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Developer's Oak Lawn office building buy gives it control of half block in Turtle Creek area

10.20.2016
Via
The Dallas Morning News

By STEVE BROWN Real Estate Editor

Developers have purchased an Oak Lawn office building with plans to revamp the property.

The acquisition - which includes land for additional development - is the third property in the neighborhood to just change hands.

Abby Development & Construction purchased the 3333 Welborn Street building, which is located between Turtle Creek and Oak Lawn Avenue.

The building is in an area zoned for high-rise construction and it is surrounded by towers.

The 4-story, 48,000-square-foot office building and parking garage take up almost an entire half block at Hall and Welborn streets. And there is an undeveloped property at the west end of the block that came with the building.

Abby Development - which builds seniors housing and apartments - bought the building from previous occupant StructureTone, a general contracting company that relocated to another Oak Lawn building.

"It was built in 1966 and StructureTone bought it in the 1990s and totally rebuilt it," said B.D. Amend with Amend Group, which brokered the off-market building sale. "It never came on the market before we got the deal with Abby done."

The new owners have hired Dallas design firm Staffelbach to handle the building's reboot.

Plans call for renovating the building lobby areas, rebranding the property with new signage and upgrading the landscaping and outdoor areas to attract new tenants to the building, which is more than three-fourths vacant.

Abby Development plans to relocate its offices from near LBJ Freeway and the Dallas North Tollway to the building after the work is done.

"We started looking for buildings 12 months ago in the Turtle Creek area, Oak Lawn and Preston Center," said Abby vice president Mason Green. "To be able to control an entire half block in the Turtle Creek area is unique."

Amend said several potential tenants are shopping the vacant office space in the building.

"I've been surprised at the level of activity without the building even being marketed," he said. "The deals these guys have seen already are impressive."

The 3333 Welborn property is the third office building along the same street to sell within the last few weeks.

Chicago-based Origin Investments and Dallas-based Blackwatch Partners just purchased the 2-building Lee Park Tower I and II which is across the street.

The new owners plan to significantly upgrade the buildings which were built in the 1960s and 1970s and have almost 200,000 square feet of space.

"We believe that a comprehensive modernization program can breathe new life into these buildings and pave the way for a significantly increased occupancy rate," Matt Ozee, Origin Vice President of Acquisitions, said in a statement. "We see tremendous value potential in the land alone."

There is only about a 10 percent average vacany rate in Turtle Creek corridor office buildings, according to the investors.

In September another nearby office building - the 13-story Park Creek Place at Welborn and Hall - sold to Quadrant Investment Properties.

Quadrant plans to renovate the 1980s office tower. The company is already redeveloping the landmark Centrum tower across the street.

Read more at: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/real-estate/2016/10/20/oak-lawn-build...