CBRE Global Investors Adds Mockingbird Station to Dallas Mix

A look at the 560,468-square-feet mixed-use community.
Kim Hourihan

Kim Hourihan

By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor

Attracted by the region’s strong economy, CBRE Global Investors is beefing up its interests in Dallas, where one of its funds has acquired Mockingbird Station, a Class A, mixed-use lifestyle center totaling 560,468 square feet.

“The Dallas economy is expanding rapidly as all major sectors add jobs at a brisk pace. Long-term, Dallas will benefit from its high concentration of corporate headquarters, diverse economy, above-average population growth and well-educated workforce,” Kim Hourihan, portfolio manager, CBRE Global Investors, said.

The Los Angeles-based global real estate investment management firm did not disclose the price or the name of the fund that acquired the asset. The same fund bought Premier Place, a Class A office tower that is adjacent to Mockingbird Station, in November 2013.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the property, the first transit-oriented, mixed-use development to be built in North Texas, had been owned by an unidentified European investment group since 2005.That ownership added a two-story retail building in 2007, according to the newspaper.

Located at 5307, 5321 and 5331 East Mockingbird Lane, the property features retail space, an office tower and luxury loft-style apartments in the heart of Dallas. The development, constructed in 2001, is built around Mockingbird Station, a major stop on the DART Light Rail system that serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The property is located directly off I-75 and is adjacent to Southern Methodist University.

The 10-story office tower has 148,878 square feet of space and is 94 percent occupied. It has an adjacent parking garage with 177 spaces. The retail component has 197,367 square feet and is 92 percent occupied. It includes restaurants, an eight-screen movie theater, full-bar comedy club and local and national branded shops and boutiques.

Hourihan told Commercial Property Executive they plan to add 10,000 to 15,000 square feet of new restaurant concepts to the mix and make some upgrades to the property, including adding more outdoor seating and landscaping.

“We think it’s got a great set of bones,” she said. “We’re excited to reshape and add to what is already a unique and great property. We’re definitely looking at the retail component, the common areas space and the flow of the property in general.”

The development has 211 loft-style luxury apartments, which are 96.7 percent occupied. The team is planning upgrades such as installing new countertops, tile backsplashes, premium fixtures and washer/dryers. Improvements will also be made to the entranceway, leasing office and amenities.

“Numerous demand drivers, coupled with improved management and the implementation of our signature ‘Inspired Lifestyle’ program as well as upgrades to unit interiors and amenities will position the property as the premier apartment community within the submarket,” Steve Gullo, managing director, CBRE Global Investors Multi-Housing Group, said.

“The loft apartments are just really unique in the marketplace. There is nothing like it in Dallas,” Hourihan told CPE.

Hourihan said the close proximity of Premier Place, which has a Lifetime Fitness Center on its property, will allow the fund to take advantage of synergies between the two assets.

Dallas is a target market for the fund as well as numerous other funds overseen by CBRE Global Investors. In late September, CBRE Strategic Partners U.S. Value 7 acquired Galleria Towers, an iconic 1.4-million-square-foot, three-building, Class A office complex in Dallas. The same fund purchased BLVD, a Class A, 417-unit, midrise apartment community in Dallas within walking distance of the Mockingbird Station development and DART rail station, in July. Last December, a different CBRE Global Investors fund acquired Gramercy on the Park, a Class A, 535-unit midrise apartment complex in another area of Dallas.

“We like the Dallas story of job growth and a diversified economy, and Toyota hasn’t even moved there yet,” Hourihan said, referring to Toyota’s plans to move its North American headquarters to about 2.1 million square feet of office space in nearby Plano, Texas, by 2017. “We think there is still room to run there.”