not whether we’re going to slow down and possibly decline, but at what rate and what’s the timing."
Job growth has already slowed, particularly on the Fort Worth side of the Metroplex. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports that through November, employment in the Fort Worth area increased by only 0.2 percent last year, while jobs grew by 4.1 percent on the Dallas side.
In terms of housing, slower gains may still not be bad considering that strong sales pushed home prices to record levels in Dallas-Fort Worth over the past couple of years. For all of 2015, homes sales totaled 96,158 in the 29-county North Texas region, up 6 percent from 2014, the real estate center reported, and the median sale price grew by 10 percent to $205,000.
Gaines said the Texas economy, and DFW’s to some extent, was boosted by the resurgence in oil drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin. But with the collapse of oil prices last year and a pullback in drilling, that fuel is gone.
The oil bust has prompted some to warn that DFW home prices are now overvalued. In a recent report, Arch Mortgage Insurance listed Fort Worth and Dallas among the five U.S. metro areas most at risk for declining home prices. Houston — with its bigger energy industry — has the most elevated risk.
Gaines expects to see a slowdown in home sales soon, though it hasn’t shown up in the data yet. A very low inventory of homes on the market should continue to support price gains, even as sales slow, he said. But he still expects growth, not a return to the days of the Great Recession with job losses and foreclosures.
Link to full article here
By Bakers, Ahles, & Kaskovich for Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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State Farm to sell newly completed regional hub in Richardson

Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm Insurance plans to sell its new 2 million-square-foot regional hub in Richardson in a deal that could be valued at upwards of $800 million.

The insurance company could also sell its two other similar hub campuses in Atlanta and Phoenix.

State Farm Insurance is expected to bring its four-tower regional campus in Richardson to market with the help of Eastdil Secured after buying Dallas-based developer KDC's interest in the property, according to real estate sources.

Sources say this is a smart move for State Farm Insurance because its new campus sits on a high-profile, desirable part of the region in a hot real estate market, and the campus could sell for $350 to $400 per square foot, or for a total of between $700 million to $800 million.

In a statement, State Farm spokesman Chris Pilcic confirmed the company's intent to sell the properties in a sale-leaseback deal after purchasing KDC's stake in the ownership of the towers. KDC developed the buildings in partnership with State Farm Insurance.

"It is State Farm’s intent to sell all four buildings in a sale/leaseback transaction in the first half of 2016," Pilcic said, in an email. "Real estate investments help us keep our promise of financial strength to customers. "

The four buildings will ultimately house 8,000 North Texas employees upon completion of the campus, which sits in the $1.5 billion CityLine mixed-use development near North Central Expressway and the President George Bush Turnpike.

Overseas investors or a large real estate trust could be attracted to State Farm's regional campus in Richardson because of the company's credit worthiness. As part of the deal, State Farm Insurance is expected lease back the Richardson campus in a long-term agreement (for example, 20 years).

State Farm's lease concessions would also play a part in how lucrative this deal would be to a real estate investor. In Richardson, the average lease rate for office space is $21.53 per square foot with a 14.9 percent office vacancy rate.
That's reasonable compared with the overall average asking rate in Dallas of $24.38 per square foot, with a 18.7 percent vacancy rate.

Link to full article here

By Candace Carlisle for Dallas Business Journal

HFF Refis Mega $247.5M Texas Deal

The 95-percent-leased portfolio consists of 20 properties with approximately 414 tenants.
DALLAS--HFF has arranged a $247.5-million mega-refinancing deal for a retail portfolio totaling 20 properties and 2.1 million square feet in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
HFF worked on behalf of the borrower, Global Fund Investments LLC (GFI), to place the long term, fixed-rate loan with TIAA-CREF. Loan proceeds were used to refinance existing debt and recapitalize the properties.
"The assets offer geographic diversity across three strong Texas markets, as well as diversity in tenancy, with grocery anchored centers and strong shadow-anchored centers,” HFF managing director Michael Gigliottitold “The portfolio has all of the attributes necessary to attract institutional capital."
The 95-percent-leased portfolio consists of 20 properties with approximately 414 tenants, including H.E.B,Kroger, Kohl’s, LA Fitness, Petco, Golfsmith, 24-Hour Fitness, Starbucks and T.J. Maxx. Twelve of the retail centers are in Houston or Houston-area suburbs, including Katy, Missouri City, Spring and Sugar Land. The Dallas-Fort Worth area houses seven of the portfolio properties in Arlington (two centers), DeSoto, Hurst, Plano, Richardson and Southlake. One of the retail centers is located in San Antonio.
Gigliotti, senior managing director Mike Tepedino and director Cameron Cureton led HFF’s debt placement team.
“TIAA-CREF provided a comprehensive financing solution to facilitate the recapitalization of a complicated 20-property portfolio,” Gigliotti says.  “GFI brings an impressive depth of experience and high level of institutional quality to the table, which attracted the lender to the transaction.”
Link to full article here
By Anna Caplan for

Meeting space, guest rooms part of $120M expansion planned for Gaylord Texan

Nearly nine years after plans were first announced, North Texas’ third-largest hotel will undergo a $120 million expansion.

Nashville real estate investment trust Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. (NYSE: RHP), which owns the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, announced Wednesday plans to add 86,000 square feet of carpeted meeting space and 300 guest rooms to the Grapevine hotel. With the expansion, the Gaylord will have 490,000 square feet of meeting space and 1,811 rooms.

Ryman first announced a proposal to expand the Gaylord in 2007, but shelved the plans in 2008 due to the economic downturn.

The newly-announced project will make the property the second-largest non-gaming convention center hotel in the United States when measured by total self-contained exhibit and meeting space. When measured by number of guest rooms, the Gaylord will surpass the size of North Texas’ second-largest hotel, the Hilton Anatole, which has 1,606 guest rooms.

Expansion of the Gaylord’s meeting space will include adding 30,000 square feet of ballroom, 30,000 square feet of breakout and 26,000 square feet of carpeted pre-function space. Ryman is also planning a $5 million expansion of the hotel’s resort pool complex.

“…We are seeing increased demand for rooms and meeting space across our portfolio. At the same time that we are seeing this increased demand, we are also seeing almost no new competitive supply of this scale under construction for the foreseeable future, outside of the Gaylord Hotels brand,” Colin Reed, Ryman’s chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We view this expansion as a perfect opportunity to cement our unique position in the large group meetings market with a very efficient use of the company’s capital.”

Construction on the project is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year and wrap up in the second quarter of 2018, with the exception of the pool improvements, which will be complete in time for the 2016 summer season.
Cost of the project is estimated at $383,000 per key. Funding will come from Ryman’s revolving credit facility.

An annual $1 million hotel occupancy tax rebate over the next 10 years, for a total of $10 million in incentives, is being extended to the hotel by the city of Grapevine.

“This investment at Gaylord Texan is also a continued investment in Grapevine and its citizens,” Grapevine MayorWilliam Tate said in a statement. “We look forward to its completion and the additional visitors we will welcome to our great city as a result.”

Grapevine’s economic development corporation and the Gaylord did not immediately return calls for additional comment.

To lure large meetings, events and conventions, the Gaylord’s new space will compete with pre-established venues such as the Irving Convention Center and Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, as well as large hotels such as the Anatole and the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Several other convention venues also are under development or construction across North Texas. Verona Villa, a Tuscan-style luxury event center in Frisco, started building in September. The Convention Center at Watters Creek, a 64,500-square-foot convention center and 290 guest-room facility in Allen, is slated to open in 2017.

But with an increase in the number and size of events, Marshall Mills, president and CEO of The Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services, sees plenty of demand for convention space in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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By Korri Kezar for Dallas Business Journal