Goddard Acquires 1.2 MSF Office Tower in Dallas

Atlanta-based Goddard Investment Group has added to its Texas holdings with the acquisition of Fountain Place, a 58-story trophy tower that is one of the tallest buildings in downtown Dallas.

FOUNTAIN

Atlanta-based Goddard Investment Group, L.L.C., has added to its Texas holdings with the acquisition of Fountain Place, a 58-story trophy tower that is one of the tallest buildings in downtown Dallas.

The price paid for the 1.2 million-square-foot, LEED Gold-certified building at 1445 Ross Ave. was not released but The Dallas Morning reported it was expected to be close to $200 million. The acquisition was completed through the Goddard Value-Add Office Fund I, L.P.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management had owned the building since 2011. Cassidy Turley, which J.P. Morgan Asset Management had contracted with in February 2012 to lease and manage the property, has been retained by Goddard to handle leasing. HFF L.P. was the exclusive listing agent for the seller.

“Fountain Place is one of the most recognizable buildings in the Dallas skyline. Our vision for the property is to expand and refresh the public areas, making them consistent with the striking design of the tower’s exterior façade,” Robert Goddard III, chairman & CEO, said in a news release. “With our investment, this will be a truly irreplaceable building that offers all the amenities, accessibility and prestige expected from a top-tier Uptown or Arts District building.”

The building, encased in green reflective glass, was built in 1986 and designed by internationally acclaimed architects I.M. Pei & Partners. It is 88 percent occupied with tenants including Tenet Healthcare, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Bracewell & Guiliani, Hunton & Williams and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Tenet, which has been in the iconic building since 2008, recently expanded its lease by 30 percent giving it more than 245,000 square feet, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Goddard is planning a “substantial renovation and repositioning program,” including refurbishing the lobby and elevators and enhancing the exterior fountains and landscaping, according to the release.  The site also includes a 1.5-acre development site where Goddard is planning a parking garage to “accommodate a parking ratio substantially above market average,” the release noted. Marketing information from HFF stated a parking garage could have up to 1,800 spaces. The firm declined to say how much would be spent on renovations or the parking garage.

The company, which also owns the nearby 22-story St. Paul Place office tower, has acquired and managed approximately 12 million square feet of commercial property. In addition to Dallas, it has investments in Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Tampa, Fla. Goddard Value-Add Office Fund I, L.P., is a discretionary, commingled, institutional fund sponsored by Goddard Investment Group. The Fountain Place acquisition was the fund’s first since October, when it purchased Overlook III, a 440,000-square-foot office property in Atlanta, from Parmenter Realty Partners.

Goddard picked a good time to invest in Dallas, where 2014 has started off with “positive indicators in all major real estate statistical categories,” according to The Knowledge Report, a first-quarter 2014 survey by Colliers International on the Dallas-Fort Worth office market. The report noted that average rents for Class A office properties in the Dallas CBD are averaging $22.49 and vacancy rates dropped from 25.3 percent to 24.9 percent for the first quarter.

“This was the strongest Q1 demand the market has seen since 2008,” the Colliers report stated.