Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Dallas Convention Center celebrates receiving LEED EB Silver Certification

Dallas, TX - The Dallas Convention Center announced today that they have been awarded the LEED® EB (Existing Building) Silver Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

Interim Director Al Rojas said “The LEED Certification exemplifies our commitment to providing the highest quality space for our customers and employees. We understand the importance of these efforts which not only lower costs but improve the environment for generations to come.”

LEED EB addresses the operation and working of existing buildings. Upgrading an existing building to “green standards” is far more difficult than designing and building an entirely new building to operate in a way that it has less impact on the environment.
This rating system helps building owners and operator’s measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale with the goal of maximizing operation efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. Building upgrades and improvements were combined with an aggressive adjustment to the operational procedures to earn the credits leading to the certification.

The Convention Center’s green building programs and features include: alternative transportation options, energy efficient lighting with reduced mercury content; environmentally sensitive cleaning products and practices; reduction of indoor potable water through low-flow fixtures and the replacement of one cooling tower; and a comprehensive recycling program.

The Center has achieved a remarkable 58.7% saving on electricity consumption and 55.6% savings on the consumption of natural gas since the start of the project.

The Dallas Convention Center’s LEED EB® Silver Certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and the Dallas Convention Center serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

The Dallas Convention Center is a 2.2 million sq. ft. facility that has demonstrated a constant commitment to service, technical and culinary excellence, as well as environmental sustainability.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The 17 Seventeen and Park 17 project, designed by Good Fulton & Farrell Architects, is a development of a 13-story office tower and 19-story residential tower sited together on a single six-level parking garage podium with new retail construction wrapping three sides of the block. Equidistant from the Victory development and the Arts District, and sited at the crossroads of uptown and downtown, this project is arguably at the epicenter of the new Dallas urban landscape. The 17Seventeen office tower was Pre-Certified Gold by USGBC in January 2009 under the LEED CS rating system, and the Park 17 residential tower is pursuing LEED NC certification.

17Seventeen McKinney, a 379,000 square foot Class AA office building under construction in Uptown, has secured the title of the first gold LEED-precertified high-rise office building in the Dallas area. The U.S. Green Building Council has completed Pre-Certification of the building, which is slated for completion in the spring of 2010. Granite Properties, the developer of the office tower, launched an initiative three years ago to make new developments environmentally friendly. In addition, Granite said it decided to convert existing buildings it owns to environmentally conscious properties.

The block of 17Seventeen is a modernist version of an Italian hill town, raised above the surrounding area on the 6-story plinth, with both residential and office occupants taking advantage of the 7th level amenity deck and it’s immediate views of the Dallas skyline. Contained within the block itself will be 292 apartments, 379,000 square feet of office space, a bank, a restaurant and an additional 6,000 square feet of retail space. Within 1/2 mile of the American Airlines Center, Victory Plaza, the W Hotel, the House of Blues, the Ritz Carlton, the Crescent Hotel and shops, the Winspear Opera House, the Wyly Theater Center, Annette Strauss Artist Square, the Meyerson Symphony Center, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the proposed Museum of Nature & Science, the Arts Magnet High School, First Baptist Dallas, First United Methodist Church of Dallas and Guadalupe Cathedral, occupants of the project are easily within a 10 minute walk of any of these venues. Consequently, the Community Connectivity and Development Density of this project is a top sustainable feature.

As a part of the commitment of Granite Properties to maintaining leadership in corporate sustainable office construction, the building has been reviewed to insure that in-coming tenants will be able to meet the increased requirements of the newly released LEED version 3 for Commercial Interiors. LEED-CI version 3 sets a higher baseline standard for water efficiency as a prerequisite to achieving certification than was used in the previous LEED Rating Systems. In order for the future tenants to achieve the 20% water efficiency prerequisite, the team has increased the water efficiency of the core building, even though it had previously exceeded the LEED-CS version 2.0 standard by 30%. These adjustments will enable tenants to pursue LEED Certification for their commercial interiors under LEED version 3 and will aid Granite Properties in pursuing LEED-EBOM for the building when the project becomes eligible.

A brief overview of the achieved LEED Core & Shell credits utilized in the building pre-certification is listed in the following table:

Sustainable Sites 12
Water Efficiency 3
Energy and Atmosphere 4
Indoor Environmental Quality 9
Innovation in Design 5
Total (LEED-CS v2.0) 37

North Texas Green Building Council


As the first of several Trinity River Corridor projects scheduled for completion, the Trinity River Audubon Center is a true testament to designing within the context of the natural environment and to private/public partnerships. The project Owner is the City of Dallas and the facility operator is the Texas Audubon Society. The award winning 20,000 square foot facility is a nature center promoting the coexistence between people and the land. Located a few miles south of downtown Dallas among 120 acres along the Trinity River within the Great Trinity Forest, the facility is a gateway to the local environmental ecosystem. Aligning with nature as the central theme of the facility, the primary emphasis of the center is education and recreation, related to the history of the site along the Trinity River. The program includes exhibits, educational classrooms, research laboratories, as well as teaching nature in nature. The site reclaims existing landfills, transforming them into native tall grass prairies. Surrounding the center, a series of forest, wet prairie, emergent water, open water, and island environmental communities support a variety of wildlife habitat. The Audubon Center was completed in October 2008 and is currently seeking Gold level LEED certification. The project was recently recognized in 2008 with a Greater Dallas Planning Council’s Built Environment Design Award.

The concept for the building design embraces the three major environmental biomes of the north Texas region- the restored black-land prairies, cross-timbers forest, and river bottom marshy wetlands. The site context served as the inspiration for the building concept as the design reveals the surrounding natural habitat.

The site, initially the City of Dallas Deepwood landfill located within the Trinity Corridor, was selected as the site for the center. The site originally contained more than 1.5 million tons of construction debris, 30 feet deep and rising 30 feet high.

Brownfield Redevelopment - The closed landfill in southeastern Dallas is a visionary restoration project that reclaimed 120 acres of the Great Trinity River Corridor. Once an illegal construction waste landfill site, it now fulfills the goal of returning this land to nature for the use of future generations. The Trinity River Audubon Center sits west of the capped rolling hills replanted with tall prairie grass and hardwood trees that were once dominant on the Texas Blackland Prairie.
Stormwater Control - The Trinity River Audubon Center is designed to reduce erosion. At the base of the hills, a series of cascading wetland marshes and ponds captures and polishes runoff from adjoining neighborhoods and prairies before returning the cleansed water to the river.
Water Efficient Landscaping - Many native North Texas trees and prairie grasses have been planted throughout the site. Native plants are usually very hardy and need little supplemental watering.
Heat Island Effect - The “heat island effect,” re-radiation of heat from asphalt and concrete, causes many cities to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. This effect is reduced at the Audubon Center by using light colored paving, permeable materials for pavement and shading existing paving. A green or vegetated roof on the administration wing minimizes heat absorption.
Water Use Reduction - In the US alone, more than four billion gallons of water get flushed down the toilet every day. Low flow toilets, lavatories and shower heads have been installed throughout the facility to reduce water consumption by at least 20%.
Recycled Content Materials - Many materials made from recycled content are used throughout the Audubon Center. For example, the rubber floors contains 84% recycled content, most of which came from recycled tires.
Regional Materials - The Trinity Audubon Center utilized many local building materials. One example is concrete. All the gravel and sand is extracted from local quarries. In addition to this fly ash was used as a partial substitute for cement. Fly ash is a by-product from coal plants that would normally go into a landfill but in this case it was used to make concrete.
FSC Certified - The Trinity River Audubon Center is encouraging responsible forest management by using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified Cypress siding.
Low-Emitting Materials - VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) can be hazaraous to one’s health over long periods of time. The Trinity Audubon Center uses adhesives, paints, carpets and woods that are low-emitting.
Daylighting and Views - Recent studies show that daylighting promotes better health and physical development. Using natural day light also reduces the need for artificial daylight during the day. The Audubon Center is designed to have maximum daylight and views to the exterior without gaining internal heat from the bright Texas sun.
Rapidly Renewable - Trees take many years to grow but there are many materials that grow much faster and can be harvested in ten years or less. Materials such as bamboo, wool, cotton, straw, wheat and cork are considered “rapidly renewable.” The Audubon Center has beautiful bamboo flooring throughout the facility.
Rainwater Harvesting - Irrigation provided from municipally provided potable water can create a large demand on the city and the environment. At the Trinity River Audubon Center, rainwater is captured from the roof, stored underground, and then used to water plants near the building.

North Texas Green Building Council

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Downtown homeless center wins LEED Silver certification

The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center in downtown Dallas has become just the second shelter in the country to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The center is one of only five U.S. homeless shelters that are considered green.

The shelter was designed by San Antonio-based Overland Partners Architects and Dallas-based CamargoCopeland Architects.

The building, in the central business district, was completed in May 2008. The building is designed to maximize daylight and reduce the use of artificial light.

It also includes a graywater recycling system that saves 1.5 million gallons of water each year. The graywater system is designed to capture large volumes of water from showers and laundry facilities for reuse in urinals and toilets.

Dallas Business Journal

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Local investor buys 300 CVS stores

Dallas-based investor Landes Group has bought more than 300 CVS Pharmacy stores located in 33 states.

The properties were acquired in several transactions last year and are valued at almost $1.4 billion, the private company said.

Landes bought the stores from retailer CVS, which will continue to occupy the buildings on long-term leases.

Barclays Capital was the primary investment banker in the transactions.

Landes Group headed by president and founder Brett Landes

Monday, February 22, 2010

Addison develops an edgy side with new apartments

Prospective tenants who walk through the front doors of Addison's new Savoye apartments usually do a double take at the eye-popping design.A wall in the lobby is plastered with bright cushions and big-screen TVs. A metal staircase curves above the round leasing office. And at the top of the stairs is a residents' lounge with enough bling to fill a high-fashion hotel.

Cabanas are installed near the 'Splash' pool area at the Savoye apartments in Addison. Las Vegas-style pools are what it takes these day to lure renters willing to pay more than $1,000 a month. "The people who come in are pretty blown away by the place," said Carolyn Fredholm, senior community director for the project. "It's not what you expect to see in a community north of LBJ Freeway."

Addison city officials wanted a wow factor three years ago when they teamed up on the project with developer United Dominion Realty.

The Dallas suburb might not seem old enough for redevelopment, but that's exactly what the town is doing – replacing an aging apartment district on its western edge with new housing, retail and parks.

"The design of that project was very important to us," said Addison City Manager Ron Whitehead. "We need more urban residential in town to make everything else work."

The 120-acre development with the unwieldy name of Vitruvian Park is just south of Spring Valley Road near Brookhaven Collage.

The first phase of the $1 billion redevelopment – almost 400 luxury apartments – will open in two weeks.

"We already have 45 leases," said Tom Lamberth, vice president of development for Denver-based UDR, one of the country's biggest apartment builders. "We are off to a good start.

"We are primarily attracting people who are part of the North Dallas workforce," he said.

Uptown comparison

With average rents from $1,200 to $1,300, the project is on par with what's found in Dallas' affluent Uptown district.

"We've been compared to the W Hotel" in quality and interior appearance, Lamberth said. "We wanted to do something a little edgy."

WDG Architecture designed the seven-story building. Thiel and Thiel Inc. did the interiors for the public spaces, which are done in a river of light blue paint, modern furnishings and over-the-top artwork.

"What they are showing there is pretty awesome," said Charles Prince, who's moving from Lewisville into one of the Savoye units as soon as it's ready.

Prince works at the nearby Brookhaven Country Club and has watched construction on the project.

"I've been wanting to move since last year but waited for this project to open up," he said. "I didn't even look at anything else."

Savoye tenants will have two lounges with gourmet kitchens, a movie screening room, an Internet bar and a game room.

Outside there's a "Las Vegas-style" swimming pool and landscaped courtyards with fountains, fire pits and seating areas.

Each apartment includes a full-size front-loader washer/dryer combo and a 42-inch flat-screen TV.

The amenities may sound like overkill, but apartment analysts say they are just part of the new rental home landscape. To lure tenants willing to pay more than $1,000 a month, landlords need more than a stuffy "clubhouse" and mattress-size swimming pools.

"You have to do that if you are going to get some pretty high rents," said Greg Willett, apartment analyst for Carrollton-based MPF Research Inc. "UDR is certainly going for the very top tier at this point in everything they are doing."

To add to the new neighborhood's appeal, the city of Addison is building a $9 million park that will be the centerpiece of Vitruvian Park. Rebuilding is under way on the roads that cut through the project near Marsh Lane and Spring Valley.

"It's going to be especially great when we get the park landscaped and redo the creek area" through the park," Whitehead said. "Once we get all that amenity package together, we think it will be stunning."

Vitruvian vision

There's 16,000 square feet of retail space in the first phase and more planned for later.

Addison, which has about 15,000 residents, ultimately expects to see almost 5,000 housing units in Vitruvian Park.

Of course, the project's years of planning and construction didn't include opening the project during an economic downturn.

Groundbreaking for the second phase will depend on how leasing does and where the economy goes, the developer says.

The new apartments will compete head to head with other luxury rental units on the Dallas North Tollway in Addison Circle and near the Galleria.

The developer is offering leasing discounts "because the construction is still under way," Lamberth said.

UDR is also giving discounts at its new Belmont apartments in Old East Dallas. Such concessions are common for new rental complexes.

Unlike many other Dallas neighborhoods, there are fewer new apartment developments to compete with in Addison, said Willett.

"That market is outperforming the metropolitan area as a whole," he said. "But to open any project right now is obviously a challenge."

Dallas Morning News

Commercial real estate transactions


Shelbo Development bought a 42,000-square-foot industrial building on 10 acres at 2950 W. Miller Road in Garland. Dan Spika of Henry S. Miller Brokerage negotiated the sale with Larry Leon of CB Richard Ellis.

Quorum Equities sold about three-quarters of an acre at 2727 Fort Worth Ave. in Dallas to a California investor. The property is leased to Comerica Bank. Brandon Beeson, Will Walters and Stephanie Mower of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas arranged the sale with Henry Casden.

KPM Ventures purchased the former Two Rows Restaurant at the southeast corner of State Highway 190 and North Garland Avenue in Garland. The 6,100-square-foot building is on 1.6 acres. Don Miller and Kelly Hampton of Venture Commercial Real Estate negotiated the transaction.

A local limited partnership bought a 3,777-square-foot office building at 4343 N. Central Expressway in Dallas. Laguarda Low Architects, which is next door, will use the property to expand. Greg McDonald and Eddie Liebman of the Weitzman Group handled negotiations.

A private investor purchased the 4,921-square-foot Christian Brothers Automotive building at 1804 N.E. Green Oaks Blvd. in Grand Prairie. Philip Levy, Jason Vitorino and Tommy Tucker of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services handled the sale.


Invacare Corp., a medical equipment supplier, expanded its distribution center to 87,508 square feet at 1825 Westpark Drive in Grand Prairie. Kevin J. Santaularia and Michael W. Spain of Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services negotiated the lease with Canon Shoults of Holt Lunsford Commercial Inc.

Hilton Worldwide leased 52,000 square feet of space in the Colonnade III office building at 15303 Dallas Parkway in Addison. The office will be used as Hilton Worldwide's commercial services center. Paul Whitman and Chelby Sanders of Jones Lang LaSalle negotiated the lease with J.J. Leonard, Jay Bailey and Susannah Wallace of CB Richard Ells.

PFC Furniture Industries Inc. leased 30,788 square feet of industrial space at 400 Industrial Drive in Richardson. Joe Whitmer of Transwestern negotiated the lease.

Rochelle McCullough LLP leased 11,381 square feet of office space at Republic Center at 325 N St. Paul St. in Dallas. Daniel Rudd and Billy Vahrenkamp of Grubb & Ellis Co. negotiated the lease with Cris Jordan of Transwestern.

The Wire Connection leased 9,600 square feet of commercial space at 400 Union Bower Court in Irving. Ryan Boozer of Mercer Co. negotiated the lease with Colliers International.

Mattison Avenue Salon Suites & Spa leased 8,250 square feet of retail space in the Watters Creek Shopping Center at U.S. Highway 75 and Bethany Drive in Allen. Matt Wilson and Chad Bradshaw of the Retail Connection negotiated the lease with Ed Coury of Trademark Property.

All American Smile Center, a dental practice, leased 8,170 square feet of space in Promenade North, a retail project at 800 N. Coit Road in Richardson. Perren Gasc of the Weitzman Group handled negotiations.

Glow Networks leased 8,121 square feet of office space at 2140 Lake Park Blvd. from Lennox International. Cribb Altman and Lee Wagner of Grubb & Ellis handled the transaction.

Carl's Jr. has signed a long-term lease with Jon Keller for the former Cactus Jack's restaurant site at 4341 Lemmon Ave. in Dallas. Kelly Hampton and Clay Mote of Venture Commercial negotiated the lease with Hunter McGuire of John Bowles Co.

Dallas Morning News

Peloton to handle Duke properties

Duke Realty Corp. has hired Dallas' Peloton Real Estate Partners to take over leasing and marketing its North Texas office buildings.

The Indianapolis developer said that Peloton will handle the leasing of Duke Bridges III in Frisco, One Allen Center in Allen and 5560 Tennyson Parkway in Plano. The properties total more than 350,000 square feet.

Peloton will also market development sites in Frisco, Coppell and Allen.

Dale Ray of Peloton will be the principal overseeing the Duke Realty properties

Dallas Morning News

Swearingen forms alliance with Glacier Commercial

Renowned Dallas real estate broker Wayne Swearingen is aligning with a local commercial property firm.

Swearingen’s Barclay Commercial Group has formed what is described as a “strategic venture” with Glacier Commercial Realty, the two firms said Thursday.

Barclay Commercial will combine its offices with the Glacier Commercial headquarters at 3890 W. Northwest Highway.

Glacier Commercial is handled by partners Steve Shrum and Andrew Beckman.

Shannon Owens, who has worked with Barclay Commercial for several years, will become a vice president at Glacier.

“This venture, with Swearingen and his 48 years of heavy experience in commercial real estate, will accelerate our [growth] plans,” Beckman said in a statement. “We have all worked together before.”

Swearingen has also formed a new company, Vector PS LLC, to provide real estate consulting services to lenders and courts.

Dalas Morning News

Hall Financial Group hires Kim Butler to run its leasing operations

Hall Financial Group said Thursday that it has hired Kim Butler to head its leasing operations.

Butler is coming to Hall Financial after 25 years at real estate service firm Transwestern, where she was responsible for leasing and marketing office properties in several Dallas markets.

As director of leasing at Hall Financial, she will oversee properties including the Hall Office Park in Frisco.

Butler replaces Jean Farris, who recently retired as Hall’s leasing director.

Butler has served as a director of Dallas’ Real Estate Council, Downtown Dallas and Commercial Real Estate Women. She is a director of the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors.

Dallas Morning News

Pizza Hut to move corporate offices to Plano

Pizza Hut has sealed a deal to move its corporate headquarters from Addison to Plano and is planning to break ground next week, the company said Tuesday.

Pizza Hut will be moving its corporate headquarters from Addison (above) to a 20.5-acre site in Plano's Legacy Business Park. The nation's largest pizza chain, part of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc., and its sister division, Yum Restaurants International, will build a new "restaurant support center" on 20.5 acres in the Legacy Business Park near Corporate and Legacy drives. The building and equipment are expected to cost about $20 million – not counting the cost of the land, which Pizza Hut purchased earlier this month from Trammell Crow Co.

The company did not release the cost of the land.

The new headquarters will be a three-story building with about 170,000 square feet of office space.

The move hinged on an incentive package from Plano – its largest ever – that gives Pizza Hut grants and tax breaks of more than $2 million. That includes economic development grants for costs such as relocation and construction of a new test kitchen, said Sally Bane, executive director of the Plano Economic Development Board. Pizza Hut also will receive property tax breaks through 2021.

Plano is hoping Pizza Hut's arrival will spur new economic activity, as at least 450 jobs move to town.

With the new workers visiting local restaurants and other businesses, "there are a lot of other businesses in town that are going to prosper by having Pizza Hut as a neighbor," said Plano Mayor Phil Dyer.

The lease on the current headquarters expires Dec. 31.

Dallas Morning News

Dallas-Fort Worth commercial property foreclosures surge

Foreclosure postings for several high-profile North Texas properties caused commercial real estate loan default filings to surge this month.

The properties scheduled for forced sale by lenders at next month's foreclosure auctions in Dallas-Fort Worth represent a total of more than $900 million in debt.

About 250 properties, including office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, warehouses and commercial land, are posted for the March sale, according to statistics from Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service.

The two largest foreclosure filings were for the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas, with $183 million in debt, and the Mosaic apartment buildings in downtown Dallas, which had $66.5 million in original mortgages.

It was the second month that the Four Seasons has been threatened with foreclosure. Owners of the Irving hotel and the downtown apartment high-rise both say they are still in talks with lenders.

Other large properties scheduled for foreclosure next month include an almost 300,000-square-foot office building at 2370 Performance Drive in Richardson's Telecom Corridor. The building had an original loan amount of $30 million.

The Sheraton Dallas North hotel in Farmers Branch and a shopping center at the Dallas North Tollway and Windhaven Parkway in Plano were also posted for foreclosure by lenders.

March's commercial foreclosure sale will be the largest so far in the current real estate cycle.

"There were some pretty good-size postings for next month," said Foreclosure Listing Service president George Roddy. "I think it's a pivotal year for commercial real estate, and we will see the worst of foreclosures in 2010."

Not all properties posted for foreclosure wind up being sold by the lender. In many cases, the borrower continues to negotiate with the mortgage holder. And sometimes the parties reach agreements to avoid foreclosure.

Dallas Morning News

Las Colinas' Four Seasons back on foreclosure auctions listing

Last month, lenders filed to foreclose on the exclusive 400-room hotel, spa and golf club in Irving in one of the largest postings in North Texas in more than 20 years. U.S. Bank seeks repayment of a $183 million loan on the property, which is owned by Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes.

A sale of the 400-acre property was originally set for Feb. 2 but didn't go through.

"BentleyForbes continues to be in discussions," James Kasim, president of BentleyForbes, said Friday in a statement.

"BentleyForbes remains committed to working out a successful financial structure recognizing the interests of all vested entities that will bridge the challenges of the current situation."

Dallas Morning News

Dallas group buys Dillard's at Southwest Center Mall

El Rey Properties, a Dallas-based limited partnership, bought the old Dillard's department store at Southwest Center Mall for an undisclosed price, representatives of the seller, Dillard Texas LLC, said Thursday.

Plans were not disclosed for the 160,000-square-foot, two-story building at U.S. Highway 67 and Interstate 20.

Southwest Center Mall, formerly Red Bird Mall, had been in bankruptcy since last summer. Unpaid electric bills threatened to shut it down in January when Madison Realty Capital, a private commercial lender in New York, bought the mall out of foreclosure and put it up for sale.

Dallas Morning News

Continental Tire signs first least at First Park DalPort

Continental Tire has leased a 287,827-square-foot distribution space at First Park DalPort off south Interstate 45 in Wilmer.

The facility, which was leased from First Industrial Realty Trust, will be used as Continental Tire's new product distribution center for its Southwest region.

The lease is the first one signed in the business park, which is near Union Pacific's Dallas Intermodal Terminal.

Robert Allen of First Industrial worked on the lease with Terry Darrow, Kacy Jones and Will Wyatt of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Dallas Morning News

Dallas execs' Valeo Fund aims to invest in undervalued properties starting this year

Four of Dallas' top commercial real estate executives have set up a company to invest in undervalued properties.

Valeo Fund is raising money in Europe, Latin America and at home to make a play in the expected sell-off of billions in U.S. properties.

"We think this is going to be a generational opportunity to buy real estate," said Valeo Fund co-founder Mike Lewis, previously a top officer at Crescent Real Estate Equities. "It's no secret that the banks have over $1 trillion in loans coming due over the next four years.

"We think the opportunity to start acquiring some of these properties will begin this year," he said.

Fred Hamm, a veteran Dallas-based money manager, teamed up with Lewis; Jim Yoder, former managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle; and Steve Lipscomb, previously a national director of Goldman Sachs' Archon Group real estate division.

Valeo Fund plans to raise about $150 million for its first investment fund by this spring and plans to start buying $300 million worth of properties in the fall.

With many commercial real estate values around the country down by more than 40 percent, Valeo Fund is one of a number of new investment groups targeting discount property purchases.

"We believe the time is right to launch our company," said Hamm, who's been working to set up the operation for more than a year. "It takes a long time to build a private equity real estate company.

"We have already made headway with a group of investors, primarily high-net-worth individuals who are looking for the opportunity to come into the U.S. real estate market."

Valeo plans to focus on office and retail buildings priced from $15 million to more than $50 million. It is shopping for building buys in markets stretching from Washington, D.C., to Florida, Georgia, Texas, Colorado and California.

"We want to go to markets where the job growth is going to be," Hamm said.

The latest real estate forecasts say that the worst of the commercial property price shakeout is probably over. And many analysts expect the market to be in recovery by late this year and into 2011.

Billions of dollars in potential investment funds are sitting on the sidelines waiting for lenders and investors to decide to begin unloading properties.

So far, most lenders have opted to delay foreclosing on commercial properties that have lost value and can't be refinanced.

"We think the lenders are going to cease kicking that can down the road," Hamm said. "We think that's is going to start unfolding in 2010."

Dallas Morning News

Downtown buildings sit idly by as renovation projects stall

Downtown Dallas' 52-story Elm Place building was the tallest tower west of the Mississippi when it opened in 1965.

Now the million-square-foot tower is the largest empty building in town, thanks to the owner's decision to shut down.

Elm Place is one of almost a dozen large downtown buildings that have gone begging in the latest real estate boom.

And now that the recession has pulled the plug on most commercial property projects, their prospects have done anything but improve.

"We have just been through the best financial environment we are likely to see in 20 years," said Ted Hamilton, who with his father has redone more downtown buildings than any other developers.

"My sense of things is progress on a going forward basis is likely to be much slower than it has been in the last five to 10 years," Hamilton said. "Every additional building that gets redone will be very challenging."

Hamilton ought to know. His firm has been working since last year to finance a redevelopment of the landmark Lone Star Gas buildings on Harwood Street. Even with backing from City Hall, the credit crunch has made it hard to move the project forward.

Deals that died

Redevelopment deals for several other large downtown derelicts died with the economic downturn.

The huge Butler Building across from Dallas City Hall, landmark Tower Petroleum building on Elm Street and even the blue-clad 211 N. Ervay tower had been set for renovation and reuse before the financial crash hit.

Now those projects are up in the air, and the buildings remain empty.

"There are a certain number of these empty buildings downtown that may not ever be used for anything," said John Crawford, who heads the economic development group DowntownDallas. "At some point, we will need to decide what to do with them.

"But today – with the recession going on – it's not an urgent matter."

Waiting it out

Crawford said the best plan is to wait until the economy and real estate markets recover and take a fresh look as some of these properties.

"I don't think there needs to be a push to tear down all of these empty buildings right now," he said. "At this point, I think there are still residential applications for some of them and office uses for others."

That's what Katherine Seale, executive director of Preservation Dallas, hopes will happen with most of the buildings.

"Tearing them down is the easy way out – to cast them aside as unusable," Seale said. "The best thing we can do is mothball these historic structures so that when somebody is ready to use them they are still there."


Elm Place

1401 Elm St.

The 52-story former First National Bank Building was the tallest building in Dallas for many years. The owners recently decided to close the office skyscraper because the rental income couldn't cover the operating cost.


1902 Commerce St.

The 19-story former Statler-Hilton hotel was touted as the country's most modern luxury hotel when it opened in 1956. But the almost 600,000-square-foot building has been shuttered for almost a decade, and a series of redevelopment schemes failed to get off the ground.

Butler Building

500 S. Ervay St.

The century-old Butler Building across from Dallas City Hall was once Dallas' largest wholesale distribution center. The 510,000-square

-foot, nine-story building was later converted to office space but has been vacant for many years. In 2007, a California developer planned to turn the project into 400 condominiums, but the deal fell through. The property is now derelict and vandalized.

Tower Petroleum and Corrigan Tower

1907 Elm St.

The 22-story art deco style Tower Petroleum building has long been acclaimed as one of downtown's architectural gems. But the 1931 skyscraper and adjoining 17-story Corrigan Tower on Pacific Avenue have been empty for several years. A developer's plans to tear down part of the complex to create a high-rise residential building and luxury hotel have gone nowhere so far.

Mercantile Commerce Building

1712 Commerce St.

The 22-story Mercantile Commerce building has been empty since the 1980s. The building was constructed in 1956 as the Vaughn Tower and later enlarged with eight more floors. It was once part of the sprawling Mercantile National Bank complex.

Mercantile Continental Building

1810 Commerce St.

The 13-story office building has more than 400,000 square feet of space and once housed part of Mercantile National Bank's downtown headquarters operation. It's been vacant since the 1990s. Cleveland-based developer First City Enterprises plans to turn the building with its iconic cowboy sculpture into residential units.

Lone Star Gas buildings

301 S. Harwood Street

Designed by renowned architect Lang and Witchell, the former Lone Star Gas building constructed in 1931 is considered one of Dallas' architectural landmarks. The 13-story art deco office building and three adjoining towers built later have been empty for almost five years. Developer Hamilton Properties is working on plans to convert the vacant offices into apartments and retail space.

211 N. Ervay

The last of downtown Dallas' big blue buildings from the 1950s, the derelict skyscraper is the frequent object of both scorn and praise. Built in 1958, the 17-story high-rise has been empty since the 1980s. California-based investors bought it a few years ago and wanted to make it into apartments, but the project stalled.

Praetorian Building

1607 Main St.

When it opened in 1908, the Praetorian Building with 15 floors was Dallas' first true skyscraper. The office tower's beautiful classic exterior was junked in a 1960 redo, and it's been empty since 1993. Dallas oilman Tim Headington bought the vacant tower in October and is working on a redevelopment plan.

Old Dallas High School

2218 Bryan St.

The oldest remaining high school building in Dallas has seen better days. Built in 1907, the four-story building sits in front of one of DART's busiest rail stations. Also known as Crozier Tech, the building was purchased in 1998 by a California investor who tried to knock it down. The city obtained a court ruling to preserve the landmark structure. But not much has happened with the property since.

SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research

Commercial real estate transactions


Vanilla Brown Inc. bought the 9911 Lake June Shopping Center from a California investor. The new owner will use the vacant space in the center as offices for its nursing service. Gaines Real Estate Co. arranged the sale with Liberty Real Estate Co.

Signature Home Furnishing purchased a 23,000-square-foot warehouse at 3939 Forest Lane in Garland. Adam Strittmatter and Greg Nelson of Lee & Associates brokered the sale with Doug Molny of Jim Lake Cos.


Insight Merchandising leased 70,000 square feet of industrial space at 1000 S. Nolen Dr. in Grand Prairie. Donnie Rohde and Ken Wesson of Lee & Associates arranged the lease with Bradford Cos.

Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing leased 21,450 square feet of industrial space at 2005 Great Southwest Parkway in Grand Prairie from Prologis IV Inc. Travis Sapaugh of CB Richard Ellis negotiated the lease.

RP Foods Partners LP leased 13,500 square feet of space at 1225 Capital Drive in Carrollton. Ryan Boozer of the Mercer Co. negotiated the lease with Transwestern.

Arrow Electronics Inc.leased 8,340 square feet of office space at 1820 Preston Park Boulevard in Plano from Alexander & Baldwin Inc. Dennis Barnes and Rick Rensi of CB Richard Ellis negotiated the lease with John Roper of CB Richard Ellis.

Town Square Financial expanded its headquarters lease to 6,393 square feet at 2601 Network Blvd. in the Hall Office Park in Frisco. Jean C. Farris of Hall Financial Group negotiated the lease.

OPC Nail Supplies leased 6,285 square feet of retail space at 3030 N. Josey Lane in Carrollton. Eric Deuillet of Structure Commercial negotiated the transaction.

Banowsky & Levine PC leased 5,109 square feet of space in North Central Plaza III at 12801 N. Central Expressway in Dallas from Younan Properties Inc. Melanie Hughes and Sharon Friedberg of Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services negotiated the lease with Trace Elrod of Jackson & Cooksey Inc.

Dallas Morning News

Harkinson Investment buys Carrollton building

Harkinson Investment Corp., working through a limited partnership, has bought a Carrollton office and industrial building.

The 60,530-square-foot building at 2532-2542 Highlander Way was purchased from an affiliate of First Industrial Realty Trust.

The property was built in 1999 and is fully leased.

Ron Hebert, Michael Lawrence and Scott Ryan of Marcus & Millichap negotiated the sale.

The Dallas office of Northmarq Capital arranged financing with Aviva Investors of North America.

Dallas Morning News

Carrollton developer buys Stoneleigh condo tower in Uptown

CTMGT LLC, an affiliate of Centurion American Development Group, beat a group of bidders trying to acquire the unfinished Heritage at the Stoneleigh residential high-rise on Wolf Street near Maple Avenue.

Work stopped on the building in 2008, and creditors seeking almost $5 million forced the project into bankruptcy in May 2009.

About 12 of the more than 20 floors planned for Stoneleigh tower were constructed before work halted.
View larger Photography Photo store A Carrollton developer has purchased a partially built Uptown condo tower.

Work stopped on the Heritage at the Stoneleigh in 2008, leaving a concrete shell with 12 floors and a parking garage standing on Wolf Street.
The bankruptcy court recently approved the sale of the project for $4.55 million to CTMGT, headed by developer Mehrdad Moayedi.

Moayedi said his firm will finish the project.

"I'm going to do the same thing they originally planned, but with a lower [cost] basis," he said Tuesday.

The Stoneleigh tower is only a concrete shell – about 12 of the 20-plus planned floors and a parking garage were built before work halted.

"We hope to start work on the 10 stories that are missing in the next six months," Moayedi said.

The high-rise project adjoins the landmark Stoneleigh Hotel, which was recently remodeled and has separate ownership.

"We are going to make some bigger units in the building and custom finish them," Moayedi said. "Because of our lower basis in the project, we will be able to take our time."

He said the developers already have more than a dozen prospective buyers who want units ranging from 2,500 to 8,000 square feet.

Moayedi said his firm has reached an agreement with original contractor Turner Construction Co. to complete the exterior of the high-rise. Two custom homebuilders will do the interiors.

Centurion American had plans a few years ago to build high-rise residential properties in Dallas' Uptown neighborhood but didn't get them off the ground before the recession hit.

Since then, high-rise condo sales in Dallas and most other markets have stalled.

According to bankruptcy court records, CTMGT beat a $4 million bid for the property by Hayman Woods LLC.

Real estate broker Newt Walker worked with CTMGT on its successful bid for the Stoneleigh property.

Moayedi's Centurion American Development Group was formed in 1990 and has been involved in developing more than 40 residential and mixed-use projects in North Texas, according to the company's Web site.

In December, the company bought more than 400 lots for custom homes in the Fort Worth area from builder and developer Steve Hawkins

Dallas Morning News

Four Seasons resort's foreclosure delayed

Lenders that provided $183 million in financing for Irving's Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas didn't move ahead with a foreclosure scheduled for Tuesday.

The owner of the 400-acre golf course and hotel, Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes, has been in negotiations with the debt holders since fall. In January, the property was posted for forced sale.

BentleyForbes "continues to work toward a positive outcome," the company said.

Dallas Morning News

Dallas Commercial Transactions


Trojan Elevator bought a 3,040- square-foot industrial building at 113 N.E. 29th St. in Grand Prairie. Steve Montagna of Capstone Commercial negotiated the sale.

Reddoch Agency purchased a 3,784-square-foot commercial property at 8605 MidCities Blvd. in North Richland Hills from Nationwide Insurance. Russell Webb of Stream Realty negotiated the transaction with Crest Haven Properties.

Padrino Foods bought a 20,000- square-foot industrial building at 3200 Conflans Road in Irving. Steve Montagna of Capstone Commercial negotiated the sale.


Probuild South leased 117,072 square feet of industrial space at 8701 Sterling St. in Irving from Colbalt Industrial REIT II. Bob Scully of CB Richard Ellis negotiated the lease.

Ocular LCD Inc. leased 13,742 square feet of office space at 12700 Park Central Drive in Dallas. Russ Johnson and Sean Dalton of Grubb and Ellis negotiated the lease with Lee Koons and Bob Myers of Myers Commercial.

TR Global Inc. expanded its lease by 12,773 square feet at 12100 Ford Road in Dallas. Jondarious Williams negotiated the lease on behalf of Boxer Property with Tom Fry of KW Commercial.

Classic Soft Trim Inc. leased 12,298 square feet of industrial space in the Skyview Service Center at 1751 Hurd Drive in Irving. Brian Pafford and Jason Miller of Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services negotiated the lease.

Yanyee International leased 9,525 square feet of warehouse space in the Twin Creeks Business Center at 1303 N. Watters Road in Allen from Twin Creeks Warehouse Venture. Susan Singer and Chris Stout of Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services arranged the lease with Ultimate Relocation Inc.

Minyard Food Stores leased 9,252 square feet of industrial space at 8304 Esters Blvd. in Irving from DCT Industrial Trust. Bob Scully of CB Richard Ellis negotiated the lease with Blake Kendrick of Stream Realty.

Yellow Book Inc. leased an 8,152- square-foot office building at 231 N.E. Loop 820 in Hurst from Yardelle Investment Management LLC. Eric Deuillet of Structure Commercial negotiated the lease with William Sale of Grubb & Ellis.

Fit Logistics Inc. leased 5,667 square feet of warehouse space at 12589 Perimeter Drive in Dallas from DCT Industrial. Erik Blais of Alliance Commercial negotiated the lease with Stephen Cooper of NAI Robert Lynn Co.

Village Bar and Lounge leased 5,200 square feet of retail space at 3920 Rosemeade Parkway in Dallas from MDT Caladium Ltd. Eric Deuillet and Jeremy Cummings of Structure Commercial negotiated the transaction.

The Pub in McKinney leased a 5,000-square-foot space at 204 W. Virginia in downtown McKinney for a new restaurant and bar. Ben Chien and Joseph Duhon of Henry S. Miller Brokerage negotiated the lease.

Real estate editor Steve Brown compiles this list.

California investor buys Preston Bend apartments in Far North Dallas

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP said Wednesday that it has sold a Far North Dallas apartment development to a California investor.

The 255-unit Preston Bend complex is on nine acres at 18790 Lloyd Drive near State Highway 190 and the Dallas North Tollway.

The project was sold by Equity Residential and is more than 95 percent leased.

Anterra Realty Corp. negotiated the sale with Holliday Fenoglio Fowler. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Dallas Morning News

The owner of an office high-rise in Uptown is about to begin a major renovation.

Gaedeke Group LLC said Tuesday that it will spend more than $5 million to expand and upgrade the One McKinney Plaza tower at Hall Street and McKinney Avenue.

Gaedeke Group
A rendering shows what One McKinney Plaza will look like after the renovation.
The 24-year-old office project has been less than 80 percent leased since a large fitness center in the building closed its doors last year.

Along with marketing that space to new tenants, Gaedeke Group said it is adding retail and lobby space to the building it has owned since 1996.

"As long-term owners, we want to protect our investment for the present and future," said Glenn Lickstein, Gaedeke's president. "We are going to take advantage of increased retail demand and street traffic from McKinney Avenue's evolution to enhance our investment."

A 14,000-square-foot, two-story wing of One McKinney Plaza facing McKinney will be remodeled for retail space, and the ground-floor lobby area will be enlarged from 2,123 square feet to 11,299 square feet with new construction.

Work will begin next month and will take about eight months.

BOKA Powell of Dallas is the architect for the renovation, and Austin Commercial is the general contractor.

Weitzman Group has been hired to handle retail leasing.

The largest block of vacant space in the building is the former Bally's fitness center on the third and fourth floors, which is available for lease as offices.

Dallas Morning News

Dallas Logistics Hub developers file for bankruptcy protection

The development companies building the 6,000-acre Dallas Logistics Hub in southern Dallas County have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize their debts, saying the severe recession stalled their ambitious plans.

Blog: Southern Dallas
But Richard Allen, the project's main backer, vowed to steer it through bankruptcy and fulfill his vision of turning it into a thriving freight transportation center.

"The fundamentals of the park are still there," Allen said, citing the area's railroads, highways and available labor force. "We're very committed to the project."

The Dallas Logistics Hub occupies center stage in a broader inland port project, which local leaders have billed as southern Dallas County's most promising engine for economic development.

The inland port is designed to handle a flood of trade between Asia and the United States, receiving trainloads of containers from California ports and distributing them by road, rail and air to customers nationwide. Allen has said it would generate tens of thousands of jobs.

FILE 2007/Staff photo
Richard Allen announced the Dallas Logistics Hub to great fanfare in April 2007. But the recession has delayed its promise of creating thousands of jobs.
But the severe recession slammed consumer spending, knocked down trade volume – and torpedoed the local real estate market.

Leasing of Dallas-area industrial space went from a net gain of 5.2 million square feet in 2008 to a net loss of 1.8 million in 2009, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

"When you're not doing deals or selling land or leasing buildings, it's tough to generate cash flow," said Allen, who said his investment in the project is about $85 million.

Too little cash flow

The bankruptcy filing was made by DLH Master Land Holding LLC and Allen Capital Partners LLC, both led by Allen. It does not include organizations of the Allen Group, Allen's holding company, or the group's other entities in Kansas or California.

According to the bankruptcy filing, the Dallas Logistics Hub has about $170 million in debt backed by collateral, plus another $8 million in unsecured debt. But it has cash flow of only about $5 million a year.

Allen said that creditors have been "very cooperative" and that he would work with them to extend the maturities of the project's debt. The process could take about six months, he said.

One major creditor, Lincoln, Neb.-based TierOne Bank, said it was reviewing the bankruptcy filing before deciding what steps to take. Executives at other major creditors, including BBVA Compass and American Bank of Texas, did not return calls seeking comment.

The bankruptcy filing also said Allen had held talks with Dallas city leaders and a Chinese company about the Asian firm's potential purchase of more than 1,000 acres in the logistics park. Court documents identify the company as China Supply and Logistics.

At a recent Dallas Morning News roundtable, Mayor Tom Leppert alluded to a possible deal involving Chinese investors that he did not identify. "An investor from China may soon make a direct investment in real estate here," he said. Such a sale would help the logistics park pay for continuing costs, reduce debt, fund about a year of operating expenses and pay off debtor-in-possession financing, which is being provided by Allen family investors. Allen may also seek outside equity investment.

What it means

Public officials in Dallas County disagreed about what the bankruptcy means for the inland port's future.

County Commissioner Maurine Dickey said it would hurt the local economy. She said investors were spooked by a 2008 controversy involving Allen's project.

Allen had complained privately to local officials that he felt he was the victim of an attempted shakedown by politicians, including county Commissioner John Wiley Price, who has expressed concerns about Allen's commitment to hiring minority-led firms.

Allen has told others that he believed that when he declined to hire three consultants, Price and others tried to harm his development with delays and other impediments. Price has denied intentional harm.

Allen said Tuesday that the controversy did not contribute to the bankruptcy filing.

Price said the Allen Group did not live up to the hype and promises. He said the bankruptcy would have no impact on the inland port because other developers are bringing in more business.

Dallas Morning News

Monday, February 1, 2010

Will Deep Ellum score a strike with a bowling alley?

Deep Ellum's revival will be taking a flat-shoe'd step in the right direction if all goes according to plan with the latest business addition to the area. The previously mentioned Deep Ellum Bowl is Craig Spivey's project three years in the making that is finally becoming a reality with an anticipated opening this summer.

This isn't going to be the smokey, fluorescent-lit bowling alleys of yesteryear. These lanes will have more of an urban-feel, emulating much of the scene around the rest of Deep Ellum. In addition to 10 bowling lanes, it will include a bar, restaurant, live music and more, according to multiple message board posts from Spivey at deepellumbowl.com

The biggest hurdle could be with the location. Deep Ellum Bowl will be calling 2600 Main St. home. It's the same 2600 Main that previously housed Prizm, CopperTank Brewing Co. and most recently Uropa. At just under 200-feet long and 95-feet wide, the biggest challenge could be making the various elements fit.

But Barry Annino, Deep Ellum Foundation president, said he welcomes development of that site. The long and narrow building at the corner of Good Latimer Expressway and Main serves as a doorstep to Deep Ellum, Annino said. And he wasn't shy about commenting on the exterior of the building, which he described as ugly, to say the least.

And, if Deep Ellum Bowl has daytime hours, Annino likes the possibility that it will attract more daytime-focused businesses to the area like bookstores and coffee shops, not to mention of how it could help his bowling handicap.

Travis Hudson/Producer
Dallas Morning News

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

What is Green Building?

The office of the Federal Environmental Executive defines a green building as "the practice of 1) increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and 2) reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal-the complete building life cycle." Buildings are responsible for almost one-half of all greenhouse gas emissions today.

Sustainable properties are the future of the real estate industry. Consumer demand and government policy are making this happen. Many consumers, real estate professionals, and property owners are taking steps towards greening their properties.

Commercial Demand
Government incentives and policies are increasing the number of green commercial buildings and retrofits as well. Nearly 25% of all new construction projects in the U.S. are LEED-registered. Additionally, the number of states with green building policies, standards, legislation, and programs increased from 13 to 31 between 2005 and 2008

Field Guide to Commercial Green Buildings

Green buildings are popping up in just about every American city. And for good reason -- green design elements not only help save environmental resources, they also boost the bottom line and are good for human health and morale. More and more sophisticated buyers and companies leasing office space are willing to pay a premium for the benefits green buildings offer. This page provides REALTORS® with information on green buildings and their benefits.

Industrial: Two Sides of the Coin

DALLAS-Examining industrial market Q4 statistics is akin to Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities." Depending on which report is being analyzed, absorption is either in the negative regions, signaling some struggles or relatively positive, signaling that bottom has been hit.

On the downside, Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.'s Year-End 2009 Industrial Market & Submarket Statistics Report notes that absorption was at 1.8 million square feet during Q4. Still remaining in the pipeline is 626,130 square feet. The quarter's vacancy stood at 12.5% out of a 508-million-square-foot inventory.

Transwestern's Outlook for Q4 also shows negative absorption at slightly over one million square feet. Vacancy is just over 12%, with approximately 1.2 million square feet under construction and an inventory of close to 702 million square feet.

"We were hoping it would be slightly positive. We haven't had a negative net absorption in quite some time and we were disheartened to see the year at a negative," Jean Russo, senior director with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. tells GlobeSt.com.

On the other side of the coin is CB Richard Ellis' MarketView. In this report, absorption stood at a little more than 433,000 square feet, with the inventory reported at 714 million square feet. The vacancy rate was 11.3% and 3.1 million square feet are under construction. CB Richard Ellis First Vice President Steve Berger tells GlobeSt.com that the results were not surprising. "We'd been feeling as though activity had turned positive later in the year," he comments. "While the absorption is a small number, it does show examples of some growth."

Certainly, the differences in the absorption figures can be pinned to different tracking methods used by each company. However, one thing on which all the reports -- and brokers – agree is that dwindling product in the pipeline should help increase absorption and decrease vacancies in 2010.

Berger points out vacancies have been pushing upward throughout the market, due to construction deliveries during the past two years. Russo agrees, suggesting that the good thing about industrial product construction is it's relatively easy to turn off the spigot once the marketplace gets saturated. There was record construction in 2008, she points out, with some of that falling into completion in 2009. "When you have only 626,000 square feet under construction," she adds, "that's significant."

The result, both brokers note, will be positive net absorption at this time next year. . "Looking into 2010, with construction substantially less than in the past, so long as absorption remains positive, we'll see a stable or declining vacancy rate," Berger notes.

Russo believes that real changes, such as declining vacancy rates, will start occuring during the second half of 2010, so long as construction remains cut off, though cautions that some submarkets are trailing behind others and might be slower to recover. Irving and Coppell, just west of Dallas, have the highest amount of construction, and could struggle to see positive net absorption, she adds.

Houston investor buys Carillon Towers on Preston Road

A Houston investor has purchased two North Dallas office buildings. Boxer Property said Tuesday that it bought the Carillon Towers at 13601 Preston Road north of LBJ Freeway.

The 11- and 10-story buildings have more than 261,000 square feet of office space and are 86 percent leased.

Boxer Property bought the buildings – which were constructed in the early 1970s – from a California investor that had owned the property for more than a decade.

Terms were not disclosed, but the buildings are valued for taxes at more than $11 million.

Boxer Property was founded by Andrew J. Segal and has acquired more than 100 buildings during the last 18 years. It owns properties in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Cleveland, Hartford, Kansas City and Long Island. It owns more than a dozen buildings in the Dallas area.

Dallas Morning News

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Commercial Property Tax Update

Will the 2010 Dallas commercial real estate market overcome its current challenges?

According to the above news article it wont!

The commercial real estate market has many current challenges pushing from all sides. Tenants are hard to come by. Rent is hard to come by. Debt pressures are increasing. And every owner has the burden of real estate taxes (don't pay them and we will see who really owns your property!). Despite these paramount issues many appraisal districts are still increasing taxes.

So just fighting to reduce your property tax assesment at the appraisial district is not enough you need a good case. You have to educate your assessor concerning your occupancy cost ratios for tenants. It appears as though many tenants are at risk of not renewing leases or default due to unsustainable occupancy cost.

In the times ahead occupancy rates wont tell the whole story for commercial properties. Everyone has seen the low holiday sales numbers and headline stories of tenant defaults. This has happen to not just the mom and pop stores but the big boys too remember a store called Circuit City!!!!

Real Estate Taxes due soon!

A little advise for those looking to reduce property tax assesment for 2010 get apprasial now.

January is a great time to get an appraisal of your property to fight your upcoming tax assesment.

Need more commercial property tax advice!

Give Harvard Property Tax Consulting a call to see how we can help with your property taxes or refer a friend!

Harvard Property Tax Consultants specializes in Commercial Property Tax Appeals.
Contact us at 469.737.7708, Harvard Property Tax, 2222 Elm Street, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75252

Monday, January 4, 2010

Allen Group buildings earn LEED gold

Two speculative industrial buildings in south Dallas developed by The Allen Group have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification.

The designation by the U.S. Green Building Council places the buildings at 4800 and 4900 Langdon Road in the Dallas Logistics Hub among a handful of industrial buildings in North Texas that have achieved LEED certification.

The award cited The Allen Group for efficiency in energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies for the two industrial buildings.

LEED is a certification program for the design, construction and operation of high performance "green" buildings.

The team members responsible for the project include The Allen Group, MYCON General Contractors, 3i Construction LLC, GSO Architects, Bjerke Management Solutions, and LEED Consultant, GGO Architects.

“By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers," Richard Allen, CEO of The Allen Group said in a prepared statement. "They reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community ... These buildings are the first steps toward the company’s goal of creating a truly green and sustainable industrial park standard.”

The Allen Group has the potential to construct 60 million square feet of space within the Dallas Logistics Hub, a 6,000-acre multi-modal logistics park in Southern Dallas County.

Dallas Business Journal