Thursday, January 19, 2017

DISD site goes for $9M




Kye R. Lee/Staff Photographer
The buyer declined to comment on plans for the DISD headquarters property yet, but brokers say the developer plans apartments and retail for the property.

A Dallas apartment and commercial building developer is offering more than $9 million to buy the Dallas Independent School District headquarters on Ross Avenue.

Leon Capital Group won a bid to purchase the buildings at Ross and Washington avenues just east of downtown. The office buildings are on part of almost 10 acres DISD owns in the Ross corridor, an area that’s seeing rapid redevelopment with apartments, shops and townhouses.

The school district held an in-house auction late last year to take bids for the Ross properties and other surplus real estate in the area. Leon Capital was the top bidder for the headquarters.

A contract to purchase the buildings must be approved by the district’s board of trustees at a meeting later this month.

“It’s a lengthy process,” said DISD spokeswoman Robyn Harris. “The next step in the bid process for Dallas ISD’s surplus real estate is for the administration to recommend to the board each of the properties that received high bids, and were within market value.

“If the board holds a vote, the process continues and would need to go to our legal services department to execute a sales contract on the properties voted on, and will work toward closing on each,” she said. “That part of the process generally lasts about 90 to 120 days before a property is officially closed on.”

Leon Capital officials declined to comment on their plans for the DISD headquarters property until after the school board approves the contract.

Real estate brokers say the developer plans a combination of apartments and retail for the property.

The DISD buildings are blocks away from where apartment developers are putting up hundreds of new rental units.

A decade ago, the area was dominated by used-car lots and second-hand furniture stores. But with growth in downtown’s Arts District and the boom in nearby Uptown, developers are buying up properties along Ross and nearby Live Oak Avenue.

Along with the main headquarters building at the south corner of Ross and Washington, the district has two other corners at Washington and parking lots on San Jacinto Avenue.

The San Jacinto properties received high bids from townhouse builder Intown Homes, which has multiple projects in Dallas. Builder Centre Living Homes was the top bidder for one of the Ross corners now occupied by two small buildings.

Leon Capital Group, headed by Fernando De Leon, has done apartment, retail and self-storage projects in 10 U.S. states and Mexico.

The developer has a new apartment building at Lemmon Avenue and Oak Grove in Uptown, and the company is building apartments at the Magnolia Station development northwest of downtown on the edge of Victory Park.


Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News