Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Economy at a Glance


(All data courtesy of the Federal Reserve)

Gathering some data to try and predict the long term direction of the economy.  A picture is worth a 1000 words. Facts, not fiction. These graphs are directly from the Federal Reserve web site. If you are studying the economy as I do, this is quite interesting. If you vote, these graphs take out all of the noise, campaign Ad's, rhetoric and lies. You won't see this information in the media.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Houston developer buys $1.3 billion Trinity Falls project near McKinney

The Trinity Falls residential development north of McKinney
is planned for almost 4,200 homes.
A Houston firm that's one of the largest developers of residential communities in Texas has completed its purchase of the sprawling Trinity Falls development north of McKinney.
Johnson Development Corp. and Tricon Capital have acquired undeveloped portions of the $1.3 billion, 1,700-acre Trinity Falls development in Collin County near U.S. Highway 75.
Trinity Falls is planned for 4,000 new homes as well as retail and commercial.
Since the community opened in 2014, about 300 homes have been built and 700 homesites have been acquired by builders.
"Trinity Falls is an established master-planned community with a proven track record in a dynamic, fast-growing market," Larry D. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of The Johnson Development Corp., said in a statement. "This was a unique opportunity to acquire one of the region's premier large-scale master planned communities."
Johnson has built more than a dozen communities in the Houston area. This is the company's second major investment in North Texas. Last year the company acquired the  2,000-acre Viridian development in Arlington.
Trinity Falls is one of the Dallas-areas most successful new residential projects and has been for sale since early this year.
Austin-based owner Castle Hill Partners hired Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP to find a buyer for the unfinished portions of Trinity Falls. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Trinity Falls has single-family homes starting in the mid $200,000s built by Ashton Woods Homes, Beazer Homes, Emerald Homes, Gehan Homes, Highland Homes, Meritage Homes and Plantation Homes.
The community includes a resort-style clubhouse, beach entry pool, neighborhood parks more than three miles of Trinity River frontage and over 450 acres of open space.
Forty-one-year-old Johnson Development is an award-winning firm that has projects in Texas and Georgia.
Its Houston-area developments include Cross Creek Ranch, Harmony, Harvest Green and Willow Creek Farms.
"They are one of the premier masterplanned community developers in the Houston area," said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies. "It's a logical migration for them to come here."
Wilson said Trinity Falls has done very well in attracting homebuyers.
"They've done 300 home starts in last year," he said. "That places them in the top 10 most active communities in D-FW."
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News 

Perot's Hillwood teams up on Collin County home development

The grain silo that operates on a railroad track near Walnut and
Louisiana Streets in downtown Celina 
Ross Perot Jr.'s Hillwood Communities is teaming up with Dallas-based real estate development firm Wynne/Jackson to develop a 350-home residential community in Celina.
The two firms in partnership purchased 119 acres west of Preston Road in the Collin County community.
The property was acquired from the pioneer Glendenning Family.
Hillwood and Wynne/Jackson plan to break ground in September on a community called Glen Crossing for homes prices between $350,000 and $425,000.
Horizon Homes and Perry Home will build in the Celina project.
"Wynne/Jackson has been a top residential lot developer in the D-FW market for years, and their expertise in this product type coupled with their ability to position the property in a manner that greatly reduced our market and entitlement risk proved to be the deciding factor in our participation in this opportunity," Fred Balda, president of Hillwood Communities, said in a statement.
Wynne/Jackson began looking for opportunities in the Celina market two years ago. This is Hillwood's first partnership with the firm.
"The opportunity to partner with Hillwood brings together our experience with their expertise and we believe that will produce a superior community for Celina and for our future residents," said CEO Clyde Jackson.
Wynne/Jackson has been in business for 35 years and developed more than $1 billion in projects, including residential communities for more than 10,000 homes.
Hillwood Communities division has developed 24,000 single-family lots in 80 master planned communities.
The project with Wynne/Jackson is the latest in a series of developments Hillwood is doing in Celina. During the last 10 months Hillwood Communities has acquired two other development sites in the town totaling almost 650 acres.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Seniors rental community starts construction in Fairview along U.S. 75

The Overture Fairview rental community is on U.S. Highway 75 and
will cater residents 55 and older 
Apartment builder Greystar — which has several new projects in Dallas — has broken ground on a seniors rental community in Fairview.
The 195-unit apartment Overture Fairview project is in the Village at Fairview development at U.S. Highway 75 and Stacy Road.
Designed for renters 55 and older, the project is on almost six acres on the east side of U.S. 75.
Along with the apartments, the rental community will include 15,000 square feet of amenities for the residents including clubhouse,  swimming pool and spa, demonstration kitchen, coffee bar and bistro, game room, theater room, yoga studio, fitness center, full service salon and business center.
"We are thrilled to announce the start of construction on Overture Fairview," Lance Hanna, managing director of development for Greystar, said in a statement. "The community will offer residents a vibrant resort lifestyle with an abundance of on-site amenities, social activities and maintenance-free living."
Good Fulton & Farrell Architects designed the project.
Apartments in the Fairview seniors community will range in size from 635 to 1,325 square feet.
The development is scheduled to open in late 2018.
Greystar also has Overture seniors communities in the works in Flower Mound, Plano and Arlington.
South Carolina-based Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, with more than 400,000 rental units.
In Dallas Greystar is building Ascent, a 23-story, 302-unit apartment tower in Victory Park near downtown.
And the developer has announced plans for a 10-story apartment tower on the east side of downtown in the City Lights project.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News 

Ernst & Young expands operations in downtown Dallas' Renaissance Tower

Renaissance Tower is one downtown Dallas' largest skyscrapers
A major tenant is expanding its operations in one of downtown Dallas' largest skyscrapers.
Ernst & Young Co. is taking an additional floor in the 56-story Renaissance Tower at 1201 Elm Street.
The accounting giant is remodeling the 11th floor to add almost 31,000 square feet to its operations in Renaissance Tower.
With the expansion, E&Y will have 125,000-square-feet in the office tower, according to leasing agent Dennis Barnes with CBRE.
Before the E&Y expansion, the 1.7 million square foot Renaissance Tower was just under 70 percent leased.
The 44-year-old skyscraper is owned by New York-based Moinian Group.
E&Y also has about 150,000 square feet of office space in the One Victory Park tower on the northwest edge of downtown. That's the location of its North Texas headquarters.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News 

D-FW behind only one city in office building and leasing in recent study

Only New York City has more office space under construction then DF-W
Dallas-Fort Worth was one of the top markets in the country for office leasing in the second quarter.
Only New York City saw more office demand in the just completed quarter, according to a new report by Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
Expanding and relocating business tenants leased 2,934,487 square feet of D-FW office space in the second quarter.
New York City's Midtown market had 3,317,039 square feet of leasing.
Los Angeles was third in the country with 2,594,662 square feet of net leasing, according to the commercial real estate firm's midyear office report.
The D-FW area is also second in the country for building with 7,902,772 square feet of office space under construction at midyear.
New York's Midtown area was the top construction market with 9,308,683 of office space being built.
"Continuing healthy growth in office-using employment boosted the absorption of office space across the U.S. to approximately 14.7 million square feet in second quarter 2016, an increase from 11.8 million square feet in the first quarter," Cushman & Wakefield said in the report.
In North Texas, major office deals signed by Signet Jewelers, Molina Healthcare, Atos SE, CompuCom Systems, First American Title Insurance Co and Compass Professional Health Services filled big blocks of space in the most recent quarter.
Dallas-Fort Worth is on track for the best office-leasing year in almost two decades.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News 

Exclusive: John Kirtland gets loan, begins work on redevelopment in downtown Dallas

Dallas developer John Kirtland has closed on a construction loan to redevelop the 1950s-era Corrigan Tower at 1900 Pacific Avenue in downtown Dallas, with plans to begin work immediately on the project.
Kirtland confirmed the closing of the loan with the Dallas Business Journalexclusively Tuesday morning. He has hired Anders Construction as the general contractor for the project.

1900 Pacific is at the intersections of three streets, St. Paul Street , Live Oak
Street, and Pacific Avenue.

The Corrigan Tower is part of a massive redevelopment plan Kirtland is overseeing that also includes the neighboring historic Tower Petroleum Building at Elm Street and Pacific Street.

The redevelopment project is expected to bring hundreds of apartments and thousands of square feet of retail space to this part of downtown Dallas. The project, which has previously been estimated to cost $40 million, has been on the books for years, but Kirtland has been seeking a parking solution to accommodate would-be residents, restaurants and retailers.

Plans for the two-building redevelopment include a "killer" restaurant in a building with a "boutique hotel" feel to the property, which will also be served by valet parking, he has previously told the DBJ.

At the time, Kirtland said he wanted to bring in a local chef to run the restaurant that would feature local musicians. Kirtland is the former drummer of a Deep Blue Something, which is a band best known for the song, "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
The Art Deco architecture of Tower Petroleum will be preserved and incorporated in the redevelopment. The apartments at Tower Petroleum will have slightly higher rents to reflect the Art Deco details left intact from the 1930s. The Corrigan Tower (built in the 1950s) doesn't have those historic features.

Kirtland declined to disclose the potential names for the residential towers, which would include up to eight penthouses on floors 18-22. The towers will feature amenities like a rooftop infinity pool and fitness center atop Corrigan Tower.

Written by Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New York investor adds Victory Park tower to Dallas real estate portfolio

One Victory Park office building in Victory Park in Dallas was built in 2008
One of Victory Park's biggest buildings has changed hands.
New York investor Clarion Partners bought the 17-story One Victory Park high-rise at Lamar Street and Victory Avenue.
The 436,253-square-foot Dallas high-rise was built in 2008 and is 95 percent leased. It's the biggest office building in Victory Park.
The building was expected to fetch more than $400 per square foot at sale.
"There are no changes or upgrades planned; the property is very high quality and well-managed," said Jeb Belford, a managing director and portfolio manager at Clarion Partners.
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP marketed the office tower for sale.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed in county deed records.
One Victory Park was sold by a real estate partnership headed by Houston-based developer Hines.
Major tenants in the tower include Ernst & Young, Haynes and Boone, PlainsCapital Bank and HFF.
Buyer Clarion Partners manages $41.5 billion in assets for more than 200 institutional investors in the U.S. and around the world. The company has partnered with Trammell Crow Co. and Rosewood Properties on North Texas developments.
One Victory Park is one of two towers in the development that have been up for sale.
The 23-story Cirque apartment tower on Olive Street next to the American Airlines Center arena is being marketed by CBRE. It was built in 2006 and has 252 luxury apartments.
Two more Uptown office towers near Victory Park are also on the market.
The 19-story 17Seventeen McKinney tower on Akard Street in Uptown is being brokered by HFF.
And the 21-story 2000 McKinney high-rise that fronts on Klyde Warren Park and is across the street from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel is being marketed by Eastdil Secured.
The 17Seventeen McKinney and 2000 McKinney buildings are expected to go for near $500 per square foot.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News

Exclusive: Developer buys Fossil-held land, DFW Airport parcel for 2 projects

Denver-based DCT Industrial Trust, an industrial real estate development firm, has acquired two parcels of infill land in North Texas, with plans to begin speculative development on each of the sites by the end of the year.

The developer has acquired 17.5 acres of land in Garland from Richardson-based Fossil Group Inc., after the retailer said it wouldn't sell the land for the past 15 years.
Two high-profile sites in North Texas were acquired by DCT Industrial
for some in-fill distribution and industrial facilities. This photo is at Mercer
Business Park's industrial business park.

DCT (NYSE: DCT) also acquired a 9.9-acre tract along State Highway 121 nearDallas/Fort Worth International Airport from a family trust, which had owned the site for three decades. Terms of the deals were undisclosed.

"It is getting increasingly difficult to find attractive pieces of infill land, which is what's interesting," Art Barkley, a senior vice president at DCT Industrial, told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive interview Thursday.

"In the case of Fossil, everyone thought it was off limits because they had expressed for 12 years they would never sell it and the same happened with the family trust that had owned that parcel for 30 years, but everything changes," he told me.

DCT Industrial plans to develop a 270,000-square-foot facility on the 17.5-acre tract at the southwest corner of Miller Road and Sanden Drive in northeast Dallas.
The developer plans to build a 112,000-suqare-foot speculative facility near State Highway 121 and Freeport Parkway near the airport.

Barkley said each of the land deals came down to persistence and timing.
Fossil executives had always intended to expand on the 17.5-acre tract with a distribution hub adjacent to its existing manufacturing facility. Later, company officials determined they didn't want the manufacturing and distribution on top of each other, he said.

In the case of the D/FW Airport tract, Barkley said the family trust tried to rezone the land from industrial to retail, but after experiencing an uphill battle trying to up zone the property the family decided to sell.

DCT Industrial is expected to begin developing the two speculative buildings after getting the company's board approval and completing two existing developments, which are both slated for delivery by September.

"We view the market as very strong and continuing to be strong for both of these locations," Barkley told me. "This year would be desirable to get them up."
Dallas-based Pross Design Group is the project architect on the two industrial buildings. Chicago-based FCL Builders is helping DCT with its initial contracting budgets.

Conrad Madsen and Greg Nelson of Dallas-based Paladin Partners were selected to market the 270,000-square-foot industrial building in northeast Dallas.
Tyson Erwin, John Leinbaugh and Rick Medinis of NAI Robert Lynn's Dallas office was selected to market the 112,000-square-foot industrial building near D/FW Airport.

Written by Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal 

Apartment builder JPI joins Dallas’ West Love development

Apartment builder JPI plans to develop hundreds of rental units in the 35-acre
West Love mixed-use project near Dallas' Love Field
One of North Texas' top apartment builders will develop a rental community in the $200 million West Love development near Dallas' Love Field.
Irving-based JPI plans to build hundreds of apartments in the project on Mockingbird Lane at Maple Avenue.
The first phase will include almost 370 units.
JPI hopes to start building the rental community in September, said senior vice president Matt Brendel.
Construction is already underway in the 35-acre West Love project on two hotels - Aloft and Element - that will total 244 rooms. The $49 million hotel project opens next year.
And developer KDC is seeking tenants for a 150,000 to 200,000-square-foot office building it plans to build next to the hotels and apartments.
A shopping center along Mockingbird rounds out the development.
"JPI is our partner on the multifamily component," said Jorge Ramirez, partner of Highridge Partner, which put together the West Love project. "We have recently started utility construction in support of the apartments and expect to begin building construction in 30 to 45 days from now."
Highridge Partners almost eight years ago bought and cleared the West Love development site located between the airport and Stemmons Freeway. They kept the property through the economic downtown are now developing the project.
JPI has more than 3,000 apartments under construction in Texas, California, Arizona, New York and Massachusetts.
In the Dallas area JPI is building in Las Colinas and Frisco.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News 

Luxury condo tower at Legacy West to get underway this year

The luxury Windrose Tower — a proposed 24-story, 90-unit condo tower at Legacy West — is expected to get underway in early fall at the $3.2 billion corporate magnet in Plano.

By the time construction gets underway, developers expect the high-rise to be roughly 50 percent pre-sold, which means would-be residents have put down 20 percent of the total price of the condo, said Al Coker, who is the owner of Al Coker & Associates, which is marketing the luxury condo tower.

The luxury condo tower will have generous balconies with built-in fireplaces
"This is the fastest pre-sell with hard contracts since the last time I did it in 2006 with The Terrace in Victory Park," Coker told the Dallas Business Journal."This is an indication of having tremendous demographics and a great number of baby boomers that don't have a choice in that area for a lock and leave lifestyle."

This milestone is different than one reported in April because it converts the reservations for space in the tower (which was 80 percent reserved in April), to condos with hard money behind them.

The baby boomer demand stems from Plano residents wanting to stay in the community and neighborhood they have lived in for years, Coker said. The Legacy West mixed-use development, which includes a number of high-profile restaurants, is also appealing to potential buyers, he added.

With this sales pace, developer Jim Duggan said he expects to pull a construction permit for the Windrose Tower by the end of the month, with construction slated to start this fall.

Coker said the impact of relocations from Toyota North America and Liberty Mutual Insurance — both major corporate tenants of Legacy West — have yet to impact the high-rise tower, which has condos starting at $650,000 and ranging upwards to $5.5 million. The average price per square foot at the Windrose Tower is $750 per square foot.

So far, buyers are snapping up one-bedroom condo units to half-floor homes, he said. That isn't surprising since condo sales in North Texas have increased year-over-year by 3.2 percent by mid-2016.

"If you look at the amount of inventory out there, there is an insignificant number," Coker said. "The number of deals we've gotten in a month, which includes the Fourth of July weekend is very promising."

Buyers are attracted to the proposed condo tower amenities, which includes a virtual golf center with an outdoor putting green. The golf amenity is the first of its kind in Texas and is bringing in the condo buyers, he said.

Ted Bradford, one of the developers of the tower, said he expects the project to take about 24 months to fully develop, with some condos delivering to buyers 18 to 20 months after work gets started.

Manhattan Construction is the tower's general contractor. GDA Architects is the architect of the tower. The Windrose Tower sales center sits at 7800 North Dallas Parkway.

"The biggest thing is the neighborhood being created," Bradford told me. "This is going to be unique with one of the most walkable developments in town."

Written by Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal

New proposed mixed-use developments hit market in McKinney

Henry S. Miller Brokerage, LLC, a Dallas-based brokerage firm, is working to find a developer for their newly proposed developments in McKinney.

The sites, named the Village at McKinney, encompass 76.2 acres and are located at Laud Howell Parkway and US Highway 75, about a mile south of Trinity Falls.

A rendering of where the proposed developments will be placed. 
McKinney city planner Jennifer Arnold intends for this site to be a focal point for new commercial developments in the Northwest Sector Study of McKinney, with hopes for the Village to be a destination for a number of commercial uses.

“We have been working very closely with the city of McKinney and our clients on The Village at McKinney and are very excited to bring this new development opportunity onto the market,” Henry S. Miller Brokerage Vice President Chris Burrow said. “We are imagining this development to include a mix of retail, restaurant, office, hospitality and multifamily projects.”

Henry S. Miller Brokerage Associate Dillon Cook said unlike large mixed-use developments like Frisco’s $5 Billion Mile and Richardson’s CityLine, McKinney still has a small-town feel that provides a community-friendly town. Despite some backlash, he doesn’t see the Village at McKinney disrupting that.

“We’re thinking more along the lines of a low density urban destination that will appeal to the city, the people that work there. The architecture is going to be similar to that of downtown McKinney and it will have plenty of trees around the development as well as the hills and natural topography,” Cook told the Dallas Business Journal. “There’s going to be push back, we’ve heard push back from various articles released on new development in McKinney, but we just want to make everybody happy with it.”

Coinciding with the Village at McKinney is the newly approved extension of Laud Howell Parkway. The extension will stretch west from the development sites to FM 1461, connecting Dallas Parkway to US Highway 75.

Cook said they expect to choose a developer to sell the Village at McKinney to within the next two months.

Written by Paul Wedding/Dallas Business Journal 

Developer meets with community about Deep Ellum apartment project

The Deep Ellum, Texas, sign on the corner of Main Street and Good Latimer
Expressway points the way to the neighborhood. 
A developer that's working on two Dallas apartment communities is eyeing a Deep Ellum project.
North Carolina-based Crescent Communities has been meeting with one of Deep Ellum's largest property owners and talking with residents and businesses in the area about a new rental community.
The project — if it happens — would be located on the east side of Malcolm X Boulevard at Canton Street.
Developer and investor Scott Rohrman — whose firm 42 Real Estate owns the one-story commercial building now on the block — said nothing is finalized.
"Crescent Communities came to us and said we want to talk to you about building something about Deep Ellum but before we decide to do anything we want to interview a lot of Deep Ellum people," Rohrman said.
Rohrman, whose firm in 2014 purchased almost 40 properties in the Deep Ellum area, has been working to remodel and upgrade existing buildings he owns for new restaurant, entertainment and retail tenants.
"We have been approached by up to 20 apartment developers talking to us about our properties," Rohrman said. "But to date we had not entered into any discussions with any of them because we didn't think it was time for the area.
"We are trying to work really hard with Crescent Communities and Deep Ellum before we decide to do a deal."
Adding more residential to Deep Ellum would help the area, but Rohrman said it must be compatible with the neighborhood.
"Everyone who talks to me about what I should do in Deep Ellum says you have to have more density," he said.
Crescent Communities has been working on plans for a high-rise apartment project in the Uptown neighborhood at McKinnon and Randall streets.
The developer also owns a tract at Davis Street and Zang Boulevard in North Oak Cliff, where it plans to build a rental community.
One large apartment building is currently under construction in Deep Ellum.
The 17-story Case Building is being built by StreetLights Residential and investor Westdale Properties on Hall Street near Baylor Medical Center. The tower will have 337 units.
StreetLights and Westdale are also working on plans for a second apartment project next door to the historic Knights of Pythias building on Elm Street at Good Latimer Expressway.
Rohrman's 42 Real Estate is currently redeveloping several old Deep Ellum Buildings along Main Street.
His plans call for remodeling the old commercial buildings and adding outdoor plaza areas and improved streetscape.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News

City-block project on Ross Avenue on track to get underway soon in downtown Dallas

A city-block development project meant to transform downtown Dallas' Ross Avenue adjacent to Trammell Crow Center is on track to get underway by early 2017, with plans to unveil the design of an upscale boutique hotel, ground-floor retail and an apartment tower this fall.

The major project planned for 2000 Ross Ave. will shape one of the last city blocks in downtown Dallas left untouched by high-rise development.

Trammel Crow Center hasn't been altered since it was originally designed in the 1980s.

"We haven't seen the entry of a lot of good retail on Ross Avenue and there hasn't been a lot of good retail space built on Ross Avenue," Ramsey March, managing director of Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners, told the Dallas Business Journal.

"The 2000 Ross site is an opportunity to meet the market demand for retail on Ross Avenue," he added. "Thus far, there's been a strong interest level from retailers."

March said the development group recently completed a study of the immediate area and determined there's a total of 6 million square feet of office space with a daytime population driven by employees totaling 16,000 people.

Stream Realty is the master developer of the project on behalf of the ownership group 2000 Ross Avenue LP out of New York, which is a fund advised by JP Morgan Asset Management. The fund also owns Trammell Crow Center.

By developing 32,000 square feet of new space for restaurants and retailers, March said there's an opportunity to transform the Ross Avenue corridor. Plans for the ground-up development includes a 200-key upscale boutique hotel and a 350-unit apartment tower with each tower sitting on a podium of 2,600-stall parking garage and the retail space.

The hotel developer and residential developer have yet to be named, with an official announcement slated for this fall. Dallas-based HKS is designing the ground-up project on the 2.6-acre tract. HOK is the architect designing the renovations at Trammell Crow Center.

The new mixed-use development is in the design process and is being dual-tracked with the renovations at Trammell Crow Center, a 1.2-million-square-foot office tower. Upon completion, Trammell Crow Center will have 10,000 square feet of added retail space to the ground floor of the building.

"This will be a real comprehensive renovation of Trammell Crow Center, which has never been altered in a meaningful way since its original design in the 1980s," March told me. "We want to do something there and expect it to be a dramatic design intervention."

Construction on the dual-tracked projects — the tower renovation and ground-up development — is expected to begin in early 2017.

Dallas-based Retail Street Advisors' Aaron Stephenson and John Giesler have already begun marketing the retail space to potential tenants.

The new construction will help bring office tenants to Trammell Crow Center, which has two big tenants, PwC and Vinson & Elkins, expecting to leave in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The two tenants are leaving to help anchor two new towers in the Uptown vicinity.

Trammell Crow Center recently signed 86,000 square feet of new office deals, which include a renewal for Trinity Hunt Management LP and Raymond James & Associates Inc. The building is being marketed for $24 to $26 per square foot, triple net.

Meanwhile, new construction rents are pushed $35 to $40 per square foot, triple net. March said the renovations and new development adjacent to Trammell Crow Center would bolster rental rates in the building.

A brand consultant is in the process of being hired for 2000 Ross, which is the working title of the project. March declined to share the name of the agency until the deal is finalized.

"We are focused on adding the amenities and the 21st century building improvements," he told me. "We are in the best starting point in the market in an unmatched location in the middle of the Dallas Arts District and a block away from Klyde Warren Park."

Written by Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal 

MetLife funds purchase of Uptown's landmark Crescent Court Hotel

The Crescent Court Hotel is part of Uptown's landmark Crescent complex
on McKinney Avenue.
Metropolitan Life Insurance has upped its investment in Uptown, funding Crescent Real Estate's just-completed purchase of the luxury Crescent Court Hotel.
The purchase of the landmark 220-room hotel has been in the works for months.
The acquisition by Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate's newly formed real estate investment fund was completed last week, county deed records show.
Metropolitan -- which is already one of the biggest investors in Dallas' Uptown district -- provided $65 million in loans to Crescent Real Estate's GP Invitation Fund I to buy and upgrade the 30-year-old hotel.
It's the first high-profile local purchase by Crescent's new private property investment fund.
Crescent Real Estate plans to spend almost $30 million upgrading the hotel. The renovations come as most of the almost three-year project to improve the Crescent complex at McKinney Avenue and Pearl Street comes to a close.
Crescent Real Estate unveiled most of the upgrades to the complex in Dallas last week.
Designed by famed architect Philip Johnson, the Crescent Court Hotel includes meeting space, a luxury spa, swimming pool and several restaurants.
HEI Hotels will operate the hotel.
"Hotel Crescent Court is a timeless and iconic asset in the best location in Dallas," Crescent CEO John Goff said in a statement. "I believe this is a very unique opportunity -- one for which I have a personal passion.
"When we complete the upgrades at Hotel Crescent Court, we will offer guests the experiences and amenities of a modern, newly built hotel while maintaining the classic and unique design features associated with this Texas landmark," said Goff.
New York-based MetLife holds the debt on the entire Crescent complex. Last year, it provided $78 million to refinance Crescent Real Estate's 215-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel on McKinney Avenue.
And the big insurance company provided more than $50 million in financing for the 25-story Gables Park 17 apartment tower on Cedar Springs Road.
MetLife is also a partner in the two-tower Park District development that Trammell Crow Co. is building on the north side of Klyde Warren Park.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News