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Pillar Commercial, Original Capital Partners Acquire Collins Square in Richardson

27 Nov 2014, 4:33 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Collins Square

A joint venture between Pillar Commercial and Original Capital Partners recently closed on Collins Square, a four-story, 213,864-square-foot office building located in the Telecom Corridor in Richardson. The deal was announced by CBRE Capital Markets, which represented the seller, StremCo.

At the time of the acquisition, Collins Square was 87 percent leased to The Travelers Indemnity Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Travelers Cos. The asset serves as a regional headquarters for the insurance company.

“Having Travelers Insurance as the anchor tenant was one of the compelling reasons we selected this asset,” said Manny Ybarra, Pillar Commercial founder & president. “We look forward to working with the Travelers team and are equally excited about our new venture with Origin.”

“We have been very active in sourcing acquisition opportunities throughout Texas,” said Bryan Sullivan of Origin Capital Partners. “Collins Square provides great risk-adjusted returns, with additional upside through active asset management and select capital improvements. We are very pleased to be in this partnership with Pillar on this transaction.”

The new owners also announced plans to fully modernize the elevators, to make cosmetic changes to the entrances and to improve the landscape and common areas.

Whereas Origin Capital Partners’ portfolio is generally more spread out across the U.S., Pillar Commercial’s is primarily focused on the Dallas area. It currently owns eight other office assets in the region: Search Plaza, Miyama Parkside, 6500 Greenville, 7920 and 3939 Beltline, Northcreek Place II, Chase Bank LBJ and Wells Fargo Irving.

Urbana Varro Acquires 311-Room Sheraton Arlington Hotel

21 Nov 2014, 6:15 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Urbana Varro, a Dallas-based commercial real estate investment, development and management firm, recently announced the acquisition of the full-service, 311-room Sheraton Arlington Hotel. The asset, which was acquired for an undisclosed amount, is located near the Arlington Convention Center, AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park.

“The Sheraton Arlington Hotel will provide us with exposure in the thriving Dallas market and will be a great addition to our growing portfolio,” said Jeremy Soder, chief marketing officer for Urbana Varro. “While several other buyers were evaluated throughout the selection process, we prevailed, primarily because we were successful in demonstrating our financial ability to close large transactions.”

“We are excited to acquire this significant full-service hotel in Arlington, which has evolved within the past few years as a prime tourist attraction and sports hub for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,” added Feliz Jarvis, chief hotel operations officer for the company.

While Urbana Varro has increased its Texas footprint through such acquisitions as the TownePlace Suite by Marriott in Austin and Houston, this is its first Dallas-area purchase.

Allan Gutierrez, CEO for Urbana Varro, added that the hotel aligned itself with the company’s portfolio of premium branded assets purchased below replacement cost. The hotel, he said, represented an excellent investment due to its value-added potential.

The Crescent Aims to Become Public Gathering Space Following $30M Makeover

19 Nov 2014, 3:59 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Hotel Crescent

For more than 25 years,  Uptown’s The Crescent has been making history. And that history is about to become even more complex, as Crescent Property Services L.L.C. recently announced a $30 million renovation that entails the transformation of the iconic complex from “a self-contained, mixed-use project with full-service amenities for workers and guests” into a gathering space for the entire neighborhood.

The renovation plan entails a new storefront for retail outlet Stanley Korshak, a street entrance for the Palomino restaurant and more outdoor seating, the revamping of the motor court, and the addition of high-rise live oak and birch trees. The company also enlisted the help of The Office of James Burnett to create a new landscape design that includes the transformation of “unused areas of the complex into intimate spots for relaxation and fun.”

The decision to open the plaza, office and retail components was motivated by Uptown’s emergence as a vibrant neighborhood as well as the high pedestrian traffic generated by Crescent’s proximity to downtown Dallas, the Klyde Warren Park, McKinney & Olive, the Arts District and the Dallas North Tollway and Central Expressway.

“The Crescent is Dallas’ most prestigious address in the region’s most vibrant market: Uptown,” said Crescent Managing Director John Zogg in an official statement.  “We have three of the best designed office towers, with adjacent upscale shopping and premier hotels and restaurants on 11 acres in the heart of Uptown. We are opening our arms to the neighborhood – embracing our great neighbors and welcoming them to work, shop and dine with us.”

Image courtesy of Kari Sullivan, via Flickr


Cowboys, Omni Team Up to Develop 300-Key Hotel in Frisco

5 Nov 2014, 10:44 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Rendering of the New Dallas Cowboys HQ

Omni Hotels & Resorts is teaming up with the Dallas Cowboys to develop a hotel in Frisco. To be located at the future site of Cowboys World Headquarters, the Omni Frisco Hotel will feature 300 guest rooms, meeting space, a ballroom and an indoor pool deck. An early 2017 opening is scheduled for the property.

The Omni Frisco will target meeting groups and business and leisure travelers, as well as visitors attending events at the city of Frisco and Frisco Independent School District’s 12,000-seat indoor, multi-use events and sports facility.

“We could not be more proud of our partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, a Dallas-based company with a proven track record of successful ventures nationally, including two projects right here in the Metroplex – the Omni Dallas and Omni Fort Worth Hotels,” said Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ COO & executive vice president.

”Omni is one of the country’s top-rated luxury hotel brands, popular with business travelers and vacationers alike,” Jones added. “As one of the most recognizable and popular brands in the world ourselves, it makes perfect sense that we would team up to bring to life this extraordinary development.”

As we have previously reported, Frisco has been busy with the development of the 91-acre, master-planned project, which broke ground recently. When complete, the development will include a stadium, outdoor practice fields and ancillary structures, parking facilities and various office, retail and hospitality components.

“We knew we had a world-class partner with the Dallas Cowboys, and now we have a world-class hotel partner in Omni,” said Mayor Maher Maso. “This partnership marks a significant milestone in the development of an exciting, unique project.”

Image via City of Frisco Official Websitecourtesy of Gensler


Klyde Warren Park Receives Prestigious Urban Land Institute Award

30 Oct 2014, 2:18 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Klyde Warren Park

The Urban Land Institute announced Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park as the winner of the 2014 Urban Open Space Award. The award recognizes both large- and small-scale projects that have improved and enriched their communities.

Located near the Arts District, the park was named after Kelcy Warren’s son, who was given the option to name the park after he had donated an undisclosed amount toward the park’s development. Funding for the project was also obtained through other partnerships, including $20 million in bond funds from the city of Dallas, $20 million in highway funds from the state and $17 million in stimulus funds. The total investment totaled $110 million.

Designed by The Office of James Burnett and Jacobs Engineering Group, Klyde Warren was developed as a deck park over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Encompassing approximately five acres, it features a children’s park, a reading room, restaurants, a performance pavilion, a fountain plaza, game areas and a dog park.

“This year’s submissions reflect innovative ways that North American cities are financing and developing public destinations that create recreational experiences for residents, spur economic activity on adjacent sites and often preserve historical and cultural heritage, as well,” said jury chair Leanne Lachman, president of real estate consulting firm Lachman Associates in New York.

Klyde Warren Park competed against:

  • The Columbus Commons and The Scioto Mile, Columbus, Ohio: Totaling 18 acres, the two parks feature formal gardens, a carousel, cafés, a state-of-the-art performing arts pavilion, seating pavilions along a promenade and a 15,000-square-foot water feature.
  • Guthrie Green, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Developed with a bevy of sustainable components, Guthrie Green boasts an 11,000-square-foot café pavilion, a performance stage, an outdoor amphitheater and interactive fountains.
  • The Railyard Park and Plaza, Santa Fe: Described as “the culmination of two decades of community activism,”, the Railyard features a promenade, art galleries, museums as well as office and retail components.
  • Washington Park, Cincinnati: Sitting on about eight acres, Washington Park is a shining example of responsible development. With a $48 million investment, the park was rehabilitated entirely: What was once a high-crime neighborhood has become “the most democratic site in the region.” It features a grand civic lawn, a permanent stage and a 7,000-square-foot water feature.

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