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July 11, 2013

Woods Acquires 1.4 MSF Thanksgiving Tower in Dallas

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Thanksgiving Tower

A partnership led by Dallas-based Woods Capital Management, L.L.C. acquired Thanksgiving Tower, a 50-story office building from Berkadia.

The property last sold in February when then-owner Younan Properties defaulted on its mortgage. The lender, Berkadia, purchased the 31-year-old skyscraper at the foreclosure auction for $58.5 million. While the most recent sales price was not disclosed, the current market value according to the Dallas County Tax Office is $65.7 million.John Alvarado, Gary Carr and Eric Mackey of CBRE arranged the transaction on behalf of the seller.

“The combination of low occupancy at 55 percent and superior construction quality made this one of the most compelling value-add opportunities in the country,” John Alvarado, CBRE’s senior vice president, told Commercial Property Executive. “In addition, its location within a rapidly transforming, city center urban environment increased its appeal.”

Located at 1601 Elm St., the Thanksgiving Tower, at1.4 million square feet, has 745 on-site parking spaces. The property is anchored by Gardere Wynne Sewell L.L.P., one of the Southwest’s largest full-service law firms, and serves as the headquarters of Petro-Hunt, a privately held oil and gas company. It is also home to the Tower Club Dallas, and XTO Energy, Inc., a business unit of ExxonMobil.

According to Alvarado the market fundamentals, in terms of employment growth, absorption and rental rate increases, are supporting more aggressive assumptions. The capital markets are also favorable in terms of availability of debt and equity.

The office tower is located at Elm and North Ervay streets, and is within two blocks of two stations along the DART light-rail line. The building overlooks the landscaped Thanks-Giving Square to the north and the revitalized Stone Street Gardens and Main Street District to the south.

“Location was a critical factor. Residential and retail development are both enhancing the immediate neighborhood’s appeal,” Alvarado said. “It’s rapidly becoming a hip and trendy place to be, which is appealing to employers who need a dynamic locale for recruitment and retention of talent.”

Woods Capital Management intends to reposition the building with capital upgrades to the lobby and exterior, and additions to the on-site amenity base.

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