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T&P Warehouse: Historic building remains in limbo as area redevelops

For years, the historic T&P Warehouse on West Lancaster Avenue downtown, built in 1931 to house freight for the Texas Pacific Railway, has sat vacant and deteriorating.

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Susan Halsey, Fort Worth attorney, business leader, dies

Susan Halsey, a Fort Worth attorney who was also a community and business leader, died on Friday, Dec. 19. Halsey, 55, was chairman for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in 2013-2014, leading the chamber during a year

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Heating up: West Lancaster corridor projects moving forward

West Lancaster Avenue through downtown Fort Worth is heating up, with planners envisioning a lively mixed-use corridor that extends the central business district further south.

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Meridian Bank Texas parent acquired by UMB Financial for $182.5M

Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB Financial Corp., the parent company of UMB Bank, said Dec. 15 it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Marquette Financial Companies in an all-stock transaction.

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Cousins Properties to sell 777 Main tower in downtown Fort Worth

Cousins Properties Inc. has confirmed plans to sell the 777 Main office tower in downtown Fort Worth, according to a news release from the Atlanta-based real estate investment firm.

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Real Deals: Veterans store opens on Memorial Day

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Just in time for Memorial Day, the Family Outreach Coalition opened its second Veterans Thrift Store in Hurst.
The grand opening is a case of opportunity and timing of a direct mail campaign touting 8,400 square feet of ready-to-go retail space – a former thrift store with stacks of unsold merchandise in Village Square Shopping Center at 722 E. Pipeline Rd. in Hurst.
“The Family Outreach Coalition had been scouting for potential locations in the Mid-Cities, but hadn’t found the right fit,” said Erik E. Blais, market director for Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services, whose direct mailer got an immediate response from the shop operator, Randolph Brown.
Brown, a Vietnam-era veteran, and his wife are hoping to launch 10 Veterans Thrift Stores and a community support center in the area. They opened their first shop in early 2012 at 1304 W. Arkansas Lane in 
Arlington.
“Village Square was an opportunity to get a large space in a well-known area at a rate that fit the organization’s budget,” Blais said. “The landlord and Bradford did everything they could to strike this deal. We offered incentives to allow him (Brown) to get started because it is such a good cause and he has a track record of success.”
Built into the five-year lease is some free rent, signage, dedicated parking and the former tenant’s leftover stock. Also key to the deal is the location: a ready-made identity as a thrift store; adjacent to Family Dollar, Village Square’s anchor tenant; and a Kroger grocery store next door to the 79,947-square- foot center.
“There is a lot of traffic in this shopping center with the existing tenants and Kroger,” said Blais, who partnered with Bradford’s Karen Simon, executive vice president and managing partner, to broker the deal for the local landlord, Engelsma Ltd.
The 7.4-acre shopping center, developed in the 1980s, has 37,435 square feet of vacancy in shop spaces ranging from 1,235 square feet to 24,000 square feet.
Veterans Thrift Store in Hurst is creating five jobs and the opportunity for more as the inventory grows. Like its sister store in Arlington, the employees are all veterans, with 80 percent of the proceeds benefiting those who served and their families. The Colorado-based nonprofit organization is a training ground for displaced veterans and also assists with housing, counseling, clothing, food, transportation and securing benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Ebby
Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services has sold an Ebby Halliday office in Arlington, a 19,957-square-foot office property, according to Tim A. Speck, first vice president/regional manager of the firm’s Dallas office.
Jason Vitorino, first vice president investments in Marcus & Millichap’s Dallas office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a private investor. The buyer, a local limited liability company, was also procured by Vitorino. This was a complex transaction involving short-term leases and the negotiation of lease renewals between the buyer, seller and the tenant. The end result was the elimination of risk and the creation of a value-added investment for the buyer, with additional upside in leasing the remaining vacancies. The transaction marks the first retail acquisition for the crossover investor. Financing was arranged through a local bank.
Ebby Halliday is located at 1201 - 1205 West Green Oaks Blvd. Ebby Halliday has been a tenant at this property since 1997.

Kind of Blue
The Blue Astor has leased a 2,065-square-foot retail space at The Bowie West Center at 8309 Camp Bowie Blvd. The tenant is a furniture store specializing in older pieces and refinished pieces. Dick Myers of Coldwell Banker Commercial Searcy Vasseur Group represented the tenant. The landlord is Flowcash Commercial LLC.

Nonprofit center
Mary’s House signed a 7,572-square-foot lease at 400 N. East St. in Arlington.
Mary’s House is a nonprofit day habilitation program focusing on the needs of adults with disabilities. In addition, it provides before- and after-school care and summer programs for children 13 years and older with special needs.
Theron Bryant with SCM Real Estate Services represented the landlord in this transaction, and Cameron Tapley with Swearingen represented the tenant.

Memory care
Grapevine-based SQN Realty Finance LLC and Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living LLC have formed a joint venture to acquire 3.4 acres for the construction of a 64-bed, memory care facility in Corpus Christi. The transaction closed on May 8 and construction is scheduled to begin in June.
The property will be developed and managed by Thrive Senior Living. Corpus Christi-based Ewing Construction Company will be the general contractor. Construction is contemplated to be complete in approximately 10 months. David Gregory, one of SQN Realty Finance’s founders, said that while the firm has analyzed many to-be built senior and memory care facilities, this is the first that they chose to pursue.
“We knew that the senior and memory care market was one we wanted be in, but we wanted to be sure that we chose a market that showed strong demand for the use,” said Gregory. “Thrive presented us with a strong case for the market demand, which was verified through an independent third party market study. A clear demand is present in the Corpus Christi market and we are excited to deliver a portion of that.”
This is the eighth transaction closed by SQN Realty Finance since its formation in March 2011, and the firm has now contributed joint venture equity on more than $57 million worth of commercial real estate. This will be Thrive Senior Living’s seventh property to develop or manage. Its current portfolio consists of 471 units or 317,000 square feet consisting of seven properties in Texas, Florida and Georgia. SQN Realty Finance is a subsidiary of New York-based SQN Capital Partners, an alternative investment management firm specializing in direct investments in hard assets. Principals of SQN Realty Finance are David Gregory, Elizabeth Roll and Isaac Gregory.

Just 7 more months
Tarrant County College - Trinity River East Campus (TREC) in downtown Fort Worth has been named by international architecture blog, Architizer.com as one of “The Lone Star State’s Top 13 Buildings to See in 2013.”
The campus received additional accolades with its recognition by Texas Senate Resolution No. 270 acknowledging the campus’ being named to the blog’s prestigious list. “The Trinity River East Campus is already a Fort Worth landmark and is representative of both our colorful past and our bright future,” said Sen. Wendy Davis.
Fort Worth based firm Bennett Benner Pettit Architects + Planners worked in conjunction with Bing Thom Architects of Vancouver, Canada to design the 130,000-square-foot campus with a series of buildings and interior spaces oriented to take advantage of the dramatic vistas along the historic Fort Worth Trinity River bluff.
“Architizer is the largest and fastest growing database of architecture online. Being recognized by such an authority is a big honor,” said Michael Bennett, AIA, principal and CEO of Bennett Benner Pettit.
“The TREC’s modern buildings provide a contrast to its surrounding context of traditional buildings and connects Fort Worth’s downtown district to the Trinity River,” said Bennett. “Cutting into the river bluff itself, the campus brings the landscape of the bluff into the core of the city while also extending the urban fabric of the city to the river and its trail system.”
Spotlight
Peachtree City, Ga.-based Cooper Lighting, a division of diversified power management company Eaton, has announced the winners of the 36th Annual SOURCE Awards national lighting design competition. Among the winner was a local project. The winners were recognized at LIGHTFAIR International 2013 held on April 22 in Philadelphia, Pa. Six professional awards and five student awards were presented.
In the Professional Commercial category, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Fort Worth, and the team of Kimberly Smith, Kevin Williams, Nathan Carruth and Ennead Architects took home an honorable mention for the University of North Texas Business Leadership Building in Denton.

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