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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

 

The Oaks at Argyle

SkyWalker Property Partners and the Caffey Group have acquired a 50,686-square-foot office building in West Fort Worth. Caffey Group plans to relocate its headquarters and use about 20 percent of the space. The terms of the deal include the option for Caffey to purchase 8851 Camp Bowie West in the future. In the interim, the firm will lease 10,419 square feet on the first floor of the three-story building, including long-vacant atrium space once occupied by a bank. A downtown tenant since 2001, Caffey will relocate by Sept. 1 in tandem with its lease expiration at 309 W. Seventh St. “We’d always talked about owning our own building. It made sense to partner with someone we knew,” said Marty Oakes, Caffey’s CFO. Oakes and Mark Caffey, president and CEO of the 16-year-old firm, are original investors in the Hangover Opportunity Fund, which is led by Gary Walker, president of SkyWalker Property. Caffey had searched for nearly six months for new office space to lease before the opportunity surfaced to buy Atrium Center, which is now being called Atrium West. Talks began as a result of a casual conversation between Theron Bryant, senior leasing agent for SCM Real Estate Services, and Red Oak Realty LLC of Fort Worth, which was leasing and managing the building at the time. Jack Clark of Red Oak Realty represented the seller, Hwy 80 Capital LP. The building is 58 percent leased and has been on and off the market in recent years. Atrium West had the vacancy to accommodate the energy firm’s office requirements and an ideal location – close to many Caffey employees’ homes and readily accessible to Loop 820 and Interstate 30. “We thought it was a good long-term buy,” said Oakes. “We’ve looked at nearly 15 buildings to acquire in the past two years with Gary. In Tarrant County, there aren’t a lot of good buys out there.” The Atrium West deed is now part of the portfolio of the Hangover Opportunity Fund. An estimated $100,000 is earmarked for upgrades to common areas, landscaping, parking lot and accessibility for people with disabilities, according to an SCM news release. Caffey’s lease drives occupancy to 78 percent at Atrium West. Its largest tenant is the city of Fort Worth’s engineering department, which occupies the 16,141-square-foot third floor. Three of the nine tenants are medical providers. Recently, the asset’s leasing reins have passed to Bryant and Casey Tounget, also with SCM. The largest contiguous block of available space is 5,400 square feet on the second floor. Working in the new owners’ favor is the tight office market in West Fort Worth, where occupancy is pushing 95 percent, according to the news release.

Rehab hospital Frisco-based Maxim Management Group has started construction on a 27,000-square-foot physical rehabilitation hospital in Weatherford. The freestanding inpatient hospital will be built on the site of the former Parker County American Legion, next door to Weatherford Regional Medical Center. The hospital will have 26 beds and will employ a staff of up to 80 medical professionals led by a physiatrist, a medical doctor who has completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. The hospital will be Joint Commission accredited. Construction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014. “We are looking forward to being a collaborative part of the medical community and enhancing the continuum of care for patients in the greater Weatherford area,” said Mark Harris, CEO of Maxim Management Group. “We are especially pleased by the reception from the Weatherford medical community and their enthusiasm to have local access to a high-quality inpatient physical rehabilitation facility.” Maxim Management Group is working on the project with Dennis Clayton, executive director for the city of Weatherford’s Economic Development Authority and chairman of the Weatherford Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees. “Maxim’s participation with our local medical center and physician networks will enhance Weatherford as a regional health care center, create skilled jobs, fill a health care service gap for our citizens and add to our local tax base,” Clayton said. Weatherford Rehabilitation Hospital is designed by Corgan Associates, a national designer of health care facilities with offices in Dallas. Maxim owns and operates inpatient physical rehabilitation hospitals and focuses its services on the senior population. The company plans to expand its network of hospitals primarily through strategic acquisitions and new construction in select rural markets regionally, including Texas and Louisiana. – Betty Dillard Ground broken Fort Worth developer James R. Harris Partners LLC (JRH Partners) recently broke ground for The Oaks of Argyle, a $55 million neighborhood of single-family custom homes in Argyle. Located 28 miles north of downtown Fort Worth between Alliance and Denton, the 40-acre development at the end of Cook St., east of Texas 377 and adjacent to Argyle High School. It will include 107 home sites and eight acres of park land. Homes priced from $400,000 will be built on approximately one-quarter-acre lots. The development will be completed in two phases. “Construction of 50 homes in the first phase is expected to start this fall,” said Justin Welborn, managing partner of The Oaks of Argyle and a partner in JRH Partners. The neighborhood is in a wooded area with park land planned to include walking paths, seasonal creeks, natural play structures, post oaks and prairie grasses. The eight acres of open space represent 20 percent of the development, which is twice the town of Argyle’s requirement. “Our intent is to leave the land in its native form as much as possible,” Welborn said. There are currently 2,400 post oak trees on the property. The homebuilders may remove trees from the footprint of the main structure and the driveway, but they must adhere to Argyle’s mitigation policy regarding removal of additional trees from a home site. Thus far, the builders include Village Homes, Bannister Custom Homes, Noble Classic Homes, Hamilton Homes and Craftsman Village Homes. Welborn expects to add more qualified builders to meet the anticipated demand. JRH Partners purchased the land from The Miles Foundation of Fort Worth, which was represented by Mike Ball of Mike Ball Realty Corp. of Fort Worth. JRH Partners represented itself. No financial details were disclosed. Frost Bank and The Miles Foundation are providing development financing. “The foundation looks to partner with people who have high standards and take pride in their work,” said Grant Coates, CEO and president of The Miles Foundation. “In this case, we tried to find a developer that could deliver the type of quality project that Argyle deserves, and we felt JRH Partners was the right choice. People are looking for a high-quality development in Argyle, and we believe there’s a market for beautiful custom homes on smaller tracts.” Founded in 1997, The Miles Foundation works to honor the legacy of its founder, Ellison Miles (1918-2004), through the support of charitable organizations across North Texas. Miles demonstrated a passion for giving back throughout his life, and the foundation remains focused on furthering his philanthropic efforts. The general contractor is Conatser Construction, Fort Worth; the civil engineer is Baird, Hampton and Brown, Weatherford; and the landscape architect is Design Workshop, Austin. www.theOaksofArgyle.com

Send real estate news to Robert Francis at rfrancis@bizpress.net  

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