D CEO magazine’s Commercial Real Estate Awards program for 2014 recognized 41 finalists in 12 categories. Here’s a look at those honored in the Best Renovation or Redevelopment category, including winner Golden Triangle Mall.
By 2010, time and a down economy had taken their toll on Golden Triangle Mall in Denton, and the nearly 800,000-square-foot center was posted for foreclosure. It was destined to go the way of Prestonwood or North Town or other failed malls, says Herb Weitzman, chairman and CEO of The Weitzman Group. But unlike those properties, Golden Triangle still had a reason to exist, he says: “It was neglected and lost ground, but the fortunate thing is that the location got better and better, with major infrastructure and road improvements surrounding it.”
Weitzman’s development affiliate, Cencor Realty Services, joined forces with The MGHerring Group to acquire the mall in late 2011, and set about giving it a $60 million overhaul. The changes have helped save Golden Triangle from obsolescence. Not only has it held on to its anchor tenants—Macy’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Sears, and Barnes and Noble—the shopping center also signed new leases with a number of name-brand retailers. Occupancy now stands at 97 percent, and traffic and sales have greatly increased. What’s more, development of new standalone restaurants is occurring on the mall’s perimeter.
Playing a key role in the project, along with Weitzman, were Gar Herring of The MGHerring Group, Aimee Bissett, Denton’s director of economic development, project architect Steve Elliott, and leasing agent Blake Shipp with The Weitzman Group.
City Place Fort Worth
Spire Realty Group acquired the 700,000-square-foot City Place Fort Worth three years ago. Spanning four blocks in the central business district, the complex had become a barricade between Sundance Square and the city’s civic buildings. Spire solved the problem by creating a pedestrian plaza over a former ice-skating rink and mall, adding street-level retail, and doubling parking. Working with Spire were Rogers-O’Brien, WDG Architecture, and TBG Landscape Architects.
For 10 years, the former Collins Radio campus from the late 1950s sat vacant, until it was acquired by Fobare Commercial. Soon after, Fobare sold 69 acres and six of the existing buildings to Digital Realty for a new data center park. But that left behind a large tract of land fronting North Central Expressway and a 150,000-square-foot office facility. By 2012, Fobare decided it was time to create something new an old eyesore. It stripped the building down to its steel framework and was barely under construction with the redevelopment when it secured a big lease from Associa, which expects to create at least 600 new jobs. Making it happen for Fobare were Tod Fobare, Rick Currey, and Chris Doggett.
The redevelopment of the former Nokia manufacturing facility at Alliance stands out for a number of reasons. One of the most significant—and the reason the project is being recognized in this category—is the sheer force of will and cooperation required to transform the space. Design and demolition began the same week. The project was actually designed as it was built! It wrapped up on time only because the dedicated team worked seven days a week, with multiple shifts per day. The nearly 500,000-square-foot building is now home to 2,000 Flextronics-Motorola employees, who are producing the first smartphone assembled in the United States. Leading the project were Brad Blankenship and Kyle Griffith with Cassidy Turley, Steve Breuer with Lauck Group, Jody Reed and Vernon Turner with Structure Tone, Tony Creme with Hillwood, and Chris Brown with Cresa.