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Real Estate Pier 1 building is in play – again

Pier 1 building is in play – again

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A Dallas developer is hoping to add a downtown Fort Worth landmark to his cache of high-profile properties.

Sam Ware, managing partner and CEO of Dreien Opportunity Partners, said he has his eye on the Pier 1 Imports Building, which is on the market again.

Built in 2004 as the corporate headquarters of Pier 1 Imports, the resplendent 20-story glass and steel office building was sold in 2008 to Chesapeake Energy and then sold again in 2014 to Houston-based Hines, which renamed it the Pier 1 Imports Building because the retailer of imported home furnishings and décor remains the building’s largest tenant.

Ware, who has been investing in commercial real estate in the Dallas area for more than 38 years, said in an interview that this would be his first venture in Fort Worth if he succeeds in acquiring the building.

Best known for repurposing existing properties into “live, work, play” mixed-used developments, Ware said acquiring Pier 1 is “not my typical MO.” He is best known for renovating the old J.C. Penney headquarters campus in Plano.

Ware is also closing in on the purchase of the floundering Collin Creek shopping mall in Plano and is close to acquiring the former Parkland Hospital complex in Dallas to repurpose as a mixed-used development that would cater to housing and amenities for employees of the Dallas medical district and families of hospital patients requiring prolonged care.

“I think it is the most beautiful building in Tarrant County and I would love to own it,” Ware said of the Pier 1 building.

Ware, who said he toured the building for the first time last week, praised its perch on a hill with 360-degree views of downtown Fort Worth, the Trinity River, the West Seventh corridor and points beyond.

“This building, with its surrounding acreage, and its setting is something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in this market,” Ware said.

CBRE, which is marketing the building, said in a marketing brochure: “This offering presents a rare and compelling investment opportunity to acquire a trophy asset that provides long-term cash flow at a compelling basis that is significantly below replacement cost.”

Designed by Duda Paine Architects, the building sits on 11.9 acres and has 409,977 square feet of rentable space as well as 1,098 parking spaces. It is currently 100 percent leased, according to CBRE. The building is typically illuminated in white lights that change colors for special and seasonal events.

The Business Press reported in 2014 that Hines borrowed $58 million to finance the purchase.

A 245-unit apartment complex is under construction next to the Pier 1 Building. Hines sold the land for the complex to Alliance Residential of Phoenix.

This report contains information from Fort Worth Business Press archives.

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