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Frisco Square Set to be Home to New Luxury Community

21 Aug 2014, 3:34 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Behringer and PegasusAblon announced plans to joint venture on the development of The Ablon at Frisco Square, a 275-unit luxury, multifamily community that will be located in Frisco Square. The asset will be developed by PegasusAblon, the joint venture’s general partner.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Behringer to develop The Ablon at Frisco Square,” said Michael Ablon, principal of PegasusAblon. “Growth in the technology and healthcare sectors, as well as the continued expansion of entertainment venues and other amenities, is attracting new residents to Frisco. With this development, we are focusing once again on creating a luxurious community that caters to the lifestyles of affluent young professionals.”

The amenities of the multifamily community include a clubhouse with a kitchen, fireplace and television; a pool surrounded by cabanas and an outdoor kitchen; and a 24-hour fitness center. No matter what the floor size, all of the apartments will feature granite countertops, hardwood flooring, stainless-steel appliances, surround-sound speakers and Wi-Fi.

The first floor will also encompass apartments, but their design will be slightly different than that of the others – they will feature 14-foot ceilings so as to blend architecturally with neighboring mixed-use developments. In addition, to cater to a seamless transition, an outdoor plaza will function as an extension of the public park in front of the Frisco City Hall.

“We are proud to be a significant investor in Frisco Square, which comprises key assets in the portfolio of Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT, Inc. We believe further development at Frisco Square will stimulate economic growth for the city of Frisco while ultimately contributing to the upside potential of all of our holdings at Frisco Square,” said Michael O’Hanlon, CEO of Behringer’s opportunity platform.

Hines Acquires Chesapeake Plaza in Fort Worth

14 Aug 2014, 6:16 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Hines entered the Fort Worth market with the acquisition of Chesapeake Plaza, a 409,977-square-foot, 20-story, Class A office building.  The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Chesapeake Plaza is Renamed as Pier 1 Imports Building

“I’m very pleased to add this iconic building to the investment portfolio of Hines US Office Valued Added Venture III,” said David Congdon, senior managing director for the company. “We are bullish on Fort Worth’s steadily growing economy and believe Hines’ management team will add considerable value to this investment and Pier 1 Imports’ occupancy. And in recognition of Pier 1 Imports’ long term commitment, we are very pleased to announce the building will now be known as Pier 1 Imports Building.”

The asset was developed in 2004 to serve as the headquarters for Pier 1 Imports, which sold the office tower to Chesapeake Energy Corp. in March 2008. Designed by Duda/Paine Architects, Chesapeake Plaza is considered to be one of Fort Worth’s top-tier office properties due to its high quality standards and location – it has been developed on 14 acres of land along the Trinity River in Fort Worth’s CBD and is in the vicinity of the hotels and restaurants of Sundance Square and the retail and residential units of the West 7th District.

The officer tower will continue to be Pier 1 Imports’ headquarters; the company is currently leasing 313,000 square feet of office space there.

“We are delighted about this new affiliation with Hines and look forward to a long partnership,” said Alex Smith, president & CEO of Pier 1 Imports. “Pier 1 Imports has been associated with Fort Worth for more than 50 years, and our associates are committed to our community. We are pleased that this deal helps to ensure our well-beloved company will remain in Fort Worth for many years to come.”


KDC, JLB Partners Break Ground on Apartment Communities in CityLine

7 Aug 2014, 4:55 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Rendering of the CityLine Development

KDC and JLB Partners have broken ground on apartment communities that will be appended to CityLine, the impressive 186-acre, mixed-use development in Richardson. Totaling 532 units, the two assets will front Plano Road and will be within walking distance of the four office towers leased by State Farm.

The first community, which will be located along State Street and adjacent to CityLine Plaza, will feature 233 units above 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, while the second one, located at the corner of CityLine Drive and Plano Road, will encompass 299 units. Ranging in size from 573 to 1,550 square feet, the apartments include one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans with amenities such as hand-scraped hardwood floors, granite and quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and wine racks. Community amenities include a resort-style pool, a fitness center with a spin and yoga room, a resident lounge and kitchen, and a business center.

“The apartment homes at CityLine are a big part of the overall vision we have for the high-energy, walkable CityLine development,” said KDC’s Walt Mountford. “Residents will not only be able to enjoy the fine quality of a JLB community but also CityLine Plaza and fabulous retail, restaurants and entertainment options within minutes of walking out their front doors.”

KDC broke ground on the CityLine master development in July 2013. The first phase of the development is slated to be completed by late 2015 and will include a 150-room select-service hotel, 935 apartment units, an 18,000-square-foot wellness and fitness facility, and a 41,000-square-foot medical office building. At full build-out, CityLine will represent a $1.5 billion investment that features 6 million square feet of office space, two hotels, 3,925 residential units and 300,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.

Rendering of the CityLine Development courtesy of KDC via its official website.

HFF Arranges Construction Loan, JV Equity for $225M Development of McKinney & Olive

31 Jul 2014, 3:28 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

HFF recently announced that it arranged the construction loan and joint venture equity investment for the development of McKinney & Olive, a $225 million, 530,000-square-foot luxury project. Currently under construction, the tower was designed by renowned architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli and has been described by press as being “sexy.”

Acting on behalf of the developer, Crescent Real Estate Equities, HFF arranged 10-year, fixed-rate construction financing through New York Life Insurance Co. The capital placement team was led by associate director Bill Fishel, together with executive managing director Mark Gibson and senior managing director Trey Morsbach. J.P. Morgan Asset Management provided the joint venture equity for the development on behalf of institutional investors.

Rendering of McKinney & Olive Courtesy of Crescent Real Estate Holdings L.L.C. via official website

As we reported, the 20-story tower will feature 480,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail space and an outdoor public space of nearly one acre. Although early in the construction phase, the tower has already landed two important tenants — prestigious law firms Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and Sidle Austin, which pre-leased 109,000 and 75,000 square feet of office space, respectively.

Set to be developed as Uptown Dallas’ tallest structure, McKinney & Olive is rising on a 3.1-acre site at McKinney Avenue and Olive Street. The Class A-plus tower’s typical floor size encompasses 25,000 to 30,000 rentable square feet, with highly efficient floor plates and 10-foot ceiling heights.

“Pelli Clarke Pelli has created a remarkable development that will become an iconic and compelling addition to Dallas’ central city,” said Mayor Mike Rawlings. “Additionally, Crescent’s continued investment in Dallas will not only create jobs and strengthen our tax base but McKinney & Olive will give us a competitive edge, helping us to keep and attract businesses to our city.”


KPMG Centre to Gain High-Tech Transplants from San Diego

24 Jul 2014, 10:12 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Omnitracs L.L.C. and ACTIVE Network, two San Diego-based technology companies, plan to relocate their headquarters from San Diego to Dallas.

KPMG Centre

Owned by San Francisco-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, the firms are expected to land at KPMG Centre, according to the Dallas Business Journal. The 34-story tower at 717 N. Harwood St. was acquired in March by World Class Capital Group, which plans to upgrade the 850,000-square-foot asset.

“We see Dallas as an opportunity to centralize our location as we expand globally, recruit great talent, and increase our operational excellence,” said ACTIVE Network CEO Darko Dejanovic in a statement.

Omnitracs, a provider of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, will lease approximately 100,000 square feet. The Texax Enterprise Fund is providing the company with a $3.9 million grant as an incentive. Relocation is scheduled for early 2015. Omnitracs will move 450 jobs that pay an average base salary of $50,000.

ACTIVE Network, which specializes in activity and participant management and data solutions, will lease about 200,000 square feet at the same location. The company is receiving an $8.6 million relocation grant and plans to hire about 1,000 people at a base salary of $60,000.

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