SkyWalker, Caffey in deal for west side office buildingJune 24, 2013
SkyWalker Property Partners and the Caffey Group have acquired a 50,686-square foot office building in west Fort Worth. Caffey Group will plans to relocate its headquarters and use about 20 percent of the space.
The terms of the deal include the option for Caffey to purchase 8851 Camp Bowie West in the future. In the interim, the firm will lease 10,419 square feet on the first floor of the three-story building, including long-vacant atrium space once occupied by a bank. A downtown tenant since 2001, Caffey will relocate by Sept. 1 in tandem with its lease expiration at 309 W. 7th St.
"We'd always talked about owning our own building. It made sense to partner with someone we knew," says Marty Oakes, Caffey's CFO.
Oakes and Mark Caffey, president and CEO of the 16-year-old firm, are original investors in the Hangover Opportunity Fund, which is led by Gary Walker, president of SkyWalker Property.
Caffey had searched nearly six months for new office space to lease before the opportunity surfaced to buy Atrium Center, now being called Atrium West. Talks began as a result of a casual conversation between Theron Bryant, senior leasing agent for SCM Real Estate Services, and Red Oak Realty LLC of Fort Worth, which was leasing and managing the building at the time. Jack Clark of Red Oak Realty represented the seller, Hwy 80 Capital LP.
The building, 58 percent leased, has been on and off the market in recent years. Atrium West had the vacancy to accommodate the energy firm's office requirements and an ideal location – close to many Caffey employees' homes and readily accessible to Loop 820 and Interstate 30.
"We thought it was a good long-term buy," Oakes says. "We've looked at nearly 15 buildings to acquire in the past two years with Gary. In Tarrant County, there aren't a lot of good buys out there."
The Atrium West deed is now part of the portfolio of the Hangover Opportunity Fund. An estimated $100,000 is earmarked for upgrades to common areas, landscaping, parking lot and ADA accessibility, according to an SCM news release.
Caffey's lease drives occupancy to 78 percent at Atrium West. Its largest tenant is the city of Fort Worth's engineering department, which occupies the entire 16,141-square foot third floor. Three of the nine tenants are medical providers.
Within the past week, the asset's leasing reins have passed to Bryant and Casey Tounget, also with SCM. The largest contiguous block of available space is 5,400 square foot on the second floor.
Working in the new owners' favor is the tight office market in west Fort Worth, where occupancy is pushing 95 percent, according to the news release.