HPI Real Estate and Bandera Ventures bought Ross Tower, the 45-story, 1.1 million-square-foot tower on San Jacinto and Akard streets, in 2015. The joint venture then pumped about $20 million into the building renovating the property. Within the last few months, leasing agents have increased the building’s office occupancy by 17 percent.
“We want [Ross Tower] to feel like somewhere tenants want to be, want to work,” HPI Dallas Leasing Agent Hunter Lee says. He says new and prospective tenants have predominantly come from Uptown seeking a “value alternative” to increasingly steep rents. Ross Tower is quoting around $22 per foot triple net.
In recent months, Ross Tower has signed eight new tenants with terms ranging from five to 10 years. Some tenants opted not to be identified, but the ones we know are as follows. HPI’s Lee served as leasing agent on all transactions.
- Arcosa: The spinoff of Trinity Industries signed about 40,000 square feet and was represented by JLL’s Brooke Armstrong, Kimarie Ankenbrand, and Greg Biggs.
- Walter P Moore: The engineering firm committed to 20,000 square feet and was represented by Cushman & Wakefied’s Mike Wyatt, Robbie Baty, and Trey Strake.
- EFO Management – The investment and asset management firm will occupy 15,000 square feet.
- Gresham, Smith and Partners: The private architecture, engineering, and interior design firm signed a lease for 8,000 square feet and was represented by Colliers International’s Travis Ewert
- Rogge Dunn Group PC: The employment law firm is moving from Renaissance Tower into 15,000 square feet and was represented by CBRE’s Phil Puckett.
- Indigena Capital: The investment firm specializing in renewable power, agriculture, transportation, oil and gas, and more has leased 2,500 square feet within Ross Tower.
Upgrades to the property include bringing the basement Starbucks to street level to activate the building, renovating the entrance, and upgrading the cafeteria-style food offerings on the second floor. The new owners also opened up the lobby to include more seating areas and work stations.
“The interesting thing about Ross Tower is that it was a beautiful building with no front door, no sense of arrival,” says BOKA Powell principal-in-charge Don Powell, whose firm did the renovations. “The critical things were to give the building street presence and create a place where someone could be dropped off safely … and to add energy to the lobby.”
Ross Tower was 48 percent occupied when HPI Real Estate and Bandera Ventures purchased it. Today, it’s 65 percent full.