Pier 1 Imports Wins Best Office Lease Award

The team behind Pier 1's headquarters deal, winner of the Best Office Lease award.
The team behind Pier 1’s headquarters deal, winner of the Best Office Lease award.

D CEO magazine presented awards in 15 categories at its third annual Commercial Real Estate Awards program, held at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Here’s a look at those honored in the Best Office Lease category.

Winner: Pier 1 Imports

Ask JLL’s Todd Burnette what it took to get Pier 1 Import’s 408,000-square-foot headquarters lease to the finish line, and he’ll give you a one-word answer: “Patience.” In 2008, with sales tanking, Pier 1 sold its prized Fort Worth headquarters to Chesapeake Energy and vacated 10 floors in the building. The energy company rebranded the property as its own.

By 2014, though, Pier 1 had seen a 20-fold increase in its stock price and wanted to regain control of its headquarters and nab more space. Chesapeake, which had experienced a reversal of fortune, was trying to sell the building and didn’t want to hassle with a new lease. Houston-based Hines stepped forward as a buyer in late 2013, but negotiations with Chesapeake dragged on. Pier 1 began looking at other options; previous potential buyers had failed to close, and the retailer was becoming gun shy, says  Burnette, who represented Pier 1 along with JLL colleague Pat McDowell. At the same time, Hines wouldn’t “go hard” on their earnest money and schedule a closing date without Pier 1’s commitment to take the full building. And there was another snag. If it stayed, Pier 1 wanted contiguous space; that meant Chesapeake had to agree move to another floor. After eight excruciating months, all parties came to terms, with Pier 1 ultimately expanding by more than 108,000 square feet. 

“Not only was it one of the largest office leases in North Texas in 2014, it [also] capped a fantastic turnaround for Pier 1,” Burnette says.

Finalist: Energy Transfer Partners at 8111 Westchester

Last year, the energy company led by Kelcy Warren inked one of the largest leases ever in Preston Center, signing on for more than 131,000 square feet in Bandera Venture’s new 8111 Westchester building. With the consolidation of its corporate headquarters, Energy Transfer combined all of its companies all under one roof. Warren partnered with fellow oil magnate Trevor Rees-Jones of Chief Oil & Gas to be the sole occupants of the new building. Putting the deal together were Dan Harris and Randy Cooper of DTZ.

Finalist: EnLink Midstream at One Arts Plaza

When 7-Eleven decided to move its corporate headquarters to Cypress Waters in Irving, it created a big vacancy in Billingsley’s One Arts Plaza. But no one expected space in the popular Arts District building to be on the market very long. And that’s the way things turned out. EnLink Midstream jumped on the opportunity and leased nearly 160,000 square feet in the property and will move in when 7-Eleven moves out. The deal represents an expansion of nearly 50,000 square feet for EnLink Midstream and keeps 550 energy professionals in the heart of Dallas. EnLink was represented by Steve Thelen, Jeff Staubach, and Torrey Littlejohn of JLL.

Finalist: Tenet Healthcare at Fountain Place

One of the largest healthcare companies in the United States, Tenet made a big bet on downtown Dallas when it moved its headquarters to Fountain Place in 2008. Last year, the growing company signed on for even more space in the building, adding 50,000 square feet for a total of nearly 214,000 square feet. Its 700 employees now occupy nine floors in the iconic downtown skyscraper. Tenet was represented in its lease by a CBRE team led by Phil Puckett. DTZ’s Johnny Johnson and Lauren Napper represented the landlord.

To read profiles of all 51 winners and finalists, click here.

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