One City Place ready for its close-up, developer says

A. Lee Graham One City Place is ready to rejoin its twin tower as a formidable force in Fort Worth office space, according to the company behind its renovation. “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do, and I can tell you today that we are truly satisfied with this project,” said Jon Ruff, president of Dallas-based Spire Realty Group LP. Speaking to more than 100 community and business leaders at a Thursday Aug. 28 Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Ruff praised city and business leadership while seeming to downplay his own community.

“You can’t do the types of things in Dallas that you can do in Fort Worth because they don’t have the business leadership willing to do those things,” Ruff said. By acquiring and redeveloping the four-block City Place development in downtown Fort Worth, Spire has transformed its One City Place tower that once housed Tandy Center and RadioShack headquarters and the former site of Leonard’s Department Store. The 19-story structure offers 325,000 square feet of Class A office space, 20 percent of which has been leased. It also provides a 2.5-to-1,000 parking ratio and panoramic views of virtually every city landmark. That became apparent for guests gazing through its 18th floor windows.

Though not complete — exposed air-conditioning ducts hung above an enchilada buffet — the room offered more than scenic views. It offered access to a fitness room, conference center and a ground-level photographic timeline chronicling the site’s storied history. “Many people have tried to revitalize this asset and met with various levels of success, but today you’re effectively in a brand-new building,” Ruff said. Despite one guest reported getting stuck in an elevator before the luncheon, Ruff called the project a success, crediting city officials for helping make it happen. “People here, I quickly learned, want to make a positive difference and not just positive returns,” Ruff said.